Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Art, Staying Creative: Handmade Jewelry

Ugh I've just had this nagging urge to create things recently. Maybe it's the closing of the summer, and I usually have to get creative when going back to art school: but now I've graduated. Hum. These next few months are going to be weird.

I started making jewelry by accident, actually: and still have to learn some basics of metal work and saudering. It started two years ago when I had to take full academics at Tufts University, and no art classes. Yeah, I was nervous about basically starting over my junior year at college, and after a few weeks I began to miss that creative challenge. Mostly I just needed to make...things. (I'm gesturing with my hands a lot as I write this. And yes, typing too. Call THAT skill.)

Lately, I've been doing most of my jewelry work when I go out on the boat. Maybe because I've become obsessed with keeping busy all the time. Also, I find that being away from the computer gives me a great opportunity and time to be creative, and the boat functions as kind of a "studio".

This is me working on the boat, (modeling my own pair of really cool Chandelier Earrings, $12, with freshwater pearls, I may add! Below is my current offering of earrings on my earring rack) and I'm going through a ring sizer that I have. This is basically a chain with different size hoops and determine your ring size, and this is especially helpful when I'm making my Sea Glass Rings. I find some sizes are more popular than others, but try to at least include one of every size.

I've also had this overwhelming need to paint, and I haven't done that for about three years. I sort of got "painted out" after sophomore year, as after high school I wanted to do and perfect the only thing I knew how: paint. So I took basically every painting class offered at the Museum School of Fine Arts, and as a result I got frustrated: not really sure why. My palette was becoming muddy, and I couldn't get the colors I wanted - or, the colors everyone else wanted. 

So I think painting will make a comeback. Maybe some small canvases, then working bigger to maybe paint some Italian landscapes to hang in my new apartment. Let's see how it goes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

100th Post for The Ash Tree!

This is officially my 100th post for this blog! I can't believe it. A lot of this has changed since I started this blog a year ago: I've learned a lot and have had so many great experiences. I started my own business, lived and studied in another country, graduated college, and got my first full time job. It hasn't always been easy, but it really has been worth it. Now I'm here with 61  subscribers, (thank you!), 56 followers on Twitter, and have 73 fans on Facebook. Think I can double those numbers by 200 posts? ;)

100 posts is also significant for SEO purposes. In addition to website age, inbound links, and relevant content, 100 posts is really when the search engines start taking you seriously when crawling your website. Which has led me to start thinking about new ideas on things to be writing about. I think I'll scale back on Featured Etsy sellers to once a month, and start doing featured products more. Which may be bad for me because I'll probably ending up buying a lot - but hey, it's for my fellow etsyians, right?

I also want to write more about adventures in Boston that I have, and maybe bring some flashbacks back from Italy. I kept a journal there, and really want to go back - I figured doing some nostalgic posts will get me excited and motivated again to make my way back there. Plus, it gives me something to dream about.

Since I've also started a job that basically revolves around SEO and marketing, I'll inevitably write a lot more about those topics, as it has been a greatly consuming yet interesting topic for me. I'll also try and do more adventure reviews of cool stuff that I do: this is a blog, after all! I am on Yelp as well, so that may absorb many of my restaurant ravings :)

Lastly, my art. I've graduated, and am feeling the pull to create now more than ever. This will range from drawings to designing handmade jewelry to more items in my Etsy shop. So look forward to more images of things I NEED to create. I'm going to try and commit to writing every day - see how quickly it will take me to reach 200 posts! Between all this stuff, some occasional book reviews, artist collaborations, and personal experiences, this next year will be the best for the Ash Tree ever. 

And please don't be shy! I really do want to hear from you and maybe start some more conversations. Feel free to comment, shoot me an email, or DM me on Twitter to give me your opinions, or ask questions about me and my work! Talk to you soon!

(p.s., these images are all based on a "100" search that I did on etsy!)

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