Let’s be clear, I am inspired by so much at times I feel my head wants to explode, yet I always come back to a shape that feels just right…the circle. A circle has so many meanings that of … Continue reading
There is nothing better than the last days of summer in September when the temps are above 75 and the beaches are deserted. I feel blessed to be able to take advantage of this beautiful time of year, to feel the warmth of the sunshine and the wash of the water over my bare feet. It is these walks that fill my well with creative energy and peaceful meditation. It is these adventures that begin with a fog bank so thick you think it might never lift.
When the temps rise and the fog lifts the excitement of the hunt begins and the sounds of the waves become the mantra that fills my head. Today I am with my partner, my rock, the person that makes my world possible. Today is a good day, one that she is able to accompany me to enjoy this beautiful Maine Beach Day in September.
Being on a beach with no one in site, with the beach to ourselves is an amazing experience, a true gift of life in Maine. I can take the time to connect with all of the beauty of the beach, beyond the stones that I collect, the seaweed, the larger stones within stones all fill my soul with wonder and a peace that is a wonderful meditative process.
One last look at the place I spent my day with the person that means the most and a memory of a perfect day and the excitment of getting home to examine the treasures we have picked to become a part of my work.
When we arrive home it’s time to sort and wash the stones that have been collected with care. Chosen one by one in the hopes that when they are examined closer that they will be great additions to my jewelry. Each stone has the potential to be the focal point of my beach stone & silver jewelry that I will forge in my studio. Sorting by size and washing with the garden hose, on our handmade table on the deck, is the perfect end to a perfect Maine Beach Day. It’s time for a great dinner and listening to the rain outside I have a wonderful feeling of peacefulness washing over me, like the water rushing over the stones today on the beach.
As with all blog posts I tried to organize my thoughts this morning while quietly drinking my tea. I spent much time updating and making some much-needed changes to my blog. Much like this inspiring pile of beach stones, it takes time to choose which beach stone will be transformed with forged silver into what kind of focused piece of jewelry, it too takes time to choose images and words to convey the thoughts and emotions that best describe my work and the space I am in at the moment.
I had an amazing opportunity this past week to attend the #inbound13 marketing conference in Boston, thanks to my son-in-law who works for Hubspot. I got to witness the energy of the current technology boom in a way I never have. Noticing all the time that I was one of the few in the entire audience of 5300 that was gray-haired and over the age of 35. I got to listen to one of my favorite bloggers in the world of marketing, Seth Godin who brought to everyone’s attention that we all needed to, “Be one of a kind, own it and live it”. His call to being “remarkable” and to “delight” people with our stories was refreshing and inspiring. In a world where there is so much information in order to be recognized and be appreciated for what we do, give people the information of most value, what is it about what you do that is special?
I also listened closely to Arianna Huffington speak about the need to reconnect, recharge. Remove technology from your down time, stop living a life of hurry up and take note of ourselves. Most notable was when she said that “life only makes sense when you are living it”. Well, in this world of day to day responsibilities I am learning from the words of these entrepreneurs, these people who are taking the world by storm and being authentic.
When I looked at this beautiful organization of beach stones that I collected and remember the feeling of being at one with the ocean and it’s offerings I realize that I am authentic, I am doing what I was meant to be doing. I am truly focused and my world makes sense and my process takes me to a place of feeling connected to the earth, this I know is my calling in life.
Balancing life is what poses the challenges and if there is anything I take away from this busy time in Boston or this beautiful and peaceful time collecting each ocean tumbled marvel from the beach is that time is of most value. Giving, sharing and loving are the mantra that fills my well. I feel the well is full and I am in need of the creative step, so onward I go.
Thank you for following my journey.
2013 has started out as a year of adjusting to changes. The excitement of having a home/studio and creating my jewelry from a bench just steps from my garden, the chickens & beautiful Montsweag Bay is a wonderful thing! The closing of The Creative Turtle after 5 seasons was a bittersweet moment in November of 2012, but a necessary step in my new path as a productive metalsmith. I will miss the visits from amazing people in the gallery that were part of each day, but I will cherish the focus and quiet that I will have as I forge and design my silver pieces and drill my stones without interruption. I have come to realize that focus is truly what is needed for completing my projects in a way that is not only enjoyable & efficient, but also affords me the ability to absorb my amazing environment and draw from it all the while being able to do so at home.
After the year of many transitions and realizations in 2012, I am making plans for new shows, additional gallery & shop representation as well as new designs. I added three very exciting new concepts to my work last year, Silver cuffs & rings that are hand forged and oxidized to highlight the patterns from my special hammer. These pieces each incorporate the use of brass tube rivets as a focal point to compliment the beach stones. I repeated this concept in the up-cycled leather belt bracelets that have been so successful for me and great price point as well as a fresh new look. I find it important to remain challenged and excited by adding new creations to my repertoire of elemental designs. I always keep in mind how to focus on the stones that I collect from the Maine coast and how I can highlight them while staying true to my organic style. I am happy to say that I am satisfied with 2012 production and look forward to expanding in 2013 with so much extra time on my hands with which to focus on my work.
I will start my shows off this year with a wonderful opportunity to show my work at Craft Boston this year in April. As a juried member of the Maine Crafts Association I will be exhibiting in a large shared booth opportunity in a market that I have been anxious to connect with. Spring will bring a flurry of activity to get ready for this show as well as getting the studio ready for an Open Studio” event to be announced soon. January and February is full of applying for shows and creating work for spring placement in new galleries and shops that provide exciting opportunities to expose many more people to my Beach Stone Jewelry.
I am looking forward to achieving the goal of a more regimented attempt at blogging, social media and staying ahead of the curve so that I can enjoy some time to feed my creative well. Trips to the beach to forage for just he right amazing beach stones on the Maine coast as well as gardening, kayaking and taking care of the homestead will be high priority as well. Most of all helping my partner Pam get well and make this the year of healing from Lyme after her long 4 year battle will be a constant in each of my days.
I want to thank everyone who has supported my journey through creativity and my attempt to create a life that is rich with nature and expression through my jewelry. Please share my blog with those you feel would enjoy my work and my words!
Here’s to 2013 a year to settle into a rhythm of creativity.
I have just updated my show schedule and am very excited to have added several shows to my list!! I am honored to be juried into these shows and will look forward to connecting with new clients and collectors who have been so kind in their support of my work. Check out the following links to see what show you might be able to attend and make sure that you stop by to say hi!! Subscribe to my blog and I will give you 10% off your purchase at any show you purchase my work from. This list will be growing so be sure to check out the blog and website for updates!!
Here is the list as it is today:
June 29-July 1, Maine Home & Design Show, Camden, Maine
July 21-22, Blue Hill Fine Craft Show. Blue Hill, Maine
September 8-9, Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival. Wells, Maine
September 15-16, Fall in the Village Art & Music Festival. Freeport, Maine
September 21-23, Common Ground Fair. Unity, Maine
November 9-10, The Gifted Hand. Ellsworth, Maine
November 16-18, Artful Gifts. Northport, Maine