Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Still no babies

Just a small sample of what I have been up to in the last few months.  It was ridiculous, seriously.  Literally twice as much work as I'm accustomed to in the the months of September and October.

Hello, dearest readers.  I apologize for my long absence.  First I was slammed and working frantically to get everything finished before my twins arrived.  (Which is slightly irritating, since as I write these words I am still (extremely reluctantly) pregnant.  I probably could have worked straight through November without any issues at all!  Argh.  But who could know?  I was really in dread of having work unfinished and going into labor.)  And then for the last few weeks I've been trying to get the house (and my mind) prepared for two new people.  The babies' room is starting to look really cute!

I've been meaning to do a post about my fabulous little studio, but I think it will have to wait until I have it in me to do another video tour.  I'm really happy working from home, but it is super important that the space isn't inside my house.  I worked out of my house once before and it was really easy to get consumed by the job.  Being able to lock the door and walk away has been fantastic.

One thing I haven't figured out yet is a new space for photographing.  It's been a bit of a struggle since I don't have a really great sunny window to work in.  I only like to photograph in natural light, but it has to be diffused as well.  The photo below is one of the few examples that actually work in the direct light.  But in general it's really hard to get a good photo in direct light (for me, anyway).

Well, I think this will be my last post for a month or two.  Depending on how things are after the babies arrive, I would like to work a bit on some new designs before I reopen.  But I will just have to see what life is like in the next couple of months.

All right!  Wish me luck!  I think I will probably need it. :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Man, I miss

wearing this ring:

But when your hands decide to try to keep pace with this:

it makes wearing such a wide band a distant memory. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting there, getting there

Progress is slow here at the B studio.  Unfortunately, there is so much going on in our lives and in the house, that despite the unceasing efforts of the (world's best) Shop Monkey, I am still not completely settled into the new studio.  This last Saturday we moved (and when I say we, I mean he) the last of the stuff from the old studio and cleaned the place out.  It was a bit of a process.  I don't know how I accumulated SO MUCH CRAP.  Actually, I think I do know.   When I was first starting out with my business, I didn't really know what I would need.  So, I just tended to get anything that I might remotely have possibly ever used, even once.  That is how you end up with a whole lot of things that really don't serve any purpose (anymore).  But I don't see how I could have worked any other way.  I certainly couldn't have scaled up as quickly.  I'm a firm believer that you have to spend money to make money, and that you need to have the right tool for the job (even if you might not know what that job might be).  And if you are pressed for time, the shotgun approach is the best method (at least for me).  So, here I am, with a lot of stuff that I need to get rid of.  Which is also hard.  But not as hard as seeing a bright new studio space slowly getting overcrowded with junk (not junk really, just things I don't use).  DE-pressing.

To be perfectly honest, as much as I love what I do, I think I would prefer being an illustrator or something like that.  Something that doesn't require as many tools (it stresses me out to have to keep track of everything) or dust or dirt or grime.  Perhaps I love the end result of my work, just not the process.



I don't always feel this way, I think I'm just a little down today.  The Shop Monkey is out of town for the week (super sad face) and I'm suffering a little bit from a light blueish funk.  My sleep hasn't been the best, and it is getting hard to eat without being uncomfortable (double squids!).  And work has been a bit overwhelming, which creates conflicting feelings for me since I am glad I have enough work, but at the same time feel a bit stressed.  But I would much rather be stressed that way, than be stressed about not making enough money.

Ah, Monday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My new commute

hahahahahahahahahaha!  So happy!

Yes, those are my house shoes.  No, I don't intend on making a habit of arriving at work in my pj's. 

Photos of the new studio coming soon!  I'm not all the way moved yet, I was distracted by a visit from my delicious niecettes.  So adorable!  But now that I'm back on my own, with only the pugs for company during the day (and of course, the two tiny squids karate chopping away at my insides) I think the unpacking and arranging will go quickly.  I'm SUPER happy with how everything turned out with the remodel/construction, it's so clean and bright!  It makes me a bit sad to have to fill it with all of my dusty work stuff.  I feel like I should be making cupcakes, collages or quilts in here.  I'm dreading the creeping mess of an actual working studio.  I know I just need to institute a 20 minute clean up at the end of the day, which I am determined to do (no! really!).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The excitement is building!

For me, anyway!  I'm planning on moving into the new studio this Sunday.  (And by moving, I mean overseeing other people move things, since I am double preggo and not allowed to lift heavy things.  A nice perk that almost makes up for the sleepless nights.)

New things that I might add to the shop eventually.  I really like the lack of texture and the high polish.  Although, I will admit, that I don't really dig on the high polish whilst I'm in the middle of high polishing.  Tedious.

And now a few photos of the studio project!

The drywall was all finished Friday.  This is a view at the ceiling and the little storage area.  The Shop Monkey heroically attempted to prime it on Sunday in 100+ degree weather, but he had to throw in the towel after the first coat (mostly because we were also painting the kitchen at the same time....I still haven't recovered. But the kitchen looks great!).

And then today!

I know these photos aren't super exciting in themselves, but these are my new cabinets and butcher block counters, just waiting to be installed (after the painting and flooring is finished)!  I am so excited to finally have contiguous workspaces and real storage.  I've been working with a hodgepodge of mismatched craigslisted tables and some kluged together shelving for the last few years and it's getting really old.  I'm going to be so organized when this is all finished, I can't even wait.  And my bedroom door is only about 25 yards away, so I can lay down in between projects (which is becoming more and more necessary, unfortunately).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Updates! Updates!

First things first.  YAY!

Studio update:

Subfloor!  Just going to have laminate.  I really wanted colorful marmoleum, but I really needed to stay within my budget as well.

 This little semi-wall will keep the grossness of polishing in one spot.  That is the plan anyway.

That window on the left is new.  Different view of the half wall.

 Oooh! Oooh!  Oooh!  The drywall started going up this week.  The plan is to have it all dry walled this week and then the counters/cabinets/sink go in next week and then I move in!  Yay!

For the pug-deprived.  This is Dieter this morning, leaning against my leg as I ate breakfast.  Sweetness pug.

And this is my newest design.  I had been wanting to do something with more movement in it, and this is what I ended up with.  I have also been admiring the twig/branch rings that you see out there, but I didn't want mine to look so literal.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it has been done and I didn't feel like I need to make my own rendition.  The diamond is a natural cognac diamond, a bit hard to photograph properly.  It has this lovely deep brown sparkle, I love it.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I have zero training in photography (which might be apparent to some of you, haha).  But necessity breeds invention, so when I first started out I tried a bunch of different things just to get a good shot.  I also take many many many pictures of the same items(s) in order to get a few good ones.  



The two photos above are the same set.   I love the walnut wood grain in the above photo, but I am having trouble getting the new "back drop" to be as luminous as I would like. 

When I first started out, I was taking photos on my computer table (the two above photos), which is walnut as well, but it has a lacquer on it, which I prefer.  I just need to put a finish on the raw wood from the first photo, I don't know what has taken me so long! (Actually, I do.  I also have the white back drop, which makes things fairly easy to photograph. LAZY.)  I would still photograph on my desk, but it is no longer in the right position to catch the sunlight.  I only like to use natural light to photograph.  I know some people like a light box set up, but I have never gotten it to work for me.  Plus it seems a bit uniform and dull, I like the drama that that the lighting from natural light can produce.  Of course it isn't as consistent, and you have to be careful to not overdo it.  It can also look different during different parts of the day.

Later afternoon/early evening makes everything a cooler blue.  I really like this effect.  It seems calm. Close to mid-day is much cleaner and brighter:

I feel like photographing towards the middle of the day and avoiding the blue tones is more consistent (see below), but I also really like the feel of the evening pictures.  Plus, I think it gives me an opportunity to show the different metals in different lights.

A similar set of rings, just photographed at different times (different metals and finishes as well).

I'm not really sure where I am going with this...I had the first two photographs and I just wanted to put them up on the blog and show the difference that a background can make.  And then I started meandering on and sort of ran out of steam.  Hehe.  Oh well.  And I'm not a photographer anyway, so I'm not sure how much more I could say on this topic.  You can't squeeze water from a stone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm so excited I can't even see straight

Dearest readers!  Now that some of the unpacking has been done and a little bit of painting, I'm starting to see the end of the move in sight.  Sort of.  We've painted the babies (baby's??) room a light grayish blue.  Still have the entire rest of the house to go.  At least the colors are decided on, except for the master bedroom.  And double bonus!  We found hardwood under the carpet on the stairs and in the nursery.  Hallelujah!  I have an extreme carpet phobia, so you can't know how thrilled I am to have wood floors throughout. 

But the real reason I am super stoked, beyond the great new house, double squid babies, giant park/yard etc. etc.?  Work starts on the the studio this next Monday!  (OMG!)  I think I've written before about how I've always dreamed about a backyard studio since childhood, with windows and shelves and a space!  Space!  Just for creative pursuits!  Now, I have really had that already, with the studio that I rent.  I love the space I have, but imagine a commute of only 20 steps?  So excited!  And with the twins on the way, it is even more important that I can comfortably work from home.  (At least that is what I tell myself when I start contemplating the expense of the remodel.  And besides, it will pay itself off in saved rent in a little over a year and a half.)

So here it is.  My tiny little cottage studio.  Not too bad from the outside.  Needs some landscaping help.  And a new door.  It has a door, but it is pretty beat. (Tiny pugs included for scale.  Building is around 11'x15'.)  What do you think of a bright new paint color on the exterior?  Right now it matches the house.

The inside has this strange divider wall that will be coming down.  It's not structural.

All of that work bench will be taken out as well.  (Weird divider wall to the right of the photo.)

 I think there will be semi-vaulted ceilings in the end.

They are going to add a window across from this one.

And this is the floor layout I am planning on (from above):

The door is directly bottom middle.  To the right is a sink. (A sink!  A sink! The apogee of my home studio ambitions!)  The walled off portion to the left will be where I put my jewelers work bench.  That is where I do the dirty polishing stuff, so I really wanted to keep it a bit separate from the rest of the studio.  The right hand counter will be my computer/businessy area.  On the left wall will be where I will set stones.  And the back wall will be wax carving and miscellaneous.  At least for now.  I can't really know how I will arrange things until I'm in there. 

Another view from through the right hand wall.  I plan on having storage cabinets interspersed underneath the counter throughout. 

I can't wait for it to be done!  Especially since this:

is only going to get harder to lug around in the coming months.  (You can see where I've been taping in preparation for painting.  This bathroom is going to be a bright island blue!)