Monday, April 23, 2012

Off to Forestville

Today I start taking a series of classes at the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville. I'm taking the 5-part series Herbal Essentials. I'm so so excited. Even though I am questioning my sanity for choosing to try and fit these classes in right at the beginning of craft fair season, I am quite happy I did make this decision back in December when I registered.

Finding time to still pursue my other passions (my none-jewelry related passions) has been a challenge ever since I started Tangleweeds three years ago. Taking these classes helps me down along that path of balance just a bit more. . .

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Friday, April 20, 2012

F3 at the Cotton Mill

I'll be vending at the F3 Cotton Mills
it's from 6 to 10pm.
Find it at 1091 Calcot Place in Oakland
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stones, Healing, Minimalism, Complexity

My head is aswirl with new design ideas. . . I find myself bouncing back and forth between a simple but beautiful minimalism and an ornate but balanced complexity. Wait. That kind of sounds like my thoughts. My hand-work is mirroring my thoughts.

Petite semi-precious stone earrings. I actually managed to photograph these yesterday. They'll be going up in my Etsy shop on Thursday.

Wild-flowers picked on a walk through Berkeley. I often go for a walk in the middle of my studio days. It helps to clear my head. Sometimes, when deadlines are pushing down on me and there doesn't feel like there's enough hours in the day, my walks feel like a time luxury. Something I can't afford to squeeze into my day. Ultimately, though, I think they keep me more focused and calm. 

Gorgeous labradorite teardrops. I did a little research the other day about labradorite and I think I better understand why everyone loves this stone so much (myself included). It balances the aura and grounds spiritual energies. It stimulates the imagination while simultaneously calming an overactive mind. (Info found here.) The times we live in require us to wear so many different hats, and not just day to day, but hour to hour, minute to minute. Anything that helps us find balance seems just perfect.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birds Birds Birds

Two new pair of earrings, inspired by our feathered friends, now available in my Etsy shop.

~Marsh Hawks~
In the morning they glide
just above the rough plush
of the marshlands,
as though on leashes,
long-tailed and with
yard-wide wings
tipped upward, like
dark Vs; then they suddenly fall
in response to their wish,
which is always the same--
to succeed again and again.
-Mary Oliver (from her collection titled Dream Work)

And guess what? This May, the 4th to be exact, Tangleweeds on Etsy will be turning three years old! A celebration is definitely to be had. Use the coupon code "birthday" to receive 35% off your entire purchase from my Etsy shop through the rest of the month of April and on into May.

These beauties are going to be hard for me to part with. I'm kind of in love with them. . . Also, of note, I have a VERY limited supply of these two leathers. I'll only be making a few pairs of each of these before they're gone for good! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rainy Day

I woke this morning to the rain. Lovely rain. Usually I know when rain is coming. I smell it and feel it in my bones. But not this time. I think I've been too caught up in my head, thoughts running in rapid bunny-like circles to be aware of what is right underfoot, under nose.
My birthday is tomorrow. I'm turning 31. I'm in no way "freaked out" about heading further into my thirties. Last year I was like "bring it on!" Turning 30 seemed to mark a turning point, a moment when I could fully embrace being a responsible adult (i.e boring to some.) I put A LOT of energy into planning and having a birthday party last year. And it was worth it. Many great friends came, and Jeff and I had the opportunity to open our relatively new home (we had just moved in together six months previous) to those we care about.
This year I'm feeling considerably lack-luster about the whole birthday thing. Looking at my feelings from a few different angles, I'm realizing this: I think last year was a chance to have a sort of "let's do this!" hurrah. As in, "I'm ready world, to work extra hard on my dreams. I'm ready to make sacrifices and get up early and not go out as much and scrimp and save my money and do everything I can to make my handmade jewelry business a reality." This time around I think the thoughts are a bit heavier, a bit more realistic. There is a realization of what all of this hard work means. It's not all glamorous craft shows (those of you who sell at craft fairs know I kid) and fascinating interviews with fellow crafty folks. In response to the constant hub-bub of my daily life I find myself seeking out a more quiet, reflective birthday this year.
I had a conversation  with a fellow jewelry artist at this most recent First Friday. She asked me if I had reached the point (in my business and life) where I had found some balance. I laughed and said that I was still struggling to find it. And I am. With this year's birthday comes a lot of thoughts on balance and sustainability, and no, I'm not talking about from an environmental perspective. I'm taking about from a body perspective. My job never ends. There is always more to do in one day than I can ever possibly fit into one day. Finding balance with a career and dream like mine all comes down to accepting that you will never be "done" at the end of the day. And you have to step away and take care of yourself and yours and know that you've done enough, ready to get back on the horse (so to speak) tomorrow. 
Here's to turning 31. Here's to slowing the wheels down for a bit and enjoying the moment as it unfolds. 
And to a yummy dinner out with Jeff!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Setting Aside

I broke my chasing hammer yesterday. Hrmph. My third one in the last two years or so. And all because I haven't been able to afford to buy a well-made one. All I can afford are the cheap-o fifteen dollar ones that you can find at the local bead and jewelry supply store.

Needless to say, I am determined to set some money aside for a quality one!

I'm working at CH Good Stock today. I'm here every Thursday from 11am to 6pm. I love visitors =). While I wait for some visitors. . . I finished my taxes! I owe this year (ugh) but I'm postponing the payment 'til the 17th just to postpone the pain. The first four months of this year (my first year of solely working for myself) have been seriously tight on the money front. Which I'm sure many of you already know, I think I complain about it a bit too much. Well, 'tis my reality these days. Hopefully I will learn something from all of it and plan ahead this year for this time next year.

dark brown (up-cycled) mottled leather, hand-forged brass pieces, triangles of smokey quartz

My lesson for the first quarter of the year: set more money aside for the unexpected! Or, maybe just for everything.

I've mentioned that there are lots of new designs in the works for Tangleweeds. Yesterday I wrapped up some new leather feather earrings. These lovelies aren't in my Etsy shop, but they are going to be available at First Friday and Saturday.

sandy brown (up-cycled) leather, hand-forged and oxidized copper bars and diamonds, quartz crystals

orange leather (up-cycled), hand-forged brass bars, tigerseye beads (this pair is actually at CH Good Stock)

I made a few more pairs but my camera battery died before I could snap some more photos. I do want to share more of my work with you guys, both the in-progress photos and the finished work. The thing about selling at craft fairs is I don't always take the time to photograph pieces before they sell. I'm trying to establish a new routine for myself. Freshly photographed pieces every week!

And, speaking of this weekend, if the First Friday crowds are too much for you, think about stopping by here:

For those of you who "like" Tangleweeds on Facebook, you may know that I was looking for someone to work my table for me this coming Saturday. Well, that conflict has been resolved and I am now planning on being at the collective both days. It really is a fun place. If I wasn't selling there I'd probably go as a customer every month if I could!

Lastly, did you catch this story about the newly hatched peregrine falcons in San Francisco? It warmed my heart so much. I am amazed and touched that there are people who will sit and essentially have a vigil for these birds in the hours leading up to the eggs hatching. Amazing. That kind of just sums up how I want to live my life. Which may or may not make a whole lot of sense to all of you. But I think it does. It's about setting aside the time to honor and take care of what is worth taking care of. 

On that note, I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Trails

This month is turning out to be fiery and full! I can't believe how many of my days are already spoken for: craft fairs, birthdays (including mine!), work, fun, dates with friends, dates with Jeff (but not enough), part-time jobs (CH Good stock on Thursdays, assisting at an after school art class on Tuesdays), pilates, and time to take care of myself (not to be forgotten.) Throw in feeling more and more like a bona-fide "step-mom" these days and my days run from 6 am to late (but not late by many people's standards) pretty quickly.

some earrings for an Etsy order this week

Oh, where am I going with this, you ask? 

To this point: I'm kind of tired of blogging in the style I've been blogging. I'm not trying to be a trend-setter or a taste-maker. I'm not trying to make sponsors happy. When I started my blog (wait, I have to check) three years ago (yesterday!) what I really wanted was a place to tell stories and share the creative work that was currently happening in my life. 

mystic lady necklace ~ there's been a lot of experimentation going on in the Tangleweeds studio lately

I realized quickly that telling stories took time. Telling stories and including awesome photos takes even longer. But I quickly became overly concerned with posting here as often as possible. Recently, I even came up with a schedule for myself: Style and Reason Mondays, Etsy Trio Tuesdays, and so on and so forth. 

new leather-feather earring designs

At first, keeping my blog simply "active" gave me some satisfaction. Until I realized I was dreading everyday when I needed to sit down and draft my next blog posts. This is what I want (and I hope what some of my readers will enjoy): to blog less often but more meaningfully. To share pictures of my works-in-progress with all of you, the stories behind them, to share more of my life. I may offend some people, but I'm gonna try to not worry about that too much seeing as I think I already worry about that too much =). 

kitty whiskers - a close-up of my studio kitty mr. "little kitty."

As I venture forth on this experiment, I'll also share my creative experiments with you. Of late I've been itching to branch out a bit with Tangleweeds. Try some new things. Take some classes, gain some new skills. In the past I've often taken a leaning towards mixed media and altered art jewelry. Some of my new work will most likely fall into these categories. 

new earrings featuring my own scavenged bits of sea glass

The older I get the more I want true intention to infuse what I do. I think when I was young if something didn't feel right, but I felt like I "ought" to be doing it, I was more apt to stick with it. But that way of living a life takes little pieces of one away from oneself and over the years it adds up to something big. Yes, at this point I'm speaking about more than just blogging, I am, in a way, touching on my bigger reasons for pursuing this "working and supporting myself as an artist" gig. 

But that is a tale for another time. Maybe a three-parter. It's a long tale =)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Giveaway Winner

Just dropping by to announce the winner of the Tangleweeds Springtide Giveaway is. . . Jessica Paulat! You can thank my boyfriend for randomly selecting the number that corresponded with your comment. Please send me an email at and your winnings will be headed your way soon!