Fabulous FREE training for jewelers!

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Jan 082015

download Lots of us set goals for the New Year. Many of us include a business goal in there somewhere, and even if we’re not ‘resolution’ makers, most of us have some goals or ideas of what we want for our jewelry business in 2015. It’s human nature to dream but if you want success, you need to have a goal and you need to PLAN.

For many of us creating is second nature, it’s a drive we can’t turn away from – but it’s also become VERY apparent that for many of us, the business side feels like a chore. It’s mysterious and overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to be.

I have been hearing about Flourish & Thrive all over the place. They are getting GREAT feedback and come highly recommended as a jeweler’s business training academy.

So how awesome is it that they are holding a free (YES! FREE!) training series —  starting TOMORROW!

Tracy and Robin have 40 years (combined) experience that has led them to success not only in their business but their overall lives ~ I personally can’t wait to hear their tips and tricks to help grow my business because let’s face it – while I LOVE to create and would do it no matter what – it’s really critical that the time I’m investing ‘pays me back’.  It can’t be a dark hole. I’m ready to get my jewelry out there and I know many of you are too.

Even if you don’t plan on turning your jewelry into a profitable business (but really — why not??) you’ll learn a lot from these two. And if you are a struggling jeweler, discouraged by lack of sale, or trying to figure out your direction – DON’T WAIT.

Go sign up NOW! 

You don’t want to miss it! This is the start of a FABULOUS new year for you! ONWARD and UPWARD!

Keep climbing…..


Nov 122014

We recently updated an album on our Facebook Page – (the Network Retreat album) to show a broad look at retreat over the years. In response to a photo taken a few years ago, someone said: “and look where we are now……….”

What a great statement!!!  And what great advice.

Don’t forget your beginnings.

It can be easy to look around and get discouraged – we wish we were further along, we compare ourselves to others.

Stop that! (right now!) 


The only person you have to compare yourself with is the person you were yesterday.

Same in your business – don’t compare your work to anyone else’s.

Your journey is just that YOUR journey – and don’t forget how far you’ve already come !

Take a look back at some of your older work, where you were, and look at the progression. Figure out where you want to go and then set yourself in that direction. 

Think about the hard work you’ve put in to get where you are now. And know what it takes to get to the top of your game. I love a good analogy, and stick with me here – I think our journey can be like mountain climbing. 

Put your head down and KEEP CLIMBING


Standing at the bottom of the mountain it can look insurmountable. But with the right tools – and perseverance – you CAN do it.  One foot in front of the other, sometimes the progress is slow, and sometimes you have to traverse rather than go for a direct upward climb.  

And sometimes it is necessary to stop every so often, take a breather — and LOOK BACK. See how far you’ve already come???  Don’t get discouraged by how far you still have to go – use the distance you’ve traveled encourage you and fuel you on.

It can be easy to forget the distance traveled. . . . but that’s YOUR hard work – don’t forget it! 

When you catch your breathe, when you’re recharged – it’s time to look forward again – and get back to work. Survey the landscape ahead of you, chart your course – know where your next steps will fall – and then keep climbing.

Tune out what distracts – the fatigue in your legs (late nights in the studio anyone?), the pain in your lungs (the haters trying to bring you down), the lovely clearing full of flowers (social media distractions?) If you want to keep moving you need to choose what you ‘carry’ — don’t slow yourself down – don’t needlessly frustrate yourself. . . . . there is a time to take that breather, but don’t lose your focus, don’t forget your objective.

Put your head down and keep climbing.

It’s hard work but so worth it. When you reach the summit you will feel amazing.

AND, each summit victory allows you to see new peaks (new goals) – new opportunities.

And then you know what to do – you’ve done it once already.

just keep climbing, just keep climbing, just keep climbing……………

Jul 032014

I don’t get a lot of bench time at this point in my life due to many factors and so it can be frustrating sometimes when I DO get bench time and then am ‘stuck’ – not knowing what to make, feeling sort of uninspired.

Sometimes after a hiatus I tear right into a good project, but other times I just don’t know WHAT to get into but I have the urge to do something, MAKE something…HAMMER something….ya know?

The other day I had some time and it was one of those frustrating sit-at-the-bench-and-stare-at-stuff moments. (this felt like a slap in the face) I  just could not determine what to make (being out of a lot of metal didn’t help). Finally my eyes landed on one of my scrap boxes.

OK, I will melt metal.



And that’s as far as my thinking went. But at least I was moving. DOing.  (this felt better)

I took down my crucible, added a small pile of scrap sterling.

And put a big flame to it.


MOLTEN METAL. (hello my lovely, where have you been lately?)


I had no idea WHERE I was going – I just knew I was ‘creating’ – I was changing something from one ‘state’ to another.(and I could feel myself opening up)

I had no plan for the lumps, they just WERE.

But I liked it. (a lot!) (sandlot reference anyone??)

007So I melted a few more. (seriously, it was like rabbits multiplying)


Then I decided to hammer one (or two) I flattened it some then took it to the mill.

Ran it through and through.

It was kind of zen-like watching it go in one side and out the other  – streeeeetching.

Not to mention the physicality of it.

Cranking the mill – pushing and pulling – feeling my muscles stretch right along with the metal.

Still no idea where this was going, and not caring.

No expectations, no right or wrong – good or bad. Just DOING.

I’m in my element, studio, tools, fire, metal, music. I like that. 🙂

Life is good.


I now had a growing little crop of surf boards. 🙂


But I immediately was seeing them in halves.

So I measured, marked and cut.


Now we’re seeing one of my favorite shapes. (I have no idea why this may be a favorite shape, I just know I like it. I’m drawn to it. Don’t question it.)

It speaks to me.

And I to it.


“earrings” I say. (and really, what choice do they have at this point but to say, yea, ok)


And I finish up with 3 pairs of earrings.

And they aren’t anything special.

And yet – I adore them. They are fabulous for every day.

They are COMPLETELY wearable.

They have a scrumptious texture, an earthy weathered feel to them.

Like old souls.

So it becomes my secret (and yours) that they are fully new and totally born on the fly. 🙂


And I have some remaining bunnies waiting for their turn to become.

This post is to really just to say – you don’t always have to make something complex. (maybe you don’t even have to have a finished ‘product’).

You don’t always have to plan for big things…..or over think it.

Sometimes it’s just good to sit with yourself and your space and perform the simplest of tasks – melt, hammer, roll, cut, file, sand, drill. 10456053_10204429092546763_5099067443778682039_n Relax into the making.

It doesn’t have to be grand to be good.

It just has to FEEL right.

Some days good is GREAT.  🙂


Backs, catches, closures, pin stems

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Feb 012014

Websites, online shops, blogs, pinterest – we all love looking at the eye candy that can be found online.  So often I wish I could pick up a piece and turn it over to examine the back – especially on  a brooch or pin. Right?!? What kind of catch was made? What is the pinstem made from, how is it all attached? Is there anything additional decorative on the back?

Well, there is less than a month before the new book by Lorena Angelo is released.

book description:
“The focus of this book is on the side of the brooch that usually isn’t noticed: the reverse. When we encounter an attractive piece of jewelry, our instinct is to admire the front, but when we turn it around, it often reveals a secret. The author lets us in on that secret, typically only shared between the maker and the wearer. Clever brooch makers often adorn the back with items meant to complement the front, or the backside may have a unique, intricate design all its own…….”

I ordered my copy way back in October and can’t wait for it to be delivered!

You can pre-order now through Amazon: Behind the Brooch: A Closer Look at Backs, Catches, and Pin Stems


June Artists Synchroblog! Pinterest Project

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Jun 182013

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.
(full details here)

This month is the Pinterest Challenge where we decide to stop just pinning and start DOING! Please visit the bloggers below to see who did what based on their Pinterest musings this month.


 Posted by at 10:48 am