Since moving in the with the Shop Monkey in September I've had to make a few adjustments to my schedule. Things are just different in a new house in a new part of town. Now, instead of being a mile away from my studio, I'm more like 10+ miles away. It makes the studio day more separate from my life somehow. I do spend part of every weekday there, but I would like to have a spot at home to do some more creative work. Enter the home studio:

I remember when I was younger how I would look longingly at photographs of artists studios in random magazines or books. Maybe a home and garden magazine that showed photos of a home studio, built out back, with gray french doors...white shelves of books, and cases of drawers, and small containers, large flat tables....organization and light! Oh, the light. The majority of my childhood seems to have been spent in dark rooms with one small square window covered by plastic venetian blind (I'm sure there are people out there who can relate...)...Then I would sigh, and go back to my painting/whatever random art project, the only space I had for it would be on the floor by the bed.

Of course, I've carefully framed the above photo to avoid the unmade spare bed, piled with my clothes (which are homeless after finding mold in the closet in the master bedroom....but that is another story and one that hopefully does not include another 1 month stint at the future in-laws), the telescope, the un-boxed sewing machine sitting on the floor homeless, and the dog crate. I'm sure there is more junk in there, but I can't bear to describe it.

It is a good start, and I feel pretty cozy in there when I get to work. The Shop Monkey put up the shelf yesterday and it has really been helpful to have my pens etc. out where I can see them instead of jumbled in a drawer. I could put some more effort into the work studio (which I already like pretty well..) but I can't shake the feeling that the work studio is temporary and I don't want to pour money and time into it. I would really like to build a home studio when we buy a house (we start looking in a year!), so I guess I will have to continue sighing over Dwell magazine least I'm no longer working on the floor. :-)

I've been working on some sketches and color studies of flowers. Nothing too naturalistic, I really like a stylized look. It's been interesting to just sketch and practice and do multiple renditions of things without any particular aim in mind. I feel like this is what I should have been doing from day one (at 6 or 7 years old), instead of thinking that every thing that I made should be a piece of art. It seems so silly now, to assume that something can be perfect straight away (or at all), instead of the product of countless hours of practice and refinement. I'm finally learning this lesson at 31. Better late than never!

(( I think these are my two great life lessons of the last couple of years:

1) If you want something to happen in your life, just stretch out your hand and make it happen. It is that easy. All you have to do is start.

2) The only way to accomplish something is to practice, study/research, and DO. Again and again. Anything is learnable. It just takes time and patience. ))

So what did these sketches teach me? That my vegetation needs some work. I can't just scribble in the stems and leaves. I need to think more about what will make a pleasing flow, what relationship the leaves and blossom have to the stem.

Wait! I thought this was a jewelry blog. What happened to the gold and shiny stones! Get back to regular programming, please.

Well, I am planning on a floral ring soon. I would really like it to be Persian or Turkish inspired. I looooooooove the floral designs on Turkish pottery. So I am practicing. When I go to design the ring/earring/bracelet/necklace I want these flowers to drop from my hands naturally, I want the style to have seeped into my design process, instead of it being a struggle. I need to understand the relationships between the sizes and the lines and curves...and I think the only way to do that is to practice.

But I do have new stuff coming out that doesn't require this sort of legwork! I plan on sharing it with you all soon. Suffice it to say, there are plenty of shiny stones involved. ;-)

(p.s. I am closing in on an engagement ring for myself....a possible stone for the solitaire arrives tomorrow....I'm pretty excited, but I don't want to get my hopes up.)