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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Spartanburg

Some semblance of a studio, originally uploaded by antigenre.

Well, after a full day of packing, another day of travelling, and yet another of receiving all our worldy possessions from the lovely folks at Carey Moving & Storage, Levi, a very spooked Frist and I have officially landed in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The apartment is just as cool as I remember it from our jaunt down here in May. The whole building seems a bit like the Dolphin Hotel from Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase, which is OK by me. The town is noticably more vibrant now than it was then, as well. There’s a neato gallery just down the road from us that I’m going to hit up in the near future to see if they will carry my jewelry, and the bar across the street from us has just re-opened. The band playing there tonight was the Piedmont Boys, and I was told that they do, along with some originals, mostly 80’s covers. I forgot that that would probably mean country/western/blues from the 80’s, and not, say, Tears for Fears.

The studio is slowing coming together. I have wonderful light and plenty of space. No more spraying silver dust and debris all over the couch, the living room table, the carpet, the cat…

New inspirations and new ideas abound.

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The Palmetto Apartments - Our New Home

The Palmetto Apartments - Our New Home

It’s been an eventful week:  I hit 500 sales on Etsy, went apartment hunting in Spartanburg, SC, went canoeing on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, found a tick in my armpit, and finished my jewelry class at the 92nd Street Y.  So, a bit of good and a bit of bad. 

The tick I was rather unhappy about, and I’m not sure if I picked it up while out and about near the lake, or if it hitched a ride back from the south (a similar one briefly landed on me there, too).  I’m sad that my class has ended; I was getting a lot out of it.  Because it was an independent study course, I didn’t learn a lot in terms of new techniques, but it did help to refine what I already do know, and it allowed me to experiment with more complex and challenging designs. 

On the flip side, sales in general have been fairly good this month, despite the ongoing economic saga, and it was nice to reach that numerical goal of 500 in my main Etsy shop.  The trip to Spartanburg wasn’t exactly a saga, but it was a fairly intense three days.  After being shown a sizable collection of houses, townhouses, condos and apartments, Levi and I decided to sign a one-year lease for an apartment that is probably the nicest place I will ever live.  Seriously.  No joke.  It is huge and beautiful.  The photos on the website linked above (click on the photo) don’t do it justice and actually make the various units look rather grotty.  I promise I’ll post our own photos when we get there.  I’ll have my own studio space; Levi and I will have plenty of room and won’t get in each other’s hair.  Hell, we probably won’t even be able to find each other! 

In the meantime, we’re here in Princeton for another two months that promise to be just as eventful.

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Jewelry Porn, originally uploaded by antigenre.

Jewelers and metalsmiths, admit it – you’ve drooled over these books! I discovered this series in my jewelry class at the 92nd Street Y and went right out and bought the lot of them. FYI, they’re much cheaper on Amazon than they are at the Marketfair Barnes & Noble. They are great sources of inspiration and, along with my class itself, have forced me to think a bit about the direction my work should be going in. It is definitely time to start getting some advanced training, refining my style, and developing a cohesive body of work.

Levi and I will be leaving New Jersey toward the end of the summer (this I have some mixed feelings about), and I will no longer have access to all the resources of NYC (this, I’m NOT happy about at all!). We’re headed to South Carolina, so I’ve spent a bit of time looking around for schools and other institutions in the area that offer training in metals and jewelry. Oddly enough, the Carolinas seem to be full of crafty types, and there are a number of respectable schools within a few hours drive of where I’ll be living. One in particular is the Penland School of Crafts, which offers eight-week workshops in a number of fields. Haywood Community College of Professional Crafts is another nearby option. So I have some decisions to make and some money to save up, but these are very exciting possibilities.

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Recycled Sterling Silver Discs

Recycled Sterling Silver Discs

I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions, but this year I did decide to make a greater commitment to using eco-friendly material in my jewelry.  To this end, I’ve started buying most of my sterling silver from Hoover & Strong, a company that has been providing eco-friendly, recycled precious metals to jewelers for decades.  While I do still have a lot of material from other suppliers on hand, I will be restocking these with their more environmentally-friendly counterparts as they run out.  I am already using the recycled silver in many of my pieces, including my Constellation Earrings, Galaxy Ring, Skyline Earrings, and several other items.  I’m happy with how the silver looks, and I feel good about using something that is a little less harmful to the planet.

In other news, I’ve finally gotten around to updating my shop at Big Cartel.  I like the different formatting options there, as well as the reasonable monthly fee.  Click HERE to take a look at the whole shop!

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Swag!, originally uploaded by antigenre.

2009 got off to a good start with a trip to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show on January 6th! I met up with some members of the EtsyNJ Street Team at a Starbucks in Manhattan, and we trundled off through the cold to the Chelsea Studios and waited to get inside for the morning taping. The show was terrific (you can see almost the whole episode here), and meeting other team members for the first time was great fun!

The Mario Badescu products in this photo are just some of the free goodies everyone in the audience received. The bath gels are my favorite, but as someone whose hands are ravaged by work and weather, the handcream is perfect for me!

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Packaging, originally uploaded by antigenre.

*** Shop News: One day left in the Holiday Sale!! The sale runs through the end of Cyber Monday. ***

I had tons of packing paper that I received with my Rio Grande orders just sitting around, so I decided to cart it off somewhere and shred a bunch of it (I need my own shredder). It is working nicely as filler and cushioning for my packages these days, and I’m using as much recycled and repurposed material as possible in general for packing. I always enjoyed wrapping presents during the holidays and was often conscripted by my family members to do their gifts for them. Needless to say, I’m having a lot of fun with my more elaborate packaging set-up now.

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Lame Excuses.

On Saturday, a co-worker relayed to me a conversation that her mother had with a friend.  This woman’s mom had just waited in line for a while to vote early in Chicago.  The conversation with the friend went something like this:

Mom:  I just voted.  Are you going to vote early, too?

Friend:  Well, I’m not sure I’m going to vote at all.

Mom:  ….What?  Why not?

Friend:  If I vote, they’ll probably call me up for jury duty.

Mom:  WTF?!

Ok, I doubt my co-worker’s mom said that, but I’m sure she did have some choice words for this woman.  There are so many ways your local court systems can find you for jury duty.  If you have a driver’s license, they’ll find you.  If you pay your taxes, they’ll find you.  In some states, if you have a bank account, they’ll find you. 

But, if you make up a lame excuse like this and don’t vote, I’ll find you!!  And ridicule you mercilessly.  In this historic race, there are no excuses for anyone who is capable to not participate and vote on November 4th!

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