bead and button show recap

I am overflowing with beady inspiration thanks to working at the BeadandButton Show this month. I took a week long trip to Milwaukee with Soft Flex Company to help them out in their show booth. It has been a few years since I helped in the booth and it was really nice to get out from behind my computer desk and spend time with my co-workers in person.

I don't talk about my "day job" much on this blog but, I am a full time graphic designer for Soft Flex Company and have been for 9 years. Soft Flex Company is a beading wire manufacturer that sells tools, beads and beading wire to make your own jewelry. How cool is that?! Way cool. It's really nice to work for a company in a creative industry and that is full of creative employees.

The first few years working for Soft Flex, I traveled to a few shows to help out, learn our products, meet customers and vendors face-to-face and check out how other companies display their products and signage. It was always great fun. After becoming a mom of two, going away for a week to help with a show just wasn't do-able for me and my family anymore. This year, now that my kids are a bit older, I was asked if I wanted to go. I was a little hesitant at first but, knew it would be a worthwhile and I'm glad I said yes.

While there, I helped run our daily Make-It-Take-it projects during the show and assisted customers and demonstrated how to use our tools and wire while in our company booth. In addition I was able to meet many people I talk to via email face-to-face and that is always nice. I also got to see new products other companies have and feed off the creative energy that is bouncing all around. It's amazing to be around so many creative people - bead makers, jewelry designers, book authors and teachers oh my! You can't help but get excited talking with people about their passion.

The BeadandButton Show is a really well run and inspired show, I highly recommend you check it out someday if you have any interest in the beading / wireworking / metalsmithing / lampwork jewelry world. They host an amazing number of classes and the booths are just brimming with wonderful pretty things to inspire your designs and tools to make designing easier. The show is held in Milwaukee in June every year.

Stay tuned as I gather the treasures I brought home and share them with you ...


june goals

Hemp Watercolor Affirmation Art Note Cards in my Etsy Shop

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.”
~ Charles Horton Cooley

I only recently learned of the quote above. I find it be really motivating and comforting and reminded myself of that quote a few times since I learned it. It rings true, allowing yourself to pursue the passion of art in and of itself is a success. When I am feeling down or like I'm not as far along with my "art career" as I would like to be, thinking of this quote snaps me out of my funk. Instead of worrying about whether I am in the right place in time, it has reminded me that practicing my art at all is success.

I started reading I'd Rather Be in the Studio by Alyson B. Stanfield. It is a wealth of information and I am an writing notes all over it, using it as a workbook instead of just a book I read and then place on my shelf. I also read Leo Babauta's book The Power of Less and really enjoyed it (I am a long time reader of his blog, Zen Habits  focused on simplicity and living in the moment.) I am often overwhelmed by my "to do" list, information, emails and visual stimulation. Finding my focus and calm is really important for me to practice. This book guides you on how to simplify and refocus on what's important. It's a quick read with short chapters (my favorite) and has a wealth of actionable tips. Highly recommended.

As for creativity, I created early in the month but, slowed down the last two weeks. We had lots of wonderful events celebrating the end of school and now the kids are home for the summer so, my schedule has shifted a bit. Plus, my husband has been sick for an entire week. He is a tremendous help with household chores, cooking and caring for our children. Having him not well for so long had me focusing on the basics of just keeping everything going. I am grateful he is feeling better today and thankful for all that he does to help keep our family running smoothly. I missed my partner in crime and was so happy to see him crack a smile or two today.

May Goals 

Business - Work on portfolio postcards.I had good intentions but, this was pushed aside again.

Art - Continue to work on mermaid painting, explore an abstract painting, complete two custom necklaces.  I finished mermaid painting and need to share it with you, I explored abstracts with this painting and finished two custom dragon pendant necklaces. I also created a second knitted bracelet which I love and also need to share with you! I began sharing "Sunday Sketches" from my sketchbook each week over at Creative Stash on Facebook

Blog - Create a Wedding page. Think about blog series and schedules. Soon, very soon.

Design - Finish wedding invitation design client, continue work with logo design clients. Wedding invitations done. It turned out beautifully. My most intensive design assembly to date but, well worth it. I am waiting on feedback from logo clients. Both are in no hurry so, not sure when I will finish them up.

Shop - Art necklace, note cards and 8x10 prints and "Ladybug Flowers" to online shops. Note cards and Ladybug Flowers Painting and Ladybug Flowers Prints were added to online shops. I sold one set of note cards and one print this month! woot!

Read - I'd Rather Be in The Studio and Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way Finally started I'd Rather Be in The Studio. I'm reading it slowly and writing notes in the book. I didn't finish Beyond the Sling. I was looking for something to help with older children. The title had me thinking this was for older kids but, it is geared to new baby's and young children. It is a great book just note for the ages I thought.

Family - Celebrate the end of the school year with recitals, presentations, open house and teacher gifts. My oh my, we had lots of events and each once was a great chance to see my children shine. Loved all of them. Hip Hop dance rectial, Violin recital, Bug Chorus recital, Classroom "Coffee Break" where kids shared poems, yoga poses and songs and an end of the year party at the community pool with DJ, Laser Tag and Waterside. Great end to the school year, 

Health - Continue wheat free diet and go to a yoga class at my local recreation center. Wheat free has been fantastic. I am sleeping better, waking better, more focused, less controlled by food craving (biggie for me) and I lost 8 lbs in 5 weeks! This has been a great change and one I plan to stick to.

Soul - Meditate in the evening, journal (written or art) weekly. I meditate on an doff. Basically on nights I have trouble falling alseep I use it as my sleep aid. I have been journal writing on and off - maybe 3 times this month. I think this would be good practice to help me write more deeply here on my blog. I find I am more inclined to write at night then in the morning.  

Creative Every Day *One* - Suggestions: create art in a monotone theme, focus on a single object in a piece of art, take yourself on a solo artist's date, make art using one kind of mark. I played with this abstract painting with this prompt in mind. I stuck to one direction.

June Goals

Business - Work on portfolio postcards. 

Art - Custom Alphabet Bunting painting, share mermaid painting, one new painting. 

Blog - Think about blog series and schedules.

Design - Work with a new wedding invitation design client, continue work with logo design clients. 

Shop - Art necklace, and 8x10 prints and add one new painting to online shops. 

Read - I'd Rather Be in The Studio and Raising Freethinkers.

Family - Drawing classes and activities from the Being your Best book with the kids, lots of movies, pool time and water play. 

Health - Wheat free, drink 64 oz water a day and try a yoga class at my local recreation center. 

Soul - Meditate, journal (written or art) weekly, find some quiet time for myself.

 If you would like to join in The Meetup biz goals fun, head on over to Athena Dreams.