Monday, April 21, 2008

Before & After in Jamestown, Rhode Island

After I’ve painted something it’s usually pretty difficult for me to remember what it looked like before I got my hands on it.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a mural, decorative finish or piece of painted furniture…
Once it’s had it’s adornment or reincarnation…
that new version becomes it’s reality in the present.

Knowing that, I always try to take before and after photos of my artwork.
They are fun to look at and can be pretty dramatic.
I think it helps me see some of the value in my work.

For example, with this job that I just finished, I was really happy with how it came out but when I looked at the finished painting compared to the before pictures I realized how my art transformed a space…giving it some light and life.

That’s when I’m happy to be an artist.
You can click on the photos to see more detail...

Be back soon,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Places to Find Me!!

I am so excited to announce some new accounts for my
"Family Jewels Collection" of fingerprint charms

They have been slowly working their way around the country...and now even into Canada.

It makes me very happy to be able to create a one-of-a-kind family heirloom for so many people.
In case you live near any of these or know anyone that does...

Pala Casino Spa Resort
Offering a selection of Family Jewels fingerprint charms

35008 Pala Temecula Road
PMB 40
Pala, California 92059

Fairmont Orchid, Island Sunsations
Offering a selection of Family Jewels fingerprint charms

One North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743

Fairmont Kea Lani
Offering a selection of Family Jewels fingerprint charms

4100 Wailea
Wailea, Hawaii 96753

C.S. Post & Co.
Offering a selection of Family Jewels fingerprint charms

117 W. 11th Street
Hays, Kansas 67601785-628-3000

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RESOURCE: The Birth of a Business Card

I always have a battle with the part of me that says “more is better”…especially when it comes to designing my business cards!

It’s funny because when I see other people’s cards that are clean and sparse…I love them. Then when it comes time for me to reorder or update mine, I run out of room trying to fit tons of info on “just in case”.

I made quick cards when I opened my shop on Etsy but they didn’t have my blog address and I didn’t really love them. The good news is I did use them all up.

I ordered Moo cards ( which I just received and LOVE! So cool…but a bit expensive to hand out in stacks.

So a new card…hmm…my goal was to
* stay simple
* use less words
* use more images of my work

Above was the planning of the design and below is the finished product…
I think it shows growth for a “word addict”!

Be back soon,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

RESOURCE: A Peek Inside My Studio

Being organized has never come easy to me. Not in my work or my personal life.

Over the years I have begun to develop an evolving system of storage and a functional workspace that fill my needs.

It has always interested me how and where other artists worked and I think I used to compare myself with them and sometimes feel badly that I didn’t have a “cool, funky, artsy” workspace. Like that made my art less creative somehow.

Now, being older and hopefully a bit wiser, I focus on myself and have begun to embrace and love how and where I create.

I know now that art is no less important if you are creating at your kitchen table instead of a fancy studio.

Below are some tips and suggestions that have worked for me…it is ever changing and I am very open to other ideas on ways to tweak my process and surroundings.

One area I have a constant struggle with is functionality vs. aesthetics. Sometimes I tend to be very black and white…all function…leaving no room for visual inspiration.

So now I buy things that make me smile. Things that are functional and pretty. At times that means re-purposing items and getting a little creative…but it’s totally worth it!

Be back soon!


1. I had a constant issue with my tool storage…I fly quickly between tools and needed a simple way to access and store them in a small space.
I purchased this mesh box (I love mesh) at an office supply store and it has worked perfectly! All of my tools hang on the sides and I placed a glass in the center to hold pens, brushes, skinny tools, etc…

It also works great for me to hang earrings on that are in progress.
I put it on top of a folded placemat which keeps it from moving. Also the dark color of the mat shows any dropped findings.
By raising the tools up (they used to lie flat) I can see them better and it gave me the perfect spot in front for easy access to my steel block.

2. Plastic drawer units have been great for all kinds of storage in my studio. Here is an example of my baggie storage…it is quick and easy for me to find just the right size and keeps everything neat. I purchased a small label maker from an office supply store and love having neat storage signs. It makes me feel good to have everything so clear. I also use these drawer units to store beads and other supplies.

3. A great decision…which was actually a happy accident…was for me to use compact, student computer desks for my work. Now these probably wouldn’t be great if you do heavy duty wire and metal work…but for my purposes, they have been wonderful.
I purchased both of them at an office supply store and they cost between $45-$66 I believe.

I like them because they are compact and space saving. Also, I love the shelf that is supposed to be for a computer monitor. It keeps supplies at eye level but off of my work area. The drawer that is meant for the keyboard is also useful for small, frequently used findings and supplies.

I have used two trays and reused small boxes and those round, stacking, screw on, clear plastic containers…separating the lids and bottoms. It was sort of like a puzzle but once I got them to fit (using a variety of shapes and sizes) it has functioned perfectly…and I think it looks cool.

I purchased a twin sized velour blanket at a discount department store and cut a work mat for the desk. I also cut a piece for under the trays on the pull out shelf to keep them from sliding around. The light color velour is a great work surface. It protects stones and it keeps small beads from rolling away. Plus I have plenty left over to line drawers that hold delicate supplies and to refresh my work mat when it gets dirty from metals and vintage items.

4. When I work I like to keep everything that I use on a regular basis within arms reach. I have found that for the safety and care of my back and neck it is very important to be thoughtful in my work area planning. I try not to have to reach too far and like to be able to keep my arms in close to my body when I work.

5. This is my desk for my metal clay (PMC) work.

I love this set up!
Because the desk is small and compact, I am able to leave my materials out all the time which saves me time and effort when I need to work.

It fits in a tiny corner of my studio…right next to a window and everything I need is close at hand.

The monitor shelf is useful here because it supplies additional storage underneath. The pull out keyboard drawer is the perfect spot for items I need nearby but don’t use often. Most of what I use for my PMC work is small and fits in little bins or baskets.

This area was one of the first where I began buying pretty items for storage. I had some fun trips to a very popular discount department store where I found decorative ceramic trays to hold small containers and cutters, plates to hold my frequently used tools and bowls to hold a variety of other items as well as a basket that was supposed to be used for utensils but now separates and organizes my baggies, tags, hole punches, ribbon and cards.
When I sit down to work here it makes me happy to have real, everyday items that I find attractive and fuels my creative spirit. I think it makes it easier to stay organized too when you like where you work!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

GIVING BACK: The Generous Spirit of Etsy Artists

When asked (by a stranger) for a donation to help a small, non-profit Montessori school in tiny Rhode Island…many fellow Etsy artists stepped up and decided to help!

I am so grateful for Etsy - not only for the open venue it provides for artists to express themselves but also for the sense of community it offers, to a generally solitary profession.

With great thanks I would like to introduce you to the first set of Etsy shops that donated for our upcoming silent auction…there will be more to come

Please visit their shops and see the wonderful handi work they all do.
beautiful hand thrown pottery
One of a kind handmade jewelry
An amazing fiber artist
Delightful hand made jewelry
Cute, trendy and original accessories for little ones
Makes wonderful totes by recycling industrial fabric materials

Friday, April 11, 2008

GIVING BACK:Share the Power of a Wish!®

Giving back is very important to me.

The wonderful people at
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Rhode Island
do such important work and I am so honored to be involved with them.

These are some of the jewelry creations I have made throughout the years for their silent auction fundraising events.

Their symbol is a star so when ever I stumble upon anything "star" related I scoop it up and use it for inspiration for my next donation.

to help support their mission!

Be back soon!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

MILESTONES: My 1st 100 Hearts on Etsy!

This was so exciting for me.

Last night (4-8-08)
I hit my first 100 "hearts" ♥ on Etsy!

For those of you that don't know what that means...Etsy "hearts" are a way of recognizing a favorite shop.

When I give a heart, it shows that I appreciate some aspect of that persons shop, work or talent. I think it is a great complement to be recognized by your peers.

I wanted to thank
from "The Garden Bath" for being number 100...

Please visit her beautiful Etsy shop at

A bit of what she does

(taken from her Bio)

Welcome to The Garden Bath! My name's Donna and creating handmade bath & body luxuries is a labor of love that I've been working & playing with for almost three years now.

I have a huge love of nature so when I first began making my own bath & body products, I had a nature theme in mind - like I was wandering through a beautiful botanical garden and experiencing various gardens, fruits, tropical greenhouses, exotic blooms, and more. And so I've refined my fragrance collections down to 5 "gardens" as you can see below. I do also offer some UNSCENTED products for those people who want to experience great handmade products but may be sensitive to fragrances.

I list all ingredients for each & every item I make as I think everyone deserves to know exactly what they're putting on their bodies. If you have any allergies or sensitivities, please read carefully. I want to make sure you're safe! If you're unsure of an ingredient or item, please convo me and I'll gladly assist you.

(all my fragrances are VEGAN)

Be back soon!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

No Work Done!

We rented this movie Sunday night..."Dan in Real Life"...with Steve Carell, Dane Cook, Juliette Binoche, Dianne Wiest and John Mahoney.

I was all ready...we sat on the couch and I had all of my supplies around me to inventory and write descriptions for the new jewelry I had made for my Etsy shop.

Well, to make a long story short, I only ended up inventorying two items the entire movie!

I assumed I could just listen and work like I usually do...but this movie sucked me in. I really enjoyed it. It was sweet and funny. About parenting, finding love, fate.

Steve Carell's facial expressions are great and Dane Cook just makes me giggle.

Oh, and it also took place in beautiful Jamestown, Rhode Island...and area that I love.

I recommend renting it for a "feel good" evening - just don't expect to get any work done!

(These earrings are one of the items I finished.)

Be back soon,

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Revelations: Freedom of Etsy!

What a wonderful thing Etsy is for an artist...especially an artist that has her hand in lots of crafts and uses many mediums.

A site like this gives you the creative freedom to express yourself and your vision based on your desires and whims.

I have sold my art in various forms for many years and there was always some kind of restriction...taste of the shop buyer or owner, preference of the targeted customer, cost guidelines or quantity needs.

Sometimes, for me, it could get stifling creatively. Like boundaries that I needed to stay inside. Having to worry about pleasing someone else.

I think Etsy opens an avenue to unleash creativity.

Even though I still wholesale to shops, still have private shows and still do art fairs, I have been waking up my art at a deeper level with my new little shop. It feels amazing.

Knowing I have a venue to do whatever I myself in a way that feels right to me.

Check back often to see how my style, mood and materials change and evolve.

Be back soon!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Revelations: When Lightening Strikes

I seem to have my best, most useful ideas at the most inopportune times!

Like when I'm driving or when I am about to fall asleep and don't want to move or even at the movies.
My ideas generally come at me like a tidal wave, a runaway train or a pot boiling over. It can feel involuntary and take on a life of it's own...but just as quick and hard as they come, if I don't write something down they can leave and fade away.

Take yesterday. I was on the highway and an idea for something related to my business hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew if I didn't write at least one key word down it would be gone in a flash. I reached next to me to grab a piece of paper out of my notebook and when I held the paper I had just pulled out in front of my face...I realized I had accidentally ripped out a page from a book I was reading. Aghh!! Not what I meant to do.

I know that I can't be trusted with notes on little pieces of paper...they never make it where they are supposed to and my desk just ends up cluttered with scraps that don't make sense.

Because of this, I like to write things in bound notebooks.

I was thinking about this new commitment I have made to blogging on a regular basis and thought a dedicated "blog idea" journal sounded like a good idea. That way, instead of staring at a blank computer screen trying to instantly formulate some clever post, I will have a book full of ideas and topics to use.

So now I have a pretty journal with a pearl metallic cover to collect ideas, notes, stories and other random blog related stuff! I am looking forward to this journey!

Be back soon,

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thinking too much?

Originally uploaded by creativepotentialonetsy

In the forums on ETSY I read all the time that people are blogging...have updated their blog...have interviewed someone...have highlighted a fellow artist, etc...and I have been feeling bad about not adding to mine.

Then I stopped to ponder why I haven't added to mine.

It hit me today. I think I have been feeling intimidated by all of the experienced bloggers and figured mine wouldn't be "good enough" why do it.

That realization released something for me. It helped me to remember that I don't have to be anything I'm not. I am fine just the way I am...writing about what I want to...creating in my own way.

So here it is...(I think)...the real beginning of my blog...MY blog...

and that's great.

see you soon!