Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tour de Studio

Today, I'm opening the virtual doors to my creative workspace. When people hear "studio" what may come to mind are lovely lofts with historical stone walls and arched windows overlooking the bay, converted mills with picturesque sunbeam strewn floors nestled in the country, or contemporary vaulted ceilings with windows open to the busy city below. My studio is nothing like these, not nearly as glamorous, but does shows that you can have a space to create no matter where you live.

To me, an art studio is simply a place designated for creating. For me, the garage translated perfectly to fit all my enameling needs; away from food & water, good ventilation, good lighting, a power source, and plenty of counter space.

No, it’s not the most glamorous setup, and the good work days fluctuate with the weather; another reason I embrace warm weather. With no heat in the garage, even a 1500°F kiln doesn’t do the trick. It’s been a difficult winter, but I made the most of days above 40°F. Thankfully it's been in the 50's-60's. I've been spoiled, able to work when I please! Spring and summer are a welcome change.
In the picture you can see the counter top strewn with newspapers, the kiln with trivets resting on its top, and stacks of powdered glass. There are paintbrushes, adhesives, filing, and cleaning tools everywhere. It's an organized mess, perfect for getting those creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Morel of the Story

This past weekend I spent some quality time with my grandparents at the Mansfield mushroom festival in Indiana. The festival welcomes the short and unpredictable hunting season of morel mushrooms; when the cold, wet Spring weather turns to sunshine.

My grandpa and I trudged through the woods in hopes of finding lots of mushrooms, but ended up after two hours, we each found ONE. At least we did not go empty handed? Meanwhile, grandma was busy looking through the handmade crafts, many of which were mushroom-inspired.
She laughed at the sight of our bounty from the great hunt. I thought it was funny too. Grandpa on the other hand was quite disappointed. He was quickly cheered up with some proper kettle corn.
The rest of the day was spent picnic-ing on the bank of the creek, touring the old mill & covered bridge, as well as attending the busy mushroom auction. Bought some mushrooms from the auction so I wouldn't go home empty-handed.

Overall, very interesting experience, but most enjoyed was the precious time spent with family on a sunny Indiana day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In Full Bloom --- Orchids

This weekend I gasped the opportunity to visit an orchid farm tucked in the rolling countryside of Indiana; a gorgeous greenhouse in full bloom. I slowly strolled the rows of laddering blooms in lavender, burgundy, butter, ivory, clover, and white.

The beauty of the scene was overwhelming. Orchids have been my favorite flower, and this weekend reinforced the notion of their simple and elegant splendor.

As words cannot do justice, I'll leave it up to the pictures to depict a story of my experience.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What a Birthday Gift... of sorts...

I was so excited to walk to the computer this morning to find that the Treasury I curated "said softly" had been on the Front Page of Etsy! What an honor, and a perfect birthday gift from Etsy.
I felt wonderful that two of the artists featured in the treasury made sales... hopefully more will follow. Here's what the front page looked like:

Okay, just had to share my excitement.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Stress Can Help

For the past few weeks I've been extremely stressed about many things, especially the application process to grad school. A simple "yes" or "no" from these schools would determine the immediate years of my life. I did all that I could do (studying, applying, interviewing), but waiting proved to be the hardest part. So I turned to art .
I found that I was most relaxed when in the studio creating new enameled pieces or curled up with my sketchbook. The sawing, drilling, filing, designing, and firing helped keep my mind free from worry, and put me in a relaxed state of production.

For the many hours I spent working I developed over a dozen new pieces! I'm so excited that I could turn the wretched feeling of stress and channel it into something constructive and beautiful.
Over the couple weeks I'll list 2-5 new items each day.

Hopefully others can apply this to their own lives. Art offers a great way to productively relax and relieve stress. Better yet, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor well after the stresses fluctuate and return to normalcy!

I'm going to Grad School!

While it's been a few days since my last post, I've been very busy (in a good way)!

On Friday I received a letter of acceptance to Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville's Masters in Art Therapy Counseling program! I'm beyond elated! :)

Art therapy counseling, as simple as I can describe, is a blend of mental health counseling where the client uses art as a means of communication. I've grown and made self-discoveries through art, and am eager to help others realize the same therapeutic ways. Art is truly an incredible means of expression and communication. How often are we lost for words, or do not understand our feelings? Art gives us a way to communicate and express without fumbling through our vocabulary or language barriers.

I cannot wait to embark on this incredible journey. Although it will be challenging, I stand to gain the most enriching experiences!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Robin Eggs: a sign of the season

It's a surefire bet spring is just about here (knock on wood) when you spot the first robin trolling the lawn. Hopping about the thawing ground, searching for worms. Looking out yesterday morning and spotting the rust-breasted robins was an exciting sight not only because it means winter is nearing it's end, but because it's warm enough to work long hours in the studio (which does not have heat).
So in honor of these beautiful birds and their petite iconic eggs, I created a new piece: the Tiny Robin Egg necklace. Robin eggs are one of nature's gems, brilliant pastel blue. These darling handmade enamel eggs necklaces come with a choice of speckles or not. Another salute to spring!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Joining Etsy's Century Club: Members Wanted

It's VerreEncore's 5 month anniversary with Etsy I so happy to be celebrating a milestone: 100 Sales!

Hard work does pay off. There's a lot that when into each sale, and I'm appreciative for each one. It's wonderful knowing my creations are enjoyed by others, and the excitement never leaves. The feedback I've received warms my heart and keeps me motivated.

I think it only fitting to give a few bits of advice that have been particularly helpful for me along the way:

1. Work on constantly improving your product and productivity. The only way to sell something is to make it something people want to buy. Seems like a Philism, but it's the truth. You've got to "get real." I'm always trying to develop new ideas and pieces. It keeps my shop fresh, and opens new doors to new customers.

2. Clear, Captivating, & Quality pictures are not only good, they're necessary.
Online shopping, people rely on visuals to relay the product. This is why having well-lit shots with many angles is so important. Scroll through the listings and stop on an item that catches your eye. Ask yourself why this image was it? Chances are it has great contrast, color, and overall clarity. Try to emulate this in your own. I probably spend a fourth of my time on creating good photos.
*bonus: in making treasuries, good photos have a much better chance of selection
*double bonus: notice those featured sellers always have top-notch photography...

3. Be visible on Etsy. Sometimes it feels as though you're just not being seen. I know because I've been there. In such a wildly talented group, how do you stand out?
Unfortunately, even if you have the best product there is, if it's not seen, it's not going to be sold. Although there are many ways to stay visible on Etsy, these are some easy to do: post in the forums and help others (w/ a captivating Avatar... you never know), listing daily (get a taste of front page, and avoid sinking), creating treasuries (great way to support others too, and a way to involve yourself in the community), and getting involved in groups like street teams (I still need to learn how to this)

4. Customer Service! "Yay a sale," but remember it's going to someone who thinks your item is great enough to buy. For me, it's the attraction and beauty of buying handmade; an interaction between artist/crafter and those who support their work. This is why I try and treat every customer as if they were the only one I have. I'm so appreciative for each sale, and reflect that by thanking my buyer, shipping promptly (well-packaged and a nice hand-written note), responding to Convos, leaving feedback, and guaranteeing their satisfaction.

5. Shop Policies. These can be a life-saver if you ever are caught in a sticky situation, but even the day-to-day they are helpful. I read repeatedly in the forums about those who avoid shops without policies. It's a quick fix, and while it can save you a potential future headache, it might also be a missing link between you and your customers.

There are plenty more words of wisdom I could extend, but these are the most important lessons I've learned so far. And hey, who doesn't like free advice?

Last but certainly not least: Thank you to the fabulous Etsy community! I can't begin to put into words how appreciative I am for the support, camaraderie, advice, friendship, and inspiration.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring's long approach

It’s almost that time of year again; the snow melts away to reveal perennial bulbs and greening blades of grass. The clocks have already made their spring forward, and slowly the robins troll the lawn in search of the early worm.

For me, spring is a season for beginning again, for rebirth and rejuvenation. With these qualities in mind, I reveal my garden-inspired pieces with their delicate robin’s egg blue, fresh shades of green and floral imagery.

Believe me when I tell you that there are more on the way. I’ve had a long winter to marinate on the returning colors that the new season brings. So here’s to the nearing of warmer weather, and the approach of spring!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make it Personal is “your place to buy and sell all things handmade” Etsy is an online gem in a world of mass consumerism. Buying handmade products provides a wonderful connection to the items you buy, and the people who created them.

Handmade items possess a special quality, one full of personality and originality. Etsy offers a great way to connect with artists and crafters of all different trades and backgrounds. There’s really something for everyone. Beyond the thrill of having something that’s one-of-a-kind, when you purchase directly from the artist, there’s a personal connection. Your shopping experience is enhanced with easy communication between the buyer and artist. Imagine having conversations with someone previously unknown, and then buying an item they’ve created; a special experience and new connection. Each item seemingly has its own story, and you’re free to explore what that may be by researching the artists, or simply asking them about their creative process and products.

In this modern age, where it’s easy to lose touch with each other, handmade products offer a way to reconnect with each other on a personal level. Buying handmade products brings back the connection between individuals which had been lost in the mass-produced supply-and-demand market. Unlike mass produced items, each handmade piece has been thoughtfully labored over, carefully handled, and loved by an individual.

So give up generic, humdrum products shrouded in anonymity, and make a personal connection!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

In the beginning…

Well hello! Welcome to .my public private diary. a collection of my thoughts, experiences, interests, advice, as well as appreciation for other talented creators. I'm Lynsey, a 20-something independent jewelry artist. My passion is found in music, travel, people, and originality. I’m creating this blog with intention to share a little behind both me and my business, VerreEncore. I’m learning as I go; so am getting and giving advice–it’s free advice so do with it what you will. .my public private diary. is also a spot for recognizing other’s talent or innovative ideas. Thanks for popping in... here we go…

My handmade enamel jewelry can be found online at: