Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week in Review

What a crazy and amazing week this has been.  Honestly, my head is still spinning from all that has gone on.  First, mid-week, I see that Awakened Aesthetic has written a review for a two finger ring I had sent her.  Mind you, I knew the review was coming as I had asked for an "honest" review in exchange for a custom 2 finger ring.  However, I had no idea the review would be so wonderful.

You can read the full review; Acquired Aesthetics: MerCurios here.  While you're there, check out the entire blog. Jenn will open your eyes to a new aesthetic. If you’re looking to join the ranks of the eco-friendly, trying to shop more consciously, or otherwise love fashion and ethics in equal measure, you’ll find more inspiration – and temptation – than you can stand on Awakened Aesthetic.

The very next day I was at our local library with Gabriel.  As always, while he is in his mom-free preschool story time class, I bolt to the adult section to see what's new & exciting in the world of fashion and jewelry.  As I'm browsing the shelves, I see the title "1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse".  I immediately pull it off the shelf and begin flipping through it to see if I know any of the artists that made it into the book.  You see, I submitted some of my own work back in January '09, however, when I never heard anything I assumed my work was passed over.  Boy was I wrong!  Much to my surprise, not one, but TWO pieces of MerCurios jewelry were included amidst the ranks of those amazing artists.  WOW!  A few days later, and I'm still wrapping my head around the entire experience.


Both of these amazing events couldn't have come at a better time as I'm pitching to Bendels on Friday & the press can only help!  Speaking of my presentation, I ordered new jewelry trays, black velvet liners and a carry bag on Tuesday and received everything on Thursday.  I've already begun laying out the collection to see where I need to fill gaps.  New business cards from MOO, complete with pictures are on their way!  I'm looking forward to their arrival on Monday.

There is still a lot to do and the ball is rolling in the right direction, so I'm stoked to say the least.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Progress is a beautiful thing

So, I've actually buckled down and started making some progress for my meeting since the last post.  I started on chunky bracelets, incorporating different metals and textures to create some unique pieces.  In the last of the four bracelets created so far, I mixed some sheer ribbon with cathedral style chain, and accented it with a few lagoon blue lace agate ovals for pop. 

Each of the four is truly different from the other - true to my schizophrenic design style.  I had to stop here, because I'm on a train early tomorrow morning for the MJSA Show at the Hilton in NYC.  ...I'll let you know if I find anything good. 

Here are the pics of the recently completed bracelets...keep in mind they are for a Fall 2010 presentation...

Friday, March 12, 2010

The opportunity of a lifetime & the stress to match

Today is March 11 and I'm stressing out.  I'm stressing because I am pitching my product to an exclusive, trendy 5th Avenue boutique in two weeks.  I'm stressing out because other than the 2 bracelets that I created today, I haven't developed any product for the meeting -- I need at least 2 to 3 dozen pieces to feel like I have a fighting chance.

I'm stressing out because I have what's called "starving artist syndrome" in other words, I need to be inspired to create.  And it would appear as though my muse has run off to inspire another.  This absence is temporary, I know.  Still stressful nonetheless.

The stress coupled with the "what if's" is weighing heavy.  Will they like my schizophrenic one-of-a-kind style?  Will they think it's a good fit for their boutique?  Will they appreciate its uniqueness?  Or will they want it mass-produced? Come to think of it, in addition to the actual product, I need line sheets and a bio too!  Some nice displays wouldn't hurt either!

One would think 20 + years in the fast paced NYC fashion industry, working for the likes of Emmanuel Ungaro and Liz Claiborne doing fashion shows, in-store events, and  managing a 10 million dollar business in a sales capacity at the height of my career would have prepared me for this.  In some ways it did.   But it is different when it's your baby & your business.  ...I never felt guilty traveling or working late when another was providing my income.  Now, I get intense pangs of guilt when I tell my son I'll play with him later, because "mommy is working on an important project".  I'm a great mom & I know it.  I spend a great deal of time with my son and family, yet I still feel guilty for taking that much-needed time to help myself.  Any doctor, family counselor, self-help guru, or other mom will tell you that you need to take care of yourself first and foremost, otherwise you're no good to anyone else.  I know this to be true, so what's with the "mom guilt"?

Anyway, I do my best work under pressure, I always have; so I am positive that I will pull through.  Without inflicting too much damage to the family on the home-front too.

For what it's worth guys, I'm a really private person by nature.  It took some courage to share these to share these thoughts and emotions with you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

PAMA Pomegranate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ever since I was a little kid, I've been allergic to chocolate.  That's probably why I don't have much of a sweet tooth as an adult.  Every now and again, I do get a craving for a cookie and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are my favorite.  Here's a quick and easy recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies incorporating PAMA Pomegranate liqueur.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • PAMA pomegranate liqueur 

First, soak the raisins in PAMA pomegranate liqueur for a minimum of 60 minutes.   If time is on your side, & for the best flavor allow the raisins to soak overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter a cookie sheet or three.

Now add the butter and sugars into a mixing bowl and cream with a mixer.  Add the eggs and continue to mix.  Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and continue to mix with the mixer.  Fold in the oatmeal and mix well.

Drain the raisins retaining a teaspoon or so of the liquid.  Add the PAMA soaked raisins & liquid, hot water, and vanilla extract.  Mix well.

Once the batter is fully mixed, take a teaspoon and drop dollops onto the buttered cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how large your dollops are and Enjoy!

Recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Everyone can have a Treasury, including YOU!

The Treasuries on Etsy are a wonderful way to share your favorite items or express your mood.  And, if the Treasury you created captures the essence of Etsy, then it might even appear on the front page.

Now there are those that wait patiently through the wee hours of the morning for the Treasury to open up -- that's not me.  The Treasury does not always open up at the most opportune times for me, however, if the time is right then I'm always grabbing one.

Here's how:
  1. Check the Treasury Clock over at Craftopolis -- if the timing is right then click the link and head right on over to the respective Treasury to wait.
  2. Have your Treasury Title ready and copied into your browsers clipboard ready to go. ( Once the Treasury opens, it remains open for a brief period so you must be ready)
  3. Sort the Treasury by expiration so the next list set to expire appears at the top of page.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and wait!  DO NOT refresh your browser.  If you're like me and your a bit impatient than you can click the page numbers as a way of refreshing, but I can not stress enough NOT to refresh the browser.
  4. Once the Treasury opens paste your title and hot "ok create" -- that's it, you're in!

 Things to note
  1. There is no limit to the amount of Treasuries that can be created, so in essence everyone waiting can in fact have a treasury.
  2. The Treasury MAY open early -- as long as the list is above 333 people have the opportunity to delete their treasuries. once the list drops to 333 (or 222 for West) nothing can be deleted and it becomes a fair playing field.
  3. The Poster Sketch tool is great way to play and prep for your Treasury.

To be considered for the Front Page Etsy requires:
  1. Well photographed items
  2. A variety of items across different categories
  3. There must be 4 alternates (many Treasuries I see are not done yet, which also narrows the pool)
  4. Can't use Treasuries that use a curator's own item (we can take it out, but then there are not enough alternates)
  5. Can't use Treasuries that use more than one item from the same shop.

Read what admin has to say about Treasuries & the Front Page here.

As of this post, Treasury West is set to open in an hour and a half - GO GO GO!