Month: March 2011


Color Inspirations: March {Visions of Viridian} | Elysian Studios

Color Inspirations: March {Visions of Viridian}

Categories: Color, Inspirations, March





First Image: wool yarn, Kamilla Alnes, smoky eyes, succulents

Second Image: swarovski ring, Atonement dress, ferns, green interior

Third Image:  Bells of Ireland,  lush woodland, vintage thread

Fourth Image: Italian garden, kiwi cooler, happy Hawaiian, Irish cake

I know I am not alone in finding myself wishing for the brown earth to start sprouting little sprigs of luscious green! This is the color of life, vitality and growth.  It can inhabit such a lovely variety of hues and texture from mossy foliage to hard emerald gemstones or liquid viridian silk.  I am inspired to add pops of this color to my wardrobe, and dreaming of the day I can feel the lush grass squidge between my bare toes!

How does green inspire you?

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Studio Series: Setting up a Jewelry Studio | Elysian Studios


It’s Bead Table Wednesday!  I’ve received my first online bead order from BelloModo, which was full of Vintaj goodness!  This key was on my table a few weeks ago, but I’ve been in the middle of a studio move and re-organization,so it’s been delayed.  I’ve finished my focal, and look forward to stringing/linking my new components into a complete piece! Inspired by Monet, this set will feature purples, greens and pinks with botanical and nature-themed accents.

How is your studio set up?

Do you have a dedicated space for your creative work? 

I am in the early stages of my business. I’ve traveled this road many years before (as in, before two children), but am finally able to commit to the long journey ahead.  I’ve claimed a portion of the house as my own, and have been busily transforming a make-shift environment into a fully functional multi-media studio (that’s a tall order!)

Studios are such a site-specific endeavor! Though I’ve tried to research the best organizational methods, I’ve found everyone’s space/budget/resources to be completely unique.  I encourage you to mindfully determine your own needs.  Creativity occurs at the heart, no matter the space, budget or audience!

If you are serious about a jewelry business, then no matter what, organize those beads!


1.) You’re not alone! Look at my mess! For too long I’ve been stashing my bead finds in a mish-mash of varied containers.  Consistency and uniformity are key to a successful organizational system. 

2.) Enter the label-maker and simple containers. I’ve separated my beads by vendor, color an function.  This way I can easily pull the pieces I need, reference what I have used and clean-up will be easy!

3.) I (luckily) salvaged some flat files from a down-sized company.  These are essential for the fine-art component of my business, but are also helpful for beads!  You could also stack your bead organizers on shelves or in a re-purposed dresser.

4.) I also utilized black desk-drawer organizers for threading elements, and labeled compartments of my  bead organizers for specific components.  With meticulous labeling, I can easily access a specific tool, as well as reference a component in my beading resources.

Once you make that gorgeous jewelry, you have to photograph it!


Another important component of a successful beading studio is an area specifically designated to photography.  Focusing on available sunlight, I have set up a table, prop shelf, and mannequin near a window in the studio.  Even if you don’t have an area you can permanently dedicate to photography, find a place with a table near a window and keep a plastic tub full of your props close by.

A light tent, with additional lamps, is an essential tool for photography when light is not ideal in the studio (night, cloudy day, etc.) Props: busts, books, vases, glassware, etc. are also crucial for adding interest to your jewelry photos.  Personally, I feel a life-sized mannequin is a necessity for building your jewelry pieces, as well as communicating their scale.

This is the first of a series of studio organizational tips. 

 Are you having difficulties organizing your creative space?  Do you have advice to share with other artisans?  

 Let’s talk!

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Motivate Your Creativity: Who You Are & Who You Will Be | Elysian Studios

Motivate Your Creativity: Who You Are & Who You Will Be

Categories: Creativity, Inspirations, Motivation


photo by Ugg Boy Ugg Girl via Flickr

“Never mind searching for 

who you are.

Search for the person

you aspire to be.”   
-Robert Brault

There comes a point in everyone’s creative life that, in order to grow, you must critically assess both where you are and where you want to go.

Life happens to us when it presents us with circumstances beyond our control- this forms who we are.  What we do with these circumstances, however, starts a chain reaction that determines who we become.

photo by rasmithuk via Flickr

A creative life cannot be a passive experience.  Like delicately stacking stones, we must consciously choose our associations and activities if we hope to grow in a specific direction.  To nurture creativity, it is essential to be disciplined about honing our creative skills, yet we also have to attentively balance our other commitments. Recognizing our responsibilities is who we are, purposefully regimenting our schedules, with an eye on the future, is who we can become

What obligations do you have that are non-negotiable in your life?  

This is who you are.  I’m a wife and mother who is determined to stay active and healthy.  These occupy a great deal of my schedule!  Time spent with my family, nurturing their spiritual, academic and physical growth is a big commitment.  I also have creative endeavors that must be prioritized if I want to succeed professionally.  These aspirations require a commitment of time, money and space, and concerted discipline to use those finite resources wisely.

Nature Sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

How do you visualize the person you aspire to be, and put that vision into actionable steps?  

This is who you can become. Here we’ve arrived at the heart of the issue!  To grow creatively, we must take our natural surroundings and shape them to fit our needs for the future.  What does that look like?  For me, it looks like a lot of lists and a limited social life! Time spent working in the studio during the week, participating in family activities during evenings and weekends, volunteering at school, and staying healthy with good cooking and exercise creates a saturated schedule that occupies virtually every moment of my time. My first step toward building the future I aspire to was to cut out the “dead-weight” activities in our schedule and focus on those that are most important.  I’m going to let you in on a secret… you actually know this, but if you’re like me, you have a really hard time admitting it: You can’t do it all.

Here’s what you can do;

In fact, what you must do to reach your goals:

photo by earthkath via Flickr

You can begin living life with an “abundant” mindset, honoring the small achievements of everyday that contribute to long-term success.  Instead of lamenting over what you didn’t achieve, celebrate what you accomplished. 

Sometimes that means you created a masterpiece to be “ooohed” and “ahhhed” (or maybe sold!).  Sometimes it means you spent your day networking and returning emails.  Sometimes it means you spent hours pouring over your art/craft supplies, putting them back in order.  Sometimes it means you washed your clothes, dishes and tidied the house, and sometimes it means you held a beloved family member’s hand while they were ill.

Each one of these is an accomplishment.  Each one of these is a building block in the foundation of your future.  With self-discipline and a strong-work ethic, actions like this honor who you are and prepare yourself for who you will become. 

It may be months or years (all good things take time), but you will become that person you aspire to be.  Focus on your goal and prioritize your daily actions that will take you there.

photo by Zach Dischner via Flickr

Want more creative inspiration? I’ve contributed a few thoughts on an inspiring post about “Fasting for Creatives” by my friend Parisa, author of Lighting Little Fires.  Her blog is full of insightful and creative musings, with gorgeous photos and heartfelt writing.

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