Month: October 2011


The Artful Life:10 Tips for Preserving Vacation Memories | Elysian Studios

Vacations are such a special time to relax and  have fun with your family, but finding ways to capture and share your experiences can be challenging.  Here are some tips I learned on our recent Disney trip to help you preserve your memories for years to come:

1. Take Scenery Photos:

Set the mood, and begin to tell your story.  Remind yourself what it felt like to be immersed in the environment, and share it with others.  Entrance signs, seasonal decorations, and architectural or natural details are all photo-worthy subjects.


2.  Take Sequential Photos of Action:

Don’t limit yourself to the “Stand here and say ‘Cheese’ ” snapshots.  Those are great, because you always want to see brilliant smiles; however, take pictures leading up to that moment, and even afterward.  You never know what might happen!


3.  Capture a Conversation:

What were you talking about? Take a picture of people talking, or of the subject of the conversation.  Silly faces, odd expressions, and raucous laughter will spark memories years later.  Even if you can’t remember what you were talking about, these expressions capture personalities beautifully.


4.  Diverge from the Plan:

Vacations require planning- usually lots and lots of it! But the FUN  happens when you spot wonderful little opportunities and take advantage of them!  You just never know what  magical moments will present themselves (like finding Goofy in his Pirate costume when you are waiting in line for a ride!)


5.  Remember The Night:

Just because the sun goes down, doesn’t mean taking pictures is over!  Plan to take pictures at night, or in dimly lit places, during your trip.  You can capture beautiful effects, and eliminate the harsh glare of a flash.  Most cameras have a night setting (indicated by a moon and star icon), or you can set your camera to a slower shutter speed.  Purchase an inexpensive Monopod online or in the camera section of Wal-Mart or Target.  This is much easier to transport and set up than a tripod, yet is essential for providing extra stability for low light situations.


6.  Constantly View Your Photos:

What a wonderful digital world we live in where we can view our photos right away! Remember the days of having to wait until you got home to take rolls of film to the developer?!  Take advantage of this brilliant technology by viewing your digital photos immediately, either when you have a break from taking photos or at the end of each day.  Not only can you free up space by deleting poor photos, but you can see what photo techniques are working, and which ones aren’t.


7.  Take A Blank Memory Card:

If you are like me, you have several memory cards running around that are filled with day to day personal and business photos.  If you are going on vacation for a week or more, I strongly suggest you buy a fresh card (which is so much easier than taking time to clean up an old one!).  Now you are free to take lots of pictures, and you won’t lose focus when you are reviewing and organizing your vacation photos.


8.  Organize Photos A.S.A.P.:

View your pictures on your computer. Delete the poor photos, Edit the ones that need a few touch-ups (my vertical pics always have to be rotated), and Organize your pics into folders with recognizable file names.  I organized mine into folders by destinations (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Downtown Disney, etc.) and then named the pictures in each folder by subject matter (Mickey1, Mickey2, Fireworks1, Fireworks2, etc).  Now you can find, print and share individual photographs quickly and easily.


9.  Use A Digital Scrapbooking Software:

If “a picture is worth a thousand words” then a lot of pictures tells an entire story.  Collage your photographs onto themed digital pages with titles and journaling to paint the details of your adventures.  I love using the My Memories digital scrapbooking software.  That is what I have been using to create the images you see here! It comes with a nice variety of features, and has more you can download for free on the website.  Did I mention I am giving away a FREE copy of this? Hurry over to my Giveaway, it ends Friday October 28th!


10.  Share Your Memories:

You’ve taken amazing pictures, organized them and created beautiful digital pages- now share them!  Family and friends want to see where you’ve been and what you’ve done.  Upload your pictures to your social media sites, publish them on your blog, and print a few keepsake books.  Create a new background for your computer desktop or a calender for your home or office.  All of these things also make perfect gifts!  


With some planning and organization, creating beautiful memories from the photographs of your vacation can be simple.  Your efforts will be enjoyed for years to come!

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Amethyst Garden: The LOOK | Elysian Studios

Amethyst Garden: The LOOK

Categories: Amethyst Garden, Fashion

At the office…

Touring the gardens…

Leading a meeting…

About town…{and looking fabulous!}

Shop the Amethyst Garden Collection

Have questions about the pieces, or want help deciding what would be right for you?

Email Elysian Studios for personal styling service.

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Urban Prairie: A Handcrafted Jewelry Collection | Elysian Studios

Urban Prairie is a collection of jewelry created by

Erin Fickert-Rowland exclusively for Elysian Studios.

All pieces are one of a kind and available for sale.

Inspired by the dynamic Prairie Landscape, the pieces in this collection are designed to bring a little rugged, free-spirit to an urban wardrobe.  Feathered fibers, natural gemstones in a variety of textures, tough leather, patinated metals, and rustic handmade focals combine to create polished pieces with a primitive edge.

All pieces are individually handmade with high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

Elysian Studios guarantees 100% satisfaction with your purchase.

“Irreverent Willows”

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A beautifully handmade polymer focal by Humblebeads features windswept willows, and takes center stage for this necklace.  A small Vintaj Bee charm hovers playfully over the painted willows and is complemented by a cluster of swinging, hand-wrapped dangles of Pearls, Carnelian, Kyanite, Czech Glass, River Shell, and Crystals.  

A strand of beautiful blue Kyanite, spaced with Oxblood seed beads, hangs below a strand of Gold Pearls and Carnelian rounds with elegant Vintaj Foliage bead caps and Vintaj Corrugated Melon beads.  The two strands join to form one strand of Rainbow Snakeskin Agate, Topaz Glass Crystals, and White River Shell Nuggets.

Completing the necklace is a braided strand of silk fibers in Straw and Cornflower Blue.  These are finished with large Vintaj Brass jump rings, and a Vintaj Lobster Clasp.  The Matinee length necklace measures 22 inches long, and has a drape of 14 inches from the back of the neck to the bottom of the focal.

Price: $140.00

“Sweet Clusters” Earrings


These earrings are designed to coordinate perfectly with the “Irreverent Willows” necklace.  They are simple, yet elegant and would be an easy addition to any look.  

Featuring hand-wrapped dangles of Kyanite, Pearls, Czech Glass, River Shell, and Crystal, these earrings will swing and shimmer beautifully.  The earrings are finished with Vintaj Brass components and ear wires, and have a 1 1/2 inch drop.

No Longer Available

“Kyanite Dragonfly” Earrings


These lovely earrings feature shimmering blue Kyanite ovals, all Vintaj Brass components and ear wires, and sweet drops of Topaz Glass Crystal. The brass disc charms illustrate dragonflies buzzing about willows and grasses.  These earrings coordinate with the “Irreverent Willows” necklace, and have a 1 1/2 inch drop.

No Longer Available

“My Prairie Heart”

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“My Prairie Heart” is a simple, yet stunning, necklace.  Gemstone chips of Sodalite, Blue Agate, Citrine, and Smoky Quartz compose the back of the piece, and a rustic Red Ceramic Heart focal hangs from Chocolate leather cord in the front.  Copper components and hook clasp complete the piece.

This Princess length necklace measures 19 inches long, and has a drape of 12 inches from the back of the neck to the bottom of the Heart focal.

Price: $45.00

“Looped Stones” Earrings


Coordinating with “My Prairie Heart” necklace, these earrings also feature Gemstone chips of Sodalite, Blue Agate, Citrine, and Smoky Quartz.  The stones are strung with bead wire to create asymmetric, free-form loops.  The earrings are finished with Copper components and ear wires, and have a 2 1/4 inch drop.

Price: $28.00

“Heart Canyon”

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Add an artful look to your outfit with this beautiful necklace, featuring colorful ceramic beads, including handmade beads by Mary Ann Carroll.  A Red Ceramic Heart focal, and coordinating Red Ceramic ovals, are complimented by Blue Glass rounds, Mottled Gold Ceramic discs, and gorgeous Speckled Chocolate and Copper disc and oval ceramic beads by Mary Ann Carroll.

Strung on supple Chocolate leather cord, the piece is finished with Copper Daisy spacers, a TierraCast Copper toggle clasp, and whimsical Copper Feather.  This Princess length necklace measures 20 inches long, and has a drape of 11 inches from the back clasp to the bottom of the Heart focal.

Price: $75.00

“Heart Canyon” Bracelet


This bracelet will wrap her wrist in rustic charm.  Featuring a brilliant Red Ceramic disc with a Copper Heart charm, this bracelet also has Mottled Gold Ceramic discs, Fluted Copper Rounds, and unique Cream and Black Nut beads, and coordinates with the “Heart Canyon” necklace. 

These are all hand-knotted on beautiful Chocolate leather cord and finished with a hammered Copper hook clasp.  The bracelet is not adjustable, but is generously sized and measures 8 1/2 inches long.

Price: $35.00

“Heart Canyon” Earringsredceramicandsodaliteearrings-web-6199058

These bold earrings feature large Red Ceramic Oval beads hanging within hoops of 4mm Sodalite rounds.  Designed to coordinate with the “Heart Canyon” necklace, they will add a little Western flair to her wardrobe.  The earrings have all Copper components, including wire, ear wires and accent beads.   They have a 2 1/4″ drop.

Price: $28.00

“Copper Spirals” Braceletcoppercoilbracelet-side-web-9749185 coppercoilsdetailscopy-8576658

Meticulously crafted out of Copper wire, this gorgeous and versatile bracelet will be a unique addition to any jewelry wardrobe.  The rich patinated Copper is a warm color that looks beautiful on all skin tones, and coordinates well with many colors.  

Thirty-six links of  double spirals are joined together to create a fluid chain bangle.  The bracelet is not adjustable, and measures 8 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide.  The Copper has a slight patina, and has been sealed to prevent further coloration.

Price: $100.00

“Silk and Stones” Braceletdenimandsodalitebracelet-web-6686620 denimandsodalitedetailscopy-6229191

This artisanal bracelet features handmade Polymer Clay beads and Toggle Clasp by Erin Fickert-Rowland.  Using the Mica Shift Technique, these components have been crafted to look like faceted, shimmering stone elements, yet are extremely light in weight.  The beads have been cured twice, and back-filled with White and Blue Pearlescent clay.  The large chunky Toggle Clasp is extremely easy to use and makes a stunning focal for the bracelet.

The handmade beads are complemented with 10mm Sodalite rounds, 4mm Copper and Sodalite rounds, a whimsical Copper Heart Charm, and deep Blue Silk Fibers.  The bracelet is not adjustable, but is generously sized, and measures 9 inches long.

Price: $75.00

“Copper Leaves” Earrings


These earrings combine natural Gemstones of Sodalite and Carnelian, with stamped Copper beads and sparkling Topaz Glass Crystals to create a set that will be elegant and versatile.  Copper components and ear wires complete the earrings, which have a 1 1/2 inch drop.

Price: $24.00

“Copper and Denim Bracelet”

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This fun and funky bracelet will add an artsy, casual vibe to your look.  A beautiful handmade Polymer Clay Square Toggle Clasp by Erin Fickert-Rowland is the focal of this piece.  The Mica Shift Technique has been used to create a piece that resembles faceted, shimmering stone, yet is extremely light weight.  The clasp is very easy to use, and is joined by soft fibers in rich Blue Silk and Denim.

The bracelet is not adjustable, but is generously sized, and measures 8 3/4 inches in length.

Price: $32.00

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