This upcoming weekend I’ll be doing my very first craft fair!  Yikes!  Let’s just say, I’m so nervous it’s been hard to sleep.  I’ve been up trying to plan everything…being the type A personality that I am.

So far, I’m working on my displays.  I haven’t gotten very far since my commitment to this fair didn’t solidify until just a couple of days ago.  But so far, I’ve glued and stapled some beautiful gnarly rustic upholstery fabric to some plywood boards.  Then I’ll put in some upholstery decorative tacks to hang my jewelry on!

Also made a gilded tree out of grape vine branches from our backyard.  It was easy, just spray with metallic paint.  The effect is something out of Narnia and I’ll be able to hang even more luscious jewelry from it.

Gotten some cards printed up and I love the glossy paper they’re on.  It is so exciting to see my brand crystallizing over weeks.

My half-completed display board.

My half-completed display board.

 

Love those flyers!

Love those flyers!

 

All I did was staple the fabric with an electric staple gun.

All I did was staple the fabric with an electric staple gun.

 

Check out my Narnia inspired jewelry tree!  It's simple, drill a hole or two into the base and put your branches in.  I found that using wood putty really optimizes the fit.  Then spray paint!

Check out my Narnia inspired jewelry tree! It's simple, drill a hole or two into the base and put your branches in. I found that using wood putty really optimizes the fit. Then spray paint!

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Rain is an inspiration and manifests in my art as the RAIN Collection, where I have pieces named after different types: desert, monsoon, drizzle, etc.  I love everything about it, the earthy smell and varying tempo of its beat.  But my favorite thing about rain is the way it makes my garden come alive.  Here are some pictures of my xeric landscape, a plan that I designed myself.  I spend quite a bit of time out here and always come back to it to regroup after a particularly stressful day.
I love the look of rain on flagstone...with its mirror shine

I love the look of rain on flagstone...with its mirror finish

Baby grapes...can't wait to eat them!

Baby grapes...can't wait to eat them!

Trailing ice plant in the rock garden is in full bloom...it's amazing how desert plants are so vivid in color

Trailing ice plant in the rock garden is in full bloom...it's amazing how desert plants are so vivid in color

Miniature roses that just somehow makes my distinctly Southwestern garden feel slightly English...

Miniature roses that just somehow make my distinctly Southwestern garden feel slightly English...

Blue mist spirea...one of my favorite xeric plants

Blue mist spirea...one of my favorite xeric plants

My Herbs de Provence section: savory, thyme, lavender

My Herbs de Provence section: savory, thyme, lavender

Chinese mustard greens...don't those leaves look positively scrumptious?

Chinese mustard greens...don't those leaves look positively scrumptious?

Wee pea plants...love their tendrils

Wee pea plants...love their tendrils

Baby tomatoes...yum!

Baby tomatoes...yum!

How lovely are those raindrops?

How lovely are those raindrops?

As a consumer, I love hearing about the origin of products and the inspiration behind them.  As an artist, I think it’s only fitting that the buyer gets the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and see the process at work.  Today, I’m sharing my work environment with you…from photography to silversmithing, this is where it all happens.
The ultimate supermodel...

The ultimate supermodel...

Where the magic happens, my makeshift diy macrostudio...nothing more than a filing box

Where the magic happens, my makeshift diy macrostudio...nothing more than a filing box

With a little editing and cropping, my "Helios" Ring from the PLANETS Collection looks almost as if it was professionally shot...but no, it was just me!

With a little editing and cropping, my "Helios" Ring from the PLANETS Collection looks almost as if it was professionally shot...but no, it was just me!

My soldering station out in the garage...where all of my RAIN and PLANETS collections begin...

My soldering station out in the garage...where all of my RAIN and PLANETS collections begin...

And where all of my pieces are finished, my trusty Dremel rotary tool and Lortone tumbler

And where all of my pieces are finished, my trusty Dremel rotary tool and Lortone tumbler

I'm so proud of my makeshift pliers rack---I did it myself!

I'm so proud of my makeshift pliers rack---I did it myself! And my accessories drawer...where all my hammers and mandrels reside

My packaging station--business cards, tissue, gift wrap, ribbon, padded mailers, everything I need to send my jewelry to a new home!

My packaging station--business cards, tissue, gift wrap, ribbon, padded mailers, everything I need to send my jewelry to a new home!

I used to believe that my life was in my hands and that I could control most, if not all, of it. But I am now realizing the extent to which the universe plays into my destiny…how time and opportunity and luck form different combinations and how it is only at certain junctions that I am able to enter in.

I am not sure what has changed about me, intrinsically, but my life has taken a turn for the better. I feel settled, secure, and so inspired. For the first time in my life, I feel that this is what I was meant to be.

I start graduate school in the fall and my jewelry business is coming along well, albeit slower that I’d like. My husband and I are growing closer everyday and our little nest has turned into my dream home. With enough patio work, we’ll even get to bbq outdoors this summer! And that, my friends, is not something to be taken for granted.

Flipflops, dark ale, friends, burgers, and ice cream. Life is good.

After a good rain this afternoon, I looked up and saw…double rainbows. That is what I love about Albuquerque. The clouds always let up and when they do, the most amazing swatch of colors flashes across the sky, as if they were the badge of redemption.

We followed up our afternoon with an early dinner of sweet spring lamb, fingerling potatoes,  and toothsome artichokes dipped in homemade aioli.  Rainbows, good food, and terrific company…I am so blessed.

The flood gates have opened.  I am swimming in ideas day in and day out.  My husband thinks I have gone out of my mind but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, after a distinctively academic career, I have finally tapped into my creative potential.  What a wonderful and exciting feeling…it’s as if I am 5 years old all over again and drawing all over my bedroom walls. 

I am setting up shop at Etsy to share my work with a hopefully receptive audience.  It has been a dream of mine for years and I couldn’t be more excited.  Stay tuned for updates on my progress…as I work on building my inventory and brand.

Warmest,

Aileen

trulyenchanted.etsy.com