Elements & Artifacts' Anniversary Celebration!

I’m excited to announce my new collection of work, not just because September has always been a pinnacle month for Elements & Artifacts in terms of the autumn/Halloween mindset, the size of my creative output, and the anniversary celebration swag…but because of what it took to get this collection in particular ready.

You see, in March I sprained my wrist in a random maple syrup bottle incident and, although I carried about the next few days as normal, it slowly dawned on me that something wasn’t quite right with my left (dominant) wrist. There was evidence of a ligament/wrist sprain, bruising on the median nerve, and a volar cyst. Instead of self-resolving with a little rest and TLC, it degraded into worsening nerve pain, swelling, and symptoms consistent with some random combination of Guyon’s canal, ulnar neuritis, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I am finally seeing small improvements in my condition…six months, three specialists and two physical therapists later.

What started as a typically upbeat mindset faltered as the weeks turned into months with no improvement, which meant that returning to my usual pace of creative output was getting further pushed out to an undetermined point in the future. I tried shifting into art/illustration projects, but it was just as difficult for me to do as the metalwork.

During those first few painful months, I ruminated on my schooling and the momentum-driven 13-year development of my creative freelance business. What did this long break mean? Would I regain my momentum? Would I have to rebuild my clientele? Should I go back to school on an earlier timeline than anticipated? Re-learn a language I once knew well? I navel-gazed. I walked endless paths around my neighborhood. I pushed through dance classes despite the nerve pain. I laughed and cried. I had an identity crisis, which makes sense when my work is defined not by the medium but by my creative introspection and output: 35+ years of creating, halted by my wrist even for lazily meandering through a project to fill my time as a casual hobby. Who am I without art? How do I slough off the stresses of daily life without creative output, when that is my typical grounding point? Frustration and boredom set in. I languished.

And then? I picked my ass up and dusted myself off and realized that, no matter what life throws at me, I always eventually bounce. Resilience is my superpower! So here I am against several odds with a September collection ready to celebrate nearly 10 YEARS ON ETSY, with 7 of those years officially doing business as Elements & Artifacts. The existence of this collection is a triumph despite the fact that my wrist is not completely better, and despite the fact that I don’t know how much longer it will take. It is a product of works that were in varying stages of completion at the time of my injury plus a slow, careful, painstaking perseverance to finish those items while leaning heavily on the use of my non-dominant, uninjured hand.

The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. —Viktor Frankl

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your patience and for your new and continued presence. Thank you for your excitement, referrals, feedback, comments, and support over the years. Every single thing means so much to me and enables me to shape and grow this offbeat combination of intensely creative art, jewelry, and design work. 

Here is a list of things that kept me sane this summer:

  • My husband and daughter and all the joy, love, and chaos they bring.
  • A few lovely friends, who served as a sounding board and/or a fun social distraction at certain points over the past few months. 
  • Copious amounts of bad and not-so-bad TV.
  • Contemporary dance classes.
  • Walking, especially at dusk.
  • Sitting on the porch on languid summer nights. 
  • Brushing up on a language I once knew well.
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
  • Dozens of TED Talks.
  • Everything Brené Brown has ever written.

 

Now for the goods! What are we celebrating? Elements & Artifacts officially turns 7 this month and the existence of concept jewelry (alongside my design and art work) will officially hit 10 YEARS next month!

To celebrate, I will be sending out swag, swag, and more swag! While supplies last, all September orders will arrive with a random selection of a custom line of luxury glycerin tablet soaps from PaintboxSoapworks. She has created a gorgeously synaesthetic cluster of scented gemstone soaps in garnet, ruby, emerald, sapphire, amber, amethyst, and moonstone.

While supplies last, you will also receive a random selection of gourmet caramels from Botanical Sweets & Treats of the Pacific Northwest. Featured flavors are caramel apple, vanilla bean, and sea salt.

I will also be sending out a random assortment of swag E&A stickers, pins, Elements & Artifacts pens, and mini reusable Sunshine Polishing Cloths to shine and polish your jewelry!

Domestic orders over $100 placed in September will receive a free upgrade to a Priority Mail flat rate box.

Everything will go live at elementsandartifacts.com on Wednesday, September 9 at 1:00pm Pacific. Thank you again for all your love and support! Happy September; it’s almost autumn!  

E&A Spring Botanical Garden!

I'm excited to preview the next collection at E&A! This one focuses on simple yet elegant metalwork designs, cast sterling blossoms and leaves, and wire work. I've revisited a few old spring favorites and have added in the four Guardians of the Sky and a smattering of botanicals. 

The new collection will go live at elementsandartifacts.com on Wednesday, March 18th at 10am Pacific!


Presenting the annual E&A Yuletide/Winter Collection!


It's HERE! I’m very excited to present the (almost) final collection of the year with well over one-hundred new items! I love working with this theme and exploring the duality and tension of the light/dark and warm/cold aspects of the approaching winter months. I also just plain love working more luxe “gemmy” gemstones, which fit with the air of decadence that the holidays bring. 




I didn’t want this entire collection to be about winter and the holidays, so I drew inward to conjure a new subset of moon-and-stars themed items. I also spent several weeks curating a list of literary quotes and short poems to form a group of bracelets. I got to dust off my typography skills and even gave the silver a distressed paper texture. 



This collection signals the end of my creative year (other than stocking stuffers) and so it also brings a contentedness and lightheartedness as I reflect on the past year. I look forward to turning inward, spending time with my family for the holidays, and recharging my creative juices for the coming 2015 year! I already have a few plans in mind…

Stay tuned for an announcement for stocking stuffers and Holiday Madness later this month! :)

elementsandartifacts.com



Photo Preview I: Moons, Stars, and Poetry/Quotes

This is the first preview for the upcoming E&A Yuletide/Winter collection which goes live on Thursday, November 6th at 10:00am Pacific!


This preview set focuses on starry night skies, the moon, poetry, and literary quotes. 














E&A Halloween Haunt/Dark Autumn 2014!


The release is here! I'm excited to present the spooky Halloween Haunt/Dark Autumn collection for 2014! This is both the most intensive and most fun set of items to create each year. I tend to have about half the turnaround time to create significantly more items than usual, in addition to swag prep for the annual anniversary celebration. So...



Elements & Artifacts turns six this month! I am also just shy of nine years of selling on Etsy! When I unveiled Elements & Artifacts and its conceptually themed creations, I had no idea it would grow and evolve in so many amazing ways. Thank you all for your excitement, referrals, feedback, comments, and support over the years. Every single thing means so much to me and your support enables me to continue this intensely creative work. 

To celebrate, I am offering the following swag perks which will be passed out through September 30, 2014 or until supplies run out, whichever comes first: 

1. While supplies last, each order will receive an individually-wrapped handmade artisan marshmallow from Sweet Jumbles bakery! These are fresh, fluffy 1.5" cubes hand cut into two halves and lovingly packaged. They are gluten-free, contain NO high-fructose corn syrup, NO preservatives, and use fair-trade chocolate (where applicable). The flavors are:
Vanilla Chai
Cinnamon Sugar
Caramel
Chocolate Chip
Sour Cherry


2. While supplies last, orders will receive a custom-printed Elements & Artifacts click pen in burgundy and black, one of two spooky art postcards, a felted acorn (extremely limited supply), E&A Magpie button pins, rustic pumpkin stickers, and E&A Sugar Skull stickers


3. Each order will receive a digital Thank You coupon through Etsy for 10% off any order through December 31, 2014. (To receive this exclusive coupon code, you must enable “Receive coupons, promotions, and recommendations from Etsy shops you love” in the General Notifications settings of your account. In my experience, these emails only come from shops you have purchased from and do not barrage you with a generalized set of promotions.) 

4. Domestic orders of $100 or more will automatically be upgraded from First Class to Priority at no extra cost. 


Thank you, once again, for all your love and support over the years! Enjoy your September, welcome Autumnal Equinox, and bring on the dark and spooky magic of Halloween! :D




E&A Halloween Haunt/Dark Autumn Preview II!

This is the second preview from the upcoming E&A Halloween Haunt/Dark Autumn collection which goes live on Wednesday, September 10th at 10:00AM Pacific!

To mark my 6th year of Elements & Artifacts and 9th year of selling on Etsy! To celebrate, orders placed in September will receive the following, while supplies last!

Individually-wrapped handmade artisan marshmallows* from Sweet Jumbles bakery! These are fresh, fluffy 1.5" cubes hand cut into two halves and lovingly packaged. They are gluten-free, contain NO high-fructose corn syrup, NO preservatives, and use fair-trade chocolate (where applicable). The flavors are:
Vanilla Chai
Cinnamon Sugar
Caramel
Chocolate Chip
Sour Cherry

(*Marshmallows will not be distributed into 
reserved/installment orders freshness/quality reasons.)

Elements & Artifacts click pen in burgundy and black, one of two spooky art postcards, a felted acorn (extremely limited supply)E&A Magpie button pins, rustic pumpkin stickers, and E&A Sugar Skull stickers, digital 10% off thank you coupons, and Priority shipping upgrades for domestic orders over $100. 


And now, your previews:












E&A Autumntide 2014 and Shakespeare!

This year’s August collection brings both an exciting Shakespeare collaboration and a much lighter tone to autumn than is usual for my work. I chose to make a stronger division between the waning summer and early autumn….and the chilly, dark autumn that comes later in the year.


Although many of us are still in the throes of uncomfortable summer heat, the start of August marks the first harvest festival or waning point of summer. Many of us are already busy with preparations for the new school year which is another signal that the end of summer is near. There begins a slow shift from summer growing time to harvest time which, in modern day, is often represented by introspection and reflection of the year’s accomplishments. 

In mere weeks, the mood and sensation of the year will decidedly shift as the changes in the light from the waning sun become evident. Those of us who love autumn are waiting impatiently for that change in light, that first cool breeze, and the rustle of leaves! 




I want to explain the collaboration that I’ve been so excited to present! Last year Stephanie, my dear friend since at least 2nd grade, approached me with an idea for a collaboration between my concept jewelry and her vast knowledge of all things Shakespeare. My schedule didn’t permit it to happen right away, but that gave us extra time to really dig into the presentation of this collection. (Here's an old backstage photo of us during a Night of Theatre community performance; she was one of the Three Witches from Macbeth and I was in a separate skit as the Lady in White from Les Miserables.) 


This Shakespeare collection was easily the most intensive creative process I’ve undergone since my thesis. I was buried in it for weeks just doing basic research & development for sketches—and Steph even laid all the groundwork for me! 





Stay tuned for details on the annual Elements & Artifacts anniversary celebration in September! I’m already very excited about several things! 

Summer Enchantments 2014 Preview! I!


The Elements & Artifacts Summer Enchantments and Garden of the Hesperides collections will be released on Thursday, May 29th at 11am Pacific! Here are several previews with a winged theme and more will be posted tomorrow on the subject of Summer and the Hesperides!