Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Little Chicken Nugget

I have absolutely nothing interesting to say except that I have the cutest little Chicken Nugget Dog in the world! Right now she's curled up sleeping on a pillow next to me, making tiny grunting/sighing noises and I just want to pinch her cheeks! I love her! I don't know why I call her a Chicken Nugget, but thats an accurate description of her.

Whoops! I was typing too loud and woke her up, she gave me a loud sigh and rolled over to face away from me. She's such a diva!

I love you anyway Vemelope Sweetie Pie Lover Lamb Chop!

That is all :)

A.N. Original Giveaway on Modish! Run, don't walk!

The surprise is here! Just a quick post to let you guys know that I've partnered up with my favorite indie design blogger, Jena, over at Modish, to host a Giveaway! This is a big one and I'm so excited! I hope you are too :)

You can enter to win one of my Silver Tuxedo Bow Tie Necklaces, which is a $48 value! The Tuxedo Bow Tie get's quite a lot of attention over on Etsy and is currently featured in one of their gift guides as well! In my Etsy Shop you can also find other variations of this design including Tiny Bow Tie Studs, a Tiny Bow Tie Ring and a large Tuxedo Bow Tie cocktail ring!

Oh yeah! Also, a quick shout out to both my fellow Etsy seller, tenthstreetsaks and indie fashion blogger Indie Icing! Both of them chose to feature me today on their lovely blog's and I so, so appreciate all the love! Thanks bloggers :)

Check out the blog posts and see what they had to say about A.N. Original Jewelry :)

World, Meet Eliza Doolittle!

I was skimming through my increasingly mammoth iPhoto collection on my laptop this morning and came across some simple Black & Whites I took of my cousin Annie's first baby, Eliza, in the nursery at the hospital not even a full 24 hrs after she was born. Eliza was born on April 14th, so these pictures aren't exactly up to date, but I loved the simplicity of them and thought they came out really beautifully so I wanted to share with you all! Oh yes, by the way, Doolittle isn't on the birth certificate :)

Hope you like these cute little baby shots! Check back later today, I'll be announcing something super fun :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Save Your Scissors

Tonight whilst listing new items in my Etsy shop, I am enjoying my music via iTunes DJ, for the element of surprise, which I personally love. I always am reminded of a song I used to love that got lost for a while. Anyway, that's exactly what happened just a few minutes ago, and it totally made my night! My iTunes DJ decided to bring my very favorite song from a few years ago, "Save Your Scissors" by City & Colour (aka Dallas Green). I used to listen to this song on repeat on my rooftop in NYC. I miss that rooftop even more now that I'm listening to this song...I really must blog soon about my days in NYC :)

Ok kids, check out the song and lyrics, I REALLY encourage you to read along with the lyrics as the song plays. Magic, pure magic! Enjoy!

"Save Your Scissors" by City & Colour

So go on
And I will refrain
And I'll keep on running this neverending race
maybe next time will be the right time
and maybe next time will be your time

So save your scissors
For someone else's skin
My surface is so tough
I don't think the blade will dig in
Save your strength
Save your wasted time
There's no way that I want you to be left behind
Go on save your scissors
Save your scissors

So why does it always seem
That every time I turn around
Somebody falls in love with me
This has never been my soul intention
And I have never claimed to have patents on such inventions

Just save your scissors
For someone else's skin
My surface is so tough
I don't think the blade will dig in
Save your strength
Save your wasted time
There's no way that I want you to be left behind
Go on save your scissors
Save your scissors

There is something that I must confess to you tonight
To you tonight
And that is I expect nothing less from you tonight
From you tonight

Go on save your scissors
Save your scissors
Save your scissors

Coming Soon...VERY soon!

After reading a post made by my friend Amy, over at Ponder & Stitch Blog, I was inspired to let you know that I will be adding a few new items to my shop today later on! Wahoo! Exciting, exciting!

Thanks to my current head cold, which we're hoping is not Swine Flu, I'm stuck at home today on the couch and figured it's the perfect time to add a few new items! I think I'll also start perusing Etsy for possible Christmas gifts as well, never too early to start! However, I'm pretty sure I'll just end up buying things for myself that I don't need...which is equally as fun. Anywhoo, make sure to check out the Shop throughout the day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

"French Onion Soup" Omelette with Turkey Sausage, YUMMY!

Tonight I was struggling to think of something to make for dinner that "sounded" good. Ever have those days? Where none of your meal options are particularly appealing? Hate those!

Anyway, I decided I want French Onion Soup, but had no desire to go back out to get some. So, I decided to get a little creative!

A "French Onion Soup" Omelette is what I came up with, and let me tell you, I think I just discovered the most delish omelette ever, and it was healthy too! Here's what I did...

First, I saute'd some thinly sliced Vidalia onions in a non-stick skillet with some butter flavored Pam, thyme, garlic powder and a little bit of salt, until they were a deep caramel color. Taste a couple as they go to see if you'd like to add more thyme/garlic/salt etc. Once that was where I wanted it to be, I sliced and chopped some turkey breakfast sausage and added it in with the onions to brown up. While that was going, I shredded 1oz of Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese and scrambled 2 eggs with a dash of salt/pepper/garlic powder and a tiny bit of Fat Free Half & Half. When the sausage and onion mixture was ready, I got to work making my omelette! We've all made omelettes so I will spare you the details on that.

I can't tell you JUST how delish it really was! It really had the flavor of French Onion Soup, the thyme and garlic are really important I think. In hindsight I would have probably added a teeny bit more thyme and actually would have saute'd even more onions. If you love giving your eggs a bit of a twist I bet you'd love this omelette! I'm even thinking about cooking up a bunch of the yummy "French Onions" and keeping in my fridge to be able to make this process a little more speedy :)

Bon Appetit!

Remembering Nikki & Daisy

Lately I've been thinking about my dogs Nikki & Daisy, and how much I miss them.

Nikki was a big furball bucket of love. She was very pretty, very fluffy purebred Golden Retriever. We got Nikki at the beginning of 7th grade and it was the first puppy myself and my siblings can actually remember having, as our first dog Sam, grew up along side me ( I will need to do a whole separate post for Sam, she was my sidekick my whole youth, so she needs more space). Nikki was a cuddle bug, loved her food, ate seemingly inedible objects, often humped children and was always looking for someone to pet her. We actually almost named her Honey, because of her golden color and sweet as pie disposition. She spent a year hanging out with our old girl Sam, and learning what she could from her. When Sam passed away that Spring, Nikki was pretty sad without her mother figure around. Enter Daisy, stage left.

Daisy was a street dog. A small German Shepherd Mix, who had a rough start in life. We got her the summer before I went into 8th grade, about six months or so after we lost Sam. She was found hiding under a friends car in their driveway, and was thought to have been dumped on the side of the road as a puppy and abused by a man, as she was petrified of men, especially those with very deep voices. She survived on her own for a while living in the woods and enjoying tasty bug delicacies for nourishment. When we found out about her from our friends, we decided to adopt her to fill the void for both Nikki and ourselves that was left when Sam passed away. It took Daisy a while to adjust, she was scared of both of all adults at first and would only come to us kids. Eventually though, she settled in and came to trust us all. Daisy was named after Daisy Duck because she made a strange quacking sound when she barked when she was a puppy. She was such cute little street dog.

Nikki and Daisy were the best of friends, and brought so much to our family. The both loved going to Lake George in the summer. Daisy would swim and gulp water simultaneously and Nikki would just stand in the water (she was a little lazy). Miss watching them do that, even though it's a little lackluster.

Nikki passed away pretty suddenly in the Fall of 2006, and 2 years later Daisy passed away too. They were quite the duo, loved their walks, and even loved to cuddle with each other when we weren't looking. I still think about them all the time even though we now have Mel, Macy, and Marley running our lives and keeping us busy. They were such great family members!

I love and miss you , Girls!

The Miracle Worker

I must take a moment to sing the praises of my little miracle worker, Emergen-C. Now, I am an avid Emergen-C consumer, but I must say, sometimes I just plum forget, but now more than ever, I realize that Emergen-C is actually powdered happiness in a pouch. This is why...

On Saturday I started feeling a little under the weather, scratchy throat, burning sinuses, aches and pain, all of the stuff that makes you think, OH NO! A big nasty awful 3 week head cold is coming my way. So, before bed that night I mixed 2 Emergen-C packets with a bottle of water and downed it, hoping to aid in shortening the cold that was showing its ugly face. The next morning I woke up, feeling awful, but still hell bent on chasing it away. Throughout the day I drank 4 Emergen-C's, about 30 cups of Oolong and Green Tea and took some Zinc. I really hate over the counter cold medicine so I stay away whenever possible. Anyway, this morning I awoke to the sun shining and the realization that I'm already feeling MUCH better than yesterday, not 100% yet but well on my way! I'm so excited about this! Emercen-C has saved me from the drawn out pain of a horrible cold turned sinus infection.

Let's all just take a moment today to go buy some Emergen-C if you don't already have some. It is a miracle worker you can keep in your purse. I recommend the Pink Lemonade flavor! Enjoy your day all, and your Emergen-C :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A.N. Original Home Trunk Show Secrets: PART ONE, Building the HYPE!

I've been thinking about doing a blog series about hosting a successful home party for your art etc, and separating yourself from the cheesy, mass produced corporation home parties, after throwing many of them for my own business successfully! I've learned through trial and error what works, what doesn't, what to avoid, what to include etc. After a few years of throwing these parties I've seen them grow and become more and more lucrative and really have begun to understand the psychology of my trunk show guests and their purchasing habits. This didn't happen accidentally though, oh no no no, it was the result of lots of planning, careful thought, lot's of observation and a little bit of flair.

So here it is, the first installment of many...hope you find it useful!

1. Party is a four letter word! First and foremost, I think one of the most important things (and this is super simple) , is to never, ever, ever just call it a "Home Party" or "Jewelry Party"(or insert whatever you do etc). When I hear "Jewelry Party", I cringe! The whole home party circuit is a redundant, tired, overdone, gimmicky and horribly generic method used to get fast sales in a pressure cooker environment that prey's upon people feeling of obligation. We've all been to them, we've all sat through a long sales pitch, we've all felt the pressure to buy more so your girlfriend hosting the party gets more free junk that will fall apart anyway. Your event takes on that stigma when you refer to it as a "Jewelry Party" (I will be using jewelry as an example throughout this series , since it is what I do). Instead, bill your party as a TRUNK SHOW! A trunk show for your company, your line, you as an artist etc. Your trunk show IS NOT a tupperware party, it's a showcase of your handmade art, your heart and soul, so don't cheapen it by putting it in the same category as a tupperware party. It's amazing how much it changes people's reaction by just calling it something a little different. Trunk Show sounds so much more Bloomingdale's and much less Walmart.

2. Consider a theme. Theme's don't have to be so literal though, remember a subtle theme can be made chic much easier than a literal super specialized theme. Decor makes for better ambiance and ambiance creates sales but be careful to stay away from anything too distracting. For example, I throw a huge Holiday Trunk Show, before Thanksgiving, I bill it as Holiday, not Christmas. I can have a classy, chic Holiday event, without it being all filled with Santa Claus decor. Themes are awesome, and can make people feel way more like they are at a social gathering than just at a shopping night, and that will take some pressure off them and they typically end up purchasing MORE. (I will delve more into Themes in another post).

3. Put careful thought into your invitations. It's important to send a physical invitation, don't call around your invites. Take the time to make them look chic and refined enough to match your product and price point, then mail them via standard mail, pretty packaging with anything goes a long way. Be detailed and enticing in your invite. Make sure you mention any special offers at your party, such as any sort of door prize, fun refreshments, wine and spirits, discounts etc. Also, consider sending along a "save the date" sticker for people to easily be able to pop onto their calenders, you can find these at A.C. Moore or Michaels, or even print your own! Which brings me to my nest point, carefully choose your date. People are often reluctant to give up their Friday or Saturday night to go to a home trunk show. In my experience, Thursday night's are perfect because people are starting to get into weekend mode and welcome a little social engagement to start their weekend a little early unofficially.

4. The more the merrier. Entice your guests to bring friends via worth while, non-cheesy special offers. This can be done a number of ways, offering a small discount to be used by the originally invited party, if they bring guests to the Trunk Show, or offer a free gift, but make sure to make the free gift worth while! In the past I have offered a pair of 20$ value Freshwater Pearl and Sterling Silver Drop Earrings, in a variety of colors, of which the customer can choose from. I personally like the free gift idea, and it has worked very well for me in the past. Although the first time you do it, you might have lots of skeptics who see that it's free, and not care. BUT, once they see it at the party, those same people are often saying to me, "Ah! I wish I knew the earrings were so nice, I would have brought friends!". Thats helps them come back to your next party with friends so all is not lost :) I haven't tried including a picture of the free item in my invite yet, but I would imagine it could be helpful :) Around gifting seasons, the free earring offer is a huge hit for me!

5. Never leave home without em! In the week before your trunk show, carry around extra invitations with you at all times! You never know who you might run into and how the topic of your trunk show might pop up. If you have an invite on hand to give out, you might have just nabbed yourself another guest which could quickly turn into multiple guests! I can't tell you how many times I've had the subject randomly pop up in conversation with friends who I might run into at Target or at the bank who I might not have been comfortable mailing an invite to, but feel totally comfortable handing them an invite when I see them if it is in relation to whatever were gabbing about at the time. You'd be surprised how many times this sort of this will pop up, especially if the person has heard about your event through the grapevine. I feel like I end up giving out lots at the Post Office!

6. Regrets Only. Don't ask people to RSVP that they WILL be attending, it adds more pressure to people and more often than not they won't tell you either way anyway. However, I've found that if I request "Regret's Only", you get a more accurate gauge of the numbers to expect at the trunk show. To be honest, I'm not completely sure why it is that this works, but trust me, it makes a difference. A lot of people won't decide if they are coming until a few hours before. They have to be in the mood, feeling well etc, a Regret's Only RSVP leaves the door open for them to come or not. That way if they don't show up, it's not a big deal and they don't feel guilty or uncomfortable, and if they do, it's just a more the merrier atmosphere anyway. Requesting a "YES" RSVP makes people feel locked into it, only increasing pressure, and decreasing your chances that they will actually show up. The whole idea with your trunk show is to decrease the pressure and sales pitchy-ness, increase the fun and jovial atmosphere (more about this in a later post).

Okie doke, there's the first installment, a little longer than expected, sorry about that! I hope you found it helpful and informative, if you have specific questions about any of the area's touched on in this post, just ask them in the Comments area and I will be glad to answer :) The next post in the series will be about THEME, DECOR & REFRESHMENTS!

Design Envy: Time for a Bedroom Re-Vamp

Yesterday I toured the Saratoga Springs Parade of Homes with my Mom. I had never been on one of these things before so I wasnt expecting much going into it but I was in for a pleasant surprise! On The Parade of Homes, you tour model homes which are typically decorated to the nines, in unique color schemes, over the top accents, and decor one might typically be too afraid to try in their own home. That said, the decor is the COOLEST part about all of it. Sure, some of it is just too over the time, too many faux finishes, murals etc, BUT there are some awesome introductions to color schemes and motifs you might not have previously considered for your own home.

My personal favorite aspect of the tour was getting to walk into these decked out designer rooms and taking note of the initial feeling I got when I walked in. I was amazed at my reactions to some of the rooms because in my mind, the decor or color schemes werent something I'd go for if we were just chatting about preferences, but being able to step into the room physically, without the mind full of hypotheticals, can really change ones mind about their own "personal style".

Right now, I live in an apartment, a very nice apartment but alas, just an apartment. The Parade of Homes gave me home owners envy big time! I will be so excited when the day comes that I can really put everything I have into decorating my home, rather than decorating an apartment that you have few options with and know is going to have to be reverted back to its original state when you move out. Anyway, while home ownership is probably not in my near future, I've decided that I'm going to re-decorate my bedroom and change the color scheme a bit to mimic one of my favorite rooms I saw during the tour. I will be going from a red and green themed room to a room filled with serene blues, black, vintage patina metals and maybe a pop of red here or there. I just wish I could put rich, dark, wide planked wood floors in, I guess that'll just have to wait though and settle for my ugly apartment style carpet :)

The above picture is a little inspiration board I've done for myself. I'm dieing for all of these items! This process might take longer than I'd like it to since I'm going to need to aquire items slowly as not to drain my bank account :)

Clockwise from top left...
1. Pottery Barn Duvet Cover, love love the pattern and shade of blue!
2. Pottery Barn Vintage Inspired Wood "Rare Prints" Sign, it's huge, and I love HUGE art!
3. 2 Dorit Candle Holders in 12K White Gold Leafing, so gorgeous and unique! (ETSY Artist!)
4. Bella Lumina Teardrop Table Lamps, by Pablo Pardo, LOVE THEM! So graceful!
5. Dachshund Wine Co. Vintage Style Print, I have a dachshund, this is perfect! (ETSY Artist!)

P.S. Stay tuned guys! I will be blogging about how to throw your own home trunk show in a way that sets you apart from the pack!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Must Love Dogs : Meet Scout!

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." ~Ben Williams

As promised, here are some (or a lot) of pictures that I took last Monday of McKenzie, and her baby boy, Scout. I can't even begin to tell you just how much I love these pictures! I always love shooting McKenzie, but Scout is equally as fun, and has SO much personality.

Scout is a 2 yr old pure bread German Shepherd, he is gorgeous, huge, powerful, sweet and hysterical. Until meeting Scout, I had never encountered "Doggie Bubbles", but, alas, Doggie Bubbles are in fact one of the most wonderful inventions in the history of life. Seeing such a huge masculine dog, chase after dainty little bubbles, is nothing short of absolute perfection. Scout is SUCH a sweetie, and he is a huge ham for the camera, which is fabulous for me (and Kenz!). I think this shoot really made me realize just how much I love photography and the ability to take a moment of someone's life and freeze it in time. I especially love the candid shots for this reason :)

Anyway, this shoot took place in Lake George, NY, my very favorite spot in the wo
rld. What a gorgeous backdrop for an adorable family photo. I love these photo's so much, I'm even tempted to blow up one or two for my own home :) OK, OK, I'm done writing, check out the photos, I've included lots because I just couldnt limit myself, there are way too many I felt I NEEDED to share with you all! Hope you love these!

I love McKenzie and Scout!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Double Sided Pendants for Double Sided Fun!

I've been a busy bee today, listing tons of new products (and continuing to do so). Including these awesomely fun double sided word pendants, they are so fun, and tiny and sweet, I could just pinch all their cheeks (if they had cheeks...)!

If you follow me on Twitter, you might recall the initial birth of this double sided pendant idea and you may have even contributed in an idea or opinion or two during the process. If so, thank you! Your participation really helped me put the idea into motion. And now, almost 2 months later, I present to you the cutest little double sided pendants you ever did see! They are available for purchase in my fancy schmancy Etsy Shop!

What do you think? Which word combo is your favorite? Which do you predict will be a best seller? Opinions welcome and encouraged!

Now, I must scamper back off to my Etsy screen to continue listing new items. Toodles! ::wink::

Promo Photoshoot #1: McKenzie's Back!

Earlier this week I shared with you some of the photo's from my promo photoshoot with my best friend, Lindsay, wearing my Enchanted Vines Collection. Today, I share with you, the fruits of photoshoot #2 with my friend McKenzie!

I've know McKenzie and her family just as long, maybe even longer, than Lindsay. She is the newest A.N. Original Jewelry "girl", and we have so much fun working together and she has such an intense look! I took these photo's of McKenzie around my hometown of Saratoga Springs. In fact, some of the shots were even done in front of the dumpsters at my apartment complex, although you'd probably never know it! The rest were taken in the historic Yaddo Gardens.

Anyway, I have many new items to list in my Etsy shop, and little brain power to work with, so I must get to work! Check back to see what I'm listing today and also to see photo's from a shoot I did with McKenzie. and her pride and joy, Scout!

*P.S. I'm thinking about doing a post series about how to host a successful home trunk show as my own have become quite popular, and how to separate yourself from the mass produced gimick-y home parties like Lia Sophia and Pampered Chef. Is this something you'd be interested in reading? Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today's Soundtrack: "Keepsake" by State Radio

Music is what keeps me going. It is without a doubt, my lifeline. Sometimes I think that if it wasn't for music, I'd be completely lost in my life. It's what I can truly connect to emotionally, without having to necessarily talk about whatever it is I have going on in my head, be it good or bad. I'd say that's a pretty weighty role for a 4 minute song to fill, but music never lets me down.

While I love being an independent entrepreneur and able to make jewelry be my full-time gig, it's not always something I'm chomping at the bit to do. Owning your own business can be a little isolating, a little lonely and even a little mundane. Boo-hoo for me right? Not really. I don't feel bad for myself in the least, I get to call the shots in my own life, which isn't a luxury everyone has. While thats a lot control and responsibility to balance on one's shoulders, it's something I welcome in my life. I've always been someone who'd rather be in full control than hand over the control to someone else or trust someone else with my future while my life hangs in the balance. Sometimes I think I don't have a submissive bone in my body. If your reading this right now and thinking, "what a control freak", you would be absolutely correct. I am a control freak, and at this point in my life I've decided to talk full ownership of my control freak-ness, and let my freak flag fly. Now, I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, but it's how I am, and thankfully, at the ripe old age of 25, I think I've come to terms with the fact that I am who I am and thats all I can be. That's where music comes in. Music is a release for me, where I don't have to be in control, and can get lost in whatever song is playing in that moment. It fills any lonely voids I might be experiencing that day as I work in my studio, it keeps me company when I sketch at my kitchen table late at night, and it comes with me when I walk my dog. Music, music, music, where would I be without you?

Today is a little grey in the Northeast, no sun to be seen and an admittedly lazy day for me. Only a few pieces of jewelry to get finished so I've been filling a lot of my time today with music. Like everyone else, I get into little phases where I love a particular song (usually for no apparent reason) and play it over and over again. That song today is called "Keepsake" by a band called State Radio. State Radio was put together by one of the founding members of a band called Dispatch, a local favorite so I'm often shocked if people don't know who Dispatch is, maybe it's just a regional thing? Anyway, Dispatch was a pretty popular band in their day, I'd call them the independent music movements answer to The Dave Matthews Band. More grass roots, more organic and much more politically charged. State Radio is a continuation of that thought but with a little more rock, a little more politics and a little reggae/ska sprinkled amongst there. State Radio is a favorite in my family and their music is really thoughtful and intelligent. "Keepsake", the track I am personally obsessing over right now, was even used in the Season 3 Finale of my favorite show of all time, Weeds.

Ok, enough blabbering, and more listening. I recommend listening to it once just for it's raw musical integrity and then a second time to really listen to the words. Hope this track is something that can bring a little extra sparkle into your day. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Promo Photoshoot #1: Say Hello to Lindsay!

I'm one of those people that wears many hats in their life. Lucky for me, before I took the plunge into the world of jewelry, I was planning and training to be a big time Media Makeup Artist. Around this time, I started getting REALLY into photography as well, and the two sort of go hand in hand. Both of these hobbies have really helped me in the development of my jewelry business by way of being able to produce my own promotional photos with models, something that I personally think is REALLY important to developing your brand and having people take you more seriously as a designer.

That being said, when I say models, I really mean, my pretty friends. I by no means hold casting calls and all that junk, I just grab one of my friends and we get to have a day of playing dress up, gabbing and generally just acting like goofballs in between camera snaps. It's one of the things that I get REALLY excited about when I have a new collection. I'm able to let the part of me that dreamed of being a Media Makeup Artist and painting peoples faces for the cover of Vogue take over and forget about making jewelry for a minute. I can lose myself and all my worries while behind the camera and concentrate on creating the perfect "moment" on film. It's truly one of the things that helps to keep me sane as sometimes I am utterly burnt out on creating jewelry and sometimes start feeling like a little wind-up worker elf. (Nothing against elves in general of course)

Anyway, this particular shoot was done for some of the pieces from my "Enchanted Vines Collection and a couple pieces from my Halloween collection. The lovely model you see is actually my very best friend of 10 years, Lindsay. Lindsay is actually a 1st Grade Teacher, but I bet you wouldn't know that from these stunning pictures! Lindsay and I have been friends since we were 15/16 and actually lived right next door to each other. Some people have said we have a "unique" sense of humor but we generally just think we are hysterical and can pretty much have fun during any situation. In fact, we got in a scary car accident when we were about 17/18 and we ended up laying in the car, eating gummi build-a-burgers and laughing hysterically. Why? I'm not really sure, it's just how we deal with things I guess. Ok, back to the point... Lindsay is awesome and I think these pictures came out gorgeous! It's always so exciting have your vision come to life when a photoshoot is a success and have fun with your best friend in the process!

Hope you like these shots as much as I do! Please don't forget to let me know what you think of the new collection to help me forecast which designs will be big sellers come holiday shopping time! You can see the collection in full in the previous post :) Stay tuned for photoshoot #2 with my friend McKenzie :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Introducing, The Enchanted Vines Collection! Your Opinions?

It's here! Finally! I'd like to introduce to you my brand new "Enchanted Vines Collection". It's simple, it's chi and it's versatile, yay! All good things, in my opinion at least :)

  I feel like it took far too long for me to get this new collection out in the world! But, I'm glad I took my time because I'm really happy with the result and super excited to share it with you all! All of the pieces are a combination of casting, acid etching and hand fabrication, with the detailed sections of the pieces coming from an original drawing of mine which was acid etched into metal and cut into various shapes. I made the decision to cast those models to ensure that everyone got the section of the design that I originally intended for each piece. Casting took a little longer than anticipated but all good things come to those who wait!

The best thing about this collection? The awesome price point! I worked hard to keep the prices down on this new collection, keeping everything under 50$! The prices range from $32-$48. Perfect for gifting and a fairly guilt-free purchase for yourself :) I want my jewelry to be accessible to people, and these economic times I really wanted to push myself to come up with a collection that kept that in mind, without sacrificing style or quality. How'd I do?

Anyway, since my collection took a bit longer than expected, I don't have as much time as I would have liked before the holidays to get a feel for which pieces get the most response etc. Here's where you guys come in :) I need your opinions to help me plan for my holiday season! Which pieces do you personally respond to the most? Which pieces would you love to receive or give as a gift? Any and all opinions are welcome and would be SO SO SO helpful to me in my efforts to frantically prepare for the fast approaching shopping season :) So please, comment away and let me know what your thinking! Oh yeah, and feel free to check out the new pieces in more detail in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn...

Goodbye Summer, see you soon...

I'm never especially sad to see summer go. Sure, I will miss Lake George, I will miss summer BBQ's, impromptu gatherings at night and laying out in the sun, but Autumn is always welcome in my life. There's something about the change of seasons that makes me feel more alive, more inspired, more like, myself. Autumn is easily my very favorite season. I've already spent a good amount of time lounging on my deck in the crisp night air of the impending Autumn, enjoying just 'being'. I've had some really great talks with myself out on that deck at night, and have come to appreciate the simple beauty of these garden lights I have strewn across my railing. So lovely. So simple. So perfect.

Hello Autumn, I've missed you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Window Shopping Breaks the Heart...

Today I've had an insatiable urge to buy a bunch of stuff that I don't need at all. Could be the rainy weather that is bringing this on, but I can't be totally sure about that since this is a problem I often grapple with. In fact, I have a shopping basket filled with over $300 worth of makeup and brushes that I really don't need at all, waiting for me over on! To purchase or not to purchase, that is the question! It's all just a couple clicks away...tempting!

With a business to run and a mass of bills to pay, I don't have the extra cash laying around to splurge right now but it hasn't stopped me from window shopping all day long online. This of course is only making my urge to spend go into overdrive. Why do I do this to myself?

Right about now I would kill for this Chloe bag! Way, way, way out of my price range at steep $1,670.oo, but a girl can dream! And the shoes, by Nina , are calling my name, but I haven't a clue why since I have absolutely nowhere to wear such over the top shoes. At $99.95, the shoes are a little more in my price range. Frivolous? Yes. But thats the best thing about shoes, they are almost always a frivolous splurge. I have an extensive shoe collection in which MOST of them have never been worn, I love them so much I'm afraid to wear them and ruin them! If I know I love the shoe and want to wear it right away, I buy two of the same pair to be safe. Is that weird? In my mind I see nothing wrong with having a shoe museum in my certainly cheers me up on rainy days like these :)

Weekend Deal: Free Worldwide Shipping!!!

Just a little note to let everyone know I am running a weekend deal this weekend (9/11-9/13) and offering FREE worldwide shipping on your entire order! Don't forget to mention the code "weekend deals" in the notes to seller area when purchasing! 

I have tons of new items in the shop with more being added soon, so head on over and check out the A.N. Original Jewelry Shop @ Etsy , don't miss out on the free shipping deal while it's here!

P.S. - Expect the new castings to start appearing in the shop over the next few days! So excited about them! Happy Weekend All!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Try not to smile when you watch this!

Ok, here's the deal. I am not by any means, a fan of The Black Eyed Pea's. In fact one might say that I even strongly dislike their music. I'm also not a big fan of Oprah, I don't dislike Oprah but I'm not a loyal viewer...

That being said, this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I WISH I was there to participate! Don't laugh at me, but I even caught myself getting a little teary while watching it! Something about all those people together doing something...well, awesome! OK, I'm done gushing now. Watch the song all the way through, you won't regret it! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine...

"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." ~Woody Allen
Sometimes, your day just doesn't go the way you planned. Maybe your entire week isn't going your way. Maybe your month hasn't gotten off on the right foot and your starting to lose hope. All of these statements are applicable to me in this moment/day/week/month etc. That said, I'm trying my best to get myself out of this unfavorable funk, even though it might take a bit of time and a considerable amount of effort on my part, I WILL prevail. My stubborn streak can in fact work in the name of good as well as evil :)

About 2 minutes ago, my day took an unexpected turn for the better. Thanks to a walk down memory lane via my iPhoto albums on my laptop, I am remembering lighter moments and just how good it feels to laugh. I love to laugh. In fact, if you know me personally, you can vouch for the fact that I do in fact crack myself up on a daily basis, even if things are less than awesome that day. Anyway, as I looked through my photos from this past summer I noticed just how many shots I have of people laughing. There's nothing I love more than a great candid photo of someone getting out a good laugh for no good reason, reacting to a joke, giggling after a klutzy moment or all of the above combined. In fact, judging by the number of laugh photos I have, I think I must stalk people until they laugh so I can photograph them doing just that!

 My very winded, and unnecessarily lengthy point being, nothing is a better remedy for your crappy day/week/month or year than a good wholesome laugh. In that moment, your not thinking about anything else but the joy your feeling when you laugh. Who doesn't love laughing until their stomach hurts? It's one of life's simplest of treasures! Thanks to all these photos I've taken of my friends and family laughing in the past, I was able to bring a smile to my face in the present and begin on the road to getting myself out from under this storm cloud that's been hovering over my life for the past few days...

Here are a few of my favorite laughing shots from Summer 2009, hope they bring a smile to your face :)

Another Day in the Studio with friends...

I've spent the past 2 days working in my studio on new pieces. My time in that space during this stint can be best described as frustrating. Some days, the jewelry gods do not shine down upon me and I spend hours accidentally melting jump rings, burning myself or popping saw blades every 20 seconds or so. These are the days that I begin to really question my ability and can sometimes get pretty down on myself. I know we all visit that place from time to time...

Lucky for me, I never go to the studio without some of my best friends loaded into my fully charged iPod. And by friends I of course mean music/songs etc. I am incredibly moved by all different kinds of music and like anyone else I get into music cycles where I continuously listen to an album, a band, or maybe even a single song on repeat for LONG periods of time. I don't really know why but I begin to identify it with comfort and on some days can't go to sleep unless I've put in a good bit of time listening to whatever it is I've been listening to previously.

Right now, that band is Coldplay. Specifically the "Parachutes" album and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" album. Today in particular I find myself listening to the song "Spies", over and over and over again. It's got this haunting feeling to it that I love so much that it gives me chills from time to time. Such an amazing piece of music that really makes you think.

Anyway, as I head back out to my studio for what I hope is a very productive, non-destructive afternoon of soldering, sanding, oxidizing and polishing, I leave you with the song I will continue to listen to all afternoon, "Spies". Enjoy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Summer Snapshots: Playing Catch-up Part 2

Not much to say today, but heres a few more shots from my summer. Sad to see it winding down as I will desperately miss my days in Lake George, but I must say, Fall is my favorite season so I can't wait until it's in full gear!

Hope you like these shots :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer Snapshots: Playing Catch-up

Yikes! I just realized how few photographs from my summer I've actually shared with you guys! It's time to play catch-up! So here we go...

Here's a few new shots of my best friend, Lucie aka Suessie John Jones. I could photograph her all day long! Stay tuned for another couple post's of my summer pictures soon :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sneak Peak: New Jewelry Coming Soon!

I've been working feverishly to prepare myself, my shop, and my inventory, for the holiday gift giving season. I know what your thinking, it's MONTHS away! No, not for me! Once it turns Sept, I start getting very antsy and frantic trying to best prep myself for the holiday rush of insanity. Really, I should have all these items done and listed already but the casting process took a little longer than expected so here I am, behind the 8 ball and trying to make up time along the way.

Anyway, heres a little sneak peak of some of my new castings. Simple and sweet. Some were cast from hand-drawn etching patterns that I etched into sheet metal, some were carved out of wax and some were fabricated and sent off to be molded/cast etc. I'm especially excited about the etched pieces, as well as my cute little double sided pendants that some of you may or may not have been around on Twitter to contribute your ideas and opinions for. It's so fun to go from an idea that pops into your head while eating sherbet in front of your computer on a summer night to an (almost) finished product.

The next time you see these pieces they will look much much different; sparkly, domed, oxidized, etc. Hope you like what you see of these castings in their raw, unfinished form! I know I squealed when I started opening up the package of casted goodies :)


Oh, P.S.- I hope you guys took a listen to Jes Hudak in my previous post! She's fabulous! Sorry for choosing a song laden with parental advisory lyrics to post but I thought it showcased her really powerful voice and her fun adaptability!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Music to my Ears: Meet Jes Hudak

As you may or may not know, I was born and raised in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. A charming historic city about 30mins north of Albany that provides lots of natural beauty, character and artistic energy for it's resident's and tourist's alike. You can't find many places like Saratoga, so I feel blessed to live out my life here.

Aside from it's general charm, it's history and it's beauty, Saratoga can also boast a number of very talented artists who have called Saratoga, "home". One of them being, Jes Hudak. A incredibly gifted up and coming singer/songwriter with a big voice and nimble fingers who now resides in Los Angeles, California. Jes and I attended the same high school, and while I never knew her personally (as she was a couple years older than me), I recently come across her music and felt so proud to know that another one of us "Saratogians" were making big moves and headed to the top. Who doesn't like rooting for their home team? Plus, I am all about music and grass roots singer/songwriters, so anything I can do to shine a little light on someone I really believe in, totally makes my day!

Anyway, I don't want this post to turn into a regurgitated Jes Hudak bio, rather, I think you should take a listen to her AMAZING, and I really do mean AMAZING voice and talent. When I found this video I pretty much watched it with my jaw on the floor. SUCH killer pipes!

Here's a cover Jes did of T.I.'s song "Whatever You Like", such a unique, fresh take on it! After you listen to this make sure you check out some of her original music and head over to !

P.S. : Once it gets to about 1:37, it get's SENSATIONALLY fabulous!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meet My Baby: Vemelope Sweetie Pie Lover Lamb Chop aka "Mel"

I'm back! Forgive my tardiness, I was always late for homeroom in high school and looks like nothing has changed now that I'm blogging. Sometimes I just plum forget!

Anyway, Meet my pride and joy, my very first baby girl, Vemelope Sweetie Pie Lover Lamb Chop, or "Mel" for short :) Although her name is quite long, it is actually much longer in reality, but this is her "official" name. We've also added Melvin, Melito and Drumstick to her name unofficially.

Mel is a little ball of personality in the form of a Dapple Miniature Dachshund. She is a cuddle bug, a comedian, a champion ball chaser, and clumsy chipmunk chaser. Mel was my very first baby, I got her just a couple weeks after Christmas, January 8th 2007 to be exact! It was love at first sight, and my entire family quickly became just a smitten with Mel as I was. In fact, we often argued over who was going to cuddle with her, or nap with her. Mel is the perfect napping buddy, even my teenage brothers couldnt resist Mel's cuddle charm!

Aside from being the cutest thing EVER, Mel has quite the personality. She quite enjoys kisses on the cheek and presses her face up to your mouth to kiss her repeatedly. If you decide you've had enough, she will tell you otherwise and shove her face on to your mouth again. There's only one thing in the world that Mel loves more than kisses, and that is belly rubs. She pretty much dives at your feet and rolls over anytime she meets someone new. 

Mel also LOVES eating apples! But she eats them like a human, she holds them in her tiny paws and eats a whole apple all the way around the core. Now when I go Apple picking in the Fall, I make sure to get lots of tiny "Mel-sized" Apples. Mel also can be a bit of a diva, in fact she HATES wearing any sort of clothing. She gets really depressed and embaressed and hides or lays her head on your shoulder and pouts until you take it off. 

So, I hope you enjoy a few of these snapshots of my pride and joy, as I have to scurry off and take my little Melvin for a walk as she's been patiently waiting at the door, with leash in mouth, waiting for her morning walk. Toodles!