StudioJewel - Journey of a Jeweler

  • How has blogging helped my business - ask Lisa - as part of CreativeLive Tour!
    Why do I blog? Do I have to blog? Do I want to blog? Is there any benefit to blogging? Why does the word blog have to sound so stupid?
    These are not only questions I have asked myself, but questions that get asked of me?often.

    My sweet friend April Bowles, of Blacksburg Belle and author of Marketing for Creatives asked me for my 2 cents on the topic of blogging. I'm really glad she did. It was time to take a look once again at the why?

    My first blog post went "live" on May 2, 2007. TWO THOUSAND SEVEN!! Most people still didn't know what a blog was back then! Four people read it. Pretty sure one was me, the other my husband and maybe my mom and sister!
    I was exploring. Trying to decide if blogging was for me. Trying to see if it fit. I was a sporadic writer to be sure. I had no concept on content. I didn't know how important it was to be regular. One word. Clueless.
    from a fashion post

    But then I invested some time?and money?in blogging conferences. It not only opened my eyes to the world of blogging, I absorbed incredible amounts of information AND it created some of the most lasting friendships with some of the most amazing people. I began to understand what it meant to have a voice. 
    how to do Halloween makeup
    I knew I had a voice. I knew I had a passion for writing. But I still doubted that anyone would ever "read me". What do I know about? Where is my expertise? Do I have awesome photos to share?
    who am I? an artist.
     Soul searching. I really just wanted to write about what I knew and what I was feeling. I wanted to be the voice of someone who maybe didn't have one. I began to forge my own path. I know and love fashion. I know and love jewelry. I love people.
    It's not a formula. It's being honest with yourself. When you are honest with yourself, people can tell, they can relate, they will come.

    I wrote about my jewelry. I wrote about techniques. I wrote about homeschooling. But then?finally?I opened my heart?and I wrote my first deep soul searching post about my struggle with depression. And I was overwhelmed by the response. I'm STILL overwhelmed.
    That was truly the motivator for me. It proved that I did in fact have a voice. A voice that needed to be heard.
    finding JOY
    So has blogging benefited my business? Absolutely. Because I am not just a girl that makes jewelry. I'm your friend. I have really successful days. I have really bad days. I know boots unlike any other. And I am honest in my product reviews. You trust me. I value that more than you will ever know. And honestly? I would rather be your friend - be someone you trust - be someone you vent to via email then a millionaire sitting in a corner studio somewhere. It's relational. And it's beautiful!

    My friend April is one of those people who has encouraged me on my blogging journey. She helped me find my path. And now she is teaching a class on blogging. My advice? Take it.  I don't get a cut for pushing it. I'm not being paid to write about it. April is the real deal. We have had countless email conversations, but one live phone call. That one hour made more of an impact on me then many classes I have trudged through online.

    If you are ready to take the next step for your business, or maybe you just have considered blogging - let April help you. You won't regret it.

    Here's an excerpt from CreativeLive:
    There are over 200 million blogs on the internet. If you want your voice to be heard, you've got to cut through the noise and stand out. 

    Learn how to write engaging headlines {you know, the kind that actually make you click}, take pretty pictures, develop a solid content strategy {bye bye writer's block}, monetize your blog {yes, actual money} and so much more in April Bowles Olin's workshop on creativeLIVE May 1st to May 3rd.
    RSVP to watch it live for FREE. Because, free things are pretty awesome. (High-fives, wine samples at the grocery store, library books, birthday desserts at your fav restaurant, Pinterest. All pretty awesome.) On a tad more serious note, you've got to tune in for this course. It won't disappoint.
    I hope you continue to stop by here. My little space on the internet. I hope you continue to talk back to me?nicely of course?about what you want to know?what you want to hear?what are the "it" shoes of the season :) But mostly?because we ARE friends, and these are my letters to you!


  • My new jewelry studio, my favorite thing
    I am giddy. Over the moon. Geeky excited. Ecstatic. Pumped up.
    It's almost finished. Almost. But I'm THERE! In the space! Working!

    I have so much to tell you about my journey to this point. But right now? Right now I just need to BE. Be in that space. Organizing and completing orders. Have I mentioned I'm a bit behind.

    Please be patient with me. THIS is monumental.

    We went from this?
    ?to this? THIS!

    ?and THIS!
    I have a lot of organizing to do. Then there are shelves to install. Cabinet doors to hang. But I'm getting there. My husband is amazing?he coordinated the entire thing. Every facet. Every detail. I could not be more grateful. And you? Thanks for journeying with me!

    Love you to the moon!


  • How to cuff your jeans. Fashion Tip Tuesday.
    Face it. We've been cuffing since we were babies. Sometimes for the sheer need of being able to walk in our pants. Sometimes because you wanted to run barefoot. Sometimes because you fashion-ized in the 80's. Sometimes because they just weren't quite the right length. But sometimes. Sometimes?you just need to cuff.

    So what exactly is the low down on cuffing? And here's the magic people. There are no rules. Cuffs just work. Almost any jeans can be cuffed. Big rolls. Small rolls. Pegged. Any shoes. Any style. Any age. Boys and girls. Anything goes. Seriously. It doesn't get much better.

    Cuffing your pants can totally change the way they look.  It's fun. It's easy. And really, like I said?.no rules.

    Me? I am an avid cuffer. I love big wide cuffs. Fun way to showcase cute shoes.  Skinny tight cuffs? Great for combat boots or booties. And yes friends?I even went old school 80's this week and pegged my jeans with my TOM's. And guess what?I loved it.
    Boyfriend or oversized jeans. Messy cuffs. On my wide bottom pair I go a bit wider on the cuff. Skinny bottoms?skinny cuffs. Pretty easy to remember.
    Skinny jeans. My favorite to cuff. With a boot I would choose a very skinny less visible cuff. Just a tiny bit of ankle peeking out. With a sandal or loafer or sneaker a wide cuff is best. LOVE!
    Make sure you look like you did it on purpose. Not like?oh no there's a flood!
    Make sure you pair your cuffs with cute shoes. It's kinda why we cuff?to showcase the shoes. Get it?

    Guys. You have to cut. Totally cool. Very hip.
    Boot cut. Don't do it.
    Flared. NO No.

    Why cuffing works. It adds a bit of chic to your otherwise basic boring jeans. Suddenly your ratty jeans, possibly with holes, can be paired with heels and look amazing. Truly. The possibilities are endless!

    Spring and summer are your perfect cuffing season. I challenge you to give it a shot and then let me know! Come on. You can totally do this.


  • What's next. Who am I. Introspection.
    This has been a tough week. I'm not exactly sure why, but everything feels like a struggle. I find myself either close to tears or ready to explode. Strange combo.

    You know how sometimes things just "catch up" with you. You go. Go. Go. And then...for me?there's a crash. Of course I constantly?and I mean constantly?worry about a depression crash. For as much as I don't love taking medication I am not willing to ever risk NOT taking it. I just can't let myself go there.
    So for right now I struggle.

    And the struggle seems to be significance. Not necessarily my own significance. But if I'm making a difference. If I'm making the people around me FEEL significant. Fail.

    It's funny. We did our taxes. My first thought was?"that's a lot of jewelry"?my second thought was, "did I make an impact on those people?"
    I've screwed up in life. I've made big mistakes. I've experienced grace and forgiveness and I live under the freedom of that gift. Now? Now I want to make a difference. I want to live a life that makes a mark?on people. Not to be recognized. Not to make more money. But to make others smile. To make others feel significant. To let you know you are loved.
    But am I doing that?

    Am I doing that with my husband? Does he feel significant? Does he feel loved and supported and encouraged? FAIL.
    What about my kids? Do they know they are loved unconditionally? Do they know how much I treasure them? FAIL.
    How about the people I pass in the grocery store? Or on the road? 
    What about the people I converse with online? FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.

    This is where the negative thoughts come in. I'm failing. I get angry. I get frustrated. I get selfish. I'm not doing "enough". 
    And then I get angry at THOSE thoughts. Because I know that I am in fact enough.
    See the vicious cycle?

    I'm a pretty introspective person. I work alone most of the time and I love it. I enjoy listening to music, and sermons, I even like the silence.
    But lately the silence is deafening. Sometimes self talk is not helpful and more like destructive. And I'm not in the best of places.

    I think "life" has caught up with me. Moving. Crashing. Change from homeschool mom to "regular" school mom. Crazy busy business. Horrid awful studio conditions. Floods. More moving. Losing a fur baby. Gaining a fur baby. Teenagers. Hormones?mine AND theirs. Supporting my man. Finding my place.

    Today I started thinking about what I needed to change in my attitude. First I prayed that God would show me more of what His intent is for my life. That I'd stop looking at MY intent?and be more aware of His plan. Then I thought I would ask those around me what they think of when they think of me?I wanted honesty. I think they were being nice?regardless?it brought me to tears.

    Maybe. Just maybe. I am being used. 
    Maybe. Just maybe. I can make a difference.

    ONE WORD to describe me. ONE WORD that came to mind. That's what I asked for.
    My word from your responses? OVERWHELMED.
    Whether I believe all these words or not...well, actually that is irrelevant. It is giving me something to aspire to. Something to strive for. Something to help me finish my race.

    Thank you for being just the encouragement I needed. You gave me what I needed for this day?
    ?so let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12.1
    Thank you friend. You.Are.Loved.


  • Eye brow powder - one of my favorite things
    Let's face it. We do a lot to make ourselves look pretty presentable. We care for our hair, our skin, our face. But we often neglect the eye brows. You know, those expressive little lines above our eyes. Think about it. You can say a lot with your eye brows! Shoot?we even insert little emojis in our text messages?do we not?
    So why is it the eye brows are our most neglected facial feature? Several years ago when I really started playing with color in my hair, I began to notice that my brows?let's just say?didn't match. And then, with my constant wearing of glasses, they were TOTALLY getting lost. I needed a fix.

    I do some regular brow maintenance with waxing. When I say some. I mean rarely. Like a couple times a year. Then I just use my tweezers SPARINGLY to keep up. But it wasn't enough they still were disappearing into my head and that's a weird look.

    I've sung the praises of Bare Escentuals many times - I often buy their "special value" kits on QVC since they are such a great deal and they allow me to try new products. One such product? You guessed it eye brow powder. I fell in love. Small container. Lasted forever. Possibly too long. I've only had to replace it once in several years, and last week it was time for container number three. So off to Ulta on a spring break excursion with my girlies?do we know how to vacation or what???
    Much to my dismay. They no longer carry it. Bummer. And grouchy Ulta girl who definitely needed a dose of happiness finally acquiesced to helping me. I smiled a lot. She wasn't responding. Life's too short darlin! Annnnnyway?.. She directed me to this...
    Brow powder by Anastasia. I was unsure of the color she chose for me. And you guessed it, I voiced my concern, and she reinforced that this was DEFINITELY my color, and a little goes a long way. She had angry eyes. Think Mr. Potato head. She scared me?a little?so I took her advice and bought the brow powder.

    Friend. I love it. I mean seriously love it. Here's why.
    The reason I adore brow powder is you never get any harsh lines. Using an angled brush to fill in - you can use a little or a lot - dude, she was right about the little goes a long way too. THIS brow powder has two shades per compact - and there are 10 two-tone shade combinations available. One light. One darker. Perfect for matching hair color when it changes. Or using the dark to fill in sparse areas, where you MAY have over plucked?admit it?you've done it. And then use the lighter shade to fill in. With 10 shades you can totally find your color. When in doubt, head to Ulta and ask Miss. Angry Eyes. She will be more than happy to "help".

    The compact sells for $23 on Anastasia's own site and OBVIOUSLY at Ulta.
    Summer is coming. Of course you will be using sunscreen and your face will remain pale and beautiful. Therefore?your brows should make a statement. Not a Brooke Shields statement. Just a "look how well groomed and happy I am" statement. Deal.