Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Birthdays, Craft Fairs and More!

Whew! Well it has certainly been a crazy week and a half. I shared with you all the first day of my craft fair adventure. Let me share with you how it all turned out.
I'm late, I'm late for a very important blog
The Farmington Founders Festival has certainly seen better days. As I kid I remember riding my bike downtown to meet up with friends and explore the miles and parking lots of booths. Back then it was four days long and the streets were packed with people not only from Farmington but from all the surrounding cities too.

Unfortunately these days the festival isn't as epic as it used to be. Now only two days, Friday and Saturday and it's much less of a draw. I really could complain about the organizers of the festival. Many people (citizens and vendors alike) were confused about the schedule. Some people thought it was still open on Sunday, others thought it was open Thursday too. Some vendors didn't even know there was a parade on Saturday. Also, they decided to have the festival on the same week as the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is the biggest art fair in probably a 100 mile radius.

The last night of the fair
I don't want to bash the festival, or give you the impression that I didn't have tons of fun. I loved my experience there. I saw some old friends and met some great people. I had an old high school friend who lives out of state send his mother to my booth to say hi. She even bought a pair of earrings. It was pretty adorable actually, and amazing humbling that friends I haven't talked to in so long are still trying to be supportive. People...they're generally the best part of anything I do. I had a sign out indicating I was a local artist from Farmington and lots of people came in wanting to support their city. It was pretty cool.

My family was pretty amazing too. They dropped everything over the weekend to help me set up the tent and booth. My mom helped me gather all the supplies I needed. My step-dad ran around trying to find the right size tent. They were there all weekend, giving me breaks and bringing me food. My lil sister, who is 15 and on summer break from school, woke up early on Friday and came down and helped me set up the booth. She hung out with me all morning. Unlike most teenage girls I can think of, not once did she complain or bemoan having to get up early and essentially work.
I made this custom necklace for my sis as a thank you for helping out at the booth.
I even had two aunts and my grandma stop by the booth. My business really is a family run affair. They are always behind me 100% and I could never ask for more from them. I am an amazingly lucky girl. :)

On to other news....

Monday was my birthday. I'm 28 now. lol

It seems super weird to me ever year I get older.  I was told as at a very young age that I had a lot of hurdles to jump and living to a ripe old age like everyone else was going be pretty difficult. Now that I am almost thirty, each year I get to be older feels like an epic accomplishment and a great gift.

I give most of the credit to my mom, who is my biggest supporter. But again I have to say I am truly blessed to have the family I do, and even more fortunate to have the network of friends who are just as supportive. If you are a family member or a friend and are reading this, I hope you know how much I thank you :)

Sometimes my life feels like a fairytale...Apple anyone?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farmington Founders Festival

Greetings from the Farmington Founders Festival!

Well, it's that time of year again. The Farmington Founders Festival is in full swing. I've lived here all my life so it always feels special to me when I can take part of something so big in my own community. I've been at the festival twice before, both were great experiences. And even though things have changed a little since I was a kid, it's still a great time.
One-Of-A-Kind Necklaces
I have all my necklaces, bracelets and earrings laid out on what I hope is a nice display. One thing I'd like to invest in (maybe with the profits from the festival) is some good signage. I feel like it's the one thing missing from my booth. 

The fair has been a great place to work. I brought my big tackle box with me, packed with silver, brass and antique copper goodies. I found myself being very productive as the passersby took their preliminary looks in the booth. You might not believe it, but there are less distractions for me at the fair then at home. Maybe that's just due to the fact that Bella my pup was not there to draw my attention away with her cuteness. 
Dino Earrings! Rawr! My new favorite :)

I'm in love with this necklace.  I might keep it for myself :P
Of course since this is my hometown there was no shortage of friends and family stopping by the booth. My business really is a family affair. My little sister came in the morning and helped me set up (which is no small favor from a 15 year old girl lol). My mother was there pretty much all day too. Even my step-dad came by a couple times (and brought me a much needed tablecloth!). I got to see friends and my friends families too. It's pretty cool, like having my workshop in the middle of town square!

Hearts and Keys :)
The Founders Festival ends tomorrow. There will be a parade in the morning which I think will bring lots of people to the booth. At least it will bring by lots more friends to visit. It's a little sad that it's only a two day affair. When I was a kid it was four days long. But I will take what I can get when it comes to a combo of nostalgia and jewelry!

Stay tuned to see how it all turns out! ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Excited!! Thrilled!! Enthused!! Optimistic!!

     Well, first let me say sorry. I've kind of been MIA on the blog lately. BUT to say I'm sorry I have some super exciting news to tell you all. First, there are some cool new designs coming out. One line is called Enchanted Charms and uses a simple circle to showcase a collection of charms on each necklace.  The other is called Journey's Guide and features one of a kind antique maps featuring cities and places from around the world. 
"The Parisian"
"Tiger Lily"

     The next BIG NEWS is that KMarie Jewelry will be at the Farmington Founders Festival July 20th and 21st! I'm so excited to be back at a booth at my hometown fair. Years ago when I first started in the jewelry biz (in middle school, see first blog post) my best friend and I got a booth to sell our friendship bracelets. We did pretty good, selling more pops and waters than bracelets, but it was an amazing experience. A few years later I went back and had my first booth with some big sales as KMarie Jewelry. I love being able to be a part of something that is celebrating my community and I am so excited to return to the fair. Okay, I need a thesaurus...but excited is a pretty appropriate word :)
oh, friendship bracelets
     Second announcement. I'm going to be participating in an event in Royal Oak, MI called Magnificent Merchandise Moves. It focuses on pairing local Michigan artisans with small boutiques and independent shops to boost local businesses. I will have the opportunity to sell my jewelry wholesale and get it out in local shops!! I gotta bust out the E word again...I am sooooo excited! lol 
Anyway, I got a lot to learn about wholesale strategies so if any of you got some tips or advice it would be greatly appreciated.
New things coming soon...
     Third...well I can't really talk about the third bit of exciting news. It involves a very inspiring local musician that it amazing and some new ventures for me. I should be able to announce the details next week, so be sure and check back.
"Honey Wheat"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rain Rain go away!

I feel I bit like this mangled daisy at the moment
Ok so I'm going to mix metaphors for a second.  Mother Nature ruins my best laid plans. I had hoped to get all of my new merchandise photographed and up on my etsy shop by the end of the week. Between the major clothes washing and cleaning I had to do post camp and Mother Natures rash of spotty thunderstorms and rain showers I have yet to take a single picture :(
I should expect no less though. I mean this is Michigan, where weathermen routinely use the phrase "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes".

I managed to take these pictures at camp last week
So I'll keep a weather eye out and do what I can to get these new pieces ready for you all to see. Maybe I can get some pictures between storms today....ROLL OF THUNDER....maybe not, lol. (Yeah that literally just happened as I typed haha). Well, the silver lining of this cloud is that I will be able to work on a new exciting line inspired by some awesome music, without the distraction of the beautiful outdoors. 

See the lil bee I caught ^ so cute!
How about a little description of the upcoming jewelry lines from KMarieJewelry. Well the first new line is kind of a spin off of my Art Nouveau line. Instead of beautiful ladies in my copper, brass  and silver frames there will be one of a kind antique maps inside each one. They will still have beautiful inspirational quotes and adorned with cute charms and sparklies.

Great colors are always found in nature.
The next new line I like to call Enchanted Charms. They are chain necklaces with a large circle at the center. Dangling off these circles are a collection of charms and beads. For example there is a Parisian Enchanted Charms necklace with a copper chain and center circle that hold a silver Eiffel Tower charm, and a brass fluer di lis charm, completed with a wooden carved key. Keep an eye out for it at my shop. 

Texture can be so inspiring.
So keep your eyes peeled. There's lots of great new stuff coming out from KMarieJewelry. I'll be sure to keep you updated when the weather clears up and I can get some great pictures. Meanwhile, I have to clean up my workspace. I made quite the mess making all this new merchandise. Maybe once it's clean I'll give you guys a peek at where I work :)

See ya soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New things...and beautiful things

So last night I had my first ever K Marie jewelry home party. It didn't go as expected, but things rarely do. It was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun. I'm sure each time I do it I will get better results.
It was hosted by one of my oldest closest friends. I'm so lucky that she's so supportive of what I do. Love ya "Maquire"! :) The people who make up my support structure around me really do make me a very lucky girl.

In other news I will be at summer camp all week, working with some great kids and having a blast. I may occasionally upload some pictures, but for the most part I'll just be having fun on a sort of working vacation. I'll see you in July folks!! Stay cool, and stay inspired! :)
Photos fro my first ever Jewelry Party!
The lake view at camp

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

R&R Time: Detroit Tigers

Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
      Last night I took some much needed Rest and Relaxation and a little break from making jewelry (sort of). My mom and I went to our first Tigers game of the season! Mama is pretty awesome, since I just mentioned that I had been wanting to go to a game and she went up stairs and bought some tickets for us. Doesn't hurt that she's a die hard fan either. I come from what you might call a Baseball Family. It all started with my Grandpa. He was an amazing first basemen in the Tigers farm team league back in the early 60's. But he settled down with his family and became an electrician. He actually worked on the lights at the Old Tigers Stadium too. Yeah, grandpa was pretty awesome.
Awesome carpet at HockeyTown
Menu cover :)
      It was a night game last night, so Mama and I got some dinner downtown before the game. We went to Hockeytown Cafe, because Mom said she'd never been there before. I mean if you're a Detroiter and you love D-Town sports you gotta go there at least once! It was packed, but they were on their game. We didn't have to wait very long and got our food in a flash! We got to our seats a half hour before the game started, goodies and snack in hand, ready for a great game.

      So, not to be too snarky but...I thought this was weird, ridiculous, and a wee bit stupid. Did you know that they now put up the words to the national anthem on the jumbo tron? I mean shouldn't we all know the words? 
     I'm just saying....

Great view right?


  Oh, by the way...this was my view from my seat. LOL Sometimes it's not so much fun being short. Luckily there were open seats down the row so we moved to a better view. They were great seats....both of them. Below was my real view...without the large Boesch fan. Beautiful view of my beautiful Detroit.
My City


   The game was pretty good. (And here's where I geek out a lil) Verlander was off his usual game, but he's got a good team to back him up. We were up 6-0 until the 6th inning, then the Cardnials got on the board and made it 3-6. Which ended up being the final score.
Shout out to my friend Demetrios for working the beer hall, entertaining everyone and being on top of things and getting me some drinks. 
Yay! Mama we won!
Made this lil necklace just before the game. I kind of love it. What do you think?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beads, Beads, Beads

Rows of lampwork glass beads...

Piles and piles of beads everywhere!
Today I made my way to the International Gem and Jewelry Show being held over in Novi, Mi, just a few minutes away from me. 

      Boy, was that inspiration overload. Beads, beads, beads as far as the eye could see. This show comes around to my area of Southeast Michigan probably twice a year. Not only does it have loads of great deals on beads, but the show also has lots of fine jewelry for sale. 
        I went on the last day when there was only a few hours left. It was a bit of a mad house. But there were whole tables discounted 50-70% off!!
       A booth I usually stop at is one specializing in amber and turquoise jewelry set in silver. They have tons of rings and beautiful bracelets. The best part is that they're always ready to make a deal. Which is really the whole point of going to a show like this. I got a picture of a few of their rings, it's at the bottom there.
     There are lots of vendors selling beautiful Indian beads as well. Lots of lovely ladies flock in to the show just for those booths. The center picture is of some awesome carved roses they were selling.
The first picture is of a few strands I bought for myself :)
     This show is soooooo dangerous! I could spend so much money here. Today thankfully I stuck to my budget and only got a few things. But these carved mermaid beads were very tempting! 30$ a strand!!! 
Carved mermaids and roses! 30$ a strand!!!
mmmm...coral, I love coral.
Here is some of my haul from the show
     One thing they never have enough of is charms. I'm always looking for great unique charms that don't cost me an arm and a leg. I think my go to source these days for great charms is now www.etsy.com. With all the supply vendors on there I can just search for the shape, metal or finish of the charm I'm looking for and I can usually find something.  I just placed a pretty big order for about 10 different kinds of charms...unfortunately they're coming all the way from China. So, I will be anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Everything Old is New Again

      In addition to making jewelry and crafts I'm also a big fan of thrifting and antiquing.  The obsession probably really got started in college where Salvation Army stores (we call it Sal's) were the best place to find great furniture and fun clothes on a skin tight budget. I still have a beautiful wingback chair that I got for my college apartment at a Sal's for 25$.
     These days I turned the obsession into yet another business venture. My aunt and I now run an antique booth in a great, huge antique mall out in Howell, MI. It's called The Livingston Antique Mall. If you're interested in visiting you can check out the place and find directions here: http://www.livingstonantiqueoutlet.com/  Our booth is #141. I love just spending time walking around the mall there. There are so many interesting and inspiring things to look at.
      Running an antique booth is a pretty awesome job as far as jobs go. When I'm not pricing and doing inventory I am running to garage sales and estate sales...like a hunter I'm always looking for a good bargain. Every week I go clean up and restock the booth, rearranging our wares hoping to draw you in and help you find your new favorite piece. Here is a table we recently put together for the patriotic fourth of July sale that's coming up at the store.
     It's the kind of job that pushes my creative limits sometimes. Occasionally we will find an old piece of furniture that's a little too beat up, but it's a great deal and has potential. So I take it in and clean it up. If it needs I will sand it down, paint it, stain it, and give it a whole new life. I think that's probably my favorite and most rewarding part of the job.  
     I got this desk at a garage sale for $15.00. It was beat up and scratched and a little wobbly.  I sanded it down stained it with a rich walnut  and added a musical flair to it with some paint and vintage paper.  It went from being an unwanted desk tossed to the curb to a beautiful piece that has a new purpose and function.
      Each old piece I find has a second life inside of it. Whether I keep it for myself and give it a new home, or I refinish it and send it back out into the world it is definitely my preferred way to recycle. I've always preferred things that have a history, that have been through it all and are still standing strong.  And I hate to say this and sound like my mother, but they just don't make things the way they used to :)

      Here is my most recent obsession. I have fallen in love with milkglass mugs. They have bright beautiful graphics printed on them. Everything from pyrex flower designs to advertisements for every company you can think of.  I bid on one on ebay once that touted the virtues of streaking...alas I didn't win the mug. The picture above is what I have collected so far. I think my favorites are the orange 70's slang mug with words like "Dude! Right on, and Far Out" and the Smokey The Bear mug that reminds us all that "Only you can help prevent forest fires".

     Do you guys have any collections or obsessions your crazy about?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Your Journey's Just Beginning...

     I thought I would give you guys a sneak peak at what's being made here at KMarie Jewelry right now. I love to travel and I'm super inspired by just looking at the world around me. So I thought I should incorporate my love of the world into a new line of jewelry.

     Also, sometimes the world moves super fast and we forget what is being left behind. Physical paper maps are pretty much a thing of the past...that kind of makes me sad. I think they are beautiful in their own way. The colors, the lines and symbols have a certain graphic design to them. Once they're gone that style and design will be gone too.

     So here is my salute to Maps and the Great Wide World out there. See what ya can before it disappears...                               

The world's a
forest, in which all
lose their way;
though by a
different path
each goes astray.
-George Villiers

It is better
to travel
than to

The World is a book,
and those who
do not travel
read only a page.
-Saint Augustine

     Check out KMarieJewelery on etsy.com at the end of the week to see the finished pieces!

Inspiration Point - Alphonse Mucha

   I hope to make this a regular thing. I would like to profile the artists that inspire me. Every week I will talk about my favorite artists whether they be painters, graphic designers, musicians, poets, actors, writers, directors….etc. etc.  The greatest thing about creating things for a living is that what you create can inspire others to create. I know that when I see a great movie, hear an awesome song or see a beautiful piece of art I’m always inspired to create. I want to get to my desk and get to work!


This famous Mucha artwork has inspired many imitators.
        So, for my first inspirational artist I thought it fitting to profile someone who recently inspired a line of jewelry. His name is Alphonse Mucha. He was a Czech Artist who strongly influenced the Art Nouveau style. When I started to do a little more research on him for this post I found out that we were born on the same day! No wonder I like him so much :)

      I was drawn to his style because of the elegant yet bold graphic lines.  A lot of his work was seen in advertisements, on magazine covers and posters. The strong lines are great at drawing the eye and the feminine curves don’t hurt either. Mucha’s Art Nouveau style always seemed to me like a feminine counterpoint to the Art Deco style of graphic linear right angles.
      Yet another wonderful thing of Mucha’s work that I love is the way he portrayed women. They are strong, yet soft. They are playful and have great soul to them. Each woman is different and unique, a case of art imitating life. Their renaissance curves are drawn with strength but never loose their allure. Some have a royal air about them, other's are very down to earth, but they all seem special. It is the reason I thought his work was so perfect to use in a jewelry line. Every woman should feel the way Mucha portrayed his women.
Le Pater - Considered his greatest printed masterpiece.
      If you would like to see the jewelry I made that was inspired by the amazing Alphonse Mucha, you can find in at my store on etsy.com. Just click here: www.etsy.com/shop/kmariejewelry  Each piece has a piece of Mucha artwork. Some even come with an inspirational quote on the reverse to inspire you everyday.
Are you inspired yet?