Lifestyle Photography – Warts and All.

Yesterday I cinched up organizing my Instagram accounts. Or, at least I think I did. I’m really trying to figure this marketing stuff out since getting back into the game.

I now have one IG for business (the polished, no-nonsense account @quirkyandodd) and a personal one where I said I’d share more of the “warts and all” stuff of everyday life of an artist, and more behind the scenes of the studio (@lorigreenbergart).

So, here’s the first warts-and-all photo. I can’t believe I’m showing this. I know I need to master lifestyle photos. It’s been a crick in my craw (is that a real saying?) for a while now. I’ve tried and given up many times, but this time, I’m determined.

Doesn’t this photo just make you laugh? I mean, who even has the idea that you can put something gorgeous in a pile of rocks, stage it with some really cool pods and a little bit of their flowers for a pop of color, and it will magically work?

You know what I see? A pile of rocks and dismembered greenery. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some pods! But these look like little green asses that have been severed from their little garden troll bodies — if garden trolls are even green.

I won’t even get into the whole, “your gorgeous ring gets lost in all of that” issue. Or the shadows. ::sigh::

What the hell, y’all? I need some serious help!

The Summertime Funk

Is Summertime Funk a Real Thing?

It’s kind of like the summer cold…it doesn’t make any sense. Summer is supposed to be the best time of the year. Unless that’s just me trying to hold on to those carefree summers as a kid. You think I’d have given that up by now, especially considering that I’ve lived in Arizona for over 20 years and summer is definitely NOT the best time of year.

Here's how it goes...

First, I go into panic mode thinking, “Oh no, not this again. How long is it going to last? What do I need to do to stop it? Please don’t let it last as long as last time.”

Then I go into a little self-loathing, and start blaming myself for getting back to this point: “I should have seen this coming and prevented it! I should have known better! Stupid me for letting my guard down and thinking life could be good forever.” I hate when my brain turns all mean on me and won’t let up.

Next is the taking of inventory: “What happened around the time that this started? Diet? Stress? Exercise? Sleep? I usually decide that it’s a combination of all of those. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself [Read with sarcastic tone] >>: Because, you know, I should be able to control everything, right? What kind of weakling am I? 

Finally, I start to have a little breakthrough in my problem-solving and hopefully find the right solution for me at that moment whether it be medication, some type of supplement that has been lacking, and getting back square with those other things I mentioned above.

Getting Back to Basics...

As I regain my vigilance in all the things I mentioned above, and I wait for things to settle down I try not to dwell on it, and try to not be angry with myself, because I’ve come to find that any type of stress makes it a thousand times worse. My adrenals do NOT like stress. I mean, who likes stress? But for me it’s different, it can really knock me down if it’s too much for a sustained period of time, and I suspect that this cycle started to build at the beginning of the year but I think I’m getting back on track and righting what I’ve neglected in my self-care.

This time around my saving grace has been embroidery, and getting caught up on Netflix. The stitching is soothing, and Netflix is a distraction that keeps me from thinking about everything I should be doing but just can’t at the moment. If it gets really bad I nap with the puppies.

Naps with puppies are always good.

What about you? Do you experience a summer funk?

No-Work Weekend Jewelry Making

I'll be making jewelry on the weekends...

...but it won't be for sale.

I can’t believe I just typed that. Being a working artist, everything is always for sale, isn’t it? Well, I learned the hard way that that’s the fastest way to take something that you love and turn it into a j.o.b., which leads to b.o., I mean, burn out.

On top of that, if you’re like me, when you’re not making stuff to sell, you’re always thinking about new ways to sell it.

You may rationalize with yourself and say, “But really, I *do* like doing it all.” And I wouldn’t argue with you. I love being immersed and as passionate just as much as the next guy, and it’s all good…until it isn’t. It creeps up on you and once you get to that point, it’s H-E-double-hockey-sticks getting out of it.

So, this weekend, I proactively said no more. Or in the wise words of Beverly Hills Chihuahua: NO MAS!

I declared a no-work weekend.

I argued with myself over this, and whined a little, “But I looooove making jewelry…I don’t want to stop on the weekends.” So, I came up with a compromise I could live with.

I recently took a class with Cynthia Toops, the master of the polymer clay micromosaic. Y’all know I love me some micromosaics. Did you know I used to do polymer clay? Yep. Back in the day that was my first bead making and selling gig, before I got into glass. I feel like I’ve come full circle.

Anyway…spending time making something that someone else taught me will guarantee that I won’t turn it into a product line. Why? Because that’s just damn tacky. Cynthia is right when she says that the technique isn’t hard, it just takes a lot of time. Just how I like it.

I had this setting laying around from a failed glass stone setting attempt so I used it for my second polymer clay micro mosaic. The one below is the first one I made, in class, with another bezel that had a snafu with the stone I was going to set.

So, Friday came and I thought, I need to get a bezel made for my no-work jewelry making weekend! I’d spent a lot of the week working on designing an upcoming collection and I didn’t have it in me to toil with more. So, if it’s not dots I’m falling back on, it’s eyes, of course.

I liked the setting I’d already worked on so I set out to create one that was similar.

I realized that the method I use for creating the decoration around the edge is also mosaic-like. At this point I’m thinking I can probably relate anything in life to something to do with mosaics. Art mirrors life. Or the other way around?

I like it. I think it’s going to be a good one.

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