Gratitude Journal

Apr 28, 2017

In:Art, Faith

For 15 years of my adult life I had the same journal. That tells you how often I wrote it in. When I read the old entries from my early 20's, and there aren't that many, it's obvious I was searching. Searching for purpose. Searching for answers to hard questions.

There was a 7-year gap between my last entry and the first one written somewhat recently in 2015. When I compare those two entries, the difference in myself is like night and day. I had faith in God back then, but it was still immature. Somewhere during those 7 years I moved from discontentment to being full of peace and confidence that God was truly with me. That first entry in 2015 was prompted by my time spent in El Salvador, which changed my life in a profound way. I haven't stopped writing since. → Read More

Sweet Rest

Apr 20, 2017

In:Art, Faith

Blog Post Header - Sweet Rest-01I've heard it said that as an entrepreneur, when your "why" meets your passion, magic happens. You find the fuel to implement your ideas, commit to your projects and push through the difficult parts. Your business flourishes. Yes, I believe when the two intersect it is a powerful thing. But I also believe it's not enough to rely on our own efforts. We become discouraged too easily, give up too easily and listen to the well-meaning opinions of others too easily. → Read More

Clarity

Apr 13, 2017

In:Art, Faith, Life Lessons

I met a friend for a run at the trail today. I enjoy the time I spend with her as we get moving, soak up the sun and fresh air, catch up on personal life and talk art and business. She's a creative person as well so it's great to share thoughts with her and know that she truly understands.

As we talked about art business, a topic that came up was social media. You might remember that I basically declared war on social media last summer. I largely stepped away so that I could learn to control my use of social media instead of letting it control me. And if I'm being honest, to a certain extent, I still have trouble with it today. It's a slippery slope that will probably always be that way. But today I'm also much more aware of my social media use. It doesn't receive my attention first thing in the morning anymore and I'm no longer victim to the comparison trap. Whew! It feels good to say that.

But the biggest benefit to unplugging for awhile? → Continue Reading

Ink on Paper

Apr 6, 2017

In:Art, Drawing

This may seem like an obvious choice, but can you believe that as someone who likes to draw, I've never used a professional, artist-grade ink pen? I've used Sharpies, standard ball point pens, graphite pencils, colored pencils, charcoal, markers and pastel, but never just a simple artist ink pen. I realized the need when I wanted to scan hand drawings into Adobe Illustrator and pencil wasn't quite enough (the more saturated the marks on paper, the better).

So, I ordered a set of Faber-Castell PITT artist pens and tried them right away. I was nervous at first since I'm used to drawing with erasable mediums. But, starting with pencil first and then going over the lines with ink takes away some of the fear factor.

Here is a snapshot of my first illustrations using the pens. I've always had an interest in foliage that naturally forms patterns and wanted to incorporate some examples I've seen on various trips to local gardens. The ink on paper feels really good and I love the contrast of pure black on white.

patterned leaf sketches in ink → Continue Reading

Art Update

Mar 23, 2017

In:Art, Drawing

There have been quite a few positive changes recently in the way that I work and in the artwork I've been creating. I have a new sense of direction that has been slowly building from all of my past artistic experiences combined. So while I can't exactly see how and where things will end up, I've been enjoying the process and anticipate the path in front of me continuing to become clear. → Continue Reading

Faith, Hope and Love

Feb 13, 2017

In:Art, Jewelry

I want to share with those of you in Atlanta that the Crafted boutique at Lenox Square was a HUGE success over the holidays. So much so, they've extended their lease at the mall through at least June (though I predict indefinitely). That means you can still purchase my jewelry work at Lenox! A big thank you goes to everyone who shopped there in November and December. Your support means the world to me and to every local artist who lovingly creates with their hands.

I've recently made new Faith, Hope and Love etched silver necklaces with feminine rosettes. The ones shown here are available at Crafted. Also, a single Faith necklace is currently available online and ready to ship (click the photo for details). If you'd like to order the Love or Hope necklace instead, just send me a message and I'll be happy to do that for you. :)

IMG_20170130_164902_573

And ah yes, it's Valentine's Day. ❤ If you need last-minute tags or labels, or even a card, I've illustrated and uploaded a heart design you can print right at home. Click the photo below for the tags or click here for the card.

Valentines Printable

I have many ideas in my head for both art and jewelry, and I'm always curious to see what comes of it. Spring is in the air and it's one of the most inspiring times of the year for me!

I hope this is a season of renewal for you, too.

Love,
Christina

Love Them Anyway

Dec 13, 2016

In:Faith

love-them-anyway

One of the defining characteristics of Jesus was that he loved all people, regardless of who they were or what they had done. Matthew, a tax collector in Jesus' day, was at the bottom of society's barrel and yet Jesus had dinner with him and other "tax collectors and sinners" at Matthew's house (Matthew 9:10). He also spoke to a Samaritan women at a well, not caring that it was taboo for Jews to associate with Samaritans, let alone a woman who had 5 previous husbands and was currently with a man who was not her husband (John 4:7-18). Jesus had compassion on lepers, who were shunned by society, and wasn't afraid to touch them (Matthew 8:3). And Jesus, in the company of the religious leaders or Pharisees, allowed a woman who "lived a sinful life" to shed tears on his feet, wipe them with her hair, kiss his feet and pour perfume on them (Luke 7:36-38).

That's a whole lot of humanity, isn't it? → Continue Reading

2016 has been a year of re-focusing on work I enjoy, doing it in the way that is best for my business, and taking advantage of new opportunities. So while choosing not to do art fairs this year was scary at first, I'm even more confident it was the right decision. I have a renewed energy that had gone missing for a little while!

With that said, I'm thrilled to announce a partnership happening during the months of November and December here in Atlanta, GA. I'll be participating in a holiday pop-up shop, hosted by Crafted, inside Lenox Square in the Buckhead district. This shop will be filled with local, high quality artisan work with a modern, rustic vibe. It officially opens on Tuesday, November 1st!

I'll have a generous collection of my metalsmith jewelry available and will be restocking some pieces as they sell, but for others, once they're gone, they're gone (read: go early). If you want to know if a specific piece is at the shop before making the trip, feel free to send me an email.

To access the shop, park on level 4 of the garage and use the mall entrance down from Macy's Pink Pig. Once inside, the shop can be found next to Bloomingdale's, across from Pottery Barn Kids. Look for the Crafted sign.

lenox square pop up shop

This partnership is truly a match made in heaven. When I first visited Crafted Westside in Midtown to speak with owner Shanna Kenyon about her business model and show her samples of my jewelry, I fell in love with the look and feel of the boutique and was impressed by the artisan work so carefully curated. I'm honored to have my jewelry associated with Crafted and hope for the Lenox Square pop-up shop to be wildly successful!

Mark your calendars. :)

~Christina

I learned how to set a cabochon gemstone in a bezel setting during my first metalsmith class years ago. The stone was a warm speckled jasper, oval in shape, and set in a split ring band. I *loved* the way it turned out. Since then, however, I've only set a handful of stones, with an even smaller subset actually making it into the pieces I've sold. For some reason, I just haven't enjoyed the process. At least, that's what I've been telling myself.

The truth is that I've often felt all-thumbs when setting stones. I'd either make the bezel too small or too large, or I'd melt the bezel, crack the stone, or I couldn't seem to get the right leverage when rubbing the bezel over the stone. You name it, it happened to me, often at the same time. So in that sense, I truly didn't enjoy stone setting. But I also knew I wasn't consistent in practicing the technique, either.

In a way, it's been a mild case of torture. Natural gemstones are so beautiful and really enhance jewelry designs. I've been missing the pop of color they lend to pieces. So recently I checked out an online class on bezel stone setting, a class offered in partnership between Rio Grande, my favorite jewelry supply company, and Craftsy, a website offering a growing number of creative classes and supplies.

It was my first experience with Craftsy and I have to say, it was a good one! I received 7 video lessons on setting stones of various shapes and sizes and a number of different tools to use in the process. The instructor, Danielle Miller-Gilliam, was very knowledgeable and an effective communicator. While a lot of the information I received was a much-needed review of what I had previously learned, there were some golden nuggets of information that were priceless to me. There were things I was doing that made stone setting more difficult than it needed to be, and I immediately knew her tips were going to help. I could hardly wait to get started, so I grabbed a couple of amber stones I had sitting on the bench, already having cut their back plates forever ago, and got to work.

I could not believe how much easier it was this time.

I was confident, knowing exactly what I needed to do in the most efficient manner possible. It may have even been fun. :D It was one of those moments where I felt a shift in my head and heart and knew my jewelry making was headed in a new direction.

Amber Clover Necklace 3

Amber Clover Necklace 2

Amber Clover Necklace

I have a number of stones I've been hoarding saving for a time such as this. I have the knowledge and, now, the determination to build them into beautiful jewelry pieces.

The necklace shown here is currently available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Click here for details.

~Christina

Sweet Magnolia Art Print

Jul 23, 2016

In:Art

The only thing I miss about having my art prints on Pixels.com is the customer interaction. When a print sells, I don't receive the customer's email address or location since Pixels handles the packaging and shipping for me. On the other hand, it's beautiful when I receive an order and then have nothing else to do after that point. I trust the customer will be happy with their purchase.

This month I've been so grateful to see my art start selling there. While I've kept the original charcoal drawing for my own personal collection, 2 prints of "Sweet Magnolia" have been sold in July so far.

This makes my heart happy. ♥

Magnolia Art Print