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Blog

A Trip Down Memory Lane…

So much going on over here I somehow missed posting yesterday. Sorry guys! Here is a little recap of the past 10 days…

 

We went camping last weekend. Our first time at Silver Strand State Beach. It was very nice, and far less crowded than I expected. My brother and his family joined us for some boogie boarding. Try not to be jealous.

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Last week I had a ton of work to do. As well as custom orders, I am developing a line of simple stranded necklaces. Not everyone loves beads as much as I do, so I am working on giving customers more choices.

 

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That mess magically transforms into this…

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I stitched up some new planners, but had to wait for the weekend to start using them, of course.

Three brands, three planners.
So many possibilities!

 

Worked on some new tile designs and pitched them to a retail shop…

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…and with the leftover resin, made some really cute sparkly butterfly rings.

 

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Made it a daily routine to unwind for a few minutes each evening when my husband comes home from work. We usually hang out in the backyard with the chickens and Frank.

 

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Then on Saturday, we headed up to the mountains to decompress in nature. It was a lovely Fall day, nice and chilly.

 

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Today, I am working on getting some new business cards made for my latest venture, Richellemarie Jewelry. And I am experimenting with my new necklaces so they will be perfect and I can get them in my shop this week.

 

 

What are you all working on this week? Share in the comments, please!

 

Categories
Blog Business

‘Behind the Scenes of My Business’ Blog Tag

I am delighted to have been tagged by the lovely and charming April Bowles-Olin, the Blacksburg Belle, to participate in this blog hop. I feel so special, almost like I am being interviewed! Awesome. Here’s a peek into my studio…

A peek at my work...
check it out

Question 1: What’s your two to three sentence bio? (You know, what the heck do you do?)

My official bio, which is at the bottom of this post if you would care to read it, states that, “She (me) makes unique, bold statement jewelry & her (again, me) favorite thing is creating wearable memories from favorite photos.” I also write, and get to play with all kinds of cool art & craft stuff.

www.redscorpio.etsy.com
www.redscorpio.etsy.com

Question 2: What’s your favorite part of your job?

My job is pretty freaking awesome, but my favorite FAVORITE part is getting feedback on my custom photo jewelry. I love when a client tells me how wonderful it is seeing their favorite photo turned into a beautiful piece of jewelry they can proudly wear. More than once I’ve been told that the recipient cried tears of joy. How cool is that? And you KNOW people love to make other people cry tears of joy. Why do you think they invented greeting cards?

Treasured Heirloom
Treasured Heirloom

Question 3: What’s your least favorite part of your job?

The least cool part is the isolation. I like creating stuff with other people. It’s more fun that way.

Question 4: What are the top three tools you use the most in your work?

A computer, a paint brush and a beading needle. That sounds pretty simple, so why does my studio look like this?

something about a messy desk = creativity?
something about a messy desk = creativity?

Question 5: What business goal would you love to reach before the end of the year?

I would LOVE to have too many orders for the Holiday season! It is my goal to have to close off custom orders by December 1st.

Question 6: Who are three creatives that inspire you?

Kathy Cano-Murillo aka the Crafty Chica is my crafty heroine. She is the one who inspired me back in the day to just try stuff. Because of her, I have taught myself to sew, solder, resin and much more. My crafty hero is Mark Montano. You may remember him from the DIY show “While You Were Out“. He is THE KING of making super cool crafts with simple materials and techniques. And he is hilarious. Follow him on Twitter. If you are interested in crafts at all, I highly recommend you check these two out. My most major influence has been Martha Stewart. I know right? You never would have guessed that.

It all started in the early 90s, when I noticed my friend’s dish soap bottle. It was a fancy glass bottle with a stopper in the top.  I thought it was cool, and she told me it was Martha’s idea. “You have dish soap anyway, why not have it in a fancy bottle,” she said. Mind blown. I have never used anything out of a plain bottle, box, tray, whatever, since that day.

Question 7: What do you listen to (if anything) while you work?

If I need to concentrate, I listen to music. Fun fact: I play my iPod in alphabetical order. It’s kind of like shuffle. You get a mix, but you are guaranteed to hear every song, not just the ones your iPod picks for you.

If I only need to sort of concentrate, I listen to the “Good Job Brain” podcast. Pub trivia? Yes, please.

Question 8: Morning person or night owl?

No.

Question 9: How many employees do you have and what are the main things they do for you?

No employees, but my son Julian is my intern and he does a bunch of tasks for me, like renames 800 photo files so I don’t have to. I am trying to get him to learn web design so he can take that off my plate as well.

Question 10: What’s your favorite social media platform?

Instagram, by far. Love seeing other people’s pix.

Question 11: What’s your least favorite social media platform?

Even though it is probably one of the best tools to reach my market, I cannot get into Pinterest! I keep trying though.

New Postcards
Pinworthy!

 

Question 12: What works best when it comes to marketing your business?

Probably word of mouth. Happy customers love to tell others about their fabulous and very personal jewelry. I get lots of compliments when I wear mine!

Question 13: What’s one thing about your business that your blog readers probably don’t know?

They might not know that this is my Plan C. Plan A was to pay off my house and retire from my very well-paying job around age 50. But then the company went out of business, so Plan B was a neighborhood arts & crafts studio that I started with my sister. That was super awesome, unfortunately it only lasted a year. So, onto Plan C!

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Question 14: If your business were a fashion accessory, what would it be?

My business is kind of a fashion accessory, but thinking outside the box I will say it is a tiara because it makes me feel special and fancy. Another fun fact: I have a tiara collection. You thought you knew me, didn’t you.

Question 15: What’s your top tip for someone who wants to do something similar to you for a career?

This is advice I would give anyone, in any field:

Tweet:  Be the absolute best at what you do.  Constantly be improving. The best isn't a destination, it's a life-long process. via @redscorpiomadeBe the absolute best at what you do. PS; this doesn’t mean get really good and that’s it. Constantly be improving. The best isn’t a destination, it’s a life-long process.

 

This blog post is a part of the ‘Behind the Scenes of My Business’ Blog Tag started by April of Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing the behind the scenes stuff of our businesses. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out this post right here.

Categories
Blog Business

Get Stuff Done…

The best way to get things done is to make a plan. Does that sound deceptively simple? It is simple, but it’s not always easy. Creatives tend to get bogged down by the details. How do you make a plan? What is my priority? What kind of notebook should I use?

 

Sounds silly, but the notebook is a biggie for me. I am pretty OCD and if stuff doesn’t fit certain criteria, I won’t use it. I had the most amazing organizer. It was divided into sections and had lots of wonderful pouches and pockets to hold all my pens and pencils and stickies, but it was blue. Yes, I know that is weird that I would not use it because it was blue, even though it was perfect in every other way. I had to accept the fact, even though my reason was irrational, that I was never going to use it and move on. And now you know this about me.

 

Neat and tidy custom notebook
Neat and tidy custom notebook

I cannot get anything done without a list. My mind is constantly thinking things so if I don’t write down the really good ideas when they pop into my head, they might get overwritten by my next barrage of thoughts. My most productive days happen when I have a detailed to-do list. I make my list the night before so I can drift off to sleep knowing everything is planned out for the next day. Ironically, structure can be very liberating.

 

So, here is how I get things done:

 

Tweet: Make a plan. For everything. Every project, every commitment, every day, every week, every month, every year. via @redscorpiomade Make a plan. For everything. Every project, every commitment, every day, every week, every month, every year.

 

A while back, I gave away a free printable of my to-do list here, which shows my day, week and monthly plans all on one page so I am never caught unaware. It wasn’t quite perfect enough, so I fine-tuned it slightly, and then blammed it up a bunch of notches by sandwiching a week of daily to-do’s in between a month planner page and a year planner page. That helps me keep track of long-term goals and reminds me about stuff that I need to be ready for in the not-so-distant future.

Download these free pages to create your own planner

Week & Year Planner

Day Planner

Custom Planner Tutorial

 

Categories
Business Custom Jewelry

Big Changes and the Week in Review…

It’s Friday, everybody and the end of one of the hottest weeks on record in San Diego county. Thank goodness it was also humid as heck, so not one wildfire. Yay!

Beautiful sunset from Mt Laguna
Beautiful sunset from Mt Laguna

 

I have been toiling away on my new business venture, Richellemarie Jewelry. It might look a little familiar because it is. On the advice of a respected business coach, I decided to split into two distinct brands.

Working from my Moms. She has AC.
Working from my Moms. She has AC.

 

Red Scorpio Handmade will focus on uniquely bold statement jewelry, as well as my chickens, Frank, other crazy adventures and kick ass blog.

 

something about a messy desk = creativity?
something about a messy desk = creativity?

Richellemarie Jewelry will concentrate solely on my high-end Personal Photo Jewelry.

richellemarie.com
richellemarie.com

I think it will be less confusing this way. The photo jewelry is very special to me, and I think it deserves to stand out on its own. I think it will make it easier to get it into the hands of the people who are looking for something different and meaningful to give as a gift. There probably won’t be a blog there, but I did make a Pinterest page finally, so please check it out.

 

Order your own Personal Photo Jewelry before October 1st and get 15% off with coupon code EARLY . This code is good here, my Etsy shop.

 

Well, we are packing up the Tiny Trailer and heading for the beach to escape this brutal heat. I will tell you all about it next week. Have a great weekend!

 

Categories
Blog Business

Adventures in Red Scorpioland

 

 

 

 

Last week was another exciting roller-coaster ride at Red Scorpio Handmade. So action-packed that I completely forgot to write about it on Friday. Ooops.

 

Monday while tending our tiny garden, I finally found the dirty culprit that has been eating a little bit of every tomato on the plant, rendering them unfit for human consumption but perfectly fine for chickens and tortoises. This monster was as big as my finger. So, sorry chickens, you won’t be getting anymore tomatoes, but here’s a big fat caterpillar for you instead, ok?

 

Tomato Destroyer!
Tomato Destroyer!

Also on Monday, I had a consultation with a creative business coach whose opinion I respect a great deal. She suggested splitting my business into two brands; Red Scorpio for the crazy bold statement jewelry and Richellemarie for the nostalgic, personal photo jewelry. At first I was a little freaked out, but by the next day I was totally on board with the idea and I am moving myself forward in that direction.

Order yours at richellemariejewelry.etsy.com
Order yours at richellemariejewelry.etsy.com

Tuesday I got to work on my new business plan. More desk work. Woot. And also my Dad had double bypass surgery. He is doing well. Neither of those things are particularly uplifting, so here is an adorable picture of my dog Lola.

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Wednesday, my Mom’s birthday present was ready to start stringing. Here is a picture of my work space. It is utter chaos. Whenever I make a new jewelry piece, I basically break out 20 or 30 bead choices to work from. Every necklace has four strands of beads, each with its own unique patterns and bead palette. It is a time-consuming process, but my desire is for every piece to have its own personality, and for the bead palette to perfectly complement the photo. It is worth spending time to make them extra special.

something about a messy desk = creativity?
something about a messy desk = creativity?

Throwback Thursday featured this awesome photo of my Tia Margaret and Uncle Joe with their sweet ’53 Chevy. They passed the car down to my Uncle Jack when he started driving, then my Uncle Bob, and then when I turned 18, it was passed down to me. I loved this car. Loved. I still think about it all the time. It is the car I wooed my sweetie in, way back in the day, until one night it blew up on the freeway while I was driving him home after a date because I had a car and he didn’t. If I ever win the Powerball, one of the first things I plan to do is track that car down. Not just the same kind of car, but the exact car.

Best. Car. Ever.
Best. Car. Ever.

Finished my Mom’s necklace on Friday, one day before the deadline. Not bad. It has been unbearably hot this week in SoCal. This is how my dog Gladys likes to stay cool. First, she bathes in Frank’s water basin, then she rolls around in the dirt and grass. I’m not really sure what the second step accomplishes, but she is really into it. Poor Frank has to drink her bath water though. I am just trying to stay as cool as possible by blasting a fan right at my face.

Dirt makes you cooler somehow.
Dirt makes you cooler somehow.

 

Saturday was my Mom and my Grandpa’s birthdays. I made some yummy pulled pork, we all got together to celebrate, and Mom loved her necklace.

 

This is my Mom you guys. Right?
This is my Mom you guys. Right?

Sunday started off hot as heck. 95º at 10:36 am? That’s just ridiculous. Worse yet, it was only supposed to get hotter. 105º by Tuesday. Yay. Fabulous fish tacos for brunch made it bearable to live in SoCal for the time being.

Except for my family, the only thing i would miss about San Diego.
Except for my family, the only thing I would miss about San Diego.

We visited my Dad at the hospital for the last time, since they finally released him to go home. After 10 days in the hospital, he was very excited to get the heck out of there. I don’t have a picture of that.

wait what?
wait what?

To keep from melting, we went for a nice long swim in my Mom’s pool.

Cool pool
Cool pool

This week is going to be another hectic week, just like everyone else’s I bet. I am still working on splitting my jewelry line into two brands. It’s a lot of tedious work and it keeps me from doing what I love to do: make art! Being in business for yourself isn’t all just fun and games, and playing with art stuff and beads. It’s a business with lots of business-y tasks. It is still a thousand times better than my last job, so I’m not complaining.

Beautiful sky
Beautiful sky

We are also prepping for our weekend camping trip to Silver Strand state Beach, planned 6 months ago. How funny that we will be camping near the ocean the two coolest days in the forecast. Perfect. That’s fine, it is still going to be amazing camping at one of the most beautiful beaches in SoCal. There will be lots of pictures of that next week.

Alright, we are all caught up. What have you been up to? Share in the comments, please!

 

 

Categories
Art & Artists Blog

Artists Around The World – Blog Hop

Amy McClain invited me to join this blog-hop, and I was absolutely delighted. It is my dream to someday be able to paint and express myself as freely and brilliantly as Amy, Consu & Sam. And to visit them in PDX would also be pretty awesome.

Q: Why do you do what you do?

The short answer is that I love it, and I especially love the feeling I get when I give someone a beautiful, truly personal gift or make it possible for a client to give one and feel those feelings.

I have always been a creative person and adore making handmade gifts. I feel very lucky to be able to do it as my job.

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Q: How does your work differ from others in your genre?

My work differs from other artists in this blog hop because most of them are painters and express their creativity through original visual art. I am split right brain/left brain so I tend to express myself a little differently, mostly through writing. I envy and adore the ability to freely express creativity though painting and drawing. My art leans more toward practical. At this point I consider myself more artisan than artist. But I am constantly learning and expanding my bead art.

My jewelry differs from other designers in that it is truly personal and very well crafted. My talent is a desire for perfection and an eye for color. I love beads!

Treasured Heirloom
Treasured Heirloom

Q:  How does your creative process work?

I am constantly daydreaming about stuff I want to make. I read a lot of books about crafts and making, and I am always up to try new things. My brain is always buzzing!

When making jewelry, the process is a little bit simplified for me, since I am working from clients’ photos and therefore, I know what I am going to end up with. Creating the perfect color palette of beads to complement the photo is always a wonderful challenge.

Share Special Memories
Share Special Memories

Q:  What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on two custom necklaces for gifts. I am also working on developing some fresh bead designs. And I have an unfinished painting that I need to pay attention to.

Making Progress
Making Progress

 

Thank you for hopping over to my blog! Please visit the other participants:

If you are interested in finding out more about my work, please click here.

 

 

Categories
Blog Blog

TGIF – This Week at Red Scorpio

Best. Burger. Ever.
Best. Burger. Ever.

We had an amazing weekend which included a road trip to Nessy Burgers, the best bacon cheeseburger in San Diego County (if there is a better one, please let me know in the comments), and a nice refreshing swim.

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Sunday was lunch at the pub and then a spur of the moment movie date to see Ghostbusters.

 

Grilled shark tacos. Yum.
Grilled shark tacos. Yum.

The week started out great, since Monday was a holiday. We took a day trip to the mountains and had a picnic.

 

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Tuesday was off to a wonderful start when I woke to find this note on my to-do list, but then took a nose dive when I realized the work I had spent all day on Friday had vanished into the black hole of the interwebs. So, spent most of Tuesday re-doing my sales page, FAQs and a blog post. More sitting, less art. Boo.

 

 

Martha Stewart’s American Maker contest is approaching the finish line, so Wednesday I begged everyone I know to help me out by sharing my profile on social media. If you feel like giving a little assist, please click here. Nothing to sign up for, just visit my profile and click the “share” button, please and thank you.

Best. Photo. Ever.
Best. Photo. Ever.

Thursday, I found the most wonderful picture in the whole wide world. It looked like it would be on a snarky birthday card, you know the ones. After dinner, we watched a documentary on cave exploration. Yes. I thought the light fixture was flickering and looked to discover the light was actually being blocked by some enormous flying creature. “Is that a bat?” I asked Greg, since I hadn’t ever seen a moth with a 4″ wingspan until that moment. We caught the poor guy in a coffee can and set him free outside. Of course I tormented him with a photo shoot before leaving him to get on with his life outdoors.

Biggest. Moth. Ever.
Biggest. Moth. Ever.

Then, right before bed, I kicked my suitcase so hard with my pinkie toe I almost fainted. I am not exaggerating. I realize that this would not have happened had I unpacked my suitcase and put it away. As if. Today when I was drying off after my shower I saw that my poor little toe is all purple. I did take a picture, but I will spare you that. Greg is threatening to get me steel toed flip-flops for my birthday. Maybe not be a bad idea.

 

Today is Friday and that means lunch with my Grandpa and after that, a trip to the bead store. Next week is going to be all about art. Ok, I said it. It’s out there, Universe. Also, CreativeLive is featuring six sewing classes next week so I need to figure out how to string beads and watch TV at the same time.

See you Monday!

Categories
Blog Business

The Scariest Thing I’ve Ever Done…

…was the title of the post I published last Friday. It was all about my incredible adventure to San Francisco. My first solo trip, my first time ever flying alone. My first SF earthquake. Meeting my friend of 20 odd years, Mary, face to face for the first time. It was an awesome story about bonding with an incredible group of women, learning from a professional at the top of her field, BLTs at 9:30PM,riding around with Jane, walking 10 minutes in the wrong direction and randomly bumping into Shastablasta on the street. I also dropped a mention of my vintage cowboy boot collection.

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my temporary neighborhood

I poured my heart and soul into that post, and when I finished, I was totally satisfied. After that, I created a sales  page and FAQ page, as I had learned to do in the course I had just participated in at CreativeLive. By days end, I was thoroughly exhausted, yet I scraped together enough energy to hype my pages on Twitter and FB before I clocked out for a three-day weekend. And it was awesome.

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my companions on this journey

Until Tuesday morning when I went to redesign the sales page (yes, I took the weekend off, but dang if I can’t stop the mental gears from cranking) only to find that it had vanished. Kind of a bummer, but not a huge deal since I had pasted it into TextEdit and also emailed it to a couple of people for feedback. Then I noticed that my FAQ page was gone. Not cool, at all, but also not the end of the world. Then I realized my blog post had disappeared.

 

I stared at my screen for a few seconds as disbelief and a few other emotions washed over me. I checked everywhere to make sure it wasn’t hiding. I waited a few minutes and checked again, you know, just to be certain. Gone.  The sales page I could paste in and format. The FAQs would be easy enough to remember and retype. But the blog post was gone forever. Even if I tried really hard to remember what I’d written, it just wouldn’t be the same.

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and yes, that is my bag

So lesson learned, you guys. Always back that stuff up. I did redesign and publish my sales and FAQ pages. And on Friday, my regularly scheduled blogging day, my heart may just be mended enough to tell you about the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t that scared after all.