Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blooms in My Yard and Studio

What was blooming in my yard last week. It's amazing to have so much inspiration right outside the window.

Cherry Blossoms

Wisteria (invasive but beautiful)

Dogwood Tree

Inspired by the Cherry Blossoms:
Cherry Blossom Pendant

Cherry Blossom Earrings

Cherry Tree Pendant
And inspired by the spring in general:
Circular Flower Pendant

Friday, March 23, 2012

Millions of Daffodils

I have to warn you that this will be the first of several posts about flowers and blooming trees, because I love spring! My allergic body doesn't love spring so much, but I think the beauty outweighs the sneezing. A couple of weeks ago we went to visit Gibbs Gardens, a new garden that just opened in north Georgia. Thirty years ago, Jim Gibbs, owner of a landscaping company, purchased over 200 acres for his home and future gardens. He's spent the last 30 years developing the land around his home, and this March he opened them to the public. The grounds now have 20 million daffodils--probably 1/3 of them were in bloom when we were there. It was like rivers of flowers, one of the most amazing sights I've ever seen. He also has a gorgeous Japanese Garden (if you know me, you know I love Japanese gardens and my jewelry has been greatly inspired by them). So, here are a few photos from our excursion.

Daffodils as far as the eye can see

Weeping willow and lantern in the Japanese garden

River of daffodils

We took our art supplies for a little sketching session.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Year, New Look, New Resolutions

I am back, trying to reinvigorate my blog once again! I realize we are already three months into the new year, but my goal is to post more regularly about my jewelry and other creative pursuits.

So, for my first post of the year--transforming my business "look."

Late last year I decided my logo and brand identity for my jewelry business needed an upgrade. The previous logo wasn’t easy to reproduce, and it was black and white. I wanted something more streamlined and something in color. I also wanted to change the typeface I was using from a san-serif to a more modern serif font. For those of you who don’t know the difference, serif fonts have little “feet” and extensions from the letters. San serif fonts don’t have the “feet” and therefore look more modern and streamlined, much like my jewelry.

Old Business Identity
So I began the process of working on my new logo. First I decided I wanted something either geometric or something organic. Either would represent my jewelry, which has both components.

I came up with one idea of interlocking squares with rounded corners, and a few ideas involving leaves. Once I had some ideas, I started playing around in Adobe Illustrator to draw them digitally. I should say that while I know Photoshop and InDesign, I had never used Illustrator before. So I watched some video tutorials online about creating simple logos, then had a go at it. See some of my ideas below.

Playing around with logo ideas
In the end I chose a logo that combined my two ideas of geometric and organic—three leaves inside a square with rounded corners. I had long ago decided on green as the color, specifically a sage-y green. Not only has green been my favorite color since childhood, it accurately represents the large part that nature plays in the inspiration for my pieces.

After designing the logo, I then designed new business cards—green logo and dark brown text. Century Gothic is my favorite san-serif font (okay, I’m a little bit of a font nerd), so that’s what I used. I added my tagline, "modern jewelry, traditional craft." Credit goes to my husband for that! Along with the business cards, I made round stickers, reversing the colors (green background, white logo and brown text). These are for the dark brown boxes I use for my jewelry. Then I designed some postcards using several images from my collections, with a short artist statement/description on the back. I had all of this ready for the holidays and the couple of shows I did in November and December.
New Logo with Tagline
New Promotional Postcard
Postcard-back side
In January I updated my website with the new logo. I’ll probably continue to tweak the site design as the year goes on, but for now I am quite happy with the updated look. See for yourself: