24 July 2011

a mindful step

In between setting up computers and working on orders, I've been planning the further adventures of my Talismans and Reliquaries.  It's always interesting to me the timing of how things unfold.  I thought for sure I'd have the whole concept and design and supporting details for my Talismans all nailed down long before now.  But everything moves at the appropriate pace and I'm very much okay with that.

Last week I made a couple of non-specific Reliquaries ... non-specific in that I want to use these as samples.  The idea all along has been to design a series of forms and surface images/symbols - I think I've got 5 different shapes and the imagery is still being developed.  A person will select a shape and symbols and their own intention or prayer that I'll write on onionskin paper and fire within the piece.  I'll still be doing finished pieces, but these custom pieces are a vital piece of the concept.

Here's the front and back of two sample Amphoras and one Heart ...

What hit me a couple of nights ago is the potential emotional challenges this project presents.  Remember, I'm pretty close to being a hermit.  Between our work and Dave's school, we have no social life, which is really okay with us.  I have a very few close friends, avoid crowds and big events.  I guess that's a pretty common blogging profile. 

But the responsibility of what I'm taking on started to register after reading a couple of intensely moving blogs and some comments from followers.  I live an incredibly blessed albeit incredibly sheltered existence.  We are not suffering financially, we are extremely healthy, we live simply with virtually no drama.  What I'm realizing as I move forward with this project ... my intention is that I will be engaging with people from many walks of life, with varying circumstances, that I am stepping straight out of my very secure comfort zone.

Such a blessed awareness now, to step ever more mindfully forward, to engage and embrace the unfolding.

l i g a - kvk

22 July 2011

opinion please

Just curious ... I get wonderful comments and praise and beautiful thank yous from the people who have bought, wear and love my jewelry.  Back when I did my FireStarter session with Danielle in 2008, she said I absolutely MUST put those on my website.  I have resisted and continue to resist.  These comments and feedback just seem too personal, so maybe that's a problem ... maybe I view my business on a much more personal level than others.  I take the praise into my heart and it feeds my soul.  I'm afraid it would diminish the beauty of them if they were plastered on my website as just another commodity.

So what do you think?
Do you have a place on your website or blog for "what they're saying"?
Inquiring minds and all that........

l i g a - kvk

21 July 2011

discombobulated .......

and I'm not sure why. 
It's not that I'm not getting things done or that bad things are happening or anything I can put my finger on.  I guess I've got a lot on my table, literally.

It's just been things like closing out and reconciling the consignment account at Artisans on Taylor that really make my head hurt.  Probably why I hate consignment.

Then there's the new computer - lord mercy that's a lot of work and is still very much a work in progress.  Little things like my old accounting software won't work on Windows 7, so I bought new software which is just sitting there because it's an absolute blank slate and I've got a ton of info that has to be plugged in before I can use it.  Today when I needed to print an invoice, I had to alter an old purchase order form and plug everything in manually.  I've got a 60 day money-back guarantee, so if anyone has any opinions about Bead Manager Pro, I'd love to know.

And then there's this inexplicable obsession I've got with the color blue - you know that luscious dark blue with a bit of green in it.  What is that color?  Not really peacock, darker blue but with more green than the indigo ... where's my box of Crayolas when I need them?  I think it started with my need a few months ago for Japanese indigo cloth.  I do love these panels - that's my "self-portrait" in cloth behind me ... vintage Japanese indigo dyed hemp, raw linen from Provence and unbleached muslin ... stitched together with red silk up my "spine", studded with raw diamonds.  The muslin's the old me, the linen is me as I am now, all of it held in the embrace of a dark blue sea.

But the blue thing is quite strange.  I've always thought when somebody said their favorite color was blue, that was kind of like saying you like music - well, duh ... can we be a bit more specific here?  But I am full on obsessed.  I've got some blue tourmaline crystals OTW and, since the gem show is next week, I'm trying to hold out and not buy the faceted ones on Etsy.  If you look at my Etsy favorites, there's a slew of blue.  I just ordered some traditional striped Provencal napkins and table runner in blue.  And here's my new product packaging.   The midnight blue tissue paper and the chocolate brown pillow boxes are gorgeous.  I ordered them from 800Gift Box.  The company I've always used has cut way back on what they offer and I found this company which has a great selection, good pricing, reasonable shipping and very fast. 

Of course, I'll have to redo my labels, 'cause they just don't show up on the dark brown boxes.  And then there's this predominantly blue tile image that has found its way onto my Talismans hang tags.

Here's the card with the faded out tile image in the background and a not quite so faded image of an astrolabe.

And then there's all the other things waiting in the wings ... I'm dying to get going with the How to Rule Your World book and audio sessions that I won from Hiro's June give-away and then I'm trying to muster my focus to dive into a new exercise program.

And a major theme behind all of this new stuff is the absolute knowing that I'm getting ready for something big - but I don't really know what.  It's like packing for a trip but you don't know where you're going.  I'm laying the groundwork, bolstering up my infrastructure, designing all the bits and pieces and merging them into a coherent whole.  I'm just going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.  I'm also working on some new medallions with the words feet downstream stamped in the back.  I love that image.  It's one of the few useful things I picked up from all those years of working at the Nantahala Outdoor Center ... when you fall out of your raft or boat, get on your back and point your feet downstream.  A good thought to end with. 

This will be me signing off, going with the flow ... feet downstream.

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  tomorrow's the last day of my Etsy anniversary sale - 31 years, 31% off!

15 July 2011


I just realized our 31st wedding anniversary is coming up this week!  So to celebrate, I thought I'd share some love and put on a sale in my Etsy shop ...

So from today, July 15th through next Friday July 22nd, purchase my jewels on Etsy and get 31% off.  There's a coupon code there to plug in to receive your discount.  It's a rare opportunity, so enjoy!

l i g a - kvk

07 July 2011

tiny synchronicities

Little things lead to other things and then to a few more ... tiny bits of synchronicity that bring small smiles and deep appreciation.

Watched Adjustment Bureau for the second time last night.  Loving the movie and especially loving the part that contemporary ballet plays in the film.  Which led to looking up the ballet company.  Turns out they used the real company name and dancers in the movie.  Also turns out that Emily Blunt went from never having danced at all to an amazing performance - the DVD extra about her training and transformation is really inspiring.  The dance company is Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet ...

So looking up Cedar Lake, I found out that the company is going to be on So You Think You Can Dance ... tonight.  Amazing!  Haven't been following it this year, but will definitely watch it tonight.

Side note ... what I first wanted to be when I grew up was a dancer.  I love dance, not so much traditional ballet, but contemporary ballet and modern dance and hip hop and God I loved MC Hammer and Fred Astaire ... I took tap in my early 20's and can still do a pretty good time step and a mean set of back flaps. Also in Emily Blunt's interviews for the movie, she talked about her physical transformation and mentioned Tracy Anderson as the facilitator of said transformation.  Which led me to looking up Tracy Anderson.  Okay, so it's got a money back guarantee and I figure what the heck, if not now when ... I ordered her 90 day Metamorphosis program.  We'll see....    

Somewhere in there while looking around on the dance company's site and then looking at my blog and website and back to the company site, I was taken by the very organic, but equally contemporary look of the costumes, same thing with the music - color me surprised.  Which led me to see the little bit I needed to tweak on my website redesign.  Here's the home page as of right now ...

Okay, so it's pretty stark.  But what I remembered I had in my bag of tricks were those graphite lines ... much more better than than the computer drawn sterile lines I had in there at first.  The whole look of the site is pretty much a 180 degree turnaround from where I began.  All the little quirky things I had planned looked dreadful and the images I had shot as 'cover' images just didn't work and since all the jewelry is in Portland with the reps, I had to go with what I had on hand.  With the props I used, the images are pretty busy and have dictated the overall look of the new site.  Hence, ditching all the quirky elements.  A big switch is my font choice for my name and the headers, Opera ... it's kind of frilly and thin and rather elegant ... a big departure from Times New Roman.  The KVK icon is the same as it's been for a long time and won't be changing any time soon.  Even though I've been told I should use sans serif fonts I'm still using TNR for the text and sidebars.  I much prefer serif fonts and that's just the way it is and I am, so there.

So that's where I am this morning ... website is coming along nicely, looking forward to more dance tonight, Metamorphosis program is OTW, I've made a long overdue dr's appointment for a full check up, I've got a friend that's going to wear some of my jewels in her photo shoot and interviews for the launch of her new book (more on that when I've got the details) and the wholesale orders are still coming in.  All my consignment jewelry is in transit from AOT back to here and, once I see what I've got, I'm going to schedule some sort of trunk show.  Looks like I'm going to be busy for awhile.

Okay, back to work for this little peep ...
l i g a - kvk

03 July 2011

programming note ... there are no rules

A conversation with my sales rep on Friday made me own up to the fact I really do need to update my website.  I've done bits and pieces here and there, but basically it's way out of date.  So, redesigning my website ... you know how one thing always leads to another, well this one thing's turning into quite the row of dominoes.  What sort of feeling do I want to convey, what fonts do I want to use, what's my color palette going to be, do I want to take the time right now to set it up for the shopping cart, etc, etc, etc?

I shot all the pictures last fall, but they still needed to be sized down to web-size, a monumental task all by itself.  So I finished resizing the photos, then I started working on the home page and came to a screeching halt.  I realized I had a chorus of voices in my head telling me what to do and how to do it and this is the best platform to use and this is the best approach and you always should do this and never do that and none of those voices were my own.  I started to wake up to this awareness in my response to Hiro's giveaway , which BTW, I WON, but that's a story for another day.

I've been in business for over 15 years.  While my jewelry is very much my own and speaks very clearly in my own voice, my business model is something else entirely.  Growing up, I watched my father's heartbreaking financial and entrepreneurial struggles.  The overarching theme for most of my life has been the feeling of scarcity, there's not enough.  I had no confidence that I'd ever be able to figure out how to run a business on my own.  So when I began to sell my own wares, I always deferred to the "experts".  And all these years later, I'm still deferring.

No more ... I am done.      
To give you some idea of how big this all feels, this is the card I just drew from the Daily Wisdom Pack.

I have stuck to my guns on some things and have listened to my heart on a few more.  There have been moments of clarity, but mostly, it's like I've been in a fog or some kind of daze.  I don't feel guilty, just kind of sad, for all the unheeded red flags.  Note to self ... if anyone says, "this is the only way" to do whatever ... run away.    

So, now I'm going to dive into my redesign.  What do I love, what colors do I want, what fonts do I want to use and then a big one ... on to what sort of pricing model feels best to me?

One important thing here ... for people starting out, there is a wealth of information on just about every aspect of doing business - on-line, in books, community services.  I do not want to discount any of these, they are vital to learning the basics and then some.

What I do want to say loud and clear - do not lose yourself in your decision making and especially, don't ignore your heart in any part of your business.  There is no one, right or absolute way to do anything.  Those old rules no longer apply ... the new rule is there are no rules.

l i g a - kvk