Thursday, January 1, 2015

In with the New!

Good morning and a Happy New Year to all our readers. I hope you’ve had a great holiday!

We’ve had a lovely Christmas in our house, a peaceful time with family, and pretty relaxed for a change. It’s been good to step back and take a break, but I’m easily bored and have been itching to get on with new ideas since around boxing day afternoon. The change of date offers the opportunity for new dreams and to make long term goals, and whether you stick to them or not, it’s good to start off with a plan!

Chatting with my fellow AJE team mates, I discovered we've all made plans for 2015, so I asked each of them "what would you like to achieve in the coming year?"

Lesley Watt - “Find my voice! continue to work on more original components (ie use less commercial tools); Go back to basics (metalwork/technique based) with my jewellery and create a more cohesive style; Widen my creative larger pieces with clay, make books, sketch - think I'll stop there…”

 Jenny Davies-Reazor - “Restart my daily art journal/drawing practice. Focus on mixed media in jewelry to play to my strengths and hone my style. Commit to more reading- the myth and folklore books are piling up and the new inspirations will jumpstart the year. I also resolve to rejuvenate my personal blog”

 Lindsay M Starr - “Carve out creative time with my new working schedule. Run my own blog hop challenges. Make it to Bead Fest if medical expenses don't get in the way. Get into the bit art/craft show in Nashville in the fall, and actually sell enough to make it worth it.... Make more small pieces, primarily for listing on Etsy. Hem 5 pairs of pants instead of letting them drag on the ground…"

 Jennifer Stout Cameron - “I am going to learn to draw this year, create a schedule for school and studio that I can manage to squeeze quality time for both. (I've been working on that part already). And start daily journaling which I've always avoided because it felt like a chore. But I'm starting very small...a few sentences or phrases about the day, plus a small doodle relating to the day.”

Melissa Allford Meman - “Continue trying to find my own voice with metal clay, kiln enamelling, try cloisonné, be more consistent in listing new work, meeting deadlines, etc. I also need to get back to my personal blog!”

Rebekah Payne - “I'm going to be expanding my leather line… SO many ideas for that!! More new critter beads hopefully too. And I'd like to continue making jewelry. I'm not making any huge plans or goals for 2015, mostly I want to maintain what I'm currently doing and get in some more family time… life always seems to have its own ideas, so I don't like to make plans that are too rigid.”

Karen Totten - “I guess I would have to say I want to get back to daily art journaling like I used to. I would like to get back to painting - maybe in a journal, but in any case, dig out my old paints, pastels, ink, etc. and get back in the habit. I haven't painted (other than digital) for many many years. I plan to use my lovely sketchbook from Lesley for my 2015 sketching.”

Linda Landig - “I'd like to develop my ceramic skills and start to get a feeling for my personal expression in this media. I plan to explore sketching while in Oaxaca, although I don't know the first thing about drawing! I also want to continue to develop my wire working skills so I can be making more of my own findings and connectors.”

Diana Ptaszynski - “Hoping to FINALLY experiment with making decorative tiles and wall hangings. I'd also like to play with resin more, learn to sculpt and carve clay and also make more time for metalsmithing again. I miss metalsmithing.”

Susan Kennedy - “My goals are to get more organized, get rid of a bunch of junk cluttering my life, and hopefully that will kickstart some creativity”

Francesca Watson - “I want to work on developing my design skills - moving away from technique-based design and zeroing in a bit more on what my "voice" is. I'd also like to take a drawing course of some kind - I really suck at drawing, and I'd like to be able to do a better job of getting things out of my head and on paper while I'm working. And lastly, I need to continue to work at being more disciplined about my "making" time - scheduling it, protecting it, and making it a priority. As an instructor and business owner, there are a zillion things every day that can feel like higher priorities - I need more balance so I don't get eaten alive by all the admin” 

Kristen Stevens - “This year I have made the decision to complete all of my UFO’s (unfinished objects)" 

And for myself? Well I have discovered recently that my passion for ceramics lies in surface decoration, so I want to learn to throw pots for a bigger canvas. I also want to develop my sculpting work, learn new techniques and create larger decorative items. Away from ceramics, I have just ordered a new pastel sketch pad and am determined to make time to get back to drawing. I also have unopened metal clay that I want to try out. So for this year, my resolution is to be more organised, have some kind of structure to my days, and make good use of my time.

And how about you? Our readers… what are your plans for the coming year?  We'd love to share your hopes and dreams, let us know in the comments!

And from everyone at Art Jewelry Elements, we wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!


  1. It was fun reading what everyone's goals are. Mine is to make more jewelry which might be easier since my job just ended after one of our biggest clients sold out to another company. I'm bummed but at the same time I will have more time for the things I've left undone.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year Alice! Sorry to hear about the job... hope 2015 has something exciting lined up for you!

  2. Wow, I spent 30 minutes with this post! I identified with Lesley Watt's determination to make her own original components. I resonated with Jenny Davies-Razor's desire to hone her own style and to read that stack of books before it topples over onto me. Lindsay Starr inspired me to focus on small pieces - earrings and earring components. Jen Stout Cameron reminded me to schedule creative time. I did this when writing both of my books and it worked. Melissa Alford Merman glued me to the concept of deadlines. Rebekah Payne inspired me to create new beads and to approach each day with FLEXIBILITY. Karen Totten reminded me to sketch, sketch, sketch. Linda Landing touched my determination to make more of my own findings and components. Diana Plaszynski reminded me to USE those clay carving tools that are just sitting there. I join Susan Kennedy's resolve to de-clutter. Francesca Watson reminded me to move toward my own voice. Kristen Stevens pulled me toward my UFOs! And Caroline Dewison reminded me that surface design has been my love for 40 years. Thank you all for your deeply thoughtful sharing! Did I mention that I opened my Etsy shop focusing on Earrings and Earring Components last night? SusanDolphinDelaney.

    1. Happy New Year Susan and best of luck with the shop. Hope 2015 is your year!

  3. Thanx to all of you for sharing your plans. I find it interesting to read what others have in mind for the year. There are many things I want to learn this year including using my kiln for fusing, lampworking, enameling and more, I want to learn more beading techniques including bead crochet. I really want to get motivated to submit something for publication this year. I hope everyone's for this year work out for them.

    1. Thanks Becky and Happy New Year! Just go for it with submitting, we'll have our fingers crossed for you!


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.