Friday, 24 January 2014

Grow your Blog post.

      Here we are at the big day for the Grow Your Blog Party!!. I  am really excited to take part in this so I can meet more bloggers and grow my circle of blog friends. Thank you so much Vicki of 2 Bags Full for organizing this party.
     My name is Nan Smith and I live in Hamilton, Ontario , Canada. It's a medium sized city about 1 hour's drive west of Toronto at the western end of Lake Ontario, near Niagara Falls.

      I started making jewelry as a hobby several years ago and it quickly became my passion. There are so many different techniques and styles to explore but I especially love wire and metalwork although I also dabble in bead stringing , polymer clay beads,and most recently discovered Zentangle which saved my life during a high stress period this past

summer.
      I joined the blogging world a year ago when I signed up for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party and was introduced to the wonderful world of jewelry blogs!!!! I'm now quite addicted to blogs and not just about jewelry making either. It's just so much fun to learn about everybody's passions through this media. I have made several good friends and look forward to making more.I even hosted a blog hop last June and it was great fun. Hopefully with new followers as a result of this party will bring more participants to my blog hop this year.

     I have more time these days for blogging , jewelry making, playing with clay and making zentangles since I retired in December from a 38 year career as a Registered Nurse. I miss it because it was a very satisfying and rewarding profession and I miss the daily contact with patients and their families. I do not , however, miss the physical and emotional toll that working at the bedside in acute care nursing takes on one. I am amazed at how the level of stress in my life has disappeared and I have much more creative energy these days.
     I am  a divorced, empty nester with a wonderful son, Robbie(26) ,who lives in Toronto and is taking a business diploma at a college there. Maybe he will help me get my own business up and running with all his new knowledge about marketing. Hopefully this will be the year I open an Etsy shop and get a website up and running . It promises to be a busy year with that, jewelry making and regular blogging!
      I recently moved here from Toronto where I lived for most of the last 40 years. I now share a 113 year old house  with my friend Marie . There are many things I miss about big city life but the pace of life here is slower and quieter here and hopefully more conducive to the creative life. Marie has a business selling vintage jewelry  online so we are quite the pair. I prefer  a  modern, edgy, urban, minimalist style of jewelry
and she specializes in vintage jewelry with a large focus on wedding jewelry including pearls and pretty sparkly items for the bride and mother of the bride. Our tastes are very different but occasionally we find something that seems to overlap all styles and appeals to both of us.
     I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and will follow me on my journey! I will follow you when I find your blog! Goodness knows how we are all going to manage to read over 500 blogs!!!! It will take me weeks but it will be fun!
PARTY ON!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Finally getting settled.

We've been in our new/old house for 3 months and are finally getting the whole electrical system overhauled. It's been a busy 3 months getting everything sorted out and a lot has had to wait until the electrics were done. The 110 year old house had mainly knob and tube wiring and the insurance company insisted that we update which we were happy to do to make it safer and more efficient. Before we started this work our basement drains backed up and we had to have the cellar dug up and new drains placed. There were still cast iron drains and their life span was exceeded. Not an expense we budgeted for but at least it's done and we don't have to worry about that for at least 20 years. The electricians will be finished this week so we can start arranging the house the way we want it and do some decorating.We're replacing the old fashioned light fixtures including the plastic chandelier in the living room. It really was quite tacky!


I've been itching to start making jewelry and try out some of my new beads and tools I've been buying lately. I got a tumbler and am looking forward to polishing and hardening my work. Hopefully I'll produce enough inventory to set up an Etsy shop and get a website up and running. It's going to be a busy time but lots of fun creating!!!
As well, I'll be spending more time blogging and entering blog hops and challenges over the next few months. I love blog hops because they really challenge me to stretch my creativity and learn new skills.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Deep freeze!

     It's been bitterly cold the last 2 days in Hamilton where I'm now living so I've been online most of that time because even though I have plenty to do I'm addicted to ETSY! I've ordered some lampwork beads to get me back to jewelry making. I need some inspiration since it's been several months since I have created! But I have several good reasons for the dry spell... illness, moving,retiring and falling and breaking my neck one week after moving into my new home!

       Luckily it is a stable fracture and I didn't have any complications.(like paralysis or death ) so I feel pretty lucky. In fact I walked around for 3 days before I had an x-ray which revealed the fracture. My only complaint was the bad pain for 4 weeks and having to wear a stiff cervical collar for 15 weeks. It really cramps my style and I'm very nervous to venture outside in the ice and snow in case I fall again.

     However I've managed to unpack all my jewelry making supplies and set up my studio. It's not as cool as my previous "Studio In The Wall" but it's much bigger.
Once I get creating and increase my inventory I may open a shop on ETSY although I'm hesitant since there is sooooo much jewelry there already. The other option is trying to get some businesses and galleries in town to display my work.
We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

I'm Back!

2013 was a year of massive challenges and changes for me and I'm looking forward to 2014 as a year to focus on my jewelry designing and blogging. There's something so optimistic and inspiring about the beginning of a new year. Anything is possible and I intend to embrace it.
Health issues led to my early retirement and move to Hamilton, Ontario where I can live more economically and pursue my creativity. It has become a mecca for artists since the steel mills closed down and the motto for the redeveloped city is "Art is the New Steel". Broken Pencil blog wrote about the art scene in Hamilton. There is an atmosphere of "anything goes" and this encourages me to exercise my imagination and see where it takes me .
I have neglected my blog since the summer but intend to put more effort into it. I've signed up for Grow Your Blog 2014  hosted by Vicki  in hopes that this will help get me back on track in the blogosphere. It's such a wonderful place filled with wonderful people who inspire me everyday.
I wish all of you a wonderful and happy new year!