It’s June! What else needs to be said?

Fort Hill Farms Lavender Garden

Well, I can add a few more things. For starters, I finally hung up my big ski sweater, which had become standard survival gear in my studio. Working in an open space with lots of natural light has always been high on my dream studio must-have list, so I tried to not complain too much.
Amys ski sweater in studio  Amy in studio sans sweater

More ACJ in more places. I am delighted to announce that Amy Cousin Jewelry can be found in two new locations!

Homespun Decor and Gifts –  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Homespun open sign

I met the husband-and-wife team of Ben Cooney and Jill Hayes last year when ACJ participated in the Twin Cities Social Justice Arts Festival. They recently opened Homespun Decor and Gifts, which features everything from soaps to lamps to jewelry, all handcrafted by 75 Minnesota artists and makers. Needless to say, I’m honored to be in that number. It’s a beautiful shop and I added a few pieces to my wish list while I was delivering my own pendants and earrings. Homespun is located in the Nokomis neighborhood at 5006 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

Fort Hill Farms and Gardens – Thompson, Connecticut

Fort Hill Farms logo

Spending a day at Kristin Orr’s Fort Hill Farms and Gardens is an experience not to be missed if you’re in the New England area. Every year, she and her family plus staff create a beautiful maze in their 6-acre corn field.  Kristin also has several lavender gardens, from which she makes ice cream and tarts as well as soaps, lotions, and essential oils. She sells them in her Bee-tique, which now features Amy Cousin Jewelry’s line of bottle pendants – perfect for holding Kristin’s amazing lavender essential oil.

 

Fort Hill Farms Lavender Garden
Fort Hill Farms’ Lavender

Fort Hill Farms lavender garden labrynth  Kristin has also cultivated a place of peace by creating lavender labyrinths in the stone foundations of an old barn on her property. I can’t wait to visit! Fort Hill Farms and Gardens is located at 260 Quaddick Road, Thompson, Connecticut.

 

ACJ’s anniversary + my birthday = giving to get.

acj flash bday sale-pablo

Thanks to everyone for all of the birthday wishes last week!

To be honest, I was deep under the weather – okay, I had the flu – for the last 2 weeks, and my birthday, which is also the anniversary of Amy Cousin Jewelry, was the last things on my mind. I slept. a. lot. last week. Feeling much better now, and I’m getting back into my studio.

Because I was dragging so, I didn’t think about doing anything special or having my annual sale. I thought I’d just let it pass especially since I’d  just participated in the Tictail Valentines Day curated collection. But today I got an offer that is pretty much the best gift I could ever get – something I’ve wanted for a while. I know I’m being vague, and I hope to be able to reveal more soon.

I have a very short window to seize this gift and so I’m offering a gift to you, yes, in order to get a gift for myself. I actually think this came to me as a tap on my shoulder to not blow off my annual celebration!
So here it is – my gift to you. I’m having a flash sale Today – 40% off of everything on my website. You don’t need a code. Just get everything you want and the discount will be applied at checkout.

ACJ Flash BDay Sale pablo.png

During this flash sale, I’m also offering custom jewelry consultations and will apply half of the fee to the piece I create for you. Email me at amy at amycousinjewelry dot com – we’ll set an appointment and generate an invoice.

ACJ in person

twin cities social justice arts festival 2016

I’ve been busy in my studio creating some new pieces, but I wanted to peek my head out to let you know that Amy Cousin Jewelry is going to be a vendor at the Twin Cities Social Justice Arts Festival on Saturday, November 5, 2016, from 10am to 4pm.

tcsjaf_qtr_2016

I’m super excited to participate in this event for a number of reasons:

  • It’s a fantastic event – family friendly and lots of fun – with a wonderful focus. The artists and vendors address social justice issues through poetry, food, song, art, soap, jewelry, etc. And admission is free.
  • This will be my first in-person event since we closed the shop (over four years ago), so I am really looking forward to connecting with you face to face!
  • I’m launching a new line of jewelry from my Upcycled Collection at the Twin Cities Social Arts Festival. This is a collection I’ve had in my head for a long time, and I can’t think of a better setting to share it with you. Here’s a hint:
    acj-tcsjaf-upcycledcollection-1
  • I will also be selling my other gemstone collections and some Sirius Mind and Body fragrances oils !

If you’re in Minneapolis I really hope you attend. And if you are planning to attend and want me to bring a specific ACJ item (or even a specific SMB oil), please send me an email and let me know. I will tuck it away for you. That’ll save you shipping costs if you pick it up in person.

Okay, it’s back to the studio for me.
Have a great day, and I hope to see you on November 5th!

Big Hugs,

Amy amy-cousin-1

Never been this happy to wear an apron

Happy Monday! We’re expecting at least twelve inches of snow today. Normally I would be ranting about winter too soon and such, but last week I won the Halstead Bead Inc Apron Challenge Giveaway, and that definitely trumps a rant about snow.

Why am I just now writing about winning something last week? Pictures. Of me. Major reluctance going on here. When I emailed Erica at Halsted to thank them, I also promised to post a pic of myself in said apron. I clicked send, and then realized that in order to post a picture, I’d actually have to take a picture. of myself. What have I done??? I’ve become somewhat of a Lemony Snicket unenthusiastic

"Lemonysnicketgrave". Via Wikipedia.
Lemonysnicketgrave“. Via Wikipedia.

when it comes to photos of moi. I’d much rather take pictures of my jewelry. Took a few pics, hated them all. put the camera down. Remembered that this isn’t about me, it’s supposed to be about my new apron from Halstead Bead.

So I put on my new apron, and made some earrings. I’m in my tiny studio, wearing my new jewelers’ apron, and I’m making earrings. It doesn’t get much better than that – except when someone squeals with delight after they receive a pair of my earrings.

I discovered that my new apron solves one of the inconveniences of my tiny studio. Whenever I drop a bead (which is fairly often), retrieving it requires a bit of maneuvering under my table with a flashlight. Because, you know, under the table is the favorite hiding place for rogue beads. Well, my lovely apron caught every bead and wire in its front pockets. Score! I am in my jewelry making happy place – thank you, Halstead! I will wear my apron proudly. And here’s a picture of one happy jewelry designer, rockin’ her new apron.

Winning a Halstead Bead jewelers' apron is worth taking a picture!
Winning a Halstead Bead jewelers apron is worth taking a picture!

IMG_1557 (2)

My Dream Studio vs Reality

In the spirit of sharing more about myself and my process, I have been posting on Instagram. A friend commended me for my effort, saying she was sure customers would like to see “where the magic happens”. I smiled. The magic… what a nice thing to say. So here is a glimpse into my studio, sort of…

To say I have an actual studio, is to stretch the meaning of the word. What I have designated as my “studio” has gone through many changes over the years. When I ran our brick & mortar shop*, I still wanted to make jewelry at home, so I purchased a deluxe Stanley tool box (aka Portable Studio) and lugged it to work every day.ACJ portable studio1  ACJ portable studio3

It was great: sturdy, with enough room for my entire bead, wire and tool inventory, and it had wheels! Aaah, those were the days… But as time went on, my inventory outgrew my trusty old Stanley. I held on to it until the wheels broke off under the weight of my beads. Yes, that happened. That, and the kids began grumbling about child labor laws whenever I asked them to help me pick it up. When we closed the doors of our physical shop, hauling my mammoth portable studio ceased being an issue.

Working from home proved to have its pros and cons. I wandered around the house before finally commandeering the dining room table as my new studio. The plus was the natural light from our large windows. The minus was being so close to the kitchen that I appeared to be on constant chef duty. NO! Chez Ami is closed until further notice!

For the occasions when I had to be away from home base, I created my Waiting Room Studio.

ACJ_WaitingRoom_Studio

I recycled a large hummus container, and packed it with the essential tools and enough supplies to create two or three pieces. My waiting room studio also gave me a new way to connect with people who were interested in (my) jewelry. Having a few extra pairs of ear wires with me allowed me to sell the earrings I was wearing, without the ear wires I was wearing. When the kids and I were extras in a movie that was being filmed in our area, the costume designer saw me making a necklace during a break. She asked me if she could use some of my jewelry for the shoot. The scenes (and my jewelry) were cut, but it was nice to be asked.

Now, I have a space in which I create jewelry, manage the backend biz, and hang out on social media platforms to talk with you. I call it my Tiny Studio, because it is a shared space.

ACJ_TinyDesk_Studio2 ACJ_TinyDesk_Studio3

If you follow me on Pinterest (and I wish you would), you’ve probably noticed that one of my biggest boards is Dream Studio/Office. I frequently turn to Pinterest for gemstone and color inspiration. I call those lost hours research – that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Invariably, someone who knows my studio porn weakness, pins a photo of an amazing space, and I add it to my collection. Sigh. It’s all there, in my Dream Studio/Office. See what I’ve been up to. Join me, if you dare. You’ve been warned.

While I have yet to achieve my dream studio, I have come to realize that for now, just being able to create, wherever and whenever is something to appreciate on its own. I love what I do, and that won’t ever change. As it turns out, the magic can happen anywhere.

*Time for a shameless plug: While our Sirius Mind and Body brick and mortar shop is no longer, we’re still open on our website. Come visit us! click here