Important Brown Dog Studio Tidbits

Friday, April 10, 2020

getting "up and running"



If I've learned anything over the past three weeks, it's that a willingness to adapt and the realization  that everyone else's gameplay is also penciled in GOES A LONG WAY.

I've organized and made lists and timelines...set the lists aside...worked on orders...lost myself in some GORGEOUS new work that I'm not sure how or when to roll out right now...stopped in the middle of the day to participate in online Mass or devotions...gotten crafty with non-studio work...gone all starry-dreamy-eyed over some more awesome gems that are currently sitting atop sketches of designs I have planned...engaged in much-needed online talk-time with other artists/creatives...bought more gemstones and silver (ha!)



But I haven't put anything new on the website. And I haven't followed through with the studio goals I planned to implement, even the goals I made last month once I knew my previous goals had to go out the window...I have zero idea about when there will be shows on the studio's horizon...next week is the application deadline of several of my shows for the fall/holiday season...

Here's what I KNOW... uncertainty hasn't left me uninspired...On fire to create, explore, re-invent in my studio...there's no lack of new pieces or photos (I've been posting some...thanks for your encouragement and response!)...and without the constraints of planned shows and deadlines, I have days that I go into the studio ALL BUSINESS and lists and end the day gazing at some lovely new rings, sketches or slap on a bandage to cover a new cut or burn, leaving behind the messiest of messy workbenches (and mine's a doozy...over 15 ft long!)...

I don't want to make promises I won't necessarily be able to keep, so I won't put out longterm studio goals today...but here's what I HOPE to do short term...

  • April studio email next week (this week, leading up to Easter didn't seem right...) will announce the March give-away winner, randomly chosen from email subscribers. I will also preview some of my new designs and a hopeful timeline for additions and changes to website. 
  • A very large selection of SALE bronze, copper, aluminum add-on charms will head to website next week. Previously on little cards and priced from $8-$20+, they will all be marked $5 on the website. 
  • A VERY large selection of ready-made STERLING SILVER charms will head over to the website. Originally $12-$25+, these will be marked at SALE prices, to be determined.
(aluminum charms...these will be $5 each on website, bronze and copper too!)

In my creative bubble over here, I am happy to hear from you...loving comments here or on my other studio spots...until we see each other and I can talk your ears off and hear all about what's been going on with YOU! Sarah


Saturday, March 21, 2020

adjusting to the unexpected


Well...if you read my last blog post, received the March edition of studio's email, talked to me at Winterfest, or even as recently as last weekend's studio Grand Re-opening...you know I had plans for the studio after our move and last year's slow down for move. BIG plans...more shows for 2020...mini-trunk shows...classes in the studio...art shows...oooh boy! 

You had plans, too...work goals, family gatherings, deck parties with friends, travel, school and recreation events, graduations and other BIG life events...all part of our wonderfully normal lives and things we tend to take for granted. 

I postponed last Saturday's portion of the Trunk Show due to weather (slick, steep driveway), even knowing deep down, that rescheduling for TODAY might not be possible. And now, our plans have changed...

There's a restlessness and unknown, a hopefulness laced with worry (that we're trying not to voice too much...) as we adjust to a new normal that has no definite timeline (and apparently requires 5x our normal quota of toilet paper). More time online, replacing work and social interaction, education and entertainment. Nonstop (mostly in a good way) family time is getting inventive and I LOVE seeing everyone's sweet, unexpected, HONEST, humorous and touchingly human reflections and revelations...seriously just a week into our common new (temporary) normal. So much positive coming out of this! In your home, in mine!

 Adjusting...having more family (and resulting bikes in my path to the studio), social media distractions, logistics all interfered with studio creativity and productivity.


I spent a lot of the week organizing, sorting and planning (I'm stuck in that mode, guess I haven't made that much progress lol)...

  • In anticipation of some new studio venues and designs, one goal was to declutter my inventory and set-up...BAM...let's get started!
  • Remember me, so adamant about closing down the studio drop box...well, I guess I have to laugh...let's figure out a way to make it work for now! (you WILL have to be on the studio email list in order to use the dropbox. I need to stay firm on that requirement). I will continue to ship as well. Shopping in the studio is on hold until recommendations change.
  • Watch studio's FB and Instagram accounts for when I add new designs and sale pieces (as I continue to thin out older styles) to my website. Inquiries about the items are fine, but transactions will be on the website.
  • Plans for Junk Jubilee (end of April) and Junkstock (May) are both tentatively on hold...Both venues will likely be postponed...for all of our sakes!
  • April's email edition will announce the March winner of studio email drawing!
I hope you'll understand that I realize there are so many other things to consider at the moment...things that are bigger than my little world...
but I wish you health, a peaceful heart and lots of love in your life today!
Sarah 




Monday, March 9, 2020

grand re-opening!

I'm excited...getting ready to open up the new studio for its first show THIS WEEKEND!

I sense that this means sharing even more of myself as an artist than I have in the past...and that's saying a lot!...because this space is going to be ME. I've been reflecting these past few months about what it means to create ART and how very personal it is...

 

We started with dirt...Todd and I watched this process from the beginning, making decisions along the way about our new home...but choosing how to put together my workspace was a HUGE part of this build. After 9 months, I'm back onsite creating. It's wonderful to be back in my own space, and the year of cleaning out my old studio, moving to a rental space, using a small single desk for every aspect of my work, and then moving it ALL into my new space helps me to appreciate it even more!

I'll still be traveling to away shows, but I plan to hold most of my trunk shows HERE...

While I'm super-happy to open up this space to studio friends, there are some changes that I need to make to help respect the time I need for keeping up with my workload/family/creative time in the studio...

  • Invitations to Studio Trunk Shows will ONLY come via email...I know I've said this in the past, but I always end up answering oodles of messages right before the show and urgent requests for my address during the show. There are good reasons for the emails...Obviously I don't want my address made public on social media (although you are ALWAYS welcome to bring a friend along...you don't have to ask!)...if there's a reason I would have to cancel or change the show, I would be able to reach everyone...

A special perk for my email subscribers...there will be monthly give-aways or special viewings, JUST for YOU! 

  • I am discontinuing the studio drop box/pick up and won't be offering ANY non-show time pick ups or meeting for private consultations. I could give SO many reasons for this change, but I'll just mention a few right now...I'm in a new construction area so there's no way for me to secure a drop box. Plus, the number of times my doorbell rings with people who have a question about their order or husbands who didn't listen to you and take the wrong thing out of the box and still ring the doorbell... I know it doesn't seem like much for one person to swing by my studio to pick something up or visit about an order, but each interruption during my day means I just don't finish what I want/need to get done or my time creating...(I won't even mention the people who come by at bedtime...just so they're sure I'll be there...whoops...I just went there!).
So...2 fixes for this! First...ordering online and having me ship, easy-peasy!

Second...my favorite!...Trunk Shows should end up being about once every 2 months...and...wait for it...I will be adding mini-shows in months that I don't have a trunk show. I see these as maybe 3-4 hour events, NOT fully set up shows, but you can pick up items...put in a special request in advance...CONSULT TIME for special orders AND small set up for shopping! I hope you all realize how much I LOVE having my Studio Trunk Shows!!! ssshhh...you might even get to see what's on my workbench!

  • Classes...having this space means that I will be able to teach on-site! More to come about this!

I'm talked out...but sharing some eye-candy...just a wee bit of what I've been working on! Hope to see you this weekend. Sarah











Wednesday, January 22, 2020


It has been nearly 4 years since I last posted on the studio's blog...the blog that was my first foray into putting the studio online...before Facebook, Instagram, my website (which also needs to undergo a bit of transformation!).

I originally meant for this blog to be a landing place for anyone who wanted to get to know ME, the artist behind Brown Dog Studio...to learn a bit about what I do in the studio, HOW I create, my goals, how life sometimes gets in the way or inspires (2019 for me and the studio...for anyone wondering!).

And a WISE mentor (specifically for artists) brought up the B-word this week...BLOG...oh my goodness. I had HAVE one of those, friends! A discussion in our artist group reminded me of how excited I was to write here. I've been reflecting on WHY I let the blog fall off...it was when I tried to make it my website and it just.didn't.work. (duh!) in that capacity. I lost sight of the friendliness of my blog...and THAT'S what is making it all the more appealing right now! Now if I can just figure out the HOW of a few things on this blog...like WHERE is the setting for changing my sidebar profile? But the dates for upcoming shows HAVE been updated and are correct!

So...here's the friendly scoop for my studio friends...

We made it through kid graduation, house on market, FAST house sale, EVEN FASTER closing date,  last kid moving to college, US moving to apartment next day, storage unit, STUDIO in a rental, house build, move NUMBER TWO, Studio Christmas Trunk Show in 2 locations, Christmas...and now, the grand finale...studio move into my NEW GLORIOUS STUDIO (which was how Todd got me to go through all of the rest!!!).

I am now organizing the studio and it's getting to the point that I can create for a few days this week on my workbench, getting ready for a Valentine's edition update on the website. There's still a great bit to do to make it feel like me AND...get it ready for my first Trunk Show in my new digs!  Looking at March for the fun to begin. The studio will be my workspace, classroom setting, and will hold most of my 5-6 times a year trunk shows.

I'll be listing studio travels as I get more details.

Next posting...Updates for 2020 and studio emails...


Sunday, January 24, 2016

I can't wait...the studio starts up again for the year with my Valentine Open House, January 28-30, back at the sweet vintage and artisan shop, Simply Bungalow. You'll be excited to know that we've penciled in dates for all of the 2016 studio open houses at Simply Bungalow. Some of them have been scheduled to coincide with special Bungalow events. Woohoo! AND...I have an ever-changing small collection of grab and go necklaces for sale at Simply Bungalow...now if you need a giftie when this chickie isn't at a show...PERFECT!

Here are the details for the Valentine Open House...
Thursday January 28 (5-7)
Friday January 29 (11-6)
Saturday January 30 (10-6)

at Simply Bungalow, 2295 South 48th Street

I've been busy in the studio and will be taking orders for custom pieces.

also...the new year is bringing some changes in the studio. Here's the short version...I'll be giving more details over the next few weeks...

  • Fewer shows, focusing on my favorites and more time to work in the studio! Making pretties!
  • Working on the website over the next few months, making it more streamlined and offering more of my one-of-a-kind pieces (usually only seen by show shoppers!), in limited supply for limited time.
  • Fun photo montages showing how I create handcrafted pretties from raw materials and really great tools!
  • Greater focus on in-person custom orders, but offering the purchase of "design time" for anyone unable to work with me in person at a show, needing more customizing than regular online custom items.
  • Orders to be shipped, picked up at upcoming show, or in person ONLY at Simply Bungalow, ONLY during regular shop hours. Farewell to the studio drop box.
I love Facebook for quick communication...show details, giving you a peek at what I'm making BUT it doesn't give me the opportunity to go into much detail 
SO...I'll be posting more regularly on the studio Blog (YAY!) when I need to share more info.