Enamel Pin Collection

Here’s a peek at my personal enamel pin collection. I keep them on the front flap of an old leather satchel. A bunch of these I made, and a bunch of them I didn’t!

enamel pin collection(makers tagged on instagram)

enamel pin collection
(makers tagged on instagram)

Speaking of pins, I recently released a handful of new ones! Do you have a favorite? I can’t choose!

enamel pin collection

enamel pin collection

enamel pin collection
Maybe “homebody” is my favorite… no wait “personal space”… no wait…

JC Raulston Arboretum

We visited the JC Raulston Arboretum last weekend, and it was so beautiful! I’d never been before, even though it’s part of NC State where I went to college—doh! I’m glad I finally checked it out.

I got a new camera this past Christmas (a Fujifilm X100T). I needed one that could focus much faster than my Canon 5D Mark II. Most of the photos I took of wiggly baby Fern in her first year of life were blurry, and I was so frustrated with photography overall. It turned out my favorite 50mm lens had died, and for months I didn’t realize that was why my Mark II wasn’t focusing properly. Even with a different lens though, that big honker of a camera was not cutting it for baby pics.

I’m loving my X100T. Most of my Fern pics come out clear even when she’s in full wiggle mode. I’m still getting the feel for it, but the arboretum was a great place to get in some practice. The X100T offers manual settings without being overwhelming, and I can still get some of that sweet sweet background blur. Not to mention it’s teensy compared to the Mark II.

What camera are you using these days?

JC Raulston Arboretum

JC Raulston Arboretum

JC Raulston Arboretum

JC Raulston Arboretum

JC Raulston Arboretum

Get a Hobby

I’ve been cranking out cards and paper products for Wit & Whistle for almost 8 years. 8 YEARS. At this point, running Wit & Whistle feels like work. It’s work I absolutely love doing, but it’s still work. Deadlines, payroll, invoicing, marketing, customer service, accounting, shipping… you get the gist. There are a lot of non-creative aspects of running a creative business.

The time I get to spend coming up with new products has been enough to satisfy my creative urges for a long time, but lately I’ve needed a new challenge. Something fresh, fun, and creative that isn’t work related.

Thanks to my Cary Arts Center pottery studio pass, I’ve been regularly playing with clay. The ability to switch between pen and ink and clay is flexing my creativity in new ways, and I’m having a blast with it. When I grab my sketchbook and get back to work after a clay break, I feel refreshed and inspiration seems to strike so effortlessly. Who knew investing time in an unrelated hobby would benefit my business?

I’m not an amazing potter, but I don’t suck as badly as I did in the beginning! I feel like I have good ideas but still lack the technical skills to make what I’m envisioning. Sometimes my pottery turns out exactly like I planned though, like this little pencil cup dude…

wit & whistle pottery hobby

…these plates…

wit & whistle pottery hobby

…and this mug.

wit & whistle pottery hobby

Other times the glaze turns out splotchy and weird for no apparent reason, like these three dud mugs.

wit & whistle pottery hobby

I loved the way my happy cactus spoon rest looked until I glazed it. Now, not so much. It’s a learning process.

wit & whistle pottery hobby

On the other hand my studded, speckled planter turned out just right. I see more planters in my future.

wit & whistle pottery hobby

wit & whistle pottery hobby

Do those of you who do creative work find that you also need a creative outlet on the side? If so, is your hobby completely different than your work or is it similar?