Monday, May 5, 2014


This is the most recent collage of new works by the Artisan Anthology team on Etsy. 

Once known as "Etsy's Best Kept Secrets," our team's name changed in late 2013 when we ran a naming contest and offered a fun necklace comprised of charms by each of the team's members.

This week, it was again my turn to produce the collage and I was drawn to the aquas and teals, mixed with rich warm colors. I think it turned out beautifully. The team's work is gorgeous.

Items C and E are mine. You can see who's made each of these pieces if you'll visit the Artisan Anthology blog. I'll provide the link to that, below.

Late April-into-May is a busy time for me this year. I'm between trips, an art show and a buying show. Life is demanding. And I'm still sorting out my jewelry inventory and revamping my shop on Etsy.

A limited version of CityRusticJewelry on Etsy is open now. The little slide show app on the right side of my blog page will take you there.

Soon, there will be much more available in my online shop on Etsy.

Soon. As in when I get back from my next trip and have the chance to list new items!

Meanwhile, I'm trying to catch up on rest, taking care of my nearly 90-year-old mom, reorganizing my studio and cleaning my house, which sorely needs it following the blizzard of activity it went through in the lead-up to the show!

Be sure to click on the link, below, to visit the Artisan Anthology blog, to enjoy all the details of this collage of what the team made this week!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Changes in the air...


I find myself at a crossroads these days, contemplating next steps in business and creativity.

Just as Ruth Stout, author of "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back," felt about being able to garden into advanced old age, I want to be a metalsmith until the end.

At left, some gemstone cabochons I've used in pendants... on my way to the gem show to acquire some new ones!

The thing is, I'm already getting older just as I'm getting better at what I do, at what I love to do. I want to keep going. I'm not ready for the adventure to end.

But, I'm finding that doing outdoor art shows -- especially those far away from the city I live in -- just saps me. And they're not as profitable as they once were. Everyone I've ever known who's done shows says pretty much the same thing.

I'm also not really a 'digital native.' Computers and cell phones and social networks were not around when I was young. Not even when I was in college, or raising my young son, or getting started in jewelry design -- which is my third career! I think I've learned a lot for a 'geezer girl,' and am certainly ahead of most of my contemporaries in this regard. But algorithms still mystify me and I find I just don't want to do some of the things one 'has' to do to ensure online success.

What I want to do is to go more deeply into artmaking, not just merchandise making. And I find that art shows require a lot of merchandise to fill a booth. Maybe more than any other business model. And so, while I sold a fair number of pieces at my recent show, I have many more that I pushed myself to make. And these wonderful things will soon fill my Etsy shop.

Right now, my two Etsy shops are on hiatus. I closed them for the art show to be sure I didn't double-sell anything in the shop. And also to give myself some time to revamp one of my shops with delicious new things not seen there before. It'll reopen in later May and this link will take you there:

Meanwhile, I hope you'll stay in touch with me via my Facebook fan page, City/Rustic Jewelry (Tana McLane):   There, we can dialogue and you can keep up with my art jewelry news.

Before I reopen my shop, I will be traveling again, this time to a gem show to acquire semi-precious gemstones for new pieces I envision.

I'll spend the summer exploring some new ideas and recapturing some old ones, too. And I'll see you farther down this road.