Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I finished listing the remaining jewelry yesterday morning....

I'm obviously on a bracelet kick right now ;)

And then I headed outside for the rest of the day. We have had the best weather since the snowstorm last week. That winter spurt only lasted two days and then the sun came out and blasted it all away very quickly.

This is the last chunk of snow!! It used to be a snowman that was taller than can see the chunks of charcoal they used for buttons scattered around it.

I worked on the yard while the boys played and then met up with a friend for some amazingly delicious Chai (and fabulous always!) in downtown Lousiville. We sat outside for awhile, but then we had to head in because we weren't dressed for the 80 degree weather we were having! I need to start getting all of my summer clothing out :)

After dinner we got our bikes out and rode out to the lake and playground......ahhhhhhh.
I am so loving this.

See you in April ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shop update coming...

It's going to be a late night! I have just barely finished formatting all of the pictures. I spent the morning doing last minute finishing and setting stones. 

But, I'm back in the saddle ;)

These are half of the pieces that will go up in my shop tonight....there are 14 in total. 

I'm off to go list!! Bye....:)

EDIT: I didn't make it!! My bed is calling me....I'll finish up tomorrow morning!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reflection & Finishing

Today, I am trying to finish up my week's batch of work so that I can put it all in the tumbler tomorrow for a good 8 hours worth of tumbling. Above, I am working on annealing some metal to get it softer for the rolling mill by the, love my rolling millI'll work again for a few more hours after dinner and then it's movie night!

So, I thought I would share a few thoughts about Norbert's post yesterday. He made the point that we both have spent a significant amount of time figuring out exactly how we want our business to develop based on what we do and do not enjoy doing. This was definitely not an epiphany we had at the beginning, but rather it was, and is, an ongoing process.

One thing that I personally realized, is that at heart and soul, I get the most joy out of being creative. Knowing this, I decided to start carving out more time for myself to have this creative freedom.  It fulfills me on many, many levels and it brings me great joy. I figured this out during the Christmas rush, when for almost 3 straight months I was spending the vast majority of my time filling orders. This is absolutely not a complaint! But I did learn that I need to balance out made to order/custom orders along with my need to design and create new work. This makes sense for the business as well as for my sanity ;)

I can't wait to share my new work with you on Monday! Unlike in the past, I will post some pictures of my work here before it goes up in my shop.

Have a great weekend :)

Friday, March 26, 2010


This is going to be a slightly different post than you’ve gotten used to seeing on this blog… That’s because it’s written by me, Norbert, Alysia’s husband. My wife has mentioned my name a few times before in her postings, but to those of you who haven’t heard of me, I’m responsible for the business and marketing side of blue hour designs. We’ve been talking for a while now about me starting to write a weekly blog entry that focuses on the business side. Many of you are small business owners yourself, and I’m sure, have quickly learned that making a business successful entails a lot more than having a good product. With that said, I must admit that I’m my wife’s biggest fan and DO believe she makes very classy, unique and beautiful jewelry – which does make an excellent product! Now we just have to figure out how to best get the rest of the world to find out about it and how to keep her happy in her workshop! That’s where I try to help out and that’s also what I will be talking about in these posts.

So, where to start… or where to end… I’ve actually been thinking about these posts for a little while and there’s really a lot to talk about, since I’m attempting to cover a huge topic here. It just dawned to me, that I could probably right a whole book on this topic! Scared you, huh? Don’t leave quite yet, I’m not gonna be writing a book in this blog and make you read it on your Friday morning when your thoughts are probably already mainly on where to go out for lunch or where’s the best happy hour this afternoon! In any case, I think I’ll take a slightly different approach discussing business topics than most people would expect. The first few posts will probably focus more on the importance of understanding yourself and the importance of time management. After all, as a small business owner, and I’m sure most of you would agree, you yourself are your business’s most valuable asset and your time is the most precious resource you have. Even if couldn’t care less about the trials of starting, and running a small business, these topics (ESPECIALLY) will come in handy in many other parts of your life.

My wife and I have learned immense amounts about ourselves and each other as a result of this business, some of which has been very surprising to us. So first of all, I think it’s very important you understand yourself and your business partners in as much depth as possible before going down the route of starting your own business. Mainly because successfully running your business is (not can be, but IS) a very time consuming task, so you better LOVE what you do and be very efficient at it. So, why don’t you take a moment, a few minutes, or an hour before going to bed and really think about what makes you happy…? Again, I’m talking about digging a little deeper than the happy hour later this afternoon. What do you daydream about? Focus on what would make you happy each and every day. Also, for the time being, set aside the items that you don’t really know anything about, such as sailing in the Caribbean when you’ve never set foot on a sailboat before in your life.

I guess I’ll stop with that thought right here before you DO get scared that I AM gonna be writing a whole book. I’ll try to pick up where I left off next week, but until then, happy weekend to you all!

- Norbert

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winter Wonderland...take 2

I photographed these pictures yesterday evening....

...right at the blue hour :)
The picture above I took in front of my house. The street lights illuminated the snow and trees to create a gorgeous rose-like glow.

There is even more snow, today, sitting on that planter.

Ask me if I'm sad today....

That would be a no ;) I'm working in my studio and having a ball. Plus, I have decided to take all the inspiration and joy I usually get from seeing this beauty and channeling it into my work no more sad thoughts associated with winter! It will all be gone soon anyway. It feels a bit fleeting now....just last week we had 60's/70 degree weather and we will have it again next week.

I even spent some time a few days ago working on cleaning up my yard! You have no idea how much I loved digging my hands into my dried up flower beds to prepare it for spring. 

I'm listening to this song right now, in my workshop, looking out at all the snow:
You can purchase it here. 


p.s. I'm updating my shop on Monday....this week is devoted to massive amounts of creating :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back to work.

I am back full time in my studio today. I can't even begin to describe how antsy and excited I have been to start back up. Last week I completed some custom orders....and I worked very slowly and only on them. I didn't want to throw myself back in to quickly. I have learned to ease into things now :)

The nerve damage is slowly healing, but more importantly, I have also been working on calming my mind. That will be I'm sure a life-long process, but my eyes are wide open now to the negative effects of what ignoring this part of my life can be.

So, now I need to run because it's time to get started. I am not sure what my schedule of posting on Etsy will be....I'll let you know in the next few days. It will either be new work on Friday or Monday.

Here are a few pictures of the Carnelian cabs that I recently bought....

I was thrilled to find these on Etsy....I had been looking for some round Carnelians for awhile.

I think I'll work on this one today!

See you soon :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Okay....I'm back!
What a rough 6 weeks it has been, but it's in my rear view mirror now!!!!!

So, here's my journey in a nutshell: 
- I started having mild chest pains at the beginning of February
-  food poisoning that lasted a few days
- the flu along with my boys that lasted a few more days
- more chest pain/pressure including my left arm tingling and going a bit numb (and all over feeling really just flat out wrong) that sent us to the ER in fear of a heart attack. I was hooked up to an EKG machine that eliminated that possibilty. Thank god!
- the following day at my OB appt. the Doc found a swollen type of 'mass' in my left breast/underarm (where the pain was radiating from) that worried her and so she sent me to get an ultrasound (which I had to wait 3 days for) with a possible mammogram.
- Okay, can you tell that by this time I'm a bit freaked out???!!!! My parents arrived at this time for some much needed support!
- Ultrasound is clear can I hear a hallelujah?? no tumor!!
- After feeling good for about a week I started experiencing vertigo coupled with difficulty breathing, thus sending us scurrying off to my parent's house, fed up with it all and in need of some serious R&R.

So........what it looks like I actually have, is a pulled/pinched nerve under my arm that caused all of this commotion. Sheesh.........!

People - I am ready to move on! Spring is coming and a new leaf has been turned. Thank you for all of your comments, emails and convos. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support!!

So, I am back to work this week and it will still be a bit slow at first. I am still working on healing myself, but there are lots of wonderful developments in the works and I am nothing but excited and positive (oh yeah....and relieved ;) to move forward. I will be sending out a newsletter at the beginning of April and as a reminder, if you want to be added to that list just send me an email at

Anybody else excited for spring?! ;)