Inside the Studio with Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations to Gloria Allen! You have won a set of four Lady Liberty coin buttons. Please contact Tari with your contact information so she can mail your prize.

Hello Bead Peeps! What have you been up to lately?

As supported by Miss Tari’s last post, the world is continuing to spin far faster than I can often handle! There have been many twists and turns in my path over the past month, some of it all in the same week! Much of what I had scheduled out for myself to complete each week on my endless notes and lists has been tossed aside like so much trash. I am actually wondering how all of this happened in the blink of an eye, and how I can find my way back to my original plan.

It seems that since the last time I posted an Inside the Studio about my upcoming show, Beauty in the Broken Places, you would think that I might have something to show for it, especially since I mentioned in that post that I was going to be making something each month toward that end. Alas, I don’t! But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy. In fact, I think that this month in particular will find me working around the clock on many nights just to keep afloat!

Here’s a recap of just some of what has kept me from pursuing the art that I want to pursue….while pursuing creative endeavors of all different sorts…..

Special Pop-a-Dot jewelry (in process) based on my favorite Dr Seuss book, My Many Colored Days.

Every year for my daughter’s dance studio, I host a fundraiser for the National Honor Society of Dance Arts during every night of the show week rehearsals and before each show. I sell a line of magnetic jewelry I devised called Pop-a-Dots and always come up with something extra special themed to the show.

This year the show was based on the Dr Seuss book, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! So I made some digital prints that fit in a 5×7″ frame as well as notecards with some of the iconic Seuss lines. The dancers and their families loved them, as well as those that are celebrating graduations in May. Their messages are perfect for encouraging enthusiastic exploration of the whole wide world!

This was taken a few months ago, but I love the smile on her face!

My mother’s 70th birthday was in the middle of show week as well. So I took off half a day to spend it with her.

That same exact weekend, my son and his lovely girlfriend attended Prom. So, of course I had to add one more thing to my plate and decided to make the corsage and boutonniere for them. Gah! I think they turned out quite nicely! Of course, it helps that I happen to have an entire studio filled with sparkly things to make them extra special and unique! I really had fun making them. I have made wedding flowers before, but perhaps I may have missed my calling! 😉

So much is coming up in this month! My son Calvin is going to graduate from Pacelli High School. This is bittersweet as it is also where my husband and I graduated from (and where we started dating!), as well as my father and his siblings. Proud to have a 3rd generation graduate in the family! Even more proud to announce that he is planning to attend our college alma mater as well… University of Wisconsin-Madison. We bleed Badger red and are thrilled that he will be carrying on the Big 10 tradition. He has been accepted directly into the College of Engineering and I think that my summer will be quite busy getting him (and me!) ready. There are so many big things this month, including the Project Grad party held the night of graduation. I am in charge of the Senior DVD slide show that will be given as a gift to them all. It has taken me all spring to gather the pictures. Now I will be starting on the actual slideshow on Sunday and hope to be done in one week (of very late nights!). Adding to that, there are baseball games a-plenty every other night of the week, and almost every weekend (so far we have lost just one game all season! Woot!). I simply cannot miss a single moment, especially since this boy who started as a catcher at age 9, is now an impressive young man of 18 and coming to the end of his career. The Cardinals were ranked 3rd in the state by the sports writers/coaches and he made the list of catchers to watch. Such a wonderful career! I know that I am the one having the hardest time with the coming loss of this passion. Never thought I would say this 18 years ago…but baseball is my favorite season! And to top it all off,  we are planning a HUGE backyard party complete with a large tent and caterers and a movie night under the stars for the entire class! Next up on my list is to update the backyard and put together the brand new propane fire pit for all to enjoy!

As you are reading this, I will be on my way to the Gallery Q for the changeover this weekend (on Mother’s Day? What?!@?!?) for the next show: ArtSpace. The idea for this show is that the gallery will be transformed into “rooms” or vignettes inside the space, for a unique way to display our art. I don’t have a lot of jewelry to bring (see below for a peek), but what I do have to contribute is the window displays. I enjoy doing it and like the look of windows to invite you to come in and find out more about what is inside. A little mysterious, if you will. One window will be a picnic scene, complete with a small table and chairs, handmade table linens from one of our artists, a handmade vase with flowers, oil paintings of the rolling countryside and other things that will hopefully evoke a sense of playfulness and summer fun. The other side was a brainstorm that came to me in the middle of the night this past Sunday: a front door inviting you to step inside. I have an artist friend and handyman who is contributing one of these doors (above), complete with an old doorknob, with a brace or bracket support to be freestanding (see my rudimentary sketch). I am bringing in a welcome mat and a planter urn complete with fresh flowers and an arrow sign I made pointing to the gallery for the ArtSpace show (with magnets! So I can reuse it!). And hanging on the faux door will be a wreath that I am finishing up right now, made from a Q monogram, washi tape and a jumble of paint brushes (that I will hopefully be able to grunge up a bit to make look like they were well used). I am excited to make this all take shape and hope I can make it happen quick!

About the only thing that I have really made in the last month are what I call Mageia Drops. These little charms are something that I am experimenting with for use in my upcoming September show (see Beauty in the Broken Places…note to self….must.get.busy!). These involve a painting technique with a special morphing paint that reacts over the course of a few hours to transform into a mystifying beauty. Then it needs to rest and cure for three days. The word “mageia” is Greek for “magic” and seem to suit the outcome of these little gems, which are completely unpredictable. What you see above is the results of my experiments…and each one of those little drops was eventually covered in resin for a glossy, magnified look, tied to a scratch off code card and sent off to be added to the goodie bags for those on the Bead Cruise this week with our lovely Miss Heather Powers! I hope they find them fun! I guess it wasn’t all a detour… these drops were an experiment and I learned a lot from making about 100 of them, in how to control the paint, what colors work best together and ways to make sure that no one touches them (especially me!) while they are drying! I am using these Mageia Drops in all sorts of things….they make great earrings, or charms on a bracelet. I have even clustered like-colored ones and added them to some necklaces that will be for sale at the Q on Friday for the changeover.

Whew! That was a LOT for one month, with no signs of it letting up! My head has been spinning because I have had some big plans of making art and jewelry for my show and getting something together for some charities as well as developing some new ideas and paying someone to come and help me organize my studio so I can have fun working in here again…and…and…and…but, we all know…

“Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans.” ~ Allen Saunders

That seems to be very true for me! And I am guessing that it is also likely true for you. So my question to you is this….

When you are sidetracked from what you originally had planned,
do you power through and try to get back on the track you were on…
or do you follow that path wherever it may lead, discovering new paths along the way?

The random winner will receive a set of 4 Mageia Drops and a 5×7″ print of your favorite Dr Seuss quote, suitable for framing (and perfect gift for the graduates in your life!).

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17 Comment

  1. Reply
    Deb Fortin
    May 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

    What a busy lady you are. do you have ANY downtime?????

    It's good to be busy though and it keeps the creative juices flowing, most times.

    When I get sidetracked I have learned to go with the flow, 'cause if I fight it I get nothing done; so better to do something than flounder. sometimes I find my way back to where I was going in the first place , sometimes not . In the end I usually discover something new and exciting is the result of my detour(s).

  2. Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Oh, I think I do a bit of both. Sometimes I try to get back on track, other times, I wander along, smelling all the roses along the path. (Melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com)

  3. Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Ha! Miss Deb, nope. Not much down time. In fact I didn't mention the fact that my best friend contacted me less than a week before the teacher appreciation luncheon this past Tuesday with a request for decorating the space and gifts for 33 teachers! I had to travel out of town to a ball game and was making some of the gifts in the car! I pulled it off…with the help of Pinterest and free printables I found! I guess I never really slow down…until I crash and refresh to start all over again! Enjoy the day! Erin

  4. Reply
    Kristi Bowman
    May 6, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    You amaze me with all you do miss Erin!!! I have had some of these paints in my cart for awhile, you really make me want to pull the trigger!! I have a question, it looks like you've filled the bezels with something before you start dropping the colors in? Is that a base of the same paint in a black/charcoal color? Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Reply
    Beti Horvath
    May 6, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    To answer your question, I am more likely to follow the side track, than push on with what I was working on, although that might not be the best course.
    That or of the way, I have to share a story about the quote you included in your post. Years ago,my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was operated on, and essentially cured, no chemo needed, although she lived with a colostomy for the next twenty five years. She very much liked and respected her surgeon, believing his skill saved her life. One year at the holidays, she made him a small cross stitched sampler with that quote on it. Years later, the surgeon retired, and his office building was sold. Mom had an orthopedic problem, and went to see a new doctor, who was now in that office. When she saw the sampler on the wall, where it had hung before, she was initially disappointed the other doctor had not kept her gift, but then she realized, it wasn't left behind, it was handed down, so that people could see it as they cradled their broken bones!

  6. Reply
    May 6, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Wow you have been working girl!
    I do a bit of both. Sometimes i just have to walk away for a while an d do something else.

  7. Reply
    May 7, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I commend you for everything you have done this month. Congratulations on all the good things going on in your life. Thanks for the chance to win some of your art work.

  8. Reply
    Linda A.
    May 7, 2016 at 3:12 am

    I LOVE that paint…would love too kibitz about it some time. 🙂

    One thing at a time…you will get through it all!

  9. Reply
    Deb Fortin
    May 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Miss Erin. well as my mom always said "if you want something done, ask a busy person".
    As a child I didn't understand that, but now I realise the truth behind that statement, and YOU are a Prime example. Just don't let yourself crash and burn, my dear, as we age the refresh takes longer.

  10. Reply
    Divya N
    May 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, you seem to give a new meaning to the word "multi tasking". These days I seem to give in to the lazy genie and I am happy if I get just me day job's duties done in this terrible heat. But I plan to get a lot of jewelry done in the next month, hopefully life and fate helps me out. I try to work my way out through deviations, possibly learn from them as I go through, with the flow as I find no use in fighting with what is right in front of me.

  11. Reply
    May 8, 2016 at 2:37 am

    After reading your posts I am always amazed as to how much you do! You are a very busy woman.

    Years ago my husband and I bought an old roadside motel and since that time I have really learned how to switch gears from painting to cleaning to landscaping…you get the idea. I've found that trying to let go and ride whatever wave comes along helps me keep the stress level down. Sometimes great ideas come along while you're doing something else. But do try and get some rest : )

  12. Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Most of the time I like to be sidetracked. It makes things more interesting and I think I discover new ideas that way. However if I have a deadline, it must be balanced and get done on time. I really like the new pendants.

  13. Reply
    Katherine Thompson
    May 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    You must be taking some powerful vitamins!
    I feel that my projects have many creative arms and depending on the urgency of a project I have no problem setting one thing to my peripheral and playing with the new.

  14. Reply
    Denise McCabe
    May 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    I love the look of the painted bezels – so bright and cheery. Unless I have a deadline, I like to go where my muse takes me. Sometimes if I power through something, I just end up sitting and staring at me beads. But deadlines (even fake ones that I make for myself) have a way of making me more focused.

  15. Reply
    Sarajo Wentling
    May 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, Erin… I'm exhausted just reading about all you have on your plate! I don't know how you do it all! I used to get crazy anxious about any deviation from my plan… jewelry-related or otherwise. Thank goodness I've gotten over that and am more able to just go with the flow. I'd say unless the original plan is something that absolutely has to get done on a certain timeline, I now tend to just follow the new path where it takes me most of the time. Thanks for sharing where your winding path has been lately!

  16. Reply
    Cory Tompkins
    May 14, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    I feel tired and stressed out after reading your post, LOL! You're an amazing lady giving so much of yourself to others when you have a big show coming up. I usually work my way back when the curveballs are thrown and tend to stress if my plates are all too full. I make short term and long term goal lists though to make sure I can see my progress and don't forget all the ideas that I want to try or projects I want to get done. Congrats on your son becoming a Badger and what an achievement getting accepted directly into the college of engineering!

  17. Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I have watched your children grow and change over the past 6 or 7 years online (eek! How did that happen?!) and even I can't believe Calvin is off to uni! I hope he'll have an amazing time. He looks very grown up and ready to take on the world!

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