Studio Saturday with Gaea Cannaday

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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 free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This week’s winner is Boot-C
Congratulations! You have won a copy of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbons and Cords SIGNED by both Erin and Lorelei! Please send Erin an e-mail with your address and she will get your book out to you as soon as possible!

This week we visit the studio of
Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Handmade.
My previous Studio Saturday post I talked about inspiration. Grab a cup of your favorite morning stimulant and follow me through the day. We’ll do the sped up, non-bickering children version! (If it feels to quiet at your end, please feel free to mentally edit in bickering children for the soundtrack!) 
Up at 7:00 am. Try to wake kids, then make coffee and try to trick my brain into thinking that decaf is where it’s at! Can’t have too much caffeine or my ticker will flutter like a butterfly. Sad but true. Make lunches and beg children to get up! Swear up and down that tonight will have an earlier bedtime! Feed groggy children and bleary self. Annoy children with spelling quizzes on the way to school, stopping the car periodically to watch wild rabbits eating their breakfast and quail families skitter across the street. Drop kids off at school and gulp coffee down before dragging myself into Curves. This always feels futile when I walk in, but oh so good when done! Next… Emails don’t answer themselves! Another cup of decaf (recent studies shows that regular and decaf have special health benefits including helping to prevent type 2 diabetes!) and I hit the keyboard! Thank goodness for google! I can answer a question about annealing glass vs. kiln firing ceramics! 
The sparkle on the new gemstone beads and copper sheets picked up from the Santa Barbara Gem Fair are distracting me to no end. Decide to spend 30 minutes exploring these new toys. Fifteen copper wire head pins later and I am determined to cut out 5 crescent shaped copper blanks. Cutting an inner curve with scissors is quite a challenge! Note: research easier ways of cutting copper, not self! Pound the copper with a hammer and dust off the wooden dapping block that has been sitting in a drawer for 6 months! Decide that these need to be a necklace with dangles! OH! I’ve overstayed my time with this project and have to jump into the next thing. How many “project” trays do I have around the studio? I counted 11.
Motivate self by listening to the Jack White station on Pandora and pulling beads for sets to list on Etsy, LARGE mug of coffee (yes, more decaf) in hand! Invoicing. More decaf. Packing. Lunch. Shipping. Thank goodness for PayPal’s multi-order shipping feature! Dogs need to go out. Cat demands a bit of attention. Time to get a special request necklace done. My friend Sherrie, requested a necklace and earring set to wear when she is watching her 6 month old grand baby. Sherrie let me have free reign on this design, but baby loves ladybugs!
Don’t forget to add a split ring to the leaf charm! I used a split ring so if the baby gives it a tug, it will stay on! Oh. And, it might be time for more decaf.
Dreaming of nap but don’t have time so, shamefully, I sneak a caffeine infested diet coke. I know. Bad. Photograph bead sets. Edit photos. Post listings on etsy. Yeah for the “copy listing” feature! Suddenly realize that it’s time to pick kids up from school and rush out! Back home for… snack. Homework. Homework. Homework. Enjoy dinner and family time! Head out for Made In Ojai Artists Co-op meeting. Back home to make work list and bust out the bead work trays. Promise husband not to stay up to late….
It is a busy life and I am thankful for every busy minute! I tend to be all over the place in my day, even with a list… How do you keep focused on getting tasks done? Shortcuts? Please?! Leave a comment on how you get your day done for a chance to win a bead set from my etsy shop!

Gaea Cannaday is a proud mama, artist, and jewelry designer. To find out more, visit her blog, Gaea Beads.

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23 Comment

  1. CathyO
    June 3, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Gaea, It sounds like you never have a chance to get bored! You do a terrific job. I generally have the grandkids in the morning so any project or order I have has to wait until after lunch. I work of the dining area table, using baskets for different projects or orders and can take them with me or store them very quickly and orderly. I will work on something until dinner time. My husband works an early a.m. shift so after he has had dinner and I spend a little time with him I am back to the project or order that I left before dinnertime. I try to keep up with emails three times a day. So far it is all working.

    Cathy Obbema

  2. Sarah
    June 3, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I have to admit for opting for the list method. I asterisk the top 2 priorities and then work on them, then star another 3 things when they are done.

  3. Rebecca
    June 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Wow! You pack a lot into the day Gaea. I love that you have even snuck in a quick tutorial into this cyber run down of your day 🙂 Very pretty beads – I especially love the leaf. I am a fellow decaf drinker but I actually don't miss caffeine at all – I can only manage 2 'normal' cups of tea before I start to feel a bit rattly so I'm happy with my decaf earl grey 🙂 The shot of your bead bundles looks particularly delicious!

  4. Lynda
    June 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you, Gaea, for sharing a day in your life. And for a chance to work with some of your lovely beads! When the kids were little, I was in college. Had to make the best use of those nap times to get my homework done. And after they were tucked in bed at night. Also, needed to give myself some grace in the area of housecleaning and be okay with some messes and dust bunnies here and there. Finally, I asked for help (hard for some to do). Especially around the time for final exams.


  5. mairedodd
    June 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    first 5 sentences and i could have accused you of looking in my window! so i am not the only one who begs? :0) you surely do get a lot accomplished, and i understand the getting it done in blocks, because with the taxiing, it's what you've got! all wonderful, gaea, really…

  6. mairedodd
    June 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    oh, how not to cut yourself on the inner curve? depending on size, use your disc cutter… but otherwise, i try to work off trimmed pieces so there isn't a lot to cut myself with…

  7. Kathleen Lange Klik
    June 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Wow, I wish I could accomplish half of what you do in a day! unfortunately I am still trying to figure out how to get my day done. I make lists, that is the best way to keep me focused. That and coffee!

    Love the new bead strands!

  8. JeannieK
    June 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    stick to the task at hand and keep your focus there until it's done. Don't think about the next task or deviate from the list. This works for me.

  9. Boot ~C
    June 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Thank You so much! the disc cutter is a great idea I'm filing away, & the last time I did a big clean up in my beadroom I had 15 trays of projects!!

  10. Karen Gille
    June 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I have one more week of teaching and then I will be retired!! I've been thinking a lot about how I will plan each day. There are so many things I'm looking forward to doing, I don't want to waste a minute. My husband suggested making a list of 3 things I wanted to accomplish each day. I like Sarah's idea of starring two items and when they are done, star 3 more.
    P.S. Thanks for sharing what your typical day is like.

  11. A Polymer Penchant
    June 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Boy if I knew that secret I'd be sure to share! It sounds like you sure get plenty packed into a day. I saw a suggestion once I thought would be fun to try, instead of watching a clock have an alarm lock you plus in each time so it basically always counting up from 12:00 so it inessenseeasures how Long you workon something

  12. Erin S
    June 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I find if I don't make a list in my planner, I forget things. Answering emails and unplanned rush projects and client requests always eat up part of my day. For whatever reason, Tuesday is my most productive day. Typically Friday is my least productive. Love your beads, BTW!

  13. somethingunique
    June 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Well I'm ready for a nap after reading about your day…. Omg….I don't have enough going on to even need a list…. Only having a 16 year old to care for and this year he wanted to big a big boy and let me sleep while he gets himself up and his own breakfast and school lunch…. I am. Trying to get mysefl up and into my studio having been going through some health issues as well as a horrible Internet service and not able to blog I've been down in the dumps ….. Trying out a new antenna on my hub xx my fingers that I can get. My blog up tO where I have dreamed about it… So have u tried sawing your shapes… I was daunted by my saw and after watching a video I. Was amazed how easy it is….just a little practice… Lol I've cut two shapes but they look awesome….. Anyway don't forget to stop for a bubble bath/ glass of wine for yourself my dear… You deserve It… xox… Idk why it's hiding my identy but it's Lana 🙂

  14. cindy
    June 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I tend to think about my "creative day", the day before; kind of rehearse in my head about what time I want to get up and the projects I want to accomplish for the day. The big thing is to stick with the plan and not get distracted by the phone, the internet, or anything else for that matter!

  15. Betty S.
    June 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your typical day! I switched to green tea years ago and am not nearly as productive as you, so perhaps should go back to coffee. Frankly I'm amazed at all you do. I work from lists also but never seem to get to the end.

  16. Shaiha
    June 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I have to admit that I don't keep things on track. I have fibro so whether or not I get a chance to work in my studio is all dependent on how much energy I have. As far as remembering to get the things I have to do done, I am a firm believer in putting everything in outlook. I even have my Kindle Fire synced to my home computer.

  17. Cherrie Fick of En La Lumie're
    June 4, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Gaea, That is a wonderful day in the life of a mom, artist and social networking pro. My day starts around 6 ish, read emails from over night while shower gets hot. Throw on some makeup and make breakfast which is usually a shake, a little housework, throw a load in the wash etc. Head to my studio and try not get side tracked on FB. try to design or photograph before around 10-11 and then my granddaughter comes over. We run errands, store, P.O. etc and home for lunch. She goes down for a nap. I try to design or work on making metals or components. The other two Grandkids home from school. They like to get a snack and hang out a bit or I work on nee skills, and classes, fix dinner, eating while we watch some evening tv. I do listing and computer in the evenings and some nights back to the studio to see what else I can accomplish. What I never seem to get to is exercise and relaxing, on my to do list.

  18. Becky Pancake
    June 4, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Gaea, I think your beads are great. I am adjusting to a new schedule. My husband had a stroke in 2009 & I was full time care until he passed away last fall. Now my time is my own & I am trying to make the best of it. I do make lists but like everyone I slip sometimes. I think you accomplish a lot in a day. Just don't stress about it. Things that need to get done do & the rest can be juggled as time permits. Just decide what is the most important to you.

  19. Elaine
    June 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I tend to keep a daily to-do list and a calendar. The calendar has the appointments, deadlines and such that I work back from. And the tasks leading up to those deadlines (if any) appear as items on that day's list.

    I try to only put priority items on my to-do lists since having tons of not finished stuff can be so disheartening.

    And the biggest one for getting it done for me was to STOP multi-tasking as much as possible. To focus and finish a task properly before moving onto the next.

  20. Ben @ Cardprinting.us
    June 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    You did a great job crafting those pieces together! I can't imagine myself finishing something like this in a couple or hours or the whole day.

  21. Meadowland Designs
    June 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Wow, you are one busy mama!

    My planner has room for lists which is very helpful not only because it helps with organizing…but I LIKE making lists!

    Another helpful thing is: leave margin! My mom taught me to leave "white space" in my day so that when things get crazy, you have room for everything.

    Love how the custom design turned out, so sweet!

  22. Terra Photography
    June 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Wowsers – I am a big fan of your Etsy store and wondered how you squeezed in your own jewelry designs on top of making the bead sets. I'm a big fan of making a list of things to get done, but you know, sometimes you have to go off track when inspiration strikes!

  23. Gaea
    June 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas for keeping the day sane! I did forget to mention that dishes, laundry, and the mop don't get in our way! We breed dust bunnies. They are not as cute as the real bunnies but they are just as quiet! XO

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