Meet the Maker behind Lou Jewels

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I've always been an art kid. For as long as I can remember I've been in an art class of some kind. As a kid, math was kind of my refuge from art class. While I loved art class, it was so subjective, SO opinion based, sometimes that was draining and tiring. Math class was the place where you were right, or wrong, end of story. In my late teens I met a mathematician who told me that there are places you can get to in the mathematical field where that was no longer the case, and my brain just exploded with wonder and curiosity. I've been inspired by math ever since. I love taking a concept or idea, or maybe a theory that fascinates me, and creating a visual representation of that idea. 

Once I've got a concept I like, I sit down at my bench to create it, all the while staying open to other ideas. I will play around with materials. Sometimes things turn out exactly how I imagined them, and sometimes what I end up with is far from where I started, but I love it even more.

 
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1. What did you want to be when you were a child and why?

When  I was little I wanted to be a screen play writer. I loved Home Alone so much, and I wanted to make people feel the way that movie made me feel...all warm and fuzzy. 

2. What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

The thing I love most about my workspace is my jewelers bench. When I decided to really go for it with jewelry, I went out and splurged on a professional bench. Its set up exactly how I want it. Every jeweler I've apprenticed under has their bench set up differently. Now, this is a space that gets to be 100% tailored to me and how I like to work. Hanging up around my workspace I have lots of unique pieces I've gotten from other makers I've met over the years. Its a nice to be reminded I'm a part of a wonderful community of creators.

3. What is a scent that defines your childhood and why?

Hmmm....Well I grew up in NYC, so the smell of the subway makes me think of my childhood. A more pleasant answer is honeysuckle. We used to spend our summers at my grandmother’s house in Mississippi, and my mom would point out the different wildflowers. Honeysuckle was my fave because you could pull out the little blossom and it would taste like honey. I remember thinking that was so cool.  

4. Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night.

I always feel behind schedule in some way.  I'm in a perpetual state of catching up. Rarely does a day end and I feel like I did enough work for that day. I take it as a feeling that comes with any start up or new business. What I've learned from other more established business owners is that that feeling never really goes away, its more about managing it. My fear is that I will never learn to manage it. That I will always feel stressed and overwhelmed.

5. What is your personal or professional motto?

Be kind! Treat others how you want to be treated, and be respectful of others. You'd be surprised how far that will get you. 

6. What is something you tell yourself to build yourself up when you face criticism?

Whenever I am feeling down, I remind myself- All is well, all will be well. Everything in my life, mistakes included, have lead me to where I am now, pursuing something I truly love. Who am I to decide if something is bad or good? Its all about perspective. Something that seems bad now may turn out to be a major turning point in your favor. 

7. Current fave junk food, restaurant, or treat?

I am currently OBSESSED with frozen bananas covered in dark chocolate. I've been eating one almost everyday for weeks and I am waiting to get sick of them, but that just hasn't happened yet! Fave breakfast cereal is Reeses. I rarely buy it because I usually eat the whole box way too fast. 

Lou Jewels

 info@myloujewels.com

http://www.myloujewels.com/
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Falling for Vintage Fall Fashion

Falling for Vintage Fall Fashion

Each season there are a number of trends that you will begin seeing in every store, some you’ll love and some you’ll loathe. The great thing about fashion trends is that you can choose which to partake in and to what extent you make it your own.

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Turquoise Everything at Orlando Vintage

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I love turquoise. 

They are such beautiful stones.  The Zuni, Navajo, and native peoples who created works of art in Sleeping Beauty blue or Dry Creek green are some of my favorite things to collect.  After going to the Orlando Museum of Art's Seminole Indian culture exhibit I had to pull out all my turquoise to welcome spring and summer. 

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My best friend Kim and I each had turquoise rings from our grandmothers when we were in high school and I think that kicked it off for me.  Each setting different than the last and each piece signed by the craftsperson who made it.  Back when Church Street Station existed my parents bought me a beautiful olive green turquoise ring.  It has since been passed on to family.  My favorite art teacher gave me a turquoise cuff bracelet that's now on a friend's arm in Japan.  I just sent Kim a killer pair of Navajo turquoise earrings, and my own favorite piece is a modern ring by Rockhaus Metals purchased at Gypset.  

I spotted some really unique pieces recently over at Orlando Vintage and had to ask Lisa if I could share them.  I combined my own collection with hers and we shot a few artsy photos.  I'm in LOVE with the colors.  It looks like I'm making a basket of blue! 

If you can't resist turquoise either, head over to Orlando Vintage to hunt for your own authentic treasures. 

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Photos by Nicole Dudenhoefer

Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida

I used to live in Sarasota and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to wander.  Named for Marie Selby who lived on the property with her husband, William, for over 50 years.  She loved nature and when she passed in 1971, she left her home and gardens to the community "for the enjoyment of the general public." 

Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to epiphytes.  They research, study, display, and conserve these plants that live on other plants.  Like air plants, they don't harm the host plant but rather just hang around as pals.  Some of the best examples are orchids, bromeliads, and gesneriads.  (Say that three times fast!)

It's a place of research and the scientific staff here have discovered more than 2,000 plant species. The collections on property include an herbarium of more than 110,000 dried and pressed specimens and over 30,000 preserved in fluids with some of the rarest dating back to the 1700s. 

If you're in Sarasota, take a couple hours to visit Selby Gardens.  The LIVE video below takes you on a walking tour through this living museum and shows the unique Warhol: Flower in the Factory works all over the property.  The exhibit is open from February to June 30, 2018 and "explores the surprising, and little known, role of nature in Warhol's art and life."

Daytona Beach Turkey Rod Run: Daytona Beach, Florida

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I learned how to drive in a Model A Ford.  Back in 1986, my dad was slowly restoring a Model A and it was a just a chassis and engine.  I sat on a couple of tires to work the clutch and steer. Across the street from my childhood home at 117 Hattaway Drive, was an unused golf-course and orange groves that stretched all the way down to Lake Orienta.  I drove it everyday until I finally could clutch my way up the hill from Hattaway Drive to 436.  It's steep, and if you have a manual car, mastering that hill is key to being a good driver. 

So began my fascination with cars.  I love them, I do.  I've had quite a few different ones already.  I loved my diesel VW Rabbit, my red Acura Integra, and my Pontiac Fiero the best.  Collecting and restoring cars is an expensive hobby, and one well outside my means.  So, I headed off to Daytona to check out the Daytona Beach Spring Turkey Rod Run.  I thought maybe I'd get my fill and then not continue to shop CraigsList for Willys jeeps.   

Lots of cars, lots of collectors.

 

Click on the Townie Tourist video below to watch the show. You won't believe cars we see.👇👇👇

The Daytona Beach Turkey Rod Run is in spring and fall. This year it's November 22-25 at Daytona International Speedway. Click here for ticket and vendor info.

Habitat Galleries in West Palm Beach

Before heading to Morikami a few weeks ago, I stopped in West Palm Beach and came across Habitat Galleries. From quirky multimedia works to elaborate sculptures, this place has some really amazing stuff in a huge variety. The place has been open since 1982 and is super photo-friendly, so feel free to stop in and grab some shots if you're in the area. 

Some of the pieces I really liked were made by Christopher David White, whose mind-blowing work looks like carved wood, but is actually clay!

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Ceramic sculpture artist Park Joonsang had two pieces that played on small children turning the walls of their homes into canvases. He also has a couple vase pieces with some interesting kids serving some serious attitude.

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August Muth's holographic pieces were a nice interactive element that changed based on where you standing. The work on the white background includes a hidden message, if you can find it at the right angle. 

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A bonus stop you could easily make is right across the street where a mural with Prince, David Bowie, Adam "Ad- Rock" Horowitz from the Beastie Boys, Bob Marley and Kurt Cobain is painted on a wall near a vacant lot.

 

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