CAUTIOUSLY CREATED SERIES 04 | MINERALOGY

I discovered Theresa's work through Instagram and I instantly fell in love with her work.  Theresa is the designer and metalsmith behind Mineralogy.  For this Cautiously Created series, I asked Theresa to answer a few questions.  Below are her answers.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  

Hi there, I am the designer/metalsmith behind Mineralogy. I've been making jewelry for the last 4 years and loving every struggle and every victory. I live with my husband Ales and ALL of my studio equipment in our apartment in Chicago's Old Irving Park neighborhood. Luckily for us, my studio has outgrown our home and we're about to have much more space and peace and quiet!

HOW DID MINERALOGY COME ABOUT?:

My business began in an unintentional way originally. In my senior year of art school, I had an accessories class where I made jewelry for one of the projects and ended up doing a fun collaboration with one of the fashion students for their final garments for the school fashion show. My jewelry, a combination of wire, fabric, and stones, caught the eye of one of my professors who designed clothing and owned a small boutique in town and she began carrying my work. It wasn't until I was sitting through an earth science lecture on minerals, that I was suddenly aware of my interest in the raw minerals and their unique shapes and textures. From that point, the focus of my work became much more specific and centered around raw minerals. I began studying metalsmithing and it was the skill that I needed to create the work that I was dreaming about. My work now still speaks true to the raw materials I love, but I have included faceted stones in the mix, along with rustic rose cut diamonds, and other high grade gemstones for my fine jewelry collection.

DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY:

I wake up and go straight to my french press to make myself coffee. I try to get to the gym, which doesn't happen enough, haha! From there, I look at my to-do list to collect my mind for the day, begin answering emails, and try to get any office chores out of the way that I don't want to do. Then, I look at my production queue to see what I have on deck for the day and begin working. I never really have one of those days that artists just dream of where you crank out production work all day without interruption. Most of my jewelry making marathons are interrupted by answering emails throughout the day, sending pictures to clients for custom orders, quoting projects (I hate math), posting work on Instagram, looking at cute puppies on Instagram, packaging orders, going to the post office, pricing and posting new work, and unfortunately bookkeeping.

DESCRIBE ONE CHALLENGE THAT YOU'VE FACED SINCE STARTING YOUR BUSINESS:

The most difficult thing I've had to deal with is the unsettling fact that you think you can do everything, but you can't. As a small business owner, we end up wearing so many hats and it's impossible to be perfect at everything, all the time. I need to be better about creating time for me and knowing when to put my computer or my projects away and be done for the day. Working 12 hours a day isn't going to ensure that you're constantly productive. I think this is something all creatives and small business owners struggle with!

DESCRIBE YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR:

I would have to say the best thing that's happened to me so far is the fact that I have my business. It's not always easy, but I am excited to start my day every morning because I truly love what I do. Just a few days ago, I signed the lease on a studio/storefront that I am hoping to have open by early summer. It's something that I never thought I would have the guts to do, but everything truly fell into place at the right moment and I couldn't walk away from the opportunity. I am so excited to be able to have my studio in a shop setting for people to watch me work and be able to understand how their jewelry is made. It will also be much easier for me to meet with my bridal clients to work on custom wedding rings instead of having to meet up at coffee shops:)

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?:

Be yourself first and foremost. Have a very strong idea of who you are and what you create and make sure that it stands out in your branding. Don't worry about fitting in to what particular style is current at the moment, just make what you love with such conviction that other people will love it to. There's no sense in trying to be like everyone else, when there's only one of you. Use your quirks to your advantage! Secondly, find a few good mentors, whether they are in the same field of interest as you or not. Some of my closest confidants are my jeweler friends. It's hard to find people like that in your own industry, but I am lucky to know a few good ones that I now count as friends. We trade information, vendors, ideas, seek advice and support from one another and respect each individual and their work.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?:

I am certainly inspired by my minerals. I love to draw and spend a lot of time sketching shapes and other ideas. Simple shapes, such as circles and arches are things that I really love. Besides my actual work/materials, I find my mom incredibly inspiring. She is a graphic designer, teaches various college courses, competes in triathlons, and puts everyone else before herself, no matter what. Without my mom's support, I don't think I would've had the determination to go to art school and to come out of it and begin a business that wasn't exactly what I studied in school. She is such an advocate for doing what you love and what you're good at and she never made me feel like I couldn't achieve what I set my heart to do. I feel pretty lucky to have an artist for a mother and for my dad to also support my artistic endeavors without fail.

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU CAN'T WORK WITHOUT?:

I definitely can't work without coffee and some good music or a podcast.

COFFEE, TEA OR NEITHER?:

Coffee, all day, every day.

AND JUST FOR FUN, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE AND WHY?:

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. —Mother Teresa

I love this quote for business and for relationships. It's hard to make yourself vulnerable to others in a relationship, but that's how we open ourselves up to love and understanding in the human form. And for businesses, it's so important to offer that to our customers. They are the people that help support our dreams and our businesses being a reality...I want my customers to feel like they not only have a compete understanding of my work, but of myself as a person. There's no facade, just me over here in Chicago, making the best jewelry that I can for people.

A huge thank you to Theresa for being kind enough to answer a few questions for this series.  If you're interested in learning more about Theresa and her beautiful creations, please head over to her website, etsy shop and be sure to follow her on Instagram.  

 

*all photographs utilized in this blog post are property of ©Theresa Cowan of Mineralogy

Posted on May 15, 2015 .

SPRING IS HERE |

Prior to relocating to WI, I always would describe myself as a "cold weather" type of person.  But after surviving my first Midwest winter I couldn't be happier that spring has arrived.  As many of you might remember last year I completely got rid of a good fourth of my wardrobe and decided it was time to embrace the minimalist lifestyle.  That decision has honestly changed my life as it completely altered a number of aspects of my life.   So, to celebrate the warm weather I've been on the hunt for the perfect pieces to add to my spring wardrobe.  Above is a mixture of pieces I already own, have recently purchased or am considering.   I'd love know what pieces you guys plan on purchasing this season, so be sure to leave me a comment below!  

 

jacket | sweatshirt | t-shirt | Birkenstocks | overalls | bag | watch | earrings | cap

Posted on April 3, 2015 .

DIY | MACRAME PLANT HANGER

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed

As many of you might have noticed, I've been a little M.I.A on the blog for the past few weeks.  After taking some much needed time off from blogging, I'm back with an new DIY project to share with all of you that is perfect for Spring.  This DIY project came about as I was searching for a budget friendly plant hanger and came up empty handed.  So, I headed over to my nearest hardware store and stacked up on some supplies and decided to try and DIY this project myself and it turns out it's extremely easy and inexpensive.  

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER supplies ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed.jpg

SUPPLIES

1.  A pair of sharp scissors

2. One keychain ring 

3. Thick rope or cord ( make sure it is something durable)

4. (Optional) Four wood beads (you can paint a few of the beads before hand as I did with a little bit of acrylic paint to create a pattern of your choosing)

STEPS

To get start all you need to do is cut four strands of cord, make sure to cut your cord at least 15 inches longer than what you want your planner to be when completed. 

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER Steps #1  ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed

Next,  slide your strands of cord through the key ring and at the midpoint tie a secure knot.  

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER Steps #2 ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed

Separate your eight strands of cord into groups of two and measure about 10 inches down from the key ring to begin your half-hitch knot.  This knot is extremely simple to execute, simply begin with your two strands of cord and take the cord on the left hand side and tie a knot around your other strand.  Keep repeating this and be sure to maintain the cord that you are creating knots around as straight as possible.  

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER Steps #3 ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed

After a couple of knots you will begin to notice that you are creating a spiral pattern as you go along.  Continue tying half-hitch knots until you are satisfied with the length of the knots and repeat this process for your three other sets of cords - for this tutorial I created about 20 half-hitch knots per two strands of cord.  

Next you will want to lay your strands of cord flat and grab the right cord of your first set (created by the half-hitch knot) and take the left cord from your second set and 10 inches down from the half-hitch knots tie one half-hitch knot.  If you have decided to utilize the optional wood beads for your DIY macrame planter what you will need to do is string one of your wood beads on the strand of cord you just tied a knot around.  Push the bead to be as close to the knot you just tied and tie two half-hitch knots below it and repeat this process for the remaining cords.  If you decided to not utilize the wood beads simply repeat the process for creating half-hitch knots (for this DIY I tied around 10 half-hitch knots).

DIY MACRAME PLANT HANGER Close Up ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed

To complete your macrame plant hanger simply gather all of your cords and tie a large and secure knot.  To secure your knot even ore, grab the longest strand of cord and wrap it around your other strands and create half-hitch knots (around 10 knots will do).  Trim your remaining strands of cord to be the same length and you then you are ready to place your plant inside of your new macrame plant hanger!  Once you get the hang of the half-hitch knot this process becomes incredibly easy and I ended up making two additional plant hangers in less than 20 minutes.  

I hope everyone enjoyed this simple DIY and if you give it a shot be sure to let me know how it went by leaving a comment below or by sharing a photo of your new plant hanger on Instagram or Twitter and tagging me (Instagram @cautiouslyobsessed - Twitter @cautiouslyob) so I can take a look at your beautiful creation.  Hope everyone is enjoying their Spring so far and be sure to check out the blog for more DIY's to come.  

Posted on March 27, 2015 .

FREEBIE WALLPAPERS | NO. 3

It's almost the beginning of a new month and I wanted to create a couple of wallpapers for you lovelies to download.  Each wallpaper incorporates a positive little message that I hand-lettered and I don't know about you but for me one of the things I tend to stare at the most is my desktop wallpaper, it's the image I see at the start of my day, during my breaks and at the end of the day.  With this in mind I wanted to create wallpapers that would give you a friendly little reminder to either "stay kind", "seek adventure" or that "you can do this." 

Hope you all enjoy your new wallpapers and please be sure to comment me on Instagram (@cautiouslyobsessed) or on Twitter (@cautiouslyob) if you decide to snap a picture of your new wallpaper so I can see your beautiful photos!  

To download the freebie wallpapers, just click on the wallpaper you want below and download the full size version. 

designs by ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed, by downloading this wallpaper you agree the following terms and conditions .  

Please remember that these wallpapers are for personal use only, they are not to be sold, shared, modified or redistributed for any reason.

 

Posted on February 26, 2015 and filed under downloads.

MINI APPLE PIES | RECIPIE

mini apple pies by ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed | www.cautiouslyobsessed.com photo #1.jpg

Here's a simple recipe for Mini Apple Pies which are absolutely delicious and most likely you already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen.  To get started all you need is:

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

1. 1/2 cup of butter (unsalted) diced and chilled

2. 1 1/4 cup of flour

3. A pinch of salt

4. 2-3 tbsp of cold water

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

1. 2-3 Apples peeled + sliced into small pieces

2. 1/3 cup of sugar (or less)

3. 2 tsp of cinnamon

4. 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

5. 1 tbsp of honey

6. 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

TOOLS:

1. Food processor

2. Rolling Pin

3. Mixing Bowl

4. Muffin Pan

5. Measuring cups + spoons

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Then combine your flour and salt in your food processor and slowly add in your butter and water until your dough forms a ball.  If you find your dough to be a bit too dry just add another tablespoon of water.  

2. Spinkle some flour onto your cutting board before rolling out your dough.  Roll out your dough until it is around 1/4in thick - be sure to flip and rotate your dough as you go so it doesn't stick to your surface. 

3. Using a standard 1 cup measuring cup as your guide, firmly press the cup into your dough to create the circles to place into your muffin pan.  This recipe makes about 6 mini pies with left over dough to cover the top of your pies.  

4. Once you have six circles of dough cut out, place them in your muffin pan - gently shape them in the pan until they form little bowls.  With your excess dough cut 6 thin slices of dough per pie (they should be about 4-5 inches long and less than 1/2 inch wide).  

5.  In a large mixing bowl mix your apples, sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, honey and vanilla extract.  

6. Add your filling to your dough, be sure to fill them to the very top of your muffin pan.  

7.  Carefully place your sliced strands of dough over the top of each mini apple pie - place three of the strands horizontally and three vertically to create the effect shown in the photo above.  Cut any excess dough and use the tines of a fork to decorate the edges of each mini apple pie.  

8. Bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is a light brown and your apples are bubbling.  

9. Once you remove your mini apple pies from the oven let them cool for about 10 minutes then gently remove them from your muffin pan with a spoon.  

Mini apple Pies by ©Cristina Martinez of Cautiously Obsessed | www.cautiouslyobsessed.com photo #3.jpg

And that's it!  It's a pretty simple and straight forward recipe and you can pair them with a warm cup of coffee or serve them by themselves for dessert.  If you give this recipe a try be sure to let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below.  Hope everyone is having a lovely day!

Posted on February 17, 2015 and filed under food, RECIPIES.