Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fun Window Merchandising!

I’m sure at some point there was a past life where I dressed mannequins in fancy dress shops, posing them in alluring them positions to show the drapes and folds of the finest tailored fabrics. Or maybe even a mail sorter, quickly organizing mail in address, route, truck with speed and efficiency.
Well, neither are my current job. I sell musical instruments for a little company exclusive in Canada called Long & McQuade Musical Instruments. It’s a pretty rad place to work, I must say. Retail pays what it’ll always pay, but as a suffering artist, misery loves company. Long & McQuade likes to hire musicians, and are very flexible when it comes to working around schedules that lots of gigging musicians have. For example: we’re closed on Sundays! Even if you’re not a gigging musician, that’s still pretty awesome. With the customer service policy in mind, we set out to match your needs with the right combination of our products and services.

(Author’s note: Ha! I just checked the mission statement to see if I got that right, and I did! I didn’t even have to go back and correct it!)

I like working where I work because it allows me to exercise two of my Zen activities: macro-organization and merchandising. Dealing with musical instruments usually means having to deal with the smaller components that make them up, so there are drawers and drawers full of extra saxophone key pads, guitar picks, microphone caps, turntable needles, drum felts, you name it. Now, each department is separate, so imagine the mess that it could create! If my fellow beaders can appreciate, imagine recreating an organizational process every week. I mean, completely changing it. Gets really tiring after a while, doesn’t it? Well, most organization techniques I use at work are usually trial-and-error issues I’ve had with my own supplies at home.

Window merchandising is something completely different. I love doing that stuff! Showing off your product in the best light possible to make it an attractive buy for customers. It’s like giving the best first impression on a job interview; you don’t walk in there wearing your pyjamas, you’ve got on the swankiest, presidential best. Merchandising something like musical instruments has both its pros and cons. Just looking at an instrument can evoke images in your mind’s eye of some of your favourite musicians. Maybe you can even picture playing one yourself! When you get the right look and combination, sometimes something else comes of it. Check out the pictures below of the windows we’ve featured in the store!

(Author's note: The month of May isn't here because there wasn't a display! The room was needed for temporary overstock storage.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Book-to-Movie Inspirations: Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' Saga & J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' series

With two of the biggest book franchises now turned into movie blockbusters, it's hard not to deny their influence. These two pieces, inspired by the Harry Potter series and The Twilight Saga, came together because of my love and appreciation for these series of books that will most certainly stand the test of time as part of our pop culture.

NECKLACE NO. 1: “Hedwig” I was a late bloomer when it came to Harry Potter. I’m not saying that I was against it, or that I ever boycotted it, I just didn’t pick it up right away and read it. The first few books were more of a severe pre-teen market, but I remember it picking up pace (and interesting reviews) when it was accused of teaching children ‘witchcraft’ and possibly lured into ‘occult worship’. I think that’s what made me read these books, as well as my good friends Karen and Curtis, who are bookworms themselves, who gave good praises and recommendations.

Later in the series, darker themes are introduced as Harry reaches an age of maturity, and the perspective matched an older, more mature Harry as he faces these challenges. Here, I’ve made a necklace dedicated to his loyal pet owl, Hedwig, given to him as a gift from Reubus Hagrid, groundskeeper at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Here is where Harry will begin his legacy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Television Themes in Jewelry: J.J. Abram's 'Lost'

Hello hello!

Well, to start off the blog, I'll share with you a few pieces I've made that are inspired by the alternate distraction while I make jewelry: the idiot box! (Well, dad calls it that, but he's just as guilty.) I like watching TV and movies while I create; visual stimuli of all sorts is a great thing to have while creating something, sometimes even on the fly. When you find yourself immersed in these shows, you certainly find yourself creating for them!

My boyfriend, Nick, and I are huge J.J. Abrams fans, especially of the fine quality television programming that he's brought our way, like Alias, Fringe, and especially, Lost. Dexter, Heroes and Prison Break make it high up on the charts there, as well as some fantastic 'peripheral' shows like Carnivale (thanks to my good friend, Laura), Dead Like Me and Twin Peaks. A good story is intruiging, regardless of median. I'm sure if we were still listening to radio programs, our parents would still be complaining (or we would still be complaining to our children) to stop rotting our brains!

So let me present the first batch of necklaces inspired by the television show, Lost. These were the first made from this new branch of inspiration, as Nick and I were just being introduced to the show. It's a benefit when you watch a show a la DVD boxset, because you're not biting your nails down to the cuticles waiting for next week! For all us Lost fans, I'm sure we're all wearing bandages on our fingertips waiting for Season 6!

NECKLACE NO. 1: "The Island" This one was created well into the first discovery of Season 3, with the introduction of the omnipotent leader of the Others, Jacob. Amongst the paradise atmosphere, weird science hatches and experiments, and scary monsters toboot, not only are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 lost geographically, but within themselves, with each other, and with their own values of faith, logic, destiny and survival. All the while, Jacob wants to reminds you that 'God loves you as he loved Jacob.'

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