The Creation Process – Annette Piper

17 08 2008


A lot of people ask me how I manage to create the pieces that I do.  Its not that they’re that complex, but even simple pieces can take a lot of organizing!  


Unlike some designers who start with a design in mind, I start with a beautiful stone or strand of stones.  Beautiful to me of course.   When I look at them I see the possibilities of how they could be in a finished piece that would be attractive to wear, even if they don’t look that spectacular all by themselves.  


Some pieces you just know are going to be stunning and going to be snapped up quickly.  Others may quietly achieve and these can’t be discounted as there has to be items for those people who don’t like their jewellery to loudly announce their presence.


Once I have the stones I look at the colour, patterns, texture and automatically, possible combinations are being imagined.  I consider them all and those that may have some merit I haul out and place next to the stones, to see if there is that ‘spark’ that will make them irresistible, or whether there is a gentle acceptance of each other. 


Sometimes the possibilities that I imagine so vividly end up sitting there with their backs to each other in a standoff situation.   It’s okay, I realize I’m not always right.


After the basic combination is there, this is followed by moving things around and often a partial mock up to see if it will work.  Once that shows promise, it is ready to be completed.  

A combination like this can take quite a while to get just right

A combination like this can take quite a while to get 'just right'




With some of my more complex combinations it starts off the same way – to see if the individual stones looks great together.  Once I have that right, then I start tipping quantities into a container and keep adding to the mix until the overall look is ‘just right’.   Then comes the construction.


It can be quite a lengthy process.  The actual creation time may take half an hour or it may take days.  (Some pieces are very reluctant to change their state in those latter cases!)   The actual construction is usually fairly fast, but I have to be in the ‘mood’.   If I’m not, regardless of how good the combination is, it just won’t have the pizzazz of the pieces I make when feeling quite passionate about them.


It could reasonably be said that there is a little bit of me in all my pieces – through the creations process of my inspiration, my skill and my passion.  So when people buy my jewellery, they are buying a little touch of me too.


Motivation – Maranda Miller

29 10 2007


My task for this month is to discuss the concept of motivation. So before I can write about it I had to the define the word. Webster’s dictionary defines motivation as an act or process of motivating. Which is defined as to provide with motive. And finally the main definition – motive – something that causes a person to act.

These definitions truly embark on the concept of motivation – But one thing I feel it fails to provide in it’s definition is the word passion. I’ve been reading Martha Stewart’s book – “The Martha Rules” – just because she has done things I aspire to take place via ZeVin Creations as it relates to card sending and even making. Anyway – in the first chapter there is this paragraph

Passion is the first and most essential ingredient for planning and beginning a business or for starting and satisfactorily completing any worthwhile project. Without passion, work is just work, a chore. Without passion, quality, the cornerstone of all businesses, is simply about minimum standards. Without passion, the people who will benefit directly from your efforts – the customers – seem incidental.”

which to me is one of the components of my personal motivation – my passion! My passion for touching someones life with one of the cards I’ve designed. I love and I’m grateful to be able to take in information about the recipient and make this one of a kind piece which becomes a gift as well as a card.

The second component in my personal motivation is my dreams for the company. It is amazing how making cards started out as a hobby and now almost 3 years later it is a business that I love being part of and is the main source of my current life vision and goals which have in turn become my life dreams.

You know in this line of business you experience various forms of setbacks such as difficult customers, bad shows, and decreased sales. For example, when we first started we took on a wedding custom order in our first year — What were we thinking? This custom order set us back financially and emotionally – we didn’t want to dare do another custom order despite the lessons learned. But I had to remember why I got into this business and realized that within my business dreams was custom orders. This gave me the motivation to say okay we will do custom orders but with restrictions and regulations.

So for me my passion for touching someone’s life via a card and my dreams for ZeVin Creations to be a household name are what gives me the drive to keep going despite bad moments and/or people in this business. As Webster’s states it those two components are what cause me to act, but since I’m a math person I prefer this formula for motivation.

MOTIVATION = PASSION + DREAMSMaranda Miller is one of the sisters for the company – ZeVin Creations – which provides handmade greeting cards for all cultures and occassions. You can learn more about the company via their blog “Making Gifts Within A Card” at