Category Archives: Design A Day

A Design a Day – (Day 365! Celebrating One Year of Posting a Design a Day)

Ok, folks…here it is.  My 365th and final design in my Design-a-Day year-long blog project.   Drum roll, applause and…

FIREWORKS!

Watercolor and Gouache "Fireworks" Diamond Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache "Fireworks" Diamond Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

The nice thing about being a designer is that I can design my own celebratory brooch.  I can also design my celebration party  – a date out tonight with my husband for pizza and beer. (Unfortunately, riches and fame haven’t come my way yet, so a slice and the paper brooch are the extent of my luxuries right now.)

What HAS come my way as a result of doing this year-long project is…

the joy of meeting and fulfilling a challenge day after day,

the opportunity to go to my own (self-created) school of design in a public and yet immensely gratifying way,

a great way to keep a daily record of my progress,

the desire to learn new techniques,

confidence in the depths of my visual creativity,

a chance to interact with fans as far away as China, Norway and India,

(and as close as my husband, parents and friends),

and the burning desire to create more designs!

So, what’s next?

While I won’t be posting jewelry designs on a regular basis, I will continue posting on a regular basis (most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.)

First, though, I’ll take a DAY OFF (what’s that?),

and then, starting this coming Monday (September 20th), you’ll see a new blog banner, some changes to the blog’s layout, and you’ll meet my latest creation.

Curious?

Make sure you visit me here on Monday.  Better yet, if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my blog.  That way you’ll never miss a post!

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A Design a Day – Day 364 (The Penultimate Design…Infinity-Inspired Because the Ideas Are Still Coming)

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond "Infinity" Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond "Infinity" Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal: while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before.”

(Polybius)

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A Design a Day – Day 363 (If I Can Do It, So Can You!)

A message to my readers…

I’m now only 2 days from finishing my Design a Day year-long blog project

(that’s a new design every day with no days off!)

I’m also coming up on the 2nd year anniversary of searching for a job in NY city.  Yes, the search WAS long-distance until now, and I was lucky enough to be employed during that time.  (I’m officially STILL employed this year, but on sabbatical not earning any salary.)

I’ve “knocked” on every door that has presented itself to me,

I’ve weathered silence and rejections,

I’ve cried, yelled, screamed and said many bad words.

(But I haven’t lost hope.)

Why?

Because I’ve been too busy creating…

new designs,

new opportunities,

new contacts,

new friends

and,

new dreams.

Watercolor and gouache design featuring lady diver by Joana Miranda

Jeweled Lady Diver by Joana Miranda

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A Design a Day – Day 362 (Being Silly with Cilantro – A Rendering Dedicated to Mr. Sill)

Over the past year, my husband has often provided me with ideas for my daily design a day project.  Tonight, out of the blue, he said

“I think you should design something around cilantro.”

After digging around in our mini-fridge for a specimen to study…

Photo of a sprig of cilantro

I found myself inspired to do this colored pencil earring rendering:

Colored pencil drawing of "cilantro-inspired" earring by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil Drawing of "Cilantro-Inspired" earring by Joana Miranda

Tomorrow, I may be inspired to eat it (the cilantro, not my rendering.)

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A Design a Day – Day 361 (Going with the Flow)

This rendering isn’t perfect (none of my renderings are!), but I had fun letting my imagination wander, and I enjoyed pairing unusual stone cuts and colors in this pendant design:

Watercolor and Gouache Multi-Colored Gemstone Pendant Rendering on Vellum Paper by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Multi-Colored Gemstone Pendant Rendering on Vellum Paper by Joana Miranda

And, to close this post, a wise observation…

“There  is no royal road to anything.  One thing at a time, all things in succession.  That which grows fast, withers as rapidly.  That which grows slowly, endures.”

(Josiah Gilbert Holland)

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A Design a Day – Day 360 (Coming Full Circle – A Modern Brooch Inspired by a Modern Music Concert)

My design for today was inspired by a concert of modern music I heard tonight at the Manhattan School of Music, my husband’s alma mater.  The music was by David Noon, and was a recital of his compositions in celebration of his upcoming retirement after 30 years of dedicated teaching at the school.  The program was as varied as it was long (ok, I’m a little jaded as a professional musician and I only want to hear SO much music…), and the variety spanned everything from solo piano, harp and violin duet, and saxophone quartet, to a sonata for piano and percussion, and a composition for four card players and a card table.

So, without further ado, my design for today:

Pencil sketch of modern diamond and pearl brooch by Joana Miranda

Pencil Sketch of Modern Diamond and Pearl Brooch by Joana Miranda

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A Design a Day – Day 359 (The 9:53 Earring Sketch)

I spent a lot of my creative energies today working on a fun design (to debut soon…), so when I realized tonight that I still needed to come up with a design for my Design-A-Day blog project, I checked the clock in a bit of a panic…

9:53

Although I don’t usually fixate on the time, I did write it in at the top of  my sketch pad.  Then it occurred to me that I might be able to play with the shapes of the numbers to find some inspiration.  The “3” seemed like a good place to start.  As you can see from my VERY rough sketches below, I hit on the idea of pairing the “3” with its reverse, but was having a bit of a dyslexic moment being able to draw a “3” backwards:

Page from Joana's sketch book

"9:53" Doodles in My Sketch Book

I seemed to be going in a slightly nautical vein at first, but didn’t really want to do an “anchor” charm.  Playing around with the negative space between the back-to-back “3s” led me to this earring design:

Pencil Rendering of "9:53" Earring by Joana Miranda

Pencil Rendering of "9:53" Earring by Joana Miranda

When I finished, I looked at the time…

10:19

Not too bad for 26 minutes’ work, and a relief to have met yet another day of  my year-long goal…only 6 more days to go!

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A Design a Day – Day 358 (Taking Inspiration From Nature: Gold and Diamond Link Bracelet)

When you design, paint or do anything creative, it sometimes helps to have outside inspiration.  I took this picture in Vermont recently and happened to glance at it when I sat down to do my design for the day:

Photo of buckets of flowers at a Vermont farm stand taken by Joana Miranda

Photo of Buckets of Flowers at a Vermont Farm Stand taken by Joana Miranda

Because I’m learning that it is important to incorporate “play” into your creative work (something I often forget or put off), I then “doodled” this sketch from my memory:

Pencil sketch of flower buckets by window by Joana Miranda

Pencil Sketch of Flower Buckets by Window by Joana Miranda

Even though I love flowers, what I enjoyed the most about doing the sketch above, was drawing in the knots of wood in the wall behind the flowers.  The lines of wood grain splitting and then closing again around the knots led me to isolate that motif; quite quickly, a concept for a bracelet emerged.  Here is the finished bracelet rendering:

Colored pencil and gouache gold circle and diamond bar bracelet rendering by Joana Miranda

Colored Pencil and Gouache Gold Circle and Diamond Bar Bracelet Rendering by Joana Miranda

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A Design a Day – Day 357 (The Power of Perseverance)

I put in long hours today job-searching, writing to contacts, getting a rejection for a design project, and trying to see if I could jump rope for longer than 60 seconds at a time.

(Of course the happy ending to this story would be if I told you that at 5:29 p.m. the phone rang with a job offer better than I’d ever expected, one of the other agents to whom I’d submitted my designs wrote back to extend a contract offer, and I didn’t even break a sweat after jump-roping for half and hour.)

None of the above happened today.

However, the GOOD news is that after all the above I can now…

1). Do 20 minutes of jump-roping in intervals, including inserting a few criss-cross moves and a few backwards jumps (try it – it’s harder than you think)

2.) Touch my toes (knees completely straight) for the first time in forever, since I never feel like I have time to stretch

AND

3.) I pushed myself to do the architecture-inspired pendant sketch below, even though I was feeling discouraged, cranky and tired:

My Inspiration:

Photo of NY lamp post near Riverside Drive taken by Joana Miranda

Photo of NY Lamp Post Near Riverside Drive Taken by Joana Miranda

The Sketch:

Pencil sketch of scroll-work pendant by Joana Miranda inspired by NY lamp post

Pencil Sketch of Scroll-Work Pendant by Joana Miranda Inspired by NY Lamp Post

What’s the power of perseverance?

It’s the key to being able to hold your head high, your back a little straighter, and to have genuine sympathy for the guy who takes you by surprise inside CVS drugstore asking if you can spare a little change.  It’s the knowledge that you got through today, and that tomorrow might just bring another email, a possible phone call, renewed energy and maybe even the ability to jump-rope for 25 minutes of intervals.

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A Design a Day – Day 356 (Out and About in NY City – Finding a Seed of Inspiration)

The sights and sounds of NY -

Blinding sun glinting off the Hudson River by Riverside Park yesterday,

a rude heckler yelling “Yah! Go!  Keep it up” as I did my jump-roping and “burpees” in the park,

Jews gathered in groups along the parkway path reading and singing in observance of Rosh Hashanah today,

the “fwap-fwap” of my Nike windbreaker as I braced head-first into the 30 mph wind gusts on my early evening walk,

and this curious seed pod I picked up, put in my pocket, (and only remembered when I laid on my side and thought my hip bone was going bad),

Photo of seed pod found in Riverside Park by Joana Miranda

Photo of seed pod found in Riverside Park, NY by Joana Miranda

all led me to create this pendant rendering tonight:

Watercolor and gouache gold and diamond ball, chain and tassel pendant rendering on black silk cord by Joana Miranda

Watercolor and Gouache Gold and Diamond Ball, Chain, and Tassel Pendant Rendering on Black Silk Cord by Joana Miranda

I’m dedicating this rendering to my parents, who are celebrating their 42nd anniversary tonight.

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