You have to at least try

This week has been filled with no shortage of food for thought, creative missteps and soul searching.

Where to start.
I’ve been busy getting ready for the market. It was silly of me to not be more productive January through March, but … I’m part journalist, and we love working under deadlines.
I had last Saturday and Monday to craft this past week. It felt really good! I did some enameling, which I love. Every time I do I want to do nothing but that for days on end!
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Just a few of the pieces I enameled this week. I love using pennies. And, it really seems to delight people when they realize that’s what I used.
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This is an owl that I etched a month or more ago. I was hoping that the image would still be visible after a coat of embossing powder. No so. So, the owls became the polka dot earrings in the next photo.
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Enameling all done!
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Really finished pieces. Now to get them ready for display next week.
I’ve also been busy with some beaded bezels. The iridescent blue one might be my favorite. After that it’s the yellow and black one. The center is a resin piece that I made. The surface isn’t perfect, but I’m accepting the wabi-sabi nature of it.
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Beaded bezels in various states along the road to completion. The lighting sucks; my apologies. Hopefully we’ll get some sun again in the next week, and I’ll work on something better.
One morning this week I decided to catch up on some of Tara Swiger’s podcasts. The episode about deciding whether you have a business or hobby really hit home. I always say business, but it’s a hobby. And it kind of broke my heart to admit. But, I have some inspiration for small steps to take to do the work Tara mentioned.
I even started following more crafters/makers/jewelers on Twitter to get me away from all-politics all the time. (Well, as I follow Paul F. Tompkins and John Moe, there’s some humor in there too.)
I even started following Austin Kleon, and I’ll be employing some of his “How to steal like an artist” tactics while I learn from my peers. Today, on one of our urban hikes, I’m going to get Morgan to help me finally get my head around hashtags. Why is that concept such a slippery eel to me?
Thinking about a hobby vs. business also made me think about how I can’t really complain too much anymore about not being a selling super star if I’m not doing the work. Sure, I’m making stuff, but I could be doing that without attending the market or other craft events.
My jewelry. (My weight! My disaster-area craft room!) How can I be so disappointed when I’ve not put in the work to make real change. I know what I need to do — on all fronts. It might not be easy, but I know it will be worth it.

Making steps toward the market

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How did I go from being swept up in a month-long beading challenge to taking a month away from blog posts?
Silly question. The answer involves a double-birthday weekend, a business trip, planning for the market and then some.
In that time I also discovered a bead artist who I just adore. My longing to do bead embroidery led me to books by Jamie Cloud Eakin. Her pieces were a huge inspiration for me, and led me to create most of what I’m showing off today.

Because I love this stamped image, of course I love this piece.

This fused glass piece was dichroic gone wrong. However, I’m OK with the overall results now that it’s been embellished.

This wonky fused glass piece is so much better now that it’s been incorporated to something more. I love the colors and the polka dots.

These two pieces make me smile. I put rose dried rose petals in resin. I’d save a few rose buds from the bouquet the vet’s office sent after Slinky died. I’d been wanting to do something with them, and this seemed right.
I have a few more resin-rose petal pieces in the works, but these are a good start.

I’ll have to do another post about putting fresh flowers in resin. And about the heat patina (not Wheatena, Morgan!) class I took last week. And there’s the Sizzix/bead embroidery project to reveal soon.

Plus, I feel like these are enough images for today. There’s not a one of these I don’t like. And, having several pieces of substance ready makes me feel like no matter what, I’ll be able to face the first day of the market head on.

Speaking of the market, I ran into Krista Jefferson of Wild and Whimsical today at the art museum. It’s good to be out and about and see someone you know!

Saying goodbye to my yarn love fest

Here it is Day 15 of Fusion Bead’s Bead Challenge, and I have to admit that I got derailed late last week.
First, when it came to making something with right-angle weave (RAW) for Thursday, I started out with seed beads and really disliked the results. I made about four or five “squares” and was ready to hurl the piece across the room.  

 Impatient with myself? Never! Always! However, not wanting to admit defeat, I decided to try a RAW bracelet with bi-cone crystals. What do you know, it looked much better. Plus, who doesn’t love a good excuse to buy more/play with crystals. But, I didn’t have enough of the colors I bought. So, I went through my stash, found some cohesive colors and started again—simply picking up colors in a random pattern. I didn’t care for that either. Last night (four days after the original challenge) I started the bracelet for the 4th time and think I’ve finally got the right colors and the right (pseudo) pattern.

   Yay! It might just be a b-day gift for my mom.

Here’s last Wednesday’s project.

  
I did the peyote stitch around a channel bracelet. I was covering up a resin image on the bracelet, so the beadwork doesn’t fit 100% like I wanted it to. Regardless, I love the color and the slight shimmer it has.

Friday’s challenge was to make a piece from which you find inspiration from the clasp. I had some OK ideas and a lot of motivation, but still, the most I accomplished was rubbing down both toggle clasps with Gilder’s Paste. At least they’ll be ready when inspiration strikes.

Saturday we were to invite friends over for a beading gathering. Nope. Wasn’t going to happen, so I turned to Sunday’s challenge. The instructions were to try a new bead weaving technique. Playing fast and loose with my interpretation of the challenges, I made a peyote stitch bezel for a Swarovski rivoli bead. I admit it, I do like it.

  
Inspired by the ease of that, I moved on to creating a peyote stitch bezel for a piece of glass I fused a few weeks ago. I quite like this, too. 

  Having previously made a RAW bezel for a cabachon, I’m not sure why anyone would chose that over the peyote stitch. However, different strokes, etc., etc.

I also found instructions online for a square stitch bezel. That really sounds like something I’d like to make. But how will it work with a rectangular, not round, cabachon?

At some point this weekend I began to wonder if the challenges were starting to distract me from things that I really needed to do. I can honestly say that they have pulled me out of the yarn love fest I was having, which is good. But I also know that I really need to get ready for the market. It’s only seven weeks away, and there’s much to do between then and now. So, from here on out, I’m going to see how I can apply each challenge to tasks that need to be completed. One day next week, I think, we’re to fix something that’s broken. Geez, I have a whole envelope full of such pieces.

Oh, and I was hit by craft “lightning” last week. Stay tuned for photos and details.

Plus, Morgan will be hitting the slopes with his brothers this weekend. That leaves me with two full days for mini mosaics, breaking out the cricut and so much more. Not that I won’t miss him dearly, but here’s to a couple of good play days!