Beating myself up while plagued with self doubt

I only just tried the pamphlet stitch. Small potatoes for people who make journals regularly. Truly a game changer for me. How I love having stitched signatures *and* a pristine spine.

Welcome to the last day of November. I’m making and making myself crazy with worries and self doubt.

Before I continue, here’s my full disclosure. I didn’t sleep well at all last night. And the night before I woke up at 3:20 and could not get back to sleep. Those aren’t ideal conditions for trying to write a lot of coherent words. That said, I’m going to aim for just words. With my love of/penchant for typos, just getting real words on the page is enough for me.

It seems like just a week ago or so ago I had visions of adding more items to my Etsy shop. Now I understand that it might not happen. Another selling season lost.
I’m committing myself to getting my business-owner act together next year. I’ll spend December concocting a plan. That will be good food for thought while I finish up some remaining Christmas presents.

(Warning: rambling ahead! When I tried to post this page, the bots told me I didn’t write enough. Geez, even the robots know I’m a slacker, that my work could be better.

I dislike the litany of not enough time, frustration of wrestling with decent photographs, day job getting in the way. Why is sleep important? Why is me-time (not to be confused with me Lucky Charms) important? Why can’t I get away from my desk for regular lunch breaks? That would help, right? Maybe…

And is my title a lie? Am I really plagued with self doubt? I’m truly obsessed with maximizing my time. Or, wanting more time to maximize. I know I can make a lot of things: I’m really busy. And, I can make some cool things. It’s the damn business side. So I’m back to thinking about whether or not I’m ready to do the work. I tell myself I am. But my actions reveal another truth.

I also have to wonder. Is not putting items online a way to protect myself? I mean, if something isn’t available in my Etsy store, then it will never be rejected. Neat, huh?!

So, it’s not self doubt. Fear of failure—or fear of success—might be the better diagnosis. I can hear Morgan saying: That’s why you should never do anything. He’s joking of course. I think.

{I can also hear him laughing over my saying that with current events what they are, I’d rather listen to podcasts about murderers and cults than the news.}

[Look at all of these parentheses. What say we treat these musing like a math problem.

Ready for the answer?

I’m going to channel Douglas Adams and say 42.])

Speaking of Christmas gifts, which I was before the bots got into my head and made my keep typing to reach a specific word count, how much do you love these journals made from an old Six Million Dollar Man board game? I really love them!

And, a looong meeting in a packed room (where I sat in back with the bad kids) gave me nearly three hours to dabble in sketches/doodles.

why are knees and feet so weird?
Why haven’t I done a bead-embroidered hedgehog yet? Then a snail!! Sequins for the shell? Maybe… the weird bit to the upper left is the argyle wrinkles a man had on the back of his neck.

Hey, I’m not saying I’m one of the greats, all I’m saying is that it’s good to keep practicing. (I mean, that leg looks reasonably like a human leg. Now I need to work on the rest of the body.)

After being so excited about the pamphlet stitch, I started to wonder, again, if I’ve reached a point where I like making notebooks and journals more than I like filling them. I know I’d love art journaling. Add it to my new year to-do list.

I popped into Goodwill this past weekend to look for books that would provide good “bones” for some pamphlet-stitch journals. I came away with three solid options, including this book with this inscription. Oh how that made me smile.

Not only do I want to get to stitching signatures together and onto some kind of substrate, but I recently discovered  junk journals. I am so late to that party that the lights are up and the host is cleaning up.) Of course I want to make one—or 10–and an organizing project coincided with a search for “junk” to include in said journal.

That means stitching. I also want to try an easy one with staples to hold the signatures together and glue to hold the signatures in. Making journals and doing bead embroidery are the key to a happy creative life for myself. I need to keep finding time for both of those things. Wait!!! How about a paper mache joyrnal cover with some bead embellishments??!! See, lots of fun ideas. Certainly more ideas than time.

Staplers! Another goal is to buy a fat notebook and staple all of my receipts into it. I always say I’ll be more organized in the new year. 2018 is the year I make it so. This time next year you can look for a post titled “How a long-reach stapler changed my life.”

Look! I made it to 900 words. That beefier word count is another focus for the new year. I’ll keep giving in to the bots in hopes that they’ll reward me richly.

 

 

 

Resin, resin everywhere

When I first discovered resin, I wanted to put it on all surfaces. Well, anything that might make for fun jewelry or even card embellishments. And, like it or not, I got resin on my clothing and in my hair, and Slinky even managed to get it in her fur more than once. But any mostly flat surface would be embellished and then sealed with resin. The world was full of crafty possibility.

As time has gone by, I’m not quite as zealous. I still work with resin on a weekly basis, but I’m reigned in some of that experimentation. That said, when Morgan showed me what people were doing with keycaps, I wanted to give it a try. Here are my results: Four resin and flower caps with one Pebeo paint (and soon to be “plus resin”) caps. The tricky part was getting the caps even so that resin wouldn’t just flow over the side. I have some ideas for round two.
They’re all prototypes, in my eyes. The next step is to try them out on Morgan’s mechanical keyboard. (Hey, that’s a good title!)
I do like the way lights shines on through the resin. The paint is much more opaque.
Light shines nicely through the cap with resin.
The cap with paint is much more opaque.
These two pendants are also the result of me wanting to embellish something.
These were both big beads that I decorated with rub-on transfers and sealed with resin. There’s a pleasing heft to both of them. The silver one is really lovely, imho.
After scoring three animal “-opoly” games at Goodwill last Sunday, I decided to forge ahead and turn them into journals even if I have plenty of journals on hand.

Instead of gluing cards onto page of the journals, I made pockets and slipped in random cards from the games.
Plus, these two Reader’s Digest collections have lovely covers. The blue tape looks a little flat in this photo, but it’s really fun in real life.
The seahorse journal may stay with me. I’m so smitten with it.
My dad is visiting tomorrow evening through Thursday. I’m very excited for him to be here. Because my time will be spoken for over the next several days, it only makes sense to post this now. Here’s to keeping cool when the temperature gets into the 90s on Sunday. (Ugh! No thank you, please!!)

I know just where to put the glitter

What a week, what a week.  I completed two custom orders and really love this one.

It’s time to order more blue and green lucite cabs. Especially because this new piece sold within the first two hours of the market yesterday.

The two journal covers below have resulted in more than enough inner turmoil and self doubt. I feel that I’ve gone too far, and then I feel that it’s just right. Then I make a mistake. Then I think of a fix I can live with. Tricky business, collage making.

Plus, in my mind, circles equal bubbles, which equal water. Stars equal sky. But I ran into having to reconcile circles/bubbles with green. That’s not a water color. And now I feel like twinkling stars are what this really needs.
Happily, when I googled “blue-green sky” I came up with some images of the northern lights. So green isn’t as strange of a sky color as I imagined it could be. I used to think I was a graphic minimalist, but after the layer upon layer of color and paint that I added to these, I have to admit that I might not be. And, I’m OK with that. While I first felt they were kind of lame, I’m now pleased with the results — even the fun tape to help seal the rough edges.
While waiting for layers to dry, I whipped up this journal, replacing the text block with plain paper which is glued in thank to my freebie “Your Story” binder.
I also created this one from a Seattle History Monopoly game. I might be set with journals for now — until a few sell.
In the midst of my making mania Thursday night I realized that three shelves in my craft room were taken up by bedding, and it hit me that I could move things around to free up some space. So, I got out of bed early, cleared off the shelves and am now in the very real beginnings of reorganizing my shelves to better serve my crafting needs and habits.
Lastly, these are prototypes. There are some air bubbles that displease me, but … I think it’s an interesting look, as if the flowers are floating.
I guess I’ll drill some holes, add a chain and see whether or not people like them. No harm in trying. (Although, that might violate my goal of simplifying my jewelry offerings.)
And, for funsies, I made a few more pendants with dried flowers and resins.
They get a lot of positive compliments, which makes me happy. (Yesterday when I asked a customer if she had any questions, she said: “No, only compliments.” That goes right up there after someone saying that I “know just where to put the glitter.”
Happy Memorial Day everyone!
p.s. I’m only 56 days away from having a week off to play at home. It’s become one of my favorite weeks of the year.

I’d forgotten the fun of collage

First things first: I am officially allowed to sell journals at the Redmond Saturday Market now. And, to sweeten that reality, three of my journals sold last week. Which, while validating, sent me into a panic about needing to make more. So, this week has been about collaging. I have to admit that I felt no small amount of panic knowing that what I create will be “out there” for people to judge with their dollars—or not. Never mind that that’s how it is and has been with my jewelry for years now.

Meet my mom — sometime in the early to mid 60s. Morgan loves this collage. It has its charms.
The back side of the “Mutti” journal. I feel OK about this one, too.

Here’s where one moment of distraction will lead to some serious heartbreak. I want this to be the front, and the I punched the holes on the wrong side of each cover. Oh, Stephanie! 

Here’s the now front of the “Remember” journal. There’s some cool texture at the bottom that isn’t obvious from this photo. Have I said lately how much stencils and sprays/mists make me happy?

 

Hedgehog journal cover! Do I really need to say anything else?
The interesting thing is that one of my fellow vendors, who served as a judge on my three-person jury, gave me a lot of unsolicited advice. Some of it was good: shut the car’s hatch, put down a rug or some such and don’t let people be distracted by stuff beyond your booth.
So, I ironed my big plastic banner and bought some astro turf. We’ll see what a difference those to things do or do not make.
But then he went on to say that jewelers are everywhere and I should focus on journals and less on the jewelry. I was kind of miffed about that. My stuff if not unique to the world; however, it’s different from what the other jewelers at RSM have to offer.
It did lead me to wonder (again) if I should focus on just two or three types of jewelry. But what would I give up? Not resin or beads or dried flowers or metal or clay. I do think that I can remove some of the small-ticket items. Perhaps that’s the key.
Anywho, now that I’ve mentioned clay, here are some of this week’s experiments. More crackle paint on clay.
After waiting two weeks, I finally stuck these pieces in the toaster oven so that they’d dry and the paint would turn white. That did the trick. I love the color on the top two pieces on the right. Those on the left are waiting for color.
From this angle, the flower looks acceptable. However, I had to add more alcohol ink on top of it. See below.
Finally some colors I can live with.

Even better, richer colors. I remember how hopeful I was that the resin wouldn’t remove the ink color. Instead, it darkened it up.