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!
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.
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.
The other night I dreamed that I was back in Muncie, Indiana, finishing—I believe—my journalism degree. Graduation was looming, and I discovered some jewelry-making classes. The first one I was going to take was something like “working with big beads.” We had to pick out several big “beads,” which weren’t really beads as much as trinkets and what not. Once I saw the bottles of nail polish, I knew that we were going to change the appearance of those items and turn them into “beads.” I wanted to go back and get a small plastic chicken leg that I’d seen, but the instructor (a woman who taught PR classes in the Journalism Dept. at Ball State University when I was there in the late ’90s) had packed them all up.
I was so excited about this class and the whole series of classes/jewelry program. People were hassling me because I hadn’t signed up for the fall semester, but I told them that I’d only just found out about the program. I needed to jump into class, but I could hardly wait to get online and see what other classes were offered.
And then I woke up. At 4 a.m. I started looking into classes at Pratt and Danaca Studios. I found an image transfer on polymer clay class I want to take. And, I’m tempted by a master class in working with metals. I’ve done a little of that, but I just don’t trust most of my metal skills.
There’s much to think about these days. The best time for that is when I get in my creative zone. If only I could pinpoint when I’m most apt to get answers. At least the dream, I think, was getting me to think about things in new ways. Paint a plastic chicken leg? Why not?! I’ve used the stamp that says “It must be true; I saw it in a dream” twice this week. Maybe my stamps are affecting my dreams.
And the real kicker is that when I got to work (in real life), my badge had given up the ghost and wouldn’t let me in to the building.
On a note of thing rooted in reality, I tried two image transfers onto painted backgrounds. On, those remaining bits of paper out to get me. Grrr …
Maybe these two will become journal covers. Maybe not. It all depends on my battle with paper fibers.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the rest of my creative week.
Lastly, before getting out of bed this morning I began to wonder how easy it would be to bead on craft felt. I know it’s floppy, but an embroidery hoop might just do the trick. I have some fun printed sheets (why??) and think that the colors and prints could look great with beads. I suppose I’d better go and find out.
I took Monday off for some crafting time, and it was very much what I needed.
I broke out my wood-burning tool, glitter acrylic medium, beads and more. Monday opened the door to wanting to create, and that feels good.
Mostly I’m trying to use up some of my inspirational bits and bobs. There’s no sense starting from scratch.
Here’s a quick visual journey of the rest of my week.
Here are a variety of pieces that needed to be strung, fixed with resin, beaded around, altered or assembled.
The top right two pieces will likely go to mom. I feel like I did very little to construct them and just can imagine selling them. The open circle on the bottom right is made from glitter, resin and dried flower petals from the roses I got when Slinky passed away. (sigh …)
While I was fixing a few pieces with resin, I finished a few more that incorporate foil, glitter and dried flowers. Oh! I bought a primrose yesterday and already have petals tucked away in a book. I also bought some seeds to plant that I will grow, then pick, then smash, then turn into jewelry. I’m ready to get that ball rolling.
Lastly, here are the journal covers I showed last week. I have a hope they’re salvageable. I have some ideas, but that’s what I said seven days ago. If they’re notsalvageable, that’s why the art gods gave us gesso!
Once again I can’t help but marvel at how a girl who really likes to write struggles with creating blog posts. Regardless, I’m here now and ready to share some of what claimed my time last week. I had the week off, and it was great to be a little bit lazy and whole lot of productive.
Before I could make a mess, I had to tidy up. In doing so, I took a long look at this encaustic piece I did a couple of years ago. After trying it out, I think it might just stay where it is.
Then, I rekindled my romance with pearl knotting and whipped up these necklaces. Two of them sold at the market last week. (Yay!!) Plus, it’s the ideal craft for Morgan’s place. We don’t alway agree on how much light there should be, and pearl knotting does not necessitate any kind of interrogation light.
The week away from work also gave me an opportunity to have lunch with my friend Jonna. It was a pleasure to visit with her and her daughter. And, I ended up the happy recipient of many new enameling powders. So, I spent Wednesday enameling. I still haven’t mastering the bead-pulling station. Grr …
But I’m pleased with these flat pieces.
Then it was time to break out the polymer clay to see what I could do. I’d recently seen a post about creating a faux glazed- ceramic look with clay, so I gave it a whirl. Like the enameled pieces, there were hits and misses. I’m particularly pleased with these two.
This piece is no specific look, but I think it’s kind of cool. How will I turn these all in to actual necklaces? Stay tuned …
And here, just for fun, are two pieces I whipped up while at the market. I am very much taken by the cat. I just love those colors.
Next, I want to say how much I love Rubber Moon Stamps. Some of their designs are so lovely and inspiring. Sure, they might be a little woo-woo, but I do mean that in the best possible way.
So that’s kind of it, in a nutshell. I found stuff to donate, throw away, file away and finish. It was indeed a soul-satisfying week. Now, four about 10 more just like it.
Long before I ever had a blog I told people that it was the photography that was holding me back. I didn’t want to photograph each and every pendant or piece I make. Even with a light box or taking advantage of natural lighting, I’m rarely happy with my photos. The staged photos seems to be riddled with too many shadows or less-than-accurate colors. And the off-the-cuff images are plagued by distracting backgrounds or close ups of my hands, which look like they belong to someone about twice my age.
But, I’ve kept plugging away at it, knowing that it’s better to post something than nothing at all. And then, I learned that when I post photos to my blog by using my phone and the photos all looked upright like they should, that if I looked at those same images on my computer, the photos were all sideways. That will explain some previous posts.
Apple does something weird with photos, something that Morgan could explain. So, I tried taking some landscape photos. And guess what. I’m left handed, so my photos ended up upside down. Come on, Apple!! What’s the deal. I have been one of those people who has felt smug about my love of all things Apple since the early 90s. Could the love affair be coming to an end? Oh, I hope not.
So, I’ve shrugged off making any posts as a way to not start down the frustrations of flip-flopped photos. (Update: Even though my photos are upright here, they still look sideways when I look at my blog on my phone. I really don’t know what to do anymore.)
Not to mention being caught up in some summertime blahs that have left me less industrious than I care to admit. It’s been a weird summer. Between rain and work travel, I have yet to get into a good market groove. The market is entering its third month tomorrow, and I have yet to see some regular customers. Am I that dependent on routines? Maybe. Probably.
What I do know is that I want to harness the energy I do have to enamel some beads, which will be a first for me. I also want to put to use my massive quantities of seed beads. And there’s clay. There’s always clay. Someday I’ll be seriously proficient in something. Someday I’ll feel like less of a jack of all trades, master of none. Maybe. Until then I’ll keep being me and doing what I do, how I do it. There’s still so much to try and learn, including how to take photos with my phone that will show up with the right orientation when viewed on a desktop computer.