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!
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.
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.
Enameling all done!
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.
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.

It must be true, I saw it in a dream

Some collaged grungeboard that needs to be sprayed with a fixative (just waiting for some non-rainy weather) and then made into a journal.
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.
Image transfer onto painted grungeboard. How those little bits of paper vex me!
Look how much lovelier this guy is when he’s a little damp and those fibers are out of sight.


Another image transfer on a painted background. Again, still so many fibers to remove.
Looking better — at least until it’s dry.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the rest of my creative week.
One of the two elephant journal covers. I think they’re ready for assembly. Now to get the signatures ready. I think the “cover” of each signature needs to be a sheet of colorful paper.
Various colored or enameled circles. The earrings are complete. I need to figure out and finish the pendants.
One of my next beaded bezel projects. It’s not sparkly, but I do think it will be lovely when it’s done.
Two two pieces will be turned into earrings. I’m really excited to make these happen.

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.