Ready, set … blather on

Just a little notebook I made. Morgan called it art, said it should be a diptych.
There’s been a lot on my mind lately. I recently conducted an interview for my day job. It was with a CEO of a of an international company. His recipe for success is: Decide what you want to do and apply yourself.
I have been chewing on that for weeks. Do I spend evenings making jewelry? Yes. Do I give up most Saturdays six months out of the year to sell said jewelry and other items that I make? Yup.
But there’s so much more to do to feel like I have a handle on the business angle of what I do. I barely dip into social media. (By the way, you can follow me on Instagram at @ponderpress.) I can’t even remember the last time I made use of my business page on Facebook. That’s just the tip of the what-I-should-be-doing iceberg.
A friend told me that success is a state of mind. As much as I agree with that, it all depend’s on one’s goals. I think. If feeling good about what you do is your goal, then just feeling successful is the way to go. Sometimes basking in a sense of community is my biggest goal. But if I’m honest with myself, my dreams have me doing bead embroidery for hours on end. Unfortunately, the pendants I make mean that’s not a financially sound decision. So, what do I need to make and sell to make that dream come true?
And, how much work am I willing to do? I already feel plenty busy, but that’s busy with the fun stuff. Is the promotion that I need to address.
It’s time to set some clear and firm goals, isn’t it? That’s what I thought.
I regret not getting and pressing more of this plant. I don’t regret that blue.
And if all of those thoughts and worries weren’t enough, I signed up for a two-day class at Pratt: Mixed Media Sketchbook. I don’t draw. I don’t keep a sketchbook. What was I thinking? The saving grace is that we’ll be doctoring up blank journal pages with stamps and stencils and image transfers. Those things I do know how to do/use.
But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not freaking out about being expected to at least tackle some kind of drawing or sketch. Then again, this feels a lot like art journaling. I’ve not done much of that, but I’ve sure read many issue of Art Journaling Magazine and and own several books about it.
You see what it’s like to live with my brain? The worry. The rebuttal. More worry. More attempts at calming myself down. It’s exhausting. But it’s also nice to be aware of how I’m feeling and why.
When I expressed my worries to Morgan, he said that my willingness to jump in and try things without any sense of mastery is part of what he likes about me. That sure was nice to hear. It certainly doesn’t mean that there won’t be a continuous inner monologue about how lacking in skills I am and how great everyone is.
Then again, the class is barely a week before Christmas. It seems like a nice time to chill out a little and dabble in something fun. See!? See what it’s like to be witness to my ceaseless push-me, pull-you thoughts? It’s not pretty.
There’s some good depth to this one. Plus, pink and green are great together!

On the bright side of things, in little more than 48 hours my busiest jewelry-selling weekend of the holiday season will be done. Afterwards I can think about making gifts, photographing items for my Etsy store and more. From this vantage point it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But you know what? It’s all going to be OK.

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.