This week marks the halfway point of my six month challenge. It is hard to believe that is the case because it has flown by. I am so thankful for and excited about all that I have accomplished in this time. It has been quite a journey so far and to know it is only halfway done makes me excited to see where it will end up. I have plans where it will end up, but things always end up looking at least a little different from the planned outcome…sometimes it looks completely different and you wonder why you wasted all that time planning in the first place.
I am definitely a planner and a perfectionist to boot and I have always been proud of those things because I have been a person to get stuff done. Over the last few years though, I have become aware of the weaknesses that come along with those strengths and that has been hard. I have been reading a book called Taming The To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer and this week one of the chapters was on perfectionism and it really hit home with the weaknesses of it. Something that is mentioned is two ways how perfectionism makes us not accomplish things…one by starting, but not finishing and two by never starting to begin with. Another thing it talks about is difference between excellence and perfectionism…”Excellence pushes us to do our best; perfectionism pushes us to be the best. Perfectionism is the enemy of learning and growing and enjoying areas of life where we haven’t achieved mastery.” Boy, that really hit home with me. I always wanted to do the best I could, but when I examined my motivation it really was to be the best…not because I think I am great, but because I wanted others to think I have value and in some round about way that would help me feel like I have value. Now there are all kinds of other issues going on there and since this isn’t a counselling blog, let me make my point in all this as it relates to my journey in jewelry.
There have been many projects over the past couple of years that I have wanted to do and even bought a tutorial for, but never started because I didn’t think I could do it perfectly and so I didn’t want to waste my time on something less than perfect…man I sound like a snob, but really I am just insecure with really high personal standards that I can’t achieve. I had gotten to the point that I wasn’t really making jewelry unless I needed a gift because I was getting so bogged down with fear and feelings of failure because I wasn’t creating.
Late in May I reach a point at which I was sick of being paralyzed by this fear and wanted to do something about it, so after some thinking and praying I came up with a challenge for myself…and here we are about seventeen weeks later. I have seen the Lord help me grow in so many ways. I am making jewelry on a regular basis, more confident in creating jewelry, excited about trying new things, and willing to open up and share about my journey as I grow. I am even thinking about trying to sell some of my jewelry…which is a something I want to do, but is a bit scary.
Now for this week’s creation…:) I made the Nestled Charm Pendant Tutorial by Nicole Hanna. There was a lot of weaving involved which can be fun, but challenging. It is harder to get a neat weave at the beginning of a new weaving section when you are holding a curved piece of wire versus straight, but I have found that if I take it slow and work with each wrap of wire it is possible.
Here is the finished piece…
There were two things that I ran into with this pendant that gave me some trouble. The first is how all of the weaving on the left spread out a lot more than it did in the tutorial. It was something that happened in the early stages of the tutorial, but I didn’t become aware of it until much later. I was able to change the spacing a little just by molding the weaves closer together. I am happy with the final product, but I will also be more conscientious about the earlier steps and figure out how they affect the piece later on.
The other thing that gave me trouble was I ran out of wire for the final part which is the bare wire on the right side. Now this really surprised me because I always add at least six centimeters to each measurement of the base wires of a tutorial so I don’t run into that problem. I tried to make the little nub I had left work, but it got really kinked, so I ended up trimming that piece and grafting in another small section of wire so I could get a nice curve that wasn’t kinked. I was really pleased with how it turned out.
Here are some pictures that show where I am talking about…
I am always so much more satisfied with my finished product when I take my time and make it nice even though it takes longer. I have to remember that feeling when I am impatient and just want to finish a piece.
As I continue on my jewelry making journey I need to remember that I want my pieces to be excellent…not perfect. As the book (Taming the To-Do List) said, “Sometimes done is better than perfect.” Hopefully I will continue to grow and aim for excellence since that is attainable.
Before I say goodbye for this week, here are some pictures of the pieces that I oxidized this week…