Week Ten…Hormones + Perfectionism + Soft Beads = A Big Mess

This week has been a challenge in general and in jewelry making.  I don’t like living the messy parts of life and I don’t like sharing them, but I will because we all have them.  We all have those moments when we are trying our hardest at something and we just end up feeling more and more frustrated.  It is kind of like a car stuck in the mud and you are spinning tires trying to get out, but you only sink deeper into the mud…which is making negative progress.

My project this week was the Biker Chain Chic Ring by Perri Jackson.  It is a beautiful ring and I started out excited to try it.  I have many different tutorials by Perri Jackson, but I have always been hesitant to try them because of how complicated they looked.  There are several included in my list for me to do in this jewelry challenge.  I chose one that looked pretty straight forward…or so I thought.

I will say that the tutorial is well written in general and I think if I wasn’t such a perfectionist it would be great.  There are so many helpful hints and options on how to modify the pattern throughout the tutorial that make it more than a simple ring tutorial, but I found them frustrating as I was trying to make the ring.  I had scanned the tutorial fully before I began, but it took me a while to realize there were all the hidden gems included in the tutorial and that threw me off as I was trying to make the basic ring.  For me it would have been helpful to have the basic ring tutorial and then all the extras, but I am sure many people love the format it is written in.  I guess I was too focused on the individual steps that it took me too long to see the bigger picture.  That is one of the weaknesses of being a detail oriented person…sometimes you are just too close.

Something else working against me this week was the new beads I ordered especially for this ring.  They were 2 mm and 3 mm copper beads.  I don’t recommend copper beads…they are way too soft.  I was working on the beginning of the ring and I was supposed to use a beading awl to lock the beads in a square pattern by molding the weaving wire to the top part of the bead hole.  It didn’t work…the awl went straight through the bead…that is how I figured out they were too soft. I babied them after this discovery. 🙂

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Split copper bead the awl went through
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Another picture of the bead the awl went through

The beads were a concern and some did end up naturally separating, but I still wanted to try the project.  Another concern I had was the 26 gauge wire hardening and breaking as I made the ring.  It never did break, but I did kink it a couple of times.

All of these things added up to a rough jewelry making experience this week.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the hormones that made all of these things so much bigger in my mind than they were in reality this week.  I am always an emotional person, but most of the time I am also a logical person…except for that certain time that visits and then there is only illogical thought and irrational emotions.   It can be a scary time to be sure…like a stranger has taken residence in your body, but enough about that. 🙂

Now I should say all of these things together found me crying over a silly project ready to give it all up.  Sigh, it was not one of my better moments to say the least.  I went to sleep and hoped the next day would be better.  I also thought it might be helpful to work on something different…you know something quick and easy! 🙂  So I picked out another tutorial to make thinking it would be pretty straight forward.  I chose the Mini Evil Eye Earrings tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  It started out fine, but was taking me a lot longer that I thought it would.  I also didn’t plan on the mirror imagining that needs done in earrings.  Guess what the end result of this evening endeavor was…you guessed it…crying and ready to quit.  It is never fun to be in that place…especially when you chose to do the activity that leads to it.

Well the end result of all this mess is that I needed some space.  I took a break from making anything and let my mind clear and the hormones go back to normal.  Then I looked at the tutorials again.  I am pretty confident that I will be able to finish them without too much trouble at this point.  Yes, I said finish…I have two unfinished projects this week.  I plan to finish them this week along with working on something new and I will post the finished products with next week’s entry.  For now though here is what I have completed so far…

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In progress Biker Chain Chic Ring
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Another view of the Biker Chain Chic Ring in progress
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In progress Mini Evil Eye Earrings (the left one is the back view and the right is the front view

Some things I learned this week are…

~Take a step back from the details to gain the bigger picture.

~Don’t compare my progress with others.

~Just because I am not fast doesn’t mean I can’t make jewelry.

~Not finishing isn’t the end…giving up is.

~Time away and sleep can give much needed perspective.

~Learning is hard and not always fun, but I still want to learn.

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