Week Twenty-Six…The Grand Finale

I cannot believe I am just wrapping up the final week of my six month challenge!  There were a couple of weeks that made this challenge feel like it might last forever, but overall it has gone so quickly!

When I chose the project for my “finale” I wanted it to be the most complicated piece I have done yet and it really was.  I completed the Freeform Wire Bracelet, which is the final project from Sarah Thompson’s class “Wire Weaving Bracelets-Basics and Beyond” (found at craftsy.com).  This bracelet took all of the skills I learned from the beginning of the video series and combined them into one.  I knew this project would take me a while to complete and I was a little concerned about the time especially with all of the Christmas stuff going on this week, so I did a lot of my basic weaving last week.  I think doing that helped me to finish this week.

Here is a picture of what I finished last week and gave as a teaser picture of this weeks project…

Beginning of Freeform Wire Bracelet

When I continued the bracelet this week I was surprised that there was a little mental hesitation to move forward in each new step.  Despite the hesitation, I was able to move forward without too much problem because finishing the project this week was the only option in my mind this week.  I didn’t expect to be completely cured of the doubt in my ability to accomplish things, but this struggle seemed out of place at the finish line.  I am thankful that the Lord helped me to press forward whenever I wondered if I could complete it.

Something I found challenging as I was weaving this project is the length of the 3 base wire component that is shown at the top of the previous picture.  I wanted to make sure I had enough wire, so I cut it a little longer than the tutorial said.  That is something that I always do when I am following any tutorial because I can always trim the extra, but it is a pain to add more.  In this case, I added way too much and it made it difficult to wrap around the really long wires and it tired my arm out quicker, so a tip is to cut the wire a little longer, but not too long…unless you are aiming for a good arm workout. 🙂

Here are some pictures of the completed bracelet…

Freeform Wire Bracelet (front view)
Freeform Wire Bracelet (side view)
Freeform Wire Bracelet (side view)
Freeform Wire Bracelet (clasp view)

Overall I really enjoyed making this bracelet because of all I learned in the process and the challenges I conquered to get to the the finish line.

One thing that was exciting to me was while watching the video to see how things were done in general my mind was opened to new concepts of the construction of jewelry making that I will be able to apply to my own designs in the future.  That is where I hope to go with all of my knowledge that I have gained over the past six months is to find my own style and see what I can create there.  I won’t lie and say that is a fun and exciting prospect…honestly it can leave me quaking in my boots if I think about it too much, but it is the place where I want to go in the future and I think this project gave me the first taste of it by being a “freeform” design.  The finished product that I created isn’t the same as the one Sarah Thompson did in the video tutorial.  I actually had to take my wire components and then form them.  At first I was not enjoying it and my mind was crying out for someone to tell me what to do with all these components, but I just started  and the more I got into it I started having fun and I started seeing the beauty in it.  It was a challenge to make my components work together and come into the harmonious completed piece, but I did it.  There were a couple of things I did that made it harder on myself such as ending wires too soon, but I was able to problem-solve and figure things out pretty quickly and without any drama. That is a sign of growth because in the early parts of this challenge most any snag in a project shut me down for a while and made me wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew.  I am so thankful for the Lord’s help and growth!

I also oxidized pendants from the last two weeks so that all of my Jewelry Making Challenge projects are completely finished.  Here are those pictures…

Oxidized Earth Mother Pendant
Oxidized Be Mine Pendant

Well it is time to wrap things up for my Jewelry Making Challenge.  When I started this challenge I wanted to strengthen my perseverance, use some the tutorials I have been hoarding because they are “too hard”, and to make jewelry making a regular part of my life.  I have accomplished all of those things in this challenge and so much more.  As I look back I realize this experience has been like going to jewelry making college.  I have learned so much and accomplished so much over the last six months.

Here are some of the things I have learned or been reminded of (not in any particular order)…

~Setting goals and having a vision will help you get to where you want to go.

~I can make beautiful things with wire and beads…even when it feels like I can’t.

~I can embrace a challenge and push through it instead of it stopping me in my tracks.

~Keep things focused and simplified to succeed.

~The Lord has given me many gifts and He will help me use them.

~I need to be patient with the wire…and myself.

~I don’t need to have guaranteed success for me to step out and try something because I can take risks.

~A temporary setback is not a permanent failure.  It is only a permanent failure if I never try to begin with.

~Safety isn’t always comfortable.

~Taking the first step is the hardest part of accomplishing something.

~I found the confidence to open an Etsy store and start selling my jewelry.

I am sure there are many more things that this challenge has taught me and I will continue to reap the benefits and blessings of persevering through the good and the bad.  The question is where do I plan to go from here.

I plan to take some time off from wire working and blogging on a specific schedule like this challenge has required for starters.  I want to play around with wire and beads without tutorials and see what I can do.  I will still do tutorials because there were many amazing projects I couldn’t fit into this challenge and I want to continue expanding my knowledge of jewelry making, but for a while I want to see if I can’t find my own style of wire wrapping.  It is a scary prospect, but I will stick with it and see what happens. 🙂

I also plan to still blog about what I am learning as I go, so there will be new posts about my exploits in wire wrapping and jewelry.  I will also probably blog about some things other than jewelry that I am up to since this blog is about the journey of living life and jewelry making is a small part of my life.



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