Monthly Archives: February 2016

Breaking the Silence…

Wow, it has been well over a month since my grand finale.  This new year started fast and furious and has yet to stop.  One of the biggest reasons things have been so busy for me is because of a large project I have taken on.  Last fall I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and I knew her methods were something that I wanted to do in my own life to see if I could once and for all be rid of my clutter.  At the time I really wanted to get started, but it was the middle of November and for me the beginning of the holiday season filled with busyness of the family and preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas…not exactly the ideal time to start a big decluttering project that will require many of my resources of time and energy.  I also needed to finish up my Jewelry Making Challenge first, so I didn’t get distracted from it.  So, I waited to begin and used that time to mentally prepare myself and make any preparations needed to begin the process.  I also did as much “thinking” for the coming process that I could to avoid as many pitfalls as I could.  This lead to a lot of lists…I like lists because they help me know what is going on when my brain is overwhelmed. 🙂  I chose the date of January 4, 2016 to start my journey in this “konmari” method of decluttering and organizing my home and life.

For those who have not read the book and don’t know what the “konmari” method of tidying is I will try to summarize it for you.  You go through everything you own (I mean literally everything) in two stages…first you discard and then you organize what you chose to keep.

The discarding stage is done in categories, not in location (which is different from any other organizing method I have tried).  The categories in the book are Clothing, Books, Papers, Komono (miscellaneous), and Mementos (sentimental items including pictures).  So you gather everything in categories and take each item touch it and ask yourself, “Does it spark joy?”  If it does you keep it, if it doesn’t you get rid of it.  The organizing stage (which you do only after all of the discarding is finished) is where you give all of the things that sparked joy their home.

I have currently finished the clothing, book, and paper categories on the discarding process.  Next week I will begin going through the komono category which is pretty much everything besides clothing, books, papers, and sentimental items.  It will be an adventure because I have 22 subcategories to work through.  I am excited about this category because it holds several things I have planned to go through for years, and it will finally be accomplished.  A few examples of some of my subcategories would be CDs/DVDs, dishes, and electronic items.  My mindset will need to be “slow and steady finishes the race” because I imagine it is going to take a lot longer than the previous categories, which has been about two weeks per category.

Well that explains what has been taking up most of my time, but I have also continued to make jewelry during this time as I can.  I am excited to say that my first two pieces of this year were made without following a tutorial. I cut some wire, picked beads and did what I wanted to with it.

Here are some pictures of my first piece I created without a tutorial…





I had a lot of fun in creating this piece.  It was so nice to not have to make sure I was doing something “just right” because of how it might effect the piece later on.  My mindset was pretty much “weave and find an anchor point”.  While I can definitely see the construction techniques and influence  I have learned from all of the Nicole Hanna tutorials I have done, it was nice to put my own spin on things for once.  I did four base wires to keep things simple and small.  I tried a few different variations on some of the weaves I have been using and was pleased with the results.  This was a pretty fun and straight forward pendant to create without a lot of problems.  The only thing I can think of with this piece that I learned was that I need to save the weaves I want to show for later in the project or else it might get buried.  I had a new variation of a weave that I wanted to showcase, but it ended up getting buried because I did it first and the way I constructed the piece caused the early weaves to be for layers not showcasing.  Oh well, I am still really happy with the pendant, but it does give me something to think about on future pieces.

Here are some pictures of the second piece I created without following a tutorial…





I got brave with this piece and decided to use one of my lovely lampwork beads I have recently purchased.  The lampwork bead used in this pendant was made by Jolanda Van den Berg.  I decided to use 6 base wires in this pendant because I was using a larger bead and wanted to see how adding more base wires would change the piece.  It is always an interesting experience to start out weaving, especially with many base wires.  It seems so challenging when you start out and find yourself wondering if you really want to do this, but after completing a little bit of the weave things settle into a nice rhythm and it comes more naturally.  Then it just get fun!

I really enjoy using the Modified Soumak Weave in my jewelry pieces.  This weave is very versatile and I can do it pretty quickly once I get started.  I tried a variation of the weave which I had seen someone else do, and it turned out nicely.  In this variation it can be a little tricky to make sure the weave is tight, but not kink the long wire.

Here is an up close shot if the  modified weave…

Variation of Modified Soumak Weave

When I was creating the second layer of this pendant I thought it was missing something, but I didn’t want to take away from the beauty of the lampwork bead.  Normally beads are a great way to add dimension and points of interest to a pendant, but in this case I thought adding other colored beads to it would distract from where I wanted the main focus to be.  I had ordered these copper beads just after Christmas and realized they were just what I needed.  I wanted to do something other than just string some beads on the wire…I mean I AM trying to fit every technique into one pendant after all, lol…so I decided to use the Snake Weave that I had learned from earrings I made in Week Five of my jewelry challenge last year using Lisa Barth’s book.  It turned out so lovely and it really gave that wow factor I was looking for without taking the focus from the lampwork bead.

So here are a few things I learned through making this pendant…

~When I shape my bail a certain way that is the way my pendant will hang, so I should make sure I shape it with that in mind.

~Lampwork beads are beautiful, but they also have some weight to them, so my piece may be heavier than I expect.

~I have many tools and techniques at my disposal, so I need to use them and not let fear hold me back.

There are a couple of more pieces I have finished, but I need to oxidize them and get pictures of them before I am ready to share them, so stay tuned for more goodies!  Well, it is time to get back to my decluttering so I will say good bye for now.  I hope you have a blessed day!