Monthly Archives: May 2016

Summer Jewelry Making Challenge

If you have been reading my blog you will notice that this year I have been doing a tidying up event using the Konmari method found in the book “The Magic Art of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  Because of this there have been a lot less posts on the jewelry I made and since I am almost finished with the discarding part of my event I want to be more intentional about my jewelry making.  I find that I work best when I have a goal or a challenge to work towards, something that is concrete rather than the vague idea of something.  My case in point would be how I thrived the last half of the year in my jewelry making challenge that I set up for myself to grow in jewelry making and help it to become a habit.  I was successful in that challenge and then when I began my tidying even jewelry making became a vague goal…I want to continue making jewelry and share it on my blog.  While I have continued to make jewelry and share it, the frequency of this has been a frustration to me.  It isn’t that I could not have made more jewelry during this time.  It is that procrastination and fear have crept back into that part of my life in my mind.  I have started many projects over the past couple of months, but they are still in that half finished stage because they got “hard”.  It reminds me of a box of chocolates where everything looks good and you want them all, but after you take that first bite most of them lose their appeal and can become unpleasant…so you end up with a box of chocolates that is half eaten and useless.  I can finish all of these projects I have started so they aren’t useless, but they can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and failure if I let them.

Because of all these things, I have decided to do a Summer Jewelry Making Challenge.  It will look a lot like my original Jewelry Making Challenge from last year, but there will be a few differences.  Here is the basic layout…

~The challenge will start on Monday, May 30th and end on Sunday, September 4th.  (Memorial Day to Labor Day almost)

~I will choose a tutorial to work on on Monday and complete it throughout the week and then on Sunday I will post a blog article about my experience in making the piece to share.

~One of the differences about this challenge is that I hope to include a few pieces where I don’t use a tutorial but just pick a bead, cut some wire and see where it leads.  That is one thing that I have been doing this year and I have been pleased with the results so far.  Here are the examples of what I have made so far without tutorials…

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~This is probably the biggest difference with this challenge.  I want to invite others who make jewelry to join me in this challenge.  If you are interested I have created a Facebook group as a place where you can participate in the challenge and share your piece each week (or your favorite piece from each week for you amazing people that have super speedy jewelry skills).  Here is a link to the group… https://www.facebook.com/groups/495846887292459/

Well, I will say bye for now, but remember the challenge starts Monday.  I hope you all have a blessed week!

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Konmari Revelations, Something New, and a Jewelry Update

Another month has passed and a lot has been accomplished in that time.  Normally I know exactly what I am going to write and the order that I want to share it in, but I find myself a little muddled.  This is exactly the reason I haven’t written anything in this period of time…I mean I wouldn’t want to come across in a less than perfect way (oh no is that perfectionism rearing it’s ugly head again).  This calls for drastic measures…writing without a plan and hoping for the best and grace from the ones that read it. 🙂

Let’s start with my tidying event (Konmari).  I have been in the “discarding” part of my tidying event since January 4 of this year.  I completed the first three categories (Clothing, Books, and Papers) in about six weeks.  I started the fourth category (Komono, which is miscellaneous) on February 15 and I recently just finished that huge category on April 27.  That is two months, two weeks, and two days which it took me to work my way through twenty-two subcategories such as dishes, crafts, electronics, etc.  It was a long process to say the least.  I had times of struggle over the amount of time it was taking me, but I had to let that go each time it came up because I knew one thing for sure…I WAS GOING TO FINISH THIS PROCESS!  Oh, sorry for yelling…it was at myself, not you. 🙂

On May 1 I began the fifth category (Mementos-sentimental items) which I think will be the most challenging of all.  I have been a little surprised at how much extra emotional stress I have been experiencing this week just by having the stuff in my living room, which is where I gather and sort all of my stuff.  Most of it is in totes or boxes so I can’t see a lot of it, but just being in the same room with the stuff brings out feelings that I didn’t expect…and really don’t want to feel.  I know this is something that I have chosen to do and that I want to do in the long run, but in the short term some of this stuff is feeling like pulling teeth…it is just that fun! 🙂  There is no doubt in my mind that with the Lord’s help I will be able to finish this, but I am not that excited about the prospect on this side of things.

Here are some things that I have experienced, realized, or learned from my tidying event so far…

~This is my journey and it will take as long as it takes.

~Getting rid of things is hard, especially when I keep focusing on what I am getting rid of and not focusing on all that I chose to keep because it sparks joy.

~Sentimental items carry a lot of emotional stress and I need to be prepared to take my time, give myself plenty of grace, and proceed with prayer covering from friends and family.

~Having space brings me joy.

~Being surrounded by only those things I love does bring me joy, even when they are still in chaos.

~Having less stuff frees up my creativity.

~This process is just that, a process.  I won’t be transformed over night, but I have already seen changes in my confidence level when making decisions and not second guessing myself.

The next thing I want to share about is something new I have discovered about a month ago.  I love to plan, organize, make lists, and so on, but it can be frustrating to try and keep up with everything.  It makes me happy to makes lists of stuff, but I realize that may be odd to some people, but just know it sparks great joy in me! 🙂  With this being the case it has been hard for me because I had to stop doing my normal planning, organizing, and list making activities a few years ago due to unforeseen circumstance in my life and the stress I was under and how it started affecting me.  Now during that time I have been looking for other ways that would fill that need but not add stress to my life and make my perfectionism kick into overtime but I haven’t been successful over the long term.  I really thought I would just have to continue limping along making a daily to-do list if I could, but not making many long term plans.  I have noticed a shift within myself over the last year that is so encouraging.  I am breaking free from perfectionism within myself and my tendency towards people pleasing.  It is so wonderful to see things changing in these areas because such bondage comes with perfectionism and people pleasing.

Anyway, what I found is something called bullet journaling.  You can see a video describing the basics here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm15cmYU0IM or at bulletjournal.com.  It is an all in one planner, to do list, habit tracker, etc…really whatever you want it to be.  For myself I like to keep things pretty but also simple.  I really found a lot of fun things and gained a greater understanding of the concept by watching the youtube videos by Kara Benz (boho berry) at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPTjjS_Cqrde9bR9Gz4PqdA and reading her blog entries on it at bohoberry.com.  There are so many different ways you can create your own bullet journal and so many possibilities on what you want to include in it.  For me the best thing about it is that there is so much grace in it.  I mess up and move on…the planner isn’t wrecked and my “plan” isn’t ruined.  The fact that I can do this and enjoy it is amazing and I am so thankful for the growth I am seeing in this area! 🙂  I might share some of my pages one day, but for now if you are interested in seeing bullet journal pages all you have to do is search for “bullet journaling” and you will be overloaded with options.

Finally I will share that promised jewelry update…

I made these pieces back in late March or early April.  The first one I made using the Circle Pendant tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  It was a tricky piece to make because of it’s circle shape and the perfectionist in me reared it’s ugly head at first, but then I decided to just do my best and see how it turned out.  It turned out great!

Here are some pictures of it…

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Circle Pendant
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Circle Pendant
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Close Up of Circle Pendant

 

One thing I realized when I was making this piece is that I have gained the ability to move forward in a tutorial when things don’t go as planned and I can still make it look nice.  When I first started doing tutorials and I made a mistake it would make the project come to a halt and I couldn’t see my way around it.  This is a great ability to have and can only be obtained by practice and perseverance.

The other piece I have to share is one that I made without any tutorial.  I took a bead, cut a bunch of wire, and wove and wrapped like crazy.  It is a fun and sometimes frustrating thing to do, but I love it when I see the finished piece.  I used a lampwork bead made by Katerina Sojkova.

Here are some pictures of the finished piece…

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Full View
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Bottom View
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Top View
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Side View

Some things I learned when making this piece were…

~I reach a point in most of my projects where I don’t like it and am not sure I will like it when I finish it.  The funny thing is, I almost always end up loving each piece I make.

~I really like copper beads because they can add texture to a piece, but not add color that distracts from the main focal bead.

~I can try new techniques and succeed.

~The three most important tools I have are practice, patience, and perseverance.

Well, that is it for now.  I plan to have an announcement sometime within the week about an upcoming challenge I am going to do.  Until then, I hope you have a blessed week!