Sumer Challenge Week #2…Gaining a New Perspective

I decided to make a bracelet this week and I used the Little Bit Wicked Bangle Bracelet tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  I have made several bracelets so far, but this is my first bangle and I was excited.  I worked through picking out the bead I wanted to use, figuring out how much wire I would need, cutting the wire, and then I began.  I was feeling a little unsure of working with half round, which I had only used once before, but I watched a quick tip video by Nicole Hanna to help me and I felt a little more prepared.

Shortly after I started I ran into a problem.  I was making the band with the half round wire, applying the techniques I learned from the video, but there were a lot of tool marks that were showing up on the wire and I noticed spaces showing up at different points.  I tried to be more gentle with my pliers and continued on.  However the longer I went the more frustrated I got.  In a couple of places I tried using my beading awl to straighten up the wires that I couldn’t seem to get straight with my pliers and that ended up being a mistake because the awl ended up jumping out of the part I was straightening and scratching several wires in the process.  I had to walk away from it for the night.  I was upset and fully convinced that this project was going to turn out horrible.  It also felt like half round wire was the bane of my existence…no wonder I had only worked with it once before.

I tried working on it the next day, but after a few rounds it was clear I didn’t want to do it.  I was confused at how something that started out so fun quickly became frustrating.  At this point I did what any good perfectionist that feels like they can’t succeed does…procrastinate and stress about it. 🙂  I am sad to say that I did this for a couple of days and found myself wondering if I was really going to wait until the last minute to finish.  I knew I would finish it because I have a group of people that are joining me in this summer challenge and it would have been really lame for me (the one who created the challenge) to not have a finished piece because I didn’t “feel” like completing it.  (I feel the need to clarify that hormones were a factor in this weeks craziness…I am not completely crazy after all. 🙂 )

Thursday rolled around and I knew it was time to get serious and stop procrastinating.  I worked on it for a good while and got through most of the half round wire part.  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t totally finished, but hey I had made great progress.  I had also accepted that this project wasn’t going to be perfect or even that neat.  I would file away what tool marks I could and just accept the rest.  This was major progress in my thinking because in the past if I wasn’t sure something would turn out I would not complete the project.  I knew that wasn’t an option for this bangle.  I needed a finished project and I wanted it to be this bracelet.

Friday morning I woke up ready to complete it.  The bangle was my priority for that day.  It didn’t take me long to finish the half round part and move on to my favorite part of any wire project…weaving.  There was great fun in finishing this bracelet.  After I finished it I decided to oxidize it because I needed to see the finished product to make a final judgement call on how the half round wire part turned out.

Here are some pictures of the finished bangle…

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Completed Little Bit Wicked Bangle

 

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Little Bit Wicked Bangle-Focal View
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Little Bit Wicked Bangle-Focal View
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Half Round Wire Band
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Half Round Wire Band

I was shocked and pleased at how nice it actually turned out.  I don’t really notice the little imperfections of it and that is so surprising to me because when I was making it I was certain it would be awful.

This bangle has taught me several things about perspective and finishing hard things.  Here are a few…

~Just because something is hard, scary, or stressful doesn’t mean it should be avoided.

~Feelings of fear and insecurity are normal when you are trying something new or something you are not experienced at.

~Pressing through feelings of stress and anxiety will make you stronger on the other side and amazed that you were able to complete something that seemed impossible in the moment.

~Sometimes you just need a little time and space to reframe your perspective and move forward.

~Even thought something may seem like it won’t turn out, it may in the end and if it doesn’t seem worth it at the time it usually is in the long run.

~Half round wire isn’t the bane of my existence.  I just need to be patient with myself and practice with it to become more comfortable with it and proficient in using it.

I am thankful for these lessons.  I came across a couple of things in a book I am reading and it really helped put my experience with this project in perspective.  Here are a couple of quotes from it…

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” —Helen Keller

“If we choose to make our lives a daring adventure—to step out of our comfort zone; to grow, explore, and face our challenges—then we will feel what people feel on daring adventures. Our hearts will race; our bodies will sweat; our stomachs will churn. Fear will show up in all its different varieties: from anxiety to insecurity, from stress to self-doubt, from “pumped” to panic. And at times our minds will yell at us: “Heeeeeellllp. Let me off. I wanna go back. It’s all too hard. I can’t handle it. I’m not good enough.”” (Harris, Russ. The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt (pp. 247-248). Trumpeter. Kindle Edition.)

As I start this next week, I want to know that fear is normal and live my life as a daring adventure anyway.  The thing about daring adventures is they don’t have to be great or large, sometimes they are as simple as living your life to the full while you go about the normal and sometimes mundane things of life.   I am ready to go live one!  How about you?  What daring adventures will you go on this week?  I hope you have many blessed ones and a great week!

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6 thoughts on “Sumer Challenge Week #2…Gaining a New Perspective

  1. Loved your blog! You really speak to your inner workings, your fears, feelings of coming up short in the face of following through on a challenge. Hey! You’re speaking about me! I think we must have been cut from the same cloth. The difference though, is I’m tenacious about not giving up no matter what. That sounds positive, but as a business owner who has been involved in other careers, there are times when you need to walk away and not throw good energy after bad. HOWEVER, I don’t believe this is ever the case when learning a new ‘craft’. So, #1, your piece is gorgeous, #2, I certainly don’t see the marring you speak of AT ALL, #3, you’re smart enough to utilize assistance and get help from others who enhance your work; I’m speaking about the photography. I’m SO impressed with it, and #4, your wire weaving is simply, in a word, PERFECTION!

    I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning and watching your work, because I was doing the exact same thing all along with tutorials, and how you’ve improved and then began developing your own style is amazing as it unfolds.

    Will you be my hero?

    Robin

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    1. Thank you Robin. I am amazed at how as people we tend to have similar struggles and yet in the moment we can feel like we are the only one who feels that way. I am glad you have enjoyed reading about my journey. It has been interesting sharing it with others and seeing them respond to it in positive ways.
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

      Like

  2. I love the bangle and your blog. You express the process of creating, including the doubts and difficulties, so well. I think you don’t learn as much when things go smoothly all the time. One of my favourite quotes is from Samuel Beckett ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’

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    1. Thank you Wenzanne! You are right about not learning when things go too smoothly. I also noticed that with this piece especially I really like it a whole lot more because of what I went through to get the final product. It is funny how things like that work. 🙂

      Like

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