Summer Challenge Week #5…Finishing Up

This has been an unusual week in jewelry making for me.  On Monday I picked my project, but didn’t get to start it, but I thought I would start on it Tuesday.  Tuesday and Wednesday came and went, but no jewelry project had been started.  This week has been incredibly full of things going on in my tidying up event (konmari) and I haven’t had much time or energy to spare for jewelry.  When Thursday rolled around I thought I might be in trouble.    I thought about taking a break this week, but then I realized I am doing this challenge for this very reason.  This year has been devoted to my tidying event and jewelry making had been pushed to the back burner but I wanted to bring it to a more prominent place.

So on Thursday I ended up pulling out a project that I had started several weeks ago, but didn’t finish.  It was something that I was trying to get creative with a tutorial, but in the process I ended up frustrating myself to the point of needing to walk away for a while.  Have you ever been so mad at a project that you had to walk away for a time?  It doesn’t happen too frequently, but I have a couple of things like this.  Usually I can go right back to the piece and finish it within a week.  I have three projects that I started several weeks ago with the intention of challenging myself with something new, but I ended up getting mad in the process.  It sounds a little juvenile to walk away from a project because it makes you mad, however the truth is I don’t want to make a piece of jewelry while I am angry with the process of making it because the piece would be a reminder of how I felt when I was making it.  Of course not all of the times that I have been frustrated in trying something new have been a bad thing.  Sometimes it can be really hard in the moment, but when I stick with it I can end up growing in my confidence because I was able to accomplish something really hard for me and the piece of jewelry reminds me of that victory.  An example of this would be the bangle I made in Week #2 of this challenge.  I actually made that my personal bracelet to remind me of that battle and the victory won in the end.  I hate walking away from things, but I am learning to give myself grace and see this as a small retreat in order to win the war instead of the defeat that it feels like.  The tricks are to know when to walk away, know how long to stay away, and always return to finish the job.

The piece I decided to return to and finish up is a pair of earrings I made using the Butterfly Pendulum Pendant tutorial by Nicole Hanna.  I didn’t care for the pendulum look and wanted to shorten it.  It also looked like a good tutorial that I could use to make earrings because there isn’t mirroring that would need to be done in the opposite way like there are with most earrings.  Things started out fine and I was doing each step on each earring to help them look as similar as possible, but somewhere along the way the frustration built to a point of walking away.  I do know that this project was the one where I realized that earrings aren’t something I really enjoy making.  My perfectionist tendencies really drive me crazy with trying to get a pair to look exactly the same.  Maybe one day I will be at a point of being more relaxed about the natural inconsistencies that come with my human work.  Sometimes I can forget that I am human and not a machine and my work will reflect that and it is a beautiful thing in all the messiness and imperfections.

Here are some pictures of the earrings…

Butterfly Pendulum Earrings
Butterfly Pendulum Earring
Butterfly Pendulum Earring

I am pleased with how they turned out and can’t wait to see them oxidized.  Usually I don’t like to dig out my oxidizing stuff for just one piece, so I usually do it every two or three pieces.

It is always a good feeling to finish something I start and I am thankful I finished these earrings. Do you have an “unfinished” project box?  Pull some of them out and see what new inspiration strikes…or in my case see if the frustration has passed and it might be time to accomplish something that was looking pretty sketchy.

Well goodbye for now and I hope you have a week filled with love, fun, and creativity!


4 thoughts on “Summer Challenge Week #5…Finishing Up

  1. Thanks for this. I have also had a week doing other stuff – unpacking boxes, actually and found that when I did manage to get into the workshop nothing flowed. It is frustrating but sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away, even if only for a short time. I think your butterflies turned out beautifully. You do really lovely work – I find such precise work very difficult and admire your skill.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also don’t like to make earrings for the same reason – I have a pair of pea pod style earrings I’ve been meaning to finish, but haven’t because I feel like they won’t look mirrored like you said. But keeping in mind we’re all human, and someone purchasing the piece, or looking at it knows it’s handmade and probably doesn’t mind minor discrepancies between the earrings is always good to keep in your head!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I am my harshest critic and I imagine that is true for most people. I have found it helpful to ask myself how would I treat a friend that had made it and if they were criticizing a piece. For me somehow it is easier to give grace to others than to myself, but I am learning to.


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