It’s hard to believe that Week #8 is already here and March is soon to begin. I think it is a good thing. I was doing some reflecting this week and realized how busy my life has become the past couple of months. My husband started a new job in January and that has increased the speed of our life greatly. We used to have time for lazy days and sloppy living because we had an abundance of time. The funny thing is we didn’t see it at the time. It always felt that life was busy and there was never enough time, but looking back I can see the abundance. I am realizing that my perception of things can change depending upon where I am at. In the moment things can seem awful, but after a few hours or a few days things improve. It is through new information and insight that my perception changes…it just takes time. Remembering this helps me on the really busy days that seem overwhelming. I have realized that most of the busyness that can feel overwhelming at the time is actually a blessing. If I can shift my thinking from all that needs done to gratitude that I have stuff to do then I don’t feel as stressed. Instead I feel a little more prepared to get to work and be productive. Now that might make me sound like I am an optimist or just a positive person, but that is very far from the truth. I actually tend to be a sarcastic cynic in general that has to fight big battles for every silver lining that I find. However, I am finding the battles are worth fighting.
I know this fast pace living is only a season and won’t last forever. I also know that when I look back on this time I want to see that I learned how to be content and excel in those circumstances instead of being miserable, stressed, and overwhelmed all the time. It will take work, but it will be worth it. It already has been, I just need to give myself grace and remember I am learning and living as I go.
For my final piece of this challenge I picked the Vintage Candles Pendant Tutorial by Nicole Hanna. This tutorial isn’t in the style I normally enjoy, but I thought it would be a good one to expand my skills with undrilled beads or cabochons. I have made a lot of tutorials that involve mirroring in this challenge and I felt like I needed a break from it, so this was a great piece to try.
Here are some pictures of the final piece…
While I wasn’t sure I would like the pendant when I bought the tutorial I actually had a lot of fun making it and am really pleased with how it turned out. When I was making the swirls in this piece I was surprised at how nice they turned out and I was also pleased with how the curves in the wire were developing. The tutorials with all the swirls and curls I did in Week #4 are really paying off!
When I started my first challenge in July 2015 I was such a perfectionist that I had no option but make the piece to match the tutorial perfectly. If it didn’t match the picture of the tutorial, then I had failed. The thing is I was really great at creating an almost perfect replica each time so I thought I was doing a good job. Over the course of the last couple of years I have become less of a perfectionist and more of a grace giver to myself. As a result I began creating pieces from tutorials that I had a lot more fun making, but I couldn’t make them match the picture even though that was my aim. I thought I had lost the ability to make a piece that matched the original artist’s picture in the tutorial until this piece where I actually got pretty close with only a couple of small differences. It is nice to see that I haven’t lost that ability and that I was able to do it and have fun while doing it.
I am thankful for the growth and progress I see the Lord working in me…through jewelry making and life in general.
Before I wrap up this challenge I want to share two of the pendants from Week #4 that I oxidized and my husband was able to photograph this week.
Here are the pictures…
Well, that is all for my Winter 2017 Jewelry Challenge! I plan to take at least two months off from challenges in general so my posting won’t be as regular as it has been. However I will still be making jewelry and I will post periodically, so I don’t think I will go completely silent…just taking a break from the time schedule a challenge sets for me. 🙂 I hope you have a blessed week!