It is hard to believe that 2017 is almost here. With the loss of my sister at the end of August I feel like I have lost the second half of 2016. The concept of time was has been suspended and so have most of my normal activities. Due to this inactivity, I felt like I had failed in the goals I had set out to accomplish this year. My konmari journey has come to a stand still, my dreams of getting into shape slipped away, and my jewelry making has been almost non existent all leaving me with feelings of failure and defeat. However after some thought I realized that none of these things are failures if I continue my journey and don’t give up no matter how beat down I may feel.
If you have read many of my past posts you may realize that I struggle with wanting things to be perfect and not messy. The whole purpose of this blog is to share my journey of learning to accept life in all of it’s messy and imperfect beauty. Most of that journey is shared through my jewelry making, but there are bits of my other projects and goals thrown in along with life in general. So as 2016 wraps up, I am going to chose to embrace the hard lessons of this year and in all of the mess I will seek and find the beauty through God’s grace.
I haven’t made many pieces over the last few months, but I want to share what I have made and my journey in making them.
Shortly after my sister passed away I ended up making a pendant. It turned into a way of expressing my grief. I had never expressed such emotion in a creative outlet before and it turned into a very personal piece.
Here are some pictures my pendant…
The main focal bead I used was a heart shaped lampwork bead made by Jacqueline Parks which you can’t really tell from looking at the finished piece. At first I was concerned that I had hidden away the pretty bead, but when I analyzed the piece I realized it was on purpose. This pendant had become a representation of my grief over losing my sister and that is when this piece started to make a little more sense to me. The heart bead represented my heart and I didn’t want to show it…I wanted to shroud and protect it.
The bail seemed too large at first, but then I realized that the extra weaves on either side was a picture of my need for extra support during this time.
The tightly woven layers were the protection that my broken heart needed to keep it from shattering in response to the pain.
And this spiraled weave was representative on how bound up and confused I felt.
There has been a lot of processing this grief the past four months. It has not been an easy road and it isn’t over, but I am having more good days than bad for which I am so thankful!
I also created my first two custom orders during this time. My first custom piece was an arm cuff based off the design of a bracelet that I made using a tutorial from Sarah Thompson.
Here is a picture of the Wave Bracelet that the arm cuff was based on…
This was a great challenge for me in several ways. First, I had never made an arm cuff before so I had to figure out the construction techniques of it.
Second, I wasn’t sure that it was possible to turn this bracelet into an arm cuff due to the construction of the bracelet. From what I could tell most arm cuffs are created with the stabilizing point being in the band part of the cuff and then the ends are usually decorative. The Wave Bracelet is the reverse of that. The band is loose and flowing and the stabilizing point is around the hinge of the clasp. It was a challenge to wrap my mind around it so I could create an arm cuff with the band loose and flowing with natural looking ends instead of a faux clasp end.
Third, I had to take someone else’s general criteria and turn them into a piece of jewelry. This was an interesting and some what nerve wracking process because I didn’t know the person. However, by the end of it I think it stretched me in good ways and helped expand my own perspective and ideas.
Finally, my patience was challenged in the wrapping and constructive process. When dealing with multiple half-hard base wires that are 18 inches long there is a great need for patience…unless you just want to wad it all up. 🙂
Here are some pictures of the finished arm cuff…
This arm cuff was one of the most difficult things I have made so far and I am so glad I accepted the challenge. I am pleased with the results and so is my customer which makes it all the more exciting and worth it.
My second custom order was for a shawl pin, which is something else I had not made before. After completing the arm cuff this project was a lot easier due to the simplicity of the piece. My customer gave me a general idea of what was wanted, but gave me creative freedom. I had an idea in mind of what I wanted to create, but my first two attempts failed. I was unsatisfied with the sturdiness of the designs I was trying to create, so I went back to the drawing board for a third time and finally had a successful design.
Here are some pictures of the finished shawl pin…
I had a lot of fun making this piece and my customer was really happy with the results. This shawl pin is the first piece of jewelry I have made that is functional. Most of the pieces I make only have the job of being pretty, but this one also needed to be productive as well. So while I try to make all of my pieces sturdy, this one required a higher level of sturdiness and it expanded my construction skills.
That wraps up all I have made over the past few months. I look forward to making more jewelry in the coming months. I have some big goals for 2017 and I look forward to seeing how many I can accomplish. I am also planning a new jewelry challenge for January and February. It will be like some of my past jewelry challenges where I make a piece a week and then write a blog post about my experience in making it. I think that will be a great way to get back into the habit of regularly making things and sharing about them here. If you are interested in joining me in any of my jewelry challenges there is a Facebook group where you can do that. Here is a link to that group…
Well, I guess this is goodbye to 2016 and tomorrow will be hello to 2017. I hope you have a blessed New Year!