Tag Archives: #mollycooley

Winter 2017 Jewelry Making Challenge Week #7…Brave Enough

Last week I began the daring adventure of wrapping a beautiful ocean lampwork bead made by Molly Cooley and this week I finished it up.  It has been a rewarding process overall and I am glad I took on the challenge.  I realize it may not seem like a big deal in the scope of life to wrap a bead, but it is more of what is going on inside me that is the big deal.  Being brave enough to take on fear of any kind is a big deal whether you are running into a burning building to save people or asking a friend for help.  It is easy to compare your seemingly minuscule feats to others larger than life heroics, but comparison is never a good idea.  We are all different with different sets of life experiences that turn us into the person we are.  We each have a different set of struggles that won’t look anything like the person next to us.  For me is it so easy to beat myself up over my struggles because I know of others that have harder things to deal with, but that is a wrong and hurtful attitude for me to have.  I constantly need to remind myself that my value isn’t dependent upon my successes or failures, but something outside myself entirely…the value God placed in me when He created me.  When I am able to remember this and operate out of that frame of mind I find myself much more willing to be brave and try new things.

In making jewelry I find many opportunities to be brave and try new things, but there is also the temptation to compare.  If I start looking at others work in comparison to mine I fall into a critical place either of other’s work or my own and that judgement has never led me to a good place.  Instead I have found that I excel when I focus on my own journey and progress without thinking abut how I measure up or fall short.  Now this doesn’t mean I don’t challenge myself to grow…if anything I fall on the side of trying to grow too much and not being content with the progress I make.  We all must challenge ourselves but comparisons don’t usually lead us to a place of growth…just hurt or pride depending upon where you fall in comparison.  Because of this I try to focus on my journey, run my race, and be brave where I can.

Last week when I decided I was ready to be brave and wrap my first ocean lampwork bead I had an idea in my mind, but I was unsure of how to bring it about.  I wanted to use woven wire to mimic the rolling flow of ocean waves to match the bead.  I am not good at drawing out ideas so I just make things and see how they turn out.  I wove a length of wire and swirled it to match what I thought I wanted, but the idea morphed until I had a frame for the bead.

Here is a picture of the frame I created to mimic the waves…

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This piece stretched my skills in constructing a pendant because the frame wasn’t attached anywhere and I wanted it to look like a natural part of the piece instead of an afterthought.  I did run into a couple of problems including some wires that snapped while I was trying to anchor the piece, but I was able to recover and create a beautiful piece.

Here are some picture of my finished piece…

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Portal Into the Night Necklace
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Portal Into the Night Necklace (Top View)
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Portal Into the Night Necklace (Left Side View)
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Portal Into the Night Necklace (Right Side View)
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Portal Into the Night Necklace (Bottom View)
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Portal Into the Night Necklace (Back View)

When I finished the piece I was worried that I might have covered the beautiful bead too much, but then I realized that it was exactly how I wanted it to be.  The overall effect is like a portal looking our into the ocean at night which I really like.  It reminds me of standing on the balcony at night looking out into the ocean through moonlight in Destin, Florida.  Remembering that creates such joy and rest in my mind and I am glad I was able to capture a piece of that in this necklace.  I don’t normally name my pieces but this one seemed to supply its own…Portal Into the Night.

It’s a bit of an odd thing for me when my creativity takes me places I wasn’t trying to go.  I like to plan and know where I am heading in general, but being creative with wire gives me a safe place to explore the unknown and delight in the journey as well as the destination.  I am grateful that I get to do something that I really enjoy and grow along the way.

It is about time to wrap up this post, but before I do I wanted to share some pictures of a couple of the necklaces that I oxidized and my husband photographed this week.

Here are the pictures…

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Oxidized Fern Weave Pendant with Labradorite (Week #3)

 

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Oxidized Fern Weave Pendant with Labradorite (Week #3)

 

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Oxidized Curious and Curled Pendant (Week #4)
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Oxidized Curious and Curled Pendant (Week #4)

I still have two more oxidized pendants from Week #4 to share and I plan to do that next week along with my final project for this challenge.  I hope that you have a great week and will be able to find some way to be brave in your journey this week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life, Konmari Update, and Winter 2017 Jewelry Making Challenge Week #6…Worth the Time

In January 2016 I began a journey of going through my home using the Konmari Method by Marie Kondo.  In July 2016 I had completed the discarding part of the process…which is where I went through everything (yes everything) and figured out which items sparked joy for me then got rid of everything that didn’t.  The second part of the process is finding a home for all of the objects that bring me joy.  I would love to say that I was so motivated by finishing the process that I just zipped through that stage and was the perfect example for the Konmari method.  However if you have read my blog, you know that isn’t true.  The truth is I finished the discarding process out of pure discipline and perseverance.  As a reward for finishing this part of the process I decided to turn my craft room into a personal haven instead of a storage room for all of my crafts and other junk.  I began this project the last week of July.  I thought creating a special space and finding a home for everything in there first would really jump start the second phase of my Konmari journey with joy.

Well things were progressing okay until the final week of August when my sister passed away unexpectedly.  That pretty much blew everything up as far as goals and progress.  I was still in the midst of painting my room and I was so grateful to have something to keep me busy that didn’t require a lot of thought.  It took me a good three months before I had my room finished and everything had a home.  I found myself really struggling with trying to decide where stuff would go because I didn’t feel much joy at all and grieving makes decision making almost impossible.  I gave myself time and space to grieve and on the days I could figure some things out I would.  Most days though all I could do was remind myself of the truth…I hadn’t failed in my big goal I was just knocked down for a time.

It was hard when January 2017 rolled around and I realized it had been a year since I started the process.  However I kept reminding myself of the truth and continued working as I could.  In January I started taking pictures of items I plan to sell online.  The process was drawing out quite a bit and I thought it might be due to some grief, but I realized it was because I was bored.  It was nice to see that grief wasn’t keeping me from progressing, but a normal thing was.  After a week of this I decided it was time to set some goals and reasonable deadlines for my Konmari journey.  It was great to get things out on paper that I need to finish up.  When it came to setting the deadlines I was a little nervous, but I knew I needed an ending point in mind instead of “whenever I get it done”.  Today was my first deadline and after working really hard this week I was able to finish my project last night!  It was such a wonderful feeling to say the least.  I hope to continue meeting my deadlines and be finished with my Konmari journey as a whole by July 1, 2017.  We shall see what happens, but that is my goal.

Besides working hard at completing some Konmari tasks this week I have also been working on a new pendant.  I have spent most of my time this year working with tutorials and I have felt the desire growing in me to create one of my own pieces.  Also after last week I really wanted to be able to spend my time with some slow wire wrapping to remind myself that I do quality work.  So I decided to be really brave and wrap one of the ocean lampwork beads by Molly Cooley that I have been hoarding.  The particular bead I chose to wrap this week was the first bead I ever bought from her.  I realized that I have been hoarding…I mean admiring it for a little over a year.  When I first came across Molly’s beads I couldn’t believe that a bead could be so beautiful.  The night time ocean scenes are my absolute favorite.  Over the last year I have bought several of her beads.  I have gotten brave enough to to wrap two lovely tree beads and one ocean heart bead.  I haven’t been brave enough to wrap the round ocean beads until this week.

Here are some pictures of the beads I mentioned above that I have wrapped and helped me to gain confidence in my skills…

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When I began gathering my wire and other supplies for my pendant this week I would glance at the bead and get a little nervous and ask myself if I was really going to do this. Finally I came to the point of telling myself that if I wrapped the bead and wasn’t happy with the results then I could cut the bead out, toss the wire, and begin again.  That was a freeing thing to realize.  It is one of the things I appreciate about wire wrapping…second chances.

Last week when I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed, I came across a new weave that I really liked and wanted to try.  I decided to try it on this week’s piece.  It wasn’t too hard to do overall since the basic pattern is part of a weave I use in most of my pieces.  It did require me to pay attention to each wrap though because there was a new order.  It also was a little challenging because my six base wires were 60 cm long.  That is a lot of wire to keep straight, but  I had a lot of fun taking my time to create the large section of weave that began my piece.

Here is a picture of the new weave I learned…

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One of the neat things about wire weaving is how the pattern looks different on each side.  Sometimes it can look like a mess, but sometimes there is a new pattern waiting to be discovered.  In this case I found the back to be very pretty and I decided to incorporate the pattern of it in another part of my pendant.  It was a little more tricky to figure out than the first one, but I got it without too much drama.

Here is a picture of the weaving pattern I found on the back of the other new weave…

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Those two sections of weaving actually took up most of my time that I set aside for jewelry making this week.  This week my Konmari task took up most of my time in general and because my husband and I have set aside this weekend for some “us” time I didn’t finish my piece.  Normally I would be disappointed that I didn’t finish the piece, but I am not.  I am glad that I didn’t rush it just to finish.  I want my wire work to match the beauty of the ocean bead and that will take some planning and patience.  It will most definitely be a worth while endeavor.

Here is a picture of my overall progress so far…

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I have attempted to mimic some ocean waves with wire that I plan to implement into my pendant.  I look forward to sharing the finished piece with you next week.  I also hope that I will have time to photograph the oxidized pieces from the past several weeks.  We shall see how it all works out.  I hope that you have a blessed week!

Winter 2017 Jewelry Challenge Week #2…The Art of Finishing

Last week I didn’t finish my piece.  It wasn’t a great way to start the challenge for me, but I decided to accept where I was and move forward with grace instead of getting caught up in the disappointment.  This week I wanted to finish the piece from last week and then finish another pendant that I had started last month instead of beginning something new.

In general, I try not to start too many projects without finishing them because it is so easy to end up with a pile of things half done. I notice this to be the case in all aspects of my life not just in jewelry making.  This is especially a problem in organizing and cleaning because when looking around there are just piles of stuff and it is hard to see the progress.  There is something about being able to see progress that energizes me to keep going and ultimately finish.

I have noticed in the past several months I have had a harder time finishing things due to the grief of losing my sister.  Grief is a funny thing that affects us all in so many different ways, most of which we don’t realize.  I tend to analyze things that go on and how they affect me because I like to understand what is going on in and around me.  I noticed that one of the reasons I was having such a hard time finishing things was due to my decision making ability being hindered.  I didn’t realize how much grief can affect your ability to decide things, but it makes a lot of sense because of all the emotions rolling through you at that time.  Realizing this made me so thankful that I had already finished the first part of my konmari journey – where I went through everything I owned and decided what sparked joy and got rid of the rest.  I was in the second part where I decided on a home for each item and that is where I got side tracked due to my loss.  Things may not have a home, but at least I am not looking at a bunch of stuff that I don’t like. 🙂

Jewelry making can require a lot of decisions if you are not following a tutorial.  You may not even recognize that decisions are being made, I know I didn’t at first.  I starting having trouble finishing my pieces and I couldn’t figure out why, but I recognized how many decisions I was trying to make and the problem became clear.  As a result I have let a few unfinished pieces build up this past fall.  I decided I needed the freedom to create without the pressure of creating a finished product.

This week I was able to finish two pieces and it felt great to push through each decision I needed to make and continue on.

Here are some pictures of the Amphora Vessel Pendant (Nicole Hanna tutorial) from last

week that I finished…

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Amphora Vessel Pendant
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Amphora Vessel Pendant

It was an interesting piece to complete.  Normally I would not have had much fun with the challenges of the mirroring and the cabochon, but I really did.  I think the biggest challenges were having a larger stone to work with and needing to adjust the tutorial accordingly.  Normally that isn’t a big problem, but because I haven’t worked with many cabochons I don’t have a solid grasp on the construction for a piece made with an undrilled stone.  Last week when I was making the first part of the pendant I was wishing for a drilled stone that would stay in place instead of a slippery cabochon that kept popping out while I was trying to capture it.

I really enjoyed working with the labradorite.  All of the different hidden facets that were brought out with light made it fun to explore.  I look forward to working with more of this type of stone in the future.

Here are some pictures with the labradorite doing a couple different things based in the lighting…

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The other piece that I finished this week was created with a glass lampwork bead made by Molly Cooley.  My normal habit is to make pieces with beads I have had on hand for a while, but when I received this bead I couldn’t wait to wrap it.  I got the general design worked out in December, but I got to all of the little finishing details and got a little overwhelmed.  This week I was determined to focus and figure out those little details and make all of those little decisions.  It was a lot easier than I expected and I am thankful for that.

Here are some pictures of the completed pendant…

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Right Side View
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Left Side View
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Bottom View

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to wrap this bead at first.  I knew that I didn’t want to cover the bead at all because it is so lovely.  It was a challenge to make something that fit my style, but didn’t cover or overshadow the bead, but I am pleased with the results.

I didn’t use a tutorial for this pendant, but I did borrow a technique from a tutorial that  I have been wanting to play around with.  The smaller wire weave going over the bail is a technique from the Fern Weave Pendant tutorial by Julie Hulick.  That is a tutorial that I hope to work with in the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to incorporate that part of it into my pendant this week.

Here is a picture of the bail with the technique mentioned…

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Top View

This week has been a good reminder of how great it feels to finish things.  I know I enjoy making jewelry, but it is nice to feel that joy in the process of making and finishing different pieces.  I look forward to beginning a new piece tomorrow for Week #3!  I hope that you have a blessed week!