This is the halfway point of the challenge and the halfway point of summer. Time escapes so quickly and my habits in the past have been to try and capture a moment so I will always have the memory of it. However, I have become aware over the past year and a half that I am tired of trying to “capture” the perfect moment in order to recreate it in the future because it is causing me to miss all of the wonderful moments in the present…that place where life really happens. When you have a picture in your head that you are trying to match it is so easy to dismiss all the things that don’t add up and I have thrown away a lot of good things in my search for perfection.
I have battled this same tendency in my jewelry. I have certain people who I think make the most gorgeous wire jewelry and my mind transferred that to thinking if mine didn’t look like theirs then it wasn’t good. That thought seems so ludicrous as I type it, but at the time it was a very real belief that I judged my own work by. All I saw were the flaws and mistakes instead of the hard work and growth. Obviously when I first began making wire jewelry I didn’t know how to fix or avoid many of the common mistakes that people in wire work make, but that didn’t stop me from beating myself up at what a failure I was and how I would never be good at making jewelry so I shouldn’t even try. Well I am so thankful that I didn’t quit at those times and I certainly have grown past many of the more common mistakes, but I do still make mistakes in my pieces…I have just learned how to fix them or use them in my designs. I have also realized that I was too harsh with myself and that beating myself up wasn’t helpful in any way, but instead hindered me in getting to where I wanted to go. How do you talk to yourself? I know my self-talk isn’t always kind, but I have grown much in this area. My husband started asking me how I would talk to my dear friends if they were in that situation. At first I scoffed at the idea, but as I began to practice thinking in that manner I began to see change. With the Lord’s help I began to actively combat the harsh manner in which I related to myself and have had success in this area. Part of this journey has also been discovering my value to be in Jesus and not tied up in my own successes or failures. In discovering these things I have slowly been able to set aside my need for perfection and accept myself where I am at. This doesn’t mean that I have stopped trying to improve or grow. I have just become more like a coach trying to encourage and spur myself forward instead of a harsh task master that is never satisfied.
You may wonder what this has to do with my journey in jewelry making, but it has everything to do with where I am today. I have found such freedom in these changes and in turn wanted to take risks and try new things…things that I wouldn’t try in the past because I knew there wasn’t “certain success”. As a result I have challenged myself in new ways and explored new wire working concepts until I have reached the point where I am ready to try to make something without following instructions. I have made several pieces now without having a tutorial to follow and it has been a fun experience. I love to pick a bead, cut wire, and see where it all leads. That is something I never thought I would do because I am a planner at heart. I enjoy the fun and freedom that comes from simply weaving the wire and figuring out what will look nice with the focal bead.
This week I wanted to challenge myself in a new way. I have started developing my own style and it involves a lot of different weaves and is complex. I was wondering if I could make something in that style, but make it more simple. I honestly didn’t know if I could but I wanted to try, so that is what I worked on this week.
Here are the pictures of the finished piece…
I am pleased with how it turned out and how I was able to have a more simple piece and still have it fit my style. Because the bead was smaller it didn’t take me as long to make this pendant as it has some of my other pieces. It is so exciting to see where things have come to in my jewelry journey and I am curious to see where it will take me next. I know for now I will be finishing up my Summer Challenge, but after that I am not sure.
Before I say goodbye for this week I wanted to share the earrings from last week that I oxidized.
Here are some pictures…
I hope that you will have a blessed week that is filled with many wonderful moments that you can live to the full. I also hope that you will be kind to yourself in those moments when you fail and that you will not be afraid to try something unknown! Well goodbye for now!