The things I Do For Me…..

I have many hobbies. Hobbies, you know those things that you do for enjoyment.

I was going through some paintings I had played with a while back. I had actually forgotten about them. They are abstract. It is just me playing. I liked them a lot. One I am going to hang in my workroom, apparently I am not accomplished enough to call my work space a studio. So, I call it my workroom.

I paint, I read, I write,  I take photos, I try new things, I fail, I try again. Nobody ever gets to see these. It is not their hobby. It is mine. I do these things for my soul.

I don’t need someone judging it by their standard. I simply need to do it to be doing. You won’t ever see any of my work hanging in a museum. You won’t find my writings on the shelves of your favorite bookstore.

It is the pain, joy, flights of fancy and all the other things inside me; done by me and for me.

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Stillness In The Eye of The Storm…

So when I was going through my recent bout of anxiety, I got to the point where all I could do was pray. It wasn’t a pretty prayer. It was me at bottom going God I have no where else to look. I need some answers. I need you to help me with this thing. I need you and I need you now.

God is right on time every time. I listened after I prayed. I was taught a lesson in life. I was taught a lesson in humility. I was reminded of some happy times as a child where I overcame my fears and I was told to reach out to others, which I haven’t done in a while.

God showed me through the art that I do how I am being put through the same fire. It will strengthen me just as it does the glass I work with.

I was reminded that I had always allowed my fear to stand in the way of things and it had cost me hours of fun that once I overcame that it was some of the best times of my childhood.

I was reminded that in times of internal struggle, I should turn outward and present others to the world. Build others up. I have cousins who are photographers and jewelry makers just as I am. My person is an artist, he paints and sculpts and so much more. A friend of mine grows pumpkins, his art is in nature. I have three friends who bake cakes. My sister does floral design. My niece is a cosmetologist, her art is done on the human body.  Instead of waiting for them to promote me which none of them do, promote them, not wanting anything in return, just to be kind. Just to show that talent is all around me. I won’t share everything the post but I will try to help them if I can. There are different types of creativity.

In the middle of the chaos of my own making, I found silence in the eye of the storm. I was made aware of a great deal of things. I have now put them into place. Some don’t and won’t understand it. I have to be okay with that. It is not their life. It is mine. I want us all to win. Simple yet so hard for some to understand.

This Is Not Fun….At the Moment…

Part of my philosophy of doing my craft is if it isn’t fun, don’t do it. If it doesn’t interest you don’t do it. There are things I have struggled with before but they interested me so it was fun even though I had difficulty with it.

I am in a spot where I don’t find it fun in any way nor do I really have an interest in the particular technique. I have intentionally stayed away from it because other people I know do it.

It is wire wrapping.

For some it comes easily. For me,  it does not. I have tried it before, several times with little to no success. For me it is like milking a lizard. It ain’t happening. I have spent the last week practicing. Wrapping, cussing, throwing away overused wire, salvaging the pieces I can to make bails for other pieces.

It is an exercise in patience. It has been requested that I do this for a piece I am making but I am struggling. All the other changes have been made, every one they requested. They being the people who jurored it for a gallery. It is just this one thing that is holding me back. I have put everything in front of this because I knew what it would be.

I don’t want to say it is difficult for me. I want to learn how to do it for the sake of getting into the gallery. Will I use it often? That is to be determined.

Just right at this moment, I am frustrated; with myself. Am I using the right wire? Is there something I should be doing differently? Obviously. Why can’t I do this? I DON’T KNOW. I am not whining, I am trying to help me by talking to you all and maybe if there is something that is making you crazy you won’t feel so alone.

Hellooooo….. is there anyone out there who deals with things like this??

I want to learn it, just right now I am struggling.

The lady who requested this adjustment is one of those people who said “You can teach yourself just check out this web site”. I have. That one and many more. I am not unteachable, I am just standing in my own way.

I know I will get it. Just like everything else I do. I am aware that some things come to us easier than others but it is just another hill to climb. I tried for six hours last night  only to get so frustrated I threw it across the room. That’s okay. I have to learn to crawl before I walk, walk before I jog and jog before I run.

Right now I am crawling and I have to be okay with that. I know all the wrong things to do, at some point the right thing to do will click and bam, it will work but for now, patience, practice and persistence.

 

Whatever State You Are in , Be Content…..

Usually, when I work on Saturday night, I don’t go to church on Sunday. This Sunday was different.  I started my vacation that night. There was only one thing I wanted to do on my vacation. I wanted to just go on a day trip to one place. I hinted to it but it hasn’t happened. It isn’t but a 3 hour drive.

As I sat there, in church, I listened as the preacher  read my moms favorite Bible verse. He talked about God providing for our needs but we as human beings don’t know sometimes the difference between needs and wants.

We feel like it is a need but is it?

My anxiety level was high. I had a program the next day and it had been a year and a half since I had worked with kids. Did I still have it? Was I going to fall on my face? I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep. At all!!

I went to church and went out to lunch with my parents. Came home and laid down. Couldn’t sleep. Posted a sale on my jewelry. Dealt with that. Went over my talk with the kids in my mind. Went through the stuff I was taking on last time.

I knew I was as ready as I could be, yet, my anxiety was still high. Anxiety feeds off anxiety. You get lost in your own thoughts and it lead to sheer misery at times. This was where I was at. I just wanted someone to take me and hold me. Not just anybody. Him. He was busy, he was working on a project and he was kind of quite. I really wanted to talk to him but he needed to do what he needed to do, I get that. I didn’t want to bother him, I feel like I bother him too much as is.

I began to cry my eyes out. I couldn’t stop it from coming. I was trying, believe me. I finally started praying. And somewhere deep inside me I heard the words, be content.

This was about 4 hours before I was supposed to get up and get ready for the program.

All went well. The kids were happy, the people who hired me were happy. I was happy.

Within 30 minutes, I received a phone call that I needed to meet with some people about some of my jewelry that had been jurored. Once again, the anxiety level went back up. Once again inside me I hear the words, be content.

That night I slept like a baby. I asked him if he wanted to come with me but he never responded until I was there. I would have liked the company as he is more used to this than I am but it wasn’t meant to be.

I had the meeting. It went better than I figured. I was happy about that. I then came home to  an empty house. I played in the dirt resetting some plants. I went and got dinner and ate alone. I was kind of sad there was no one to share it with in person. I sat and I ate in silence. The words came back to me. Be content.

I am going to hold on to those words of life with everything I have inside me. If I am alone or with someone, be content.

If things are going well or life is beating me up, be content. For you see I am never truly alone. There are things I want but do I need them. Lonesome is a state of mind. I just work until my body tells me to go to bed. Then I lay there and think of the good things in my life and I am content.

Trying Hard Not To Give Up On Me….

I am in a blue funk. That is one of those moods that you just don’t want to deal with anything. You don’t want to get out of bed. You make yourself but you really don’t want to. Today I didn’t, until I absolutely had to. Thanks to my handy dandy mobile secretary, my cell phone,  I did some things from my bed but that was it.

I am trying not to give up on this dream I have. I am trying to figure out how to shatter the “glass” ceiling and just bumping my head over and over.

What I am doing is getting attention brought to my jewelry from all types of people, fashion bloggers, artists, people I know, opera singers, photographers but no sales. YET!!! I am having fun doing it the creating  but if I could just get more sales, then it would me make me feel better about myself.

I realize that I have tied too much of my personal value to my jewelry projects. I shouldn’t do that. I am not what I make. I am more than what I produce yet part of me looks at what I have accomplished with pride. I started this knowing nothing, I have learned everything the hard way.

I am in that place you sometimes get in, you know that downward spiral you get in when it is not going exactly how you planned. Yeah, I am in that thing.

I don’t like this and tend to be somewhat silent until I figure things out. I feel like I bother other people when I am like this and Lord knows I never want to feel like a burden. So, I just keep quite. I muddle through it. I get there, just sometimes not as quickly as I would like.

I know what I make is not who I am. I get that but it is nice when someone sees value in what you do. Some people do, don’t get me wrong, but there is just something when people put some money down on the table and say I want to own this, I think it is of value.

I promote it everywhere I can think of.  On Facebook, Instragram, Pintrest; a couple of people share it, yet no sales on the web store.

So I work, I play, I enjoy the making much more than the business end of things. I am much more of a piddler than a business  woman.  I missed a chance the other day by simply not having business cards with me.

It will be okay. I will be fine. I just need to relax. So much so I took myself to the movies yesterday and I hate going to the movies by myself. I needed to escape. However, the movie got me thinking more than ever. I saw a group of people. One was fearful then resolved. One was hopeless and gave up on herself but rose to fight for the person she loved, and three helpless people who were out of anything to fight with. She of course came to the rescue of the three.

As much as I believe in other people, it is hard for me not to give up on me. I will fight for others much harder than I will fight for myself. Maybe she and I are more alike than I imagined.

The movie I saw was Wonder Woman. Somewhere maybe there is that connection. I just need to get my fight back up.

Simple…

I am not hard to understand. I like simple. My mind is busy, but not complicated.

This morning, after finishing a 12 hour shift, I went for a walk. I enjoyed the smell of the fresh morning air. I looked at the dew as it lay on the blades of grass. I got into my music as I walked. I twisted my lower torso to get more effect of the walking. I did a dance with a robin that would hop along in front of me just a few paces ahead, it would fly just a bit and land back in front of me, we did this for a good while.

After he got bored with the game. He flew off.

I went home and I slept. I slept until I woke up. No alarm needed. No phone call from my mom. I woke up feeling refreshed. I didn’t sleep as  much as yesterday. Yesterday I slept all night and the whole day. I needed rest. I was tired.  Today, I was rested.

I wanted fresh air and sunshine. It was my late day to come in. I went and took some of the best photos I have taken in a while. I actually shot in manual and took more control over the camera than I have in a good long time. I spent over an hour trying to get a good photo of a dragonfly darting about. I didn’t get it but I tried. I got some good practice in. I got to understand what I can do without the camera doing it for me.

As the sun set, nobody knew where I was. When I had spoken to my  mom, I was going to get dinner. When I had spoken to my best friend I was going home to get dressed for work. My person, he had no clue where I was.

Where I was, was standing in the middle of a cemetery where my grandparents are buried. It was the best place to get the photos of the sunset I was seeing. I paid respect to them while I was there but the sunset was what had drawn me to this place.

Once again, I shot with the “M”. This mode scares a lot of people. You have to do the thinking. It is in my mind, a dividing line. I would shoot, adjust, shoot again, adjust again. It was a learning exercise for me. When did it get grainy? What are the limits I could push it to and still get an acceptable shot.

I enjoyed my day and I did that thing I love to do. With no thought of what was going to happen with  the images. I am not taking them for monetary gain. I am taking them for me. Most people will never even know they exist. They don’ t need to.

When I got to work, I got into a conversation with one of my co-workers about life. He is newly married and he doesn’t realize that it is a world of compromise. He told me some things and I asked him some questions. The most common phrase I heard was I never looked at it that way. I was just asking questions. It was up to him to make his own assessment of the situation.

It was a simple day. It was a day of reflection and not loneliness.

I don’t need the world. Looking at my little corner of it in a way that no one else sees it, that has to be enough for me, for now.

Life is simple we make it complicated. A place to relax, someone to love, something to be passionate about, a roof over our head and food in our belly. Those are the “simple” things in life that are the grand things.

Return on Investment

I am in a slump right now. Not saying much about it, trying not to let anything show.

I have written many time about my jewelry making business and my photography business. They are both kind of hit and miss. Right now it is a miss.  The photography is more of a hobby with an occasional paying gig from time to time.

The jewelry is different. I would like to see it grow and prosper on its own.

I get excited when someone expresses interest in a piece. When my person looks at and sees a comparison to a beautiful piece of art or speaks about what makes the piece special, I kind of blush and I am speechless. Nothing I do can compare to what he does.

Just today, I got three inquires about new posts. I got excited. Every time my phone made a sound I checked it. Bad, bad idea. I was so hoping for sales that I was jumpy about it. That is not the way I should be.

I should just relax, let things work out as they will and enjoying the process of making. The new things I am learning. The things I learn from my mistakes. Those moments when I look at a piece and realize that it is actually pretty and I made it. I should revel in that, not in what might sale and what won’t.

Being human, I would like to get a return on my investment. I would like people to put there money down and say that something  that I made is pretty enough to buy it.

I want people to want to share my items. Only my best friend usually shares my posts with her friends on social media to try and help me out.

It is a struggle for me to do the business end of things. I love the creative part. The business, I feel like I am charging too much or not enough. I don’t know how to do stuff like this.

I don’t want to seem pushy but I would like to see it succeed.

I got taught a lesson last night by a six year old. She wanted to build a “ghost buster pack”. She had a large frisbee from the back of my car. She got paper and scotch tape. She cut small strips of paper to make the straps. Well, I knew it wasn’t going to work but she was sure it was. Well, we tried it. It was not going to hold. I explained to her why it didn’t work.

We tried again. This time using paper, because in her mind, the paper was going to work only this time we used duct tape. Once again, it didn’t work.

The third time, we used a plastic bag cut into strips and used duct tape. By the time we were finished, she could actually slip her arms through it and wear her “ghost busters pack”.

She wasn’t making anything to sell. She was just using her imagination. She knew what she wanted and had a general idea how to do it. She just needed a little help.

Maybe that is my legacy. Maybe it is not what I sell that will be the return on investment. Maybe it is the fact that these girls see me take chances, that they see me never quit. That the know that I work through problems one step at a time. Maybe that is much more important than anything I could ever sell.

So, it may be time to put on the black dress I wear for photographing formal occasions, put on my soft soled shoes and go unnoticed for a while. I will continue to make. I just won’t put it out there for the world to see. I will make for the joy of making. I will bask in the silence of doing without expecting a sell. I will just try to relax and let my imagination take over.