Comfort…

I need to be in a place of comfort. If that be a space, a relationship, clothing and shoes, hobbies, when I sleep,  all things.

Now having said that, I do a lot of activities in the confines of my home. I dress for comfort. When I am working in my work room, honestly it is very scant. I am there in usually a tee shirt, underwear and my apron.

When I am writing, it kind of depends on what I am writing. I am trying to be tactful here so I am not going to go into much detail. Let’s just say I dress for the part.

It is part of my creative process. I need to feel what it would feel like to actually feel the part that I am writing about. It is something that makes me feel ummmm, desirable which is good when I am writing about my desires.

When I am making jewelry, I don’t worry about how I look, I wear the afore mention workroom clothing. When I am trying to promote my product, I want to look like a business woman. When I am photographing an event, I dress differently than when I am doing nature photography. When I am hiking different clothing and shoes. When I go to work the uniform. To church, dresses or skirts.

I just want to feel comfortable in what I wear, how may hair looks; currently, it has blue highlights. I have mermaid hair.

I don’t wear any of this for anyone else. I change my hair, put on makeup, dress as I wish because it makes me feel good. When I feel good, apparently it is obvious. People notice and I’m not looking to get noticed. I was actually told the other day by someone that they were watching me. Not sure what they meant by it, didn’t ask. I don’t really care anymore who is looking or watching. I am gonna do me. Blue hair and all.

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.

I Like Using My Hands…

I love to work with my hands for many things but for the purpose of this post, we will limit it to jewelry making.

When I am working with my jewelry, I lose track of time.

I love to take parts and pieces of things and put them together.

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When I am working with my glass, I talk to it. Court it. Make it feel special. I tell it the things I want to hear. It going to be hot in there but just hold it together and you will become something amazing. When it comes out of the kiln in one piece, I tell it is beautiful. If it comes out broken, I still try to finish it and make it something interesting.

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As I have worked more with the glass, I feel like my skills are improving. Stay on task. Learn all the rules. Safety first. Have fun, first and foremost have fun. Learn something new. Add to your skill set.

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I bought a grinder, I am one of those females who get excited by power tools. Dremels, grinders, I even looked at a saw the other day. It has made a world of difference in my final product. While I am grinding the glass, I forget to worry. I run on caffeine and anxiety.  So when I are shaping the glass, I listen to the hum of the grinder and I watch as this glass in my hand becomes something that is desirable. Something I long to be.

I don’t worry about what is going to happen later at work. I don’t wonder what I have done wrong. I just sit there music playing in the background, listening to the hum of the grinder and work with my hands. I relax. I let the grinder do its job and I create something beautiful. The thing with glass is….it is fragile. Just like us humans. Glass breaks easily!!!

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For my birthday, my person fed my passion. He bought me glass and kiln paper for jewelry making. Then he gave me some lights that I can embed in the jewelry. Once again stepping it up a notch or ten.

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Taking it to the next level. I told it that it would be something amazing when it came through the fire. Just like me.

So On The Sixth Time It Worked…

I have been working on a custom piece of jewelry. It is simple enough but it wasn’t working like I thought it should.

I tried different methods. I tried different heating times. I was sure yesterday I had it. Nope. I have kept all the ones that didn’t work just so I would know how many times I had attempted it. I  counted 5 culls.

Today I finally got the first part of it right. Whew!!!

I was trying not to panic but I was up against a deadline.

It is a birthday gift so it has to be right. It is well on it’s way at this point. I guess the sixth time is the charm; literally I am making a fused glass pendent.

That is what people don’t understand when something is hand crafted. It takes time, it takes supplies, it takes problem solving skills, and it takes a great deal of patience with yourself and your materials. Sometimes, you think you have it all right and everything goes all wrong.

The joy you see in the eyes of someone when they get what they want when they commissioned you to make the piece. Well, that is priceless.

Not That Girl Anymore….

I have always allowed myself to feel second rate. It is nothing I consciously did, it was just that I always felt inferior.

My sister never studied and she was a straight A student. She could pass a test and never open a book. She was the basketball star, she has kids and grand kids.

I struggled with each and every C that I earned. I was the band geek, I did run track for two years but I was average at that. Band was more my thing. I never managed to bring life into the world and it is too late to start now.

When trying to learn new things, I go through the same process and come test time. I panic. I know it is going to happen and I prepare for that.

In my jobs, although competent to do jobs I have had, I live in a culture that uses fear and threats as motivation. So by the time I had left a job, I was beaten down.

Here is the thing though, now I don’t  allow that to happen to me. I am not the best in the world but I am not the worst either. I do there very best job I can for the people I work with and those I serve.

I give the best of me to my person, my family, my friends and my co-workers. This time though, I save a little bit for me. I learn something new every day. I will get something on my mind and I will research it. I never want to stop learning. I allow myself to meditate and contemplate life and the world around me, I make sure I write in my journal to get my feelings onto paper. Even when it hurts that is when I need to write most. I love sharing my love of journaling with others.

I may not be the cute little thing  that men desire, I know my flaws better than anyone, but I have a good heart and a thirst for knowledge. Most recently have been studying up on hydroponics and aquaponics. I may never use it but I can speak clearly about it. Then again, I might use it. You never know.

I am secure in who I am when I are working on my job and if there is something that comes up that I haven’t handled before, I call on the resources at my disposal.

I have grown a great deal in six years. Some may see it as a good thing, some may see it as a bad thing. I see it as an amazing thing. I am happy that I have taken some of the chances I have taken. I used to be the kid who was scared of her shadow, the one who was always at the back of the line. Now, I found out that me might get to do a ride along in a medical air transport unit and I was the first to shoot my hand in the air and almost scream I want to do it.

I want the most of the time I have left here. I don’t want to live my life as someone who is afraid to take risk. I might get rejected, I may very well fail but I won’t be found not trying.

Living life as a second class citizen, an option, that is not for me anymore.

Preparing…But For What???

It has been said that your external surroundings are dictated by your inner turmoil. I would have to say that is true.

I embarked on a  mission a few days back to set up a specific area of my home as a studio to make jewelry and photograph it. Those are but two of the passions in my life.

I knew that my entire living area was messy including having a light box set up in my living room. I really didn’t want to deal with it so I would just move the project I was working on to move to the next project until my house became completely cover in partially finished projects.

Still, I didn’t deal with it until I started setting up the space where all these projects would live.

What I didn’t see was that my mind was as cluttered as my home. As I began to regain control of my surroundings, I began to be able to sort out my thoughts or maybe it was the other way round. Honestly, I don’t know.

Through out the process, I have taken better control of my diet. I get busy and I don’t eat as much because I have something to focus my energy on. I keep a glass of water near me all the time and I was getting plenty to drink but food wasn’t as important. I needed to work on the project.

I spent two days pretty much in just a tee shirt. I was cleaning, there wasn’t going to be anyone coming around. Nobody ever does. I wouldn’t be leaving the house. As I worked, I had music playing and I would dance around the house as I was working. I was making my living space a living space again.

Suddenly, I was cleaning closets, I was getting rid of some of the physical baggage I carried around. I decided it was time to unload some of the stuff I had stored both inside and in the physical world.

If I hadn’t used it in forever, it needed to go.

Suddenly, I looked around and there was room for me to sit on any surface in my living space. I sit here tonight writing this and I feel a sense of pride. I have worked hard on this and now I see the fruits of my labors.

It feels good to release some of the things you have held on to for way too long. It does you no good to carry it around or hide it in a closet.

My studio is still not completely set up, it is getting very close. I know there is some reason I am doing this now. I just am not sure why. Hopefully, it will make my jewelry  better. Maybe have a cleaner house will equate in  a clearer thought process.

I guess time will tell.

Perfect in Imperfection…

 

Life does imitate art. I learned this lesson even more when I was attempted to fuse glass this morning.

My base was white. The frit I was going to use was red and black. Piece with red and black are a favorite combo of mine when making jewelry.

I did everything just so to make sure this piece would be successful. I had a plan. I took my time and got the frit placed just so and I fired the piece.

I took it out and allowed it to cool for 30 minutes as with each piece I do. When I removed the lid to the kiln, much to my disappointment, all the planning I had done was for nothing. It had turned out nothing like I thought it would. The glass during firing had cracked in three pieces.

I took it off the kiln paper and laid it down to finish cooling. I then went to bed, kind of confused  that it hadn’t gone exactly as I had expected.

I lay there in bed and ran scenarios through my head. Had I fired it too long? Was there a flaw in the glass? I am new at this, I didn’t know what had gone wrong. It had just gone wrong.

When I woke up this afternoon, I rinsed the piece and looked at it closer.

Here is what I noticed. Yes, the base piece had broken in three places, yet the pieces were still attached. The black and red frit had shifted as they had heated up and had filled in the cracks in the glass and connected the broken base. It stood in the gap and made sure that although “flawed” it still made an interesting piece.

Much like life, when those cracks in our life  appear, it is those who love us that fill in the gap and keep us in one piece. We in return do the same for them. Give and take, tit for tat, the Golden Rule. Simple things really, just making sure those little things are taken care of. Reminding them to care for themselves. Letting them know that you are there when they feel like they have lost their way just a bit.

The photos above are the final product. It is not what I planned on but for me it is an interesting piece. It will not be for sale. It is one I will keep for my person collection, simply for the story it tells.

It may not turn out the way  we thought, it may turn out wayyyyy more interesting.

Art imitating life, perfect in imperfection.