Musings of a creative mind #11: This entry was prompted by your nice comments. :)

Being driven to express myself through my work is both a blessing and a curse, and thank you all for enjoying what I make!

Would you believe that I am my own worst critic? I am a horrible perfectionist, and some of what I make really doesn’t live up to my terribly high standards for what I should do. For example, those earrings I just posted. They eventually turned out right, but they didn’t start out that way. I didn’t have any crystal fireline to make them with, and as a matter of fact, I didn’t have any smoke coloured either. I actually make them with big spool nymo in black. I don’t normally recommend using nymo for beadweaving, but the big spool stuff is different than the small spool stuff, and I have successfully maintained tension with it for a few projects now. I also wouldn’t normally have used black thread on this because of the whole issue I have with my thread showing, and the colours that I had on hand that spoke the loudest, were also including some transparent colours. SO I was sitting there thinking about how transparents show the thread better than anything else.. so not only would the edge of the thread be showing, it would show through the bead as well. I started off with just the peyote bezel around the cab and the thread wasn’t showing too much, but by the time on got to the alexandrite coloured AB crystals, it was plain to see that with 2 or more passes I would be able to clearly see the black thread. I almost cut them apart. Now.. all of this being said, I actually decided that I would use the black thread as a colour accent to the design and once I thought of it that way, the full on lace effect came out. LOL It’s actually really funny because I don’t apply those stupidly high standards to anyone else’s work but my own. There’s a place for everyone in this game of creation, from the first time hobbyist to the seasoned artist. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when they sold. :)

I really need to come up with a better title than that one I have.

The online jewellery selling portion of the artist game is one of many, many hats. You have to be a photographer, a marketer, a networker, a sales associate, a tax professional, a bargain hunter, a shipper, and of course a manufacturer. There are other hats as well when you throw parent into the mix. Sometimes I handle it well, and sometimes I don’t. I have business guilt in there with mom guilt, and the fact that sometimes I just don’t have the energy to move. It’s such a great thing LOL When I have the energy, I get upset at myself that I should organise, but I don’t because I get too distracted with the pretties that I find. It makes it hard to keep track of all of my paperwork sometimes. And then I try and add making video or blog tutorials to that mix.. Does anyone else have focus issues? If I were a bird, I would be a magpie or a raven. Ohh! Shiney! ;)

Thank you for reading and I hope that you enjoy my flow of consciousness style of writing as well.

A flower does not compete with the beauty around it, it just blooms.

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Donna's trinkets, LLC ...

Becca, I hear you loud and clear. I had to laugh at your last paragraph, because it sounds so much like me. I finally started to organize my things in December and I am happy to say that I know where about 80% of my goodies are. I see things and say, “Oooh, Shiny!” Too. I just got a boxful of new things and a few envelopes too. I have to repurpose a bunch of things as it is because they didn’t sell. :(

As for perfectionist…I feel the same way. I have taken things apart many times and redone them. It’s not such a terrible habit, but it is frustrating.
Just wanted to share and tell you again what beautiful work you do. Keep up the great work!

Becca Ross ...

I hear that Donna! I was debating the other day if I should destash, but that would require more organization LOL

Donna's trinkets, LLC ...

Tell me about it! Ugh! It’s never ending.

Madalynne Homme ...

Oh boy the “focus” is a tuff one for me. For me, I have to put away any loose strands or beads, or my mind starts to drift and I don’t end up making what I intended to do. I get overwhelmed and think I can make this or that. I have a chest that I put new beads in so I can’t see them until I’m ready to make a something new or put them in proper storage trays. I also have a huge box of things that need to be reworked. The question is will I ever get to them? LOL!

Terrie ...

Becca, I do believe that’s the most I’ve ever “heard you say”! LOL! And what a mouthful of truth it is!
I try to keep my bead/hobby room organized, or I get distracted too easily. Sometimes my “bead time” consists ONLY of putting stuff away. Half the fun of this hobby is just touching and admiring the beads, so it doesn’t always require me to be MAKING something. I just enjoy feeling them and admiring them, as well.
My hobby room also shares space w/ my computer and small “office”, so I have to be careful I don’t go in there to pay bills or do something clerical in nature, and end up beading instead! LOL! (Like that’s never happened!)
I have sort of put myself on “hold” for buying beads. I’m overwhelmed with them, especially so many types of seed beads. I’ve told myself that I’m going to use up some of what I have, and stop ordering new stuff a couple times a week! So far, so good … I haven’t placed a bead order in several weeks! THAT’S a first, in the 2½ years I’ve been making jewelry!
As for your earrings, they are one of those [what we call] “happy mistakes”, huh? There are several convos and videos on other sites and youtube about how thread influences the very essence and style of a piece. You explained it well. It can make or break, or totally change the “flavor” of a piece. I own several colors of several brands of thread, and sometimes I’ll do a swatch in a couple/few thread colors, just to see which one speaks to me.
I, too, totally understand the ‘perfectionist’ side… it makes us strive to be better, though, right? I’m not good with mediocre. My mom is one of those “just smack it together; no one will see that side of it [or whatever]…”. I always tell her, “Mom, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing RIGHT”. I always try for the very best product I can turn out … if I won’t wear it, then I won’t try to sell it or ask others to wear it. That’s why my pieces (esp. bead-woven pieces) take me a bit longer…I’m not super fast, but I’m steady and consistent and diligent about the stuff I make.
I’ve told you before, Becca: your work is outstanding. You are such a talented artist. I’ve always enjoyed your work. It’s usually your wire work we see, but I was so pleasantly surprised to see the bead-woven earrings you created. Just beautiful!
Thanks for sharing your heart. I’d say you’re in good company, as many of us share the same “haunts”. :)

Donna's trinkets, LLC ...

Maybe we need to start a commune! That way, we can share things: ideas, supplies, storage solutions, and we’d all be in good company!

Becca Ross ...

OMG a creative commune with shared supplies! Well, I’m a big producer.. I’d end up using more than others.. I guess that would work though as I’d always be buying more LOL

Marta ...

I love the idea! A commune with nothing but beader’s/artists/hobbyists/etc….Oh, what fun! Becca you are very good and I feel the same as everyone else here. :)

Cindy A. ...

Oh boy, us artist types have a lot in common don’t we? I also lack focus, I’m also a perfectionist (it’s amazing anything gets done), and I also have times where I spend an entire day organizing and yet somehow there’s always a mess (I actually belong to a group called The Messy Beaders Club! LOL!). You know Terrie, it is so funny you say you love to touch your beads. I’m the same way! There was a bead store here where there was a big tray full of loose beads I used to just stand there and play in for hours, and the owner of the shop left me alone. It was my happy place. I was so depressed when they closed last year. Everywhere else I go, shop owners follow me around like I’m going to steal something, but I can’t help it! I have to touch the beads!

I remember when my friend started making jewelry and she had me come over and look at all her stuff. She said to me when I was oohing and ahhing over something “Don’t you just want to pick that up and lick it?” And I busted out laughing because I so totally got that. It’s so great to know there are other people out there who have that same sort of love affair with rocks/beads/gems.

Becca, like the others have said, you do great work! You all do! You’ve all been a HUGE inspiration to me. If we weren’t as self-critical would we do as well? To be honest, the local craft show scene here totally killed it for me. I started off with so much passion and excitement and sunk my heart and soul into it (and quite a few paychecks), and after that I couldn’t make jewelry for close to two years. I never made back a single entry fee, and all I heard all the time was “Another jewelry table? Oh my god, I’m sick of jewelry”. I did everything I could to try to motivate myself, especially since I was still buying beads like a meth addict. Then I finally joined this group, moved all of my stuff into the basement and spread out, and let me tell ya… it really changed everything for me. You guys all make me feel so good about it again that I got my first Etsy shop. I haven’t had that kind of confidence in so long!

We all care about our work – it’s our passion, it’s a part of us, our creations, so it’s natural to want it to be the best. I wonder, does anyone else out here also experience a sort of separation anxiety selling stuff? Especially if it’s something we’re really proud of?

Terrie ...

Yes, Cindy, I DO experience a sense of “loss” when I sell certain pieces. Especially the ones into which I’ve poured my heart and soul. There are some pieces that I just know I won’t even attempt to sell … they have too much of me in them. So I don’t even offer them for display, unless it’s to show someone that I can make it and can re-do it (slightly different, of course … don’t want anyone owning my same necklace! LOL!)
I feel the same way about the crafts/vendors fairs/shows. Ugh. I’ve only done two of them, and both were a bust. Everyone wants to “look” and “oooooh” and “aaaaahh” … but they don’t wanna pay!! It’s a lot of hard work to haul and lug and set up and stage and break down your area … and only sell one or two pieces? So, now I just make them because I love them, it’s therapeutic, and I wear them when I can. If someone sees it and loves it and wants to buy it, I’ll offer to sell it to them, right off my neck or arm! LOL! Or re-make it for them.

And yes, I have pieces, too,that I could just “lick”. LOL! That’s funny. Seriously, I do have some beaded pieces that just feel so sleek and slick in my hands, I can’t stop touching them! But I haven’t licked any of them. Yet. ;-)

It’s a sickness …. one I’ll happily live with! :-)

Becca Ross ...

It’s funny.. I haven’t actually licked anything beaded, but I’m a certified rock licker! Sometimes that’s the only way to see the true colours before a polish (if you don’t have any water around teehee)

Terrie ...

I’ll admit …. I have done that myself! I’ve collected a TON of sea glass on beaches, and once it dries and the ocean’s not around … well, you lick it to remind yourself why you picked it up in the first place! ha!

Madalynne Homme ...

LOL! You rock lickers!

Terrie ...

I watched a video on youtube, about the people who procure stones for the Dakota Stones Company. The owner/CEO/head buyer goes to all these different countries to find nice specimens of rock, and he walks around the mines licking stones all day long! LOL! That way, he knows the true color and personality of the stone, and picks better specimens for his company to refine and sell. So, we’re in good company, Becca! :-)

Becca Ross ...