Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Whew, time flies!
Looking back at 2011, I made some pretty tall goals for my little business. Instead of focusing on growing my business, I focused on growing my skills. Last July, in my blog, I wrote, "my goal for this year is to really stretch myself as an artist--can't really do that without trying new things and taking risks." I then went on to list the things I wanted to do in the remainder of the year. I made this list a public announcement of sorts so that you all would help keep me accountable! I then did something I have never done--I closed my shop for 2 months to focus on reaching these goals.
In the way that life typically happens, my twins' had a very difficult time adjusting to kindergarten--which coincided with my "sabbatical." Turns out I actually took the time off to spend in meetings and their classrooms to help them with the transition! I was quite relieved to have this time already free so that I could do my first job, that of mom, well!
So, looking back on that list, what did I get accomplished? Well, I did take a fused glass pendant class--made a few pendants and had some fun. But, I decided that I do not have a passion for fused glass pendant making. I will leave that to another!
Next, I took part in the bead soup blog party. This is an exchange made between two jewelry artists--each of us giving beads from our stash to the other--with a final product made and posted on your blog. Then, we all went around to the 300+ blogs, hopping and oohing and aaahing at the jewelry made. I got a chance to work with some beautiful glass beads made by Pam Ferrari. It was both intimidating and inspiring. As a matter of fact, it inspired me to try my hand at glass bead making. So far, mine have come out a bit wonky, but they are getting better! Turns out, I do have a passion for working with a torch and fire--the three classes I just signed up to take at the bead and button show this summer all have torch work. One is for glass beadmaking and the other for enameling.
I also taught my first class on altering pendants. This was a very fun, laid-back class with women in my neighborhood. Yummy food, wine and great company. We had such fun and I got to share my passion with other women. They all made such beautiful things!
Once I started stretching myself, I kept going! I took a semester long metals course. I learned how to do several techniques with metal from an amazing teacher, Kristie Chijimatsu. While I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, my teacher and my peers, my passion is not there, either. But, I am really glad that I learned them and see myself enjoying the techniques more at a later point in my life when I have more time for creating. This pendant is my favorite project that I made this semester:
I also submitted a few designs to my favorite bead magazine, Bead Trends. And, guess what, they were accepted. My first published piece came out in this month's magazine. So exciting!
In July I started the craft to give back program in my neighborhood. Each month, a group of us gets together to make/embellish something for the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection. It feels so good to take a percentage of my profits, buy a few supplies and (with the help of several hands) make a boatload of beautiful things to share with those who are less fortunate in our community. So far, we have donated hair accessories, fancy t-shirts and leggings, winter hats, and necklaces. So FUN!
My jewelry made it out to the Rose Bowl this year--and was even purchased by the opposing team's fans and coaches! I heard through the grapevine that the Rose Bowl president is even considering my rings for the coach's swag bags next year!!! Can you believe it?! I had to sit down for that one!
It has been such a fulfilling 6 months, that I don't want it to stop! Like I mentioned earlier, I just signed up for several classes at the bead and button show. I also signed up for another semester long course at MATC, this time in ceramics. Today, I created some new designs to submit for publication, so stay tuned with fingers crossed! Thank you all for going along with this crazy ride called N's Whims! Thank you for encouraging me, supporting my bead habit and keeping it fun!