Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?

I haven’t posted any jewelry-related news in quite a while. There hasn’t been any jewelry-related news to post, it seems, in a very long time.

Early last fall I had production surge that grew out of an idea for a new collection of jewelry (mostly necklaces) and a sense of urgency about the impending holiday shopping season. During the first week of November I designed and produced more pieces of jewelry than I had made all year. Two weeks before Thanksgiving I should have been giving the new pieces to My Sweetheart for pictures that I could post in my Etsy shop, but I let one unexpected conversation sink the entire mission instead.

The conversation started with “oh, honey! You made all of this? This is really good! This should be in stores, honey!” which led to a light bulb moment of “my dear friend has a very successful (whateverkinda) business and she’s just expanded that to include a fabulous boutique, but she doesn’t have anything like this… She needs some of this, honey.” Without much contribution from my side, the matter of a consignment deal seemed to be all but settled in the final comments “when I talk to her tonight, honey, I will tell her that she needs to do this. It will be good for both of you. Don’t worry, she’ll listen to me. You’ll be in the store by Monday. Consider it done.”

Of course I didn’t consider it done… But I did consider it a possibility and I expected to meet this “dear friend” within a day or two to explore compatibility between her boutique and my jewelry. In the meantime, I realized that my jewelry was not “consignment-ready” and needed quite a bit of work to make it so. To that end, I halted production of new pieces and turned my attention to expanding my consignment agreement knowledge base, pricing my pieces for consignment and creating informative and branded packaging with detailed descriptions for each piece. I was so busy for the first few days that I was grateful that the shop owner hadn’t been able to schedule a meeting. Once I got a handle on situation, though, with real production momentum diverted, the pressure from the countdown to Black Friday threatened to squash me as I waited each day for the introduction.

I realized on Monday, two days before Thanksgiving (My Sweetheart and I celebrate the holiday on Wednesday, in honor of our Diggity Dog) that the introduction wasn’t coming. I realized on Tuesday that I couldn’t make up for the days lost and have my Etsy shop ready for the two most important days in the retail industry. I felt completely defeated by my own foolishness and I crowned that defeat by forfeiting the entire holiday season. Inspiration to make new pieces packed up and vacated, taking the motivation to post the pieces already made in tow. Even interest in traffic through my Etsy shop had absconded.

That’s where jewelry-related news slumped, fell and died. I haven’t had an inkling of inspiration toward making jewelry since November. I have tried to force the creative urge, but the only results produced by that force, so far, have manifested as doodles, drawings and sketches… (Zentangle, anyone?) None of them have had any relation to jewelry. So that’s been a bummer.

And then…

Today…

This happened, out of nowhere.



{Sidenote: I know, I know… The photos aren’t great, but one of my major downfalls is the idea that I have lodged in my head that tells me I can only post photos if they look (mostly) professional. Perfection is far too elusive for my spur-of-the-moment skillset, which means most of what I make never gets published. That mindset sucks and I am actively trying to defeat it.}

I don’t have any idea from where the inspiration for either of these bracelets (or the drive to build them) came to me, but it came on like gangbusters and I made them both in a single sitting this morning. I have a feeling that I will even manage to post them to Etsy soon.

Does your creativity go through dry spells? What does it take to quench your creative thirst and inspire you to continue (or resume) creating? I hope you will share in the comments.

Be My Valentangle

I realize that I probably should have expected The Diva’s Weekly Challenge  to have a Valentine theme this week, but I had so much anticipation for the announcement that I didn’t even consider the obvious.

I don’t create many pieces featuring hearts. I don’t have anything against heart art; hearts just don’t organically manifest in my art very often. The Valentine’s Day theme, therefore, this week’s challenge lived up to the title for me. I played with several ideas before I came up with this one.

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I was a little concerned about the minimal pattern integration, but My Sweetheart likes it and that’s good enough for me, but I hope you like it, too. If you do like it, please use the social sharing buttons below to like, pin, tweet or otherwise share “Valentangle” with your networks.

Self-criticism Out, Zentangle In

I’ve recently been experiencing a creativity block when I try to sit down and make new jewelry. When it happens, I have a tendency to try to force results, even though I know that’s not productive.  When I finally break down and admit that I need a little inspiration, I browse Pinterest for images of jewelry I haven’t seen before or peruse images that I have already pinned to one of my own boards. There’s always beautiful inspiration on Pinterest and you can probably tell by my 5,460 individual pins that I have spent a little time seeking it out. My 136 pinboards should indicate that I don’t limit my quests for inspiration for jewelry making to images of jewelry.

Lately, I have been pinning to a group of boards that I have categorized “Art” which are primarily populated with images of doodles and other ink drawings. I’m a life-long doodler and often find myself saying “oooooh” and “aaaaah” over the beautiful results others have scratched out onto paper… Of my own doodling, I tend to be overly critical, despite the fact that they are only doodles. I don’t often manage to relax while doodling because of my self-criticism, which defeats the whole point of doodling in the first place. Thanks to Pinterest I have been able to overcome that tendency and actually reverse it somewhat. Thanks to Pinterest, I have discovered Zentangle.

Defined by the official Zentangle website as “an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns,” this loosely structured art form has been my key to not only managing to relax a little, but also finding a bit of confidence in myself… At the very least, more confidence in my ability to doodle. It may seem like a very small issue to some, but not long ago (like, last week) I wouldn’t even consider the possibility of doodling with ink; I “messed up” far too many strokes to even think about giving up the option of erasing my mistakes. A few days ago, I had completed about half of a full-page Zentangle when I realized that I had yet to erase so much as a single stroke. When that realization struck me, I picked up a pen to finish the page and was quite pleased with the outcome. If you look at that piece, you can tell when/where I had my ah-ha moment although I had already gone over the pencil portion in ink.

My sweetheart has seen the images I pin to my art boards and complemented my Zentangle pieces by telling me that they would be be big hits on Pinterest and has encouraged me to post them rather than keep them all to myself. While I recognize that his opinion may be a bit biased, I figure what-the-heck, I might as well find out, so here they are: my Zentangle Debut Duo.

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Look closely and you can see that part of this Zentangle is drawn in inked-over pencil.

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My first completely ink Zentangle.

Of course, I would love to have your comments at the end of this post. I appreciate your pinning my images and following my boards as well!