More than five years ago, I wrote a blog post with a list of 25 things I wanted to learn, practice or improve. It can be easy to think we aren’t learning or progressing very much because those things sometimes go slowly. However, this previous post came to mind because my mom suggested we look at old blog posts. I’m glad she did. When I read these items, I was surprised how many I had done or how many had changed and were no longer relevant.
1) Make a beaded bead.
2) Get a jewelry design published. – This is no longer a goal. So many jewelry magazines are gone, and a kind blog reader pointed out that every time I publish a blog post with a photo of my jewelry, it is being published (thanks, Anne W!) I realized that’s enough for me, and I don’t want to go to the work to get published in a magazine. Limiting the “work” of my hobby keeps it fun and stress free.
3) Make my own clasp. – Yes, I’ve done this! I’d like to do it more.
4) Put up a pegboard system in my craft room. – This is no longer a goal because I have put many more organizational systems in place so that I don’t need that specific thing. One is this wonderful way of hanging chain that I got from a peek into Erin Prais-Hintz’s studio.
5) Organize craft room into usability. – I consider this done. Although it regularly needs a good clean up, and I’d like to be one of those folks who cleans up after each making session, it is basically organized. It wouldn’t take much time to clean up the mess from my last making session or two.
6) Make a decent “messy” wire wrap. – I’ve done this to my satisfaction more than once. It doesn’t always turn out the way I’d like, but I know how to make it work.
7) Make a decent briolette wrap. – I have also done this. There are so many wonderful tutorials available on the web. Thanks to all the artists who share their knowledge.
9) Make a decent leather infinity link from the Tracy Statler tutorial.
10) Make my own tin bead caps from the Lorelei Eurto tutorial. – I’ve done this. It was so fun!
11) Learn to rivet. – Done.
12) Do some metal stamping. – Done.
13) Learn to take better pictures of my jewelry. – I have learned a lot about this. There often isn’t good light where I live, but I sometimes surprise myself with pictures that are better than I think.
14) Take a glass bead making class.
15) Work with color patinas. – I’ve had a blast doing this and wrote a couple of blog posts about it.
16) Oxidize my wire. – Done.
17) Improve my knotting. – Knotting is now my main stringing technique.
18) Use a variety of leather and fiber ends. – Done.
19) Become comfortable making multi-strand pieces. – I’ve done this. While I prefer single strands, if I had a multi-strand design in mind, I’d go with it.
20) Use chakra charms in something fabulous.
21) Re-make a necklace. – Done.
22) Re-make a bracelet. – Done.
23) Re-make a pair of earrings. – Done
24) Finish Jade Scott earrings. – I no longer wear earrings, so I didn’t finish this project. (The thing holding me up was wire wrapping, which wouldn’t be a problem now.)
25) Make another wrap bracelet.
I’ve done (or changed/don’t need to do) 20 out of 25 of these goals. That’s 80%. Pretty good! Some more of these things are no longer a priority; I don’t think I’d like making glass beads, so I doubt I would take a class. I would take a different class, so I can possibly look for one I would like to take. I won’t make a new list like this, but I will keep in mind that progress is happening whether we think it is or not and also that goals change.
I subscribe to Ginger Davis Allman’s The Muse thrice weekly email newsletter. It is a series of short tips and thoughts that aren’t long enough for a full article, but still worth sharing. A recent email talked about how sometimes we don’t read or attend to things because we think we already know it. But attending to “old” or “basic” information can sometimes help us see things in a different way than when we first saw or learned it. I’m a different jewelry maker than I was five years ago. My style has evolved as has what I want to focus on. This list probably helped me to do that. It was fun to see how far I’ve come not only in how many of these things I’ve accomplished, but in how many are no longer relevant.