February 15, 2011

It's Just a Start

My husband and I love to create things. I've always gained great satisfaction from creating or physically changing things so that I can see the fruits of my labor. I never really thought much about it until recently, since I've become quite bored with my job and need more personal joy from doing something. It's a decent paying job, but I just don't get much satisfaction from it (other than the complete and utter gratitude that I actually do have a job in these trying times). I've had hobbies that come and go, since my interests range from such things as photography, reading, drawing, and playing music to doing research, doing math (I know, I know - I used to hate it, but now numbers seem to make some sense), and cleaning (yeah, I know, another weird one). I never really ever picked just one thing and focused on it for more than a few months or a year at a time; however, I've always gone back to each of these things (and others) when I get bored with whatever it is I happened to be focusing on lately.

But I really just love to create things. I like to make clean things out of dirty things, functional things out of broken things, and pretty things out of a bunch of what looks like nothing. Mostly, I just like to make things better than they were, or better than their parts. I started making jewelry a couple of  years ago, inspired by my local bead store, Ornamentea. The store is so cute, and there are so many lovely goodies to choose from, how could you not be inspired to at least make a little something? Of course, I hadn't made jewelry since middle school when I taught myself how to make daisy chains with seed beads and knotted friendship bracelets. Needless to say, I've kind of outgrown those styles a bit. This is where Ornamentea really proves how awesome it is: they not only do they offer a variety of classes at the store, but they also offer FREE tutorials for different techniques and project ideas.

From Ornamentea.
OK, so another thing that I've slowly (and painfully) learned about myself over the course of my life is that I love teaching myself how to do things. No offense to any of the awesome teachers and instructors I've had in my life, but I really do learn and retain better by being given the basics and then being left to my own devices. So the tutorials that I found on Ornamentea's website totally tickled my fancy. They had amazing photos and instructions, and before I knew it, I'd made my very own seahorse necklace!

I was so proud of myself! Not only did I now actually have an awesome, unique piece of jewelry, I also had the pleasure of knowing I made it myself. I got so many compliments on it, I couldn't wait for the next new tutorial to come out, so I went to the store and bought a whole bunch of supplies that I hoped would inspire me. I had this wild idea that I'd make some necklaces for my sister and my Mom, which I eventually did. But I also bought a few things that are still sitting in my supply. I think I just jumped the gun, considering I didn't really have a whole lot of jewelry crafting experience under my belt yet. However, those other pretty ingredients will be used eventually, so they were not bought in vain.

So three years later I I now find myself itching to create my own designs. I've been inspired by many of Ornamentea's free tutorials, and I've learned a lot from them. I probably have plenty more to learn, and will likely take a few real classes sometime in the future. But I've also found another inspiration: Anthropologie. I just love the eclectic, yet beautiful, style of pretty much everything they sell. Just one problem - I would not be able to eat if I actually shopped there as much as I'd like to. Sure, they have great sales, and I've certainly found some incredible deals, but so many times I've missed out on something I really liked. And many times I've thought to myself, "I can make that!" This is mostly true with the jewelry, since I am far from being a seamstress with enough wits to even make a simple apron that won't fall apart (I do plan on improving upon that, though).

I've made jewelry for friends and they've had people ask them if I am selling my wares, but I've just never put enough time into it to actually create an inventory. Well, that is changing, my friends. I'm feeling enterprising and inspired, so let's see what I can come up with. I'm still debating whether to open and Etsy or Artfire shop, but I'll save that great debate for another post.

Thanks for tuning in, and we'll talk at ya later.

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