Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good Morning World!

It's another bead-related post from yours truly!!! YAY!!! I didn't have anything beady to say yesterday, so I didn't post. I had plenty of OTHER stuff to talk about, but it would bore any beady people to tears, so I skipped my blogging yesterday (but I did THINK about posting something... so I was thinking about you at least!!)

Ok... here's the beady news of the day. I'm going to the glass store tonight! YAY!!! Now that I'm going to try to make beads again, I had to analyze my glass-stock to see what colors I might be lacking in. I have plenty of glass, but there are colors that I tend to use a LOT of, like pale pink and lime green, so I need to go fill in those gaps. No huge shopping trip (because there aren't funds for that), but I need some little basics like bead-release and a few mandrels.

I use the skinniest mandrels when making beads and I tend to bend them up pretty easily with my big beads. When I went to the basement to get supplies together, I couldn't find a lot of usable ones, so I've got to go buy some. I can buy welding-rod and cut it down to size, but I'm on an "immediate" thing and need to just get some that are ready-to-go right now.

I'm planning on making beads on Saturday at the bead store again. I've signed up for torch time and will be there bright and early with my gear ready to make some girly stuff! Hopefully I'll be able to continue the no-shaking trend and have a good day of beadmaking. I haven't been by to pick up the beads I made last week, but according to Gerry (owner of beads by Design) they turned out really nice. YAY!!!

ok... gotta run and do some REAL work.

Coffee Today - Venti 3 pump Cinnamon Dolce Latte - NO WHIP! (but that was accident - guess it was the universe telling me NO MORE WHIPPED CREAM!)

Music today - My playlist called "if I was a radio station" which is WAY too long to list here because it's something like 32 hours worth of music!

Monday, April 28, 2008

So, it looks like I'm a blogger again, huh? I'm not sure why I'm compelled to spill my guts to the internet world, but I think I just need to write every once in a while and this is a good format to do it.

Nothing real beady to say today. I haven't cleaned out my studio from seed-bead mania (more on that in a second), so there were no beads made this weekend.

Seed bead mania - While I was stockpiling beads for my mermaid kits in 2005, I realized that I had almost as many, if not way more seed bead colors than most bead stores. That led to my selling packaged seed beads by the gram on my web-site in addition to the kits I was selling. This was a big venture and I invested more money in it than I probably should have (though I made the money back).

It was VERY time consuming, however and when I took a break from beadmaking, I tried to keep up the seed bead end of things for a little while, but my heart wasn't in it, nor did I have the time, so I closed that portion of my store as well.

The point of this is that when I had stopped making beads a couple of years ago and continued to do the seed bead merchandising, the seed beads took over my studio. So, right now in my studio are BOXES of seed beads and they are all over the place, including in my glass area. In order to make beads again, I have to clear out those seed-beads and get organized. I HATE getting organized, as anyone who knows me well can attest to.

In the past I'd barter with people to come organize for me.... trading classes or beads for cleaning/organizing. Right now I don't have the means to do that since I'm not teaching and I don't have any beads to trade (other than seed beads which I have TONS of), so I'm going to have to get motivated and clean my own studio!!! UGH!!!!

At least I have motivation now... I know I can make beads again. I spent 2 years not knowing if I could or not. I didn't talk about this in my earlier posts, but I had something going 2 years ago that made my hands tremble and shake to the point that I couldn't make even the simplest of beads. It was SO frustrating because they couldn't trace the cause of it. It eventually got a bit better, but at the same time other life events took the forefront, I took a full-time "real job" and beadmaking just became something that I "used" to do.

In the back of my mind I wondered if I could return to beadmaking, if my shaking had subsided enough to try, but I was afraid. I really really didn't want to sit down at the torch and find out that I had lost the ability forever. I had people say "oh, you could make organic beads, things that don't require as much control," but I didn't want to. I wanted to make what I wanted to make... girly, detailed beads. And if I couldn't do that, it was going to be a big disappointment. And I'd had too much disappointment last year. I didn't need something bringing me down, reminding me of my weaknesses when I was fighting so hard to be strong and independant.

So I didn't even try. I hate to say it, because I'd never want my kids to have that attitude, but I didn't want to try something that I wasn't going to be totally successful at. People said "do it because you love it, not because you're perfect at it," but that wasn't working... I WANTED to be perfect or not to do it at all. Thinking of not being able to make beads was depressing, so I didn't think about it at all.

A month or so ago I decided that it was time to try. To at least see if it was a possibility. I'd spent more than 10 years of my life as a beadmaker and I didn't like the idea of just disappearing off the map because of something that wasn't my choice. But I was really afraid of failure. My hands still shake, (not nearly as much though) and I didn't know if I'd be successful or not. I had no idea if I'd be able to make a dot bead, let alone a bead with a lot of embellishment like most of my beads were. I knew I'd have to clean my studio before I tried, so I kept procrastinating.

I finally decided that I'd have to go about it different route. I'd rent studio time through the Southern Flames (local glass bead group) and since I was reserving space and paying for it, it would make me go, the same way that having a trainer at the gym makes me show up. It gives some sort of accountability, no procrastination allowed.

I called and reserved a space and found out that there wasn't torch-time that weekend, but Beads by Design, the beadstore that hosts the torch-time, generously let me use their space for the day and let me try making beads again. YAY!!!!

I tried little beads first... just dots... and I could do it with no problem!!! My dots were as straight as they ever were and even though I was shaking a little, it wasn't really an issue. I moved on and decided to go for it and make a fairy. I got my stringer colors mixed and just went for it! YAY! It worked... no problems!! So then I tried a mermaid... and again, no problems! I was on auto-pilot and was able to do all the same things I used to do.

I didn't try anything huge like one of the mermaid torsos for Splish Splash. Those took SO much time and energy and control, I didn't want to risk it when I'd had such a good day. I can't even begin to tell you (whoever you are) what a big deal it was that I could make beads again! It changed my outlook on life SO much. Not that I was moping around... I definitely haven't had a moping year. BUT I hadn't felt like an artist and this let me see that there was that possibility still out there.

SO, this is what brought me back to my blog. The hopes that I'll be beadmaking again. The accountability of saying it "out loud" with the internet universe listening. I updated my website so that there might be people that looked at this blog and said "so where are the beads??!!" at some point. I'm hoping that saying I'm GOING to make beads will make me clean up my studio and get busy!

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'll just check in and talk about whatever floats my boat and keep everyone informed what coffee I'm drinking and music I'm listening to!

Stay tuned....

Beads Made - Zero
Coffee Today - Venti 3 pump Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Whip (which I really need to give up!)
Music - NOTHING! aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I forgot my ipod, so it's way too quiet!

Friday, April 25, 2008

WOW! 2 days in a row??!!!

Maybe I AM blogging again. I've been working on formatting the blog today, so I'm on my way towards it anyways! YAY!!!

A lot of my recent bead-related energy has been directly related to e-mails that I've received from customers/students who were either looking for beads or patterns that they weren't finding on my website OR were asking when I'd be back OR just checking on me. I've put these e-mails into a file on my computer called "fan mail" (which sounds vain and probably is) and when I'm having a down day, I look at those to remind myself that I have (and still can) make things that bring happiness to people... even if just in a little way.

And this brings us to James Taylor...

Mr. Taylor has a song called "That's Why I'm Here" that talks about his doing the same thing (singing Fire and Rain) again and again and again, year after year for people who come to his concerts and "That's Why I'm Here" is his response to this. I totally get it. I'm not an international super-star like James, but at times I felt like I was singing the same song "again and again and again" making my cute-sy girly things, but they DO make people happy (and me too), so maybe "That's Why I'm Here" too.

I think it's "time to make the donuts" again. (I used to refer to this old Dunkin Donuts commercial all the time on days that I didn't really feel like making beads). It might not start because it's something I completely WANT to do right now, but it's something I NEED to do on several levels. I need that positive affirmation that I make something that makes people happy, I need the camaraderie that exists between beaders, I need the ego boost that selling things brings, and there are other positive benefits that come out of it too.

Are you ready for a big teaser???? A certain bracelet which was retired might be making a return... just because it would be an easy way for me to make a "come back." Something I'm used to making and might not have such a challenge conquering. (I guess I'll have to talk more about why I'd have to "conquer" ANYTHING later... but not today.) SO, that might be news to some of you... the return of ___ over ___. But don't tell! It's not a sure thing yet. Just gossip.

The big question now is WHEN can I make beads?? My life is already SO full (as my battered Franklin Planner can attest to) right now. I'm just going to have to find some time to add this element back into my life. I'll keep you posted (excuse the bad pun!) as to how the juggling is going.

Beads Made Today = ZERO
Coffee Consumed Today - Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte (3 pumps with whip)
Music - Sylvie's Long Mellow List (see newly added playlists on the right hand column)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Could it be? Am I ready to blog again? Am I ready to make beads again is the BIGGER question. The title says “the blah blah blah-og of a Beadmaker.” I think that would necessitate my actually BEING a beadmaker to have this blog. Since this was my studio journal, my way to vent about my creative process and keep people up to date on what I was doing in the studio, I abandoned it when I stopped making beads. I wasn’t sure if I’d return to beadmaking, but I didn’t take down the blog. I still get e-mails from people who, who knows how, have found my blog and read the entire thing and want to know “what happened next??!!” (as if my life is so exciting that people would be on the edge of their seats waiting for the next installment.)

I had one friend who told me he read my blog because it was like passing by a car-wreck… he really didn’t want to look, but couldn’t help himself. Thanks a bunch!!!

I have another friend who seems to think that I’m an I Love Lucy episode and that my day to day life would be a great sit-com. I don’t know that I see myself as Lucy, but sometimes I do think I’m sort of like Grace (from Will and Grace) who had some Lucy-esque tendencies, but was a modern girl (and artistic). Maybe people just read for the comedy of errors that I often am. Who knows why, but my silly ramblings seemed to have a following (and apparently, you, if you're reading this had some sort of inclination to read).

So ANYWAYS… here I am again, pondering the idea of blogging and beadmaking.

Am I ready to divulge my every thought to the universe? Hardly. BUT I am sort of ready to talk about my creative process again. I know there were people who really enjoyed reading my day to day ramblings about whatever was going on with me, sometimes bead-related, sometimes just to get new music or coffee ideas.

Without publishing a novel of my past 2 years, let’s just say that my "pseudo-real life" took some REAL LIFE turns and became the forefront for a while. I didn’t really make a choice not to make beads… life made it for me. But, now for various reasons (some of which I might discuss… some of which I won’t), I find myself being pulled back towards beadmaking (and blogging) again.

Since last we spoke, I became a single mom and am now working a full-time REAL job for my family’s business and if that's not enough, I'm in the process of going back to school to get my master's degree. These circumstances will make it very different for me schedule-wise to make beads than it was in the past and I’m not really sure if I can juggle the life I have and want to have, so that will be one of those things to discuss.

If you are reading this and think “cool! I’m going to get to hear all about Sylvie’s new single social life…or the trials and tribulations of being a single mom.” Think again. Though there might be occasional glimpses into real life (including my addiction to starbucks), I’m going to try to keep my blog focused on the creative me. Real life does color the creative process, so I’m not going to pretend that I won’t talk about other stuff from time to time, but I’ll really have to censor myself since this is potentially such a public forum.

There will be times, like there were in the past, when I say something in my blog that makes no sense to anyone but me (or those who know me really well). It will be just to “get it out” and anyone reading this wanting an explanation for my nonsensical sayings will just have to live with that bit curiosity from time to time.

AND if you are reading this and feel a need to correct my grammar… don’t. (and that means you mom!) Even if it drives you completely crazy…don’t do it!!! I never claimed to be grammatically correct and I like over punctuating AND I make up my own words AND I like run-on sentences and fragments… so there! If you leave me comments concerning my writing style, they will be deleted and I will make mean faces at you through the computer (so don’t even think about it!!!)

Ok… so let’s get down to it… Time to make beads again? Time to blog again??? Hopefully. Like I said in February… Stay tuned!

And because I know you're dying to know...
today I'm....

Drinking - Chick-fil-A sweet tea w/ 3 lemons
Listening to - My ipod playlist called "Long Mellow List" (I'll add a link to my playlists later) and it's currently playing a James Taylor song.