creative habit · Jewelry · one little word · Thrifts

One Little Word 2015: An Update

red necklace silver chain

I’m reading a book that I’m having a hard time putting down.

Actually I’m reading two books I can’t put down because, a few months ago, I developed a habit of reading a non-fiction book during the day and a fiction book at bedtime. I didn’t create this system – I’ve heard about it lots of places – but I have found it to be a great practice. I use my more awake and alert hours to read books for knowledge, and I use the quieter evening hours for books that help me wind down, relax, escape.

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While my fiction book is by my bed, my non-fiction book is always in my bag. I read it at the gym, I read it during naptime, I read it during spare minutes I find during the day.

I took it to the park over the weekend to read while my kids played. (Moms of young kids, take heart. Your day is coming. I remember taking my kids to the park just a few years ago and seeing a mom sitting on a bench reading US Weekly, and even though I’m more of a House Beautiful girl myself, I was overwhelmed with envy. But here I am, a blink of an eye later, being that mom. There is hope!)

As I was taking turns reading and watching BB and BG play, another parent, noticing my book, struck up a conversation, asking if I was thinking of starting a business. My response? “Uh, yeah, maybe.”

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The truth is, I HAVE a business. It’s tiny, it’s not profitable by any stretch of the imagination, and I’ve been treating it very much like a hobby. But making jewelry is a business I have, and it’s one I hope to grow.

I find tremendous joy in making jewelry. I love making new things from old things. I love imagining what these items were before and what they could be with a little attention and creativity.

And at the center of that is my true passion – finding beauty in the possibilities.

I believe that all of us – ALL OF US – have beauty. We all have been created with possibilities – we have skills and talents and passions that have been given to us to share with the world because they are good and they are helpful and they serve a purpose. They serve other people. They somehow weave together to help us love other people, and to love them well.

And while I’m flipping and flopping along on this journey of discovering what exactly I’m made to do and who exactly I am supposed to be, when I dig deep inside, I see that there is a theme.

That I am a glass half-full kind of gal who sees possibility in things that others look beyond. That there is beauty to be found in unexpected places. That there is potential in a discarded necklace, a donated dress, a free chair on the side of the road.

And there is beauty and possibility in us, too. Something greater than the sum of our parts. A spark, a light, a special something that only we – YOU – have that is meant to be shared with the world.

I believe we are all called to do extraordinary things, even in our ordinary lives.

Lately, I’ve been filling my life with lots of ordinary things – some of them necessary, lots of them good, and some, to be honest, a complete waste of time.

So, as I’ve been reading my book this week, a couple of words keep appearing – simplify and refine.

Funny how these things come back to you.

I see that there are many good things to choose from in my life.

I’m trying to dig through all the things I “love” to find what is real and true and abiding.

I am still refining. And I think I will continue to refine for the duration of my days.

And for today, refining looks like doing what I really love to do, so I’m making a necklace.

thrifted necklace

I’m collecting loose pieces from old, broken, discarded things and using them to create new, beautiful objects.

red wooden bead necklace

creative habit · five things · good life · Jewelry

Five Things

Happy Friday!

It’s been an interesting week around here. Husband was out of town for work twice, and the remaining 3 of us had 4 illnesses by Thursday. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say we are hobbling toward the weekend. So much for getting back on the sewing/jewelry bandwagon. Here are a few things on my mind this week:

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1. Outdoor Fabric. After getting the new mattress for the daybed last weekend, I put an old twin sheet on it temporarily while I decide how I really want to decorate it. In addition to a mattress cover, I’m thinking about curtains and pillows and reupholstering the chairs that go with our patio set. So many possibilities! I’m flooding my Pinterest Outdoors board with ideas. (One morning this week, I woke up to the sound of rain. I made coffee and started breakfast and headed out back. Sitting on the porch, sipping coffee, listening to the rain was about as close to a perfect moment as I can imagine.)

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2. Jewelry. Here’s what my workshop looks like right now. Pretty pieces that are supposed to inspire me to sit down and make something piled next to a box of to-do’s, of loose ends – outgrown pjs and school papers and a broken refrigerator handle. I feel like all I’m accomplishing are little tasks to cross of my list. I was texting with a friend last week, and she said she was sitting at her beading table for a few minutes and that it was lovely. “That’s what I should be doing,” I texted back. “It shouldn’t be a ‘should’,” she replied. So true. I think I’ve been putting creativity on my to-do list, but it never seems urgent, so I never get to it. It’s time to reframe it. Making things is Important, not Urgent, and I need to carve out time to just enjoy the process, and to not worry about finishing something to cross off my list.

3. I just loved this.

4. This was a funny, interesting read.

5. And these cracked me up. Especially the last one.

This weekend, BB has choir practices and performances, but in between, I think I’m going to take some time to sit down in my workshop and just play. I’m really looking forward to it. What are you up to this weekend?

31 Days · Color · creative habit · Jewelry

31 Days: Color – Day 31: The Rainbow Connection

Finally! Made it through all 31 projects. (Well, except that crazy green one, but I’m not going to count that one since I’ve already attempted it twice. When it’s warm enough to actually wear that dress, I’ll revisit it.)

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Today’s project reminded me of my 31 Days projects last year, about just showing up and doing the work. (Speaking of, I received the book Do the Work by Steven Pressfield for Christmas, along with this book – I’m so excited to dig into both of them after I finish my current one.) I didn’t really have a plan – aside from wanting to make a colorful piece of jewelry – so I just pulled out random beads from my stash and got to work. Some of the beads are “new” finds, some are leftovers from old projects, and some I’ve had for years.

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The red bead is a leftover from this necklace. The orange polka dot used to be part of a pair of earrings.

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The solid orange is the single remaining bead from this set. The yellows are from here and here.

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The turquoise bead is from a piece of costume jewelry that belonged to my great-grandmother. The dark blue is from here.

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I put them together to make a piece full of memories.

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I love this idea of a “collaged” necklace – not just reusing matched old pieces to make new things, but combining disparate pieces in new ways. As I think about what I want to explore in the new year, I keep coming back to this idea. I am excited to see what 2015 brings for all of us.

Thank you so much for following along with me these 31 (plus a WHOLE lot more) Days. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s gotten me to stop to notice color, and it’s inspired me to break out of my routines to try something new. Hope my little color experiment has inspired you in some way, too!

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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