Doing it in public

Today was the fourth time I’ve demonstrated making jewellery, and I like it.  Somehow it makes me focus more on what I’m doing and less on what’s not getting done.  It makes me plan a bit, in deciding what I need to take and what I can do away from all the paraphernalia of my studio.  I’ve demonstrated in a cafe and shopping centre, but I think I’d like to go more alfresco.  Now to think up a truly portable, stable, bench peg & stand… 

You never know until you try

You never really know if something is going to work until you try. And sometimes, when you give something your all (or most of your all), you discover that it isn’t going to work, or it isn’t what you want. 

Every chance I get in the day and almost every night after 9 when the kids finally give in to sleep, I go to my bench and make jewellery.  It is making me realise that this isn’t how I want it to be, and also that it isn’t going to be enough.

So, I’ll keep going to get through my August event, still hoping that it will be good, and then think again.  

I think I need to make things with more investment of planning, time, and skill, rather than picking up whatever I think I can get done in the time I have.  I know I want to make things other than jewellery, and to develop old & new skills.  

I also want to free up time so that I don’t feel stressed that everything else is neglected. I do still want to be creative, in fact more so.

For my next trick… 

For months my plan has been to be ready for Art in the Park in Leamington in August.  I want to be looking “proper” for it, which is quite a challenge for a self-sabotaging, easily distracted, self-critical, ditherer.  Also, I need to have enough jewellery made to fill a stall, & justify the fee!  

Well, a small triumph. I managed to get something made, on theme, just in time for the publicity deadline. 

Leamington’s Three Graces are part of the theme; circus elephants once housed in the town.   I’m not all that comfortable with celebrating animals in the circus, so this one is balanced on a tiny globe (for their shrunken habitat) showing a hand-engraved India and Sri Lanka (their home).  She is sterling silver, with a little piece of 9ct gold recycled from a ring. 

I’m not great at taking notice of how long it takes me to make a piece. This time I managed a little discipline and made a note.  5 hours 35 minutes, from drawing to polishing.  So, I am clearly an extremely slow worker!  If I made another it would probably be an awful lot quicker, but perhaps less fun! 

As well as AITP I also have Rugby Festival of Culture coming up next month (and the start date has been brought forward!), plus a new venture to showcase a range of creatives in a local cafe. 

Socially Shared

The Socially Shared network is where I go to remind myself I’m supposed to be a business person.  As it’s a women’s network perhaps I should say businesswoman.  This morning’s meeting was on pricing.  It was a bit of a reminder that if this venture is to be an actual business then I need to price to actually make money.  Gulp.

More importantly, though, these meetings work for me a bit like those progress reviews I used to have with my manager in my proper job.  It’s a reminder to focus on what I’ve done, what I want to do, and what I’ve GOT to do.  The similarity does really end there though, because all the application for progress reviews was in advance, and afterwards I tended to do a little sigh and mostly forget about it til next time.  With these meetings, the only preparation is to remember to turn up and bring a tenner to cover the meeting and a coffee, but then I come away raring to go.

It’s great to hear what others are doing and to hear everyone chip in with both questions and answers.  The successes are inspiring, but it’s also rather encouraging to find that you are not the only one who is not a fully-fledged, sharp-suited, thoroughly business-like woman, who knows all the ins and outs of marketing, social media, accounting, and all the rest of the palaver that you start out not knowing you need to know about, and perhaps then trying hard to stay in denial about.  (Although the enthusiasm in these sessions takes the bleurgh out of just about everything.)

So, I came straight home and took jewellery photos.  Okay, so I still haven’t quite got those photos uploaded and on Etsy, and I haven’t touched my prices (yet), but at least I did something.  And I didn’t feel guilty about ignoring the dishwasher.



Lost weeks

Being self-employed (and feeling a bit guilty about it), and a ditherer, and a mum, sometimes means that weeks go by without a thing getting done.  Over half term I was full of back to school resolutions about efficiency and running and healthy eating. This Girl Can!  

The 6yo went back to school on the Monday, and I was struck with a fluey cold on the Tuesday and barely functioned for a week. This Girl Can’t Right Now. 

Now that I’m going again I have a to do list as long as your arm. A ring commission. A Festival of Culture display to plan. Two new jewellery themes to work on. Art in the Park beginning to feel rather too soon.  Plus the house (oh, the state of the house!), Mothers Day, Dad’s birthday… Also I’ll be solo for 4 weeks while the husband works away. 
I guess I’d better get moving!