Quick Update on Sunset Colors!

Hey, guys! I’ve just got a quick post for you today, but don’t worry, there’s something more substantial coming by the end of the month, I promise!

So, I got a really warm reception on Facebook when I shared the sunset version of my Ruched Tila bracelet. The color combo seemed to be a big hit!

DSC02430

I made a point of listing all the colors on my blog post about the pattern, but I got quite a few messages from folks expressing some frustration that they couldn’t find all the loop colors at the same place.

Luckily, Liz (my boss at Beads Direct USA) went ahead and ordered all the loop colors. You can find them all at Beads Direct USA now. You can just search by codes I listed in the last blog post and if they are in stock, they should pop right up.

If you’re an Amazon shopper, we’ve also got a new combo pack that has a very similar color scheme (the red is different and there’s an extra purple color) for sale. It will be here as long as it isn’t out of stock.

I hope that helps those of you looking for sunset colors! Happy Beading!

DSC02423

Posted in Housekeeping, Links and Recommendations, Original Designs, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Design! The Ruched Tila Bracelet!

Hello, my darling beady friends!

I have a new pattern to share with you. You may remember my post about my amulet bag recently, and that the little purse I made had a little interlocking-circles motif?

DSC02393

Well! I really liked that part, and may have turned it into a full blown bracelet (and by “may have” I mean “definitely did and CANNOT wait to share it).

Introducing my newest pattern – the Ruched Tila bracelet!

DSC02426

Click the pic for the pattern link!

I am so happy with how this bracelet turned out and have been surprised by how versatile it is. The original prototype (and the example in the pattern instructions) is a five-Tila-tall cuff with Miyuki Tilas (Matte Khaki Iris [2035]) and Miyuki seed beads in two colors (Matte Khaki Iris [2035] and Picasso Seafoam [4514]).

DSC02431

The interlocking loops make a really neat braided or chainmail illusion, and I really liked the contrast with the structured Tila stacks.

DSC02437

Then, I decided that I really wanted to try to make an ombre, or gradient,  bracelet. I decided on sunset colors and made this piece.

DSC02430

Making this bracelet led me to discover also that this bracelet can use Miyuki or Toho beads interchangeably, which is rare for my patterns, since they usually work best with Miyuki beads. The Tilas in this bracelet are Dark Topaz AB  (134fr) and the 11/0’s along side them are some unlabeled Toho beads from my stash. The loops, in descending order are, Miyuki Opaqe Pale Pumpkin (2041), Miyuki Durocoat Opaque Red Brown (4458), Union Beads Lava Red (11-402-01890), Miyuki Special Dyed Old Rose (2046), and Miyuki Special Dyed Wine (2047).

DSC02423

When I was teaching the class yesterday (and getting some proofreading, haha), I decided to try a bracelet that was only three Tila’s tall and utilized a bead soup that I made from leftover 11/0’s in my stash.

DSC02429

And I haven’t finished my latest sample, but I decided to get really crazy and replace the Tila’s with a set of three Half-Tilas, making the structures portions wider. I also decided to use some really pretty Charlottes that were given to me as a gift. Looks like Czech seed beads work just fine as well!

One of the ladies in my class even tried swapping out the Tilas for 6mm Czech Tile beads, and that seemed to work just fine as well. This design seems to be quite the chameleon!

 

Do you guys have a favorite? Any thoughts on other swaps or color effects I could try out? I’m eager to hear your thoughts!

Posted in Beadwork, Original Designs, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What Do I Start Next? How to Discipline Your Creativity During the Doldrums

So, you’ve recently finished a beaded piece and it’s time to start a new project. You’ve flipped through your books and scoured Pinterest, but somehow you just can’t find a project you want to start next. All the patterns you have stocked up seem boring or too intimidating or just not what you feel like doing right now.

I think this happens to all of us and I tend to fall into this rut pretty often – especially right after I’ve published a new design online that I’m really proud of. After making samples and teaching the same exciting new bracelet over and over, deciding what to work on next can be a real challenge. It’s like being really hungry, but nothing sounds good to eat.

Luckily, I found a few methods to give myself a kick in the pants when I don’t know where to start. Let me know if any of them seem helpful to you!

  1. Finish a UFO or two …or six.

    Let’s just get this out of the way up front. We ALL have unfinished objects laying around our work spaces. I generally keep myself in line when it comes to not starting a new project until I’ve finished the last one, but I still have some pieces that have slipped through the cracks. Maybe you have a pile of bracelets that need clasps. Or maybe you have an earring finished that is waiting for you to make its twin. When you’re feeling indecisive about starting a new project, commit to finishing a few UFO’s until you feel inspired again.

    This purse and this necklace both took me over a year to finish because I set them aside and let them become UFO’s. But you know what, finishing them was SO much more satisfying because of that lapse.

  2. Practice a stitch you haven’t mastered yet.

    When you’re in a project rut, taking the time to master a stitch can be a great way to build your beading skill set. Maybe you know how to do herringbone, but your tension is wobbly. Or maybe you want to compare doing one-needle RAW vs two-needle RAW. Pick out some beads in your favorite color and do a whole piece in just that one stitch. The result will be simple and classy AND by the end of it, you’ll have vastly improved a stitch that you previously felt iffy about. DSC00400

That herringbone example was actually straight from my life. I made this when I                 was feeling stuck and just decided to practice my least favorite stitch. I love the                   simplicity of the final piece.

  1. Look ahead for upcoming birthdays or holidays.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I ALWAYS have a deadline coming up. Between trying to teach a class once every month or two and constantly signing up for blog hop challenges, there is pretty much always a project that I should be working on. If you’re feeling uninspired, look ahead and see what you can get a head start on. It’s never too early to begin making Christmas ornaments and I bet someone you love has a birthday coming up. Sometimes, having a theme or a specific customer/gift-receiver in mind is just what you need to get the ball rolling. DSC00406I’m not usually big on holiday colors, but sometimes Christmas red and greens just speak to me.

  2. Spend some time with your stash.

    There have been several occasions where I go into my bead room expecting to make something and instead spend the whole day organizing and consolidating my stash. Spending time putting away beads after you finish a project and organizing your chosen storage method not only reminds you of what beads you have, but it can also be a great source of inspiration. Maybe you have a special focal you forgot you purchased that you now want to use. Maybe while sorting, you encounter a color combination that you wouldn’t normally pick. You get all the advantage of searching for inspiration, while also getting some cleaning done.

    This bracelet was made after I decided on new type of storage for my seed beads. All the 11/0’s I had that were almost empty got thrown into one tube. In the end, I had a gorgeous bead soup that I would never have made otherwise.

  3. Just Push Through.

    I know it sounds silly to insist on beading something when you don’t feel enthused about it, but there’s a difference between taking a break from a hobby because you need one and stopping your work because you feel defeated on uninspired. If you need a break, by all means take one and come back when you feel refreshed. But if you stop beading for weeks on end because you feel blocked or uninspired, getting out of that rut and back into beading is just going to be that much harder. When in doubt, pick your favorite pattern and favorite color and just go. Your mojo will come back eventually, but pushing through and making something during the doldrums is a great act of creative training and will keep you ready and in the zone when inspiration strikes.

Have you guys ever been in the creative doldrums where nothing sounds fun or you don’t know what to make next? If you have any tips I missed or extra advice, please share it in the comments!

Posted in Beadwork, Personal, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conquering the Amulet of Shame – Art Elements Challenge

Looking for the Bead Soup Blog Party?

You guys.

You guys.

I did it!

My amulet bag is finally complete!

So, you may recall that waaaaaaay back in 2015, I entered a Stitch in Time amulet bag challenge blog hop that I revealed here. I decided to make my purse out of single-drop peyote, like a chump, and only finished the pouch portion.

DSC01070

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to finish the clasp, flap, or strap. All I knew was that I wanted to use some of those pretty, organic-looking ceramic pieces by Scorched Earth. I decided to set it aside until I figured out how I wanted to finish it. And then I never came back to it.

Finishing it became one of my resolutions for 2016 and then, when I completely failed to pick it back up again, it became a resolution to finish it in 2017. THEN I saw this challenge on Art Elements and was allowed to join in and finish my amulet bag!

AND I FINALLY FINISHED IT.

The dangles act as a sort of button clasp and the pouch is big enough for some cards, your ID, and some folded bills. Maybe a chapstick or two?

The chain attached is long enough that you can wear it on one shoulder at the hip, or across your body, so it sits at the waist.

Here’s a few detail shots. The pouch is single drop peyote and the flap is a combo if peyote, horizontal netting, and some overlapping circles I freeformed.

Thanks so much to Cathy for letting me participate in the challenge, even though I had already started my amulet bag. I am so glad to finally have this thing finished. It was my very first amulet bag and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

DSC02392

Take a second and check out what everyone else made for the challenge!

Guests-

Samatha Wescott- https://wescottjewelry.com/2017/03/30/art-elements-challenge-amulet-bag-of-shame/

Oksana Bevz- http://oksanalikesit.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-theme-challenge-amulet-bags.html

Genevieve Camp- http://www.genevievecamp.com/2017/03/30/art-elements-amulet-bag-theme-challenge/

AE Members-

Caroline Dewison- http://blueberribeads.co.uk/

Cathy Mendola- http://cmendola.blogspot.com/

Cooky Schock- http://www.cookyschock.com/

Jenny Davies-Reazor- https://jdaviesreazor.com/blog/

Lesley Watt-http://www.lesleywatt.com/uncategorized/art-elements-design-challenge-amulet-bags/

Lindsay Starr- http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/

Sue Kennedy- http://suebeads.blogspot.com/

Posted in Beadwork, Blog Hops, Original Designs, Personal, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Bead Soup Blog Party 2017 Reveal – Hoarder’s Edition

BSBP is back!

Hello, everyone! It is finally reveal day and I am so excited to show you all what I made.

Thanks again to Lori Anderson of Pretty Things for hosting and organizing this blog hop. I can’t imagine what a chore that must be.

Previously, I posted about what I sent my partner, Pam, and you can also read about the tons of goodies she sent me. You’ll notice that she sent me SO MANY focal beads – so I had to get busy!

I didn’t quite make something for every focal bead, but I’m proud of what I accomplished.

May I present, my three complete necklaces for the 2017 Bead Soup Blog Party!

So, I ended up with three long necklaces, all with some ribbon somewhere.

So, the first one I finished was the ceramic button. I wanted to make it a pendant, so I used leather to make loops and glued a fabric flower (meant for scrapbooking) on the back.

The necklace portion features some asymmetrical stringing of “beaded beads” made from filled netting stitch and Czech druks in fall colors. I them used brass rings and sari silk ribbon to finish off the necklace.

DSC02381

The next one I made was for the delicate glass drop. I made a beaded bezel for the Rivoli using an adapted Gail Damm technique in colors that I saw in the drop.

I thought the long delicate nature of the glass drop would be best served in a long necklace meant to hang mid-bust, so I strung it on a loooooong length of Sari ribbon. I used copper chain to attach drop to bezel and bezel to ribbon.

My last finished necklace used this gorgeous gold-leafed bead. I fell in love with the colors under the gold leaf and the finish reminded me of some Czech drops I had in my stash. The color treatment was a perfect match, so I had to use them.

I always struggle a bit when using handmade focal beads because they tend to be very large and I have trouble making my signature stitched pieces match the scale. With this one, I threw stitching out the window and focused on building volume with the drop beads.

I finished it with yet another silk ribbon (I couldn’t help it – the color was PERFECT) and then decided to add a second strand of gold with a single drop to hover above the focal.

DSC02375

Overall, I am really happy with these three necklaces. I think they utilize the beads so generously gifted to me by Pam and challenged me to step outside my comfort zone. I did have some beads that I didn’t get the chance to use, but since my wonderful partner sent me FOUR hoarded beads and change, I think I can consider this a victory, haha.

I did have one necklace that I’m still brainstorming on. I think I’m going to make these coordinating beads Pam sent me into a bib necklace.

Since that one isn’t completed, though, I am happy to celebrate the three that I did finish. It’s way more than I expected to accomplish.

Be sure to check out what my partner made at her blog and then continue with the blog hop! There are so many amazing artists to explore. All the other participants are below the Read More. Happy Hopping!
Continue reading

Posted in Beadwork, Blog Hops, Original Designs, Personal, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

New Design – Norelle Bracelet! (Plus, a Quick Book Rec)

Good morning, everyone!

So, I just read a really, really great book – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. There’s a new Netflix series based on it (which is also really good!), but the book was published back in 2004, which blows my mind. I really feel like I should have heard about it before now, because it is right up my alley.

It’s a really fantastic blend of historical fiction (it’s Regency era England with a bit of Napoleanic war stuff) and fantasy (think amoral faerie types and magicians and Books of Magic). It was an absolutely amazing read and I finished it around the same time that I designed this new bracelet.

DSC02329

It’s a sort of adapted RAW stitch. I don’t usually make designs that are so geometrically simple, but the neat orderliness of the bracelet, reminded me of uptight and precise Mr Norell, so I borrowed and tweaked his name for the design name.

Originally, I made this design with one color of 6mm Druks or one color of 6mm Swarovski pearls and then 4mm Fire Polished crystals , with 11/0 Miyuki seed beads. The results were very elegant and a bit dressy.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with dressy jewelry, but I wanted to see if something more casual would come of using more colors, so I dove deeper into my stash. I tried making a bracelet with as many different beads as I could. Every set of 6mm rounds and 4mm FP crystal is a different color – it was a GREAT stash buster.

I also have two wonderful friends at my local bead shop, who tend to miniaturize my new patterns, so that they don’t overwhelm their dainty wrists. With them in mind, I decided to go ahead and try my pattern with 4mm rounds, 3mm Fire Polished crystal, and 15/0 Miyuki* seed beads. It worked and I got a mini-version! The pattern for sale includes both versions.

(I also discovered that Toho beads will not work for this pattern. It must be Miyuki.)

I also included a blank-version of the design on the last page of the pattern, so you can color in and plan your own color schemes and designs. I’ve done mostly stripes of colors, but the possibilities are endless.

DSC02326

I am really happy with this design and hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. Whether you’re trying to cement your understanding of RAW or just want to bust through your stash of rounds and crystals, this is a very relaxing pattern that you can stitch up in one sitting.

What do you guys think? Have a favorite?

 

 

Posted in Beadwork, Links and Recommendations, Original Designs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BSBP 8: What I Received!

Hello, everyone! I told you I’d be back!

So, last week I received my beads for the Bead Soup Blog Party this year. My partner is Pam Farren of Re-Maker and you can see what I sent her here. I have been so excited to swap with her because we use such different techniques to create things.

So! Pam has overwhelmed me with beautiful beads. The challenge dictates we each send one hoarded bead and then we can add coordinating beads if we want. Pam, with generosity I cannot comprehend, has sent me FOUR hoarded focal beads and a ton of coordinating pieces.

dsc02306

I received this adorable package in the mail and opened it to find THIS.

dsc02308

You guys, there is SO much lovely stuff in here. The first two hoarded beads are very precious ceramic pieces made by Birgitta Lejonklou, who passed at the beginning of 2016. I am astonished that Pam would be willing to part with two of her lovely ceramics. The first is a bracelet bar. The scrolling handwriting is lovely… I just wish I could read what it says! I know Birgitta believed her pieces were infused with healing energy, so I’m sure it’s some sort of well-wishing or encouragement. The second is a gorgeous ceramic button with little rose imprints. I can’t et over how gorgeous the glaze is on this piece.

The next hoarded bead is this lovely glass drop made by her student, Sarah Hudson. There are so many pretty colors in this delicate-looking drop! I love how the loop is just the tail of the drop, so daintily curled over.

I have to say, this fourth hoarded bead is my absolute favorite. It’s a copper bead with glass over top and 24kt gold foil, by Jannifer Davis Carey. I am in LOVE with it. Every time I look at it, it seems to be a different color and the shape reminds me of a Faberge egg.

Then, Pam sent me a whole bunch of coordinating beads, including a bone focal, seed beads, wooden beads, and some stones. Ooh, and a fantastic toggle clasp!

Overall, I am super overwhelmed and so excited to design with these beads. Now I just have to decide where to start!

Posted in Blog Hops, Personal, Stash | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

BSBP 8: What I sent!

Hello, my darling beady friends!

I am so excited to share that I am participating in Lori Anderson‘s Bead Soup Blog Party this year!


So, Lori has been hosting this insanely large blog hop for years and I used to read them religiously. Believe it or not, I actually created my own blog here at Wescott Jewelry so that I participate in hops like that. I never had the chance before, because Lori stopped hosting them for awhile because of health reasons (which I TOTALLY get – these hops must be SO much work to organize). But she’s reviving the hop and doing a special version this year – we have to share our hoarded beads.

So, here’s the idea. Basically, I signed up and Lori paired me with another designer with a blog. The two of use will swap special beads that we have been hoarding for awhile (and coordinating beads, if we want) and then post about what we make.

So, my partner is Pam Farren of Re-Maker and I am SO excited to swap with her.  You should go check out her blog. She does so much cool updating of old things and metal work and riveting and it is SO different from my style and I love it.

I picked out my beads before I knew who my partner was, so that it would be truly random and challenging and now that I know she has received them in mail, I can share them with you!

dsc02284

So, the only part of this pile that Pam has to use is the large lentil bead with the gorgeous swallow on it. It was made by Caroline Dewison of Blueberri beads using a combination of screen printing on ceramics and raku firing. You can read about how it was made here. I absolutely love it and have been hoarding it forever and never using it because I couldn’t imagine a design pretty enough for the bead. Especially, since this particular lentil bead isn’t for sale any longer. So, now I am letting Pam have a go!

Then I decided to throw in some coordinating beads because I had some that looked nice with the lentil bead. The large ones are ceramic (and the crackling looks SO good with the raku lentil bead) and I have NO idea what the tiny beads are. No idea. They’re vaguely fuzzy??? It is a mystery.

Finally, I included a clasp (which Pam also doesn’t need to use) and it might be useless, because of the three-strand loops, depending on what Pam decides to make, but I loved the moonstone. Check out how it looks in different angles.

Isn’t it neat? I can’t tell if it matches or completely clashes. But I decided to toss it in and see if Pam wants to use it. I am so excited to see what she makes.

I just received Pam’s package in the mail yesterday and let me tell you, it is an embarrassment of riches! She sent me so many beautiful beads and I don’t want to post them until I can get really good photos. So, look for a second post in the next week as I share what Pam sent me!

And the big blog party reveal will be on March 25th! Mark your calendars!

Posted in Beadwork, Blog Hops, Personal, Stash | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Free Russian Spiral Tutorial – Wrangling a Six-Color Spiral

Hello, my dear beady friends!

I’m almost ready to come back from my Etsy hiatus – at the moment, I’m expecting to open back up on February 1st. But. in the meantime, I wanted to share a quick photo tutorial on doing a Russian Spiral in six colors. The Russian Spiral is a super easy stitch that you can find free patterns and tutorials for all over the internet, but I wanted to share my tips for using six different colors and keeping them all straight as you go.

So, first you’ll want to gather your beads. You will need three colors of 11/0’s and three colors of 8/0’s. I recommend bright colors that you can easily tell apart for your first attempt. I would also recommend pouring them out in a circle on your bead mat. Make sure you alternate between 11/0’s and 8/0’s around your circle.

To start, I want you to pick up one of your 8/0’s and go around your circle, picking up two 11/0’s from each 11/0 pile and one 8/0 from each 8/0 pile. Your needle should have one 8/0, two 11/0’s, one 8/0, two 11/0’s, one 8/0, and two 11/0’s.

3

Great, now slide them to the end of your thread (you can either leave a tail to add your clasp later, or don’t leave a tail and then add thread later to attach your clasp) and go back through the beads, pulling them into a circle. Tie the circle off and then go through your beads until you are coming out from between two 11/0’s.

Awesome! Now, look at what color the next 8/0 is in the direction that you are going. My next 8/0 is the orangey/terracotta color and it is followed by two berry 11/0’s (because I’m stitching counter-clockwise). So, I’m going to pick up one terracotta 8/0 and two berry 11/0’s.

Quick Tip: Every time you pick up beads during a Russian Spiral with 8/0’s and 11/0’s, you’ll pick up one 8/0 and two 11/0’s. Big, little, little. Big, little, little. Try to keep that in your head. 

Then, I’m going to go through the first of the two berry 11/0’s after the terracotta 8/0.

I’m going to let the new beads lay flat against the circle, making a sort of wing. Then. I’m going to look ahead and see what my next two colors are. This time, I’m going to pick up one cream 8/0 and two terracotta 11/0’s.

Again, I’m going to go into the terracotta 11/0 directly after that cream 8/0, making  a second wing.

Awesome! Once more, I’m going to look at what colors I’m moving toward – this time it’s the purple 8/0 and olive 11/0’s, so I am going to pick up one purple 8/0 and two olive 11/0’s and go through the first of the two 11/0’s after the purple 8/0.

So, that is our first round. Now we need to step up. To do this, I’m going to go up through the terracotta 8/0 that I added as my first wing and then go through the first berry 11/0 immediately after it. When I pull, my three wings are going to curl up into a basket/bowl shape. You’ll want to hold in it your fingers from now on, encouraging that bowl shape, instead of leaving it lay on the mat.

15

Alright, so now we’re going to look ahead again and pick up the colors that we are moving towards. Since I’m coming out of the berry 11/0’s and moving counter clockwise, I’m going to need to pick up one cream 8/0 and two terracotta 11/0’s. Then I’m going to go through the first of the two terracotta 11/0’s after the cream 8/0.

This time my wing is going to layer on top of my piece, instead of along side it.
Looking ahead, I’m going to pick up one purple 8/0 and two olive 11/0’s and go through the first of the two olive 11/0’s immediately after the purple 8/0.

Again, I’m going to look ahead and see the next 8/0, which is terracotta. So, I’m going to pick up one terracotta 8/0 and two berry 11/0’s and then go through the first of the two berry 11/0’s after the terracotta 8/0.

Now, we need to step up. Go through the next 8/0, which is the cream one this time, and then the terracotta 11/0 right after it. Then we’ll be in place to begin the next round.

25

 

Quick Tip: Pay close attention to what colors you’re picking up. You can’t just go around the circle on your bead mat because the step-up makes you skip a set of colors. Always look ahead to what color you’re stitching into and choose that set. The color of the 11/0 you’re stitching into should be the same color as the 11/0’s on your needle. 

Alright, let’s do one more round. Looking ahead to the next colors, I am going to pick up one purple 8/0 and two olive 11/0’s. Then, I am going to go through the first olive 11/0 immediately after the purple 8/0.

Looking ahead, our next colors are going to be terracotta and berry, so I’m going to pick up one terracotta 8/0 and two berry 11/0’s and go through the 11/0 right after the terracotta 8/0.

Our next colors are cream and terracotta, so I am going to pick up one cream 8/0 and two terracotta 11/0’s and go through the first of the two 11/0’s immediately after the cream 8/0.

Then (second pic), I am going to go through the purple 8/0 and the olive 11/0 immediately after it to complete our step up.

Alright!  That’s at least three rounds right there, so I think you get the idea. After a nit more time, you should end up with a six-color rope like this!

32

Russian spirals are very versatile and a common stitching technique so there are free resources for it all over the place. And, you can get a totally different look just by fiddling with the sizes of beads you’re using. Jill Wiseman has a great video here that uses only one color of 11/0’s and three colors of crystals. Fusion Beads also has a great free pattern here that uses 8/0’s and 15/0’s, instead of 11/0’s.

Have you guys had any experience with the Russian Spiral? Got any favorite versions? Let me know in the comments!

Posted in Beadwork, Free Tutorial, Original Designs, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2017 New Years Resolutions

Hi, everyone! Happy New Years! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and my living room is SO bright from the refelcting snow outside. It’s lovely. And I want to talk about resolutions!

Last year was my first time making public resolutions, as you may remember from this post. I think I did pretty well on most things and then completely failed on one of them. So, yeah. Here’s a quick overview of how I did on my 2016 resolutions.

—————————————————

Read 125 Books – A+

I actually ended up reading 150 books this year! I was a little worried that my numbers would be a little “cheated” this year, because I have been reading a LOT of comics. I usually read the trade paperbacks, which gather about five comics into a volume, which Goodreads then counts as a “book” even though it’s only couple hundred pages. But! My page count was actually higher this year than it was last year, so I feel pretty good about it. I even made a sub-resolution to review every book I read in 2016, even if it was only a sentence or two and I actually managed to do that too!

As always, you can see what I’m currently reading on the little Goodreads widget on the bottom right column on my blog. Or, friend me on Goodreads!

Complete Year of Jewelry Project – B

So, in 2015 I joined The Year of Jewelry Project on Facebook. Basically, joining means you’re committing to posting one piece of finished jewelry every single week all year – even if you’re not feeling creative and have to force it. They provide weekly themes if you need inspiration and it’s a really fun group of artists.

In both 2015 and 2016 I managed to share  one photo for every week, although they were rarely on theme and were occasionally late. Most of the time, the piece was finished on time but I either hadn’t taken the photo yet or added my watermark. So, I’ll give myself a B for completing the idea of the project, if not always nailing the details.

I don’t think I’ll be doing the YOJP in 2017, though. I’ve found that I don’t really need an outside force urging me to bead every week and I’m pretty self-motivated to create new things, even in creative slumps. But I highly recommend it if you need that extra boost!

Blog Twice a Month – A

I actually did this! Most months I only did two posts, but I’m a pretty busy girl and I’m not mad about it. I definitely want to continue this trend into 2017. I also want to try to be more creative about my blog post topics. If you have any suggests of things you like to read about, please let me know in the comments!

Finish Purse – F

Ok… So, remember this purse that I made back in November? of 2015??? Yeah. I know. I never finished. I think I picked it up once or twice this year, but I never stitched a single stitch on it and I still don’t know how I want to finish it. *sigh*

DSC01070

I guess I’ll try again this year.

Try More New Beads – C

I gave myself a C on this one. I did end up developing and writing nine new patterns this year and they did all use new-to-me beads. But, I also had the opportunity to use a lot more new beads that I didn’t take advantage of. Potomac Bead Company, in particular, has been really great about putting out new beads this year and I had the opportunity to work with some of them before they were publicly produced, like the AVA beads. But, unfortunately, my muse has been on the fritz lately and lots of new beads have seemed more overwhelming than exciting.

I’ve taken a bit of a break the last few months and have actually closed my Etsy shop for the beginning of January. It’s been open for over three years with no break, so I’m hoping giving myself a breather will help refresh my creativity a bit for the new year.

———————————————

So, all in all, not a bad year! Here are my goals for 2017!

1. Read 130 Books and Review them on Goodreads

2. Blog at Least Twice a Month

3. Finish that Purse!!!

4. Try More New Beads

5. Get the Business Side of Wescott Jewelry Organized

6. Experiment More with Macrame and Bead Embroidery

This could be a pretty tough next few years, but I want to make sure that my craftsmanship and participation in the community aren’t hurt by outside forces. I am going to make it a good year creatively, even if everything else is out of my control. Setting and achieving goals is my way of taking control and making this new year how I want it to be.

How about you guys? Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2017? Tell me about them in the comments or link to your own blog posts about it!

Posted in Personal, Year of Jewelry Project | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment