26 August 2009

Dare to...Believe in Yourself

"Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns.... Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees." ~E.F. Schumacher

How is it possible that I write my last post like two weeks ago...and go away to play (I mean...work) in Las Vegas for a week...and come home after 6 verrrrrry loooonnnngg days...and suffer from the mother of all head colds (I am finally in the feeling-better-vertical-than-horizontal stage)...and I still managed to add another 3 or 4 followers to my blog?!? Welcome! And thank you oh so much!

I will have to write more about my experiences in Vegas, particularly at the Cirque du Soleil (loved it! totally inspired!), but today there are some things even more special and exciting to write about.

In keeping with my desire to work through Meiji Stewart's ABC writings, today we are on the letter B...as in Bead Trends...and believe in yourself!

You all know my goal of being published, right? And how in June I managed to secure my monthly publishing dreams with sending off my December pieces? And how I am now working on broadening my horizons to other publications for 2010? It is always a party when I see that little white box sitting on my doorstep. It means that the latest issue of Bead Trends has arrived (and my baubles have returned...I have missed them so!). But the box I found on Tuesday was really the best...I am just swelled up with pride at what was inside and I just cannot wait to share it with you.

Introducing the newest member of the Creative Collaborating Community...my daughter, the Tiny Dancer herself...Olivia Hintz, designer of the LuLuBelle Collection! So how did this all come to be?

Back in February, she padded into my studio and announced that she wanted to learn how to make earrings. Would I teach her how to bend the wires? She practiced for hours bending wires and using the tools like a round nose pliers and a side cutter. Then she declared herself ready for the beads. Now she always had a way with patterns and colors, but this was different. She told me she wanted to make me a pair of earrings and would I pick out the beads? So, naturally I picked colors and beads that I would want to wear. When I turned around, she had created her pattern and asked for more. Then she painstakingly formed the loop and cut the wire and added them to the ear wires. And...voila! "Moon & Stars" was born! She says that the pearls are the moon in the sky and the crystals are like the stars around the moon. I just love that she came up with such a fitting name!

I was so very impressed. I asked her if she wanted to sell them. So we used this as a wonderful math problem...how many beads, caps, headpins...how much each piece cost...what the extended total would be...how to price for retail. Then I told her that she needed to add a little for her time and talent...and she looked at me quizzically and said, "I have talent?!" Why... yes! Yes, you do! And then I told her that my friend, the Candy Man, would take a percentage for selling them and that she would have to pay her supplier...her mother...she balked at that! But when she saw what she would get to keep her eyes were as big as saucers and she was totally on board! She asked me daily if they sold, and while there were many nibbles, no bites. But then I casually mentioned how very proud I was of Olivia and her budding earring business, LuLuBelle Collection (a fully owned subsidiary of Tesori Trovati Jewelry, I might add!), Tatia Meyer asked to see the earrings. I never once thought that they would want to publish them, but in the email with the confirmation of my own necklace "Branching Out" was the sweetest note that they were looking forward to featuring Olivia's design as well!

Now it is here, and it is the most awesome show and tell for the first day of third grade to show your teacher and classmates that you are published, don't you think?

From this experience Olivia has gained some wonderful self-awareness and confidence. She believes that she is a designer, and even turned to me to ask, "When will I get my web page, mommy?" (Soon, honey. Very soon!) She sells her earrings at a local art gallery alongside mine and at a photographer's studio. And now she has a $20 gift certificate to buy more supplies, courtesy of our friends at Bead Trends. (And the $20 I paid her as well...hey! Weren't these supposed to be a gift for mommy back in February?!? She is already shrewd in the ways of business!)

When I returned from my travels there were many packages waiting for me...from Gaea and Susie and Copper Art Designs...and Christine Damm. I saved the one from Christine for last, because I just knew what was in it!

Oh, and here is a picture of my little bauble (for B you know!)..."Branching Out"...shameless self-promotion alert!

Remember that little creative collaboration I wrote about awhile ago? The one with the bracelets? Well, that bevy of bracelets finally made its way back to the originators after many wonderful stops on the journey.
First, there was Heather Powers who added her own branch lentil bead and some glass discs.
Second, there was Lorelei Eurto who attached a brass locket and purple sugilite.
Next, there were my own additions of the custom word charm and vintage transit tokens.

Fourth, there was Erin Seigel with a tremendous ceramic leaf and a bird charm...and a key!

And last but certainly not least, there was Christine Damm with a custom made "Erin's Blend" mokume clay creation (including a special treat when I opened the locket!).
I still don't know why I was given this gift. And I am not talking about the most awesome piece of jewelry that I own! There is no telling the good that can come from a creative collaboration and when Lorelei and Heather contacted me, I didn't hesitate to say yes....Okay, so I did hesitate. I actually wondered why on earth they chose me? But I am oh-so-glad that they did!
Each bracelet started its journey as just the seed of an idea. We might have had a thought of where it would end up, but I think that we would all agree that it became so much grander than we could have imagined. And that is the best thing about a collaborative exchange...you get the best of everyone! I actually wept when I opened the box (now, that could have been the Nyquil talking!) because what tumbled out was so dazzling!

Special thanks to Christine for allowing me to use her fabulous photo of my bracelet!

How did Heather know that I love her rich green color palette in her branch lentils?

And the way that special leaf from Erin seems to be growing right out of Heather's bead? And a key? I mean, really, how could she know that (teehee!)?

And that deep purple stone and those warm copper pearls complement the glass disks from Heather and the locket that Lorelei added?

And making a custom color blend just for me?? Well, Christine certainly was the best at being the caboose!

What I learned is that when you open yourself up to the possibilities wonderful things are bound to happen. I had to trust my instincts for adding to these bracelets and get past that feeling that I was out of my league. I wanted to add my own pizzazz to the process and by contemplating what was important to me - words - I hit upon the most obvious choice and one that would allow me to flex my creativity while keeping the pieces unique to each of my new bracelet sisters.

It takes courage to believe in yourself. But when you do and allow yourself to rise to the occasion, there are marvelous things to learn about yourself and working with others that are to be cherished.

Now, next to my wedding ring, this piece of jewelry is one that will be the most treasured because I felt such honor in being invited to play along and so humbled by the thought and care that went into it.

And it has made me eager to seek out the next step in my creative - and collaborative - evolution.

If you could participate in a creative collaboration, who would it be with and in what medium? Do tell! I am thinking through an idea for a future collaboration and I would love to have your input!

Check It Out::Lorelei is hosting another creative collaboration, this time with a necklace round robin! And as much as I would love to play with her again, I think that it is time to pass the torch and have others jump on board. Sign up today for your chance to play!
Enjoy the day!


Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

The bracelet is so wonderful. The colors are so rich and there is so many special items to look at. I'm so excited for your daughter. My daughter is about the same age and loves to bead. She'll be inspired when I tell her about your daughter's achievement.

Mellisa said...

That really is the most fantastic bracelet-how lucky of you to been a part of that creative exchange!

Dee said...

Like mother like daughter, her earrings turned out beautiful...love the purple bracelet..stunning!

stregata said...

Talk about an inspirational post! Talent is in abundance in your family, isn't it?
And your round robin bracelet just turned out sooo lovely...

Cindy said...

What a great blog post...so much to read about. You certainly have been busy once you returned home. I'm glad the publication finally came - in time for Olivia to return to school with and to show her friends. I can just feel your pride and excitement for her. Your bracelet from the round robin is so beautiful...I can see why it's your favorite next to your wedding ring!

Beverly Herman said...

Heather spoke in awe of her wonderful bracelet from the collaboration project. It was just as wonderful as your discription. the Mother-Daughter bond in designing jewerly is a great endevor to share. It is a joy to share with my daughter Heather.

Esther said...

wow, i've read and understand all!! thanks for sharing this experience!! you can be proud!! your work is just a dream!! your daughter's too!! what a good experience for growing in our own lives.. sory for my bad english.. !! bravo!! continues de nous emerveiller!!

Sherry said...

What a rich post this is...from your own creativity and being published to that of your daughter...and I love that at her age she is willing and happy to call herself a designer!! I hope she never loses that sure confidence in herself!!!

The collaborative bracelet is simply an amazing piece of jewelery, not just because of the pieces that have been added, but the love and creativity behind each piece and the number of hands it took to create it.

As for your question about a collaboration..you have me thinking...(which is a good thing). Would you be willing to do a separate post on that in a few days so I've had time to come up with my answer?? thanks!!!

SummersStudio said...

I love the story of your daughter and the earings. What a wonderful experience to share with her. That bracelet fabulous and a really very nice treasure from what sounds like another wonderful experience.

Anonymous said...

You are sooo good at writing your thoughts - enjoy reading your adventures. Congratulations to your daughter - I would never have guessed that her earrings were made by an 8 year old! She could have a wonderful up coming holiday business!
Your bracelet is beautiful - everyone really did their part in adding such beautiful and harmonious elements. I've entered Lorelei's necklace rr - fingers crossed.
I'd most interested if you ever wanted to do a 'local' round robin.
Have a great day!

Brandi Reynolds said...

oh my gosh, I am so happy you commented on my site...I love this place! Your jewelry is wonderful and I absolute love to see you setting goals and achieving them-congrats!!

btw, I love that quote. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. rock on!

Silver Parrot said...

I saw both your piece and your daughter's when I got my own "white box" from "Bead Trends." Congratulations to both of you - that is so awesome! And the collaboration bracelet is just amazing. What a talented group of ladies you all are to have come up with something so special together.

isabella said...


Unknown said...

How "A"we-inspiring can one be at the sweet and innocent age of 9! If I can (and I will) toot my own horn...I believe I was the first to purchase a pair of LuLu Belle's earrings!! Congrats to Miss O and a hug to her proud mother!
Aunt Kelly

P.S. I am wearing the earrings as I write this!

sharon said...

Erin, thank you sooo much for visiting and your sweet comments! I am thrilled to be in the same issue as you are again, and your daughter....how FABULOUS! You must both be so proud! Congrats!!
Your bracelet collaborations turned out so stunning!! Great job to all!

Jannie Funster said...

It does take courage to believe in yourself! Bravo. You and Olivia are both following your dreams -- way to go!

I'd creatively collaborate with Leonard Cohen. Yep!

Lisa Crone said...

How wonderful! It's great that you are blogging about this so you can always remember these wonderful milestones! Congratulations!!! :)

Sharmila said...

I love the earrings and the bracelet! Very sentimental this story! Thanks for sharing! I'm new following your blogs, so I'm gathering bits and pieces! I love both of your websites, though your main paragraph to introduce your purpose here resonated so much with me, I want to say 'Thank-you'.. Namaste! Many blessings to you! Also, I laughed when I read the entrance quote on this blog! Isn't it funny, how we work so hard for our dreams and right when we're ready for the fruit, we doubt that we're worthy?! oh this was perfect timing for me, thanks so much!! ~Jen


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