03 September 2009

Use your GGA* today!...and a Giveaway!

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you were meant to be."'~George Sheehan

The other day I talked to a woman who liked my work but considered herself a casual beader {read: she won't actually buy anything of mine, but that is okay, because she is in need of guidance I give that out for free!}. She asked me where I get my jewelry components from. Now I am more than happy to help, and if you know me at all or you have emailed me {and sometimes even if you don't contact me I might contact you with my suggestions completely unsolicited...but you love that about me, don't you?}, you will no doubt learn that I just want to help everyone be successful, so I rarely hesitate to share. {Okay, maybe I share too much sometimes.} While there is no easy answer for this, since my inspiration can come from anyplace...a catalog, Etsy, even the hardware store... I do have my favorites and I would never limit myself to just one supplier {because variety is the spice of life}.
One of my favorite places to shop for everything under the sun is Rings & Things. And they just announced their "Your Designs Rock" annual contest. {Why, yes! My designs do rock...if I do say so myself!} And since there is so much bead-y goodness out there and I have been so fortunate to become bead-y friends with so many of you...I encourage each and every one of you to consider entering this contest!

Per the Rings & Things Blog: "The Grand Prize in the 2010 Your Designs Rock contest will be a $750 Rings & Things credit." {$750?!? That is insane! And I am totally on board for that kind of prize!}

"First prizes will be awarded in each of five categories, each bringing a $250 Rings & Things credit. Honorable mentions carrying $75 credits will be bestowed on additional entries singled out by the judges. In addition, winning entries (with credit to the designer) could be featured in Rings & Things’ catalog and promotions, providing exposure to an estimated million people per year worldwide." {Fame, fortune and exposure to a million people worldwide...count me in! Are you in?}

Truthfully, I have seen this competition before but honestly didn't feel that I had it in me to try. I felt the same way when I started submitting my work for publications. {Not that I wasn't talented, just that I wasn't talented enough.} Today is a different story. I think that I now have the tools in my lifeskill toolbox to prepare me to be successful for something like this. And even if I didn't win, it would be fun to try. While I am fundamentally NOT competitive by nature, I do enjoy a challenge. {And if someone isn't up to the task of challenging me, well then, I find a way to challenge myself!}

I can still recall sitting around with two of the first beading books I ever purchased {and in my estimation, still some of the best}, Stringing Style and Stringing Style 2. {And I still want to make my own versions of both cover designs.} I remember looking through each design in detail, first just for the eye candy, second for the instructions and third for the components and the suppliers. I find myself going back to those books for inspiration all the time...like how to put a clasp on a particular bracelet just so...or unexpected color palettes...or what unique combinations of materials that I can find. Although I never, ever use a book or magazine or blog or whatever verbatim when I design, I am certainly inspired by all that I see and strive to make my own jazz riffs of the things I see. {Imitation may be some form of flattery...but copying is just plain wrong.}

I remember wondering who exactly those people were...and even recognizing some of their names as regular contributors. {And hoping that someday that would be me.} Where did they come from? How did they get this gig? What is their background? Now I know. And while I have had limited experience at this it has been very positive which makes me want it more. So maybe those designers and I do have something in common...we each have a GGA* {*God Given Ability} and we are not afraid to use it. {Do you have a *GGA? Of course you do!}

I am learning what it takes to believe in my worth as an artist enough to forego my internal second guessing and naysaying and downplaying. It is a lot of work to put your heart and soul into a design and then take the pictures and bundle it off to a publisher while you cross all your digits that they will find you worthy and send you back that happy-day email that says that you are loved and cherished and accepted {okay, they don't really tell you that, but having your work accepted for publication really does make you feel that way!}.

And it is just as true for the rejections that inevitably come...that doubt starts to creep in and your self-worth takes a tumble. But you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Give yourself a deep internal bear hug and tell yourself that it is alright. And maybe that wasn't the opportunity for you anyway. But then you need to open yourself back up to the Universe and be ready to accept whatever blessings may come. {For they will...I am sure of it!}

It's time for a September Giveaway! {Can I get a woot! woot!}

Since my daughter, Tiny Dancer, is now published, I checked with her this morning to ask if she would agree to make a pair of earrings just for the winner of the Treasures Found September Giveaway {I wouldn't want to force her to make earrings...it is not like I run a sweat shop with child labor in my basement...although her "company" is a "wholly owned subsidiary" of Tesori Trovati!} She said yes! And here is a picture of a recent creation of hers using Vintaj findings, Swarovski crystals and glass {please forgive the crap-tastic photos...it was late and I was tired. And Photoshop is not really my friend.}

{Yes, she does have her own cards, but her web page isn't ready yet because her mother is a slacker!
And she asks me daily when she will get a web page of her own...when you sell something, darling! Soon! Very soon!}

So.......if you would like to win a pair of earrings {not these, but something just as fun!} made by an up-and-coming young designer {who reminded me today that she was published a whole 31 years before I was! Cheeky monkey!}...and a something surprise from her bead-addled mother ;-D ...then you need to leave a comment on this blog post (with your email address and favorite color) answering one or more of the following probing questions:

What is holding you back from living your dream? or
What is the secret to your success? or
Who is the person you are meant to be? or

What is your GGA* and how are you not afraid to use it?

Winner will be drawn at random on Friday, September 11th and notified by email.

Check It Out::Your Designs Rock!
And you rock for reading to the end of this! *wink*

Enjoy the day!


lilibulle said...

well at first , thanks for sharing this incredible challenge, second.. OMG you speak like a boock!! i'have understand all!! but all!!! super!!and third it will be great to win these beautiful earings, or turquoise one.. (héhéhé) We have to answer ;.. is it right??well : dreams=
nothing holds me to live my dreams, however, is the definition of my life. I left many things behind me to access my dreams because I know on earth, I only have one life, so why spoil it .. I do not think that having the success is the purpose of creation, it is true that success helps the self-confidence, and this is very fun when it happens, but the real success is to be proud of itself , to succeed in achieving what was thought to .. success is in the eyes of our children as they say "when I grow up I want to be an artist, as my mother" .. If this is "success", then I want success every day!
which responds to the third question, I am a free person, and happy to be free, who is also passionate.I'm a volcano and a river, they are contrary to each other but they are what makes life :passion and strength ..
well I let others speak, because the person that I 'm supposed to be is also big gossip!(blablabla) I hope you understand more than 3 words of my bad English! In any case thank you for let me speak!

Jennifer said...

hi there, what a beautiful blog! ;) I enjoy following your blogs lately! I love being creative in so many ways - art is truly the beauty of soul expression in many forms!
~I love those earrings that your daughter made also! ;) very cool that you have a passionate helper!
I totally resonated with the part where you shared: 'I am learning what it takes to believe in my worth as an artist enough to forego my internal second guessing and naysaying and downplaying. It is a lot of work to put your heart and soul into a design..' It definitely takes a lot of courage to push our dreams out into the light and believe in them enough, even before the results come back from another's approval! ;) I am currently in that waiting stage and very hopeful! ;)
one of the questions I can answer for you:
What is the secret to your success? I think for me, when I realized that I was an author not because my book is published yet, but because of my consistent passion to 'show up' and write write write! When we love something, and commit our lives to it - it works out somehow! To me, this is success! I am trusting the Universe to more than match up my full delivery on my part as I continue to put one step in front of another.
Namaste! ~Jen

SummersStudio said...

Erin, this is such a good post. I know I need to be reminded every so often that belief in myself is part of the battle and that it is perfectly alright to admit to a modicum of talent. OK there I said it out loud. Well actually wrote it out loud.

For the questions:

What's holding me back?
Well I am doing what I have always dreamed. That is living as a artist just not exactly the artist I thought I might be. But I am doing what feels good and fulfilling to me. It just took me a long long time to figure out that I didn't need to do conventional things.

Secret to success?
I'm not entirely sure what sucess is but I know that I do best when what I do comes from my heart and soul. When what I do is me and not some vision of what I should be doing.

Who am I meant to be? Well, just me comfortable in my own skin most of the time. But it took quite a long time to get here!

GGA? Oooo, toughy. But I'd have to say it is seeing things in small scale and picking apart pieces of pattern and texture, rearranging, and then making it 'pretty.' I was scared of pretty or decorative for a long time. It wasn't art. And maybe it's not. But I'm happy and in the end when I'm on my death bed, all I want to feel really is that I was for the most part happy.

So there you have it, Erin. These are good thought provoking questions. And I thank you much for provoking me to think. Thinking is good!

Your daughter has such talent! I think it is absolutely amazing what she is doing as a young person and even more so that she'll give something away to a complete stranger. Anyone who wins this give away will have been delivered up a great honour.

Have a wonderful long weekend.

Pretty Things said...

You know, it's really funny, but I make jewelry but own a LOT of Other People's Jewelry. I consider it akin to collecting art. And I probably wear more OPJ than my own. I love the things that other people do, and buy what I love.

Beverley Baird said...

Erin - what a wonderful post. I never thought of it in terms of my GGA - I always thought of it as just being able to do what I do. But if you look at it as God-given , then teaching must be it. I have taught almost 30 years and though I am trying to develop my creativity, it is teaching that defines me now.
Your daughter's earrings are beautiful
Please enter me in the draw: I love garnet-colour. (arlie707@hotmail.com)

lilruby said...

One thing I know - my GGA has nothing to do with computers - this is my 3rd attempt to reply!
What has held me back for a long time is simply fear - that my work isn't good enough, that my designs won't stand out against the jillions of other designers out there, or what if (gasp)I was actually sucessful? I think the turning point for me came when I turned 50 - yikes, time's running out! This year I finally taught myself how to open an online shop, take pictures (still a struggle)and even sent in a magazine submission that was accepted.(Beadtrends Sept. issue)
I've finally come to the realization that my very real need to create is more important than my fears and to do nothing is to waste something that really does give me alot of joy, even if I never get to the point where I can quit my day job! Thanks for listening!

mairedodd said...

i think fear is a common denominator among so many of us - fear of not being good enough, of 'failing',etc... so, as eleanor roosevelt once said to do something you fear every day, i will go look into that challenge...
i think my gga is an ability to deeply identify and empathize with others...
oh, don't know much about photoshop, but for the quick editing, i looove picasa, a free google app... and... let tiny dancer have an etsy shop - then both mom and daughter will be happy and the mission will be a fait accompli!

Andrew Thornton said...

Congratulations! You're the winner of the necklace I posted on my blog! Send me your snail mail address and I'll pop it in the post as soon as I can. ardenttie@yahoo.com

Adventures with Millie Making Jewelry said...

I dropped in to congratulate you on your win...Andrew Thornton's necklace! I'm jealous! And that I was blessed to see your current posting. As one who doesn't wear much jewelry herself, I do enjoy making jewelry as gifts (and some I can't give away) and dream about maybe one day selling my creations ...so I was interested in what you had to say about your experience! Thanks from a new-be! Your work is inspirational...

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

How did I miss this post? I just realized you posted this days ago. And what a wonderful post it is! You always have inspirational things to talk about (hence the name, "Inspiration is Everywhere". I'd love the chance to win from an upcoming beading artist. So, here's my question and answer.

What's holding you back from living your dreams?

That's an easy one. Self confidence. I recently sold my first items on Etsy and I was so excited when one buyer told me she loved the item more in person than in the photo. Wow! What a compliment! I couldn't believe it. I was finally doing what I loved, getting paid for it, and someone thought my creation was good. I've always had a problem with shyness and social situations and that is why I love the blogging community so much. I am able to write what I am feeling without being face to face with someone where I know I would be too shy to even talk. So, I guess I am living my dreams. I was a chemist working in a lab hating my job and one decided enough was enough. And now I'm happy!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

Hi Erin! Nice, inspiring post! I think my GGA is my artistic ability. I've always been able to accurately draw/paint/sculpt whatever I see, and I would like to be able to use this talent in regards to jewelry design...I just haven't figured out exactly how yet! I think the thing that hinders my success is anxiety, which I think stems from fear of failure, or maybe it is fear of success? I need to have more confidence in myself. I want to submit my jewelry to a publication, but my fear and anxiety has gotten in the way in the past. I am working through it though, I have set goals and started working towards them! Your daughter is very lucky to have your support and encouragement. I can't wait to see what she comes up with! I'm thankful I found your blog...thanks for the giveaway! Oh ya, my favorite color is blue, or more specifically turquoise.


rosebud101 said...

I am who I am meant to be, and I love it! Life does seem to get better everyday. I love making lampwork beads!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Jennifer Jangles said...

Congratulations Olivia! You know my parents called me LuLabelle growing up. I kind of wish that had been my name instead of Jennifer.

Tess The Bold LIfe said...

Hi I came over from Lance's blog. Love your blog, jewelry, style of writing etc. In fact there is nothing I don't like! Good for your daughter for starting out so young. And the way you share and help others is very kind. I'm not sure if there is any such thing as too much help. What ever you give you will receive back tenfold. There isn't any competition, no one can keep your good from you or take it for that matter!

Who are people you would like to learn from, who has secrets you want in on. I dare you to ask 3 of them and I'll bet you'll receive answers. You and your jewels rock!


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