14 September 2011

BTW: Slow This Hurry Up Down

"i have no time to be in a hurry"


It has been a long, LONG time since I went on a bike ride.

My bike dangles forlornly in a dark corner of the garage, collecting dust, as a jungle gym for the spiders that are showing up (are they everywhere in your house like they are in mine? I feel that I may have an infestation, and every single day I hunt down a few more and they are each different from the last. Like the one that fell on me in the shower this morning or the spindly leg ones that inhabit the downstairs nightlight. Is my house the site of the International Arachnid convention? I swear I have seen some rainforest varieties, like the tiger striped Charlotte living on my front porch).

I used to love to ride my bike. The feeling of your heart pumping and the noodly legs you get after a good long ride. Not that I was competitive biking, but just moving around town. I took my bike everywhere. and then I had kids. Now there never seems to be enough time to even consider taking it down and dusting it off. And with the sudden about face the weather has taken - from hot and sweaty to cool and breezy - it looks like another year will go by without even one bike ride.

Each month when I make up a charm for the simple truths sampler club it comes out sort of random. I don't really have a definitive plan (I hope that doesn't scare off the club members!). I usually feel compelled to make things, not because they are on trend, or in demand, but because I have some need to create it. Now that I made this, and given the fact that I never ride a bike, I am drawn to the reason why. Well, it was the theme for the August Art Bead Scene, but more than that I think that this little bike charm for me is indicative of the things that I feel I may have missed out on. I love the direction that my little experiment in entrepreneurialship is going, but it means that I have let other things fall to the side, or lay in a heap. Bike riding with my kids is one of them, literally, and that is sad, but I know that there are others.

I was the last kid in the neighborhood to remove her training wheels. I am pretty sure that I was around 6 years old. Do you know how silly a banana seat bike and high handlebars complete with streamers flowing looks with training wheels on it? Pretty darned.

I was afraid to let go. I knew I needed to balance, and everyone could see that I could do it, but yet I needed those training wheels to give me peace of mind. But by relying on that extra set of wheels I was missing out on so much.

They were always getting loose. And then one would be turned up and out of the way. Of course, I was going along just fine until I noticed it and then I panicked. Realizing that the the wheel was not supporting me would send me fleeing back home to insist that Dad tighten them. One day, Dad had had enough. He said that the next time they were loose they were coming off. That was terrifying to me. I was hyper-aware of them. I didn't stray too far from home in case one went flying. And then one day I forgot to look back there and realized that I was doing it. All. By. Myself. That is a freeing moment for a kid when they realize that they are doing it all by themselves. Heck, that is a freeing moment when an adult has that self-awareness.

This little bike reminds me that I can do this, but I am stuck clinging to the false sense of security that I need to keep those training wheels on and tightened. But the day is coming when I know that I will look back and whatever training wheel security I am holding tight to will have fallen away and I will see that I am gliding along just fine. I can already feel myself picking up speed.

{i have no time to be in a hurry
only available to the members of the 'simple truths' sampler club.
there are still openings and i am starting to work on october! join us!}

The Simple Truths Sampler club for September is a different bunch of talented designers. Some of my founding members signed on for only 3 months to give it a shot and I bid them so long and hope that one day our paths may cross again. But their first three months were up and a few new faces have taken their places. I am still not at capacity on this, but it is a good mix. There is a big difference between making 10 charms and making 20, which is the maximum that I will create of any one of these designs. I quite like making less than that. And I enjoy coming up with the next month's secret design. I am already working on  October (I know! Several weeks early! Aren't you proud of me?). You should go and see how some of the 'simple truths' have grown up! They are absolutely delightful! There there are still spaces available since I am not at that 20 piece limit. And just a heads up... I will be raising the introductory rates on the sampler club membership as of November 1st. Now is a good time to come and join us. (Wouldn't this make an excellent holiday gift? How about for that special someone who loves surprises each month, or the friend who is looking for new things to design with or maybe the stylish aunt who would like a whole wardrobe of interchangeable charms to wear each month. I can even provide a starter chain ;-)

I can't show it but on my bead table this week is my Bead Soup concoction. Please pray for a beading miracle to happen there tonight because I have yet to start it. It is not for lack of ideas, and the components I received from my partners are beyond amazing (Beth and Evie are AWESOME!), but it is due to a fundamental lack of time. But I said I would do this and I will. I hope there is enough caffeine to pull an all-nighter.

And also on my table are the special limited edition 'simple truths' pendants that I created and finished in the wee hours this morning in the three themes of the weekend retreat that I am going to in Michigan. I am taking off tomorrow through Monday to go to beautiful South Haven, MI to stay in a little cottage at the shores of Lake Michigan, make new friends, create beautiful things and spend time with my best friend Heather and her family celebrating the release of her book Jewelry Designs from Nature: Woodlands, Gardens & The Sea. I am squeeing all over the place here. Packing might happen tomorrow right before I flee town. ;-) I will share more next week!

{My bead bestie, Heather Powers, the author!!!!}
I will be hit or miss these next two weeks as I do a little business traveling and creating for various deadlines. I will have a post for the Bead Soup ready to go for Saturday (if there were a Patron Saint of Creativity ((there's not)) I would be pressing speed dial to him, I am just hoping I don't have to call on St. Frances Xavier Cabrini who is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes!) but because I will be traveling (and, no, I still do not have a laptop or a smartphone or whatever, so I will be completely unplugged for a few days. Maybe that is exactly what I need to slow this hurry up down.) so I will try to get started on visiting the Bead Soup-ers just as soon as I can. I am thinking that since the last time it took me until Easter, this time it will take me until Christmas to visit everyone. ;-)

So now it is your turn...
Are you in a hurry or are you slowing down and enjoying the ride?
What are your memories of your first bike?
What are the 'training wheels' that are holding you back? What would it take to loosen them up?
Anything you would like me to say to Miss Heather Powers when I see her this weekend?


Alice said...

Bikes and I have never had a good relationship. I was a puny little girl, barely 4 lbs when I was born. Growing up we lived in the country where the only place to ride was gravel roads. I got the shortest bike due to my puny size. One hot day the rest of the family left me far behind on a dusty road. Long story short, I got lost, and very ill from the heat. I've never liked riding since then.

My days are the 'hurry up, finish this, wait for that, oh I forgot this, where is that, can you run an errand for me' type of days. I rarely get to enjoy a slow day, but deep down I think I work better that way.

I envy you for getting to attend Heather's retreat. I know you will enjoy it and come back refreshed and full of inspiration.

I'm pretty timid when trying new things, so I still have my training wheels on. I don't think they ever come off.

Cynthia said...

Have a blast at Heather's retreat!! I wish I could be there.
I just wanted to tell anyone who is "thinking" about signing up for the simple truths sampler club - Just do it!! You will not regret it. I am a "member" of the club, and I can tell you that it is so fun opening that package every month, not knowing what you'll find. I am always pleasantly surprised at my little treasure Erin has made, just for me! The pendants have a very nice weight, and feel great just to touch. And I always get compliments on the necklaces I've made with them.
I got the silvery-blue bike pendant this month, and my ideas are starting to gel!

Rebecca said...

Hey there Miss E, I am with you with the last minute concoctions - I have yet to start my bead soup project, eek! I have tomorrow evening and that's all so fingers crossed I can wap out something worthy of the beautiful beads I received...!

I am super envious of you tripping out to Michigan. What an inspiring time you will all have. Excited to hear and see all about it when you get back - perhaps you could try and little vlogging, n'est pas? I'd love to see some of Michigan. And your lovely creations too!

Also, I just wondered how I renew my Sampler subscription....I don't want to miss out and think mine may have slipped now.....perhaps you could drop me a wee email if you can squeeze two minutes out of your heavily congested timetable?! Not sure if I have to do something different to renew rather than start from scratch.

Thanks Erin! Love your posts as always :-)

Silver Parrot said...

It's crazy around here right now. Good thing I got my bead soup done over the Labor Day holiday or I'd be in deep trouble.

6 is nothing...I didn't learn to ride my bike until I was 10 or 11 years old. I had tried earlier on, but was so bad at it that I was constantly getting hurt (still have scars on my knees to this day from so many crashes) so I gave up. Then, for some reason, at the later age I just became determined to overcome it and I finally did.

Hang in there and can't wait to see how your soup turns out - I know it will be amazing!!

Holly said...

I'm not completely sure how old I was when I first started riding sans training wheels. I do think it must've been around 5 or so because I remember tooling around the beach on vacation when I wasn't much more than that.

My worst bike memory is of a time in middle school, I was going down a big, bumpy gravel path in our park and I lost control of the bike. The hill was a long, steep hill and I just remember the complete lack of control and fear of falling that I felt. I did finally stop, falling off the bike at the bottom of the hill. The relief of at the cessation of motion and regaining of control is something I carry with me to this day!

A very telling story, I think ;)

Please do congratulate Heather on the book release, and be safe and most of all, have fun!!

Cindy said...

Hi Erin
Your bicycle pendants are really pretty. I love the symbolism. Like Holly, I had a traumatic down-hill experience too. :-) I was in Kindergarten and living in the Philippines....riding my bike down a hill when the handle bars became disconnected and I was holding up in my hands! Then I crashed....
Oh wow, I sure wish I could attend Heather's retreat too! You are one lucky lady. It looks like so much fun from the cottage and the excursions, to that bakery! And I love the Bead Mix party idea..that is great. Although I have a hard time creating on the spot like that. You'll have the time of your life.
And I remember the last Bead Soup party...remember we were both up super late getting our pieces finished!

Anonymous said...

Love this pendant and quote! I just love the ideas and words you come up with! Have a wonderful time at the retreat, it sounds incredible.

JeannieK said...

You do crack me up and I love the bike pendants. I still remember the day I was able to ride my bike for the first time without training wheels and the feeling I got. I still remember the month and day my daughter was able to ride without training wheels.

Oh how I wish I was at the retreat. You have a great time and give Heather a hug for me and tell her congratulations on her book.

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Simply lovely pendants, Erin. Have a blast at the retreat!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

The bike pendants are really cool, love the quote. I too had a banana seat bike with training wheels on it! I was probably the same age as you were when they came off. I am in a bit of a hurry these days as I try to accomplish everything I need to for an upcoming craft show I am participating in. I am doing my best not to let it overwhelm me. The retreat sounds awesome-just what I need! Have fun and tell Heather that I hope she hosts more of the Inspired by Nature Retreats. It sounds like a great way to be inspired, create new jewelry and make new friends-excellent combination!

Judy said...

I just LOVE the bike image and the saying is just perfect! The retreat sounds so wonderful,have a fantastic time!


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