18 January 2012


"I have no fear of the future. Let us go forward into its mysteries, let us tear aside the veils which hide it from our eyes and let us move onward with confidence and courage." 
~ Winston S. Churchill 

I know. You must have thought I had fallen and I couldn't get up. Something like that.

When I said that I would explore I thought that would mean more active things. I have been doing a whole lot with not much to show. I have been here, but I have been absent. I have been present but my mind has been a million miles away.


This month for the 'simple truth' sampler club I chose a custom carved stamp that I had made with the Chinese character for 'FEARLESS' on it. I think that FEARLESS is a great way to start out the year, and it goes very well with EXPLORE. After all, the explorers would not have gotten very far if they were stopped by their fears.

Then I found that quote above from Winston Churchill. 'No Fear of the Future' - to me that means that I need to open my arms and welcome whatever comes my way.

I posed the question on Facebook about what FEARLESS means. I got some interesting answers:

My dear wise college friend Kari said, "FEARLESS means being able to accept the truth, whatever that may be. FEARLESS meands being able to accept any outcome and deal with it honestly."

My high school friend Anne said, "FEARLESS means staying true to yourself, despite possible outcomes."

Sweet Miss Courtney said, "FEARLESS is moving forward without concern."

My friend Miss Cherrie said, "FEARLESS could mean if you never try you will never know."

The oh so talented, funny and lovely Miss Rose said, "FEARLESS is doing what others only dream of."

And my cousin Jane said, "No regrets, whatever the outcome."

These were all answers that I had not really thought of when it came to the word FEARLESS, but I think that they are all things that I am striving for. To boldly go in the direction of my dreams, to dealing with truth and honesty no matter what the outcome...being true to myself and to live a life without regrets... to giving it a shot because I won't know if I don't try. Thank you so much to all of those FEARLESS women for their honest responses! 

So, I guess that I have been doing something to make my January FEARLESS. I have been experimenting with materials and forms. You might think that a bracelet is not a really earth-shattering form, but for me it is. It takes a lot of effort for me to make a bracelet. They are always either too long or too short. So I rarely make them, even though others will think that it is the simplest form.

In addition to the form, I wanted to use materials I am not comfortable with. I was playing with leather the other day. I wanted to see if I could paint on it. So far the results are encouraging. I have quite a lot of bins of stuff to play with, and I have a whole one dedicated to leather. Old belts that have fallen apart, suede cord, flower cut outs. I am still experimenting with what can be done with it. 

Back in September when I went to visit Vintaj for the 2 day workshop we experimented with all sorts of things. In one of them we did an image transfer and sealed it with a resin. I added riveted details and did a filigree wrap. And that is as far as I got. I have bins and baskets and boxes and bowls full of stuff like that, particularly when I attend a class. 

So I got to painting the light leather with inks and sealing it. There were these holes in the leather which were perfect for embellishing. So I whipped out some wire and attached the flower filigree wrap to the leather, added snaps, et voila! Instant bracelet! I know that I will make more like this, particularly since I have a pile of leather to play with and an idea now of what to do.

{Brass Blossom Cuff available on Etsy}

In other FEARLESS news, I managed to sign up for two classes that will put this new FEARLESS mantra into practice: Barbara Lewis' Painting With Fire method at Bead & Button in June and Richard Salley's Alchemy & Relics class at Valley Ridge Art Studio in July. I am over the moon excited about taking these two classes. 

I have Barbara's kit, but I have a healthy fear of fire, even though almost every single class I have taken since 2007 has been using a torch. I have done things with fire. I just need to set up that station in my studio and start. I might break out the creme brulee torch first just to get used to the flame before I launch into Mapp gas. But I am going to torch fire something real soon!

I have always, always wanted to meet Richard Salley. Taking a class and learning from him will be the cherry on top. He is someone I have long admired. He has been very encouraging to me and I know that this class will be an awesome adventure. I just wish that it was July already!

So those are some things that I am doing to keep this year about FEARLESSLY EXPLORING.

{January 2012 Simple Truth Sampler}

What does FEARLESS mean to you? How are you FEARLESSLY EXPLORING?


jeannieK said...

FEARLESSLY EXPLORING, sounds like a great journey to be on so buckle up.

Fearlessly Exploring? Don't be afraid to make mistakes and start over. Dig in!

My own words I live by, "be brave enough to live your life creatively."

I'm crushing on the cuff.

Kim Stevens said...

Well Miss Erin, "fearlessly exploring" . . . what I want most out of my word explore is just that, to be fearless or attempt the fearlessness of it. I love adventures and wandering and need to be open to where it takes me. To not be afraid to do that which will most express the passion in my heart, whether that be in my photography, jewelry or ?.

I want to be fearless not because of the destination but because of the journey!

Barbara Lewis said...

When I was reading the beginning of your post, I was answering, "Fearless is working with a torch!" Can't wait to meet you. BTQ, Your bracelet is beautiful!

Ornamental Style said...

I'm fearlessly exploring, too! I love how you phrased that. I'm taking Barbara's enamel class at her workshop in St. Pete next month. I'm excited about that. You are ahead of me in working with fire. I haven't even used a butane torch although I just bought one. And how successfully you fearlessly explored working with leather in that gorgeous cuff.

Do you mind sharing how you attached the brass filigree to the cuff? Did you rivet it in place?

Another fearless exploration is magazine submissions. And I'm happy to say look for me in the June issue of Bead Trends!

Brandi Hussey said...

I see FEARLESS as this: knowing that the road ahead isn't perfectly lit, knowing that obstacles and challenges could be in your way, and continuing forward anyway because you have to see what's down the road.

You told me once that everyone needs a fallow time - maybe this is yours? I know that the last few months have been ridiculously busy for me and others, so I think a fallow time in January is only natural.

You'll get back in the swing of things in no time!

indigo heart said...

FEARLESS to me is living your life in a creative manner without worrying about the consequences. you made a mistake? it's okay! some of my so-called mistakes and failures turn out to be my most popular items. isn't that funny? the Universe is trying to teach me something; perfection is unattainable and even unwanted. such a difficult lesson for me, since i am a perfectionist. and i don't want to be! i am FEARLESSLY EXPLORING by continuing on this bend in the road i've come upon. love your bracelet, btw. remember, it's okay to hibernate! don't be so hard on yourself!

Cristina Norcross said...

Thank you, Erin! This is exactly what I needed to hear today before sending off a book query submission. I especially LOVED the quote from Miss Rose: "FEARLESS is doing what others only dream of." Taking another creative plunge, whatever the outcome. Blessings to you today! Cristina

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Oh dear Miss Erin, what to say about the word fearless? I love it. It is a truly inspiring word. It goes well, I think, with the word I have chosen for this year as well... which is believe. Because my goal for the year is to open myself to believing... in my faith and in myself... FEARLESSLY. I want to be able to dive into that without letting anything hold me back. Dive in regardless of the consequences, with my whole heart. Fearless to me, doesn't mean you don't know the horrible things that could happen... but that you go forward regardless. Like the old saying... "feel the fear and do it anyway". THAT, that is fearless to me.
I have faith in you, Miss Erin, that you will be able to meet your goal and explore fearlessly this year. You inspire the rest of us to follow. To find our own paths. To explore fearlessly ourselves.

lunedreams said...

I think the word "fearless," as being used here, means more "not being stopped by our fears," rather than achieving a state of feeling no fear. I don't think an absence of fearful feelings is reasonable or normal. Fear is a normal, protective human emotion--the trick is learning to recognize when our fears are irrational, overblown, or based on misinformation; or determining when we are willing and able to live with the possible realization of a legitimate fear. Charging through the fear, rather than waiting for it to go away before we act, is what we all eventually have to do. Sometimes a little soul-searching and self-talk can help get us over the hump, but once the fears are intellectually sorted, there's nothing left but to jump in, sweaty palms and all. That is courage. Usually (barring an unfortunate disaster) doing the feared thing lessens the fear to a manageable degree, or erases it all together. I don't think I can hold myself to "fearless," but I can hold myself to "courage."

beth hemmila & hint jewelry said...

You appear utterly FEARLESS to me! What a great way to start off the year and I love the answers people gave. Have fun learning new techniques :)

Alice said...

Gorgeous stuff you have here. The Simple Truth's are just beautiful!

I've never been fearless. I'm the type that needs a nudge or two, a hand to hold, or just plain pushed in when trying something new. Otherwise I would just be dipping my toes all the time and never getting in the pool. Even when I do something totally out of my comfort zone, I'm a nervous wreck.

Cindy said...

Erin, you have been one busy, productive, FEARLESS lady this month of January! First I want to say that your new bracelet is beautiful! I tend to shy away from bracelets as well for some of the same reasons as you - necklaces sure give me more room for trial and error.
I enjoyed reading the quotes taken from your FB poll...
You've got one heck of a great line up this year, taking classes with both Barbara and Richard. Loved them both as instructors and mentors!

Riki Schumacher said...

So beautiful Erin! Love that your business has taken off! Fearlessly exploring making a film for an on line class right now!! Pretty scary! xxo Riki

Rebecca said...

Fearlessly exploring! That sounds great. Just to play devil's advocate, exploring when you ARE afraid can be even more amazing and adventurous.....BRAVELY exploring. I think that's what you're doing here also - your fear of fire is there but you are bravely tackling Barbara's class! I can't wait to see what you come up with. Fearless is good but bravery is even better! ANd something I could definitely do with more of ;-) x

The Cabby Crafter said...

Oh, the leather bracelet looks gorgeous! I made one using some of the Vintaj components that you used. Yeah, I was anxious (fearful) of what and how to do it but as they say... we just have to overcome our fear.

Anonymous said...

Love this post and your creations are so wonderful!

FEARLESS: Following your dreams despite adversity.

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Oh Erin, I am so PROUD of you for facing your fears and trying something new! No matter whether new endeavors lead to extreme success (or not.so.much) there's always something to learn along the way! I LOVE what you created with leather. Who'da thunk? :o)

I too have been M.I.A. but know that if you break out the creme brulee torch, I'll bring the coffee!


Rembrandt Charms said...

The combination of colorful leather floral along with the metal makes a huge impact on the pendant...very nice piece.


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