23 April 2014

Bring Your Own Sunshine

I walked out of my studio on March 7th.

I was in the midst of baking a tray of Simple Truths in a new series I am calling 'Wanderlust' along with the Simple Truths Sampler Club selections based on the March Art Bead Scene painting (and now April); I had 10 year dancer necklaces to complete and a soldering project to get started using a map as my pattern for our beloved dance director; a fundraiser to plan for the Pop-a-Dot jewelry for our honor society scholarships for the Dance Education Center; planning for an art exhibit I am hosting in July-August to include starting to make my own art and getting all the other artists on board and cruising in the same direction; custom orders for spring jewelry, projects for several design teams along with Bead Soup to prepare; and publications and blog posts that I am committed to write for Art Bead Scene, Earrings Everyday and Halcraft, not to mention my own.

I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over me and a little like my own parade had hit a dead end.

I walked back into my studio on April 13th. It felt a little like this.

Source: Animal House via Democratic Underground

I was still trying to march to my own drummer, but I didn't really know where I was going. It was all where I left it, in various states of completion, and I have been working to dig my way back out and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a sickening feeling to know that there may have been people left hanging and wondering what happened when their orders have not been processed and their posts have not been written. And although I am trying my best to get back into the swing of things, I haven't been able to fully commit, and that lets me down. And that left me with my own personal thunderclaps to deal with in addition to the rain.

When you are called into service for your family, there is nothing else to do but show up. And that is what I have been doing and will continue to do. So if you are waiting for me, feel free to give me a nudge in case it has fallen through the cracks in my world and buried under the piles. But know that I am back to forging ahead and making some plans so that I can get my parade marching in the right direction. I know that I am being a bit dodgy about things, but when I am ready to share more about this, I promise I will.

I do believe that we need to bring our own sunshine no matter where we go. There is no use bringing everyone else down and raining on their parades just because you have hit some turbulence and lost your way. The skies are parting and it really isn't all as bad as it feels when you are in the eye of your own storm. I do see the break in the clouds, the light streaming through. Something that cheers me up is sending out gifts. So that is what I am doing!

Congratulations to Miss Mary Redman!
You are the winner of a ceramic rose heart and dottie barrel bead from Thea Elements.
I will be in touch to get your address for sending this little ray of sunshine your way!

'never surrender your dreams'
But just because I haven't been in my studio much doesn't mean that I am not busy. This week is the final rehearsal week at the theater for the big dance show. My first big project back in the studio was to finish the 10 year dancer necklaces with the etching help of my friend Lisa Liddy of Metal Me This. I love etching but I don't do it enough, so it helps me to have an expert in the process be my source. She is an absolute joy to work with and I couldn't have done this without her! Of course, I neglected to take a picture of all the necklaces from this year, so I am sharing one of the original ones I created a few years ago. They consist of a copper dog tag with the etched image of the studio, the school motto and the dancer's name. My own Tiny Dancer is in the 10 year group this year. Miss Tori gives them a special note along with the program from their first dance recital (what a nice touch!) and the special necklace that I created. It has become a badge of honor to be there 10 consecutive years and to have the opportunity to wear this necklace. I am honored to continue this tradition creating this unique keepsake for these lovely young ladies!

Samples of some of the special Pop-a-Dot Magnetic Jewelry Dots available this week.

Keeping me busy, I am selling my Pop-a-Dot magnetic jewelry every day this week and through the performances. This is a great gift for the dancers, and I do customize them with names (all the orders have to be in to me by Thursday night to be ready for the show on Friday!). This is the logo of the Dance Education Center. Additionally, I have hundreds of different images that are all positive messages and pretty images. And the new ones debuting now are Fabric Dots. Coming this summer will be Faux Opal Dots and even Simple Truth Dots! Once people start picking them out they love them and can't wait to get more, and this allows me to donate a generous percentage back to the Dance Education Center for their National Honor Society for Dance Arts Scholarship program. Last year I donated $900 to this fund through my two week sale, and this year is actually on pace to rival that!

Deadlines looming are the only way that I can get back on track. And the next big one looming for me is the Bead Soup. I am delighted that I get the chance to participate in this once again, because it really is a wonderful world-wide community event. The reveal for our Bead Soup designs is on Saturday, May 3rd. So that means I better get busy!

I always ask Lori Anderson to pair me with an international participant. Yes, it costs more to send my package overseas, but it costs more for them to send it to me as well, so I think that it is a wash. Plus, being paired with a new friend in another country means that I get things that I never would get locally. I am never disappointed. And this year, I think I got the best and biggest Soup yet!

Absolutely darling packaging from Miss Sabine! (photos borrowed from her!)

This year I am paired with a dynamite lampwork artist named Sabine Dittrich. She sent me so much amazing material to work with tucked in these incredibly cute little silk pouches and lipstick holders (that my daughter is coveting!). Her beads are so drool-worthy! It will be daunting - but incredibly exciting - to dig in and see what I can make. I can't tell you how good it will feel to get back to actually making something. I hope I can do them justice! I sent Miss Sabine two different Bead Soups to play with in my Simple Truths style and I can't wait to see what she does. Thank you so much, Miss Sabine, for the beautiful Bead Soup ingredients! 

The Bead Soup from Sabine in great detail! I really appreciate all the descriptions!
So, be sure to mark your calendars for the 8th Bead Soup party on Saturday, May 3rd! And until then, be sure to bring your unique sunshine to those around you!


Carol Dekle said...

Hi Erin!

Sound's as if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with you tasks at hand. Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate all that you do! You have brought me sunshine when most needed so for that I wanted to say THANK YOU! I hope you and your family are well,

Silver Parrot said...

Gosh, it's not like you're BUSY or anything! And I love that video shot - it's a PERFECT representation of what it feels like when you first come back from a hiatus (mine was 2 years!) I'm glad that you have those AMAZING soup ingredients to help get you back into things...no matter how busy we are or what else is going on, it definitely helps to have a creative outlet. Hang in there, Miss Erin!

Anonymous said...

Oh Miss Erin, I totally know that feeling of being overwhelmed (and I don't think I have half as much on my plate as you do!). I'm sure your horrendously long winter has not helped either! Good luck with finishing off the current to do list, and have fun with your soup! It does look like a very inspiring bead soup -- if that doesn't bring the muse roaring back to life, I'm not sure what would!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Miss Erin,
I full understand about being swamped with so much to do that you do not feel that you have time to breath, but some how you will manage to get through it all and come out shinning like a brand new penny! Sabine was my BSBP partner for the second time I participated in the party. She is truly a wonderful and talented Lady.

Kim Stevens said...

Oh my, I know that feeling Erin, last year when my son got so sick I felt like every time I turned around there was a brick wall. That is one busy plate you have going on, and I sure hope everything is okay with you and your family. One thing I figured out through all of the stress last year, was that I had to learn to look through glasses that were a little muddy and navigate the best I could, it was somehow better than not navigating at all.

And what a great bead soup you got, yes it is the mother load and can't wait to see what you do with it. (I sure hope you get this - blogger has been so wieird)

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

It is hard. We don't know what other people are dealing with. Unless they come out and tell us -- and even then, often we have no way of understanding except to realize that being overwhelmed, when you are very creative and responsible at the same time, is a very tough and worrisome feeling to wake up to. Just keep trying and remember we all love you

xox jean!

Shai Williams said...

There are times when you just need to throw your hands up in the air and take a break. There are other times when more important things like family take precedence. It's just good to know that you are doing fine and I can hardly wait to see what you come up with for the BSBP.

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Miss Erin, take a deep breath, give yourself some slack and don't beat yourself up. Life happens, family is MOST important, always. Take care.

Sabine Dittrich said...

Miss Erin,
I can totally understand how it feels like dealing with tough times. I had many moments like that the last months. I very much hope that you will be able to find your right way...and just, please, don't be stressed by my soup. Just pick some of the ingredients you feel like working with, even if it's just one piece! ;-)
Take care and enjoy your daylife,
@ Therese: Thank you so much for your kind words... :-)

Tanya said...

I am so sorry for the tough times and hope everything gets better and works itself out. I am so impressed that you have such a pleasant outlook. That is a wonderful first step. And after the first step, the rest follow.

I am always amazed at all of the balls you seem to effortlessly keep in the air at the same time. I couldn't do half the things you do. This balls will be there when you get back to them. Keep in mind that you can only conquer one at a time. The rest will wait (and knowing you, they won't be waiting long).

Take all the time you need. I know everyone understands.


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