Monday, January 31, 2011

They say the Truth Hurts...NOT!

Who ever "they" are, "they" are not always right. More often than not I have believed that to really grow as an individual I had to face the truth and tell the truth "on myself." I was supposed to give authentic apologies in which I owned my actions, telling the "truth" about what "I" had done. I was supposed to look at my past and tell the "truth" about what "I made it mean." It hurt to tell on myself, but the process was worth the pain because it lead to growth and freedom to create my world the way I wanted it to be. Today I find that the truth does NOT always hurt.

I have been very active since the new year in personal growth. I told on myself in order to grow as a person and an artist. I said things like "I haven't been making enough beads", "I haven't practiced skills enough", "I haven't tried", "I haven't put my heart into it", "I haven't really wanted it." Well the truth is, thinking about these things was "doing" them.

Earlier I introduced you to Danielle LaPorte's White Hot Truth. Today's newsletter, "So 7 Chicks Get into a hot tub", talks about moving energy before looking for the results. My favorite passage is "It's not always a doing. It's a new seeing. And people see you back." I've been moving energy, and now I am seeing results as if I'd actually "done" the things I said I wasn't doing enough of, and people ARE seeing me!

For example, all I did was resubmit expired listings in my ETSY shop and on the first day I sold a sculpted stingray bead. In the first week I was featured in a treasury, Orange Ya Tired of Winter's Gray?. Almost daily I have new hearts, new favorite watchers, and new circles that I have been made a part of. I've also started blogging again, for personal as well as professional growth, and people ARE seeing me. As of today I have 3 new followers!

So, along with the moving energy, even though I can't afford to buy the components for a new necklace, I can move some energy and create the necklace virtually. I promised I would use Rings & Things components to build a necklace around my newest favorite lampwork bead.

I found three beautiful end caps, and I've decided on one of them.

I will use these silver spool endcaps to add a modern sleek look that compliments and repeats the shape of my bicone focal. I liked them because I could also imagine the next beads in the necklace, which I envisioned as bicones. Today I thought it would be nice to find a bicone bead that complimented the scroll theme of the focal, and filagree came immediately to mind.
 I found these beautiful, silver plated filagree rounds for only $17.75 for 12 dozen!!! Now that's affordable and I plan to use them in a major way. Though they are not bicone, it might be possible to flatten the sides into a bicone shape...we'll see. And because I have so many, I might be able to make this a multi strand necklace, which could be quite stunning! These are 10mm rounds and my focal is about 20mm wide, so now I need some complimentary beads between 10 and 20mm wide...hmmm, blue?, white?, silver? bicone?

Yeah, baby, this is fun! And productive and moving energy...results will come on their own, you'll see!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feeling Free

I made beads last night instead of watching TV. I used to feel that it was "too late" to make beads but I'm glad that didn't stand in my way. Even though I only made three of them, it was worth doing.

I had an idea in my head about how to make rows of "square" dots. My idea didn't work but the bead turned out okay. I like the color combo of black, gray, and pink. I also had a Dora Schubert bead stuck in my head that I wanted to try for stringer practice. I just loved the color combination of aqua and white.

Of the three I made I think this is my favorite, though very far from Dora Schubert quality and skill. It is hollow and instead of rounding the ends I let them come to points; it is a nice bicone shape and the ends are smooth, so it makes a great focal bead.

So, what will I do with these beads? I got an email the other day from Rings & Things offering contest entries for mentioning them in my blog and social media posts. So I thought I'd shop their new catalog for some great end caps for the aqua bead.

I envision something different, classy, silver, and something that enhances the bicone shape. I found this great silver spool. I like it because I can see the next bead in the other side of the cap. You get 18-22 caps per 8" strand for only $14!
Then I found this great, hammered, silver cone, ($11.70 for 10) which would really elongate the bicone shape of the bead.
Finally I found another cone-type but this time it is a bell flower ($10.50 for 10) which is a little more feminine and might look better with the stringer work, depending on the whole look I'm going for (modern or feminine?)

So, now I'm hoping I can sell some of my beads in ETSY; then I'll be able to buy some of these bead caps. I think I'll use Rings & Things components for the whole necklace and design it here on my blog. Stay tuned for the next step!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Was ist loss? What's the Problem?

Michael McMillan said, "The one you choose to focus on is the world you will create." In line with practicing creating the life I want to live, and practical tips for doing that, I introduce to you Pink Bat Thinking. This video is about turning problems into solutions and is worth watching even if only to enjoy McMillan's ability to illustrate his communication on the fly.

I posted pictures of my newest beads on my Facebook and will post them for sale in my ETSY shop today. I was brave and didn't skip a single bead, even those I thought were truly ugly. I am always amazed that my ugliest beads were the first to sell, and sold for more than my prettiest beads. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder; posting my ugly beads was a brave practice strategy for creating my life. I changed my perception of a problem into a solution; sure enough, the ugliest bead was someone else's favorite!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Keeping Promises and Practical Practice

Well, here they are, the new beads I've made this month, and fulfillment of one of my many recent promises. Along with trying to quit smoking, I've been posting to my blog, and making beads again, and practicing my stringer control. As a result, I'm also practicing my bead shaping and color combinations and most importantly, I'm practicing the freedom to be creative with whatever is at hand, spontaneously, without planning.

However, when committing to something it is important to plan and to declare your commitment. I made it public that I was quitting smoking, planned a way that would offer a greater chance of success, took the necessary steps to make it work, went to the doctor, set a date, and made it public. My post yesterday was about practice; living my life as creator of all that I want to be requires practice of learned principals. The most important thing to practice is recognition of complacent, human reactions to life, and being prepared to do or say something to myself that takes me out of the past and into the present with my sights on the future.

That is so much easier said than done. I know that I am human, but I want to be a super human living my life conscious of the power I have to create my life in any given moment. I was reminded of a way to do that, to remind myself, that I will share with you as a practical tip for practicing new ways of being, whether it is a new way as a human, or an artist, or a friend, or lover, or whatever hat you are wearing. I'm sure you will enjoy The Soul of What you want to Create: an interview with Hiro Boga.

Danielle LaPorte publishes White Hot Truth (because self realization rocks). I'm not sure how I found it, or why she does it, but her newsletter applies to so many facets of living, but empowerment is what I see as the heart of her publication. She does many interviews and shares her life, her business, her passion, and her artistry in a way that speaks to practicing living life with power and sincerity. Sincerity is probably the most important concept to a life well lived; being authentic is the only way to be and White Hot Truth is always authentic. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creating Space for the Positive

Yesterday I shared a link with you of a slide show with some positive messages. At the end of the show was an invitation to join an email list for more of the "growth" affirmations, so I signed up. I recieved a message from them today that reminded me to create the space I need in my life and mind by eliminating the negativity that hogs up the room in my life and mind.

The Landmark Forum taught me "Why suffer? Feel the Rejuvenating Freedom of Letting Go! We tend to feel as if we have to suffer over our failures, losses or emotional stress from the past – not true!". There are many programs that teach the same truth, that we are the creators of our own life, good and bad, and that we are responsible for creating our life the way it is and the way we want it to be. The most important lesson I learned was that I am whole and complete and that I am "enough". Though it is easy to say, these positive affirmations must be practiced in thought and action to realize themselves.

Yesterday's blog post was about fear. Today is about overcoming that fear by practicing what I already know. I am good enough and there is nothing wrong with me unless I say there is.

The beads turned out as good as I wanted them too. I'll take pics and post later. I'd post today, which seems more in line with my goal for today, but I guess I wanted my son to call me and ask me to pick him up from school because he was sick to his stomach, and I guess I wanted to be confronted with "you will have to take him to the doctor for ANY absence from now on" and I guess I wanted to be frustrated by such an unreasonable demand, and the fact that my whole day had been shot at this point because I had other plans.

Such is life, despite the wisdom of knowing I am the creator of my life, and all the positive affirmations in the world for myself don't change the negative realities of a child's illness. But it does make me aware and appreciative that I have a wonderful son and a life that lets me take care of him when he's sick, and lets me defend him against a system that doesn't REALLY care if he's sick, only that they get their money for his presence.

So, although plans seemed to be ruined, I will create the best of the rest of the day....practice practice practice

Monday, January 24, 2011

What am I afraid of?

I made more beads on Saturday; it was fun! I've been wondering how they turned out but haven't looked yet. Why? What am I afraid of?

Am I afraid I won't like them? Am I afraid no one will like them? Am I afraid that I will dislike them so much that I will again contemplate quitting altogether? Why do I even think about such things?

Do I think about making beads more than I actually practice making beads? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid I've forgotten how to make beads? Am I afraid that I was better at making beads when I first began, and as I became more skilled my beads were not as attractive? Even though many times my ugliest beads have been the first to sell (when they were selling!) and even though many times I've set aside ugly beads, only to find them beautiful when I pick them up again months later, I still don't think they are as good as Dora's or Manuela's or Anastasia's (Those German's make the most beautiful beads!) These bead artists are most inspirational to me and inspire me to better stringer control. They post in the gallery on Lampwork Etc.; maybe that is why I'm afraid to show my beads...because my favorite lamworkers will get all the compliments, obviously deserved, and I won't get any, an obvious sign that my beads are not good enough to keep such company.

But these artists are among the greatest of the great, and admiration of them s truly deserved and earned by many years of practice. So why don't I practice? Am I afraid that if I make beads too often the joy and creative release will be replaced by mundane obligations to promises I made to myself to practice or need to earn money and justify my selfish indulgence of time to a craft that makes me happy?

Oh there are so many things to be afraid of when in the process of creation. All artists of living go through the process of fear. I think this is something my mother understands. She sent some encouragement today that I'd like to share with you. It reminded me that my deepest fear is not that I am inadequate, but rather that I am powerful beyond measurement. Here's the link, go ahead click on it...what are you afraid of?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Returning Home

Well, it has been a looooong time. So long, I forgot I even had a blog! Julie Nordine blogged about Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party; to participate you have to have a blog. That counted me out...oh wait, I DO have a blog! It even has a clever name!

So what have I been doing to make me forget I have my own blog? Well, I finished my schooling except for my research and my multiple subject student teaching. My mom came to visit from Germany. Other stuff, other people, and most recently I tried to sell on eBay again...EBAY SUCKS!! I paid 35.00 in fees to make 12.00 in sales! So, I decided to open my ETSY shop again.

I've changed my shipping policy and added some beads. I haven't told anyone yet; I want to get some new work in the shop first. I made new beads yesterday.

I think I've been afraid to make beads. I'm not happy with what I make when I do sit down at the torch. Yesterday I gave myself permission to play with colors, dots, and stringer. Here's what I made.

I need to etch the one on the left to, hopefully, bring out the colors of red, yellow, and blue that are there. I like the black and white. The dot bead is really nice but the dots are sloppy; love the colors.

Look for them soon at my Etsy shop, MonaRaeBeads.