Never compare your beginning…

I am not a jewelry designer. I just want to get that out there. Oh sure, I know a good design when I see one. And I know how to string beads, make a crimp, and can make wrapped loops with the best of them. But given a pile of beads and some findings I always tend to just string them along, put the focal in the middle, and put a clasp on the back. I tend to be very matchy-matchy with my designs and seem to be incapable of doing anything that isn’t perfectly symmetrical.

I tend to look at the work of others like Kristi Bowman, Nina Bagley, and Kimberly Rogers and then lose hope completely as I stare at my pile of beads and components. But what I forget is that these talented and accomplished artists didn’t get that way overnight. Their first (or tenth) necklace wasn’t a masterpiece. There is a lot of experience and yes, practice, that goes into great accomplishment.

Scottish mountains with motivational saying, Never compare your beginning with someone else's middle.

I let the perfectionism monster destroy my will to create.  I figure if I can’t create something phenomenal the first time, every time, then I won’t even try. I’ll just put it back in the boxes until I get hit with some mysterious stroke of genius and come up with a brilliant design.

How silly! Do I really think that brilliant designs just happen? Do I think I can get better at something by avoiding it?

I have got to learn to stop being so hard on myself. I need to learn to let myself make mistakes. And I need to learn from my mistakes. And to do that I need to practice. So I’ve decided to underake a couple of (to me) really scary challenges. I want to push my design comfort zone.

I’ve joined the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party. I’ve already sent my Bead Soup to my partner, Arlene Dean. And I’ve received her Bead Soup mix. Isn’t it lovely? So many wonderful textures and colors. And I’m intimidated, I admit it. I don’t even know where to begin! But I will have to try. And it will give me experience and it doesn’t have to be perfect. I will learn from this. And that’s the goal after all!

Beads I received from Arlene Dean for my Bead Soup Blog Party.
This is my Bead Soup from Arlene Dean. I need to use at least the focal and the clasp to create something from this by April 13th. Easy? Well, in theory, yes.

I also just signed up for Jeannie Dukic’s 5th Do Over Challenge. This one is a bit different. She will send participants an unloved necklace that she made and we will re-work it to make it more lovable. All participants will reveal their creations on a blog hop on April 21st. It’s a bit different challenge than Bead Soup Blog Party, but it will still stretch my abilities.

What are the areas that you feel are your weak spots, and how do you face them? What do you do to challenge yourself?

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