Don’t be Afraid of Mistakes

Aside

Beyonce Peyote BraceletIt has been a long and busy week for me.  I didn’t have a lot of time for beading projects, but I was able to finish a celebrity photo bracelet of Beyoncé.  I’m not completely happy with the shading, however I’ve decided to leave it as it is.  Perhaps I’ll adjust the shading if I do another one.

As an artist, I know that I am probably my toughest critic (beside my mother).  I get disappointed easily when the vision in my head doesn’t transfer to the beads.  Even though the end result may be something to be proud of, if it wasn’t what I was expecting it probably won’t be one of my favorite pieces.

That being said, I also know that it’s impossible to make something that I am proud of if I am too afraid to begin.  Often times I find myself procrastinating on a project because I don’t know exactly how it will turn out.  If I don’t have a clear vision of the finished piece and a pretty good idea of how I will accomplish that vision… nothing happens, good or bad.

We can’t be afraid to make mistakes.  How should we learn if not by mistakes?  I tell myself over and over that time spent with my beads is never wasted.  Even if I spend hours trying to figure out a stitch only to throw the end result in the trash, that time was well spent.  How else would I learn that that particular stitch won’t work for whatever I was trying to do?  Every mistake we make should be cataloged in the backs of our brains into a master file labeled ‘Don’t Do That Again’.  My file is pretty big and many of the folders have several copies of the same mistake.

Always always always, show up at your beads (or paint, or yarn, or paper, or whatever) with an open mind.  Let your art tell you what to do.  If it doesn’t work out, great!  Now you know for next time!  But most likely, it will turn out to be a fine piece of work that is worthy of your pride.

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Thinking Outside of My Comfort Zone

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The completed necklace.

The completed necklace.

A lot of the pieces I do are custom orders. Recently I received a custom order for a Rihanna necklace using a photo chosen by the customer. I’ve heard of Rihanna, and was pretty sure she is a singer, but that’s as far as my knowledge of her went. I did a little searching in hopes that I could get a feel for the style required for this necklace.

First, I tackled the part I was comfortable with… the peyote chart.

2" x 4.25"

Next I attached the peyote swatch to a felt backing and added edging and fringe.

Fringe and Edging

Finally, I added the necklace straps and finished with a linked beaded chain.

Strands of seed beads begin the necklace.

Strands of seed beads begin the necklace.

Wrapped links and antiqued copper circles form the necklace strap.

Wrapped links and antiqued copper circles form the necklace strap.

Although this custom order fell through in the early stages of planning, I am glad I went through with the challenge.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from myself as I had never done anything this far out of my style zone before.

What I learned from this piece:  Show up at your passion.  Let it guide you.  Enjoy the ride!