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Another busy week has been survived here in The Studio! I have not made any crafting progress worth mentioning, but I have been getting my desk organized enough to become a better work space. Which is great, cause I have a ton of ideas, and some new chain maille rings coming!!! I am so excited about those! Hopefully I will have some WIPs done by next week and can put some pictures up. Until then I want to leave you with this parting thought. A wonderful gal I follow called Itchy Crochet posted something on a few sites the other day that hit me right between the eyes. It wasnt talking about me, but I have made the same statement about allot of what I do in the past.

“A crafty friend of mine once said (well she wrote it but you get the idea) “Oh, it’s just jewellery making, it’s not even like it’s hard”, OK, first things first it may not be hard to thread beads on to cord or open a jump ring with pliers but choosing which beads and charms look good together IS, and even when you get to the point where your colours work a professional polished finish is REALLY hard. What ever you do, what ever you are good at, not every one can do it, just because it’s easy for you does not mean it is easy. I am awesome and comedic and make it look easy, not everyone can do that. Take pride in your talents even if it’s just colouring inside the lines in a colouring book.”

I don’t know about you, but to me that is a pretty powerful statement. Her friend was saying it about her own stuff, and like I said, I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me how much they like my work, or how talented they think I am, esp when it comes to my jewelry, and I say the exact same thing. “It’s not hard. It’s just *insert craft here*” It’s hard to when things are easy for us to see how good we really are.

You matter, and so do your efforts.

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Dear Dreamer Reader

I write to you now in part because it is part of the blogging 101 course I am taking, but as I do I realized this also gives me a chance to tell you something that doesn’t really fit into any of my other posting ideas. I get this chance to tell you that I know you are out there, I know things aren’t always easy. You are not alone. There are more of us out here with these same troubles and challenges! It is a scary thing for me, these posts, they are a bearing of my soul, and a sharing of my inner thoughts. Because these little ah ha moments I have on my journey may help, so I share. Just like you, mine isn’t an easy journey. There are really 4 of you.

I want to first talk to you Moms. It’s tough. We have allot on our shoulders, and it doesn’t stop, not for a moment. There are moments you may want to give up, to walk away. But you wont. Love anchors you to these people, your family. What you do matters. Even when you clean one mess, go to do something else, come back and that mess is back. What you did counts, it matters. It’s so easy to feel it’s all pointless, that all you do is give, and no one seems to get it. I get it, and there are more of us out there. And You are Super Mom. Mondays on my blog are for you. And with any luck, something I write will hit home and help. That is my true hope in these posts. Keep going Super Mom, you are a great and mighty being.

Next I want to talk to you creative souls out there. The crafters, the writers, the makers of things. I have struggled long with my need to make. I spent so many years thinking I had no talents, no gifts. Nothing I do is that great. Heck I still feel that way sometimes. But that isnt the part that counts. I enjoy it. And there have been moments I have hit upon thoughts and ideas that have helped me truly embrace this part of me. And I want to share it. Because I spent years wanting to and giving myself reasons not to. It cost too much, I dont have time, I’m not gonna be any good at it anyway. All these thoughts that became road blocks. I have been blessed with supportive people who helped push me, who helped make it ok. And when I got down about it, cause I didnt think I was any good, they encouraged me. I want to do that for you. I want to share my ah ha moments on why it’s about your bliss, and what works for you. And all the great reasons why you should keep going. Wednesdays are for you, bless your creative nature. Keep at it. Make things, write, draw, paint, whatever it is. Enjoy it!

Thirdly I want to talk to those of you who read what I say just to follow my work. My writing, my crafting. I want to say thank you to you. Your support has meant the world to me. And in part it’s what has helped give me the confidence to keep progressing, to reach for that next big goal. Right now Fridays are when I will post updates.

Lastly, but not the least, to anyone who reads what I have to say, or sees what I do and gets something from it. You too matter. I may target the other three, but I hope something clicks for you too. We all need to be encouraged, we all need to find ways to see the world that help us enjoy it. Thank you for reading, and I hope you find something that you needed too.

From the depths of my heart Bek 1656360_555467467883169_723150243_n

Nailed It!

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I saw a picture the other day that got the wheels in my mind turning again. I know, always a dangerous thing. It was of this lady’s first attempt at a new craft with the tag line “I guess I am not very good at this”. This isn’t the first time I have seen such a thing, I am sure we have all seen the “Nailed it!” pictures where someone has tried to copy something they saw or wanted to try. In truth I have been tempted to post very similar things when I have tried something new and it didn’t turn out like I had hoped, and was a loooooong way from the picture of the thing I admired that made me want to try this new craft. Then my brain hit upon the good question. What did their first try look like?
We all have people whose work we admire. They do things that just blow our minds. And some of us brave souls even try to do these things, cause it looks cool and we are now inspired by their efforts! The thing we all seem to forget when we look at our efforts that didn’t turn out as we hoped, is that no one starts off as amazing. That thing you are admiring is the end result of hours and hours of effort, and learning, and loving it while you hate it. The “ah ha!”s and “Well darns.”. I once heard said that “The master has failed more times than the novice has even tried”. And it is so true. We all have to start some place.
The real trick to it all is to find something you enjoy, that you love, and do that. I craft because making things just does it for me. It makes me happy. Even the times I am pulling my hair out cause I can’t figure out how to make an idea work, or don’t quite understand what the pattern is trying to get me to do, makes me happy. Mistakes are moments to learn. Even if all I am relearning is just to be more careful about counting stitches.
I encourage you to find that thing, whatever it is, that you enjoy and makes you happy. Don’t worry about how your efforts measure up to anyone else’s. This isn’t a competition; this is finding your bliss.

Super Mom Vs The Mountain

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As I go about my daily house work and trying to once again put a dent in my to-do list I find myself getting frustrated at the never ending seeming nature of what I have to get done. I often think to myself that I always “have a mountain of things ahead of me to get done.”. It can be over whelming, and frustrating and yes, even kind of depressing at times.

And none of us started with a Mountain, or the desire to have one, they just kind of grow up around us, one task at a time. The kids get older, and messier, and just them being in school adds to your to-do list, plus if they are into any extra things, like a sport, or dance, or an art, or music, or clubs, or whatever makes them happy. And then there are the things you yourself are into, hobbies, clubs, possible social and or religious commitments, if you work. There is always something that demands your time and attention on top of keeping up the house and cooking and caring for kids. Then there has to slow down because you or someone in your home becomes sick, and you have to take care of that. That Mountain is Always going to be there.

Today it hit me; it’s ok if it’s always there. Because it will be. The trick is to change the landscape of it. Today’s Mountain may look like “Do 4 loads laundry, dust, pick kids up from their friends’ house, make dinner, go to PTA meeting”, tomorrow’s may look like “Go grocery shopping, sort out toy bins, take car for oil change, meet friend for coffee, change bedding in my room.” Both days have lists of things that need to be done on top of the normal cooking, cleaning, helping with home work, dealing with kids routine that fill every Mom’s day. The important part is the Mountain was different, the landscape changed.

We are busy creatures by nature; there is always that one more thing that needs to be done. The three greatest things we can do for ourselves when facing our Mountains is One, note the change in the “landscape”, that is progress; you are winning the unending battle Mom! Two, let yourself enjoy the victory of making that progress. As my one friend puts it “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself. IE ‘I should have done this, or I should have done that.” Three, forgive yourself for anything that was more then you could have got done. Ok, so you only got 3 out of 5 things done, chances are it’s because one or more of those three things became allot more complicated than planned on. That’s part of life, and normally beyond our control. It’s ok. It will likely still be there tomorrow and you can adjust what you need to do then to deal with it. You are Super Mom, not the Perfect Mom! Just keep going. That’s what you do.

Blogging 101 First Task: The intro

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Hello all. I would like to take a moment of your reading time and introduce myself and my blog. I am a wife, a mother of 4, a self proclaimed craft-a-holic, a geek gamer chic and a would be author. This blog is about my journey, and about sharing those little flashes of insight that I think just might help someone else out. It’s also a place where from time to time I will post details about my crafting business, that is only slightly further along then my blog is right now. I decided 2015 is gonna be the year I really put my thoughts, and efforts out there.

Happy New Years from The Studio!

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Happy New Year from The Studio!! It has been a big week for me! There is the obvious changing of the calendar, I started my new blog, and as always I have been working on projects and trying to get things made.
I finished a hat for GameFox, and now the Fisherman wants a special order one. I am custom creating most of the pattern as I go which is always an adventure. I am also about to order some new chainmail rings. The pliers are calling to me and slave to my hobbies that I am, I will be heeding that call. Next week I will be starting a blog 101 class, really looking forward to that. I am also gonna try and get Fisherman’s hat done, and the sewing project I have finished up.

As I sit at my desk my thoughts turn to the big yearly question. What is my New Year resolution? This is something I have kicked around for the last week or so and the answer is simple; I am going to learn to knit….at some point this year.
I have decided that setting some huge lofty goal that I have a whole year to manage is folly at best. Also, allot can happen in a year. I think a much better plan is to set smaller goals each month, something roughly bite sized instead of “Oh I am gonna get fit, and write that book I always wanted to do, and make a ton of stuff for friends, family and my etsy shop!” Why not, “OK, this month I am gonna work out a little on my days off, finish at least one chapter, and get these three projects done.”

Small goals are less daunting, and feel easier to reach. You also get the added bonus of if you do a little extra you can pat yourself on the back and say, “Hey look! I worked out on my days off and one other day in the week for 2 weeks, and I got my chapter finished and the next started! And look, 4 whole projects instead of 3!!” Look at you! You rock! And on the off chance you fall short, it’s ok, life happens. So you skipped a few days off, or didn’t write much, or the projects took longer than planned, so you missed that goal, its ok. Just adjust the next month’s goals. Maybe something big happened, maybe you took on too much. Just keep going.

So this month my goals will stay simple. I want to do my blog posts according to my current game plan, finish the projects on my desk, and at least 2 others. And of course keep up with all my other normal life stuff. What are yours?

Super Mom vs The Perfect Mom

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This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have been kicking it around for the last year and am now ready to share it with as many people as I can reach. This is part one of what I plan to make an on going series……

As the 2013 holiday season had reached its apex, and I rushed around trying to do way more than is good for me, I had an epiphany. I had set larger than normal goals for myself, including the obligatory “get the house clean”, and had felt I was doing rather well. Things were getting done! I felt like Super Mom! Then I turned around and saw the newest mess my kids had made. I became discouraged. I was never going to have everything done, my home would never be spotless. I would always fail at being The Perfect Mom and house wife. I sat down and went over the events of my day, where had I gone wrong? What more could I have done? Then it hit me. We have all made a grave mistake! Every time we hear Super Mom we think The Perfect Mom. I was making that mistake right at that moment!

The Perfect Mom is like the Holy Grail, we’ve all heard the stories of it, the glories and wonders of it, and many of us have almost killed ourselves trying to obtain that lofty title. She can throw a party on short notice that you would think she’d had weeks to plan. The parties she does have time to plan out make even Martha Stewart and the greatest of the Pinterest mavens jealous. She always looks her best. Her hair, make-up and nails are all done and lovely. Her kids are always clean and well behaved. Her house is always spotless. She has time for all her kids’ events and activities, the PTA, the gym and book club. She is always calm, composed and even smiling. But, like the Holy Grail, I don’t know of anyone who ever actually seen, much less become one of these great legendary beings.

Super Moms are something else though, something more real and easier to reach. Super Moms are more like Super Heroes. Right down to the traumatic life changing moment that’s in every good back story. You remember the moment, I bet you even remember the exact date, a few of us even remember the exact time! That moment you brought your baby into the world. The moment you became Mom.

Or, for some, you have chosen to adopt, foster, or become Sept-Mothers, taking in someone else’s little one and loving them as your own. That too is a Super Power. To treat someone else’ child as your own flesh and love them as much as any birth Mother. I applaud you. All children deserve love, and it takes someone special to do what you are doing.

Since then you have learned to do all manner of things that are beyond the reach of many. There is little you can’t do one handed, on almost no sleep, while someone repeatedly calls your name in the background. Is your house always spotless? Nope. You’re not Perfect, you are Super Mom. Most the Moms I know can clean the main parts of their house in the 30 minutes between when they get the call someone is on the way over and when they are at the front door.

You are the one that takes care of every other member of your household, no matter how sick you might be at the time. Meals get made, things get clean, projects get done, errands get run, and kids get cared for. No matter how little sleep you have, no matter how sick you are, no matter how bad Mother Nature kicks you once a month, you keep going. You move on, you get things done. If that isn’t Super, I don’t know what is.

It’s not always perfect, it’s not always when you want it done, and yes there are things that slip through the cracks. But you aren’t perfect, and that is ok. Why? Cause you are Super Mom. Its a title you have earned, you have cried, sweated and bled for it. Own it. Enjoy it!

Not only should we accept and enjoy this title ourselves, but we should encourage other Super Moms so see this in themselves and claim the title too. I have seen too many good Moms emotionally beat themselves up trying to fit into the image of The Perfect Mom. They do so good a job of it that they can’t see their true worth.

One of the greatest things that has happened in my maternal life (aside from the birth of my kids) is earlier that year I was invited to join a Moms Group. More amazing still is for the first time in my life I found a group of Moms I “fit in” with. We all have different walks of life, and styles of doing things, but the two things we all have in common is we all have kids, and we all encourage each other! We share our triumphs and our trip ups, and there is always someone there to say “Yay for you!” or “Sorry to hear it hon.”. Building each other up is one of the greatest things we can do for each other.

Welcome To The Studio

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I did it! I have started my blog!!! There is a bit of a learning curve here, as this is my first try at doing anything like this, so there will be many changes over the next while.

This is gonna be the home for updates on what I am working on, whats going on with my etsy shop, the random rants that hit me from time to time, whats going on in my life, and become home to the SuperMom vs The Perfect Mom project. I’m sure there will be more to it as I go, but this is the current plan.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Cant wait to see what the New Year brings.