12/31/2020

Creativity in Covid times

First I called this topic suggestion for the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival a personal one and then I forgot about it completely. Mind you, that was on November 1, and on the next day something happened that managed to make this year even worse than it had been the months before.
It's hard for me to be clinical about this year. When hearing 2020, all I want to do is swear in the worst words I know, but I have never done that on my blog and won't start it now. I also won't tell you everything that happened because most of it is very personal, and not all of it has to do with Covid.
Covid, however, has been hanging above me like Damocles' Sword, waiting to make everything more difficult, more scary, more uncertain.

Being immunocompromised, I have rarely left the house since March. I am lucky, I have wonderful people running important chores for me and bringing me groceries (which makes me feel grateful, but also guilty sometimes), and I had turned into a homebody in the last few years, anyway.
Working in home office suited me very well, too. Not having to commute saved me a lot of time.
Sounds perfect, doesn't it?
Even a homebody like me can become restless eventually, though, or feel trapped. I didn't embrace the same things as others. I don't cook or bake much, and Covid wouldn't make me change that. I don't follow video workouts. I don't like video chats. I did talk a lot on the phone, however, in fact I don't think I have ever been on the phone so much before, not even as a teenager. A lot of it had to do with the private matters I mentioned, though.

So I had time for being creative like crazy, right? Theoretically yes, but it didn't work out that way.
One side effect of Covid were shipping restrictions to other countries. My business which is mostly aimed overseas was practically non-existent this year, and once restrictions were lifted, shipping overseas was so delayed not just across the ocean, but also within the destination countries that I didn't feel like taking chances.
I'm not complaining about my business per se as it's not that big, and I have an income from my part-time job. I'm so sorry for those people who are not as lucky.
I'm just mentioning it because not being able to sell influenced my creativity more than I would have expected.
My motivation was at a low and so was my creativity at first. It simply didn't make any sense to me to create something under these circumstances, it felt as if that part of my brain also had gone into lockdown. Of course I had had creative blocks before, but this was worse. I questioned everything and I'm pretty sure I got on quite a few nerves with my whining about it.

Looking back, however, I noticed that I got a few things done after all although not many of them were jewelry.
I finally started trying out a new technique, bead embroidery. I made some jewelry first, and then bead embroidery took me on a new journey, big projects like The Box, The Tiara/Headband, and finally The Sneakers. Yes, in capital letters because these felt BIG.
I also beaded two more doll outfits, and lately I have been working on another pair of sneakers.
It's actually a little surprising to me that I managed to pull all of these through. On the other hand I ignored my wire almost completely and jewelry was suddenly on the backburner.
These are a few of the things I made.

Don't ask me what that means because I don't know.
Will things become normal again eventually? Will my creativity change back, completely, in parts or not at all?
Has my interest shifted from making jewelry to making, well, whatever? What does that mean for my business? I have never sold any of my bigger non-jewelry projects because there was so much of my time and heart in them that I didn't manage to part with them, not even mentioning that I don't intend to underprice myself, but also don't believe in people wanting to pay the prices I would have to ask.
The conclusion is that I don't have the slightest idea at the moment, and you are probably already tired of my rambling, anyway ;-)

For now I'll just be waiting for what's going to happen next. Will the situation improve with the vaccines, if so, when? When will I have to leave home office and commute again? What else will the new year bring me?
Interesting times ...

What are other JAC members' experiences? Check it out here.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
My Bijou Life

12/25/2020

The HeatherCat shoes - Part 3, The CATerpillar

For those who missed the first two parts - which you can find here and here - and those who don't know the HeatherCats yet, here's a little explanation.
"Heather is a friend of mine, a painter from New Zealand. I met her on deviantART and got to know the Essencestudios. I couldn't even tell you in what group it was, but among her talents Heather has a talent for bright, whimsical paintings, many of which are cats, so how could I not be fascinated the moment I saw the first one?" This is from the first blog post I wrote about the HeatherCats and in which you will find the whole story how it started.

As you know if you follow this blog, I had taken a break after the first shoe was finished. I often have to do that after a big project to regather motivation and to give my hands some rest, so I did my bauble project instead. I also sneaked in the wire fairy mouse which was nice as this year has been very much about beads and a bead embroidered snowman ornament for a gift.
On the 11th I officially announced the start on the first side of the second shoe, though, and I finished it last night around 2 am. Two weeks, that's not too bad. Now, however, my hands definitely need a bit of rest, my left wrist is hurting, and I decided I really have to look for a thimble for my right hand. The last small section of the shoe tested my patience and my fingers big time!

For the motif I had chosen one of my absolute favorites of Heather's cats. The original gouache is on my wall looking down on me. It's the CATerpillar. I have never asked Heather where she got the idea for this one, I'll just imagine New Zealand has brightly colored caterpillars with little cat heads ;-)

One of the difficulties was to fit him onto the shoe without the holes cutting into him. I'm actually quite proud of myself for fitting the head and antennae so neatly between those holes.
I'll let the picture speak for itself and hope you are going to stay around for side #4. The pattern is chosen, but not transferred to the shoe yet, also one important bead color is on backorder, so my hands will get their little break ... if I can't think of anything else to do, that is ...

12/24/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The twenty-fourth door

My advent calendar is coming to an end, I hope you liked my little collection of Christmas baubles.
If you celebrate it, I wish you a Merry Christmas despite it probably being quite different for some of us this year due to the circumstances. Hang in there even if it's not easy!

12/20/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The twentieth door


Somehow this one reminds me of a Christmas sweater, probably because of the pattern in the top ...

12/19/2020

12/17/2020

Christmaus Bauble Advent Calendar - The seventeenth door

This one reminded me of something, but now I can't remember what ...

12/16/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The sixteenth door

To me this is a very classic combination, can't go wrong with silver and gold ...

12/14/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The fourteenth door

More red netting, this time not with gold, but pearls and crystals ...

12/13/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The thirteenth door

The modern look with clear lines (one of my personal favorites) ...

12/10/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The tenth door

 
Another "soccer ball" without bugles, but sparkly crystals ...

12/09/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The ninth door


Am I the only one who is vaguely reminded of a soccer ball? ;-)



12/08/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The eighth door


I have used only bronze baubles for the whole collection, so there will be a connection between them, no matter which color or stitch the covers are done in.
Some colors complement that of the bauble, some enhance the contrast, like in this case.

12/07/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The seventh door

Ice and snow with specks of gold and silver...

12/06/2020

Christmas Bauble Advent Calendar - The sixth door


Today is "Nikolaus Day" here in Germany, but I choose the baubles randomly, what a coincidence that this one has the right colors!