Saturday, July 18, 2009


One constant in my life is that I like to learn new things. I often forget how much I do, until I find myself in conversation with someone. My friend Carole is in town from Texas, and I mentioned some of the many jewelry classes I've taken over the last year. They add up! I've learned about etching metals, adding color to copper (with colored pencils), how to use a rolling mill, and more.

When I consider the time I spend reading blogs, magazines, books and tutorials, I'd say it adds up to about two hours a day. That's a lot of continuing education! So finally, I've scheduled some workshops where I am the teacher. Here are the descriptions:

From beginning to the end
You’ve got fantastic beads for a necklace or bracelet. Now what? Learn about knotting, crimping and clasps so your hand-made jewelry has that professional finished look.

Get wired!
Creating your own chains, clasps and wrapped beads takes a few tools, some wire, and practice. Come learn the basics, and go home with a pair of earrings and clasps for your own bracelet or necklace. Also look at an assortment of books on wire work.
Carole gets to be my guinea pig on Monday so I can test out my exercises on her. I like teaching, but tend to discount it for myself, saying to myself "oh, people could easily learn this online, why should they take it with me?" Then I remember that workshops are about more than simply learning a technique or project -- they are also about making a sacred space in your life for the activity, about reinforcing the notion that you deserve this time to devote to your creativity. It tells your unconscious that you value the inspiration it provides and that you are open to receiving more. And remember in a previous post I talked about "thinking is not doing?" Hands-on classes are just that -- schooling your hands to actually DO the technique, not just think through it.

I think there is also something therapeutic about working with your hands and eyes and heart -- humm, gonna have to think about that some more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The stories we tell ourselves

Stories. I've thought a lot about how stories fit into our lives -- they really help define how we see ourselves. There are the overt stories, I live in Seattle, I like to read, etc., etc.. Then there are the covert stories -- the ones we tell ourselves surreptitiously.

The story plaguing me most these days is "the economy is terrible, I'll never find a job." Its cousin is "it takes so much work to look for a job." And the terrible siren song "I'd rather be creating."

While they're covert, they don't even really try to be invisible. When I ask myself what the current storyline is, my self answers pretty readily. We have a nice agreement, self and I. I promise to listen when self talks. I just need to remember to ask!

I do KNOW how to do the work to overcome these negative stories, it's a matter of making the process conscious. And not beating myself up over my perceived "lack" -- to be as compassionate with myself as I am with others.

And with the proper synchronicity, Havi Brooks deals with that very kind of topic today -- remembering to use the tools I have. Because stories are not concrete unchanging things. I can tell them differently. I can take that magic potion, or change the atmosphere or the energy. I am the one making the choices. I can choose to suffer or not.

Stay tuned for new episodes of the story.