Cowboy's Sweetheart Jewelry

The SHOCKING Truth About What Happened When I Tried To Make Thirty New Jewelry Designs In Thirty Days

Well, I didn’t quite complete 30 in 30, but I got close with 25. November is already a busy month. Adding that design challenge to the mix was not the best timing. Now, rest assured, I am aware that this challenge was not epic. I did not change the world. I didn’t cure cancer. But I learned so much!

  1. For me, November had days that were full of productivity, perceptions, problems to solve, and new techniques. So often when we get into our routines, few experiences are new. We become experts in our fields where efficiency is key. Tasks become more mundane, less relevant, and not particularly memorable. It gives the impression of time slipping by in a blur. Doing anything new for thirty days breaks the pattern and monotony of daily tasks and replaces them with new activities and perceptions, which has the effect of slowing. down. time. I can recall the perception of time moving at a more leisurely pace during childhood, leaving lasting impressions on my memories. Introducing novelty into our days when and where we can makes the memories stand out and has the effect of stretching time. For someone who likes to savor life, I found this to be a valuable lesson to learn.
  1. I wasn’t sure I’d share it on social media because, I doubted people would be interested. It turns out they were! I’m glad I shared my plans and progress because it helped me stick to it. Not that it was a burden, I wanted to. I saw it as my own personal challenge for enrichment, though, and nothing anyone else would care about. Other people’s interest and encouragement helped to confirm it was worth my while. Despite one’s good intentions, it’s hard to be disciplined. Having an interested audience helped me to stay focused, so thank you! But more than that, choosing to show up authentically with imperfect and incomplete designs daily can be so much more meaningful than trying to present myself as an expert. It’s all work-in-progress and I didn’t care if the day’s design idea resulted in a “keeper.”
  1. Quality work really does take time. Rushing to meet a fabricated deadline resulted in mistakes, wasted material, and one very badly-hammered fingernail. Ow. So, CHEERS to the slow craft movement! I had taken for granted how the work I do is sensory, meditative, deliberate, and detail oriented. The quality of our attention determines what we create. Time in my studio feels like a radical departure from our hurried, mass-produced world. Rushing took some of the love out of the process. 
  1. I’m curious. Like a cat. Just call me ‘Whiskers.’ Being mostly self-taught, I often ask myself, what will happen if I try fill-in-the-blank? It was very satisfying to continue to explore different directions and experiment with new techniques. When “teaching” myself, the learning curve is much, much longer compared to someone showing me how to do something. But the intimacy or familiarity of the materials is much greater. I have a greater sense for the hardness of metals, fragility of stones, melting points, how to achieve certain textures, etc… It feels more like discovery rather than acquiring knowledge. Fun fact: self-learning or self-teaching is also known as ‘autodidacticism’ (or autodidactism) and individuals who pursue self-education are known as ‘autodidacts.’ Or ‘Whiskers.’
  1. While I didn’t reach my goal, it wasn’t a complete fail. It was a fun attempt until it became time to actually CLEAN the studio, which is currently a massive, category 5, disaster zone. However, I now have some fresh, new designs to further develop in the coming year. There are always certain aspects of any job that are outside of our control, so whatever can be done to keep the work fresh and enjoyable will probably enhance productivity.

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