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Too Much

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just wanted to blog about something that's been bouncing around my head lately. It relates to something I've talked about here before - not having enough time in the day.
Right now, I find myself trying to accomplish three very different, but very important, things:

1. Increase my health & fitness (with, one hopes, a significant weight loss, as well)
2. Start a small, internet-based jewelry business,
3. Find a full-time position to keep me from going insane when I'm not doing either of those two other things.

Each of these is a free-time sucking black-hole.
I enjoy two of them. The other... well, not so much, but one hopes that the end product will be a good thing. And it's going to become a more urgent thing come spring, when my job moves and my commute doubles.
I have a limited amount of "free" time in an evening (as do we all). I get home around 5, if (and that's a mighty big "if") I don't have errands to run. Errands can keep me from getting home until anywhere between 5:30 and 9pm, so let's leave those out for the time being. So! Seeing as how the Body Cop would like me to get in bed no later than 10pm, and preferably 9:45, we're looking at approximately 4 hours of "free" time. Suck out an hour for food prep and eating, and we've got 3 hours.
It sounds like a lot.
It isn't.
Especially if I'm going to be trying for a fitness regimen where I get at least some cardio in every single day, preferably with some strength training on 2 - 3 days.
I really, really, REALLY want this jewelry thing to happen, but I don't know how to find the time. If I was just making the three-stone wire-wrapped ring, then yes, I could make 4 of them/hour (unless I'm having a stupid-finger night, which does happen from time to time. Sometimes, the wire just does not do what I want it to). But there are plenty of other people on etsy selling the exact same ring, and nicer ones; I'm not going to get very far if I'm depending on the three-stone ring.
Everything else takes TIME. Also, money. But for the moment, the issue is time.
I'll be getting the titanium studs that we ordered from Rings & Things this weekend; that means that shortly, I'll be in a position to make 144 studs very quickly. But I'm not supposed to just be selling studs; I'm supposed to be selling stuff that hangs from and looks funky-cool WITH the studs. And I haven't gotten very far on that front. That not only requires time, it requires inspiration.

I'm not really expecting anyone to come up with a solution, here (though suggestions are always welcome); I'm just looking to get my thoughts out.

I know that, in theory, the improved fitness will come with improved energy; maybe that'll help with getting more jewelry done when I actually sit down to make it. And I'm looking forward to my CopprClay class later this month; new toys are always fun, and will add to my arsenal of semi-unique stuff. In theory. But the stuff that's in my head, begging to get out, is the epoxy clay stuff.
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed making this:

And I didn't even use great materials. I can do so much better; I've barely scratched the surface of what I can do with this. The idea of making stuff with the CopprClay and then adding this to it... *swoon!*
But the stuff in my head... it never seems to pan out, when I actually try to MAKE it.
...It's a learning experience. This is still a comparatively new toy, for me, and I don't know all the ins and outs yet. But I want to make the stuff that's in my head NOW.
With time I don't have.
And materials I can't afford.
To sell in my currently empty shop, and advertise with business cards I don't have, because I can't afford them, either. *sigh*
Work in progress. Work in progress. Just have to keep telling myself that.
OK. Sorry. Just needed to vent. Going to go and try to use my 3 hours as best I can, tonight.
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  • JKM822
    That’s definitely a good sign. Like I said, my strung necklaces have all bitten the dust. The few wirework ones I’ve done took more patience than I usually have to work with; so many repetitive little links! And since I usually use 22ga wire, not very sturdy; they pull out of shape too easily. Earrings and rings are my favorite.
    And as for classes… I’ve been to a grand total of 2. The one where the girl taught me, 1 on 1, how to use a WigJig, and the one where I learned about the wonders of Crystal Clay. And that was less of a class, more of an ooh, look what you can DO with this stuff. The class on the 23rd, for CopprClay, is the first formal class I’ve ever planned to attend. And if you can do crimping, you’re in better shape than me! I bought crimping pliers years ago, but just bought my first crimp beads a couple of months ago, and STILL have yet to actually use any. I do have some nifty ideas in mind for them, though….
    If you go to a bead store regularly, chances are they have classes. Michael’s does, too. Most of them aren’t very expensive. If you’re interested in learning more, all you have to do is look.
    Ooh! Are they? No. Stop. Can’t shop at Michael’s this week. Naughty bad. The middle of the month is a bad time for me – all the bills and rent are due. I don’t get to do much shopping in the middle of the month. It’s bad enough that I snapped earlier this morning and bought 40 red and 20 pink acrylic roses off of Etsy. ;-)
    I’ve never tried to make an icing rose; I find the idea terrifying. I haven’t even gotten the hang of using the star attachment. Cool, though – if you don’t think it’s cheating, and if it looks right, I’ll go with the acrylic. They’re so pretty, if you can get past the fact that they’re plastic. What I was thinking was an abstract rose design, which would basically be a stylized spiral, made out of tiny Swarovski rhinestones. I used to work primarily with gemstones (I have a decent sized stash of them), but at some point I became obsessed with Swarovski. The only gemstones that I still use with regularity are blue and brown goldstone, ‘cause… well, ‘cause they’re sparkly, malachite, because it’s gorgeous (and goes well with copper), and amethyst, because it’s always been my favorite.
    Experimentation with the crystals and clay could become a waste of materials. The problem with the clay is, you’ve only got about 1.5 hours of working time before it starts to get too hard to use. I was able to rescue some crystals from a disaster a couple of weeks ago, but it was a near thing. Placing the crystals on the clay is HARD; all I’ve got to work with is a toothpick with beeswax on the end, so it’s not like it’s a precision tool. So making a spiral may be beyond my current abilities. I’m fine with going with the acrylic, I think. Maybe I’ll save the spiral for another day.
    It’s funny… I don’t think of myself as creative at all. I’m similarly linear; you’ll notice that the bracelet, which is one of the only things I’ve done that I actually like, is completely symmetrical. And the reason I like it is because it’s completely symmetrical! Whether I want to or not, my brain just seems to work that way. My problems are as follows:
    1. When I try to deviate from the symmetrical, baaaaaaaad things happen. It just comes out looking AWFUL. Because even though I’m actively trying to be asymmetrical, the symmetry will sneak in, but in bad ways because I’ve already committed to being asymmetrical. It’s difficult to explain; I’ll have to take a picture of the ring I did a few months ago. *shudder* Waste of a good piece of dichroic glass. I will NOT take a picture of the bracelet I did 2 weeks ago, because it was an unmitigated disaster. My friend took pity on me and took it to give to her daughter for the price of what I’d have paid her for those titanium earstuds. Since it was covered in Swarovski, if it hadn’t looked like warmed over butt, I’d have been able to charge more for it.
    2. Just because I WANT things to come out symmetrical doesn’t mean they actually WILL. Which means I spend a lot of time driving myself bonkers.
    But lots of people like linear. Nothing wrong with it. Patterns are lovely. Work with what you’re good at. A whole heck of a lot of what I’ve done with wirework came from the patterns of others.
    Oh, and I've done lots of editing - it's one of my favorite things to do. But no one hires editors anymore; they all think spellcheck does the trick. *grumble* I've tried repeatedly to get a job at a textbook publisher down here, and they never even called back. Mostly I just proof papers for friends college work and other people's documents. I proofed one of the professors I worked for at RPI in Troy, NY's thesis, too. He put me in the acknowledgements. :-)
    2586 days ago
    Hi! Thanks for the compliment about my ankh necklace. It's been around a while now and I do still wear it, so I guess that's a good sign! It's just I've never taken any classes or anything so all my "technique" is sort of winging it and small uses (like, how to use a crimp bead) I must have picked up from my mom? I don't even remember.

    I was really hoping to get to Michael's this week because beads are 50% off. emoticon

    As for your rose -- I have to say I really don't know! I really like the acrylic one, and I certainly don't consider it cheating or anything. And for someone who never quite got how to make icing roses either, I'm not sure I could pull off a beaded one myself! So do you mean Swarovski-type crystals? I've never actually worked with them (I'm a gemstone lover) so again, not sure. If you experimented with it and didn't like it, would be a huge waste of materials? Maybe just try it and if you can't quite make it cooperate, you have the acrylic for backup, right?

    Whatever you choose, I am fairly certain it will be lovely. You're so creative! My insecurity about my beading is that I think very linearly and so I really struggle to imagine things beyond patterns.

    Anyway, as for English-major careers: you are a very good, clear writer. Have you ever done any editing (asks the copy editor)? emoticon

    2586 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/17/2012 3:28:37 PM
  • JKM822
    For the record, the Victorian-looking bracelet is another case of embellishment (my work on top of someone else’s metal), but I do feel comfortable displaying that one. OK, yes, the metal parts were NOT me, and they WERE pretty. They also came from Michael’s, so I’m not feeling too guilty, there. And the bezel broke off of the bracelet base within hours of the recipient (a 10-year old girl; the friend who commissioned it from me did so for her niece) putting it on. Which really made me angry! Made ME look bad! NOT cool.
    Like I said yesterday, SO looking forward to learning CopprClay. Because then I can do my work on top of MY metal. Cool, huh?
    I saw the one necklace you had a picture of – it was lovely, so don’t think of what you do as really basic. The only reason I don’t do that kind of beading is that I flat out don’t have the patience for it. Back when I first started, I did a few strung necklaces; they invariably snapped and I had beads all over heck & creation and it made me crazy. It kept me from doing much more than beads strung on headpins and eyepins and made into earrings, which is all I did for ages. Then I went to this bead store not far from where I’m sitting now (it’s long gone, unfortunately), where a girl taught me the wonders of the WigJig. I haven’t stopped beading for more than a few months at a shot ever since. As for time, money, and energy… yeah, right there with you. Sometimes (like today), I’ll spend the whole day with jewelry ideas battering at the inside of my skull, but by the time I get home, after work, and errands, and possibly spending some actual social time with other people, I just don’t have it in me to haul out all the materials I need, and do what I want to do. Worse yet, sometimes the ideas are just gone, though today I’ve done about three different post-its of random (poor) sketches of things I’m thinking about. Whether I’ll actually get around to making them happen… or whether they’ll come out looking ANYTHING like the things in my head… dunno.
    Seriously, I ask your opinion because I respect it – if I want to do something rose-like, do you think it’d be better to do some sort of abstract spiralish-thing out of crystals, or actually use one of the acrylic roses like I did in this bracelet? I’m making myself crazy with that question, at the moment.
    Anyway, I’m pretty sure that, at least for the time being, a career change isn’t in my cards. I’ve considered it in the past, but I don’t have any better ideas about what I should be doing, now, than I did when I got out of college with my ever-so-useful English degree.
    As for whether something will materialize… dunno that, either. I just have to keep doing what I can. Today, that’s jewelry. Tomorrow, and some of the next day, it’ll be jewelry and fitness. Sometime next week, after the meeting of the jewelry people when I hand off the set I’ll have (hopefully) worked on all weekend, it’ll maybe be back to the hunt for something I hate less. Here’s hoping, anyway.
    I still have a laundry list of excuses for being fat. I’m just ignoring them and working my butt off (literally!) anyway.

    2586 days ago
    I love it! emoticon

    That is really very cool -- I adore the Victorian sort of style. I'd buy it!

    Man, I have run this same hamster-wheel-athon about my own life about a million times. I also tool around with really basic jewelry (beading) and really want to try my hand at making soap and candles, but between lack of time (there really AREN'T enough hours in a day) and money and, often, energy, I just can't seem to put many of my ideas into motion. same with a job/career change! I'd like to make more money and be happier about what I do. Maybe that means a career change? Increase current skills? School! Oh wait ... and I hit the same snag.

    But I have to believe that it will all manifest in its right time and place. I used to have a laundry list of excuses for being fat too, but somehow I found my way out of those. (Now, I think money is a valid REASON, not an excuse, but I certainly can HOPE that the same pattern will eventually apply.) emoticon
    2587 days ago
    2587 days ago
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