Transformative Letting Go Ritual

[Note: The text below is a loose transcript of the video.]

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Today I wanted to share a ritual for LETTING GO. You may have some unwanted thoughts or feelings. This ritual will meaningfully and intentionally allow you to let those go.

When I say RITUAL, I just mean doing something meaningful and intentional.

A quote from Francis Weller says,

“Rituals are intended to take us into those places where we can engage with the difficulties in our lives in ways that are potentially transformative . . . into territories of fresh living.”

Before I share my Letting Go Ritual, I invite you to make up your own ritual. You can take pieces of this ritual and transform it into your own, or you could come up with something altogether different that’s meaningful to you.

Step 1 (A):

My first step for basically anything in my life is to write it out. When I wake up in the morning, I journal. When I have to make a decision, I journal. When I’m feeling stuck or unhappy, I journal.

I think journaling is an important part of this process so you can get all your thoughts and feelings down about what you want to let go. You could skip this step, but I think you’d really miss out on really processing your feelings completely.

In fact, it’s so important that I think just simply writing down all your feelings on paper could be enough of a ritual itself!

First, I wrote, “Things I want to let go of.”

Then I wrote the first thing that came to mind.

I described it and why I wanted to let go of it. I also wrote how it will be a change for the better if I do let go of it. (Basically how my life will change once I let go of it.)

Then I wrote a few action steps I could take to help myself let go of that particular thing.

This process took a bit of time for me, but it was also very freeing and rewarding and I also had several ideas of how to move forward.

Step 1 (B):

Then I went through my journaling with a highlighter and circled the things I truly want to let go of.

For example, I wrote about overspending to give myself a pick-me-up when I’m feeling lonely or depressed. In that section of journaling I also mention self-sabotage, so I also circled that as something I most definitely want to let go of.

In my Free Inspired Mini Course, we create an art journal page with the prompt Letting Go. I think that the process I share in the mini course is also a great ritual to let go. You can sign up for the mini course for free below.

Once you have journaled it all out, come up with words or symbols that hold meaning for what you want to let go of.

Step 2:

Gather some natural materials. I prefer using leaves. If it’s fall, depending where you are, you’ll probably find a lot of leaves around. Right now it’s winter here and I had some leaves just show up on my porch a couple of days ago when I started thinking about this ritual.

In the spring or summer you could also use leaves.

You could just as effectively use stones, twigs or other natural materials you find laying around.

Step 3:

Write the words or symbols from step 1 on your natural materials.

Step 4:

Now go out into nature. I released my leaves into a creek. However, if that’s not an option for you, you could bury the natural materials instead.

Take a deep breath, read your words/symbols on your natural materials and release them one by one into the creek while concentrating on letting go of whatever they symbolize.

If you’re using dried leaves, you could even crumble them up as you release them.

I love the idea that the water is taking it away.

Conclusion:

That’s the end of the ritual. If you feel like you need to take some time to journal some more afterward.

Get my FREE 5 part Inspired Mini Course. In it, you’ll get a creativity boosting activity, an art journal prompt and make an art journal page, learn how to pull inspiration from the art journal page to create jewelry sketches and get a full jewelry tutorial. Sign up below.

Inspired Mini Course

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Free Inspired Mini Course – Introduction & Part 1

Sometimes you don’t feel 100% creative and you need a little boost.  You might be in the middle of a creative block and need a little inspiration to get your creative motivation back.

Today I’m sharing Part 1 of a new free mini eCourse to help inspire you and get you started toward creativity again.

[Below is basically a transcript of the video.]

This free mini course is in 5 parts:

  • Part 1 is a creative activity to inspire you and boost your creativity.
  • Part 2 is creating an art journal page.  Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before, I’ll suggest ideas for your art journal – even if you don’t feel like an artist.  Even though I’ll be sharing my pages, your art journal is just for you and you don’t have to share your pages with anyone.
  • In Part 3 we’ll pull out themes and ideas from your art journal page.
  • In Part 4 we’ll sketch our jewelry ideas.  Don’t worry if you don’t think you can sketch or draw.
  • Part 5 is a jewelry tutorial.  In this mini course I hope that you’ll be inspired to come up with your own unique ideas with your own personal style.  If you do, I hope you’ll make your own piece.  However, if you’re not sure, I have a fun, customizable jewelry tutorial for you using materials you likely already have on hand.

As I said, I’ll share Part 1 here today.  To get the remaining lessons, Parts 2-5, just sign up below and I’ll send you the link to enroll in the mini course for free!

This mini course will give you a taste of my full eCourse, Inspired eCourse.  Inspired eCourse is a creativity/art journal/jewelry making course.  If you like this mini course, you’ll love Inspired eCourse.  You can check out the full Inspired eCourse here: Inspired eCourse.

Now, let’s get started.

Part 1:  Creativity Booster:  Clean Your Workspace

Part 1 is a creativity boosting exercise.  The exercise is clean your workspace.

By workspace I mean anywhere you work, whether you have a full studio, a drawer stashed with beads or anything in between.

I think the main reasons this works are:

#1  You will get your mind off of creativity.  This will actually help you come up with ideas.  My very best ideas happen when I’m doing something else.  Have you ever noticed you get ideas in the shower or when you’re doing mindless chores around the house?

#2  You will actually see and touch your supplies.  You might find things you forgot about or lost and get ideas of what to do with those supplies.

#3  Have a clean space makes you want to dive back into a project.

Sometimes it’s our tendency to want to “come up with ideas” or really push ourselves when we have creative blocks.  Instead I find it helpful to do something — almost anything — else.

For instance, cleaning your workspace, taking a shower, cleaning your house, doing the dishes, basically doing something that takes your mind off creativity, but something you don’t have to think about too hard.  Maybe reading a fun novel or magazine would work for you.

Do you remember that feeling when you’re in the bead store or online shopping and you find a great bead, clasp, etc. that you can’t wait to use?

Sometimes you don’t use it right away.  Then life calls and you’ve moved on.  The beads get stashed on your worktable or in a box or wherever and you forget about them.

This happens to everyone.

Sometimes you have a few beautiful leftover beads from a project that have been tossed aside or forgotten.

When you organize your supplies, you will see them again.  It’s like when you got them the first time!  Now you’re excited to use them again.

I find this to be the case even with leftover beads from other projects.  I’ll be like, “Yay!  I still have a few of these beads!”  And start coming up with an idea.

What you can do right now:

Even if you have very little time to do a whole big reorganization, you can set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and see how far you get.

Try:

  • Putting away beads leftover from a project.
  • Organizing your tools.
  • Just picking out the scrap wire to recycle.
  • Just picking out any trash that accumulated.
  • Separating your mess into piles of like items (i.e. a pile of wire, a pile of beads, a pile of tools, a pile of findings)
  • Make a list of things you need to get at the store to complete your organization (i.e. bins, bead containers, etc.)

As you can see, even if you don’t have hours to devote, you can just set a timer for 5 minutes and take one step.  Even just 5 minutes can really get your creativity percolating. 

Also, you may find things you want to let go of.  You can donate this items to a charity thrift store or someone who would love them.

I go through and purge my supplies every so often and I love the feeling of knowing I love everything I have left.

So dive in and clean up your workspace.  When you find some beads that you’re really inspired by as you go along, go ahead and put them to the side for a jewelry project.  I like to collect beads I want to use next in a pretty bowl or on a tray.

To continue with the FREE Inspired Mini Course, sign up below. You’ll receive an email immediately with access to enroll for free to get the remaining lessons. Plus you’ll get some extra emails with helpful inspiration to guide you on your journey.

Get access to the Free Inspired Mini Course by signing up:

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Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace

I am fascinated by these beautiful baule bead pendants.  Historically, they were used to measure gold on the Ivory Coast.  I’ve used it to make a beautiful statement necklace.

You can find a variety of these baule bead pendants for sale at The Bead Chest, as well as some smaller ones if you prefer.

In fact, I found all the beads for this project on www.thebeadchest.com.

Video Tutorial:

(Step-by-step photo instructions are below, including links to the exact materials I used to make the necklace.)

Running time:  20:26

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace

Materials and Tools:

Step #1

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

The first thing we’ll do is make the pendant.  I’m using the baule bead pendant plus one of the java beads on the bottom.

Cut a piece of 18 gauge wire a few inches longer than the pendant and bead on each side.

Step #2

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Approximately 1 1/2 inches from one end, bend the wire.

Pinch down the end.  (Hint:  Use a crimp tool to do this if you have one to make it a little easier.  If not, use your chain nose pliers.)

Step #3

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Leave a bit at the end and bend the shorter wire up.

Then wrap the wire around the end creating a “knot.”  You’re not actually making a knot.  Just wrap the wire around to give it the look of a knot.  I like to make the wraps messy, but you could make them neat if you prefer.

Step #4

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Pull the wire through the beads.

Step #5

Hold the wire about 1/4 inch above the baule bead in round nose pliers.  Wrap the wire around to form a loop.

Note:  I found it easier to rest the bead on my worktable because of the weight of the bead.

Step #6

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Hold the loop you just made in chain nose pliers.  Wrap around once while straightening out the bead so the loop is centered above the bead.

Then wrap around 2 more times.

Trim off the excess wire making a flush cut and make sure the end is not poking out.

Now you have a pendant to use in your necklace.

Step #7

Cut about 4 times the amount of cord that you want your finished necklace to be.  For example, if you would like a 20 inch necklace, cut about 80 inches.  I cut some extra as well.

I used the brown cord.

Step #8

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Place the pendant on the cord and find the middle of the cord.  We’ll work from the middle out.

Slide a bead onto the cord.

Step #9

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Make an overhand knot, but don’t pull it tightly yet.

In this case, I decided to use triple knots in between the beads.  To do so, pull the cord back through 2 more times before pulling it tightly.

In the video I mentioned that I started making quadruple knots.  As you make each knot, check to see if the bead slides over the knot.  I also just made a second overhead knot over top of the first knot to add a little more bulk before I started making the quadruple knots.  You have to make sure that you pull the second knot on top of the first knot because otherwise it will just be next to the first knot and not helpful.  (See the video if this seems confusing.)

Step #10

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Put the awl in the middle of the knot and pull the knot.  Then use the awl to pull the knot flush with the bead.

Pull the knot tightly as you’re removing the awl while also using your fingernail to pull the knot tightly.

For the first knot it’s a little easier because you can just adjust the bead and pendant to the knot, but after that you’ll have to be sure to get the knot tightly against the bead.

Step #11

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Continue adding beads and knots working from the middle out until your necklace is the desired length.

Step #12

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Trim the ends of the cord so they’re even, leaving enough room to make a bow and tie the necklace.

I prefer this necklace simply tied, but if you prefer you can use fold over crimp ends and a clasp to end your necklace.

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace Tutorial

Baule Bead Pendant Necklace

This post was sponsored by The Bead Chest.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

I’ve been using my Mini Binder Art Journal for a couple of weeks now, and I have an update for you today.

I’m loving the freedom of this art journal and it’s really inspiring my creativity.  I love that I can add in little things that just delight me like postcards or Project Life cards that I love anywhere I like.

I shared my intentions and an introduction into my Mini Binder Art Journal here.

Update 1 is here.

Here’s a video flip through of this update:

(if you prefer to just look at the photos of my pages, see below)

Photos and descriptions of the pages: 

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Postcard with quote written on the back.  “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”  ~Henri Matisse

Next page is a reminder of this quote in my own words.

  • Background is watercolor.
  • I drew the flowers.
  • I used chalk markers to color in the flowers.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

On this page I drew pictures of the creatures we saw during a hike at the Swatara State Park.  No, I can’t draw, but I wanted to remember this day anyway, so I just went for it.  (And who knows?  With practice I could get better!)

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

5 Good Things from this day.  I saw someone on Instagram had this prompt in their art journal and I decided to give it a try.

I taped strips of masking tape and then used watercolors to pain the stripes.  After the paint dried I pulled the tape off and wrote the list.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

I love great blue herons, so I decided to look up some information about them and put it in my art journal.

The background is watercolor.  I took the photo.  On the back I wrote my own reflections about great blue herons.  (See next photo.)

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Right side:  very minimalist art journal page.  Background is kraft paper.  I used a Project Life card and then a printed out quote.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

The next few pages are dedicated to one fun day I had with my husband.

This page is a drawing of our day and what we did.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Left side is a collection of receipts from the day.  Right side is a few feathers I collected at the lake we visited.  Background is watercolor.

I love using everyday ephemera and collecting little memorabilia I can use in my art journal.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

This page was something else I saw on Instagram.  What’s working and what’s not working.  Background is watercolor.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

This page contains tags and a receipt from a shopping trip to Community Aid, a thrift store and charity.  I love how the different colors work together.  Background is acrylic paint.  I had painted the page and didn’t like it, but I like it with the ephemera on top.

Mini Binder Art Journal Update 2

Background is watercolor.  Then I added feathers I picked up during a walk around my town one day.


Follow along with my posts of my art journal pages on my Instagram page:  @KimberlieKohler  I try to post daily, but sometimes I’m not quite as consistent.

 

 

Wire Wrapped Loop Chain & Bead Bracelet Tutorial [Video]

Wire Wrapped loop Chain & Bead Bracelet Tutorial

I love the wire wrapped loop chain.  I think it looks so dainty and pretty with a little touch of edginess.  It’s sturdy for all of your chain needs.

So today I have another variation, the Wire Wrapped Loop Chain and Bead Bracelet.  We’ll interconnect wire wrapped bead links with the links from the chain and make a lovely bracelet.

Wire Wrapped Loop Chain & Bead Bracelet Tutorial

I like wearing my bracelets stacked, a bunch of favorites on my wrist.  Today’s bracelet and last week’s wire wrapped chain loop bracelet go together really well.  You can find all kinds of bracelet tutorials here on my blog for inspiration.

Wire Wrapped Loop Chain & Bead Bracelet Tutorial

Here’s today’s video tutorial:


I hope you found it inspiring!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

If you love working with wire and want a comprehensive course with wire findings and components + recipes for jewelry pieces that you can put together in endless ways, you would love Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse!

Check it out here:  Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse

Wire Wrapping for Beginners