Stacking Bracelets

Bracelet stacks

My love of jewelry making began with bracelets. 

When I was a kid I had this little purse/bag just filled with beads and I would make stretchy bracelets all the time.

To this day, bracelets are one of my favorite things to make.  You can really express yourself, but they don’t take as long as a necklace to make.

Lately the trend in jewelry is to wear layers:  a few necklaces layered, as many rings as you can get on your fingers and stacked bracelets.

Bracelet stacks

Recently I was wearing all of these bracelets together on one wrist at one time.

I have never been into “matchy-matchy” but I would rather have a collection of pieces that reflect my own personal taste.  (And if you are matchy-matchy, that’s perfectly A-OK, too!)

You can see the different bracelets:  different colors and textures.  And they’re made with different techniques as well.  Well, and one I didn’t make, but purchased at a used jewelry sale.

Bracelet stacks

You certainly don’t need to wear 7 bracelets.  You could wear just 2 or 3.  In fact, most often I wear 2 or I wear my watch with 1 or 2 bracelets, depending on my mood.

Once you have a collection of bracelets, you can really decide how you want to express yourself on any given day.

The 3 bracelets pictured above were all made with the same technique.  I show how to make them in ECT TV Episode 83.

I love have separate single bracelets as opposed to one multiple strand bracelet because then you can change your mind about what strands to wear together.

Bracelet stacks

Here is what these particular bracelets are:

Starting at the top with the tassel bracelet and working around to the right:

  • Chain tassel bracelet – I purchased it at a thrift store or used jewelry sale.
  • Yellow beaded bracelet using the technique from ECT TV Episode 83
  • Funky wire wrapped link bracelet – this is from Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse, my Brave Bracelet.  (I run Rediscover in sessions a couple of times a year.  Make sure you’re getting my emails to find out when it’s in session next.)
  • Blue beaded bracelet using the technique from ECT TV Episode 83
  • Knotted Link Bracelet – so much fun to make!  I have a workshop here that teaches you the technique.
  • Wire wrapped link bracelet – I just connected wire wrapped bead links to form a bracelet.  (I teach the technique here.)
  • Pink beaded bracelet – another bracelet that was made with the technique I teach in ECT TV Episode 83.

As you can see, simply using different beads with the same technique can really change up the look of a bracelet.

You can find all kinds of bracelet tutorials (both free and paid online workshops) by using the search bar and looking for bracelets here on my website.

Why Choose a Word of the Year? (Plus my Word of the Year)

Why Choose a Word of the Year

Why choose a Word of the Year?

Watch the video or read below:

Life moves so quickly, doesn’t it?  When you’re not paying attention an entire year flies by and it feels like you don’t know what you did or what you accomplished.

But when you do pay attention, you can embrace each day as a gift and live it fully . . . no matter what you’re doing any particular day.

I started choosing a word of a day several years ago to start living my life with intention.  The older I get the quicker days and years fly by.  When I was younger I felt like I had all the time in the world.  Now, I know that I don’t.

I often say that every single person dies.  No one is getting out alive.  It may sound morbid, but I use it as inspiration to live my life as fully as possible.  I know I have a finite amount of time on this planet, so I want to get as much out of it as I can.

Having said that, we only do have so much time each day.  We still have responsibilities and commitments, but we can face those commitments with wholehearted intention.

When you choose a word for your year, you’re choosing an intention of how you want to live your life.

Last year my word was “wholehearted.”  I wanted everything I did to be wholehearted.  I wanted to either fully commit or not commit to each action I did.

It was helpful because even for the things I don’t necessarily love to do (cleaning, for example) I chose to do wholeheartedly.  I found a way to feel fully committed and intentional about the task I was doing at the moment.

For example, I don’t love to clean, but I love to have a clean house.  I can feel wholehearted about cleaning because of the outcome of the action.

My word this year

I struggled choosing one word this year.  I have several words that are my core desired feelings and I had a difficult time choosing between them.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that they could all fall under one category and that was Love.

My Word of the Year is . . .

Love can be an unclear word, but I have defined it for myself.  And I suggest when you choose your word you use whatever definition works for you.  What does your word mean to you?

For me love is:

  • An extreme kindness that I can show to myself, my family, my friends and every other human being.
  • Giving my time, money, and energy to organizations who need it.
  • Sharing my gifts so that others can discover and share their gifts as well.
  • The opposite of hate.
  • The opposite of fear.

When I think about how love will be a part of my year, I will think, “How can I find love here?” In any location and in any circumstance.

What is your word for the year?

I would love to hear it!  Pop it into the comments below.  You can add a little about what it means to you or just keep that to yourself.

If you’re not sure yet, I have some exercises and worksheets in the Word of the Year Talisman Workshop that you can work through so you can figure it out!

Plus you’ll get ideas for how to bring that word into your everyday life.  I’ll walk you through a vision board and you’ll make a piece of jewelry to use as a Word of the Year Talisman to remind you of your word all year long.

Get it all right here:

Word of the Year Talisman Workshop

ECT TV Episode 79: Planning Your Creative Projects for the New Year

Welcome to a new episode of ECT TV!

In Emerging Creatively Tutorials I show you jewelry making techniques and give you creativity tips.

Happy New Year!

I hope you’re off to a great start to the New Year!  Whether this is the first episode you’re watching or you’ve been watching from the beginning, I want to say thank you for all your support!

Today I’ll give you a step-by-step process to plan your creative projects for the year that will help you sort out from the many possibilities, schedule it in and then finally I’ll give you a bonus tip that will make you super effective during your creative time.

Watch the video:

Prefer to read?  Here’s the information from the video:

As I start a new year I love planning and thinking about how I want to feel and I love setting goals.  As part of that, I think about what creative projects I’m planning for the year.

Going back, the last few months of 2016 I got very overwhelmed with the amount of things I wanted to do.  I had a lot of trouble making decisions and so I ended up not making any decisions and, thus, I didn’t really work on many creative projects.

This year I decided to take the decision making out of the picture altogether.  I made a plan and a schedule. I don’t have to make any decisions because they have already been made.

I started this process a few weeks ago and the results have been amazing.  I’m going to walk you through all the steps.  Once you go through these steps it’s a lot easier to get to the fun creating part!

Step #1

What do you want to work on this year?

Make a whole big list and don’t edit it yet.  Just let yourself brainstorm everything.

This can, of course, also include projects that you’d like to complete from last year that you’re still working on plus anything new you’d like to do or to learn.

Step #2

How much time do you have to devote to your creative activities?

When can you schedule them in?

For me, this means I work on my creative hobbies in the evenings after dinner.

Maybe you have kids and your only free time is after they’re tucked in bed.  Or perhaps you have time first thing in the morning.

When do you realistically have time and how much time do you have?

Step #3

Now we’ll narrow down the list of creative projects from Step #1 into a list that you actually have time for.

I always have about a thousand projects that I want to do, but when I compare that long list to the time I have I know it’s not even possible.

So I have to choose what’s most important to me.

Decide on the top few projects that you can realistically work on.  If they’re long term/large projects you may only be able to choose a few.  Choose as many as you have time to work on.

You don’t have to get rid of the rest of the list.  Keep it for the future.  This is just what we’re focusing on right now.

{For me:  I have decided to work on 3 scrapbooking projects and 1 art journal project.  I didn’t consider jewelry making in my list because it’s a given that I work on daily because it’s my job to teach jewelry making and I work on it during the day.

There are many other projects that I want to work on and I kept them in a list.  If I have time, I may work on them, but they’re not my focus.}

Step #4

Make a concrete schedule for those creative projects within the schedule that you made in Step #2.

{For me:  I’ll be working most evenings on my creative projects.  I have taken my 3 scrapbooking projects and choose which specific days I’ll work on those projects.  I have a couple of open days that I can choose to work more on those projects or work on another creative project or do something else altogether.}

Now that you have made a schedule, you don’t have to make decisions on what to work on when.  You simply work on whatever creative project you chose at the time you chose.  It just simplifies everything.

Step #5

To maximize your creative time, get your supplies together and organized for each creative project.

Organizing your supplies is great, of course, because you can find everything.  But there’s a bonus of finding things you forgot about or misplaced, letting things go that you just don’t use and thus giving you more breathing room and finding renewed inspiration!

Bonus Tip:

Make kits of the exact supplies you’ll use for each project and place in a box or basket.  Then when it’s the allotted time for that specific project, just grab the basket and get to work!

What if you want freedom, not rules?

Me, too!  I love creative projects because I can express myself and not do what other people think I should.  I don’t like being put in a box and I’m a free spirit at heart.

However, I also get overwhelmed and stuck when I have to make a lot of decisions.  Making these decisions ahead of time is actually really freeing.  I started this process a few weeks ago and I have to say it’s been amazing.  I’m working on creative projects so much more.

And having said all of this, nothing is set in stone.  You made the schedule, you can change it.  You can add things to your list, take them off or switch things for a little while.

I want to help you to be able to express yourself more freely, not tie you down!

I hope this helps you get creative this year!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get my weekly articles and videos in your inbox.  Let me take coming to my website and seeing what’s new off your list.  I’ll come to you!  Sign up below.

You can choose to get just the weekly emails or enroll in my FREE 10 Day Quick Start Guide to Wire Wrapped Jewelry.  In 10 days you’ll have a solid background and your first wire wrapped jewelry project under your belt!

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Choose your Adventure



Special Announcements about ECT TV:

  • ECT TV comes out every other week.  I’ll be alternating a jewelry making technique video with creative tips and hints videos (like this very episode!)
  • Also previously I had been sharing PDFs of each episode freely with step-by-step photo/written instructions to my newsletter subscribers since the very beginning of the series and it’s extremely time consuming.  The PDFs will no longer be available for free, but you’ll still get all the same content in the videos!
  • The PDFs for the jewelry making tutorials will be available for a small, affordable fee and the PDFs for the older episodes will be available soon as well.

Again, the videos will remain free and you can get notified of new episodes by signing up for my newsletter above.

Also – there will be a new blogpost here on my website each Wednesday.  On the weeks for ECT TV, you’ll find the video and show notes from the episode.  On the other weeks I’ll have posts about creativity and jewelry making.


Want to see my progress in all of my creative projects this year?  I’ll be sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow me on either (or both) of those places.

How Music Inspires Creativity [Part 1: Creativity Booster]

How Music Inspires Creativity

This is Part 1 of a 3 Part series to give you a bit of insight into how Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse works.

In the actual eCourse, you get all three parts in one week and you get many more projects, but for this I’ll be sharing a new part each week.  (These prompts are not from the eCourse itself, but it will give you an idea of what it’s like.)

Today is the creativity booster.

Part 2 will be jewelry skills lessons (coming out December 21, 2016.)

Part 3 will be a jewelry project (coming out December 28, 2016.)

Music as a Creativity Booster

Music as a creativity booster

Have you ever noticed that when a song you love comes on you feel more joy and energetic?

Well, music does more than just lifts your mood, it also can help with focus and boost your brain waves to increase your creativity.

There was a study in 1996 that proved when participants listened to Mozart, creativity soared.

Even if you don’t particularly like Mozart or classical music, music can really enhance your creative time. 

  • If you listen to music that is nostalgic it can take you back to memories that you may have forgotten.  You can use those memories as creative inspiration.
  • It can mark the start of your creative activity almost like a ritual.  You put on the music and then you get started.  You’re more focused on the activity.  Even if the music itself doesn’t work as inspiration, the act of putting on the music can inspire creativity.

Today’s Creativity Booster Activity:

Listen to some music and sketch while you do so.

I highly recommend listening to Mozart, but if you don’t enjoy classical music I suggest that you find some music that you love.  Maybe choose something from your younger years or if you need some holiday cheer, maybe choose some holiday music.

Then get out a sketchpad and see what happens.

In my case, I decided beforehand to sketch some jewelry pieces and that is exactly what I did.  However, you don’t have to sketch jewelry.  Something else may come up that you want to sketch.  This exercise is more about getting the creative juices flowing in general than about actually sketching jewelry.

Here’s a video about music and creativity and me sketching:

Sketching Jewelry Designs

Some special notes for sketching jewelry:

  • If you are new to jewelry making, it could be difficult for you to sketch jewelry because you don’t know a lot of techniques yet.  BUT… that could also be liberating because you can just sketch anything that comes to mind without thinking of how you’ll make it.  You can figure out the “how” later.  Just get your ideas down now.
  • If you think you cannot draw, it is okay!  I can’t draw either and I sketch jewelry all the time.  Simply draw it out as best you can and then make notes so you remember what you were trying to convey.  Label “chain” or “beads” or whatever you need to label to remember.
  • No one ever has to see your sketches.  I’m sharing my sketches to hopefully inspire you to be brave and give it a try.  (I do share my sketches in Inspired eCourse to inspire you to design your own jewelry and to show you my process.  But otherwise I don’t share my sketches with anyone.)
  • You might not make jewelry that looks like your drawing.  It’s a starting point.  You may discover what you envisioned is not going to work or you may come up with something you like even more.  You could abandon the idea altogether for something else entirely.  You have the idea in your sketchbook, so you’re not going to forget it.  You can come back to it anytime.

Now, get to it!  Find some music and get sketching!

If you want a new creativity booster, jewelry skills lessons and jewelry projects each week for 6 weeks, sign up for Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry.

It starts on January 2, 2017 and is a beautiful way to start the new year.

There are 21 jewelry projects in this eCourse and who knows how many you’ll be inspired to design yourself once you get the creativity boosters as inspiration and the jewelry skills lessons.

Learn more here:  Rediscover Your Creativity

Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry

 

How to Be Creative Even When You’re Busy [7 Actionable Tips]

7 Tips for Being Creative when Busy

A lot of us are really busy.  Maybe you have a job, kids, dinner to make, laundry to fold, friends to meet, meetings to attend or any number of other things.

It can be difficult to carve out time for making jewelry (or whatever other art you want to make.)

I find this especially true during the holiday season.  Our schedules get changed and we have parties to attend or family to visit.

Even if you had jewelry making in your normal daily routine, it can be difficult when that normal daily routine gets changed.

Here are some ways to make sure that you are getting your creative time even when you’re busy:

1.  Schedule it in.

I know this seems pretty obvious, but recently I was trying to figure out how to actually finish a year long project I’m working on (and got behind on.) I scheduled it and now I’m making progress again!

For my project, I decided to dedicate Sunday evenings to it.  I was trying to make it so complicated thinking I should work on it every day for a little bit, but then I was finding it difficult to find the time each day.

So I chose a few hours just one day per week.

I went from trying to work on it every single day and not actually doing that to working on it a few hours each week and actually making some progress.

2.  Gather your supplies in one place.

If you have to dig out everything from here and there every time you want to make some jewelry, it can be a barrier.

Instead keep your most used tools and supplies easily accessible.

If you have a dedicated studio or room to work in, then you can keep everything out and ready to go.

If not, keep your most used items together in one place.  For example, if you work on the kitchen table and have to put things away when it’s dinnertime, then maybe find a box or basket to keep items in so you can easily move things.

If you’re taking Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse, your most used tools will be wire cutters, chain nose pliers and round nose pliers.  You might want to keep your 20 gauge, half-hard, round wire handy as well.

I know you probably have more supplies than can fit in a basket, so thinking about what you want to work on in your next jewelry making session ahead of time can be helpful.  You can pull out those supplies ahead of time.

3.  Plan your creativity.

Decide what you’re going to work on in your next jewelry making session before you actually sit down to work.

When I had a full-time job, I would think about it, dream about it and even write it down on a little sticky note or piece of paper during the day so I knew when I got home what I would be doing.

Now making jewelry is my job, but I still plan it out or else I just waste time.

4.  Have separate times for planning and for doing.

This goes along with the previous tip.  Instead of getting to the worktable and then deciding what to do, plan that out ahead of time so you can just sit down and work.

Use sketchbook or some kind of idea journal to write down and draw out ideas in.  That’s your planning and thinking time.

Then when it’s time to make you have the ideas to turn to and you don’t waste time sitting there and thinking about what to do.

This is something I teach in Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse.  I love having a jewelry idea sketchbook so I never run out of ideas.

5.  Routine helps with creativity.

I have been reading that over and over again and I didn’t want to believe it.  I dislike schedules and routine.  I want to be spontaneous and just go with the flow.

But the truth is when you show up day after day and do the work, creativity happens.

Create a routine for your creative endeavors and stick with it.  The example I mentioned in #1 above, I am doing once a week.  I make jewelry every day.  Find a routine that works for you.

6.  Keep it simple.

Something simple completed is better than a big, complex thing not completed.

You may have dreams of making a complex set of jewelry that includes earrings, bracelet, necklace and a ring.  Thinking of it as a whole complete set can feel overwhelming.

Instead, break it down into smaller chunks.  Today I’ll make the earrings.  Tomorrow I’ll make the ring.  Maybe break down the necklace and bracelet projects into even smaller chunks depending on your design.  (For example, if you need to make some different components, work on those components one day and put everything together the next.)

7. Take it easy on yourself.

If you get busy with other stuff, don’t beat yourself up about not getting jewelry made or whatever your creative project is.  When you have time you’ll get at it again.

I hope that you can schedule in time to make jewelry or do whatever creative endeavor you’re planning even though the holidays!


Another way to keep up your creative practice even when you’re busy is to take an eCourse.  It will inspire you and you’ll be excited to get to it every day!

Wire Wrapping for Beginners

Learn to make beautiful, sturdy, professional level wire wrapped jewelry!

I show you how, step-by-step, in Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse!

Learn all the components and techniques you need to make earrings, bracelets, charm bracelets, necklaces and rings!

Plus be inspired to express your own creativity, going beyond just following step-by-step tutorials, but infusing your own style into the pieces.  Learn more here.