Thursday, October 17, 2013

Valuing Yourself

I spent years in school to get a good education, to get a nice job and to earn a good living.  Then, I got pregnant and my thoughts changed, now I wanted to be a good mom to my kids and so I gave up my career to be their mom.  That was a wonderful choice that I was lucky enough to be able to make.

With that choice, I immersed myself in being a mom and being a mom is all about doing things for your kids.  Slowly, you start to not do things for yourself.  You tell yourself, it can wait, maybe later, I don't have time, ..........

And here I find myself, 13 years after giving up my career to be Mom, my kids now in high school and middle school and an independent jeweler with a great business.  I find joy in making jewelry and love when others find joy in it and buy it, it validates to me that what I make and love, someone else does too.

Pricing your pieces is hard and I would venture to guess that most everyone who handcrafts something underprices it.  Partly because you have a sense of obligation to help your customers afford it, sometimes I find myself pricing things by how much I think people will pay not by how much I think they are worth.  Another part is that is it boastful to put large prices on something you have made?  Whatever the reason, we as humans probably undervalue ourselves in everything we do.  We as a species seem to always want to pull down instead of lift up.

This past month I have had some incredible things happen to me that have me changing my thinking and actually feeling much better about myself and my work.  First, I was asked to donate something to the Jackson Center for Conductive Education's annual fundraiser, The Grape Escape.  I had just finished a piece, following an idea by Pam East, and decided to donate it.  They included it in their live auction and I am happy to report, it raised $800 for the center.  I was thrilled!  Later, someone came up to me and whispered in my ear, I think you underprice your jewelry (with a very happy tone).

Then the next thing that happened was I decided to enter the Fall Foliage Art Show, this is not something I had ever done before and wasn't sure exactly how jewelry fit in.  They were so kind and helpful.  Well, when I attended the Awards Tea, there was my jewelry with a first place blue ribbon on it!  I was so excited.  And then, the next day I found out my pieces had sold (and for a very fair price).

This has all just solidified in my mind that I do have value, in what I do, both as a mom and artist.  It is all good and that I am starting to understand the real values of my work.  This week in the class I teach, my students asked me how do I price my work.  I started talking about all these things and decided to share in print what became very clear during my talk.  I share because I am sure we all struggle with these types of thoughts and I truly believe if you do what you love and do it the best you can, it will all be good.  If you take value in your efforts and your work, others will also.  But always value yourself and be good to yourself, remember someone is watching and will be following your lead!

***Disclaimer:  These are all my thoughts and there has been no scientific research done to prove any of it

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I am always interested in what is happening in the virtual world, especially with jewelry.  I happened across a blog, Art Jewelry Elements, that has challenges.  I find this little competition helps keep me creative and motivated to try new things!  They are doing an earring challenge for the whole year, and although I just found them, I am jumping in to get my feet wet!  Earrings are one of my favorite pieces of jewelry, I think because I love to wear them!  These would be weeks 38 & 39, maybe I will try to make 37 pair to catch up but I will most definitely continue in this journey the rest of the year.  I just linked these new earrings I created for the show I just did!

Week 38
Week 39

Whether it is creating an object, reading a book, meditating, etc.. I challenge you to find something that gives you joy and make some time everyday to include it.  Let that little gift to yourself help you become better with all other things!  

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I am learning about essential oils

I have recently become much more aware of all the toxins around us.  As I used a few oils for very specific purposes in the past, I have recently been introduced to doterra essential oils.  I started experimenting with the physician's kit.  My daughter coughs and has breathing issues, especially at night.  We usually run a humidifier for her.  I have started adding a few drops of the Breathe oil, and she sleeps much more peacefully.
Respiratory issues are prevalent in modern society, and dōTERRA® essential oils are a perfect way to ease breathing consistently for a sustained benefit. Breathe is a remarkable blend of CPTG® essential oils which combine to do just that, help you breathe easier. A proprietary blend including laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon and ravensara cleanses and soothes the airways, and can easily be applied topically to the chest, back, or bottom of feet. Its pleasant aroma is calming to the senses and perfect for night time diffusion allowing for restful sleep. For aromatic or topical use.

I don't want to overwhelm you with lots of information, so that is my tip for today!  I will be sharing tips that work for me along the way.  I have become a distributor for them, so if you have any interest you can call me and ask or check out my website,  I also want to elaborate, I signed up for personal use so please do not feel any pressure to buy something.  I just want to share my good experiences.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party!

It is that time of the year, when I get to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party! This is the 3rd reveal for this particular Bead Soup Party, it has really grown!  This year it came at a very hectic time in my life, birthdays, anniversaries, workshops, but I look forward to this little time to  myself to just make what I want.  The photo above is the bead soup that I sent my partner, Toltec Jewels. This next picture is of the wonderful, beautiful bead soup she sent me!

So much to choose from and such beautiful beads.  I pondered and pondered and finally made a few pieces.  I have really started working in metal and gotten away from beading so this brought me back to the colorful world of beads, it did stretch me a bit, which is all good.  This is the necklace I made using the large, swirled agate focal, some beautiful amethyst, and glass leaves.
and the bracelet I made using a beautiful, hand crafted clasp.  The clasp is so pretty I did not want to over power it with lots of stuff, so I stayed pretty simple for the rest of the bracelet.
and of course I needed a pair of earrings.  These are simple, but fun and I just love them and the purple beads are handmade and gorgeous!
There is still plenty of bead soup left to play with, including a beautiful handmade lampwork bead! Stay tuned, I have some special plans for that one and some of the others, so check back and see what becomes of the rest of the bead soup, I will be playing for awhile!!!!

Again, I want to thank my partner, Toltec Jewels for the wonderful soup and Lori for organizing and planning such a fun event!

So, if you would like to continue on the blog party, you can get the complete list here on  Lori's Blog, Pretty Things!  Enjoy!