Friday, December 4, 2015

inside the studio - with Julie of Uglibeads!

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations to Ann Schroeder!
You've won a package of surprise beads from Mary Harding.
Please email Mary to claim your prize!

fresh from the kiln last night!
festive Ugliweenie beads (my teeeeeeeny tiny little spacer beads) 
and some special Christmas beads destined for Beads of Courage
a wonderful arts-in-medicine program for children with serious illness


Happy Friday!! And welcome to the first Inside the Studio post for this exciting month of December!

It's been a busy busy busy (good busy), but really busy time since my last Inside the Studio post. I'm feeling grateful, and blessed, and excited about all the cool Uglibeads things happening, but I'm totally pooped out, and I'm SO glad it's Friday! You too? Ok, good. It's not just me.

Understandably, I was feeling a little antsy about sitting down to write about my latest work and inspirations and ideas while feeling maxed out. It takes a lot of energy to go there. That's deep down stuff that requires a lot of thought. And I wasn't sure I had it in me this time.

As makers, it's totally natural to want to do the best we can, all the time. We take pride in the things we make, and want them to be as beautiful as possible. We train ourselves to constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve. We seek out flaws, so we can fix them, remove them, or make sure they never happen again. Always asking, how can we make the next one even better than the last? That's part of being good at anything where the motivation comes from within, as it does with our art.

So it's hard to take it down a notch.

We all have things that we're unwilling or unable to let go of. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If we didn't stick to our guns when it comes to the things that are really, really important to us, where would we be? It's just that if you're willing to go to the ends of the earth for something, it's good to be mindful about why it feels so important. 

If you're convinced that something is a non-negotiable part of your creative practice, you may be right. But take another look from time to time to see if maybe... just maybe... there's more wiggle room in there than you thought.

So let's wiggle. I'll go first. 

(you don't have to shake your booty in your chair to do this wiggle, but it's more fun if you do..)

Do I love to write epic posts and newsletters and Etsy descriptions? Yes. 

Do I need to do that all the time? No. 

Heck no.

So here's where I wiggle my way out of that all-nighter I was tempted to pull - by leaving you with some photos. Just photos. Beautiful places I've been, and things I've made these last few months....

The story is up to you.

1 - temple - Tamil Nadu, India

2 - beach - Pender Island, Canada

3 - woods - Sylvan Lake, Canada

Wiggle room is tricky, I know. If something is non-negotiable, it's just the way it sounds. It's not a negotiation. There's no inner 'should I or shouldn't I' dialogue, and you feel confident and rooted in certainty. But discovering room to move can come with an uneasy feeling. Is this the right thing? Is this going to work? Am I going to disappoint someone if I choose to do this differently?

Like a lot of things in life, there's only one way to find out.

I wiggled, and I survived. Maybe I even liked it a little.

Now it's your turn, and here's where the BIG GIVEAWAY comes in: my question for you is, what are you holding on to (creatively or otherwise) that might free up some wiggle room if you chose to let it go?

Let me know in the comments below, and you'll be entered to win a holiday surprise package from me. That's all I'm going to say, but I promise it will be good! The winner will be announced right here, next Friday.

Thanks so much for joining me - until next time!


Julie is a glass beadmaker with a passion for building community and inspiring conversation around her writing. Her best work comes from that magical place where nature meets creative flow. You will find her hanging out most days in her Uglibeads Facebook group or on Instagram, and you're invited to join in the adventure by signing up for her weekly email newsletter.


Linda - said...

Your post certainly wrote home to me and I'm going to cheat a little because I've already achieved this just recently, I stopped taking orders. I was going through a small bout of depression and I had a large order to do that just wasn't playing ball. I decided that once I had finished it I wasn't going to take any more orders. They put me under too much pressure and I wasn't enjoying my beadmaking so I let go. Sure I've disappointed a few people but hey it's not the end of the world and my creativity has benefited for it. So I am right with you.

Linda x

Jess Green said...


If I gave up blooming men I'd have plenty of wiggle room!

Kathy Lindemer said...

I just have to say. I love your comment, Jess!

I cut back on my fancy wrapping and notecard writing for my orders when I get really busy. I still do it but keep it simpler and less time consuming. I have also decided I am going to cut back on blog hops where creating jewelry is the requirement. I really want to spend more time making beads and metal components and less time making necklaces. We will see how that goes!

Ann Schroeder said...

Thank you ABS and Mary Harding for my Inside the Studio gift! What a nice surprise. (And Julie, too, for alerting me.)

I love your photos and this very, very good advice in your post. I am working hard right now to not have to do everything myself at work. It's good to be responsible, but it's possible to feel too responsible. I was so proud of myself the other day as I left work an hour early and noticed some problem as I was leaving. At first I was thinking, oh no, I have to go back and take care of this. Then I thought, no, I'm OFF, and I just called and asked someone else to do it. That had me smiling all the way home.

Kristen said...

Since I retired over a year ago, I've spent a good hour or so in the morning drinking coffee and looking at the computer knowing I didn't have to get ready for work. But it's become unproductive and I'd like to spend some of that morning time practicing my drawing. I'll never get better if I don't do it!

Deb Fortin said...

as well as making jewellery I also do paper crafts , greeting cards, mini albums home decor etc, but i feel it is adding pressure to my jewellery making as i am constantly in conflict about what to work on now. I feel myself heading towards giving up my paper crafting esp. as a means of income and focusing solely on my jewellery . I hope that this will lead me to discovering my personal style (which continues to elude me).
so Im cautiously optimistic about 2016 and where it will lead me.

Divya N said...

Such beautiful beads!! If I do not answer all the mails that come my way from potential customers and If I am not counseling students one on one everyday I can create a lot of time for myself. Do I want to do that, i am not so sure

Niky Sayers said...

I seem to have the opposite problem, I'm a stay at home mum so I potentially have lots of making time, which in means I sit around and procrastinate way too much and never seem to get much done! My little one starts school soon tho and I have gotten a job in the hope that by having less free time I will use what I do have wisely! Fingers crossed!!!

Mary Harding said...

Love the images and beads you coupled together to show your inspiration. Great post, Julie!!

Terri Del Signore said...

Wiggle! I like that word as a discription for something I have been doing in every area of my life! I wiggle quite often - it eliminates unwanted/needed stress! I pick and choose what to wiggle. Some things I cannot wiggle and be true to my values but many can, and it's quite a healthy thing!!! Wiggle on!!!

thecolorofdreams said...

Beautiful beads and pics.
I love to make beads but I lack a lot of organization. My beads are not that organized so it makes it hard to find what I want when I want to make something. I feel my lack of organization has kept me from being as creative as I want to be sometimes. I plan on working on this in the New Year!

Terri said...

I am one not to write too much..I figure with so many things to do and places to visit..I'll make your stop to my blog brief and easy. I for one love pictures that tell the story. Wiggle room...Hmmm ...the less time I have to spend deciding what to wear the better I am. I'm seriously considering taking a page from Steve Job's book when he was alive... he wore the same thing every day. One less decision to make and on with the day we go.... [GRIN]

Janea aka Naya said...

My morning routine definitely has wiggle room. I sit with my husband and puppies each morning drinking my coffee and catching up on YouTube, Pinterest, and various blogs before getting ready for work. I could narrow this down quite a bit and use the time much more productively. I could even get to work earlier so I could get home earlier. But then I hit the dreaded TRAFFIC when I leave early... I really do need to let most of this wasted time count for something here soon! Thanks for the reminder to put it to good use.

Shaiha said...

That is really a tough question to answer as I rid myself of everything that can wiggle when I developed fibro. The only thing set in stone nowadays is caring for my pets and going to work. Everything else is dependent on how I feel. I will admit that it can be too wiggly at times so I love doing blog hops as they make me accountable.

Leona said...

I like the mystery of your post, Julie - that "wiggle" really means something different to each person and perhaps different in time and place as well. My wiggle right now is both contraction and expansion. I am finding my way to "my" style, while at the same time considering what I can do to grow my creative business again. The giving up part is really a weeding out of the things / ideas that don't fit. It involves 2 hats and a sprinkle of magic...

Sarajo Wentling said...

Such gorgeous beads, Julie... thanks for sharing with us!

Boy, I can relate to several of the previous comments. I know that my biggest time suck is the internet... I go down the rabbit hole of blogs and Pinterest etc. I certainly can't and wont give that up, but I could certainly do better about time limits!

The other thing I have to learn to let go of is perfection. Don't get me wrong, I'm committed to making quality pieces, but I get caught up in tiny imperfections that no one else in the world is ever going to notice. I have to embrace my husband's advice of "natural product, results may vary!" :)

Sarah Arocha said...

Lovely! There are things I wish I could wiggle away from. I tend to try and make things to please everyone. If I stopped doing that I feel like I could better find my style :) I will try and be better.

-Sarah Arocha Ostriyznick

Craig Ostriyznick said...

Hanging onto material possessions that I don't use. I have so much stuff around the house that is just stuff. Is not being used and collects dust. It would allow for more room to bring objects with meaning into my world. Plus extra wiggle room is always a good thing after I pig out on Christmas goodies! ;-)

Joyce Jaeger said...

Great post! Great pics! I've gained some wiggle room by not setting so many things to accomplish in one day. After all, there is tomorrow. :)))

Joyce Jaeger said...

Great post!! Great pics!!! I try to accomplish too much in one day. I need to set limits for myself.

Astra said...

I love your images + beads, it's a music-like story, as everybody may ponder about what's important just for her/him.
I'm not sure whether my say relates exactly to wiggling, nevertheless, I've come to understand that one should dismiss all presuppositions how to act in any specific situation. It's reacting, not replying to this situation. It's important to feel/sense, and to respond.

Janine said...

Thank you so much for this post. Wiggle room...sounds great and it certainly is very necessary. And it is so so so difficult for me to find. But I'm trying.

Highly Strung Creations said...

As always, you write with such meaning and depth. Your words show how much thought you put into your posts that always resinaye with so many!

My wiggle room is trying to lessen the handholding I do for my day job clients so as to give me more time for me.

J McMillan said...

I would let go of my self doubt, that eats into so many aspects of my life. So much wasted energy that would be much better spent on creativity and building happiness from what I do have. As a budding artist, your beautiful pictures -both of nature & beads - and inspiring words are helping me wiggle away from the fear that I'll "never be good enough". Thank you.