The Joy of Metal... and Overcoming Crafters' Block

>> Saturday, January 24, 2009

i shared last week my frustration with my carpal tunnel and my metalsmithing class... well, this week was MUCH better! as embarrassed as i am to share the picture above, i'm showing the "piece" i completed in the first class (on the left) and the much more acceptable one on the left. yes, i know we were learning the basic techniques of sawing, piercing and filing - but i was kind of disappointed to come home with the little rectangle. i showed it to the husband, who gave me a sweet little look of pity and said that he could probably do that. (how supportive!) he also said that the little squiggle in the middle - my attempt at piercing - looked like a - *ahem* - sperm. i suppose it does.
anyway, this week, we starting working on our first official project, which is a pendant in brass or copper. i chose a simple heart design - both in tribute to my favorite holiday, Valentine's Day, and to keep my frustration level down. and you know what? it turned out much better than i thought! i wish i could have tackled something more elaborate, but figure that since i'm just learning, i should try to get my technique down before i attempt to sculpt the Paris skyline in sterling silver. i don't know if i'm just more used to the pins and needles and pain in my triceps now, or if i just forced myself to push through, but i wasn't half as frustrated as i was the week before. and NO, i DIDN'T stop at McDonalds!!!!! YAY!!!

since i've started the class, i've also realized that for a while i must have been experiencing a little bout of "crafters' block". since we got pregnant, i feel that i've slowed down a little in regards to creating. the first trimester, i was so sick and tired that i couldn't THINK of new designs, much less sit in the basement and make anything, and the second trimester came with all the holidays and this carpal tunnel syndrome and all the baby excitement. i spent a lot of time (and $$$) just relisting items in my etsy shop but not really making anything new. now, i think (and hope) that the creative drought is over! i found myself in the bead store with a little basket of goodies and the latest issue of Stringing magazine, and i've been thinking about new things... such as the dragonfly necklace above! i'm really happy with it and hope that this means that i'll be back to intensive jewelry making!!!


F*cking Metalsmithing Class... and the Value of Retail Therapy!

>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009

i couldn't even post about my class last week because i felt that the whole thing ended up so disappointingly. no, i didn't set any fires, and no, i didn't end up cutting my finger off like i had anticipated, but i did end up crying in the car.

i'm not one to toot my own horn, but i'm usually really good with my hands. with CRAFTY things. (get your mind out of the gutter!!!!!!!) however, this carpal tunnel thingy certainly had me beat at last week's class. i was clumsy and slow - it took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to load the saw blade correctly and then 30 seconds to snap it right off the frame. i am sure my instructor thought i was an idiot, but she was patient and kind with me. the mini-muffin was trying to be encouraging, bubbling around in my belly the whole time, but it really didn't help.

so i went home, tail between my legs, where i poured out the whole frustrating experience to the husband, who listened patiently. after telling me that i should have stopped at McDonalds for some emotional eating, he told me to hang in there and just learn as much as i can and to take my time. which, of course, is the logical thing to think. it's funny how your emotions - and CARPAL TUNNEL - can just take over.

lucky for me though - the results of my latest etsy shopping trip had come in:

this lovely, lovely messenger bag from bayanhippo (, which i had been coveting for DAYS before i finally buckled and bought it!

and a fabulous boxful of stuff from the always wonderful BizzieLizzie ( who has the most amazing bags in the most fabulous of fabrics. this little baby to the right now holds my digital camera and memory cards and is the perfect size to fit in my ScabbyRobot ( purse! she also made a wicked cool messenger-style bag for me... sigh! i feel like a celebrity, having this woman sew for me!

i am going back tonight to keep trying. i'm not one to give up easily!!! what kind of example will i be for the mini-muffin if i give up now? (plus they probably won't reimburse me, LOL) i've been waiting so long for this class. hopefully i won't burst into tears tonight!!!!!!!!!! but i probably WILL stop at McDonalds.


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