Man blogger is giving me a headache.

So I was forced to list some of the new love themed things because I have rented an online table at Poppytalk handmade market for this month and the theme is Valentines Day and Weddings.

The reflections I mentioned in the last post are tsill not solidified yet, but I am thinking about the craziness of trying to manage making jewelry and doing photography. In addition all the issues that came up in my conversation with my husband about my going back to teaching when my son goes to school full time are weighing on my mind. Retirement and college tuition are two financial realities that we both feel strongly about being prepared for. At this point the jewelry has been fun (and a bit overwhelming) yet not very lucrative. I am sure with time and focus it could become more lucrative but I am not 100% sure I have the time to invest, while still working on my photography.

So I am going to use up the materials I have in stock while keeping more careful track of how much time goes into each piece. One of the hardest parts of making jewelry-especially a range of items-is keeping track or factoring in all the time spent on design and ordering of materials, money spent on related materials like blades for paper cutter, papers I use, stickers, ribbon, tissue paper etc, and most importantly the time spent on each step. Most of my jewelry is made in many steps that can spread out over days-even weeks, which is tough to keep track of while stealing moments here and there between parenting a toddler.

I am still not sure what will happen but I am leaning toward phasing out the jewelry over the next few months.

I also want to hone my photography skills. To do this I need to practice and study techniques and submit my work for critique. At least this is what I want to do more of. I used to be able to browse through flickr and that alone helped me with my eye for photography. But the jewelry has taken up all my free time. It is hard for me to get time to work on expanding my photographic skills. I just recently joined Shutterpoint, an online stock photo site. I have only been a member a few days but am already getting some very valuable tips from other photographers there.

I must admit I am torn between the jewelry and photography. I have a lot more response and business right now to the jewelry, and I feel tremendous joy when I know a piece has touched someone, but the process of making the jewelry doesn't stand up to the joy I feel taking photographs. So I keep following where there is movement and the greatest feedback, the jewelry, and put my photography on the back burner. The feelings and messages behind my jewelry make me joyous-but they also come through in my photographs, so the question "why not just do the photography?" keeps surfacing. The answer that jumps up right away is my insecurities that I won't get any better, or that they won't sell, or that no one will enjoy my photos the way I do.

My husband keeps reminding me to follow my bliss. Why is it that such a simple motto can feel so scary?

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Blogger Yolanda said...

As always your photos area gorgeous and I know you will be successful.

1/11/2008 3:39 PM  
Blogger Georgia said...

Your photography business will be a smashing success baby. You KNOW it... Deep down you do. I know it.

I am going to have to get myself a couple pieces of your jewelry before its all gone :) I do love it, but I TOTALLY understand what you are saying.

Love you!!!


1/11/2008 4:12 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

the first piece i ever bought from you was a beautiful pendant with the words 'follow your bliss' and those words continue to guide me .. i think you should follow your bliss honey and your photography talent shines through your work and developing that further can only be a good thing if that is what makes your heart sing :) i understand that song and it is indeed a beautiful one ~ and you can explore all those amazing avenues and play with film and filters and lens and different types of photography and and and ... its vast and beautiful as you know ...

thinking of you ... much love, xox

1/11/2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Sarcomical said...

your work is BEAUTIFUL. always.


i am going to send my husband the bookmark to this stuff. you know, just in case he's looking...


1/11/2008 6:58 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

For some reason, I always find it difficult to write about art making and my thoughts about Etsy--especially in a comment or on my blog. I so very much wish we could meet for coffee and talk about these sorts of things. I have been trying to figure out my own thoughts on the topic and I find all of your honesty very refreshing. Making an income through art is hard work. It's a LOT of work. Still, I want to believe in it. I DO believe in it. But I am also trying to find a balance between doing what I love and not wearing myself down to the bone. Know what I mean? Yes, I have a feeling that you do.

Love you,

1/11/2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I love your jewelry! I love your jewelry that has your photos in it. But I do think you should spend your time doing what you love most.


1/11/2008 11:33 PM  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

Your jewelry is gorgeous...but for me it is the photos within the jewelry that makes is phenomenal to me!
I had a dream for 10 years...and remember how scared our was to just do it...oeehhhh...was really scary...and looking back now....the scaredness is human...but the triumph of succeeding...with what you love, is phenomenal!
Close your eyes...and listen to your heart...xx

1/12/2008 12:15 PM  
Blogger Journey Through Life said...

Photography has become an enormous passion for me over the last 6 months and a daily thing since I got my new camera a month ago. I also have thoughts of doing something with it, as well as doing some classes. I also look on line to develop my eye further and get inspiration. Thank you for your tip of Shutterpoint, I will check it out.

Go with what you feel inspired to do. The right thing will emerge from that passion!


1/13/2008 6:09 AM  
Blogger Melba said...

I hear you.

1/14/2008 7:46 AM  
Blogger susanna said...

Thea, your artwork and your jewelry are both beautiful. I think the great thing (among many things) with being a creative person is that you can always return to working in a medium later. I think in some careers it's necessary to keep climbing the corporate ladder to get ahead, but being an artist comes with some freedom to wander down different paths.

Your photographs are beautiful and if that's your passion right now, go for it!

I recently came across a photo-related website that you might find interesting... http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

1/14/2008 3:53 PM  
Blogger caroline : my pocket said...

I believe in you. Your photography is stunning and heartfelt. Follow your bliss is a wonderful mantra. Go with what you really enjoy. You can still create the pieces of jewellery you really want to make. xoxo

1/14/2008 4:58 PM  

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