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?