Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge on January 9th, which gave me just over 3 weeks to work on this project. It was far more meaningful than I imagined. Above is my short list of words, but the one I finally chose is...
And the way Be Kind became my wellness word was by working through a lot of other words and phrases. Most of those words and phrases seem to focus on a something that I perceived as negative. That I get distracted before I finish things, that I'm not passionate about everything I do, that I'm not skinny enough, healthy enough, disciplined enough and on and on.
And around the same time I was beating myself up, I noticed other people not being as nice as they could be towards others - especially in online communities. It felt like people were typing things that they wouldn't necessarily say in front of the people who could read it. Actually - maybe they would say it - I have no way of knowing since I don't know them personally, but it was making me realize that kindness was in short supply, not just by me, towards me. So, I decided the best place to start spreading kindness was with me!
Now, I had my word and I needed a way to communicate it. Sheesh... That should be easy, but it wasn't. I spent the better part of two weeks trying to find a way that I was satisfied with. I stamped metal (a new skill for me - and one that I have not mastered by a long shot!), I considered metal clay and etching, but ultimately, I decided a good old shrinky-dink would easy enough. But, it wasn't.
Shrink plastic is not as easy as it seems. Originally, I thought it would be a larger tag, and fancier lettering, and maybe hand colored. Well, after many tries, simpler was better and my small 1/4 inch round tag with block letters came about. Many batches of trial and error later.
Holy cow - you mean I still need to make a piece of jewelry?! But there's only two days left!!!
Yeah, I am not kidding.
By the time I had a tag I liked, I was down to the wire on completing this challenge. I knew I wanted a wire wrapped gemstone bracelet. I wear this style bracelet every day and I really did want to remind myself (and others!) to be kind so it made sense. But there was more to it.
I also wanted:
- multiple strands
- my favorite gemstones
- to try new techniques and challenge myself
- something that I would wear everyday.
As you can see, this challenge was taking on a life of it's own! I decided three strands was the right number and my favorite gemstones (that look really good with my skin tone and clothing) are Labradorite, Peach Moonstone, Sapphire, and Ruby. For the new technique part, I wanted a multi-strand clasp - which I made several prototypes of - but in the end I decided a single strand that I could also wear as a necklace was more versatile.
There was one more element - fun! I didn't want this to be too serious, so I decided to add some charms and assorted dangles. Most of the little 'surprises' aren't that surprising. The colors blend, like the amethyst herringbone wrap, the kyanite smooth pebble and the ruby flower. But one of these things is not like the others.
The carnelian flower. It stands out. It is larger than the other embellishments and it is brighter than the other embellishments. And, honestly, I'm not sure I like it. It makes me uncomfortable.
Which is good. Because it is supposed to do that.
It is my reminder to not be afraid to stand out. To be different. Not to blend into the background. (To those people who know me that are laughing, stop it! I can be subtle!)
If you read this far, thank you! The challenge was personal and I think the blog post had to be too. I really enjoyed participating in the challenge and can't wait to see what everyone else made. I'm wearing my bracelet and I love it. I'm adjusting to the carnelian flower.
And I'll be using my extra 'Be Kind' tags on my jewelry in the future.
Please visit the other participants in the Wellness Words challenge, and a big thanks to the challenge host Tracy at the Make Bracelets Blog. I can't wait to see everyone else's creations and follow your blogs and facebook pages. Please like me on facebook at Lisa Yang Jewelry.
lisayangjewelry.com (You are here!)