August 1, 2008

Gears in Motion, Full Steam Ahead!

Hello my friends! I have been away and it is good to be back. My little hiatus was very fulfilling on both personal and professional fronts. I did much talking and thinking, listening and feeling. And I have returned feeling very positive and ready to make some big changes in my life and in my career. And the help of wondersome friends has helped me figure some of these things out...cutting through some of the grimy haze and seeing things more clearly. I am really feeling the Steampunk inspiration lately (again), and visualizing the studio as a bit of a factory, filled with interconnecting gears and pulleys and machinery.

I think the main realization I have made lately is that a factory cannot run on one gear alone. For so long i have felt my work is solitary, even with all the great support that has been around me. I have a hard time asking for help, and letting people in, and I tend to overburden myself. I am learning that this is not healthy, and it is not necessary. In fact, I am finding much joy in thoughts of sharing some of my processes with others. I sometimes forget, in the daily grind of my factory, that the life I lead is pretty unique, and rather charmed. I am fortunate, and I want to share the creativity and imagination that I live with every day.

But I am rather shy at times, and just like a lot of people, I get unmotivated and self conscious. And I have been rather low in motivation for the past two months, career wise, after Bead & Button, and with all the life changing things going on in my life. But it is the start of a new month today, which I will call Awesome Artful August. And I do not usually reach out and ask for help much, but if you could, my dear friends, respond here with a little nudge of support...just a little word or two to get me going, and for me to look back upon later when I need to nudge myself...something to grease the gears and get the machinery moving...I would greatly appreciate it.

Show me a little steamy support here?...


  1. I'll be the first!
    I read this quote today and thought it was fitting.

    "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your oldnonsense." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. I think a lot of those feelings are those shared by a lot of folks - so please, dear lady, know you are not alone.

    Please keep plugging away, doing what you do best. I'm so envious you get to do what you truly love for a living! I love how you tackle the medium. A few years ago when I was taking a couple of ceramics classes in college, I tried discussing making beads with two different professors, and talk about grown men that were terrified! Something they haven't ever done over their careers of vases, sculptures, and thrown pieces. Needless to say, I didn't get a chance to try making beads in those classes. *LOL* So I commend you for your work.

    About a week and a half ago, I received my first piece from you. And talk about top-notch. The cab, the packaging, the business cards - all of it professional and wonderful.

    As for the Steam...bring it on, baby! I have been absolutely enamored with the pieces. I've been trying to play around in my head ideas for the perfect piece of jewelry. My dear hubby looked over my shoulder while I was browsing a few weeks ago, and exclaimed "Why aren't you ordering those; those are soo you!" So, you know...if you feel like making more pieces for me to contemplate, I'm not going to stop you.

  3. Melanie, you rock! You have a very unique selection of beads, not just your Steam Stones, but the Spookyheads and the Lucky Trinkets, all sorts of things that appeal to sub genres that often get overlooked by beadmakers.

    Also, I have some cool news to share with you in e-mail ;)

  4. Miss Melanie,
    You're one of the most creative, most passionate and smartest business owners/artists I know & I'm absolutely positive that whatever direction you choose, you'll succeed. Making a living as an artisan is one of the toughest things to do, and you've not only survived, you've thrived! If I lived closer, I'd come and give you a big hug followed by a margarita (or your cold summery beverage of choice) and a hand in your studio, because the latent ceramic major in me is dying to get messy!
    All my best thoughts and dreams floating up your way,
    Miss Molly S.

  5. Melanie, your work is wonderful, your creativity is incredible, I never tire of seeing your work or reading your blog. But I wonder if you need someone to help you in the day to day. Someone who could do some of the routine work. I always think of Marsha Neal's statement "work smart not hard."( because that is something I need to remind myself of.) Perhaps your business has grown to the point that you need to hire an employee. I think you sound overwhelmed. Wrapping packages, managing billing etc. could certainly be managed by another person. It would no way infringe on your handmade creative process. I hope this has been helpful to you.

  6. Well, how about this one (from my high school Latin class): ad astra per aspera. It translates as "through hardship to the stars". I take the saying to mean that you have to go through those lower periods and challenging periods of change to grow and reach your dreams. May you reach yours! Best wishes to you!

  7. Melanie - If there is anyone who can fire up that steam engine, it is you. Keep your fuel supply well stocked, your pressure gauge closely monitored and we all know there will be no stopping Earthenwood Studios!

  8. Take time to smell the...
    And then have a good laugh...


  9. Thank you all so very much for these words, they have been so very helpful! *hugs!*