Woodside WireWorks

Wit, Whimsy, & Wisdom…

Challenged! Again!

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Mama’s little helper.

It has been quite a while since yours truly has done a blog post…Way too long. This one will be quite short as at the moment there is a cat between my hands and the keyboard.  WHEN NOT?????  My cat, Miss Skittles is getting up in years, and earned the right to be demanding and she is.

The "Creation Station."

The “Creation Station.”

Last year about this same time, I was knee deep in the Build a Line Challenge sponsored by B’Sue Boutiques.  It was an extremely rewarding experience and I am at it once again.  The purpose is to create a body of work which can be readily replicated, is cohesive, and if one of my friends or customers saw the piece, they would recognize the style as mine.

In preparation I reorganized my studio, and made a few purchases, the first of which was to buy a heater, hoping I could find enough comfort this time around to not be working in every room of the house like I did last time.  Then, I rewarded my self by purchasing supplies.   Oh yes, we love that part!

 

Aha!  Wish I had used this last year!

Duh. Why have the tools if you don’t use them?

Since I am an American, the metric system continues to baffle me.  Last year, I was expecting a few of the things I ordered to be the size of a half dollar…needless to say, I was a tad disappointed to find them arrive the size of a dime!  So I got out my caliper, went to Youtube to make sure I was using it correctly, and was delighted this time around when the pieces were the expected size.  Small victories excite me!

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I just love to open these boxes!

Frankly I found the challenge to be much simpler when I was flying by the seat of my pants!  This year, I know more of what is expected–just enough to be dangerous actually–and I’m finding myself overthinking everything.  But that is a good thing.  I am far more intentioned this time around and lets face it:  Indecision is expensive…I am currently playing with a couple of ideas so naturally, I had to buy enough stuff to execute either one.  Aren’t  these just gorgeous?  Oh my goodness!

 

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And check these out.  Holy cow!  I mean, what’s not to love?

 

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Now the trick is making up my mind and trying to figure out how to combine all of these pretties!

We have a handful of “alumni” repeating this year’s class as well as an impressive group of very talented first timers.  These gals came to the party ready, willing,  and fully engaged.  Sharing the experience with them is already proving to be enlightening.  THEY ARE AWESOME!

So in deference to my classmates, here are a few tips that helped me get my groove on last year:

  1.  Drag out that crockpot and fill it.  Having dinner out of the way is the bomb.  It is your best friend.
  2. Make your coffee the night before.
  3. Take bubble baths.  Close your eyes and imagine.  You’d be surprised what great ideas come to you when you are drifting placidly in a steamy tub.
  4. Take trillions of pictures and slam them in a file dedicated to this class.
  5. Keep your camera on your work station and keep it charged!  And use it…again and again.  See tip #4 and tip #6.
  6. Let your camera be your editor…before you pick up your pliers.  It tells stories the naked eye doesn’t see.  Use it to test your line and individual pieces for compatible elements.  The camera and the crock pot will both help you rock this thing!
  7. Walk away.  When you get frustrated do something else.  See tip #3!  Maybe give the house a “lick and a promise” while you are at it.  If it is like mine, it could always uses a little loving attention.
  8. Gather your supplies, have them convenient, and play.
  9. Pay attention in class, but listen to your own heart!  And most importantly, enjoy the ride!

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And, may we each find ways to continue to inspire one another!  Much love to the my fellow artists.  It is an honor to be part of this journey with you!  Thank you Brenda for making this possible for all of us!

12 Comments

  1. Great blog post Susan and thank you for the tips. Good thoughts to share. Let’s get this party started!!

  2. Good for you Susan! I’m interested to see how this years challenge goes for you, and how it differs from last year.
    PS I need some of those calipers too!

    • Susan Bowerman

      January 19, 2016 at 4:43 am

      Tammie, I truly had to visit Youtube to figure out how to use the silly things. I did make fewer mistakes with this order though. That is a first!

  3. Marcia Tuzzolino

    January 18, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Susan, thank you for this great blog post! You’ve hit the nail on the head with all your witty points for getting through class successfully, for old and new, classmates!

    • Susan Bowerman

      January 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

      I should take my own advice, Marcia! I wish I had something simmering in the crock pot right now. Oh well, there’s tomorrow!

  4. Your blogs always lift me up Susan. Thank you for the insight.

  5. Elisabeth Wilks

    January 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you Susan for your tips, I will remember.Great blog post!

  6. Great post and advice to follow for any challenge an designers takes on. Hope your having fun as well as learning new things in the class.

    • Susan Bowerman

      January 20, 2016 at 3:18 am

      Thank you, Gloria! Yes, I am having fun. It is nice to have a project to focus on again. Life is good!

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