Monday, October 25, 2010

Get Finished Angel

Last week in our store newsletter I wrote about the angels that perch on my shoulders in the studio. Okay, maybe they perch on my glass of Campo DeBorjia. Anyway, you are familiar with the idea of the Angel/Devil pair? I seem to have a pair with the names Get Started and Oh, Look, Shiny! They keep me in a state of constant beginning and distraction during much of my (brief) available work time. This is a life-long thing for me: learning to concentrate, forcing myself to concentrate and finish the work I have begun. I often assemble the beads and metal for a project, patina some chain and then...oh, wait, I love that ribbon! it doesn't work with that chain so then I put aside the first grouping and move on to the ribbon with some crystals and, whoa, look at that silk! I gotta use that with these beads...

Okay, you get the idea. Unfinished projects abound. All just past the idea stage. All resting in tiny tea-set dishes on my table and shelves and stuffed inside a china cabinet between crystal wine glasses and my collection of broken-off doll heads. It's a mess.

The second factor at work in my studio is the habit I have of taking on repair or reworking jobs for very good friends. I know, I should just say no. I preach this all the time to designers in our stores but when confronted with the friend who has the miraculous ability to amuse my children in any situation and her slightly-broken bracelet I am putty. Of course, I say, I will try to fix this for you. It's easy, no problem.

Of course, it is a problem. Partially because I don't actually enjoy doing repairs (does anyone?) and partially because of those two angels in the studio. They make it a bit, hmm, messy, what with all the tiny dishes holding slightly-more-than-ideas projects on the table and shelves.

So, on vacation two weeks ago (was it really that long?) I read an essay in Patti Digh's new book Creative Is A Verb where she talks about not saying the word 'try.' At all. Just do the thing, Patti says.

Wow, that really hit home with me.

I have all these projects I have been trying to get done and I realized I am limiting myself when I use that very verb. Try. There is a large element of failure in the word Try. Replace this with Do and you have action, success, achievement.

Okay, done. I am no longer going to 'try' to get all those repairs finished and back to their owners. I am going to do them. Last week I reknotted this lovely pearl bracelet that I had been holding on to for at least 4 years. When I gave it back to my friend she was overjoyed. I also returned an anklet that had needed to be restrung and had been fixed for a while but was lost in the sea of tiny dishes. That friend barely recognized it but put it on immediately and it matched her outfit. Success.

I did it.

What am I going to DO this week?
restring my mom's Grandma bracelet to include her three newest grandchildren (ages 4 1/2, and 4!)
make a pair of earrings for my sister (I bought the beads two years ago, she'll love them!)

If I don't post an update by next Monday, come chase me and the wayward angels down!