Things I’ve Learned…

Hi Friends! Thank you once again for stopping by.

I have been learning a lot since beginning this blog. So I thought I would share a few of those lessons with you. Learning is such an important part of any journey. I have learned over the years that if you do not learn the lesson the first time, it will likely come back to visit you to ensure that you caught on. I am trying to catch on a little quicker these days. In learning all of these lessons lately I am reminded of something my paternal grandfather used to say quite often, “If you don’t learn something new today, the day is lost.” Friends, here is what I have been learning over the last several days.

  1. Thicker gauge wire is not a bad thing. Ha Ha I began taking a jewelry class two weeks ago and had never purchased anything smaller than a 24       gauge or larger than a 20 gauge wire. I realize now that the vision I have in my brain space and the outcome I am going to get with wire I have been buying is not going to match. 14 gauge it is folks!
  2. Pewter charms as far I can tell cannot be altered from the state in which you purchase them at the store. That really great mixed media bracelet I shared with you all in my last post (http://wp.me/4hctG) is broken. I attempted to ever so slightly bend the flower charm with a rawhide mallet against a wooden stomp. Hitting ever so lightly in order to achieve a slight bend because there simply was not even give in the charm for the leather to lay quite right against the arm. So now the charm is in two pieces. Still looking for a way to alter pewter charms purchased at a craft stores…that is the second one broken since the journey began.
  3.  Hard hard wire is not easily bent. I have a sore index finger, hand pad and thumb to prove this. Other than the low cost I cannot really tell you what made me purchase hard hard wire but alas I did and I have spent the last two days bending an entire spool into would be rings. Hard Hard Wire is hard my friends.
  4. I am completely in love with bending, hammering, forging and designing jewelry. I have many skills I look forward to learning but I am completely in a peaceful love with my round nose pilers and a spool of wire.

Friends I cannot tell you where this journey will lead us. All I can say that for this moment I am content, peaceful and in love with my moment. Each day is different. Bedtime is challenging with my favorite little mini cave-girl. And there is far too often more month left over at the end of the money. However, I would not trade any of the journey I have taken to get to this moment for anything in this world. Stay adventurous and don’t lose your days friends.

Big Love,

Randi

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How and What…

Hi friends! I have been working on some mixed media leather cuffs. I thought you might want to hear about it.

I have been tying knots into friendship bracelets since the mid 1990s. That is when embroidery floss became my friend. Untangling skeins of floss always seems to settle my thoughts and emotions.

When I began the journey of MickyAnn I remembered something one of my aunts said when gifted with a friendship bracelet for her birthday. “I’ll wear it till it gets dirty and stinky.” That comment got my hamsters to racing. How many people would wear a friendship bracelet if they could take them off? (Incase you are not familiar with friendship bracelets;  “Originally, these colorful bands were invented by Indians in Central and South America. According to tradition, you tie a bracelet onto the wrist of a friend who may wish for something at that moment. The bracelet should be worn until it’s totally worn-out and falls off by itself, at which moment the wish is supposed to come true.” http://friendship-bracelets.net/learn.php) How can I make them with a grown-up twist?

So I started by using a button for the closure. (It does take the “make a wish” element out of the friendship bracelet…but then again it allows the love and gift to last much longer.) Then I began adding charms. But I did not want to stop there, so I began twisting wire and making rings. I was already using the wire to make bird’s nest charms for necklaces I knew there was other projects I could use the wire for.

As I think about what I want to make and how I want it to look, I realize I want to do everything. I want to make all kinds of beautiful rings, necklaces, charms, pendants and bracelets. This brings us back to the mixed media cuff. I bought some leather scraps a while back with the idea of making a cuff bracelet. Then has I looked at my stock of materials I decided, “What would be better than leather, embroidery floss, metal charms and buttons?” Well, you let me know what you think.

Big Love,

Randi

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Mostly from the beginning

I have been spending a lot of time reading blogs. Researching how to create a blog. Which hosting site? Do you pay for it or not? Do you buy your domain name? And I decided I wanted to pay for it. I want a blog I would want to read. The blogs I have found that I love to read and browse mostly are the ones that are paid for.

So why am I on a free site? Thank you for asking. Because I am blogging as a way to document my journey into jewelry making, designing…something! Which kind of leads into how MickyAnn came into existence to begin with…

I have spent the last four and a half years working in the mental health/social services/rehabilitation field thinking that I would retire from it. I had made a few job changes within that field over these last few years, always searching for my nitch. Always to start out really excited, ready to take on the world and help individuals. Only to get burnt out, begin to feel bitter about all that I was missing with my child at home (including her 1st Christmas) and all the time my hubs (also currently in the field) did not have together.  Then came September 3, 2013. I had a follow up meeting to a weeklong suspension from work. No need to go into the details…I did not do what was alleged that I did. However, HR decided that my hard work and dedication was not worth fighting for. So I was terminated.

Now after giving myself two weeks to process the emotions that come with being terminated. And after being told by a perspective employer (that I had basically put all my money on so to speak) that after an excellent interview, panel interview and being at the top of their pile of candidates during all of their talks and negotiations, they went with another individual. That was the last blow I could take…at least for a while. I decided I needed to find a way to “contribute” while I was at home. I remembered my love of crafting, sewing, friendship bracelet making and creating. When those memories came flooding back I felt as though something was awakened within me. So I ran with that.

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I spent the Fall craft show season doing several shows that were fun. But I spent more money paying fees to participate, gas to get there and food to eat (because I would have good intentions of packing and either do so and forget it at home or forget to pack) then I made. However, my plan, goal,  new dream has not wavered. Which is very new for me. Usually that first show with no success  would have been enough for me have thrown in the towel and said forget it. Not this time, no, MickyAnn is going to be successful. I believe in my heart, at least for such a time as this I am right where I am suppose to be. Staying home with my mini caveman (you’ll hear more about her later), taking jewelry making classes (that leave me feeling more alive than I have in years) and getting back to my creating roots.

Oh and back to why I’m on the free site…short version. The paid site I found and fell in love with wanted 36 months worth of hosting and domain fees upfront. Which was not a bad deal (overall much cheaper than I had envisioned)…but not wise in the position I’m in.

We’ll chat soon!

Big Love,

Randi