As we prepare for the 4th, I am, of course, proud of our servicemen and proud of our country. I am deeply patriotic...I just think it should carry over into our everyday lives, that's all. That's why I want to promote independence for all bead lovers.
I want to do all I can to encourage you to start home businesses, to develop your creativity, to have confidence in what you design. Let's start with a home business. I have talked to a number of you who have made lovely pieces, but when I ask where you sell your work, you get all shy and bashful. "Aw, shucks, I never sell anything. I just make it for my friends and co-workers!" No, no, no! If they like what you make, so will a hundred other paying customers. The benefits of your own home business are colossal. Mileage, business deductions for the things you love to make, office deductions like the phone and internet...these things all add up. From a small craft fair once a year, you can reap benefits far more valuable than just what you sell! Do it! Sign up for a small, local fair. Be brave. Declare your independence!
Develop your creativity. Set aside one day a week to make outlandish things, take them apart, and redo them. Budget some stringing wire and crimp beads and wire you're just going to throw away. That gives your brain the permission to let loose and anything goes. Sometimes you create a winner, sometimes a dud. It doesn't matter. Journal your ideas. Take a little pad with you and draw sketches or take notes of things you see that you love. I always thought I'd remember those great ideas, but I never did. I finally had to resort to carrying a booklet with me, and it helps immensely. Be free! Create!
And finally, have confidence in what you design. Each of us harbors our own worst enemy, and it is our own inner critic. None of us, including me, are free from this. I make something, and no matter how lovely it truly is, my inner critic will immediately inform my brain that no one could possibly like it. Where does that come from? Can it be surgically removed? I've read a number of great ideas for taming the shrew within. Self-affirmations are just too ethereal for me. If I don't believe in my work, why would I believe what I am now telling myself? That's crazy. Instead I usually resort to slapping myself and then rewarding myself with chocolate. About the time the dark chocolate melts in my mouth, I decide, "Hey, it's not so bad." Self medication is so free-ing, isn't it?
Becoming independent, both financially and creatively, is a worthwhile goal. We should pursue it avidly. Grasp it with both hands. Wrestle it to the floor. Claim it as a personal success. Then enjoy the fireworks that go off in your imagination. You've won! Yay!