It’s almost the end of March, so that means that National Craft month is drawing to a close…not that this is going to make any difference to me – I craft each and every day in any case! It has been a lovely chance to celebrate craft though and I’m loving the arrival of the first photos from people who have taken up some of the challenges I set. I’ve set up a special page in the gallery section, so do pop along and take a look at the pieces and the stories behind them. I think they are truly inspirational and it really shows how much you can create from a single challenge. So next time you’re a little lost for inspiration, why not try one of these challenges and see where you end up?
I’ve been challenging myself a little this month as well. I had big ideas of making a single piece of jewellery that incorporated all the challenges I had set, but unless I make something in the next 48 hours, this may not happen! The thing about challenges though is that they are all about learning, not just learning techniques, but learning about yourself and what you can do, so whenever you take up any kind of challenge, take a little time to contemplate what you’ve achieved and feel proud for managing it. I have challenged myself to find a way of teaching tubular peyote to a student who was a complete beginner and at first struggled with the technique. I came up with these bangles and now she has one of her own to wear. Just choosing to use the colouring carefully really helped her to understand the structure of the stitch. I confess that I may also have become a little addicted to making these, so guess what’s going to be covering my arm this summer?!
On a slightly more personal note, I’m sitting here today, reviewing the fact that I’ve just taught three completely different workshops on three consecutive days and I’m not now lying in bed recovering! Although I do still struggle from time to time (ok, quite a lot!) with pacing myself well, it’s good to sit back occasionally and not look at the energy I wish I had, but enjoy the energy that I do have and appreciate how far I’ve come in the last twelve months. When I first started teaching I had to be very careful with scheduling classes as I knew that the energy required to teach a single workshop would probably take me to my limits and I usually needed a couple of days to just rest and let my body re-build. It’s wonderful to think that I now have the energy to cope with teaching more than one workshop back to back! So although I plan to take it a little easy today, I know it’s because I’m being sensible now and not because I’ve totally exhausted the limits of my body’s ability. For anyone who also suffers with ME, you will know where I’m coming from. For anyone who doesn’t, take it from me, this feels like some kind of small miracle, so I’m incredibly grateful to have got this far. (Oh, and please remind me of this on a day when I’m struggling and feeling completely overwhelmed and frustrated by not having the energy to do what I would like…I do still get those days too!) So thank you to everyone who has made the past three days of teaching very enjoyable (the photo shows the flowers that everyone made at my daffodil and iris workshop yesterday) and I’m looking forward to my next challenge…Battle of the Beadsmith 2014 commences in 2 days, so wish me luck!