My Jewelry-making Goals for 2014 – What Are Yours?

Tubes Filled with Colorful Beads
Jewelry-making goal #4: Use up what I have in my stash. (Who am I kidding?)

We're well into 2014, and I've been thinking a lot about what my jewelry-making goals are going to be for this year. I've been spending the last few weeks working on some new jewelry making techniques, like playing around a little bit with my micro-torch and experimenting with resin jewelry, but when it comes down to it, what I want to do more of in 2014 is beadweaving. Of course, learning these new jewelry making techniques means that I can incorporate them into my beadweaving projects. What a fun challenge that will be for the coming year!

To make it real and concrete, I decided to write down each of these five jewelry making goals on a sticky note and post it above my desk so that I have a reminder (or two or three or five) when I feel stuck. And I'm sharing them here with you, too!

My Top 5 Jewelry-making Goals for 2014

1. Keep a better beading journal. I have to admit, when I look at the number of pieces I actually completed in 2013, it was pretty pitiful. For 2014, I'm going to keep a better journal of my jewelry making projects, both beaded and even the ones that fall under the categories of stringing, wire, and mixed media jewelry, so that I have a better idea of what I'm actually working on throughout the year.

Elaborate Sculptural Beaded Necklace
Jewelry-making Goal #2: Experiment with sculptural bead embroidery techniques

2. Experiment more with my bead embroidery techniques. Some of you remember that a couple of years ago, I created an enormous and intricate collar for the Battle of the Beadsmith that featured shapes made with a combination of sculptural peyote stitch and bead embroidery. Since then, I have filled an entire sketchbook with ideas for new beaded jewelry patterns using this technique — but haven't actually gotten around to beading any of them yet! This will be the year that I stop sketching and start beading on some of these designs, to see what works and what doesn't with this technique.

3. Learn more about resin. I started playing with resin two years ago, and even though some of my first experiments were, well, less than successful, I've grown to love the technique of filling a little bezel with colorful resin and inclusions. Seeing the work of Susan Lenart Kazmer has inspired me even more to create my own resin focal pieces that I can enhance with beaded ropes or beaded chains.

4. Use up what I have in my stash. I don't think I'd be a proper beader if I didn't at least include this — does it sound familiar? "I will not buy any more beads in until I use up what I already have in my bead stash." Well, this year, I have to try to stick to it. I've been hoarding, I mean, collecting seed beads for over 13 years. I most likely have every color that I could possibly need for any project that I could possibly want to make — right?

Colorful Resin Jewelry
Jewelry-making goal #3: Perfect my resin techniques

5. Make time to bead, every day. Now that you've stopped laughing after reading my last jewelry making goal for 2014 (you have stopped laughing, haven't you?), I've got one final goal to share. Believe it or not, there are some days that I don't get to my bead mat, between juggling deadlines and shuttling kids to and from play dates, my beads often get set aside. But this year, I'm setting my alarm a half hour earlier every morning and spending that time working on whatever is on my bead mat. (Because you know there's always something on my beading mat!)

Colorful Metal Jewelry Pieces

If you want to branch out and learn new jewelry making techniques in 2014, think about exploring more ways to include metals in your jewelry making ideas, and even better, learning how to color metals through the application of patinas. Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths will show you  how to advance from beginner jewelry making techniques for coloring your copper, brass, and aluminum jewelry-making components all the way to expert surface treatments. For a limited time, you can get both the eBook and print edition of Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths for one low price!

So, let's get our jewelry-making goals written down. Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your jewelry-making goals for 2014 with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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