Read the Inspiring Story Behind Erin Prais-Hintz's Craft Daily Video Shoot

From Jennifer: I remember how excited I was to film a couple of segments for a craft show last year, so I really loved today's guest blog from Erin Prais-Hintz, all about her experience meeting Jean Campbell and filming some great jewelry-making and beading projects for Craft Daily! Take a read, and be inspired.

Jean Campbell, someone that I have followed and admired for many years, contacted me with a short and cryptic message about an "opportunity". When Jean and I first spoke I was surprised that she knew who I was. Of course, I have been in the pages of Jewelry Stringing magazine, and even in a few books here and there, so it shouldn't be a complete surprise that my name would be familiar. But Miss Jean told me that every time she has a staff meeting with her Interweave colleagues my name comes up. Now THAT was a surprise to me!

I don't normally take cell phone calls at work, but when Jean called me in early September, it seemed like this would be on important call to take. Jean wanted to discuss the possibility of me flying out to Fort Collins, Colorado, to the F+W Media offices to film 4 hours of crafting videos for Craft Daily.

Now if you have followed me for any length of time, you know that making jewelry is what I call my "9-to-midnight foolishness". Of course, my obsession with jewelry-making has taken over just about every room of the house, and likely even more hours than that. I have a mostly full-time job, and a very busy family, so I had to consider this offer very quickly, but I didn't deliberate for very long.

So, I thanked Jean and told her that I believed that doors of opportunity are opening around us all the time. We need to have the vision to see what is on the other side, but more importantly, the courage to walk through to discover many more possibilities that lie ahead. She stopped me and said that the opportunity was all my own doing based on my reputation and integrity in the industry. When I got off the phone, I actually burst into tears.

You see, this year has been an especially difficult one for me with the acceleration of my mother's Alzheimer's and just trying to juggle it all. You know in this space I have barely had the strength to do anything more than the 30 Words project (so happy that I have that to keep me connected!). When I hit my 46th birthday in August, I really had this sinking feeling like I would never achieve the goals that I had set for myself back when I turned 40. Maybe, I thought, this is nothing more than a diversion and I was fooling myself. This phone call brought me right back to the reasons I do what I do and gave me a laser focus that I had been missing of late.

I will be honest with you, the idea of creating four hours of content that would be worthy of flying across the country and then filling that time with just me, myself and I was a bit terrifying. Those few hours I had a night to work on creating the projects were further complicated by our largest school 3-day fundraiser and our high school homecoming thrown in, things I wouldn't want to miss. I also had to make all the travel arrangements: flights, hotel, rental car. I know that I freaked out on Miss Jean at least twice wondering if I could actually pull this off, but she was so confident in my abilities that it gave me the courage I may have lacked. She gave me the strength to keep on pushing myself.

I think that typically people who are asked to do this have much more time to plan. I know that I told her that I was concerned mostly that I really didn't feel that I was a technique-based creator. I have a huge variety of tricks in my bag, but none of them are essentially mine, or something that I am known for, and then to fill an entire hour with that is a challenge. After all, if I am known for just stringing beads, it would be about as fun as watching paint dry to see me string bead after bead, right?

However, I also know that I take for granted some of the things that I do that are internalized and inherent in my work, but that might be new to someone just starting out, or someone that wants to kick their designs up a notch. And teaching is in my blood (did you know I was a 7th grade English teacher in another lifetime?). I so love it when someone has that aha! moment, when they see how they would make their creative endeavor their own. So I focused on some of the different projects that I had that might make for interesting viewing and settled on a few of my favorite beading and jewelry-making projects.

When the crew saw what I was going to do they were excited, but also a bit concerned that the content could be stretched to the requisite minimum 45 minutes for each video. I will admit that I was concerned about that as well. Jean suggested that I do easy-hard-hard-easy for the order, as I would be much more tired the following day. Great advice! I started with a project that wasn't necessarily the easiest, but something that I knew pretty well. We started filming and I just chattered along….and when they called, "cut!" I wondered if maybe I missed something, or I went too fast. The producer told me that, no, I was doing great, better than most, but I had talked straight for forty minutes and that the crew needed a break to catch up! I remember that Jean was over there in the corner, cheering me on with fist pumps in the air. Needless to say, I had no trouble filling the remaining time!

I got to meet all sorts of awesome people. [Note to self: take pictures with them next time!] I met Debbie Blair, editor of Jewelry Stringing, and Megan Lenhausen, editor of Beadwork. I got to meet Sonya in contracts, who likes my signature! 

Allison Korleski, editorial director of the books department, asked to have a meeting with me. You know how I have never let go of the desire to write a book, right? Still looking for the right opportunity to come along, and this was another step closer to that goal.

Then there was the delightful Keegan who did my make-up each morning and made me camera-ready; Nick and Andrew the camera operators; Lauren who was ever so encouraging and extremely skilled at keeping me focused and moving in the right direction, and I also met Lavon Peters, managing editor at Beadwork magazine. These are names that I recognize from the publications, and it is so cool to put a name with a face! And, of course, I was thrilled to find out that Jean Campbell would also be there for her own meetings, so I got to spend a little time with her. I even met with Michelle Mach, author of Unexpected Findings. I treated her to a celebration dinner for her new book as I am lucky enough to be one of the featured artists in there! We ate at a brand new restaurant called Blue Agave. Delicious!

This was an incredible opportunity that wouldn't have happened if all the other smaller opportunities I have accepted in my life had been ignored. Believe me when I say that I had moments of doubt where I didn't think that I could or even should do this. What if I completely bombed? Maybe I should wait until I lost 50 lbs? Perhaps no one will watch or be interested? But if I let that nagging doubt take over, then I wouldn't see where this door could lead, and I really like unlocking things. I just had to realize that I held the key. It really is true that one door of opportunity opens to others. There were times when I doubted myself, and wondered if I would be able to pull it off and rise above. But the fact that I was terrified of letting others down meant that I cared enough to do my very best. I feel much more confident about this direction, and hopeful of where this path will lead me.

It's all about saying yes to the thing you think you cannot do.

Feeling inspired to try a new project with your beads? Check out Erin's fabulous Shimmering Garden necklace video! You'll learn how to create fanciful flowers out of your favorite glass beads and wire. Watch as Erin demonstrates each step to create these fabulous beaded flowers that make great beaded jewelry components. Swap out beads to change the look of your flowers, and create a whole beautiful bouquet to grace your next beaded necklace project. Download your copy of Shimmering Garden with Erin Prais-Hintz, and learn how to add beautiful wire-wrapped flowers to your beaded jewelry designs.

Bead Happy,


You can read more about Erin and her experience shooting video for Craft Daily on her blog, Treasures Found.


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