What Are Your Favorite Jewelry-making Accomplishments?

A few weeks ago, I was asked to submit an application to teach beadwork and jewelry-making at one of my local arts associations over the summer. As part of the application, I had to include a copy of my resume. My first thought was, wow, a resume? I haven't looked at that in over three years! What the heck have I been doing for the last three years, anyway? The short answer, of course, is that I've been writing about beads, teaching beadwork and jewelry-making classes, and learning all kinds of great jewelry-making and beading techniques to share with everyone here on Beading Daily.

But then I stopped and thought for a few minutes about everything else that I've done in my career as a semi-professional jewelry artist. I tried to remember what I originally set out to accomplish the day I walked out of my office job and made up my mind to make a living through beading and jewelry-making. And you know, it's a good thing to feel proud of your accomplishments when it comes to jewelry-making and beading, no matter how small you might think they are. I made up a list of the five things I'm most proud of from my career as a bead and jewelry artist — maybe you have something similar on your list!

  1. Was awarded an honorable mention in two juried art shows. These two awards were part of what motivated me to move forward with my dream to earn a living by making jewelry. I entered my work in two of the juried art shows that were held every year by the regional arts council at a time when jewelry made with beads wasn't considered "art". Not only were my pieces accepted into the show (that traveled all over the Adirondack North Country in upstate New York), but I was awarded honorable mention by the jury! That told me that I was definitely on to something good.
  2. Had my designs published in Beadwork magazine. When I was growing up, my mother started submitting her original knit and crochet designs for publications in magazines like McCall's and Piecework. So when I embarked on my journey from unhappy 9-5er to professional bead and jewelry artist, I knew that having my designs published would be great exposure for my work. Remember, this was also in the day when there were very few places to purchase beading projects and patterns online, so getting my work in front of thousands of beaders was a huge accomplishment!

  3. Taught classes at Bead Fest Philadelphia. For someone who had only taught at my local arts organization and at my local bead shop, teaching classes at Bead Fest Philadelphia was huge! I was so nervous, but it was so much fun teaching my signature piece to a group of lovely ladies at Bead Fest. And of that first group of students, there's one amazing lady who I still see every year who has taught me so much about teaching, beadwork, and yoga! I got so much out of teaching

  4. Had my beadwork purchased by a celebrity. This is a great story: at a time when my little family was strapped for cash, I sold a bead embroidered cuff from my Etsy shop. When I looked at the shipping details, I did  a double-take. I wasn't sure that I was actually reading what I was reading. I quick jumped on the phone with my bestie out in L.A. who works at the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, California and has plenty of celebrity sightings. My friend confirmed that this particular rock star had indeed taken up residence in that part of California, and I was so excited that my hands shook as I brought that little package to the post office! I suppose I shouldn't be too chuffed about this one, though, since I didn't get any repeat orders from the celebrity. Oh, well!
  5. Mastering kumihimo. No, I haven't mastered every kumihimo braid that there is, but I'm sure having fun in the process! Taking my first beaded kumihimo class with Jill Wiseman was probably one of the best things I've ever done during my jewelry-making journey. Just before I started writing this blog, I strung up two more beaded kumihimo projects to take with me in the car on my little mini-vacation this weekend. After several really discouraging attempts at learning beaded kumihimo on my own, I'm happy to say that I can successfully make four beautiful kumi braids using cord, leather, and even wire!

If you're like me, you're always looking for something new to learn in the world of jewelry-making and beading. The Beadwork Magazine Designers of the Year projects are always full of innovation and inspiration for me to learn new techniques, and I love the way they all come together in the Beadwork Designer of the Year Ultimate Collection. It includes three videos on DVD from two very talented Designers of the Year, three digital eBooks full of our favorite beading projects from the DOY, and six additional beading project downloads! There are a limited number of these kits available at a special price, so you'll want to make sure that you get your collection before they run out for good.

While you're at it, take a look at all of the amazing deals in the Beading Daily Shop during the Spring Clearance Event and save up to 75% on your favorite beading and jewelry-making resources!

When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for your jewelry-making accomplishments? You should congratulate yourself for how far you've come since you first started on your own jewelry-making journey! Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share what you've accomplished through your jewelry-making that makes you proud! We want to cheer you on!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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