Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bead Tease!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone who left feedback on last week's post. You're awesome!

And if you haven't checked it out yet, don't worry! There's still time to be awesome. All you have to do is read and leave me a comment! You'll be glad you did -- Mr. Sequin thinks it's one of my very best posts, and he's a pretty smart guy.

Today's post will be fun, but not so wordy. In fact, it's going to be more sparkly. The reason? Well, I've decided to be a Bead Tease again. Here are some sneak peeks of my latest works in progress.

In case you missed it before, here's a piece I shared on my Blogcademy post. 

 Here's a crazy freeform necklace I'm working on, using the same techniques I used for Karen and Mandi's Freeform Challenge:

Here's another sequin-embroidered collar. I just can't stay away from red and black!

And last but not least, here's a little preview of someone something I might wear to the Bead and Button Show this summer. I'm super excited about this one, and I can't wait for it to be finished.

And that's all the sparkle I have to show today! I hope you enjoyed it... and that I'm not driving you too crazy with all these sneak peeks.

Have a great weekend! I plan for mine to be full of fun, friends, and cupcakes. I also plan to get a year older, wiser and cuter tomorrow because yes, it'll be my birthday. If you plan to send me a stripper cake or box full of puppies, let me know so I can give you my street address. Otherwise, I'd love it if you'd make a donation to BatWorld.

And as always, thanks for stopping by, and have a sequintastic day!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When You're In Limbo (Pole Optional).

How Low Can You Go? 

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Since I started blogging almost two years ago, I've had a lot to say about rejection. I've talked about how to handle it, how to move on from it, and how to keep from giving up when you feel like you've had too darn much of it.

After I entered one of my latest, and coolest, projects into Bead Dreams for 2013, I realized that there's a whole other territory between acceptance and rejection. A sort of limbo, where you've sent your work out into the world to be judged, and all you can do is wait.

(A sneak peek of my necklace.)

And even though it's not a comfortable place, it's an important one. Creative people, from writers to performers, spend a good chunk of time here, after all. So crank up the music, grab a pole if you're inclined, and let's do some exploring!

A Cool Place To Be?

Now maybe you're thinking... no. No, limbo is not a cool place to be, Miss Sarah J. Sequins. How can you suggest such a thing? At best, waiting is boring. Because the suspense is killing you, and you want to know now, now, now. Maybe it feels like you can't move forward until you know the outcome.

And at worst? It's maddening! Because when you're in this state, your imagination can go wild. Maybe it heads right to that worst case scenario, like mine does. To put it another way, if you're standing over the box containing Shroedinger's famous cat, you start to wonder if you'll find a hungry zombie kitty when you lift the lid. 

(Or something really scary... like a game show host!!! Aaaaahhhhh!!!!)

(Sorry about that. If you have Alex Trebek nightmares tonight, I take full responsibility.)

But when you think about it, limbo is kind of a neat place to be because in a way, anything is possible. Maybe the cat is alive and purring. Maybe it had cute, fluffy kittens. Or maybe, just maybe, it's a flamingo in a cat costume, and it wants to dance for you.

So if you can, try to accept limbo for what it is. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to predict the outcome. Just enjoy the idea of endless possibilities. Think of limbo as something exciting, or even fun. Like having a table full of mysterious, unwrapped birthday presents.

If You Still Hate Limbo

Maybe you're not buying the magical, endless possibilities thing. That's OK. A few years ago, I wouldn't have, either! That's why I have another suggestion, which is making another plan.

But first, I should clarify something. When I thought I wanted to be a doctor, I had some instructors and even family members tell me that I should have a backup plan. Not even a backup plan, really -- more like a safe, practical cushion for when I inevitably failed. Plan B, where B stood for Boring.

Well, I'm not going to do that to you! When I tell you to make another plan, I don't mean that you should prepare to settle for mediocrity. What I mean is that whatever happens next isn't up to you. Once you've produced the best work you can and sent it out into the world, success or failure is completely in the hands or other people. And while people can be great, they can also be pretty unpredictable.

A is for Awesome!

So no Plan B. What I am going to do, though, is encourage you to come up with an equally awesome plan. Something that has nothing to do with giving up or settling, and everything to do with dreaming up opportunities that are just as cool as the first one. We'll call it Plan A for Awesome.

(Or Amazeballs. It's totally your choice.)

Because when you have a Plan A, you no longer feel like your whole life is on pause. You can move on to the next project -- something you need to do whether you succeed or fail -- with confidence. Because you know that the magical possibilities are still out there. And because you know that no matter what happens, you'll be able to handle it. After all, you're tough and resourceful and completely amazeballs.

When I sent my new favorite necklace into the world to be judged, I knew that if I didn't get into Bead Dreams, I'd enter it in another contest. Or I'd submit it to the gallery section of Bead and Button Magazine. And no matter what, I'd eventually sell it to a fantastic lady who loves it as much as I do.

And I felt like I could breathe. I felt like no matter what happened, I'd be OK. And when I got my rejection letter, I was sad and disappointed, and I did some heavy pouting. And yes, I consoled myself with a lot of Oreos -- I'm still feeling a little sick from that.

But my pouting wasn't as bad as the last time. The very same day, I went right back to work on my latest project. For someone who could have won an Olympic medal in pouting a few years ago? That's not too shabby.

Now it's your turn. Are you now in the limbo stage? Well, then! Here's what I want you to do:

  • Get a piece of scrap paper and write down the name of whatever you're in limbo about.
  •  Next, list the things you'll gain if you succeed. These can be obvious things like trophies and prizes. These can also be less obvious things, like acceptance from your peers and recognition for your hard work and creativity. Or just feeling like you've been noticed.
  • Now I want you to look at that list and circle the very most important thing. Seriously, if your answer is prize money, it's prize money. No judgements from me -- those beads don't buy themselves, after all.
  • And now I want you to think of -- and write down -- three other things that might get you this most important thing. Entering another contest, submitting to another magazine, applying to another gallery, being featured on another blog. Selling your work to the right person. 
  • Or maybe you'll bypass the gatekeepers completely, in which case it's time to get creative and really have fun! Publish your own story in an anthology you put together, turn your painting into a fabric on Spoonflower and make sheets out of it, create your own online magazine, get together with your artist friends and find a place to do your own exhibit/fashion show/concert/whatever. It's amazing what you can come up with when you put that overactive imagination to good use!
  •  And then I want you to notice how you feel. Better? Worse? Pretty much the same? And if you feel like sharing this with me, I'll be thrilled to hear from you, even if you're telling me I'm completely crazy. Because then I can start thinking of another way to help you.

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day! <3

(And if you're looking for my post on Blogcademy, it's here.)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sequins for Blogcademy!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

You might have noticed that since the Freeform Challenge, I haven't posted a lot of eye candy.

It's not that I haven't been beading away. On the contrary, I have one finished piece and two half-finished ones that I'm just dying to show you... because can I be honest? I'm so excited about them, I'm bouncing around like a flamingo on a trampoline. They're pretty fierce.

I need to keep them to myself for various reasons, even though it's driving me crazy. But! I can finally show you another project I've been working on, and one I'm just as jazzed about. Are you ready?
 (It's raining earrings!!!)

Last month I was accepted as a sponsor for Blogcademy, a retreat for gals who want to take their blogging to the next level. The wonderful Blogcademy headmistresses, Gala Darling, Shauna Haider, and Kat Williams, asked me to make earrings in grey and turquoise, official Blogcademy colors. This was an awesome idea, and I was more than happy to oblige.

I made the earrings with silver holographic sequins for some extra glitter. I combined them with turquoise paillettes and rings from my favorite ring place, Blue Buddha Boutique.

Once I'd made earrings for the LA Blogcademy class, I wanted to make something special for Gala, Shauna, and Kat -- after all, they were giving me this great opportunity! At first I wasn't sure what to do, but then I read Gala's post about the Vampire Ball, and I decided to honor Gala's inner Goth.

 (Sequins and skulls! The perfect combination.)

I'd been looking for a chance to use the skull beads I bought this summer, and I love how these turned out. I might have to make myself a pair in silver, black and red. Y'know, to honor my inner Goth, too. <3

Making the earrings for my Blogcademy friends was a lot of fun, but unlike my three secret projects, I won't keep the experience to myself! If you make jewelry or other sparkly things, you might consider sponsoring a Blogcademy class. It's a chance to work with some amazing people and gain some exposure.

Oh, and here's something funny! I was looking at one of my secret projects, and I guess Blogcademy inspired me. My color choices look familiar, don't they? It was completely unintentional.

(A sneak peek. I'm such a tease!)

Tune in next week for more fun things. And while you're here, you might want to check out last month's Epic Indie Book Fair, which features several incredible books, including... a Western with unicorns! I'm totally serious.

Thanks, Blogcademy headmistresses, for letting me be a sponsor, and a huge welcome to any Blogcademy students who might have wandered over to my corner of the Blogiverse. And of course, thank YOU for stopping by and chatting with me.

Have a sequinastic day!

PS: Gala wrote all about Blogcademy LA. You can read about it right here!