Hey there and welcome to Weekly Wishes, where I talk about the goals or challenges I want to achieve this week and also let you share your own through the link-up below. I’d love for you to join me and add a link to your own goal-oriented post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.
G’day everyone! Can you believe it’s almost October already? I wonder if certain months tend to feel faster than others, because I have a feeling September is always the quickest. These past few weeks have gone by in such a flash. I spent much of this weekend working, relaxing, and planning for an upcoming project — hopefully an eCourse! :) I also finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and canNOT tell you how freakin’ much I love that book. It’s full of so much wisdom, love, and empowerment. Gah! I was so smitten by Cheryl Strayed that I immediately bought another one of her novels, Wild, and have been totally enjoying it so far, too.
I also got to spend some time with Paul this weekend, which was nice because he was out of town for work all of last week. We booked a trip to Portland for November and I can’t wait to get out and explore with him soon! It miiiight rain the whole time we’re there, but given the dry, hot weather we’ve been having in California, I think I’d actually kind of like that. :)
What are your favorite places to visit in the US?
Last Week’s Wishes
- Work on some new prints. Yes! I drew, scanned, cleaned up, and finalized at least five new prints! I added one of them to the shop, but the others should be up soon, too. :)
- E-book or E-course? I finally took some time to REALLY plot out how this ol’ thang is going to work and I’m getting super crazy excited about it.
This Week’s Wishes
- Take product photos. I think I finally have a plan for my print shop and have ideas on how to refine my product photos and packaging. This week, I’d like to take all my product photos and get everything ready for an official launch!
- Get crack-a-lackin’ on the eCourse. Now that I’ve got the foundation set, I hope I can set aside some real time to create all of the content. This is such a fun project for me; I save it for evenings, when I’m done with all my other work, and I always look forward to it!
What are your goals for this week?
WEEKLY WISHES LINKUP RULES
1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whatever! Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.
2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too! You can use the button below if you’d like!
<div align="center"><a href="http://thenectarcollective.com/tags/weekly-wishes/" title="The Nectar Collective" target="_blank"><img src="http://thenectarcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Weekly-Wishes-Button.jpg" alt="The Nectar Collective" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
3. You can link up your posts on any day of the week, but the most common day to do so is Monday. :)
4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a motivating comment.This is such an important part of this linkup! We are each here to encourage each other and build a community of determined women and friends. If you join our community, please share some love — that’s all I ask. :)
Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more shops pop up that offer clay bead necklaces, often with colorful and eclectic beads. To me, they seem like the indie woman’s version of a “statement necklace” and I couldn’t wait to try my hand at making some myself. Today, I’ve got a super simple (and fun!) tutorial on how to make your own clay bead necklaces, with some tips I learned along the way. Creating these necklaces only takes a few minutes (minus baking time) and costs less than $10!
I used Sculpey clay, a sharp pointy thing (you can see a picture of it above if my description fails ;)), and cotton cord, though you can also use leather or waxed cord. Also, if you have a drill, you can use that instead of the sharp pointy thing, but either will work.
Step One: Knead your clay into balls or preferred shapes
This is probably a skill you learned when you were in preschool. Super easy! You can also make other shapes, like flat, coin-shaped beads, long and narrow beads, oval beads, you name it! I added polka dots to some of my beads by making teeny tiny balls out of clay crumbs and then rolling my round bead into the crumbs. Then, I just rolled it in my hands again, to make sure the polka dot crumbs were kneaded well into my bead.
Step Two: Poke a hole in your beads
With your sharp pointy thing (my tool was found in the clay section of a crafts store, but you could also use a toothpick), carefully poke a hole into your beads. If your clay is too soft, the bead will squish as you poke the hole, causing the round shape to warp. I recommend waiting a few minutes for the clay to get a bit harder or briefly sticking your clay in the freezer.
Alternatively, if you have a drill, then all you need to do is create a small indentation on your bead where you’d like the hole to be (you can just use the tip of a pencil!). Once the beads are done baking, hold your bead and drill a hole where you created the indentation.
Step Three: Bake your beads
Your clay should have instructions for how long to bake your beads. I baked mine at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
Step Four: String your beads onto your cord
At this point, you can add a clasp or just tie a knot like I did. If you went the drilling-a-hole route, then now would be the time to drill your holes. All done! You’re a jewelry-making extraordinaire.
What do you think? Would you make a clay bead necklace?
I first started doing calligraphy when I lived in Japan. Another English teacher told me that an old man in town was offering Japanese calligraphy lessons, and being a new and kind of lonely expat, I jumped at the chance to get out and do something. I took Oishi-sensei’s class for about a year — the entire time I lived in Japan’s rural north. He had me keep a portfolio of all my best pieces, which is one of the few things I was adamant about bringing back to California with me. The piece below was one of the last ones I did in his class, and arguably my best, for both its complexity and style.
The little red stamp is something Oishi-sensei carved for me. In Japan, instead of using signatures on documents, everyone uses a red stamp with their name, called a “hanko.” To get my hanko, my name needed to be phonetically written in Japanese. My supervisor chose the characters for my name, 芽理沙, which would read “me-ri-sa,” the closest phonetic spelling to “Melyssa.” My calligraphy teacher used the first character, 芽, to create my calligraphy hanko, which you can see below. The English meaning is “bud” and I think it sums up so beautifully everything I feel about Japan.
It wasn’t for a couple more years that English calligraphy seemed to take off, and I noticed the calligraphy craze from a million miles abroad. As soon as I got back to the States at the end of last year, I began to dabble in all sorts of new mediums — and loved every moment of it.
I still have quite a lot to learn, but I’ve definitely improved since those first couple of months. I’ve also tried almost every medium and tool there is for the craft, beginning with traditional calligraphy (like the last image in this post) and also testing out pens, paint, watercolor, and a variety of brushes. I follow a lot of calligraphers on Instagram now, and at first would get frustrated by their work, because it was hard to figure out which tools, inks, and brushes they used to achieve the effects they did. Now, instead of feeling confused or stuck, I just try new ways of doing things and usually stumble upon something I love.
One of my favorite things to do after work is turn on some music, pour a glass of wine, and letter my little heart out. It’s fun, relaxing, and soul-lifting. I love it.
I also started a print shop a few months ago, where I sell some of my art. I’m still working on refining the shop — which I started before I really knew anything about running a store – but I’m enjoying the act of selling physical products. It’s amazing to think that something I created is sitting in someone’s house, as faraway as Australia.
Time to get back to work now. :) I hope you enjoyed this little peek into some of my recent projects. Have a creative day, my friends!