Sunday, January 26, 2014

As bizarre as this may sound, when I first started making these brooches, I had no idea how to finish them as I'm not a seamstress and can hardly sew a button into place.  After spending weeks or even months on one pin, I'm anxious to finish it but at the same time reluctant.  Cutting and gluing isn't one of my strengths as I am not a "crafty" person and have nightmares about a slip of the sizzors undoing hundreds of hours of work.   

But what's the first thing you do when you pick up a piece of hand-tooled jewelry?  I immediately turn it over and inspect the back.  I was determined to put as much effort into finishing it as I had into creating it; like Steve Jobs felt about his Apple Computers, the inside had to be as perfect as the outside or the whole thing was "garbage!"

So began the long process of teaching myself to finish a pin.  I practiced by buying kits of embroidered cuffs from other artist like Sherry Serafini.  If you want to see some amazing work, look up her book on Amazon, Sensational Bead Embroidery.  I had to figure out how to create my own unique backing as my project was a bit different but it gave me the opportunity to practice.  

Long ago I read a book about learning to "manage" your weaknesses without expecting to make them your "strength."  In fact it's still in print if you're interested.  Soar With Your Strengths by Donald Clifton.  It's with this mindset that I approached finishing the backs of my pins and as a result, I'm pretty proud of them when I flip them over!

Praise for managing what I consider to be a "weakness" can do more for my level of confidence than any amount of recognition for what I consider to be a "strength."

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