Studio Saturday with Humblebeads

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process, or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is ArtZHodgePodge. Congratulations!

You have won a healthy helping of Bead Soup from Lori Anderson! Send Lori an e-mail with your address and she’ll send out your yummy collection of beads.

And now it’s time to join me in the Humblebeads Studio:

I was away from my studio for awhile after the Bead & Button show, enjoying a much needed vacation.  These were the last things from my crazy bead making frenzy the week or so before the show – cuff bracelet connectors.  This is the Garden series.  I also created a Willow series and a few Sea cuffs that will be available next week. 

These whip up so quickly and wear so well. You can wire-wrap these or use large jump rings to attach them to a chain or beads.

To ease back into creating after the post-travel funk, I’ve joined in the Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge.  I’ve finished 4 pieces so far and then decided umm, let’s try more pendants and chain so I can have 12 pieces done by Monday. 

12 pieces in a week may seem like a lot, but I see that some of you have risen to the challenge and finished already!  Even if you start today, if you make 4 pieces a day you could finish by Monday night. 

That’s something I do when I set big goals for myself – like writing a book or preparing for a national Bead Show or creating 12 pieces in a week –  I break the goal down into actionable steps to complete each day or within an allotted time frame.  Grand goals can be completely overwhelming, Like getting ready for Bead & Button, I created over 800 beads in 8 weeks.  That seems crazy, but I broke it down to 100 beads a week – then down to 20 beads for 5 days a week – way more doable than creating 800 beads!

My tips for meeting your goals:

1. Create a goal, write it down and give yourself a deadline.

It’s not a goal if it doesn’t have a deadline and writing it down has all sorts of scary, life-affirming power when it comes to reaching for something you really want.

2. Break your goal down into it’s smallest tasks – no matter how small a step, write it down and give it a deadline. 

Using a wall calendar or dry erase board, write down your steps on the dates you will work on them and then get rid excuses and fears and focus on that task for each day.  Even if you can only devote 15 minutes to your goals, you’ll be surprised what working consistently on a project will result in over a weeks.

3. Plan a reward for when you meet your goal – maybe it’s a day at the beach or a shopping trip. 

Whatever will motivate you, promise yourself that treat when you meet your goal.

4. Stay accountable.

Share your goal with someone who will keep you on track or if you don’t have that support system share your journey on your blog.  Having your peers encourage you and not wanting to let them down can be a great motivator.
What is a goal you are currently working on or would like to start working toward? 
For me, it’s my next book proposal.  No goal is too small or too big – we are all on our own path and have different needs for our jewelry businesses and hobbies.  Share it with me in the comments below and one random winner will be drawn to win one of my new cuff connectors. 

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30 Comment

  1. maneki
    June 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I haven't beaded much lately plus I've also become enamoured by old-fashioned and modern embroidery (not with beads, but threads and such) so I've started to feel like I need to set up goals. Especially about the embroidery so the eagerness doesn't fade (have to learn how to act on the impulse faster, even with a tight budget and few supplies!). Goals are very useful and I try to set up new ones, especially after a dry spell.

    Have some smaller contests and challenges I'm thinking of entering — they're always good goals to use when you don't seem able to get around to anything as there's a fixed deadline and theme. You just jump in and try to work with it. But I have to find some goals of my own too and forget about the "I don't have the supplies for it"-excuse. It's not just an excuse — it's true, but it can keep you from doing things you could've done with other suppies if you only thought about it. There's always something to substitute what ever it is with. Who cares if it just ends up being a sampler or swatch or whatever. As long as I just DO something. Anything. Just to get the stone rolling.

    I'm thinking what I need sometimes is someone else. Someone that'll challenge me and push me forward in a way a "public challenge" doesn't. Someone to share the creative journey with and ideally likes the same type of experimentation (i.e. testing new materials and untraditional supplies, mixing media) and the same way of working that I like. Just someone to share goals with, working seperatly but pushing each other and setting up common goals that fit us.

  2. Jane Perala
    June 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Although not a particularly creaive goal, I would love to be able to keep my working spaces a lot tidier. I don't want the spaces to be "sterile" tidy, just tidy enough that I can find things again! LOL.

  3. Gold Charm Bracelet
    June 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Breaking the goal down to every day assignment takes the tension away from the big challenge as well gets you nearer to the challenge step by step.

  4. THEAjewellery (lesley Watt)
    June 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I have 2 goals at the moment.
    The first is to make time to read all the really useful stuff i've been bookmarking since I started selling 3 months ago – may be a slow an steady pace on that one.
    The second one is to learn new techniques and as I'm going an an introductory enameling course next weekend that one's well on track!

  5. Cillaw
    June 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I guess my next beady goal for the future is to enter some Magazine's call for submissions.

    I'll have to get around to that, maybe after the postal strike is over so I'll be able to mail in my work!

  6. rosebud101
    June 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Heather, as a former special ed teacher who wrote goals for students, I have to say, you did a great job in explaining and breaking down the steps for goals and accomplishing them! Me, I'm trying to quickly learn polymer clay. I don't think that's possible, but I am trying.

  7. lynsey
    June 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Wonderful post Heather, your posts are always so inspirational.
    Funnily enough I've been thinking about this sort of thing lately. I've been thinking about unbelievably busy my life has become, and when i do get time to sit and bead, it's all i do and important tasks like house work, eating etc get over looked. This is not good for a person like me who can't cope with chaos. Now being the bit of a control freak that i am, I've created a schedule book. This my sound a little extreme but it works for me, as i thrive on structure and order, it's also great because i follow it to the letter because i like to be in control, which means important tasks get done. I've now realised that as much as i love my hobby of beading, it is just that a hobby, I've not got a business to worry about, so i can put my beading down, as i don't have deadlines to meet. I have a few goals i want to achieve before i go back to college in September and having this schedule is helping to work towards achieving these goals, which will give me a happy heart.

  8. TesoriTrovati
    June 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Did you write this just for me? 😉

    Well, you know my goal. And I am printing out your suggestions as a reminder. I think that the best thing is having someone to be accountable to. I rise to the challenge when it means that if I don't I will disappoint someone else.

    Thanks for sharing these wise words!

    Enjoy the day!

  9. Carol Tannahill
    June 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I've been thinking of this as well and my goal is that in 5 years I'd like to have a "real" studio at which I work full time and a part time job to get the insurance and benefits. For me, this would represent a step toward my lifetime goal of getting to do what I love for a living. I realize it's ambitious and am willing to work very hard to get there. There are many intermediate steps but your post has prompted me to write them down and actually make a doable plan to get there. Thanks for the boot up the bum!

  10. Pine Ridge Treasures
    June 26, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I have been thinking about goals lately as well. My first goal is to set aside more time for creative inspiration, and my second goal is to organize my workspace so I don't have to hunt for everything!

  11. Betty S.
    June 26, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for this thoughtful post. One of my goals is to step beyond myself and start putting my work out there by submitting to magazines and selling at craft shows and online.

  12. Erin S
    June 26, 2011 at 12:26 am

    my goal is also a book proposal. I had set a goal of the end of the summer, but my regular (non-jewelry) work load has been so heavy I have not had more than a few hours a week I can devote to it. So I am not as far along as I should be.
    Erin S

  13. For My Sweet Daughter
    June 26, 2011 at 12:32 am

    My goals right now are to get into more magazines, do a craft fair and list on etsy more often. I am also woking on the muffin tin challenge and creating my own studio (of sorts)
    Love those connectors!

  14. moonlitfantaseas
    June 26, 2011 at 12:53 am

    right now my only goal is to get my studio moved into what used to be my dads workshop in the back of our garage…….so I can set up my kiln and have a place to do torch enameling, and also bead work. its going to be a while yet as we still have to move out all the wood working stuff, and dry wall and paint, and put up some fire wall and some kind of ventilation system……then my spare bed room and be a bed room again!

  15. gailwhitehead55
    June 26, 2011 at 1:13 am

    I have a list of many goals,and I can't seem to get a one done.I tried the muffin tin trick,then got stuck going backwards,trying to find all the pieces of a color.Or a certain designer bead.I want to read the 4book Song of Ice&Fire,I fall asleep.Lose 25lbs.Stop shopping online.It seems easy to say,but it really is not easy for me to do these things,and be with family as I should.But,I will try your suggestions.I did manage to restring 3 necklaces into 1 really good necklace.When I find my camera,I'll send photos.Another goal for me,as you know Heather.You gave me very good advice,and it did work!

  16. Cece Vineeta
    June 26, 2011 at 4:27 am

    My goals are to create something everyday and to learn new techniques. I do pretty well meeting the creating goal, but the learning new techniques… my next goal, create longer days!

  17. Pam Chesbro
    June 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

    My current goal is to get my stash under control and be able to find the things I need when I need them, not the week after!

  18. playsculptlive
    June 26, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Reading your blog is like looking into my own studio. When I have a challenge like making enough inventory for the fall season, I calculate what I need and I break it down into how many finished pieces a day and then honor that. Although I make my own beads all year long, I don't worry about what I will do with my beads. i just make what seems nice or what I like. I finish them up and create my designs during my blitz or so many a day. Last year I ended up with over 2000$ worth of inventory which for me lasted though most of my season. Works for me.

  19. Kristen
    June 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I bought a torch, set it up, and haven't used it yet. It makes me nervous! So my goal is to just sit down and get used to lighting it and work on some simple things every day this week.

  20. cw
    June 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    My goals? Hmmm, great topic for discussion! I would love to start selling my designs. I struggle with thoughts about selling on-line. I want to sell unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, or slight variations of them. 'not sure about any of it.
    Your outline is a perfect example of managing life as a designer.
    Thanks for your advice, and your new pieces are wonderful!
    [email protected]

  21. CraftyHope
    June 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Heather, Those are some great tips on meeting goals. Thanks for sharing them with us. Right now, my goal is to finish up the Muffin Tin Challenge. As well, I'm still recovering and playing catch up from our vacation over a week ago. . .sigh.

  22. Sally Anderson
    June 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    My goal? Singular, one goal. To get in the habit of setting goals and following through! HA! Sounds silly but it's true. I respond to external deadlines WAY better than to my own internal ones. So I don't set goals because I'm so bad at following through. I need to change my mindset and behavior about this. Thank you for this post. I've printed it out and will work on this seriously!

  23. Attorney Angela Lund-Logan
    June 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    My goal is to complete 5 bridesmaids necklaces and bride's necklace all with matching earrings for which I have been hired. After a two hour meeting designing the three strand bridesmaid necklace with the mother of the groom, I was rather overwhelmed. I concentrated on creating the "prototype" for each strand of the bridesmaids necklace. Once approved, I was unsure how to proceed. I finally decided to prepare all of the outside stands first, then the middle strands, and then the inside strands. To my surprise this worked amazingly well!
    Then I created two prototypes for the bridesmaid earrings. Making the five sets of earrings was easy. After another lengthy meeting to "assemble" each necklace, the bride's necklace and earrings were designed. I just have the inside strand left of the bride's necklace to make and then assembly.
    I will agree that breaking the daunting assignment into small tasks allowed me to stay focused and work towards completion.

  24. Aquariart
    June 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Love your new series. The vibrant blue and purple especially, of course. I always think about the big goal and have a very hard time breaking it down which causes me to procrastinate because I am so overhwelmed. Thanks for the great method – I am going to try it.

  25. Erin
    June 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Phenomenal post, Heather! This is all so true and the best advice on goal setting anyone could possibly give. I'm really focused on publishing right now. My goals are to do the best job I can on our upcoming jewelry book. I hope it to be one of the best selling titles and I plan on working really hard to make that happen. I hope you will really enjoy our book, Heather. It is packed to the brim with art beads. We made sure of that. After our current project, I hope to continue on a publishing path. I really enjoy working and collaborating with others. I would love to contribute to other books in the future. I'm also considering working on a solo project as well.

  26. somethingunique
    June 27, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Hi Heather, this is just the post i needed, i accually printed out your tips and i am posting them in my studio, and my goal is to just get motivated in general i have a festival in 3 weeks and have hardly anything made, for one thing i am waiting for some major suppiles i have ordered to come in and we are in the midst of a mail strike so that doesn't help. I have been taking care of Jack it's been 13 weeks no weight bearing on his ankle so he needs help to do alot so that's kept me busy .I was hoping to partake in the muffin tin challenge but did jewelry for 2 wedding parties and catered the midnight table for one of the weddings so that kept me very busy this week and weekend, yesterday i dipped 20 pints of fresh strawberries in chocolate and did a fruit carving & 200 fruit kabobs. but i still have every intention of filling my new muffin tin just to get me motivated along with your tips, so thank-you Heather you gave me the kick in the butt i needed!!
    take care and enjoy your Sunday ttfn lana 🙂

  27. Susanm
    June 27, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Your post is very thought-provoking and inspirational. I have a number of outstanding projects at the moment. But right now, I am going through a challenging time at home and at work and while I know I would feel better if I did something creative, it is hard to get motivated. So my goal is to re-read your post and set one reasonable goal(s) for this week. And repeat for next week.

  28. swopemelmel
    June 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I would like to start a blog. Do a craft fair or two and maybe even copyright a name for myself. Mel

  29. Ashleigh Becker
    June 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I would like to expand – start doing some shows and events, selling to shops, etc. Starting a blog is also on the list. I just took on another 8 week job that will require a lot, maybe all of my spare time. I really don't want to stop creating during this busy time so another goal is to create for at least a few hours a week.

  30. Erin Fickert-Rowland
    June 29, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Well since you were crackin' the whip on the muffin tin deadline, I am just getting around to catching up on my reading at ABS! Love your advice on achieving goals, Heather, and you are a remarkable example to follow! My goals for the rest of the year are to get a body of work completed in painting, and to get a new shop up and running. Enerything else is gravy (and some interesting opportunities are starting to peek out!) I am loving the colors you are working with- to be inspired by nature, but hone in on such vibrant color is a very beautiful talent you have!

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