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by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Everyone gets stuck in a creative rut from time to time. After avoiding ANY bead stitching for years (I seriously was hauled down that path kicking and screaming the whole way), I wound up falling in love with the almighty peyote stitch. And now I spend every moment (and penny) on those little-orbs-of-delight; seed beads. I simply could not stop making jewelry with that stitch for about a year straight. I loved being in the "zone," feeling that same Utopian bliss runners claim with their "runners high" and knitters "zen out" with. Stitching was as soothing as chocolate (well, almost), and I saw no reason whatsoever to alter from the path and learn something new. I could be happy forevermore with this one simple stitch ... until once again, hauled down another path only screaming this time (no kicking) to meet Mr. Tubular Herringbone. ARGGGGG! Another new addictive stitch my fingers now itch for!

Becoming a "newbie" and learning something new; anything out of our comfort zone, is an important part of our creative process. Sure it's frustrating; heck I lost count as to how many times I tore out those stitches and started over again. Another thing ... what's up with the difficulty in starting ANY stitch? The first 3-5 rows are brutal! They never look right and are darn near impossible to get on the first try until you've stitched for millenniums! But I found perseverance to be the key to these stitches which leads to a long and deeply satisfying beady relationship.

As adults we get so accustomed to "knowing" things that become our comfort zone. We know our job, creative outlets, foods, etc. But that can lead to complacency and boredom. Also, possibly a false sense of self; we are what we know. I ask you, aren't the best joys on this path called life the unknown surprises? The discovery of a new passion; the excitement of exploring the beginning of something precious and sacred. There's only one way to do this, by letting go of our adult "knowing-ness," sending our ego on a vacation, embracing our inner five-year old and diving in with wonder. This, my dear beady peeps, is what I call "newbie-itis."

The Art of Being a Newbie


Remember way back (way, waaaaaaay back for some of us) in grade school, how excited we were to learn something new? We weren't old enough to be intimidated yet, to feel the self-doubt of "not-enoughness," which is now part of our daily routine just like brushing. We didn't compare ourselves to every kid in class and judge how good we were. We just dove in with thrilling abandon; failure was not a word in our vocabulary yet. Ahhhhh, how gratifying! I invite you to slow down, take a few deep breaths and tap into that thrilling feeling. Whether it's a new bead stitch, incorporating mixed media into your artistic toolbox, or starting your own jewelry-making business; ask yourself, what do I want to learn? What gives me that spark of desire? What new path do I wish to travel at this moment in my life? Turn off the chatter in your mind and explore, dip a toe in the water ...

Let go and dive deeply!

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Newbie-itis," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Thanks for sharing the 'Newbie' article. It was very encouraging."
- Jerry

"Well written and a good challenge to all. Sometimes we forget what fun it is to learn or try something new, and that's probably when we most need to branch out and do it. Nice article, nice encouragement to start something new in the new year. I enjoy your newsletters and catalogs and books that I've ordered from you. It's very sweet and always touches me to find "packed with love" right on top of the order. Thank you!"
- Donna

"Enjoyed the article."
- Miss Jo

"I was glad to read that even pros have the same fear when trying something new! But I too learned through trials and triumphs. Once I embraced the idea and proceed, once I get the hang of it, become so proud of myself! I laugh and giggle like a child at christmas."
- Shervoux

"Loved the article, I am a firm beliver in challanging myself too get out of my comfort zone and it works for me. Something new always appealed to me. As Nike says 'Just Do It.'"
- Carla

"Yes!"
- Diane

"What a fabulous article. I thought I was the only person who became obsessed with anything new I found or learned creatively. Thank you,"
- Carol

"I too am in love with the peyote stitch. I use size 8 Miyuki, squares or hex. It's such a beautiful piece of jewelry, also so nice to the touch I too have found myself trying to move on to something else. I love the tubular Russian spiral. I'm always looking forward to what I'm gonna do next. I really liked your article."
- Robin

"I thought only I had that feeling. I lived with and took care of my dad for about a year. The month he passed I started beading and making lanyards. I didn't stop for 2 months. It really helped me to relax and zone out. I was doing it all night and day for a while. I think it helped me to adjust to being alone adjust to the loss. I didn't know everyone had that newbie-itis. I love it!"
- Lynn

"Loved the article (as I do most of your articles)!!! And it was a mental kick in the butt for me; I like working with semi-precious stones, glass, bone, wood--you get the idea, but to be quite honest, I was getting complacent with my work and that was making me get bored--I wasn't trying new things. I have trouble with my eyesight, so I haven't been that interested in doing anything with any amount of seed beads, but I have been looking at doing wirework off and on, and then just going back to my old rut. Well, I just read this article, and immediately phoned my nephew, who has been bugging me as to what to get me for Christmas (only 4 days away!!!--and we are getting our first snow--21 inches since last night, and it is still snowing strong!!!), and told him to go to a store where I go, with good quality supplies and knowledgeable staff, and tell them who he is buying for, and have them make me up a 'starter kit' for working with wire. So, THANKS!!!"
- Carolynne

"I am very much the same way but my love now is bead embroidery because you can throw the rules out and do your own thing."
- Cynthia

"Today's article was wonderful. Great reminder of how to be enthused about life. Thank you for posting it."
- Sylvia

"I loved this article! It touched me in a very deep way. I'm going to print it out so as I can read it every so often as a reminder. Thank You!"
- Lillian

"Loved the article. Want to learn how to do the peyote stitch."
- Suellen

"A great article because the author expresses my feelings exactly and it is comforting when I want to give up on a new stitch."
- Carol

"Yes, I really liked your article. I am a NEWBIE for a year now and have ventured out a little and I actually get nervous but I try things on my own and after maybe taking everything out 5 times, a light bulb goes on and what a joy to be able to understand what I am doing. When I am really stuck I have fellow beaders, in our beading group who are so nice to help me. Sometimes it is intimidating because other newbies are really taking off with their beading but I love the outcome and will continue on and maybe one day I can help another Newbie."
- Marilyn

"I enjoyed the article 'The Art of Being a Newbie.' Thank you."
- Miriam


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