NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Changing up your Jewelry Making (among other things)

by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer and Instructor,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

I don't like New Year's resolutions, do you? I set them and follow until the bleak mid-February hits, then the resolutions taper off, then stop--followed by feeling like a loser once again for quitting! Just the word ''resolution'' seems so, well, strict and final for some reason. Instead, I've decided to frame the word resolution in a different, more positive and enjoyable way. So, I'm calling it ''New Year, New You'' and invite you to join me in reframing some of the most popular resolutions (it won't hurt, I promise).

Lose Those Pounds
Let's start with the ever-popular diet or food plan. The experts say if you're trying to change a habit, you must substitute the habit for something else in its place. I'm not advocating or dissing South Beach or Atkins, but I have a couple of new ideas. Eat what you will, but consider cutting out a particular food, something like ice cream or cupcakes, for example, and instead, make jewelry out of it!

Giving up wine or martinis? Use these grapes or martini glasses! Cutting down on coffee and drinking more tea? How about a teapot? Giving up dairy milk and cheese? How about a cheese grater keychain? Trading that muffin in for something more nutritious to start off your day? How about a muffin pan dangle? Cutting out the sweets? How about a candy charm bracelet? Or learn to make your own food trinkets out of polymer clay--adorable cupcakes, donuts and ice cream cones to name a few.

Try Something New
Why not venture into something completely different? If you're a seed beader, learn to dye pearls or try some metal clay. If you're a metalsmith, try some glass fusing in a microwave kiln. If you're a wire wrapper, try kumihimo. If you're a lampworker, try a wire jig. How about some quilting or scrapbooking? It's amazing how learning something new in an unrelated area clears your mind for new designs and applications in the areas you focus on more regularly. It's almost like starting with a clean slate, and you'll find some interesting ideas pop up on incorporating your new skills with your pre-established area of expertise. Funny how the brain works that way!

I live for the day Cindy Crawford or Heidi Klum finally admits they HATE to exercise (I've been suspicious since I did my first tummy crunch). Meanwhile, we all know we should do it, and probably more often than we do! How about setting the timer when you sit down to bead for every hour? Get up and dance a jig around the living room or your studio, take a break outside and jog around the block; actually moving every hour.

How about donating to your favorite cause this year? Try your local humane society--who doesn't love those four-legged angels? Beads for Education is another great charity. Its mission is to promote Maasai women's business development, assist in educating Maasai girls and help preserve the wonderful natural resources that Kenya is famous for by raising environmental awareness. How about sharing your jewelry-making skills with kids at a local middle school or women's shelter? Nothing is as rewarding as sharing your passion with the world.

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