This begins with trying to organize my supplies, and ends with a brainstorm on my future career.

Yesterday I ended up being called in to work to cover for someone, so I really didn’t get that sweet “5 days off in a row” thing.  I spent most of today recovering in bed.  I have been doing work in that You Majored in What? book, which got me back to thinking about whether I should be looking realistically at being a jeweler (or “handcrafter”, possibly, I think it’s splitting hairs, but I tend to work in non-precious materials)…

I’ve wanted to start an MS Access database on what beads I have, in which colors/shapes/sizes/materials, and where I’ve left them…along with my cords and threads, too, though the needles can probably just all go in an envelope.  😉

I actually have a need to do this, because presently my beads and threads (not to mention my tools) are all scattered into project boxes and drawers in color-coordinated brainstorm sets, so I don’t know what I have.  Unfortunately, I took my Access classes a very long time ago, and so I don’t clearly recall how that program works.

One of the things I was doing the other day was looking at shelving units, because…I’m just feeling disorganized.

At first, the goal of this was to get all of my beading and jewelry books off of my altar table — presently, if one of them gets pushed over, it will push a box off of the edge of the table (one of my bookends) because there are so many heavy books standing there.  What’s in the box is delicate (particularly the crystals like my Aragonite and Fluorite, which aren’t really precious stones and nor are they made to stay in one piece), and so I really don’t want this to happen.  The books, in turn, are the books that I’d actually want to refer back to if I did go into beadwork and/or silversmithing, which is why they’ve been separated out.  Of course most of these are what I call “recipe books,” but you don’t really learn how to make your own dinners until you first can follow the directions of someone who knows how to cook.

Clearing off the altar table would mean that I could use it for other things — like beadwork.  For me, looking at the collection of titles on my table kind of recaps my actual interests, at least prior to actually doing the work…wirework, knotting, weaving, embroidery.  (I got into silversmithing for a couple of semesters and have a couple of books on it, but along with the elitism showed towards beaders, the class itself was hazardous [in some ways, unnecessarily so].)  It’s actually better for me to do beadwork closer to the floor and on top of a carpet — this way, tiny dishes of spilled beads don’t scatter and bounce and roll away in a 15 foot radius.  Like they do on linoleum.

The worst that can really happen from a bead spill over a carpet is that some of the beads get lost in the carpet, then break from being shot up into the vacuum by the vacuum cleaner’s beater bar, and then shoot through the vacuum bag like little BBs that are razor-sharp on one edge, and dust starts to fly everywhere.  It’s happened before.  The nice thing, though, is that they usually don’t do this, and haven’t done this in years, so maybe it was just a particular vacuum cleaner that had that problem.

It’s really much worse to lose a needle or pin in a carpet, though those can usually be retrieved with a strong magnet, if they haven’t worked their way into the carpet’s foundation.

So anyhow, I’ve been looking at storage solutions — initially for books, but then I started trying to figure out what else I could move, if I moved the books to the bookshelves and moved the stuff I’m not interested in, out of here.  Particularly, a lot of the occult stuff can go (like the tarot cards and books I still don’t know or really give a hoot how to use), but maybe I’d keep the knitting, crochet, and sewing books in here for topicality.

I think I kind of have a problem in that I keep looking at ways to earn money or spend time which would be OK if I were married to someone who was financially supporting me, and I had a lot of spare time on my hands.  But…that’s not entirely the case.  I’m being supported by family, yes, but the question arises of what I’d do if I never married or had a long-term partner.  This has come up before, but maybe it takes more than one partner to declare oneself asexual, yes?  (At the same time, I don’t want to marry someone just for money, because it would be nothing but hell.)

Anyhow, I realized earlier tonight while trying to take stock that even if I did separate out my art and beading materials from each other, I still have way too much beading stuff to move the whole of it to anyplace near the altar table.  The room is just not big enough.  What remains, that I could move, are the 2-D art supplies and finished artwork (I thought I could make more money at art than at beading — psh), but most of those things are packed away in some kind of order.  What is in disarray are all the freakin’ project beginnings that are scattered everywhere, which I left myself some time to think on and then forgot about.

I know that even if one is a silversmith, it’s often hard to make ends meet just by making jewelry.  It would still be difficult as a craft jeweler, at least so if one didn’t go the publishing route to make a pattern book, or work for a niche magazine.

I do have one pair of earrings that I made via my own method, though I am not certain I would even remember how to make them, again!  What I know is that they’re in a drawer waiting for the threads to be cut off of them — I never did so, because I used FireLine for the thread, and FireLine is notorious for not holding knots well.  At least the sculptural part is not carrying a heavy load, though.  What I can and should do is either clip the threads very close, or cauterize the ends with my thread burner.  I’ve just been too scared to do it.

But anyway, I’d probably need a second job just for financial stability.  If I did go this route, I should complete the Business degree at my college (I’m well into it), so that I have a chance of doing this right.  When I brought the possibility of making a living at jewelry up tonight at dinner, D said that he had a coworker who had a web presence and used actual jewels, and didn’t sell much.  This was kind of a letdown.

Later I asked him if she had gone through any marketing or promotional efforts other than just having a webpage, and all he could say was that her webpage was connected to Facebook and promoted to her Friends.  So, maybe, because of my Business background, I actually have more tools at my disposal which will enable me to be more successful than said person.  It’s also possible that I’ll be able to leverage the Business and Writing training for a position within a larger business, and then do my own small business stuff on the side.

If I do this though — I’d want to get back into math, and re-learn how to use Access, for example, and further my Excel and PowerPoint training.  I already have some Communications ability from having had to present in that one Comm class just recently…so I know how to do public speaking decently, now (or, at least, better than a lot of people, though my last presentation in Comm had the problem of “too many slides”).

My goal is to end up doing something for a job which I’d want to do anyway, so it won’t feel so much like “a job.”  I know that 2-D art still feels like “a job,” but playing with beads does not.  And if I ran my own small business, I can use what I learn there for a position within a larger organization.  They can’t all be bad…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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