I leave for Metal Retreat
one week from today in less than one week (edited because apparently my internal calendar was off by one day!), and I’m frantically making my lists and checking them twice. And then three times. And then four.
Since we leave one week from yesterday, I took my car to the shop so it could be checked out for the road trip. Turns out it’s a good thing I did – the bearings in both front axles were bone dry, metal on metal, and had to be replaced. That could have been a very unpleasant discovery midway to Salt Lake. Actually, that could have been a very unpleasant and potentially dangerous discovery at any point over the last couple of months. I’m really good about taking my car in for oil changes and safety checks and I’m more than a little annoyed that no one I paid money to over the last year pointed out a problem. In spite of my annoyance, though, I am intentionally giving thanks to God for keeping me safe on the road – I’ve been doing a ton of driving and it really could have been bad.
I’ve got my route map put together and am researching hotels for our overnight on the way to Salt Lake, where we’ll spend a day playing in Melissa Muir’s awesome studio and helping her get packed up. Then it’s on to Trout Lake, Washington for five whole days of creativity, good food, good wine, and new friends. I am seriously excited, but the planning and preparation for this has been monumental and I am really ready for time to just create.
I’ve also been working on putting together my teaching and workshop plans for next year. (Hint: it’s going to be very metal-focused.) For a while, it really felt like 2013 was dragging its heels and taking its sweet time but suddenly 2014 feels like it’s right around the corner. There’s a lot of exciting stuff around that corner, and I’m itching to get at it. A few more months and I can talk more about it all but it’s a huge ball of big and thrilling and scary and exciting and I am consumed with plans and details.
One of the things I’ll be changing for sure is where I offer my things online – I took down my Etsy shop a few months ago and am doing research about alternatives. Etsy has been oversaturated with jewelry for a long time now, so it’s been hard breaking into that market, but there are some additional changes in the works that are a deal breaker for me. One is this whole issue of “collectives” – Etsy just isn’t doing enough to keep the sweatshop producers out of the market, and I don’t believe they’re all about handmade anymore, which is important to me. So I’m looking at Artfire, Zibbet, Big Cartel, and Soldsie. There’s also the option of putting my own store up here on the blog… what do you think? Where are you looking to put your items?
So… yeah. I’m busy. But I am also enormously fulfilled. I’m teaching and learning new things that keep me immersed in the creative. I’m working with amazing people at my church on creating worship and teaching moments that matter, that really lead people into God’s presence, and I am overwhelmed and humbled by the way they give their hearts to the work. My sweet husband is painting again and I am fired up by his excitement and the things he is experimenting with. My daughter is reaching out to expand her horizons, to do something more with her life, and it brings me great joy to know her as an adult. And I have the great privilege of friends who love me enough to give me the gift of their honesty, from their hearts, so that I am constantly challenged to be better.
I have so much more than I deserve. And I am so grateful.