I apologize for absence the past few weeks. Believe it or not work’s been crazy. Well, I guess work is only as crazy as I make  it but my Etsy shop is basically firing on all pistons again with nearly 20 items in the shop and more waiting to be added. Designing tote bags has taken a surprising amount of time, but I’ve been really happy with the results for the most part:

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I’ve also started offering a wide array of custom bags. As always there’s also jewelry available. There hasn’t been anything new. I’ve been learning new techniques and getting into an consistent argument with a pair of mini triangle earrings. I love the design but it seems like no matter how careful I am I always manage to mess up in such a way that I don’t actually notice until I tie the last knot. Its been incredibly frustrating, but I will prevail.

I had my first foray into square stitch yesterday. It uses a lot more thread than what I’m used with peyote, but I really like the way the beads sit and the opportunities it opens up once I get the knack of it. Its definitely a lot easier to get the thread paths tangled. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to use my John James needles the next time I attempt it. 

Ultimately its been a busy couple weeks- I also made my first double stranded bracelet. I’ve been looking at a variety of schools in my area and elsewhere, hoping to at least be able to expand my education that way. If you’ve gone to a jewelry design school or even just taken classes someplace awesome I’d love to hear about it (or if you just want to talk design jewelry or tote bag wise).

There are a few things I know for certain: pencil always smears, gray carpet in a studio is the worst idea, and research is a lot of times the most boring things a writer can do. Which isn’t to say research isn’t necessary or even interesting at times, but reading, watching videos, digging for those things and taking notes can get tedious quickly. I’ve always known this, but I’ve been working on expanding a short story I wrote last summer into, if the plot allows, a full blown novel. Unfortunately given the subject matter of the novel it also means that I have to do a lot more research than I planned on accumulating this summer. I love history, and have always had a fascination with the time period I’m working in, but right now I want to write which I can’t do until I can get a timeline better pinned down. 

How do you handle large quantities of research? What tricks do you use to keep yourself engaged for long periods of time? How do you manage the boredom that inevitably accompanies hours of searching for material you may not use?