Monday, November 15, 2010


Thank you SO much for the kind words of support about my last post, I am incredibly grateful to each of you.

Those long-awaited supplies finally arrived today. My blood boiled when I saw the mailing date on the envelope - November 10th, a full 3.5 weeks after I had paid and after the seller had almost immediately marked the item as "Shipped" on Etsy. I would understand if it had been mailed within a few days after I paid and it was just the postal service or customs' fault for delaying delivery, but that wasn't the case. The actual delivery only took 5 days from the U.S. to Auckland.

My business cards and labels also arrived -- they look AWFUL. The image is unsharp and dark and the business cards are flimsy and cheap. Thankfully Vistaprint have a satisfaction guarantee and have refunded my money.

A good friend emailed me, suggesting that by wanting to give up now I appeared to be choosing pessimism and putting roadblocks up to my own success. I've been pondering this, the source of my willingness to pack it all in when only a few months ago I was so excited to devote the next year to really giving Art & Clasp a shot. I have had some personal situations that have left me feeling like I have few resources left to deal with frustration. Additionally, a big part of it is financial - I am struggling on my very low, very part-time paycheck. After paying for gas, which I seem to constantly be putting in the car, my handful of monthly expenses, and assorted Kenzo-related costs, there is not a lot left. Living with my parents, far from everything, is proving to be much more difficult than I anticipated. So my recent experiences with wasting money on sub-standard supplies has really hurt.

But mainly, I think the problem is that I am not proud of the jewelry I make. I feel like it is assembly work with pre-made charms and images that anyone could do. As you probably know, I don't make those pretty images in the pendants myself, I buy them on Etsy - and I am always acutely embarrassed when someone thinks I do make them myself. A hole punch, a bit of glue, choosing a few charms, some opening and closing of jump rings, what is talented and creative about that? Even some of the lovely comments you left, using words like "unique" and "lovely" and "beautiful" -- I feel like they are not warranted. If I made those images (and I have tried unsuccessfully), or handmade the charms, I would be proud of my products. But as it stands I feel kind of like a sham, gluing a few pieces together and calling it "handmade" creativity.

This (and my last post) are NOT an attempt to fish for compliments or encouragement. I just want to explain where my head is at, and not appear like a child stamping my foot and throwing everything away because something isn't immediately going my way. So for now, I have decided to put my Etsy shop back on vacation, while I figure out my next steps.

What I really want to do is work on my painting so that I can eventually put those into pendants. There are a couple of painting workshops in the new year at universities here in Auckland that I would like to take (there are some wonderful workshops online, but after signing up and paying for one I discovered the internet connection at my parents' house is too slow to handle the videos for it...). In the meantime, I've accepted that I need to find fulltime work in order to find a place to live and to fund any future creative attempts.

Wow, this is a long post. If you read this far, thank you! I am so very grateful to have my online friends and community. Thanks for being wonderful!


  1. "A hole punch, a bit of glue, choosing a few charms, some opening and closing of jump rings, what is talented and creative about that?"...actually, it is a GREAT deal more creative than many other people who only DREAM of creating anything with their hands, but don't dare to take action to do it and for that you are VERY CREATIVE for taking such action!

    I like your idea to continue to learn painting so you can use your images for your jewelry in the future and I think it's fine if you are using already existing images. I use already existing images for much of my collage work but it the way I compose my work that makes it unique and original and it is the same with your jewelry =-)

    I think that the changes you are experiencing from this big move are affecting your outlook, and though it's not easy, try to remember that "this too shall pass". You do have great ideas of where you want your work to go and it will take some time to get there...

    I wish learning patience gets easier, but I haven't figured out how that works yet and I'll be 45 this week!! =-\

  2. Hi, It is often the way, that one is shown where one's true loves lies, through other means, this is an ongoing process in life. I am a believer in every thing happens for a reason. This other way, was not your true way, much better to let that way go, and move on to what is true in your heart, love and light Marie

  3. Averil honey - you sound so defeated. :(

    I was just reading about an artist who, in order to remove pressure from herself, temporarily put aside her dream of making art full time and got herself a full time job outside of art. By removing the pressure fiancially, she started to flourish creatively. She did not feel she *had to* make art work for the sake of money, it just started to because she felt free to make mistakes because she was no longer feeling the money pressure.

    You know when you are...say...walking in the bush and you come to a cross roads and the DOC sign says you can take track A which is harder, steeper and your fitness level should be high but it is faster or you can take track B which is longer but less difficult, more scenic and less pressure....? Maybe this is you choosing track B. Less pressure to produce art to sustain Averil and Kenzo's lifestyle, but more freedom to just be and do as you want.

    And as for you not being creative. Oh please... - there is like no way that is true. Not in a million years. You are brilliantly creative. Start believing in that!

  4. i just want to tell you that i STILL love and wear my most wonderful bird necklace that i purchased from you in your earlier days. one of the reasons i love it is that i couldn.t make it myself. i never once thought about whether YOU were the artist of the bird. never. the art for me, was in the creation of putting it all the perfectly artistic way that you did. artists use all kinds of mediums. kelly rae doesn.t "make" the paper she uses in her mixed media paintings. art is about the culmination of creativity! take a break if you need, but DON.T GIVE UP! you are an amazing artist!
    chin up!

  5. I'm giving you a great big virtual hug(squeeze)!
    I think we all go through this as artists(yes, you are an artist). :) I love your jewels, seriously love them and love you.♥ I believe in you and your art, keep going sister.
    Your friend,

  6. I will watch what you do with interest Averil. I disagree that your work is just 'put together', but it is what YOU think that matters and YOU that must be happy with what you are creating. Keep us up to date with how you go so we can cheer you from the sidelines :)

  7. Hi Averil! altho i really like your work, i think it's so cool you are pushing yourself to do something new and maybe more creative for should be proud of yourself that you're not giving up but expanding!! how exciting is that!!! we all need to get out of our safety zones from time to time...this is your time!! yay for you!!