Step back

I’m a million times lucky when it comes to my main job – I work in the charity sector and I absolutely love it! On the family front, my husband and son make me equally lucky. That’s where my focus is (let’s be frank, so it should) and, in the middle of those, I want to fit some me time and social time for friends and wider family.
The truth is that the whole re-evaluation of priorities I’ve been doing in the last couple of years never really took into account that I should look at what, within jewellery making, I don’t have time for so here it goes!
While the writing will be sporadic, I absolutely love it and it’s a great outlet for me so that might be slowing down (it already has) but it’s not stopping! The selling… well, I’ve come to the decision that I need to close my Etsy shop. Don’t get me wrong, Etsy has all my recommendations as a great selling platform (ohhh, and the lovely things you can buy!), but, realistically I can’t give it much attention so, let’s be productive!
BeeBiju’s Instagram account is coming back to life very soon and in full force and that will be my main platform to showcase my products. There, I will also take you on the journey of re-discovering jewellery making with me.
Stay tuned and keep creating (we all do, constantly 😊).
Bri

Structure

It helps me keep on track with what I need to do and, for me personally, it’s procrastination’s strongest enemy! I’m trying to re-apply it to several aspects of my day-to-day, whether it is at work or home, and I decided it’s time to do it to BeeBiju/Bee’s creations.

I’m therefore introducing this as a structured blog… not too structured though, as I don’t think it would be wise for me to commit to x number of posts per month or specific days across the whole year – that would just bring added pressure, which is precisely what I’m trying to avoid.

My aim is, instead, to focus on different topics, month by month, and include tutorials, ideas, items from my shop, etc. I am also bringing back the Monthly Picks: at the end of each month I will be telling you about my favourite item and that will bring discounts with it!

Onto October… Autumn is here (I can definitely feel it in the air with our 2°C mornings) so let’s talk about Autumn jewellery this month. Let’s bring out the colours and styles for this season!

Watch this space for more 😉

Social media – the eternal conondrum

WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… Photos, posts, blogs, videos… and there’s personal preference, of course. Then you have to tailor your profile/page according to your needs or the needs of your followers. And the mentions, retweets/reposts, shares, hashtags (#seriously #omg #tiredalready #socialmediaruleshumanity)!

It’s a lot of information to take in and it changes so much in time (high five to those who’ve heard of hi5)! From a business perspective, it’s a big chunky challenge – it’s not really about you, business owner; it’s about how you can engage your followers and reach wider audiences. And in practicality, it’s about finding time for it all.
At the same time, a level of focus is needed… more social media doesn’t necessarily mean you’re engaging more people, sometimes it just means you’re overworking!

After having a good think about it, I realised that, under BeeBiju, I’m using a lot of social media but not effectively so something’s got to go! Let the analysis begin.
Instagram – In my business, it’s all about the visuals, of course. And Instagram offers a lot of options, so I don’t have to “just” post a photo. I can add filters, make if funky, add a story (particularly great when letting followers know about an upcoming blog post, for instance). Verdict: MUST KEEP!
Facebook – It’s visual, yes, but it also offers the option to share content from other websites easily, such as Etsy, which is really useful. Verdict: STAYING!
WordPress – No brainer! I have two active blogs, mostly because every now and then my brain just wants to spit information (apologies for the not-so-nice mental image!). Verdict: KEEP KEEP KEEP!
Twitter – This is where it gets complicated. The whole Twitter-Facebook link is amazing – I can post on one and it just pops up on the other one! But this means I don’t go on Twitter at all! I find it interesting though; I think it works differently from Facebook but to make the best of it I need to schedule regular time to see what’s going on. Verdict: TENTATIVE, subjective to commitment.
Pinterest – What a wonderful waste of time! Hold on, don’t get me wrong, I write this because once I start browsing, I really can’t stop! You can find everything in it and create boards, and choose the main image, and make each of them public or private… music to my ears! But do I use it for BeeBiju purposes? Well, I had a folder just for that but haven’t been posting for a long time and don’t think I’m very likely to. Verdict: USE JUST AS A WONDERFUL WASTE OF TIME.

Well, I think that should keep me going for the next 6432930 days at least, so onto scheduling some time to really “media-socialise”.

See you next time!

My tools and supplies

The jewellery making cupboard. In this little building live my ribbons, wire, beads, charms, packaging materials and a lot more.

Moving into my current flat made me have a complete re-think about BeeBiju, Bee’s creations and how I work. Granted, I’m having a bit of a delayed reaction but I think I’m in the right headspace for it now – i.e.: not functioning on blocks of 3-hours sleep. So getting a cupboard might not sound like a big thing but this means that there is a new home for my supplies – which looks quite pretty on the eye (thank you for the recommendation, sis!) – and most importantly, all the tiny, dangerous bits are stored away from the curious eyes of the resident little human.

So here is The Cupboard:

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Due to its size, it’s in the hallway, right next to the office (again, thanks for the recommendation, sis!). That means I’m surrounded by everything I need, but not in a I-cannot-move kind of way.

As for the contents, here is a snapshot:

I love playing with bright colours, which you can see translated into my beads, cords, ribbons, wires and charms. I also have a number of tools I look forward to use more, like a Kumihimo disk and a bead loom – I will let you know about my experience with them in later posts.

I really do have more than I remembered – more supplies and more ideas – so it’s time to put these into action and, hopefully, I can develop my BeeBiju in the process. I will make sure I document my successes as well as my failures and frustrations and I hope to give you a fun read.

What happens next:

September will be dedicated to structure – my brain needs it and I often wonder if I focus on structure so much that I end up neglecting the process… I suspect the answer is yes! But I will try to time it a little bit better so I can focus on content more than planning.

Let’s go for it! And in the meantime… enjoy the next few days 🙂

My workspace

Excitement!! I finally have the opportunity to show you my new workspace!

We moved into our home less than two years ago, 3 weeks ahead of my son making his first appearance… needless to say it was a really busy time (during which I was surprisingly calm – must have been the pregnancy hormones and the endless help from friends and family).

At first I was a bit nervous as I didn’t think I had the space to set my jewellery making area. But once we moved in and got a bit organised, I then realised that I could use a tiny room that was initially in the plans as storage and, voilà, we have an office! It’s now used both by my husband and myself for work, so it was definitely a good decision! After getting light, sockets and some shelves installed, here it is… my beloved little workspace.

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The cupboard to the right is where I keep my supplies (more about it in the next post)

For such a compact space, there is quite a spacious feeling to it and, when needed, we can shut the door without having the feeling that we’re in a small box! I also decorated a bit with some photos and added some more features:

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These are my (purchased) necklaces, which will give space to my creations soon
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These are IKEA knife racks that I screwed into the wall. I completely vouch for them, they have a really strong hold!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Total LIFE-SAVER! I didn’t have the wall light installed for quite some time so this LED desk lamp was really useful! Even now, it’s great for the fiddly jewellery making
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You might remember this from a previous post, I’ve had it for years and I use it all the time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love my little workspace and have promised myself that I will be using it on a more regular basis – and you will see the results in the next posts.

See you next time!

Briana

Re-introducing BeeBiju!

Hi!

Long time no see!!

I should have put money in a jar every time I talked about returning and didn’t follow through… I’m pretty sure I’d be rich by now!!

 

My son turned one recently and now he’s growing into an independent young child, it’s an absolute joy to watch his delight as he takes in every new sound, every step, every new colour, voice, person…

That inspires me to start paying more attention to little details and make better use of my time… so I definitely need to plan ahead!

To make it easier for me to keep track and hopefully more interesting for you as a reader, I’ve come up with a calendar for my posts. The idea is to have a new topic every month so in August, you’ll read about my supplies and working space (which is different from last time).

Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I’m sure I will 🙂

Briana

Finally! A return date!

Hi everyone,

Please excuse me for my infinite absence… but it does seem that this time it really is coming to an end!

BeeBiju has been on holidays for the past few weeks as well, and as I prepared its return, I realised I’m off soon, so there’s not much point being back, going and then coming back again.

With a little bit of a heavy heart, I’ve come to decide that my official return date to the world of custom jewellery will be the 2nd of July, a bit later than anticipated! On the upside, there is time to get back to creating, which I’ve neglected for so long, and that means I can: 1 – Get my brain into the swing of jewellery making things; 2 – load my shop with new items!

Looking forward to it…

Briana xxx

Taking a break

Hi! I hope you’ve all been well and creating away!

After quite a bit of thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite my best efforts, I don’t have the ability to do 10 thinks per second (who’d know?) and yes, sometimes, I might need to chose between doing fewer things or walking around like a zombie, always on low battery, while my to-do list just piles up.

After getting married last year, 2016 is also one for a little bit of change, with a number of new challenges lined up. One of them is remembering that, as much as I love jewellery making, I don’t want it to become something I have to do rather than something I enjoy.

By all means, I love both creating new pieces and writing so I’m definitely not prepared to give up on BeeBiju or Bee’s Creations. I feel, however, that I need a bit of time to regain focus and specially make sure I don’t overload myself with things as I have a habit of doing!

So for once, without an exact time frame (it could be a month or two, it could be more), I am consciously putting a number of things on hold – Blog and Etsy shop included – until I get the other bits organised and allowing myself a bit of time without rushing around. My shop will remain opened for most of the time, however, you will most likely not see new items until then. I will also keep the blog online so you can visit older posts.

I will miss writing and creating, which I might secretly do while nobody’s watching, in preparation for when I’m back, but I am counting on coming back with enough energy to take Bee’s creations and BeeBiju further 🙂

I can’t wait!

But until then… slowing down time!

Love,

Briana

Love your mind

A few days ago, when I got home after work, it was already dark. In my not-so-well-lit road, I got off the car and happened to look up only to realise the sky full of stars – and in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m still in the UK, despite the clear sky. That, once again, reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back!

 

As I mentioned last year,  I might be steering away from Jewellery Making at some point, just to give you all a little something different and this is one of those times.

Another exciting collab with my good friend and fellow blogger Charlotte Vickers (proud and talented owner/blogger of House of Lotz), this time we want you to focus on… you! And don’t forget to check her blog post for her perspective on this topic.

More often than not, with the busy lifestyle that comes with, well… being a part of the Universe, comes this lack of awareness that you’ve entered auto mode… and with auto mode constantly on, it’s only natural to forget to stop, take a breath and relax.

Whether you’re a busy Mum (or a stay-at-home Dad) or someone with the busiest ever social schedule, whether you’re a student or have 2 jobs, stress will sooner or later creep up on you. Now: stress is not necessarily negative (in moderation) and there are a thousand ways to keep it under control. And trust me, if you didn’t even know how “auto” you’ve been lately, you’re not alone!

When I need to get back to my “in-control” headspace?

Why not try a few things to find out what works for you? Take a step back and force yourself to take 10. Get up and take a walk, do a bit of brain dumping, sing a song or dance like crazy… For me (Charlotte knows too well) verbal brain dumping can work wonders! 5 minutes of going “wraaaaahwaaaawaaaa” and done! Oh, and one I love: putting a nice happy empowering song on and dancing and singing as much as I can – yes, I am the crazy one in the car, singing (more like screaming) and grooving like there’s no tomorrow!

And when I can make some time for me?

When I have a bit more time I, as you all know, create. I’ve never been particularly great at Arts but Jewellery Making has become a HUGE hobby, an outlet for any stressful time. I can also see some results of my work pretty fast so it’s great to feel that little sense of achievement every time I finish a new piece.

 

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I love my own space but time with family and friends is needed and much much appreciated. As cliche as it sounds, spending time with the hubby watching a film or out for lunch with the sister is fun and effective. Same goes for going out with friends. And those who know me also know that, for me, spending time with the niece and nephew is precious! And I gotta tell you, kids know how to have fun! (How else can you justify spending time hiding from/scaring/hiding from/scaring someone and laughing until you cry as a result)?

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Exercise! Yesss, my biggest struggle for time! If I’m at work, I’m structuring my week schedule for BeeBiju (my shop). If I’m doing my pieces I’m thinking about dinner. While I’m washing the dishes, I’m planning my next blog post… It’s hard to imagine going to the gym and having no time to do or think about other things. But I have been trying very hard, after signing up again, and have been going as much as I can. I also realised I miss dancing A LOT so I signed up for some classes, which I can’t wait to start… exciting!

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Now a few tips:

  • If you’re used to a busy lifestyle, learning to take time for yourself will take commitment. You have to teach yourself to accept that it’s ok to take some time. If you struggle with it like I do, schedule some time for it in your calendar to start with.
  • Having stated that, don’t force it by saying: “I’m going to wake up at 5.30am so I can relax until 6.15am” or “I will go to Nero but at 7pm I’m going to rush home to make dinner”. It doesn’t work if you’re walking around like a zombie or trying desperately to make up for time “wasted” relaxing 🙂 Try, instead, something like, “I will leave work today, get take-away for dinner, and worry about nothing at all this evening” or “I will go to bed right after the kids and I’ll read my book until I fall asleep”. Don’t let the respite become stressful!
  • Go with what you like to do! This post contains just a few examples of what you can do to relax but it’s a “me” guide. It has some of the things I do to unwind but it doesn’t mean it will necessarily suit you. If you’re not into exercising, going to the gym will feel like an obligation; for parents of young children, perhaps an hour by yourself at the coffee shop might sound like the perfect break. Focus on you and find what feels good for yourself!

And a Happy New Year!

Today marks the New Year! .Well, I know, it’s not the 1st of January anymore but at a working level it does! I’m back to my full-time job, BeeBiju re-opened on Etsy and Bee’s Creations is back to life – exciting times!

Stay tuned for tutorials, jewellery making advice and lots more!

May 2016 bring you a stream of beads, a wave of findings and a sea of inspiration 🙂