Friday, July 02, 2010

The "C" Word...

Commitment is a big word – not just because it has ten letters in it, but because of what it means. Commitment means sticking with something and hanging in there, even when difficulties arise.

Commitment is big too, for what it does. A tiny commitment, of maybe just 15 minutes a day, can develop into huge results.

Say you want to achieve a goal, so you decide to work 15 minutes every day to work toward that goal.

Your commitment is what keeps you showing up and making the effort, every single day, no exceptions, even when you’re not in the mood.

Eventually, you will reach your goal. It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen because you put the rest of your life on hold, it’ll happen because you honored your commitment to work toward your goal 15 minutes every day, no matter what.
Here’s one example of what commitment can achieve: Yesterday, the building inspector came to sign off (finally!!!) on the roofing permit. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that my husband Jerry re-roofed our house last summer. And broke his back doing it. Yet, once he healed, he was back up there, finishing the job, because he was committed to the project. I am not at all happy he broke his back working on this project, but I am proud beyond words that he completed the job, and did such nice work.

Another example of commitment, and one more in line with the Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog discussion topic: floral lampwork beads. Earlier this year, I signed up for a floral bead swap. Never mind that I didn’t really *do* florals, I’m such a swap junkie that I put my name on the list.

I practiced and experimented with a few different floral designs, hoping one would turn out pretty enough to swap, and mostly disappointed each morning when I opened the kiln. But I was committed to that swap, and to learning how to create a non-embarrassing floral bead, so I stuck with it and kept trying.

Finally, I recalled a coffee cup that I’d once had, with a glossy black background and lovely bluish-purple irises, and thought that might make a nice bead, so I gave it a go.
Here’s the picture of the prototype for my “acceptable” floral beads – as you can see, I made tulips, not irises, but the basic design is reminiscent of that coffee cup. I decided to see how nice I could get these, so I kept working and practicing the tulip beads, and eventually wound up with beads lovely enough to send out in the swap.

Here are a few more pics of some of my more refined tulip beads. I have a ton of ideas for this design, and am committed to developing them. Too, I’m inspired by other floral bead makers, like Leah Fairbanks, Dolly Ahles, and Kim Miles, whose work demonstrates their obvious commitment to the form and encourages me to keep working on my own floral beads.


Cindy said...

What a great post for the ABS Carnival Bloggers! I like how you simplify the idea of commitment and make it manageable for anyone -dedicating 15 minutes a day. Slow and steady wins the race! :-)
Your floral lampwork beads are really gorgeous... very sophisticated!

Jeannie said...

Hey Chris,
I work with people that want instant gratification and it's part of my job to tell them it doesn't work that way. It takes time, and committment.
We know as beadmakers, artists and designers that instant gratification doesn't work either.

This a wonderful post and the beads are Moxie Fab!

Islandgirl said...

I like to tell people that my beads take me 16 years to make... that's how long I've been practicing... I go though waves of making florals...when I'm practicing I often just keep covering over the design so by the time the bead goes in the kiln it's huge!

Hope your hubby's back is better so far mine hasn't fallen off the roof...

Peggy said...

OMG those floral beads are incredible! Gorgeous!

When we met you were a beginner lampworker, right? And look at what you're doing now. Time to step back for a moment and congratulate yourself on the results of your commitment.

I'm proud of you.

Chris said...

All, thank you so much for your very kind words! I really appreciate them!

Cindy - that is high praise coming from you! [doing a happy dance] (could someone please come peel me off the ceiling?!?)

Jeannie, thank you so much - Moxie Fab, huh? That sounds like a very good thing indeed!

Lynne, thank you - yes, Jerry's back IS much better, and it's a delight to hear I'm not the only beadmaker who covers up mistakes with more glass, LOL.

Peg, thank you Sweetie - I thought you might like these. Yeah, it IS kinda amazing to look back at my first "ugly" beads and realize that despite the ups and downs, I really AM making progress. Life is good. :)

Michelle Mach said...

You're definitely proof that slow and steady wins the race! I love the "15 minutes" idea. It does make everything more manageable.

Melissa Meman said...

I love the beads! Great commitment post...and thank goodness your hubby is okay! Mine was on the roof this past weekend!

cindydolezaldesigns said...

Great post. And beautiful beads. I actually like the first prototype a lot.

TesoriTrovati said...

Goodness! Those beads are awesome. Especially that last tulip bead. I am working on a gallery exhibit and chose to interpret a local artist's painting of a sill life with ORANGE tulips. This would have been PERFECT for the challenge. (It isn't for sale, is it?)
Enjoy the day!

Silver Parrot said...

Great post - it's wonderful that you accomplished your goal!

Patty said...

I like your philosophy of moving the mountain one rock at a time, Chris. Without that, it would be an impossible task. I'm glad to read that your husband is back on his feet, ready to attack the next item on your "honey-do" list! ;-)

Chris said...

Hi All:

Sorry for the delayed response - it was sunny here yesterday, so I took the kids to swim in the lake and wear their little selves out! :D

Michelle, let it be known here that I didn't originate the "15 minutes" thing - I got that from FlyLady (, who says "you can do anything in 15 minutes...except whine!"

Melissa, thank you for the kind words about my beads - I really appreciate them! I'm glad your hubby got his roof work done safely!

Cindy D. - thanks very much! And it's so sweet that you like the first prototype - looks like I'll have to play around with that one a little more, huh? :D

Erin, you just made my day! :) [sending a big hug and smooch to you]

Kelly/Silver Parrot, thank you for your kind words!

Patty, thank you for your comment! Yes, one rock at a time IS how I try to approach things - otherwise, I'm bewildered by the scope of the project. :D

Peggy said...

I'm with Cindy--the first prototype is as gorgeous as the final product, just a bit more abstract. You win on both of them!

Kate said...

Yes,I agree, even a few minutes committed to anything will bring results. I am better teaching others that than following, must use your advise! I think your beads came out lovely.