I am a Jill of all trades some might say. My hobbies are many and have been for a long time. Ever since I decided to be a stay-at-home mom when we moved to the midwest in 1999, leaving my advanced practice nursing career behind, I filled my spare time with hobbies.
My small handmade jewelry business was started in our walk-in closet. When I needed a break from my boys, I’d go to the closet where I had a table set up in the corner and make some jewelry. As with anything, my first pieces were rough, but I’m still at it twenty-one years later!
And sticking with it has had benefits. Not only have I become better at my craft but I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to sell in several gift boutiques, local stores, and even a gift shop at an Eco-Park. Since 2014, I’ve sold my pieces on consignment at a gift shop and art gallery in Mc Gregor, Iowa, a river town on the Great Muddy. I’ve also had an Etsy shop since 2009 that has had its ups and downs but it consistently makes sales. Between the gallery in Iowa, personal sales, and my Etsy shop I earn enough extra income to sustain my hobby of jewelry making.
When I was getting ready to move a friend asked me what I was going to spend my time on, making jewelry or writing. I was pleased with the question as it was something I had been thinking about myself for a while. Was our move a chance to change gears?
It took me days to pack up all my jewelry-making supplies. I was faced with storing the inventory (both stock and finished pieces) in places I could access easily. Additionally, I was going from having a large workspace in our house to no dedicated workspace in our cabin. Truly, I didn’t know the answer but thought I would lean towards working more on my writing. And I’ve done just that!
I’m cranking out the medium articles and still staying active on WordPress, my readership has gone from 1,000 reads a month to a thousand reads in a single day on several pieces! On top of that, I am working on some other non-blog writing projects. I’ve definitely invested more time in my writing since we moved.
But, when the possibility of ending my consignment at the gallery in Iowa came up this week, I found I was sad about the prospect of not having my jewelry creations at this gift shop. I wrote and explained my circumstance – that we had moved further away from the radius the gallery serves. I was not going to be able to deliver my jewelry for a special show that I had committed to participating in. I asked for an exception, could I mail my pieces? Luckily, they said that I could.
This morning has been spent tagging new jewelry pieces for a show aptly named, Make me Laugh.
My jewelry has been “in process” on my writing desk for the last week. Today, I took the finished pieces to the kitchen table to tag them. This afternoon, I’ll mail the package out. It got done but was scattered and somewhat inconvenient. I’m glad the gallery still wants my pieces but I’ll have to decide on some better ways of handling the inventory, both in keeping stock, finishing pieces, and tagging them.
My other hobbies include gardening, reading, and baking. I’ve been able to do all three of them and still enjoy the way they make me feel – productive, knowledgeable, and relaxed. I also like to travel and we’ve been busy this summer with some day trips. In September, we will take a bigger trip to Acadia National Park. I’m looking forward to that vacation.
In summary, I have a lot of hobbies. I enjoy them all but do I need them all? I’m not sure. I would also like to try and write a novel, but my writing habits will have to change to accomplish that and I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle it. Maybe in the winter?! We’ll see.
For now, I think I stuck close to my word when I replied that I would work more on my writing once we moved to the cabin. It’s bringing me joy and fulfillment with the challenges of posting to my new Medium.com page. And just like my jewelry, the more I write, the better I’ll become at the craft!
Time will tell!