Thursday, January 15, 2015

Do What Makes Your Heart Sing

      I don't know about you fellow artists, creators, DIYers, but a lot of times when I'm creating, I do it with the purpose of pleasing others. I tend to lean towards things that I know are trendy right now and that a general audience might be drawn to. And, I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with keeping your intended audience in mind, but only if  you plan on selling what you're making. 
      For me, I'm trying to switch gears in my brain. I'm trying to break free from the mindset of "following the crowd", and I want to make what makes me happy and inspired. Because chances are, if I like it and I am inspired, that someone, somewhere will also enjoy it! Obviously, this is how many people launch their own businesses and whatnot, but it's been something I've struggled with for a while. Create something I know will probably sell because it's trendy, or create something unique that may not be well received, but it brought me joy making. And the number one game changer for me has been to only make things that I would personally pick up in a store and say "hey! I need that!". A little taste of my own personal style you could say.

     I'm still a work in progress, but I find that when I do what makes my heart sing, my products are better received, and I'm happier because I don't feel like I've copied a million other people or that I'm trying to appeal to the masses. I've made something that is personal to me. 

     I would like to take you through a little bit of my creative process I guess you could say, and show you some of my newest listings that you can find here!

      I'm pretty sure that those who know me well, know that I love me some infinity scarves. When I first started making these scarves, I would knit one (with the intention of selling mind you), and before I knew it, I had finished it and was keeping it for myself. Yeah. This happens frequently. I personally own three or four of my own circle scarves now, and I have every intention of adding cream and black to my collection before it's too warm to wear them anymore! Hey, free advertising right? 
     My very first scarf was supposed to be part of a blanket. I had just started getting back in to knitting, and was making googly eyes at all the lovely knit and crocheted blankets I was seeing on Pinterest. I am an extreme DIY girl, and if I see something that I can't afford to buy, I will make it. Or at least...attempt to make it.

      This is what was supposed to be a blanket! I quickly realized, that it was going to take a lot of yarn to complete. So I knitted a rectangle, and then let it sit for weeks with every intention of finishing it. 
     One day, I was fed up with looking at this blue mass hanging from my knitting needles, so I finished it off and sat there staring at it. It suddenly occurred to me, that if I sewed the ends together, I would have myself a long coveted infinity scarf! And thus, the scarves were born. From there, I started posting about them on Facebook, and soon friends became interested (another great way to achieve free advertising!). One friend traded me a TV for scarves for his whole family! Uhm, win-win there!

You can view all the scarves I have available at Also, check out my Scarf Happy post here!

     Imagine if I had finished that blanket. I never would have launched a "business" of my own if I hadn't started with that simple pile of blue yarn. They are what made me want to truly pursue becoming an Etsy seller. And hey, if nothing else, I have my own collection of glorious scarves just for me, haha!

     Jewelry has been an area I've struggled with the most. I know what I like. It should be that simple right? Wrong! This is where I have had the hardest time creating for me and not for the crowds. I recently made my first sale on Etsy, and that was a slight ego boost my friends! Especially since it was something that I wasn't sure how well it would be received. It was different, it was big, and was sparkly. And it was the first thing to sell! I cannot tell you how that has helped change my thinking about what I do. It just reassured me that creating with my own originality in mind is the best way to go.

My first sale on Etsy!

     Making this first sale gave me the motivation to continue doing what I love. It inspired me to create a second, similar piece.

I am obsessed with these harem style bracelets!

     I had this deer charm sitting around for so long. It's when I let go, and let the piece create itself in a way, that it all comes together in a magical way. I know it's not everyone's style, but I love it so much!

   A recent trip to Hobby Lobby, in search of a birthday gift, quickly turned in to a shopping-for-myself trip (anyone else do this?). I will admit, that I did not come home with a gift. I came home with supplies for myself. Yeah. Uh huh. It happened. But, just look at these darling feathers! Can you blame me?

I bought these purple/floral beads years ago and have never found the right project for them. It got to the point where I hated the sight of them because they had been around for so. long. Clearly, because they were waiting to complete these earrings! Sometimes I think the pieces just know what they're going to become one day.

I adore these white and pink speckled beads! They remind me off tiny eggs. And those turquoise glass beads? Love this combo!

      I know I'm doing something right, when I sit down to make something and there isn't the slightest hesitation in my mind. Everything flows together in a magical way, and the pieces are created effortlessly. I know I need to take a break and reevaluate what I'm doing if I've hit a creative roadblock. 

This gorgeous turquoise color is just speaking to me lately. And there are those speckled "egg" beads again!
     Sometimes when I'm out shopping for supplies, I see something and I instantly know what I'm going to do with it. That's how it was with these metal Indian head charms. And also, with these cute, geometric wooden beads.

I love the natural feel of wood. It's simple and beautiful. How about those speckled beads again though? Haha.

     These little treasures were another one of my birthday-gift-shopping-but-shopping-for-myself finds. Can we just talk about how cute these are for a minute? Please? They are so tiny, to minimalistic, so adorable! And the best thing, they came in a pack of about twenty, so there are endless possibilities here! Suggestions for the next project?

     My bird nest jewelry has been my "best seller" through friends and family. I've made rings, earrings, and necklaces. This was my first stab at a bracelet. And I am in love with the leather/wire combination! This was time consuming. Probably the most time I've spent on a single project. Mostly because it was a trial and error project I think. I've had the leather cord for quite a while, and every time I've attempted to make a bracelet or necklace out of it, I've hated the outcome. This one came together pretty effortlessly as far as design. It was simply the assembling that took some brain power, and creativity, and left me with sore fingers afterwards!

I love the contrast between the delicate wire, and the more masculine leather.

     I will say, my "Eternity" bracelets were definitely inspired by other sellers. I have longed for one for quite a while, and have tried making my own and just wasn't happy with it. Somehow, this happened. And I think it it absolutely darling! Ideally, I wanted a more delicate looking bracelet, but I'm quite happy with the results, and even made one just for myself which I wear on a daily basis.

     For now, I am content with what I am making. It's inspired by my heart and what makes me happy, and I want people to feel that when wearing my pieces. Each item is made with love! I am looking forward to branching out, and moving up, and getting the chance to work with more materials, and creating higher quality products. That won't be tomorrow, but I know it's coming and I am excited to see where this adventure leads me next!

What words would you use to describe my style? Please comment below or head over to the Forest and Sea Creative Facebook page and leave your words! And as always, if there is something you would like to see, I love suggestions!


  1. That is awesome! :) Love your blog post title, too. "Do What Makes Your Heart Sing." Really good reminder and beautifully worded. I've found this to be true with my writing, too. Whenever I just write it for the sake of writing it and hold back from a lot of editing, people usually respond a whole lot more. It's usually pretty messy writing (in my mind), but a lot of times it seems to have more impact than the ones I really tried to think through.

    But! Words for your style! It's been really cool to see the kinds of things you've been creating now that you've given yourself the freedom to, and I have to tell you, it's not what I was expecting at all, and it's awesome! :D I've loved getting to see more of who you are through this blog and your creations--it's so exciting to see! But anyways, I feel like it would be hard to absolutely encapsulate your style since I feel like we're just now beginning to see it as you create pieces that you personally love, but I will say I've noticed a general theme of more western oriented pieces, which was a cool surprise. Buffalo drawings, indians, dream catchers, feathers, deer rings, that sort of thing. A few words that come to mind right now though... western, winsome, rustic, natural.

    1. YES! It's hard to just DO what makes me YOU because I want to well received. Hey. I'm only human! Good words! I never would have used western to describe me, but I can totally see that now that you said it! Thanks for the words! It's always fun getting an idea of how others perceive you. So I appreciate it! And thanks for reading as always! <3