Feed a Funk, Starve the Blues

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Here’s an article I wrote for Fire Mountain Gems awhile back and they sent it out again today. I thought my new beady peeps might like it as well. Enjoy!
by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski Instructor,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

I don’t know about you all but there are moments I fall into a funk, feel like I’m battling the blues and simply cannot tap into my creativity for one reason or another. Maybe it’s too many hot summer days in a row, or running out of my frozen Girl Scout Thin Mint stash in the fridge, maybe it’s the tube of spilled seed beads in the carpet thanks to my puppy racing through my studio chasing a fly. I simply lose my ”mojo,” my inspiration, the jewelry-making juice that keeps my spark ignited. It happens to all of us at some point….

Some of my usual methods of blasting through this artistic funk are retail therapy (especially new beads or crystals), more chocolate, a puppy hug, cranking up the stereo channeling Donna Summer and singing along with my fave disco songs, or a good long walk in nature. But my absolute #1 sure-fire method is to hook up with one of my creative BFFs, dive into a new jewelry-making technique or craft, dump out all of our tools and goodies in the studio and play together! Whether it’s a few precious hours or a weekend marathon such as the one I recently had with my metal clay BFF Chris, it works every time! Through the laughs, camaraderie, and digging through each other’s stash, the funk melts away!
Friends are simply one of the main ingredients of this cake called life that absolutely cannot be ignore or omitted. The icing is the beautiful jewelry (or other artwork) you end up creating and the pleasure it gives you as your eyes gaze with proud wonder at your masterpieces; and whether you end up giving them as gifts, selling them, or wearing them yourself, the sense of complete satisfaction and creative flow is a wave you can ride until the next funk comes along.
I’d like to share a few Kristal Wick’s tips on beating the blues:
  • Bring all the vital supplies. Running out to the store for a missing component mid-technique is NOT advisable. Make sure to order and purchase everything you need before your ”play date.”
  • Plan ahead! Schedule a ”play date” with a buddy or a bunch of jewelry pals and block out that time in PEN on the calendar so it cannot be erased! Feeding your creative soul on a regular basis keeps the whole world in balance. As my buddy’s hubby says, ”Keep mama happy and the whole family is happy, go ahead, make another   necklace …”
  • Play Date Checklist:
    • Jewelry tools, components, and your jewelry-making stash
    • Munchies, libations, sustenance (grilling is good for this type of event, easy and not much prep work especially if your bud’s hubby likes to grill)
    • If it’s an AM event, COFFEE! PM event, vino, iced tea, or sparkling juice
    • Inspiring books, magazines and catalogs–fun to browse through each other’s books while you munch and sip. Guaranteed to get the creative pump primed!
    • No cell phone chatting, texting, or Facebooking during this time. The whole point is to be 100% totally present with your peeps and dive into YOUR creative inner child. Carve out this time for YOU! Nothing kills a creative flow more than a call from your husband asking when you’ll be home to make dinner … (Nothing wrong with leftovers honey!)
    • Home made rhubarb crisp can cure almost any type of blues
    • Don’t forget your cleanest jammies. That may be all you wear (like us)!
  • Wrap up your Play Date with scheduling another one. Get it on the books now, before another 3 months go by.

Even if you end up scrapping everything you created during that time (yes, it’s happened to me), you’ll have learned what NOT to do next time, had a fulfilling experience of remembering your buried creative spark, and had fun ”sparking” your peeps! The desired result is not really the piece of jewelry you end up with, it’s the feeling, the excitement of playing with a buddy (like we used to on the school yard play ground) who likes the same stuff we do (beading, knitting, crocheting, wire wrapping, claying, well you get the picture).

So dust off your tools, buy some new beads, call a friend and make a play date!

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, “Feed a Funk, Starve the Blues,” featured in an industry expert email. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

“Hello, Kristal! I can’t agree with you more! I have a jewelry friend who also likes to work in fibers. She thinks outside the box and her creations are innovative and provocative. We meet once per week, whenever possible, and work on our creations, coming up with solutions to problem areas, chatting; not only about jewelry-making, but about life and spirit and how the creative process starts to work in us, first in a fog, then ideas become clearer within the chat arena and our shared souls with each other. Food plays a big part in keeping our creative edge sharp; how can one be at their best if they are hungry? We are both disabled and have plenty of reasons to moan, but using our creative urges distracts, and sometimes makes our funk(s) completely disappear, for long enough to create something extraordinary. Wish you could meet her, she rocks, and also has the strength of a boulder. No matter how bad she feels, she perseveres in her creative endeavors, and, if physically able, uses her sense of discipline to continue her art, even if she has to stay in bed. It’s all good! I love her and take suggestions for new techniques and project ideas. I, too, have to claw my way out of deep, funky places. It is hard, but my craft and my art are what I hold onto to bring me back to the light in my soul. Sincerely, With Many Regards!”

– Meredith
“As a bead shop owner I loved Kristal Wick’s article “Feed a Funk, Starve the Blues”. It is inspiring! I have printed it out and will be making reference to it in my next newsletter. Thanks for a great article.”
– Geri
“Love it! Thanks so much. Krystal has excellent writing skills too. Was she an english teacher in her past life?”
– Christy
“I enjoyed it immensely as my girlfriend and I are planning one of these! Great fun tips, thanks.”
– Anonymous
“I loved this article especially when I’ve been in a slump for a while now. I love beading, machine embroidery and painting clothes but it seems I am always putting my family first and myself so last that by the time I get to me there’s nothing left–no energy–no spark. Thanks for writing this article.”
– Maria
“I always enjoyed reading her column on Beading Daily and missed her when she left. Hope you have more from her.”
– Mary
“Great article! I couldn’t agree more with Kristal! Thanx,”
– Shirley
“Feedback, not question. Too TRUE, too TRUE! A buddy of mine lives in Minnesota and she “challenges” me and our other Facebook buddies regularly to keep us going on creating! Thanks for the wonderful article. Nothing like cranking the music, threading the needle and weaving the beads to keep those blues at bay!”
– Dawn
“Loved the article! So many times we work in a vacuum and have only ourselves to bounce off ideas. What fun and inspiration is a “bead in!” I am inspired to plan such an event, perhaps to include some of my friends who do other art and craft such as scrapping or drawing and painting. How about adding music to the mix or a chick flick break.”
– Ellen
“These are great suggestions. I’m going to follow Kristal’s advice.”
– Kate
“This is a definite good article and it does work. We all need a chance to reach out and connect with our fellow artistic friends. It is one of the strongest rules that we have all learned from our mentor, teacher and friend, Dale “Cougar” Armstrong, that having a “Wild Wired Weekend” is a definite must for our creative souls. We reconnect during that time, exchange ideas, work out problem technique areas and enjoy the pure friendship surrounding us. Yes, we work and we play, and we whine and gripe and clear the air on so many topics while enjoying a hodgepodge of snacks and goodies and even re-watching old movies together. We have no egos running loose amongst our group. Our styles differ despite having learned the same techniques from Dale. We each express our creative side in ways by building on that solid technique foundation and by doing so, we can easily ooh and ahhh over what we are each doing. I love these Wild Wired Weekends!!!”
– Mary
“I have to try this. Great story…Welcome to Firemountain Beads”
– Sharon
Exactly what we all need to hear. Thank you! GREAT!!!!”
– Anonymous
“I loved the article. Kristal and I think alike. My one beading buddy moved; Kristal has inspired me to get busy and find a new buddy(s). Beading alone but not for long.”
– Sharon
“I did enjoy this article. She is so right. Actually I enjoy reading all of your articles.Thank You,”
– Jody
“I liked the article very much. It’s the first one I’ve commented on.”
– Anonymous
“Loved the article. Good ideas and written so it was fun to read.Thank you!!”
– Pam
“Excellent advice….my two friends and I do this all the time! It is inspiration to be sure.”
– Anonymous
“No questions just loved the article. Wish I had a BFF to funk out with. I live in the country and no one around to create with. We never know when to count our blessings. Thanks for the upbeat.”
– S. Martini
“Good advice! Slumber party! Girls night out! Girls weekend out! Whatever!”
– Valerie
“I was impressed that you take the time to help us. I just ordered my first order from you, so I could have stuff to work with. I ordered from other places also. I really liked the ideas that she gave. I’m on a very limited income, so I can’t buy so much. I think I went a little wild though. I really appreciate all the things that you do!! Kristal, you can tell’s very talented. I go over stuff more than one time. Something else will sink in each time. Keep up everything that you do for us on this end!!! I’d like to say Thank You, for a job well done!!! P.S. I hope my stuff will get here soon and its great!!!!”
– Joe Ann
“Excellent article. Looking forward to more from Kristal Wick.”
– Ashley
“Are you looking in my window?? Seeing me all confused with what to do next? lol..Thanks for the article..perfect timing.”
– Allison
“Love her style.”
– Susan
“Very stimulating and interesting article. She sounds so enthusiastic!”
– Wanda
“I absolutely loved Kristal Wick’s article on Beating the Blues! The funny thing is I had just texted my BFF Tammy today to say that I had the blues because my latest jewelry creations were at the boutique and I had nothing to work on. She texted back that we needed to set another “clay date” which is what we call our creative get togethers to experiment with polymer clay or beads while the kids are at school. My latest line of jewelry came out of these “clay dates”. There is nothing better than spending the day with your best friend, listening to our favorite music, chatting, and being creative with no interruptions! Thank you Kristal and Fire Mountain for reinforcing the importance of creative BFF’s! Kind regards,
– Leah
“I liked the article, it perfectly described how I and my friends are when we have a beading party–great! Live Long and Prosper”
– Dale
“Great advise, it was refreshing just to read it!!!”
– Jeanetta
“I loved the article, but none of my frinds make anything, so what do I do? I am disabled and am not able to get out to meet new people, but it sounds like fun.”
– Ronda
“Wonderful article! I loved it, thanks!”
– Susan
“I really LIKED Kristal’s article. It gave me good ideas for those funky days. Thank you,”
– Camille
“Great! Loved it………”
– Hinda
“This article was GREAT! Crystal Wick rocks the world! Thanks for the many interesting and fun articles and Q and A’s that you have in your newsletters and emails. Way to go Fire Mtn.!”
– Anonymous
“I LOVED this e-mail. It makes you realise that we all go through stages of feeling fed up/uninspired, but when you go through them on your own you sometimes feel you’re the only one. The practical tips were great and I LOVE the comment made by someone’s husband–If Mum’s happy everyone’s happy, so,go on, make another necklace! One of the nicest and most thoughtful things I’ve ever heard. Thanks so much”
– Rachel
“Kristal seems to have been peeping into a day in my life!! I get the funk now and then, when my mojo has gone AWOL and I have so much going on in my head that I can’t see the project that I so desperately want to do. But she has come up with the perfect solution, a play day, and I am going to make sure I schedule one real soon. I found her article so inspiring, and at least I know now I am not the only one who gets days like these.”
– Jacqui
“I am probably too old to start anything new but what is ”Krystal Wick?””
– Mary Lou
“This was one of the most helpful articles I’ve read so far. All I can say is a big thank you. Keep it coming.”
– April
Loved this article. I have just moved to new city and am missing my beading buddy Charlene. A play date is exactly what I need to cure the stress from long hours at the new job. I am looking forward to finding bead buddies in my new city and scheduling a play date soon!”
– Julie
“She is up beet and sounds fun.
– Christina
“Having suffered from the very same malady often enough, I loved the article. I don’t think I could have said it better. Guess what….I’m now inspired.”
– Carol
“I really liked this article. It came at a time when this advise was sorely needed! Thanks.”
– Leslie
“As a bead shop owner I loved Kristal Wick’s article “Feed a Funk , Starve the Blues”. It is inspiring! I have printed it out and will be making reference to it in my next newsletter. Thanks for a great article.”
– Geri
“I loved the article about what to do when your inspiration got up and went away and you are going through a creative funk! I have been making jewelry for less than a year, and I think I am going through my first funk this week. I don’t know about other people, but I do get some inspiration from seeing jewelry on models in clothing catalogs, just walking through the jewelry area of a department store, or seeing jewelry on people while I am out shopping. Also, if I have the beads, etc. out where I can see them, sometimes they call to me and tell me what they want to be. Just a joke, but fairly near the truth. So at least I know there is life on the other side of the funk, so I will just try to take it easy until I get there!”
– Susan
“I loved the article, but why are you introducing her? Is she now on your staff? Yes, I have a question…I love working with Swarovski crystals and making matching earrings to go with my necklaces and bracelets, BUT I do NOT like dangle earrings. I guess my best bet is making an on the ear earring, surrounding a ravioli or cab, BUT again, I don’t usually use those in my pieces. Do you have some suggestions as to a design of earring I can make? I love big and small earrings, but not dangles. Thank you,”
– Janice
“Great Article! Over the last 3 years I took care of both my Sister (70 ) who died and then my mom had a stroke and I took care of her for 2 1/2 years here at home–she passed last year at the age of 101 and 1/2 years young. I used to do 40 shows a year and she quit when she was 98 so I did too! It’s taken a year for my to get back to my work. I had my first sale on Etsy last week and I’m back to working on my website http://www.thejewelrydiet.com. I love all of your company’s exciting descriptions and catalogues and all of your smiling faces! I’m going to get coaching starting Monday with my web builder, Stores On Line. I know that one thing that I have to do is get links (preferably free) and I’m wondering if you link with jewelry designers? Your store inspires me and I haven’t purchased a lot from your company in the last few years because I had to pay for my Mom’s care but I have a huge inventory of beads and crystals that are screaming at me to start designing again! On Etsy my store name is JewelryJeanne! Thanks again for motivating me!!!!!”
– Jeanne
“I LOVED this article! It was funny, informative and a real pick-me-up for inspiration. Thank you so much! Kind regards,”
– Gwendolyn
“HI…Loved the ideas from Kristal….it is more fun doing beading with BFFs… and sharing ideas. At present am on the crocheted beaded bracelets…so much fun…and uses up lots of beads…I remember my Great Aunts and Grandmother making these and also have a book from the 50s with a pattern with grapes in it…now, if only I could find that book…thanks for your wonderful ideas and comments from very talented beaders….try to read everything, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time…thanx…”
– Sonja
“Have no idea where Kristal lives, but wish I was one of her friends. I loved every suggestion she made in preparing for and enjoying her play-dates. Thanks for sharing”
– Judy
“Kristal, you truly touched on the essence of being a women. From way back in the time women have worked together in community. Whether it was the embroidery of centuries past, quilting bees from churches to town halls in Anywhere, US that defines Americana, or a few girls gathering at their neighborhood coffee place to discuss the latest fad; meeting together and sharing life, sparks something anew in women. Each of us should have a support system, a group of women, albeit 2 or 20, that can help us share our joys, our sorrows, even our in-between-times, it can be from a variety of sources, the only demand is that women need women. Researchers have determined that we release oxytocin, the “love” hormone, when we share in an intimate experience, such as nursing a child, being with your lover, and t into our “sisterhood” mode. Social Security is not a Sanctioned Slush Fund–Researchers have determined that we release oxytocin, the “love” hormone, when we share in an intimate experience, such as nursing a child, being with a lover, and when we spend time with our BFFs. Thank goodness for Sisterhood, it’s the only intimacy that can be shared over a glass of wine In a restaurant for hours on end.”
– Anonymous
“Thank you! Loved the article!”
– Marlene
“I enjoyed the article very much. Kristal had some great ideas. I too have been in a funk lately.”
– Pat
Perfect thoughts for and of summer…I immediately dove into a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while and guess what? It is terrific and I’m so pleased that my tree was shaken and some good thoughts fell right into my shop!! Have a happy day.”
– Myrna
“I loved your article. Thanks for the suggestions. I will look forward to your next chapter.”
– Michael
“I liked the article a lot. I like to hear/read/learn ideas for sparking creativity.”
– Susan
“Thank you and one of these days i will get back into the beading. It has been a very busy summer with family and all. Thanks again.”
– Lois
Loved this! Great advice, sounds like fun, and I need to make some phone calls and get one of these play days on the books!”
– Michelle
I’m ready to go!!!!!!! What great ideas…and you’ve given me the list of how to go about it…keep up the good work Kristal…An old beading buddy,”
– Bon
Fantastic, just what I needed to read at this time. Keep it coming. Thanks”
– Kristie
Such a happy, uplifting article. I was glued to every word. Thanks for giving it to me.”
– Dona
Kristal is terrific–so upbeat and human! I loved her introductory article and look forward to more. Sincerely,”
– Nina
“Sounds like a very good TO DO List! Only problem we are always too busy.”
– Lewis and Nancy
“Thank you. This is exactly what I needed. My husband and I live in Oklahoma and have both moms living with us. I like to crochet baby blankets and have started making jewelry. Every once and awhile my creative juices freeze up. I’m in one of those funks now. I think I’ll give my crochet buddy in Texas a call. Maybe we could plan a skype PJ party or something. I could sure use some laugh time. Thanks for the ideas”
– Linda
I loved that article. I myself was experiencing a little case of the summer bummer and couldn’t get inspired and then my BFF flew in and we had a few days of making jewelry laughing and relaxing and now I am off and running again. It really helps to have that other person for inspiration. Even if you have completely different styles it really is nice to see what someone else is doing.”
– Anne
I’m totally committed to Kristal’s plan! My only question is, why wait for a “funk”? Three of my daughters, my granddaughter, a grandson, and I do, this about once a month. Great fun to see what everyone else is working on and/or has to trade. Thanks for validating our favorite excuse: “It’s good therapy!” Love Fire Mountain; and Thank You, Kristal!”
– Laurel
Hi Kristal, My name is Alison, and I have just gotten into beading, thanks to a friend. Unfortunately, she is about the only friend that I have who is intered in beading and she lives too far away from me and neither of us have a reliable means of transportation. I did enjoy your idea of using beading and other creative activities as a means to beat the blues. I suffer from clinical depression, and have found activity, especially creative activity helps me out enormously. Your fellow artist,”
– Alison
“Loved the Kristal Wick article! My BFF and I do the same thing! We’ve recruited a few more of our friends into the love of beading too.”
– Bonny
“I loved the article!! This will definitely take the blues away!! Thanks,”
– Anne
“Hi My BBB–best beading buddy–and i were very recently part of this funk. Kids, work, and loads of other things stopped us from completing anything we actually liked. We blocked out an entire weekend and between us finished several earrings and quite a few necklaces. Plus had heaps of time for gossip and laughs. I recommend this to everyone who has sat there and stared at somethingfor so long with out knowing what was wrong with it but just that you didn’t like it or it looked funny. And if your hubby asks you can simply tell him you are getting your moneys worth out of your beads and other various craft obsession s we are all on here for… How can he argue with that? Happy beading ladies. I shall drink a toast to you at my next bead a thon!!!!!”
– Rose
“Very upbeat. Can’t wait to try it. Sounds like very good advice from someone who has been there.”
– Sandy
“Just had chance to read this. Loved it!! Been in a funk lately. Thanks for great idea. Sending out invites today!”
– Jea
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