— whollyKao

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My friend Nat’s birthday was back in September, and I was super late in giving her her gift. In fact, I didn’t get to give her the ring I made until last week. 4 months late…but better late than never, right?

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The ring is silver with a sliver of 14k gold in the band. The stone is a sapphire that I got at a gem show at the Craft Guild. I love how ‘rough’ the stone looks. Anyone else a fan?

My goal is to make more rings like to sell once I get my workshop set up. Hopefully people will be interested in buying them!

02-whollyKao_gottaRelax I was a little uncertain what life would look like for me post-holiday season. From November to December, everything was rush rush rush to get orders out the door. Now that things have settled, I have a lot more time to myself. I’m really enjoying the fact that I’m my own boss, but since I don’t have many orders to fill, I feel a little directionless.

I think I just need to realize that life can’t always be about doing things, and that I need to sit back and reflect at times as well. I’m also working on setting goals for each week, ranging from creative to business to meeting up with friends more often.

In the meantime, I’m getting my work space set up at home. The basic things I needed were a jeweler’s bench, a torch, and a flex shaft (it’s a fancy Dremmel-type tool that lets you drill and polish metal), and I finally have all three. I was lucky enough to score the jeweler’s bench for a good price from the Craft Guild where I take classes. I’ll post some pics when I’m all set up!

I don’t doubt that there are exciting things to come in the future with regards to the jewelry biz. I am just anxious for those things to happen!

Christmas This Christmas season, I spent most of my time furiously working on orders for my etsy shop. I guess it’s a good sign that I was busy, right? It meant business was going well. At one point, I stopped to think about why I felt so frazzled, and calculated that I cranked out 120 items to ship out within that past week. No wonder I was so tired!

The sad part about it was that as I was scrambling to get orders done for customers (i.e. mostly strangers to me), I was ignoring my own family’s Christmas gifts. I didn’t have time to shop because I was too busy making things to sell. Jeff and I had agreed that we didn’t need to give presents to each other this year. But there were still siblings, parents, in-laws, and a niece and nephew to get things for. I especially wanted to give something to my parents. And as the clock ticked down to when we were leaving to see them in Boston, I got anxious.

It’s always been hard giving gifts to my parents. There are lots of things I’d love Jeff and I would love to give them, but it’s big ticket stuff like a kitchen renovation, or a new mattress or fridge. Things that we can’t practically give right now. And I know my mom would appreciate sentimental things, but I’m more of a practical giver. Needless to say, we arrived in Boston empty handed. I felt really bad.

Christmas Eve came, and we went to church. Lo and behold, the pastor talked about how the Christmas season is always focused on presents, but we need to remember that our presence (i.e. spending time with your loved ones) is just as important as gifts. Suddenly, it all made sense. Jeff and I were here to see my parents. Though they would appreciate physical gifts, what they truly wanted was to spend quality time with us. So I quit worrying about gifts, and just enjoyed the time we had. I will cherish the memories of watching the Sound of Music, taking a walk with my dad, and teaching my mum to play Candy Crush!

I’m grateful for the message about Christmas presence. And though this blog post comes after the holidays are over, may it be a reminder for us for the next Christmas season!
family My family (minus Hoy, Michelle, and Luke)