Showing posts with label Living Today. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Living Today. Show all posts

Stress? This Time The Result is The Charmed "Be" Bracelet

This post shows a photo I took of the process of making my bracelet charm. It also shows bracelets too.

Weather permmiting I will have a post up sometime in the next two weeks.

Where ever you are, Stay Safe,

-Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Ugh the typos...Sorry, just stressed, isn't everyone? What is stressing you out today? is it silly? Is it serious? or is it both?

Feel free to reply in the comment section... : ). Take Care friends.

Why complete a creative project you want to give up on? Artist to Artist tough talk ahead.

Why complete a creative project you want to give up on? Artist to Artist tough talk ahead.

Disclaimer: I originally used a name to describe feminist explanation in my original title and posts around the web. I forgot to follow the #1 rule of the internet, which is to do research on made up words that sound like they’ll go viral. Yes, I had a feeling people coined it already, I had no idea that it was deeper then just a word to describe a woman explaining why something is the way it is, just like men do.

Now that’s out of the way, I want to share with you to post I posted the other day, but it will not have a bunch of images. It will not be showy. It is truth and words and one picture is the only way to share this. I will also post on Tumblr, there will be a process picture on there that shows how I finished this project that has been nagging me. I will post other pictures on other social media throughout the week.

Here it is, with one picture at the beginning of this post to share:

I don’t know about you, who create art and craft, and/or pursue other creative outlets, but I have projects that get stuck in my head that won’t go away. Novels I sort of completed or abandoned completely, Crochet and Knit Projects I started to design, but couldn’t finish, and Jewelry pieces I made a couple of, but never followed through in making more.

It all adds up and festers and gnaws at my stomach and chatters in the back of my mind. “It” being the projects I start, but don’t finish.

It doesn’t matter, that I have completed short stories and had them published in literary magazines, Or that I designed and published two patterns that I crocheted and had one sell in a yarn shop for awhile, or that I’ve made jewelry, entered the jewelry in a juried show, not only got in, but made a sale, plus one sale to a dear family member who is one of my biggest supporters.

All that didn’t matter. I used to say things like, “Oh I sold that to my _____, it doesn’t really count.”, “I need to get the right people to buy my work.”, “Why can’t I get ahead in the art world?”, ( and yes I’ve even had art I entered into shows and got juried, and still it wasn’t enough), and my personal favorite, “What is the point of making art and craft?”

I had tried to figure it out as best as I could and it never got me to where I was satisfied with my life. I kept feeling like I had to be happy 24/7. If I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t doing it right.

Well friends, I hate to break it too you, but life is not life without ups, downs, and boredom. Plus there are a few highs and lows thrown in just to make it interesting.

I started a project holiday season of 2016, in an attempt to make something that I could use that I would like and thought other people would like as well. Not only did I do that, but I followed other people’s advice on how many I should make, what colors I should use, and how I should produce them. It worked for awhile, and then, I just didn’t want to follow the advice anymore. I wanted to share my true voice, I didn’t want to speak like someone else and hide my vision from my friends, family, and people who read what I write and look at what I draw.

Not only that, there were some technical issues I had with the Charmed “Be” Bracelets. The kinds of things that I pick at, that others may not even know about or care about.

I kept thinking of conversion, convertibles, comfort, a niche, a style, an anthem, and on and on it went until I said, just back off of this. It’s ok to drop it. It’s fine. The world won’t fall apart because I didn’t finish something I started. And it wouldn’t fall apart because of something I did or didn’t do. It’s important to finish for my piece of mind though. There was something about it...there’s something about it that is special to me.

So I thought, it’s special, I want to finish it, but I don’t know how, and I’m not even sure why I want to finish it.

This is where I started questioning what the point of creating art and craft was again. Why am I doing this again. It drove me nuts last time? It drives me crazy often.

I have my own answers to this question and I would be remiss to not mention that I have a workbook I’m making so that if people choose to, they can make it a little more comfortable to think and get frustrated on paper about their creative process. It’s similar to the other e-book I have written, yet it has it’s own flavor.

I’ve finished my Charmed “Be” Series of bracelets. There is one type I am partial too and will concentrate on it whether people want a certain style or not. Why?

I searched and came up with my own answers based on what I took and left of what other people in the blogging community say about business, life, and creativity, in my effort to prevent future long blocks of time where I don’t create something or finish a project. The internet is not a game for me. It is the way I choose to make my living and it is just as valid as any other way to do so.

Take what I say with a grain of sand. It’s sharp and soft, and perhaps may even provide some warmth and comfort in these uncertain times.

Take Care,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

If you want to read more about the process of how this bracelet is made, here are links to the series about the Charmed Be Bracelet of 2017:

Why Your Elastic Bracelet Breaks and How to Prevent it From Happening Again

Why now is the best time to make a bookmark bracelet...Now where did I put that bookmark?

Maintanence, posting the same content as yesterday, didn't realized I used a potentially trademarked term.

Sorry guys, had no idea Femsplain could be trademarked at some point, I will be posting the same thing with a few changes that I did yesterday.

Update: I'm posting the new post now, I've got a disclaimer in there about what I did, and I'm sorry I didn't look it up. This post is a record that I took anything down with the word that could be trademarked at some point.

I learned my lesson, which I explain in my revamped Artist to Artist talk.

See you soon.


Done? Oh No!

Done? Oh No!

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

So after you’ve been fired from a job you thought you could count on, what do you do?

First, cry your head off. Rejection hurts.

Second, write in your journal and sketch your jumbled thoughts and emotions on paper. Get it out of your system as soon as possible so the pain feels a little less painful each time you remember what happened.

Third, accept that you are on your own. You will always be self-employed even if you work for someone else. You can not depend on working for someone else to keep you earning money. If you are on disability and are allowed to earn money then this is very important to keep in mind. Give yourself a chance to have some independence even if you are living with your family, your significant other, or on your own.

Fourth, work on a project that you would sell as a self-employed person. If you are an artist, writer, musician or any other creative type of soul, do that. If you start new projects and drop them to finish old projects, then you have more ideas and some finished projects. It’s all right not to finish everything you start. Sometimes it takes awhile to finish something, and sometimes, it’s time to let a project go.

Fifth, share your work with people who like you and your work. And make sure they give you constructive criticism as well as praise on your work. It’s helpful to either find a group of like minded people in your field, or start a group. Being with other people who like you and who you like goes a long way to making the creative journey more joyful. It can be lonely sometimes, if you work from home.

Sixth, open up shop with quality items to sell. Don’t rush this! Start out with something good that is well made, well written, well sung and/or played. People will appreciate your hard work.

Seventh, promote your shop by telling your story and staying on the tight rope of hitting universal points that everyone lives and everything you think or feel is important that you’ve experienced. If you’ve been able to stay strong despite how uncomfortable you are, people want to know how you made mistakes and how you made your way to the place you are now, and would like to come to their own conclusions about how to live without too much editorializing. That’s resonance, a very important connection point for artists and patrons, writer’s and readers, and musicians and listeners.

I hope this helps you on your creative journey to self-employment. I have done all of these things. I even have made sales over the years when I first started working for myself years ago. Crafts, Art, and Writing. I’ve even written songs and people liked the lyrics, have not sold those yet...

The world does not owe you a thing, however if you create, then you make for the world, not just take from the world.

Wishing you good vibes,

Jess aka Sketchwriterjess

Done? Oh No!
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

Copyright 2017 by Jessica B. Hensley 

And The Hook Flew Away From The Needles.
Crayon on Mixed Media Paper.
6.5"x 8.5" (this file is a .png file to load better on the web).
 Jessica B. Hensley aka Sketchwriterjess

There are days when I believe the people in my life who tell me, "You'll be fine." And there are days I think back to when I was first diagnosed Bipolar and even my doctor said, "Don't worry you won't be in Section 8 Housing." I think sure...and then I think of the day I met someone at a Crochet meetup who said "Oh you're not so bad, my Grandson has Bipolar and (Another condition I don't remember)." What is this? A contest to see who has "Serious Bipolar" and "Bipolar Light"?

I doubt all of them. Surely they are missing some information about me. 

'I may be fine now, but one day I may not'. I think this many times now as I recover from my mental illness.

When I started blogging years ago, I wasn't diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the time and I held myself together on the outside, but then inside I broke and I wrote during this break so lots of things only made sense to me. Only I loved too deep. Only I got hurt. And the only way I would survive was by my becoming undone.

It wasn't until I first got diagnosed that I began to see past myself. My parents helped me. Doctor's helped me. I opened my heart again. Sure, there were some obstacles, however recovery has always been where I've gone when I felt I could take no more beating from living and taking and thinking. I gave so much, yet it was never enough. Even at my worst I had inner peace deep inside me though.

Recovery is a term that is used in different ways, yet one that stands out to me is addiction. I was addicted to challenge and still am. I make things harder on myself, it's my nature. 

I'm uncomfortable. It's the best way to describe how I feel everyday. So, I make myself comfortable in some way, everyday. Sometimes I make myself some coffee and I sit down and draw with Crayons on Mixed Media Paper.

When I draw with crayons I reach a place that feels like I'm in another dimension. There is no time, there is just the sun and the moon.

A friend showed me a surreal collage she did and it got me thinking. Surrealism is a great way to safely break from reality.

So now, when doubt creeps in, when I think I'm not good enough or when I just feel like I want things to change, I do something that isn't guided by fixed times or days. I do something to do something. Also known as Art for Art's Sake.

One more note:

Mental Illness is not an easy thing to talk about or explain. It's something people think will magically go away if people choose never to talk about it.

How I deal with life is due to having caring people around me who I love dearly. What people with mental illness need is love and support and a safe way to deal with life when it gets too pressured. I'm very lucky I have art and supportive friends and family who allow me to be there for them too.

I hope that anyone who is having a day where they feel extreme stress reads this. If it's not coffee and crayons, then it's something else safe to make you comfortable. 

There is nothing wrong with comfort. Life isn't supposed to be easy, however life isn't supposed to be oppressive either.

Wishing the my country, the United States of America, and the world, peace and thoughtful reflection,


When Doubt Creeps In, Take Recovery!

 Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

Got Fired? Great!

Got Fired? Great! a pep-talk by Sketchwriterjess. 

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley

I got fired from an architectural firm in 2007. Ever since then I’ve found it difficult to stick to finishing projects I start. It’s a classic Bipolar symptom to go start many projects without finishing them. However, from talking to other Crafters, starting projects and ditching them is a universal habit.

What I’m about to tell you is my experience as to why I do this. Having bipolar disorder gives me insights into this habit that are off-track, yet being fired sent me off the tracks, what I am going to say is sensible despite how my firing happened. If you love music, like I do...

then your thoughts can become a mix-tape of haunting words and phrases that get stuck in our head like a song.

In 2007 I sat in a conference room begging my supervisor for a second chance to start over again on good terms. She had just yelled “You’re always asking for more work to do, I don’t always have work for you to do. The world doesn’t revolve around you!” at me in front of my other coworkers. I was shocked and they were too.

We’re in the conference room, patching things up, and then the moment I’ve been in fear of happened. The boss came in to talk to me. I had been told by the Office Manager that “If the boss comes into the conference room to talk with you then you’ll be fired.”

For awhile, my office was the conference room. Then I had a cubicle in the office again so I thought everything had been fixed. I thought I had served my time in the Conference Room after the crime I committed. I was in for playing “Downer Music” in the office on Casual Friday.

In one instant the music changed from a song by a British Band I enjoyed listening too, a song called “Your Eyes Open” by Keane, to a song called “Barbie World” by a band I don’t remember from somewhere I don’t know. It was quite a blow to my system and my ego. I felt personally attacked.
My music was put on again about an hour later. Then it was shut off again half way through a song I loved, “Bedshaped”. When they shut my album down half way through one of my songs, I lost it. I shouted “I’m pissed off that you did that” at the coworker who shut off the music halfway through. The boss was standing behind me. I asked if I could leave a little early, it was near the end of the day. His lips were curled up in a U. “Sure!” he said.

Here I was again, in the conference room 2 months later. I had no email account and I went from working on the computer aided drafting software to sending paint samples by fax everyday, all day. My supervisor had stopped telling me anything about the projects she was working on. Sometimes if I was 5 minutes late, she wouldn’t talk to me until 3:00 p.m. Work started at 9:00 a.m. and went to 5:00 p.m. There were days I needed to buy coffee before I came in. I wasn’t crazy about the coffee at the office and it just helped me feel more independent, like I was owning my day even though I was working for someone else. I still had no idea that what happened the first week with the music argument was still relevant. My supervisor and I had just finished talking about how to work better together, I thought we had straightened things out. The door opened slow and quiet. “We’ve got to talk.” my boss said. He sat down next to my supervisor and started his wisdom drive.

“When I was an intern, when my supervisor told me to stack the books, I’d ask how high. I did the work I was told to do, no questions asked.” He said and smiled.

“Sometimes if you really need to say something and it could upset someone, perhaps you shouldn’t say it.” He said, wincing a little bit.

“Life isn’t about your special coffee. We’ve all got to drink from the same pot.” He kept wincing.

“I thought holding the Barbeque Office Party at my house would get everyone back to where they were before the incident happened, The one where you blew up at your co-worker about shutting off the music. But it hasn’t. This office still hasn’t recovered from that.” He shrugged.

“Your work is marginal and you don’t have the personality to make up for it.” He winced saying that too.

I started to sob. He just fired me in front of my supervisor. “Yes, if it hadn’t been for that incident, I would have been able to trust you with some of the projects I’ve been working on. You’re smart!” She said.
“I think you are too.” Said my boss.
“We like you.” Said my supervisor.
“We must part ways though, but if you need to, you can work here until you find another job.” My boss said.

I bolted out the door of the conference room. Still sobbing, some coworkers wouldn’t look me in the eye. Some coworkers jaws dropped open, and some, nodded to each other.

“Hey you show up everyday, had no absences, that’s something to be proud of.” My boss had said as he entered the main office.

I drove home, still sobbing. When I got home, I lay on my bed and wailed. I had never felt like I let myself and my family down so much before. I had quit a few jobs after similar incidents where I got mad and after 9 months people say, “maybe this isn’t the place for you.” But this was different. I have two college degrees, one a B.S. with a concentration in graphic design, and one that’s an Associates degree in Interior Design. I worked so hard to get through school and finish those degrees, and now, because of a personality flaw, I was no longer able to get a job.

I did look for other Interior Design jobs, however the places wanted someone with more experience.

About a week after the firing, Mr. “Barbie World” called me to ask me if I wanted my mouse pad sent to me. “It has a guy standing on a pointy hill and he’s about to fall off trying to reach the star. It’s weird.” He said. I said yes I’d like him to send it back to me.
“Ok, bye.” He said as if he stopped aging.
“Bye.” I said.

Both my degrees involved fine art classes and I loved the freedom of those. My teachers told me, “Design is fun, but it’s work.” That rubbed me funny. My mind started to race with thoughts. ‘It’s set schedules and appointments, it’s full of clients and colleagues who flip and flop so much before they decide how to finish something. ‘ It’s just like me’, I thought. ‘They’re in my head. I want myself back.’ I went on disability and am still on it due to my Bipolar Disorder. However, I don’t want to be on it forever. On my own, I started 60 art and craft projects and finished 40. Some of the finished items had deadlines, some didn’t. I even made a few sales and had been in a few art shows. But having unfinished projects started the mix-tape of Critics again.

If I’m a misfit and finished 40 projects out of 60, then I proved that work takes as long as it takes to finish and sometimes there is a reason why it’s not finished, and if it isn’t finished its all right.

And sometimes, one needs to quit or be forced to leave to find what they need to live the best life possible. Deep down I knew in my heart I didn’t want to put color on walls. I wanted the color on my paper and in my computer and in my music and my writing which I was doing the whole time while I was in College and while I was working. Now most of the time I use black and white for my drawings in pencil. I use other art supplies too. But my drawing, there is something raw and clear there. In color theory, black isn’t really black, and white isn’t really white. I keep that in mind when I use all colors.

I have dozens of dreams that come true every couple of weeks when I finish things or try new things even if they don’t work.

Got Fired? Fine!

Jessica B. Hensley aka Sketchwriterjess

Would you like to read any of my other articles about rejection and finishing projects? Here they are:

3 Steps to Beating Rejection

The Three part solution to finish projects you start and put aside, for days, months, or even years!

Answer, by beating rejection.

There comes a time when a person lives the handmade life and asks herself “Why am I unable to finish the projects that I start?” 

I can tell you that I can go days, months, and even years before I finish a project. I do finish 1 in 5 projects, and have at least 20 plus to choose from. And that doesn’t include the new projects that I start at least once every 2 weeks.

I sat down with a friend and talked about this very subject with her and then she asked a question:

 What happens when you work on a handmade project?

For me, this is what happens...

- I want to do the project, I’m excited about the project and I go shopping for the items for the project even though I already have the items at home to make the project.

- I start the project, it feels good to work on the project, then the reality sets in on how much work is needed to complete the project. I become overwhelmed, my brain hurts, it fogs up, and goes blank.

- I stop working on the project. I let fear creep in and start thinking there is no audience for what I write about and create arts and crafts about, so I set it aside until I feel like working on it again... in the future.

Then she asked another question:

What other factors are involved in making decisions to work on handmade projects?

I think of these things:

-The joy and challenge of making the project.

-Connecting with other handmade lifestylers and potential customers.

-Potential financial compensation for making the project.

Then she asked one more question:

The one reason why you don’t finish projects is?

I fear being rejected.

I fear rejection more then any other emotion that people can have towards me. Everyone is rejected at some point, though in my life I feel like I have been rejected so much more then other people. The truth is I’ve been rejected as much as I’ve been rejected. I’ve got what I got. I can either let it keep me frozen or I can let it be the mojo I need to finish projects, as if I’m getting back at those who said, “You can’t do this handmade stuff for a living!”....Well...

The fear of being rejected is a roadblock, here’s the three part solution to fix it:

1. Set a deadline to finish your work.

2. Then set a place to show your work on the same day you finish your work.

3. Show your work on the social media platform(s) of choice.

I’ve written in my planning journal these three criteria for five projects ahead. Some are more lifestyle projects and some are actual handmade projects.

My first project to finish for this blog is to complete the Holiday bracelet collection. I have a date set to finish and a place to share my project with the public.

Will anyone look at what I have to offer at my set deadline? I don’t know. One thing I do know is that I love to play with art and craft supplies and I get so much joy from the process of creating and sharing that feeling with others. I feel peaceful...and I know I’m good at it. I’ve been doing art and writing together since I was a child and continue to do it today.

Has this article given you any ideas as to what your roadblocks to finishing your projects may be? I’m interested in listening to what you have to say on this issue and if you have any solutions to this share, write them too.  Everyone who deals with not finishing projects can use a boost from knowing other people go through the same thing as you do.

Take care and Have a good one,


P.S. Well, I changed my mind about the project I was working on, however, I've got plenty more ahead and also unfinished to work on.

Would you like to read more articles like this?

Got Fired! Great!

Search This Blog


Free Web Apps for Productivity

Here is a place for Apps designed by me just for you to boost your productivity in a fun way. Have at it!

Time and Write Generator

Words Sprints Minutes
50 2 10
100 3 20
150 4 30

Press down on the button of your mouse and roll over the grid to get your random numbers. You can also use the highlight function on your tablet to get the same result.

Follow by Email

Contact Me


Email *

Message *

Jessica B. Hensley

Jessica B. Hensley
I've got Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Psychic Abilities:

Hello everyone,

This blog is a place to read about one person's experience with Bipolar Life and it's obstacles. It is also a place to get information about surviving and thriving with a mental illness.

Not only do I make art and craft, I write and do Tarot Readings for the General Audience.
I discovered I have psychic abilities once I stopped drinking alcohol. Champagne? Not just yet ; ).

My hope is that you get inspired to put yourself out there into the world. It's scary to do so. It always is, but it's the only way to make progress towards having any quality of life.

Take Care and Blessings.