Victory

I am still feeling the wonderful after effects of victory.  After battling all the decisions and time that went into making my thorned guitar which, I revealed last week, I have spent this week soaking up a since of accomplishment.  I can’t describe the natural high I get hearing it played and seeing it complete.  I am trying to stay humble but I will say all the compliments have been so encouraging. It has inspired me so that I have not been idle.  I have found my next one and started a two-dimensional piece as well (more on those next week).

I have always tried to answer a compliment with something like, “thank you it’s not that hard” or “I still have a lot to learn” or “you should see…”  or even “but did you see the problem with”. Sometimes I even start pointing out the mistakes in the piece.  Why did I think that humility meant lowering myself, elevating someone else or deferring the conversation.  Could it be that I love being affirmed so much it scared me?  I didn’t want to be arrogant or obnoxious but where do you draw the line.  How can an artist be confident and promote themselves without being too overwhelming or boystrious?  Well, now that I am a mature woman here is what I have learned.

If someone gives you a compliment you must accept it in its entirety.  It is a gift given to you and should not be returned. You should not try to best their gift by giving them a bigger compliment either.  Allow them to bless you and always say thank you without a but at the end.  No pun entended.

Next, never point out your mistakes when receiving a compliment.  I have mentioned this before.  Focusing on the negatives only brings you to a negative focus.  I know that is redundant but it is true. The complimenter is enjoying something you did so don’t ruin it for them. It reminds me of when you go to a movie and with no knowledge of the story you leave the theatre thinking how much you enjoyed it. Then your book nerd friends start trashing it. Before you didn’t care that the main character was suppose to have blonde hair or that there were not suppose to be an elven heroine.

Lastly, deferring is disrespectful to the giver of the compliment.  They are complimenting you and not someone or anything else.  Be respectful and accept it for goodness sake.  There is no arrogance in that.

You can live in victory each day without coming across as boastful and conceited.  It is victorious confidence that Christ gives us.  Why would we belittle ourselves as less.  As long as we carry ourselves with love first the belief in one’s self will keep us grounded.

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Cue the choir it’s the big reveal!

Ahh! Can you hear the choir holding out that long note and see a yellow light slowly getting brighter as if the sun were dawning in super fast speed?  It is the big reveal day!

It all started about five years ago when I bought a guitar that was greatly abused. The finish was dotted from BB shots and the wiring had come unsoldered.  To those of you who know something about guitars it was a Lyons by Washburn and had tribal art on it.

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I decided I would reclaim it, so to speak.  After removing the neck, all the hardware and electronics it was time to find out what was under the paint.  I read and Googled and read some more.  I then choose a process of removing the finish I had never heard of before, blow torching.  It was so much fun!  Just like popcorn flying everywhere and in no time at all the finish had popped off down to bare wood.

I really do not want to bore you with all the details but I do want to hit the highlights.  Yes, they are brutal but if you look closely they have a beautiful quality about them.  Not only do most plants that have thorns produce brightly colored flowers but the vines themselves have wonderful details.  I drew the design and outlined it with a hobby knife. I have always had an appreciation for thorns.  After lots of tedious hours of sanding and carving this is what I ended up with before finishing.

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I finally made my decision on finishing it off by torching it and using a satin poly. A friend of mine recommended a Seymore Duncan pickup and set it up for me. This is the final result.

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I hope to have a video of it being played next post.  As well as the beginning of my next project.

Not that I want to over think this process but when I began with this project this guitar had all the signs of a rough life.  If had skulls and beat up marks and didn’t even play.  It was a long process but with lots of loving care it has become a beautiful work of art.  It progressed quickly at first and then sat wrapped gently in a soft towel, protected, unfinished and unknown.  With it finally out and finished I want to proudly show it off.

Let God give you that re-purposing.  It may take a long time but do not be content with being protected and set aside.  Step out of your comfort zone and BE so He can proudly show you off.

Call Me Jack

With so many demands of my time lately and my decision last week to prioritize I am confronted with what actually has to go.  In an effort to protect my yearly goals, anything that does not fall in those goals are on the chopping block.

First thing is, I must say no to things so that I can preserve my family and art time.  It is very hard for me because I am a people pleaser.  I have to remind myself that people who ask favors are my friends or family and can handle it if I don’t have time right now to help them.  In all actuality it is offensive to them for me to think I need to do these favors to please them.  I am doing them a favor by saying no and allowing them to be a friend, that’s what I am telling myself anyway.

The next obstacle brings me to the title of my blog.  There is a saying that goes something like, “jack of all trades and master of none.”  This takes me back to the no fear blog I wrote, “You Make Me Brave”.  Since I feel like I can do anything I have a lengthy to do list of things that need to be fixed or made.  My time can be leached away all in the name of saving money on a repair bill.  I put it to action this week when instead of working on my husband’s chainsaw I found a repairman.  We mostly heat with wood  so this was very important.  If I had not done that and fallen into my previous state of stubborn mentality I will do it all, I would not be finishing my project.

If you have been following my blog I have been teasing you about this project I started about 4 years ago.  I had not worked on it for several years but have been hard at it since the new year and blogging began.  I will be putting some finishing touches on it tonight and only have one thing holding me back.  I am patiently waiting on a part to arrive and can’t wait to finally reveal the product to you next week.

Detour

Have you ever went on vacation and had a lists of stops you wanted to make?  Maybe you had a plan of hitting little Mom n Pop stores along the way or seeing the World’s Largest Stalactite Organ.  Everything had to be on schedule or you would not get to your last destination on time before it closed.  You are cruising along and making great time but when you top the hill, you see brake lights.  For miles ahead looks like an airplane runway.  Slowly you creep and you begin to realize the 20th Century Wax Museum closes in 1 hour.  Then, there it is; detour with construction.  Looks like you will have to see the Largest Ball of Yarn on a different day.

This describes my last couple of weeks.  I have a list of goals for each week so I can accomplish my goals for the year.  My 4 year old project, working toward the art fellowship in November, triathlon training, just to name a few are all on my 2015 to do list.  And of course swimming lessons.  under normal circumstances these are achievable but this year is proving to be abnormal.  I have hit a detour.

It is time to resort to prioritizing.  I just have to take one step at a time.  The 4 year old project is nearly complete.  I pulled out a blow torch and burnished the exterior and started the final coats of poly.  After a frustrating week I have sense of accomplishment.  I am within in 1 to 2 weeks of finishing and I can smell it. That’s not the poly fumes talking.

The triathlon training will just have to be hit or miss for now as well as the other stuff.  It will be okay if I have to delay some of my plans.  The big goal is my destination…the fellowship.  If I continue to avoid time waisters and push on I can do it.  I do have to travel through the detour on my journey. I am still travelling forward.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

Thomas Carlyle