Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to Beading

Beading and I broke up last spring.  Why?  Like all things cyclical, my crafty passions come and go.  I remember the days when beading was my favorite thing to do.  Then I got to a place where I realized there were a lot of people beading...and beading way better than me.  Putting together colors, sizes, designs was not as interesting to me anymore.  All my pieces looked generic.  I didn't feel like I was bringing anything new to the table.  To top it off, my supplies were a hot mess:  little baggies of random things, beads that I had no plan for, a plastic hardware organizer that spilled tiny beads every time I moved it.  I was a beader on the edge and one day decided to give away all my supplies save a crimping tool, needle nose pliers and bead board.  It was cleansing.  It was freeing.  It was not permanent.

I know hardcore beading is not my thing but there is something about adornment, sparkle and jewels I love like a fat kid loves cake (I also really love cake).  This love is only solidified by one of my favorite memories.  Growing up near the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, often we were set loose among the hotel shops, one of which was a very ritzy jewelry store.  Much to the horror of the store clerks, I would run and press my grubby hands and face covered with child munge against the window to see their ever changing collection of jeweled animal brooches.  I loved them and was never let down by the selection of gaudy critter goodness:  onyx and diamond leopards, emerald turtles, opal birds, golden bees and the occasional sapphire emu.  It was magic and fueled my ever growing collection of vintage pins...none of which would be appropriate for a fine jewelry display, but funky and gaze worthy nonetheless.

Recently, an occasion arose that required some thank you gifts.  Channeling a little Emma Pillsbury, I came up with basic premise.  Chunky, multi strand glass beads in fabulous colors, adorned with one very special and often quirky as hell brooch.  I know these will not be every one's style, but as the gift giving occasion is one that requires something for the receiver to remember me by, I can't help but feel they will always look at it and smile.

A few purchases from the bead stores (Beadazzled is the BEST), I am back in beading business. And I remember why beading is so very magnetic.  One can create something extraordinary in a small amount of time.  And who doesn't love pretty for pretty's sake?  I'm just sayin'.

I realize the last thing Etsy needs is another jewelry shop...but I'm thinking about taking this idea and running with it.  Perhaps add some fabric flowers, do a couple different clasp variations, and best of all, keep looking at vintage, sparkly animals pins in shop windows.  At least I know what every one is getting for Christmas!