So, one day, my friend D asked me if I wanted to make some jewelry. She’d been doing it for awhile and loved it. Did I want to go to a craft store and take a look?
Did I? I wasn’t sure. My whole life, I was fascinated by art and craft, but I never found an art or craft that I could do well. Couldn’t draw, paint, crochet, play an instrument, sew, you name it, I wasn’t good at it. And it frustrated me! Both of my parents were artists, we had their paintings hung on the walls at home. But me? Nope. And I gave up hope that I’d ever find a medium I could work with.
Then I became a writer. I read a lot, I was an imaginative person, and in spite of my clumsy hands, I could still craft an image with words that could tell a story, create an atmosphere, could evoke a new view of the world, and you know what? I loved that. And I spent a lot of time doing it. When I read my favorite authors, I would not just enjoy the work, but I would try to figure out the way the authors created that made them my favorites. I was reading a lot of horror fiction back then, and that’s what I wrote. Had a thing for vampires that went on for a long time. Ah, memories.
Ultimately, I gave up writing for the most part after this momentous field trip. It hadn’t seemed momentous, at the time. That day, we wandered around Michaels in a dazed overwhelm. I hadn’t spent much time in that store before. But on that day, all I saw was shelf upon shelf of endless possible art and craft opportunities. So many ways to fill one’s time with creative challenges and results – I was in love! I was crazy about “wedding cake” glass beads, because the color was bright and they had shiny gold on them. The header pic is an early piece – the metals don’t match, I didn’t even think about that then, but when I see this piece, I still love it. I still wear it. It symbolizes that I have learned to craft beauty with my own fingers, something I always longed for, and all it took was a friendly suggestion and a trip to the magical land of Michaels.
I don’t know what pulled me in – I had a thing for color, texture, arrangement, and eventually, design – and I never left it. I still love all those things as much as I did on that first day. And then I made my first bracelet, and I was sold. Now I’ll take any spare minute and make something. If I can’t get my hands on actual beads, I will design in my mind, grab a scrap of paper, jot it down, save it for later. Everyone close to me knows that faraway look I get when I’m stringing in my head, and luckily, they have learned to let me, because when a design wants to be made, it won’t stop pestering me til I work it out, on the beadboard or sketchbook. And I don’t mind it, and have no plans to stop I couldn’t, actually, because after the first bracelet I went on a bead-spree and am determined to use them all before I’m done. Yeah, that beading bug bit me pretty hard, but I can’t imagine not doing it. I love it way too much to stop now. I think I must have been a crow in another life, because, man, I adore the shiny and can’t wait to get my claws on it! Speaking of which, this crow has a brightly colored project on the board, so I’m going to finish it now. I would love to hear other people’s arts and crafts origin stories, right here or over on FB at https://www.facebook.com/JuicybeadsJewelry/. Please feel free to share your tale with pics, if you have them!