My Origin Story, Or How I Went On A Field Trip and Was Bit By the Beadbug

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  Please feel free to share your tale with pics, if you have them!

3 thoughts on “My Origin Story, Or How I Went On A Field Trip and Was Bit By the Beadbug

  1. These are so gorgeous, T! I am in envy of your use of colors and placement. And I love that you started a blog on the creative! Can’t wait to see and read more!

  2. You are just SHINING so brightly here in this post Tracy! So glad you found your thing – your juicy beads are beautiful and I still love the necklace I bought – always reminds me of the sea. xoxo Barb

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