This time I am pretty late in getting my blog going, it is already after six in the evening! I struggled all day to come up with what I wanted to say this week, and was finally helped along by a friend on Facebook (thanks, Sheila!!) who suggested that I write about how I started beading. The beginning is a little depressing to read, you may want to skip a paragraph!
I suffer from chronic depression and a disabling panic condition, which resulted, years ago, in needing to have a case-worker help me out each week, so that I could go to the grocery store and so on, as I could not go alone. (Thank God, I am better than that now, and am able to get out usually without help.)
But she did more than help me with that, and this lady was SERIOUSLY cool!! Janet was her name, and she was fun and funky and just the most cheerful woman I had ever met. She seemed to love her job, and I know for a fact that she must have helped out more people than her employer ever knew. She wore great printed dresses and birkenstocks and socks, and wore her black hair long, sported gorgeous jewelry and hummed Grateful Dead songs when she was thinking. Her jewelry, as I am sure you can guess, was mostly beaded - and mostly beaded by her!! One day while we were visiting, I asked her about a pair of particularly long and elegant earrings she had on, and that's where it started. Janet took them off and handed them to me, and then explained that she had made them herself, and how. They were brick stitch dangle earrings with long fringe, ending in pretty iridescent blue drops. Before the week was over, I had purchased seed beads, bugle beads, drops and earring findings, and Janet showed me brick stitch. I was completely blown away and lost forever into the bead world.
I don't know if she knew, but she started much more than a hobby for me. I hope she knew - I tried to tell her, but before I knew it she was gone. Apparently she had left work in a hurry, and no one seemed to know where she went from there. Beading became my passion, my calling, and the most effective tool for therapy that I had ever had before. The calming, methodical stitching eased my panic and helped me to escape the long depressions. Not only that, but I was then left with a beautiful result - something pretty to wear!! I determined that I would learn as many stitches as I could, and that I would get GOOD at something. If I could, I would get GREAT at something!! It was wonderful to have a goal. Being able to attain that goal, learning more and more, and getting better as I went, went a LONG way toward helping me along.
One of my main aims was to get great at peyote stitch. I LOVED that you could shape it, that you could get beads to hang together ON THEIR OWN, and stand as sculptures, or beaded beads, or fabric, or...anything!! I worked and worked, and boy was I bad at it at first...but it got better, and better, and before I knew it, I HAD it!! And loved it. I still adore peyote, but these days the tension seems to get to my tendonitis (in my working thumb, of course), and so I am working mainly with other stitches. And now, low and behold, there are MORE stitches that let you make and shape sturdy beadwork sculptures, and I am getting good at those! It seems that the things you can learn are endless...the combinations are endless...and the things you want to make are endless. Beading makes every day an adventure, whether it is a good day, a bad day, a sad day, or even an angry day. I bead through whatever I am feeling at the time, and sometimes come out with some surprises for myself.
Two things that were beaded during different moods and times in my life:
The first image is a vessel, and the second is a paperweight. I had fun with them both, mostly because I had no plans to conform to- they could turn out to be anything they wanted to be, I was just beading to feel better!
So....my little story on how it all started, and how it continues.