Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Way-Back Machine

I'm going to go back today to... hm, about 2004. I was sent to Michael's by my supervisor to find some plastic boxes to store some special thread. At the time I was working as a management assistant to the Conservation department at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Michael's is a craft store and I've always loved going there. So many possibilities! Granted, the quality of their stuff is rather suspect at times, but it is still a great place for ideas, and it's also a great place to have around in case you're working on a project and run out of one little thing!

On the end of one of the aisles was a book on making beaded jewelry. I stopped and had a look, and that was the "beginning of the end". Returning back to work, I mentioned my interest to one of the conservators, and she recommended I check out Fire Mountain on the 'net. That was the "next step to the end"! The result of these two forays was this:

Sea Friends on Etsy

I had seen instructions on how to make a charm bracelet, and I had seen those beautiful .99 silver fish and shells and things made by the Hill Tribes of Thailand, but they weren't charms, they were beads! Well, by golly, why couldn't I make them into charms? So I did.

Clear crystal was a natural companion for anything sea-like, and upon further searching I found out about the beautiful cool green of amazonite. It was then that I became interested in what natural stones were used for in holistic medicine, and what they represented. Kind of like what Hildegard von Bingen did, as I read about her writings recently. So I decided that I would only use natural stones and precious metals for my work.

When I made "Sea Friends", I really had no idea why I was making it. I knew that I would never wear it, because, strangely enough, I'm not a jewelry wearing person. Well, except for hair sticks, but let's not get into addictions, shall we!

I made this jewelry because it was inside me and it just needed to come out. That's the only way I can possibly explain it. And after "Sea Friends", I began spending more and more of my money on jewelry supplies and soon I had about ten pieces of jewelry.

They were wrapped up carefully and stuck in a drawer. It was something I was ashamed of. This was because, at that time, I was still clinging to the hope that my mother could actually become a nice person at some point and give me some emotional support. And when I showed her my pieces, she, being the malignant narcissist that she is, pooh-poohed them and told me to stop spending money on things that "weren't necessary". God forbid I have any talent that didn't relate to her at all or acclaim her in any way.

Five years later, with the help of a supportive husband and therapists, I unwrapped all that jewelry and became inspired again. And so now I post my pieces on Etsy to share with others.


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