Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Beads?

Why beads?

I don't exactly know what it is about them.  I just love them.  I love the teeniest tiniest seed bead.  I love faceted gemstones.  I love shiny pearls.  I love them all, really.  I've never met a bead that wasn't worth a second look.

My love affair with beads started when I was very young.  I don't remember the official beginning, but I have always horded beads and objects (which I would learn much later in life have a more official name---"findings") to use in constructing jewelry.  I also collected delicate little containers, like mint tins, sample-sized jelly jars, and film canisters, to sort them all out.  My early creative processes mostly involved just tying on a clasp (no doubt something I had scrounged off a decrepit old piece of broken costume jewelry) and stringing seed beads onto dental floss (mmm... mint).  The only bead stores my home town had were what I still refer to as "hippie bead stores."  For some reason, hippies sell really pretty beads, right there with patchouli essential oil, hacky sacks, and tie-dye shirts; I have never understood the cause/effect relationship with hippies and beads, but I appreciate it anyway.

The desire to create something with my hands has always driven me... jewelry, scrapbooking, crafting, etc.  Beads as a creative medium has waxed and waned and waxed and waned through the years.  The motivator (you fellow crafters probably get this):  Inspiration.  And of course, there is the Great Confining Factor (everyone gets this):  Time.  It can be difficult finding the inspiration to make something beautiful and even harder finding the time in which to make it.  And it is rarer still that the two should coincide.

When Little Bug came into my life, the thought occurred to me that I could---somehow!---use beads to raise awareness of OI.  The inspiration.  I began imagining all the ways I could use beads to portray some aspect of OI.  The only problem was that I had a newborn baby, so I could only let my ideas marinate for, oh, 20 months or so because I sure didn't actually have the time to do much with them!  Not all my jewelry is OI-inspired.  As I said before, I really just love beads, and I make all kinds of jewelry.

So, why beads?  After much rambling, I haven't exactly answered that question.  I feel like beads are really the only creative gift I have to give of myself.  My hope is to raise awareness of OI, one bead at a time.  I'm not sure how much of this really makes sense to the audience at large, but I am excited to begin sharing my beads with you!