I didn't discover beads early like my sister, Beth. She told her story of falling for beads while she was in 6th grade HERE. In high school I was into choir, band and reading books. I was in musicals and concerts, and not into making things.
Beth was, and she was excellent at it. What's fun about that is the fact that she has got a great singing voice and enjoyed music and drama, but her passions were beads, paintings and sculptures. She started out college as an art major and then took her visual artist's eye to Costume Design. Now she's focused on Jewelry Design. Yup, she's amazing.
Here are a couple of her paintings:
However, all the time Beth was making beautiful things, I was studying and pouring my energy into the more ephemeral arts- music, drama and performance. After I graduated with a college degree in Theatre and Music, I went on to get a Master's in Communication Art with the understanding that I would teach and perform. And I did. I got married along the way, but I was still doing music, teaching drama, and performing.
Until I got pregnant. And was put on bed-rest for three months.
Yes, I love to read. And I did read. A lot. I would make Jake drive me to the library, he'd walk in and get one of those little stools for me, and I'd push myself along choosing out books- at least 15 at a pop.
I re-read the Chronicles of Narnia, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books, Harry Potter, the Wizard of Oz, the Anne of Green Gables... I discovered new authors, re-read old ones...
But that was just the first month!
And I was still in bed. Beth came down from Fairbanks to Seattle to visit me and hang out while we waited for the baby, and she brought her beads....
And I discovered I liked beading. I'd make her put the clasps on, and then I'd try to figure it out. I finally got to the point where I could actually do my own end parts and earrings... Back then, I avoided seed beads like they were the plague. They were so tiny!
I was scared to death of seed beads, and I hate needles. So I figured out I could use bigger beads. and I wasn't as scared of them. In fact, I discovered I LOVE crystals- so shiny.
And now my oldest daughter is 9 years old! I've been beading for nine years.
That's crazy. I certainly never expected beads to dominate my life as much as it does now. I never expected to own a bin of seed beads. Or to be selling my own designs. And if you told me ten years ago what I'd be doing today I would have laughed at you.
Isn't life funny? Things that are just supposed to be for a little bit end up taking up so much of our lives... I'm thankful I discovered beads, and their ability to enthrall me. I'm thankful for the improved relationship with my sister that beads engendered. I'm thankful for the money I make selling my jewelry. (not that I'm making a ton) I'm thankful for the beading friends I've made.
What started out as a bad thing (getting stuck on bed rest), became the inspiration and beginning place for me of a life-long love of beads, and the desire to learn more about jewelry-making: metal-smithing, polymer clay, wire work.