Saturday, July 21, 2012

Damn It Necklaces

Damn it.  On occasion, I have found myself making necklaces in which "damn it" is my primary conversation.  Usually, the necklace involves fringe.
I blame the bugle beads.

They look all innocent, right?  But these suckers have teeth.  Well, rough edges.  Like me, when I'm working on something new and not quite sure what I'm doing but I'm going to wing it anyway 'cause it'll turn out all right in the end, right?  And if it doesn't, well, it's only beads and my life and I can tear it all apart and start over again.  And if that doesn't work, I'll try again.  And again.  And, damn it, the needle/my life broke.
The easy solution would be to get out another needle, thread it, and continue on until I break the needle (or bead) trying to pass multiple times through the same bead, which just doesn't always fit.  Proving that saying: If you keep trying the same thing over and over, expect the same results.

I was hard headed on that first damn it necklace, just like I've been stubborn throughout my life.  (I am of Dutch descent, after all.)  I tried to force the fringe to adhere to my will without reasoning through the process.  I ended up so frustrated that I wanted to throw that necklace across the room.  And knowing that the energy I was putting to my task was negative wasn't pleasant either, especially since the necklace was a gift for a friend.

After going through a pack of needles and multiple stops and starts to cut out frayed bead  thread, I had an awakening.  An Oprah ah-ha, come to jesus moment: take a deep breath and stop.  Stop.  Long enough to figure out what was really going on, rather than blustering and swearing my way through.

Turns out, I was using too large of a needle.  I needed a size 12 rather than a size 10.  (Side note: beading is one of those blessed things that recognizes size as smaller the larger the number, but that's another post.)  I  also needed to remove the thread from the stress of the sharp bugle bead edges.  By using a seed bead before the bugle and a seed bead after, I minimized the stress.  And, I couldn't pull the thread tension too tight if I wanted the fringe to hang nicely.

Samples of gorgeous fringe by Heidi Kummli  

Life is a lot like fringe.  Life turns into "damn it" if you're pulling too tight, if you're forcing things to do or go in a contrary manner.  If you don't stop and/or recognize and manage the stress.  Patience is key.  I've learned patience through my 20 years of doing beadwork.  Patience and that fringe is not my favorite design component.  And life's too short to do things that aren't fun, especially when it's supposed to be a fun thing - like beadwork.

Unless it's short fringe.  And bright, colorful beadwork.  :)


BrisingBeads designs, fringe using the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart/Stupid)
I still end up with damn it necklaces in my bead box, from time to time.  I have one, with a fabulous bakelite centerpiece, that I've been working on for over five years.  We have a love/hate relationship going on, but I'm thinking it's because I haven't stopped to learn her secrets yet.  Is there something beyond fringe that I need to learn?  Hmmmm...


For more artist stories, follow the blog hop facilitated by Brigitte Lyons of Unfettered Ink.  During the month of July, twenty two artists are sharing different stories about their creative process.  It's a fabulous way to get to know the challenges aren't singular.  That inspiration is found everywhere.  (The prompts for the stories can be found here.)  Yesterday, Hilary from Dean Street Society blogged her story - go see!  Tomorrow, Elizabeth Floyd will share.  I hope you're as fascinated as I am by everyone's stories.  Just think what our world would be like, if everyone knew and appreciated the stories of others.  Less stress on all of us.  Which means our fringe would all be hanging straight with no shredded thread.  And a lot less "damn it"s.  That's a good world.



10 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I have also forced "damn it" items and (not surprisingly) they break fairly quickly. I will try to remember this story.

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    1. Glad to help. It's true: if you can't set a good example, at least be a good warning. :)

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  2. This post was excellent! I love the metaphor you pulled through. Thanks for participating!

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    1. This was so much fun to be involved in, Brigitte! I learned a lot about myself and my process. Thank you for the opportunity.

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  3. This post was excellent! I love the metaphor you pulled through. Thanks for participating!

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  4. How talented! I admire women so creative with a capacity to express themselves with their hands, their words and their spirit and take us all in their world by sharing it with love and laughter. I got here through Unfettered Ink and enjoyed very much your post.

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    1. Glad you visited, Monica! Hope you come back soon!

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  5. I had to laugh, I so recognized myself in those words! I am learning more patience, but I think that with the first necklace, I'd still be swearing! Fringe may not be something you enjoy, but you do it very, very well. Thanks for sharing.

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