Sunday, November 27, 2011

Old hands and new tricks

Sometimes it's easy to recognize where my ideas come from. I'm working on a project right now that's all about trying things I haven't done before; the pendant owes everything to Jamie Cloud Eakin, and the rope it will hang from has echoes of Marcia DeCoster and Rachel Nelson-Smith.

It also represents my own journey in every bead and in every stitch. My love - and knowledge - of lacemaking, architecture, and engineering are mixed together in this piece. It has vintage beads that my grandmother saved for probably 50 years, and new beads that are much more regular in size. It has a new cab, featuring a vintage photo; it is a combination of old and new in every part.

As am I.

I've been thinking about creativity lately. I've been through a dry spell, and I'm just now confident that I'm coming out of it. I was pushing too hard for too long, trying to be something I'm not; and, in doing that, I lost the gist of what I am for awhile. But I've found it again. I'm an amalgamation of everything I see and do; a casserole of everything I've ever seen and everything I've ever done. I distill my experiences and bring out something new with my hands, one stitch at a time.

I've also discovered that I need balance in my life in order to create; I don't do well when I try to focus on my craft and make it happen as a business venture. The more I thought about business, the more I lost my creative spark. And without that, I had no business on which to focus.

So, I've decided to put the business part of it on the back burner and get back to living a creative life. I've learned that I need music, and art, and friends, and laughter in order to be a creative person. I need to keep joy as one of the primary ingredients in my creative stew; without it, everything falls more than a bit flat.

I learned that this year. Seems I'm always learning something. My hands have been beading for nearly 50 years; I hope they have many more years of beading in them.

I guess I'm getting to be an old hand at this. How odd.

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