Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beading Back in Time Blog Hop - Favorite Time in History

Indecision is the enemy of creativity.

This is my seemingly unscalable mountain in beading.  Indecision has directed a series of challenges that have resulted in a lot of unfinished projects for me.  Many times I knew what I wanted in a general way but I either became frustrated in the process or couldn't decide what to do next.  I was determined that this piece would not end like that.

For this hop, I decided to rummage through some of my stash and let IT speak to me.  I ended up gravitating toward an old German glass pendant I picked up in Nashville while visiting Lindsay Starr (of Phantasm Creations).
I decided to try for a Victorian/ Art Nouveau look for this piece.  I rarely sketch what I want to create ahead of time but I almost immediately know what direction I would be heading in and I needed to get it out of my imagination and onto paper:
I wanted to incorporate the wheat theme that you see frequently in Victorian mourning jewelry (see some examples below: 
Get this...these pieces are made with human hair!  If you have never seen Victorian hair work - you really need to do some google is some of the most incredible/ awe inspiring jewelry, pictures, etc etc.

After hours of embroidering and ripping out stitches, it dawned on me that the only way to replicate the wheat-look I saw in my mind's eye was to use bugles!  I have NO idea why it took me so long to realize this...but you know how sometimes you get stuck in a single vein of thinking and when you finally step back, you realize...*light bulb*!

Here I had already bezeled the pendant, figured out the stupid wheat situation and begun my first row of 15s around the outer edge.  See...YOU get the short painless version of the story - the one that doesn't include all the hassle and frustration and duh-moments.

I continued the 15s around the outside of the pendant until I had encased the majority of the wheat motif and promptly realized that I didn't have enough room for the bottom portion I drew on my sketch.  Oops.  Ultimately. I realized that trying to cut out, back the piece, and finish the edges would have been impossible with the original design.
I ended up with this as the finished pendant portion of the necklace.
Now I am gonna be honest here - I did not struggle with indecision with this piece for 5 seconds...BUT while being away with my aunts and cousins this weekend for a MUCH needed girls weekend and having stayed up till 2:30am having a deep familial therapy session, finishing this blog much less the necklace became impossible.  It is nearly 3:30am as I sit here writing this.  But family...especially these amazing women I share blood and love for must take priority.

I did eventually figure out how to finish the bottom of the necklace before I stopped.  I intend to finish with black faceted beads and silver Czech beads for the strap...but, alas, this must be for another day.  Here is what I have to this point:
Let me tell you...I am slowly learning to trust my gut and not get wrapped up in indecision whether it be from too many choices or being generally unsure.  This is something that is more than just a bead-lesson -- it's a life lesson.  Tonight around a table sat 2 generations of women who descended from Kings and Paupers, Manhattan Project chemists and at-home-mothers, from one of the first women to ever receive a college education to unsung heros.  We have pictures a hundred years old and love letters spanning over a century - we have a deep sense of where we come from and who we are and you know what?  History is utterly priceless - family history, the history of human-kind, the history of beads.  Pardon me for waxing poetic at this late hour but I can't help but look back and realize; choices are the stuff of life and indecision is the stuff of death.  What a privilege we have to work with that small piece of glass with a hole in it - something that humans have used since time began!  How truly incredible it is that this link to our history - that tiny piece of glass with a hole in it - has the ability to teach modern-day-me SO much about myself and life.  Funny how that is...isn't it?

Please check out my beading buddies blog and the time in history they chose!

Sherri Stokey -----Co-Host
Lindsay Starr -----Co-Host
Kelly Rodgers -----You are HERE!


  1. That's going to be a gorgeous piece - I love the idea you came up with for the wheat! Perfect!!

  2. I am fascinated with Victorian mourning jewelry - Did you see my post a while back on The Art Jewelry Elements blog? I think your piece nailed it in style! So awesome!