One of my favorite hobbies is jewelry design in bead weaving. Something about the repetitive motion of weaving is very calming & meditative. I get in a zone and just keep going. I guess it is like stimming; self soothing. Good thing it is relaxing because usually one piece can take many hours over days and sometimes weeks to complete, working with so many tiny beads. Beading for me, like most things, is all about numbers. I find number combinations in everything. There is usually a pattern to be found and then it is a matter of counting once you figure out the number pattern. I like to look at a bead weaving stitch and work it like a puzzle. I love to figure things out; stitches, puzzles, Sudoku, recipes, brain teasers, formulas. I also love the feel of a bead woven piece in my hands - the beads are mostly smooth and cool, a larger piece is flexible and somehow comforting. To create something from a vision in your mind and to have it work out and look as imagined, is so rewarding. I’ve never taken a bead weaving class, and never will; I just don’t believe you can teach design and I don’t want to pick up anyone else’s influence in my work. So I enjoy the journey, learn from my mistakes, and try new things as patience allows.
I’ve tried creating many types of jewelry, have done plenty of stringing & wire work and enjoy it, but my heart is more into the design of truly one-of-a-kind, complicated, and asymmetrical jewelry designs in bead weaving and bead embroidery. I find when designing jewelry I rarely like things to be symmetrical. Many designers say a piece must have balance, I on the other hand love to push for something that can be attractive & cool but still not run of the mill with both sides being uneven and different. The rebel in me wants to break the rules.
I (think I) have been successful in my jewelry business, I have set out to do what I wanted to – get sales on and (preferably) off Etsy, get published, win & place in contests, and stay true to my creativity. My necklace Blue (pictured below) made it to the front page of Etsy France. I’ve also done jewelry repair, jewelry replacement, custom work, been invited to submit work to magazines & publishers, have been asked to be a bead ambassador for a commercial bead company (rejected proposal due to poor quality beads and findings, would have otherwise accepted but I won’t work with or represent cheap Chinese crap – ha there are my Asperger’s black & white ethics in play – could have received free beads & media, but my morals won’t let me work with something I don’t believe in no matter what is offered to me), and will begin a new journey in creating my own beads and cabochons soon. I choose not to participate in craft fairs, I'd rather do juried art shows if anything since my pieces involve much work, are higher priced, and I would never sell them for a low cost just to make a sale.
I am currently working on an asymmetrical necklace for one of my beading groups that does a monthly challenge. The theme is "Am I Blue". Ironically blue is not one of my favorite colors, but it seems I have done more jewelry in blues than any other color. I’m done embroidering and weaving and am now just sewing it together. I wove 4 different parts – 2 straps, 1 embroidered piece and a bezeled crystal. I am so close to being finished. So far it has taken at least 8 hours. Once finished, I will welcome the break. This is the first piece I’ll have completed in a year. I took some time off to buy a house, move, paint, adopt 2 rescue dogs, relax, and enjoy our home & yard. I will post my completed piece when all is done. Pictured here are other pieces of mine.