So, five years ago, after I had completely stopped designing jewelry, we moved into temporary housing, preparatory to selling our house. I dumped all of my jewelry making equipment into boxes, (mostly) carefully labeled everything - and we moved. I was exhausted from taking care of the SO's diabetes management (he had been diagnosed a couple years earlier) which required me to get up several times a night (actually it still does - it's either me or him, and I'd rather he get as much sleep as possible at his age). I spent the next few years directing my creative energies into whatever the SO was doing. And all of the jewelry-making equipment sat in the corner in boxes, until we sold our old house and bought the one in which we are currently living. I stored all of the jewelry boxes back behind the bar in our basement that some previous owner had installed (nothing like having a keg tap in your basement for all of those wild parties you're not having). And it all just sat there. In the meantime, I stopped visiting bead blogs, bead stores, bead shows, anything that might have prompted me to spend money on something I was no longer working on.
I had a couple false starts (right here on this blog), but I think I'm finally ready. I've started opening the boxes. I found several sealed packets of Art Clay Silver 650 (which it seems the company no longer makes??) that are, oh, 6 years old at this point. (I found an old receipt: $73 for 50g!) I have squeezed the packets, and I think I have a 50% shot of the clay still being viable out of the packet. We shall see. I have not tested the kiln yet - hopefully, it's still working. We shall see, we shall see.
The photograph above is of an element I made probably around 2012. I had this idea - a good idea, I think - of designing a piece around the Tempest, a celestial and downright ethereal piece. I made this, and - it wasn't quite right. So I set it aside. It's really not all that bad, but it's also not really what I was aiming for. The thing is, I had a flash of insight yesterday, and I think I've finally figured out what to do. I got out a new sketchbook. I may have cut and pasted various shapes from index cards last night.
I also started trying to re-discover the blogs/Instagram accounts of creative people who have been doing gorgeously creative things in the past 8 years I've been living under my rock (having so much material to look through is like wading through treasure - it's compulsively readable). There are many people whose work I'm still trying to find again. I'm looking forward to finding them.
I don't know if anyone out there still has their eye on this blog or not, but I wanted to at least stop by. I'm not sure at this point how often I'll be posting here. I've decided to try an Instagram account. You can find me at melissa_strandsofbeads if you are interested.
By the way, that beautiful bead within a bead in the photo is by Carter Seibels. If I recall correctly, she mailed it to me after I won a contest she was holding to name one of her pieces ("Geometric Safari"). The more I look at that element, the more I think I should go ahead and design a necklace around it. Carter's bead is seriously too lovely to waste.