Monday, August 9, 2010


I've always been a fan of creativity. As a kid I LOVED all manner of arts and crafts and was generally considered "better than average" in ability. I even had a piece go on one of those public art displays of elementary school kids artwork. It was a big frickin deal when you're 8. In other creative venues as a kid I loved to sing in choirs, put on miles long soap operas with my barbies and play piano. I hit middle school and took up choir, theater, hand bell choir, cross stitch and crochet.

We moved to Sugar Land for my last year of middle school where I was in kind of a funk and decided to ditch choir and theater and instead went with Art. Art was fun and I was surprisingly talented to the point that there was some jealousy issues with the art teachers previous star pupil not liking me very much. And while I really enjoyed it, I often found it frustrating because nothing ever looked like it did in my head. Other people would tell me it looked great but when I looked at it all I could see was the flaws.

So in high school I instead went with dance and theater as my creative outlets, along with some pathetic attempts at writing poetry. I continued to be good at arts and crafts, discovered scrapbooking and loved photography. But scrapbooking took too much time and made a huge mess. Photography was frustrating b/c of my limited skill set and equipment kept me from being able to take the pictures I knew were possible.  I did some sewing and that was fun but I needed money to make it a habit.

I'd never be the greatest dancer. In fact my big achievement was knowing that I was finally NOT the worst dancer in the class. lol. Oddly that didn't diminish at all my LOVE of dance. It was passionate and fulfilling and wonderful. I still miss it...

Then I went to college, screwed up my joints so I couldn't dance anymore and had almost no time and no money for crafting. I did some attempts at scrapbooking but those quickly died with my full schedule. I think my biggest creative outlet was singing. I even got good enough my junior year before my mission that I was asked to sing a solo... in public. It was kinda cool.

But really I got extremely focused on academia and largely left my artistic outlets behind. Sure I crocheted like a mad woman but that was mostly to give my hands something to do while I studied so I could focus better. I did take one design class - an intro architecture class and I kicked butt. Third highest grade in the class. I didn't get into the architecture program although I applied. I decided ultimately that was a good thing b/c I can really make myself crazy when I let the nitty gritty detail oriented perfectionist take over and that is what architecture is all about and I don't really like that side of myself. I'm more of an idea person so it was probably a very good thing I didn't go into that program.

I did do some sewing in college but mostly... its a lot more fun to make clothing when you look the way you want to in it. When you're plus sized and nothing looks like you want its hard to find the joy in making wearable art...

But ya know - my necklaces and my earrings... no matter how big I am they still love me.

Mostly in college my artistic side was only ever used to create gifts for other people.

I've become increasingly fond of jewelry the older I've gotten. I mean I have ALWAYS loved sparkly things and pretty stuff since I was a kid, but it seemed to reach all new heights as I got older. Wedding ring shopping with girl friends in college, browsing the artist stalls at the Renaissance Festival... I discovered whole new worlds of sparkly objects that delighted and amazed me.

Then when I was on my mission we went with an investigator to a big super saturday relief society activity where they had all manner of classes and activities going on and as part of that I got to make a bracelet. I loved it. I wore that bracelet for years until I broke and I nearly cried.

Then I had a problem. I had this LOVE of jewelry and now I had a clue how to MAKE IT. But financial restrictions made it stay in the realm of day dreams as I gazed longingly at beads and findings in the craft stores and drooled over finished jewelry I couldn't afford but studied how it was made and what it was I liked about it. And plotted ideas for the day I would finally be able to afford to make my own pieces.

After my mission I did discover all new levels of the culinary arts thanks to Food Network and my summer in France. So that was a good creative outlet.

I graduated and life pulled me in the direction of databases as a way to earn money ... for now. And then the economy melted and suddenly my job was gone too. I couldn't go to graduate school yet. We needed income and it needed to be something I could do from home most of the time because I had a baby on the way and didn't want the kid to be raised by child care.

So this lead to plotting. I considered taking up baking cakes professionally. Or culinary school. But the problem with both of those is they require a million hours of training and practice and I was pregnant so that was pretty much out.

And then Kathleen called and asked if I wanted to come play with beads. And then asked if I knew how to make a website and explained her business idea.

And then I got to play with jewelry for reals. And I have discovered by far the most intensely satisfying art form I have ever gotten the chance to play with. For the first time ever I can make things that look even BETTER than they did in my head.

Its wonderful. Its amazing. And I cannot express how grateful I am for the chance I have now to learn and to do this. I think I will find a way to make jewelry for the rest of my life.

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