My beginnings as a jewelry maker began as I'm sure most girls did, stringing pony beads. I did this for a long time until I came upon the discovery that there were bead stores. Not the little section at Jo Ann's but entire shops filled with beads, baubles, clasps, and toggles for me to create more "sophisticated" jewelry. Gone were the cheap plastic beads which had entertained me for hours. They were mercilessly shoved aside for those pretty little glass flowers and tiny fairy charms.... and a slightly higher price tag. No longer could a few bucks buy me a gigantic bag of Big Value beads, oh no.
As you may have imagined it only got worse. My tastes changed, I learned more and then it became, "Only semi precious stone beads!" and, "If it is glass it must be vintage or handmade, no exceptions!" Well at this point I would marvel at the end of a bead binge shopping trip. It was unbelievable how much money I had spent for such a small bag of goods!
All this to say that today, long past my "beading phase," I finished creating the last few pieces for my jewelry exhibit at the local coffee shop. The show has been scheduled for about 2 years at this point. They were scheduled so far out that I thought, "YEA! I have so much time to put this together now!" Fat chance!!!! I have changed my mind about what I was going to do for this show at least 3 times and therefore never really got started on what I was ACTUALLY going to do until basically the last few weeks. Big mistake with Christmas and all... Anyhow, I ended up creating pieces from deer antler and Icelandic sheep horn slices with mixed metals. The focus was on texture and allowing the natural shape of the organic slices to tell me how they wanted to be assembled. I am VERY pleased with how it all turned out and I will certainly post pictures of everything after tomorrow when I will be hanging the show.
All this to say that today, long past my "beading phase," I have sat in my studio and created a whole new line of jewelry to be debuted this week. I packaged each piece into a tiny ziploc bag according to size and type and then placed them all together in a ziploc bag. Hours upon hours of work and it all fits into one small bag.