Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bead Embroidery Projects ~

What beads to bring? That is the question. Everytime I travel this question plagues me. I want to bring all of them... all of my beads and all of my projects, which of course would require a moving van or two, especially if I were to dig out some of the really old projects. In my case, really old projects (ROPs) date back to 1988. There's the woven necklace I started in Helen Bane's class, and a netted & peyote stitch collar I was going to make for my sister to wear for her wedding. Both have potential... but they got a little boring, and I confess to abandoning them to a large box labeled "unfinished beadwork" when I moved 8 years ago. There are others as well, stashed in drawers and storage tubs.

Nothing new there, right? You probably have a few ROPs too. But here's the interesting thing: not a single one of my ROPs is bead embroidery. I always finish bead embroidery projects! Why? Maybe because I work improvisationally, without a plan, and therefore don't get bored. I never know where a piece is going, sometimes not even what it will be. Maybe because bead embroidery is such a meditative process. Maybe because it's a way for my heart to send messages to the rest of me, like journaling, revealing and honoring my most honest self.

Light flashing: I don't really want to bring all my beads and projects. The ROPs can stay where they are, maybe forever. They've served their purpose and taught their lessons. Besides, if I can't do art the way I want, why do it at all?

Ok. I'll just take a bead embroidery project or two. The answer to the question, "what beads to bring?" just got a whole lot easier. Take a squint at my fabric stash, pick two or three pieces that appeal to me at the moment. Do the same thing with my beads. Select only the ones that really shout at me. Don't think if they go together. Don't plan. Just play. Gather the shouters, enough to fill a pint-sized zip-lock bag. A spool of Nymo D, probably purple, because I'm in a purple mood... or, maybe red. A circular thread cutter. Not so difficult afterall... guess I'll cancel the moving vans.

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