Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Too Hot to Garden! Beads the "herb of the week"

I cannot spend more than an hour in the garden these days.  The heat and humidity make it impossible to work for long without getting ill.  So I do a little and then I go inside where it is air conditioned.

Being inside has given me time to engage in my newest hobby, beaded jewelry making.  This is normally my winter hobby.  I make jewelry in the off season because I cannot have nothing to do.  Really it is due to being a work-aholic. 

I began working when I was 12 years old.  In high school I worked two jobs or more and babysat in between.  During school I took more classes than the schedule allowed by taking courses instead of lunch.  When I was in college I was an insomniac who worked at the campus museum at all hours of the day and night, and had a side job as an overnight dispatcher for campus security.  When I began working in museums (for no money of consequence I should add) I'd work 60 to 80 hours a week and run myself ragged.  I realized this was not the most healthy activity and took up gardening as a pass-time mostly to give myself a reason to come home before it was dark. 

However, by that time I had created in myself a work mentality that keeps me from really being able to stop working.  I have to be "doing" something all the time.  I can't even just sit and watch TV. I have to be writing my blog, cooking, packaging herbs, reading a book, writing a book or something even during what most consider down time.  When I am at work I have to have a diversion when the job hits its slow moments.  I never go to work without a digital book or an audio book or a physical book.  I need to be constantly "doing."

I am sure there is a psychological thing buried in all this somewhere, but after 40 plus years, I don't really care to delve into it.  Instead I just indulge my creative side and find hobbies.  Now I can "do" something, and because it is not a "job" I can relax while doing it.

In school in was fiction writing. Then it became gardening, now it is jewelry making.  I slowly turned each of my hobbies into money creating businesses (aka jobs) and somehow I expect the jewelry thing might go that way too, but for now I make things only for myself and my family and friends.

Here are a few examples of the finished items:
These are my earrings.  I like to play with wire and recycle old items.  These gold pieces are made from a 1970s necklace I thought made me look like Marcia Brady!

This is the necklace you can see in a pile on the table.  I did make earrings to match.

This is the bracelet I also had on the table.  Now you can see the irregularity of my handmade links.  I'm better at this now, but I still love this item which was my first attempted at making links of my own.

What I like about jewelry making is that I have met some nice people because of it, shop owners, bead crafters and two local friends on Etsy who both make jewelry that puts mine to shame.  I am going to introduce you to them in very short order!  So keep your eye out for interviews with two people I respect who make killer jewelry using beads and a lot of imagination.

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