In which Karyn teachers herself to bead…
… and realizes her digital camera has a sepia setting…
Okay, seriously. There is something wrong with me. I don’t need another hobby. Really. It’s like a sickness. Hobbyitis. And it’s terribly catching. Read further at your own risk…
Let me start by telling you how this happened.
Have you been watching Pawn Stars on the History Channel? No? Well you should. It’s a fun show that follows a family owned pawn shop in Vegas. People bring in all kinds of interesting items to pawn or sell (mostly sell), and because it’s Vegas, and TV, we’re talking REALLY interesting items.
My husband and I are hooked on it. So much so, that we decided to go check out the pawn shop just down the street from us. I haven’t been in one since college, when I had to pawn things like my guitar (sadly, I never got it back) and jewelry (which I did get back) to make rent and various other utilities.
Now, before I get to the pawn shop visit, earlier that day I saw a news item on one of the online tabloids that Project Runway’s Gordana Gehlhausen allegedly ripped off a necklace design from celebrity jewelry maker Michaela Kuechenhoff. I like Gordana from PR, and am hoping this is a lie. Anyway, so I go to check out this Michaela Kuechenhoff’s jewelry and I learn that she’s using recycled and vintage materials and turning them into new pieces. Well, cool, I thought! (Although, I’m not totally on board with her design style, but that’s another blog for another day, right?) And I’m sitting there waiting for my husband to wake from his nap so we can go to the pawn shop and I think to myself, I bet I could find all kinds of hideous jewelry there that I could re-purpose, right?
The idea took hold like a fever. Off we go to the pawn shop, and I buy a couple of the ugliest costume jewelry necklaces you can imagine—broken, fugly (I should’ve taken a photo! Darn!) pieces and a couple pins that have good bones but have seen better days (and yes, I paid too much for them). Then I hit up Michaels craft store and went crazy buying findings and tools—just grabbing anything that looked important, because, you know, I’ve never ever beaded before in my life! LOL.
Now, to top it all off, the owner of the pawn shop literally just came back from a trip to Vegas where he met the guys on Pawn Stars and just the day before, put photos of him with Chumlee and the Old Man up on the wall! I talked his ear off about the show, and he dished on meeting them, and I took this as a sign (I’m big on signs) that the beading gods were smiling on this new artistic exploration.
I spent the evening pulling apart necklaces and looking at YouTube videos and blogs to figure out just what the heck I was supposed to do with all the stuff I bought.
As you can see by my photos, my work is definitely beginner level. But I have to say that not only was it totally relaxing, it was such a relief to be tinkering with my hands on a crafty project that was totally just for fun. I didn’t have to use my left brain and make up words. I didn’t have any pressure to make something look good to stick on a t-shirt, or to please a client. It was the same pleasant art zen I get when I used to take pottery lessons.
And although I have much to learn about beading, I can confidently say that these two necklaces are a zillion times prettier than the ones I pulled apart to liberate these beads from.
I’ve already got big ideas about polymer clay beads, and found objects and I’ve even started making my own paper beads!
The last bonus about this new pastime? My husband LOVES (and I mean really loves) going antiquing and checking out garage sales. He is so flipping happy that I’m suddenly enthusiastically on board! I am trying not to buy any new beads (which is seriously hard, BTW. There are so many gorgeous beads out there!). Instead, I want to reuse old beads. The uglier the necklaces I find, the better!
Now I can’t wait to go digging through garage sales and local antique marts.