It's been forever since I've blogged again. I've been making lots of jewelry. I finally tried one of the most basic jewelry-making techniques--I'm actually kind of embarrassed to admit I'd never even done it before: crimping and beading wire.
Do you ever get should-be-fleeting notions that just cement themselves in your head and become roadblocks? It can be frustrating because you might intellectually know they're irrational and even unjust but there's something powerful enough within the cement that keeps the barriers up. I was like that with crimp pliers/tubes and beading wire.
My first experiences with jewelry making were at school in a fully decked out studio and around the same time, on my own using very non-traditional materials and tools. So my introduction to it was from two extremes and there was no craft store in sight.
A little over a decade ago a neighbor of mine abruptly moved to India and gave me many of her art supplies. She had returned from Ghana not long before I knew her, and there were a ton of fabulous African beads in the stash I got from her. I was mostly into paper-based art at the time, but those beads really made me want to get back into jewelry. I had no supplies at all, so I went to a craft store to get some basics.
I couldn't find anything I wanted, although I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. The wire I used all those years ago had been something I found in my grandfather's basement--there was definitely nothing like that in the craft store. Everything looked like it was either made for pre-teens or super fussy and high maintenance. Some of the fussy stuff I inspected was the crimping stuff. So this is really how you put necklaces and bracelets together? It seemed so....flimsy and just not what I wanted to use. I left without buying any tools and pretty much scrapping the jewelry making idea.
When I started making jewelry again a few years ago, I didn't even consider getting any tools or supplies other than beads and hemp at the craft stores and wire at the hardware store. It sounds limiting to me now, but I'm glad I went that route because I taught myself macrame and did all kinds of experimenting with making my own findings, clasps, etc. But now it seems time to explore things I've unjustly shunned.
I will never stop using regular cord when I can, but the beading wire allows the teeniest, tiniest beads to be strung. Everyone already is aware of this, I'm sure. But it's been quite the revelation to me. And the beading goes so much faster. I haven't quite figured out why yet.
Something really weird happened the first time I used my crimping stuff. Look at this sweet little guy.
I was sitting at my table working and I sensed something and turned around. On the floor about 3 feet away from me was the teeniest, tiniest dark little critter. I thought it was a centipede because we unfortunately get those sometimes. They're pretty much the only bug I don't like--I love bugs. But I realized it was a baby mouse. Coming toward me like he wants me to be his mommy. Stupidly, I instinctively put my hand down and I'll be damned if he didn't crawl into my hand!
I wasn't even thinking 'house mice' or 'pest'--this was a little domesticated mouse! Probably not, but I have never seen a wild creature so tame. I wish I could have taken a picture of him in my hand because no exaggeration, he was just slightly over an inch long. His head was bigger than his body--you can kind of tell in the picture.
We have pet rats, so I just got some of their bedding and food and made a little nest for him in a container. He was shaking and wobbling around like crazy. In a few hours, we had another one. I suppose mama mousie didn't make it back to them--I can't imagine they would leave her. It was pretty clear they needed a mouse mommy still--they could eat food, but their nursing instinct was strong. I just tried to keep them comfy for as long as I could. I will never forget the perfection of their impossibly tiny teeth, perhaps the loveliest thing I have ever seen in my life and it will be with me forever. Goodnight, sweet princes.
And then the next day, we got to see this darling hours-old lamb at our friends' farm.