I honestly believe that necessity is the mother of invention. There are books (and websites) full of this kind of "positive attitude overcomes adversity" type quotes and phrases .. heady things like Nietzsche's "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger" as well as lighter fare, "When given lemons, make lemonade" .. and the more poetic "Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head .." by Shakespeare. I love that. It really gets to the heart of the matter. Sometimes there is a silver lining. And sometimes things happen for a reason .. whether or not one can work with that is up to the individual. Easy enough to feel sorry for yourself. I tried not to do that, but when you can't work (and I really couldn't at first), it's a bit depressing. Spent a lot of time and money looking for a "quick fix" .. chiropractic, physical therapy .. acupuncture.
All of which helped a little; but my all-encompassing issue has always been chronic yeast and I think I knew down deep that it was feeding the inflammation and I'd have to do something drastic dietwise before my wrist would begin to heal. So, I finally got down to it about six weeks ago. While strictly monitoring my diet in an effort to beat out the yeasty beasties and ever so slowly repair my painful wrist, I've had to rethink my jewelry designs. Things improved dramatically after I went on a modified allergy elimination diet .. and I continue to be able to do things around the house and in the studio that I couldn't back in May and June .. but it's still not quite 100% yet. There are more than a few designs in my inventory (or long gone) that were real wrist-wrenchers in their creation. I'm aching - so to speak - to get back to the elaborate and time-intensive chain maille and wire wrapped bangle designs that leave me feeling so incredible satisfied when a piece is completed! However, while I attempt to keep from doing any more harm to my wrist while I continue to pump up my inventory, I've necessarily had to change course a bit. Stringing was the least painful thing I could do, but, you know .. been there, done that. And there are more beaders out there than ants in an anthill. If the right design comes to mind, I will still occasionally toss in a beaded design (and there are some old beaded design favorites that continue to do well) .. but I'm all about new and different. I like learning and trying new things.
So .. went in a just a slightly different direction with a new line of Talisman necklaces (bracelets may be forthcoming, we'll see). I'm not one to believe in things you can't see, but I do believe - as I've already explained - in attitude adjustment. And sometimes we need to be reminded that "every little ting will be ahright" .. that we hold the key to our happiness. It was this "key to happiness" thing that had the lightbulb shining over my head this time. I bought a bag full of old skeleton keys from an antique dealer when the whole Steampunk fad emerged as the "new thing". I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with them, but I'd also purchased a bunch of old watch parts (and got a bag full of old watches, too) in a casual search for Steampunky components. I'd had visions of resin-encased bits-n-pieces pendants, but am still experimenting with clear resin .. and wanted to stay away from chemical fumes while I continue to heal. One day I was just messing around with some fine silver fun phrase tags I'd made .. affirmations, declarations, cliche things .. and came up with this lavish piece I call "With all my heart" (inscibed in french on the little fine silver tag). It just kind of took off from there.
I haven't yet photographed them but I've also created "Sea Change" and "Live Juicy" (a recommendation made popular by the colorful and ever-positive Sark). And I have additional tags awaiting their own necklaces for "Je ne sais quoi", Jois de vivre", "one day at a time", "this too shall pass", "In vino veritas", and one about an acorn that I'm still working on. I had toyed with calling them Affirmation necklaces .. but "Talisman" had a better feel. One of the definitons I found was, "anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions." That was closer to what I was trying to do when I thought about the idea behind the pieces.
These jingly and sometimes musical little pieces make me happy .. I've tried to make each of the three I've created so far different in design from each other, but this, the first, is really glorious! It's got almost three feet of patinated sterling chain; bright, bold coral; and a little puffy Thai silver heart. It's long and substantial, yet when I wore it around last weekend for a test-drive, I forgot I was wearing it .. well, until someone mentioned it. Which happened a lot. This is one of those pieces I may have to keep.
I'll try to get the others up soon, but things are a little crazy at the moment .. I have a two-day show this weekend here in Ogdensburg. A 2nd "annual" Wine, Beer & Food Festival .. for some unfathomable reason split between two locations: the Lockwood Arena over on the corner of Main and New York Avenue and The Dobisky Visitor's Center down by the water. I'll be in the Dobisky Center with a bunch of other artisans .. the better of the two locations, I'm thinking. Especially since that's where all the beer, Bar-B-Que and entertainment will be. Saturday 11:00 to 6:00, Sunday Noon to 5:00 .. stop over if you're in the area! It's supposed to be an absolutely gorgeous weekend!
(Thanks to Heather Wynn for the design idea!)