02 March 2010

Coming Alive

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who did not hear the music." ~Angela Monet

Have you ever felt like this? Like the thing you were most passionate about was viewed as crazy by those not "hearing the music?"

I have.

My dad, whom I love dearly, will say things to me like 'how is that playing with beads going?' While he is supportive, he just doesn't get it. If he thinks that all I have been doing is playing with beads, then he hasn't been paying attention. What he doesn't see is that this is more than just a hobby, it is a passion that is quickly taking over my life.

{Fun and funky photography by Brenda Laird on Etsy}

pas·sion /PASH-uhn/ –noun
a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything

Passions are strong.
They imply a total giving in.
There is a dangerousness to passion.
Passion can be all-consuming and all-encompassing.
It could be flirting with disaster or temptation.
It is a strong emotion. There is nothing dainty about it.

Do I have that strong of an emotion for beads, though?

I have certainly been tempted by the shiny faceted stones and the worlds of beauty encased in glass. I have been trapped by my desire for artisan made ceramic or polymer clay beads with a force that my bank account cannot arrest. I have felt myself succumb to the beady goodness that I view each day as I fill my Etsy cart with treasures.

The upside of passion is that flush feeling you get. You know the one when the blood floods your cheeks as you rush to be the first to buy that bead or score that great sale. It feels good, this passion. {And it is easily hidden in small baggies and innocuous manila envelopes :-}

{from the quirky fun 'demotivators' at www.Despair.com ...okay...maybe only I find that funny!}

But passion can have a darkside. My passion has become a hoard, an insane stash of baggies that is quickly overtaking the basement studio space {even in my new house, where the space is twice as large}. Half the time I am not even sure what I have and don't have {perhaps 'organization' should be my next ABS Carnival Blogger topic!} I can't stop myself from buying new beads, but at the same time I am not using them fast enough. I have this underlying sense that there is never a good enough design, that I want to be the only one who wears that bead, or I just can't part with it.

When the passion borders on the insane, and a release needs to happen. I am at that point now. I realize that my passion is wonderful, if productive, but when I am not making jewelry with all the wonderful treasures, when they are not allowed to breathe and live and be touched to find life with a new owner, that they can slowly crumble and die {well, not literally.} In short, I am selfishly wasting that passion on myself.

I need a way to share my passion with the world. To ignite that spark in someone else.

Art Bead Scene was a revelation to me. Finding others who shared that same passion and didn't judge me for it. This community has made me come alive. Because of the incredible artists leading it. Because of the outstanding designers the world over who call that space home and create some of the most amazing works of art. Because I could easily become one of them, if I had the courage to let my passion come out to play. And now I am no longer stingy when it comes to indulging my passion. Where I once would have balked at spending $35 or more on a single bead, I realize now that I am holding a miniature masterpiece in my hands {now I just need the courage to let it go...}. I will ever be grateful that I have found this community who shares my passion and understands the secret thrill that is felt when that next manila envelope arrives in the mail.

I wish to share my passion for art beads with others. I am in the early stages of putting together my first exhibit at Gallery Q Artist's Cooperative where I am honored to be a member. In true "Inspired by..." fashion I am going to let the 2D artists at Q be my muse...for each painting that I select, I will create one or two ensembles that are inspired by that art. But I will also have a custom made art bead or component take center stage in each piece because I believe that those tiny stories need to be shared with the world as well. {At least my corner of the world.} I have been approaching some of the artists in the ABS Universe to help me with this project and in truly passionate fashion they are rising to the challenge. I am very excited about the possibilities {I promise to share updates with you} and the idea that I might ignite someone's passion for art.

For me it is more than just selling jewelry. I have put a goal out there for myself that I will share my passion and my inspiration with any who will come and seek it. I hope my web journal does that for those you. I hope you stay awhile. And I hope you might even come back and perhaps post a comment or two.

And thank you to each of you, whether we have connected personally or not, for helping my passion to flourish and for encouraging the real me to come alive.

I hope I will inspire you to pursue your passion, whatever that may be.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

What is it that makes you truly come alive?
What is holding you back from pursuing that passion? Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


stregata said...

"My passion has become a hoard, an insane stash of baggies that is quickly overtaking the basement studio space" - sounds just a bit familiar. I had an immediate vision of a dragon lying on his hoard, not wanting to give up a single shiny piece...that dragon has a face that looks strangely similar to mine.

The neu exhibit you are putting together sounds pretty exciting. I am looking forward to seeing more of this.

Davinia said...

I can't wait to see your pieces for the exhibit, I know they'll be amazing. As for hoarding...guilty.As for holding onto certain beads because you just can't bare to part with them....guilty. Smuggling in small bags of goodies....guilty, (I do wish certain things weren't in cellophane bags, that crackle of the paper is a dead giveaway.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the post Erin. My passion is for beads as well. Although I don't buy as much for myself anymore...but for the shop. I do understand the design not good enough or that I want to keep it all for myself. I recently sold a one of a kind bead embroidery piece...I think I sold a tiny piece of my heart (it was my favorite piece) but it "fits" the person who bought it--so it's going to a happy home.

I hope to become more "free" with my stash...and create more--but what holds me back is time (not enough of it).
Bead Happy!

Barbara Lewis said...

Erin, I'm sorry to say I haven't been here recently so I want to say first that I love what you've done with the place ... the bright colors ... awesome! The obsession you're describing also is a common one among those who sew. I had it with fabric, way back when. At that time there was a bumper sticker going around that said, "Whoever dies with the most fabric wins!" It sounds as though it applies to beaders too. Just too much good stuff!

Judy said...

Our passion gets us up everyday and is fueled when you see the face of someone who loves what you do.
I love the quotes, so perfect...
Have a wonderful day Erin.

Cindy said...

Erin, oh how I could relate to your post! My Dad says the same kind of things to me. And those baggies of beads...there's bunches of them here too... and yet I can't fight the urge to buy even more beads. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your gallery exhibit - I'm sure it will be just beautiful.

EmandaJ said...

Hello Erin, I couldhave written your post too. I am a clinically diagnosed hoarder and it is a bad thing for me, but I find it extraordinarly difficult to let any one of my lovelies go. I have been unemployed for the past 7 months, so I have had to leaern to rein in my purchasing, which has helped, but Gosh, there are some beautiful beads out there!

I'm excited for you and your collaboration with the artists at your gallery co-op. Do tell us more as you have more to tell.


Patty said...

Erin, you have eloquently captured what I feel too. Passion for me is making beads, and is what keeps me awake at night, and gets me up in the morning. Each and every time I walk those 56 steps from the bed to the kiln (bypassing the coffee, even) to see what the prior evening's torching session has yielded, I feel the most incredible sense of excitement. The giddy anticipation never diminishes, and it's always like Christmas.

Thank you for a most fulfilling post!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this post. You have eloquently expressed what I have been struggling to find words for. I am excited to see the progression of this passion filled project.
Thank you for sharing your heart!

sandi m said...

Oh my - I could have written this, too. Let me just say, I have wonderful inventory of supplies - lampwork, czech, seed, tribal, PMC, wire, sterling, copper, pearls, crystals - you get the picture. Yup it's an addiction and I can't create fast enough. Although not working the past year has curtailed my purchases and forced me to create from current stashes. Nice to find beads you 'forgot' you bought!

Thanks for sharing, and look forward to your gallery inspirations.

Sharon said...

Oh yes, the secret dark hiding places where beads multiply like jackrabbits, I know them well! Has anyone formed a Beads Anonymous group yet? I hope not because I don't want to be cured!

Peggy said...


I just love coming here and visting your site. I love your creations - you are so super talented. Your inspirational writing is a joy to read!

Serendipity Smiles

Anonymous said...

sounds like we're all in the same boat. i just love beads and can't stop buying. i am so unorganized right now, i forget what i have. i'm acutally doing some clean up now and just taking a little break to have lunch and catch up on my blog reads.

Lance said...

You have written beautifully about passion...and from our first meeting nearly a year ago, I have just always felt that so deeply within you. Continue to let this beautiful passion of yours shine, Erin! You are so gifted, and that is deeply evident in all the amazing creations you craft with your heart.

Keep on shining this wonderful passion of your, sweet friend...

Kate said...

Your post is wonderful Erin, but I would expect nothing less, that is why I want to Congratulate you, you have been nominated for the Sunshine Blog Award!


Thanks for having such a wonderful and interesting blog, and for being such an inspiration yourself!

mairedodd said...

your exhibit sounds so wonderful - and so very you... which is what it should be...
your dad sounds like mine - as well intentioned as he means it, i have heard him ask 'so why would someone want to wear something like this?' it didn't upset me, in fact it kind of reaffirmed that i am moving in the right direction for me... but having it called a 'little hobby', sigh, does get to me...
use your art beads, inspire others - and then destash! :P wink

Jenners said...

I imagine it takes a little wind out of your sails when your dad says that about you and your passion. Does he know the kinds of success you've had with it? Has he seen what you do?

I sometimes wonder what I'm passionate about ... I don't have any real hobbies that include "creating" anything. But I think that blogging has turned out to be something I'm passionate about. Lord knows I've stuck with it much longer than any other hobby I've tried. Sometimes it takes a while to find what lights your fire ... but when you find it, you need to stoke it and let it burn!

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

This post very much speaks to me. I have been pondering the powers and perils of passion for some time now. There is light and dark and so many grays in the landscape of passion.

Writing is no doubt what makes me come alive, but I need to be careful that it does not overtake all else. There is a life to lead, not just write about.

Wonderful, inspiring post.

Jen Judd said...

Oh Erin! I was saving all the Carnival posts to read on the "big reveal" day and it has been such a wonderful morning! Your post touches all those aspects of a bead-lover's passion...even those that cause us doubt sometimes. Do I buy these for the right reasons? Am I selfish? Why can't I share?
And, I, too, have found amazing comfort, inspiration, and passion in the Art Bead Scene crowd...kindred spirits, kind hearts, and neverending inspiration!!! Thanks so much for being a part of my bead world!!!

Heather Powers said...

Erin, I like to think that the beads are just taking a break in my studio. They soon pass into new hands and in new creations. Once you let go of the ones you are holding onto, new ones can settle in for a while.

I'm looking forward to working with you on your Q project!

Jeannie said...

Erin this post is as lovely as your jewelry and Congratulations on the GalleryQ.

Michelle Mach said...

Congratulations on your upcoming exhibit! It is hard to explain passion (aka "that bead thing") to other people. It's wonderful that there's such a great online community that understands!


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