Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Beading as a Form of Meditation, and a Diet Aid

One of the things I've noticed in the past couple years I've invested in my beading is that focusing on stringing beads, making loops, watching patterns emerge, and now, knotting beads together on silk thread, is very calming and perhaps a bit meditative - although as someone who has never practiced meditation, I can't be sure.

Sure, mistakes happen, but they don't have to be the ruin of a piece or even all that annoying to undo and fix. It's as if narrowing down the world to this bead, then the next bead, is a conduit for the release of everyday stresses into tiny, slow moving, streams of creativity. Sometimes I'll put on background music - instrumental, new-age-y Hearts of Space tunes, or Celtic ballads or even Zydeco (although that's pretty peppy if I'm learning something new, it tends to make me rush a bit). Amazing how the hours roll by, almost imperceptibly.

For example, today I continue making knotted strands, this one using 4 and 6 mm tiger-eye Czech druk glass beads, chestnut brown size FFF Gudebrod silk and 9x6mm Opaque Ivory w/ Half Picasso Roundelles with gold plated pewter bead caps and Gold Elegance gold plated 3mm round beads (link shows the 4mm size). (turns out all of the beads and the tiny bead caps in this are all from Artbeads, silk from Fire Mountain gems, large bead caps from Global Beads (Gold Elegance beads are from my local Michael's).

I lost myself in the process - trying little new adaptations to make it easier to get a good knot, thinking about what I want to do next, learning that about 30" (I should have measured) of string will only give me about 14" of finished beading plus a couple inches at the end for attaching the fastener (which I haven't decided how to do yet). I haven't mentioned my 'needle' for threading the beads. I just used a left over piece of bead stringing (.30mm) wire bent in half. I could have grabbed a needle, but this works just fine and if the silk thread slips off, there's less hassle re-threading than with a needle (with my eyes I have to use a threader, plus re-threading on a needle frays the cord).

I have taken some time out today to write this, and while I was looking up some of the items I used on the Artbeads site, I stopped to write a review of the gold plated pewter bead cap (which should be up in 72 hrs according to the site).

I also went out to do some shopping and picked up a new 'daylight' 23 watt flourescent bulb (same output as a 100 watt incandescent and allegedly uses 75% less energy and will last over 10k hours, also provides a brighter, more natural looking light). I had a 60 watt incandescent bulb in my desk lamp, this new bulb is an enormous improvement.

Another necessity was replenishing my Arizona Diet Green Tea supply. It's pretty much all I drink, and I drink a lot of it, so I buy 6 or 8 gallon jugs at a time. What I haven't done yet is stop for a meal - beading as a diet aid...

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