As a writer, I love a good story, and my latest beading
project has a great one behind it.
When my sister and I were in junior high, one of our best
friends was a girl named Gisella. We weren't in any of the same classes, and
I'm even a little bit fuzzy on how we actually met, but Gisella and my sister
and I were close friends for several years. We had sleepovers at her house
where we told ghost stories and stayed up late watching MTV. We even tried to
form a music group together with my sister playing guitar, me on the keyboards
and Gisella's fabulous voice. Gisella and I snuck into New York City together to
see my very first rock concert - a George Michael concert, with special guest
B.B. King! (Even though we were some of the youngest people at the concert, we
felt certain that we were probably the only ones there who were familiar with
B.B. King and Lucille!)
As we grew up, we lost touch with Gisella and her brother.
Then we re-connected again through Facebook in 2008 right after I had my son.
Gisella was happy and working in New York City and around the world as a
dancer, singer and entertainer. We chatted a few times, and during one
conversation she asked for my address. Since it was so close to Christmas, I
thought she was probably just going to send us a Christmas card.
I forgot all about that conversation until a few weeks later
when there was a box waiting for me in my post office box. Opening the box with
the unfamiliar return address, I was delighted to discover that it was packed
full of beads from Gisella! Apparently, she had held on to these beads since
our high school days, and when she saw that I was making beaded jewelry, she
thought I could use the beads.
I was so touched that she took the time to send me these
beads. The beautiful blue, violet and yellow beads were such a fabulous and
unexpected Christmas present from a long-lost friend! I held on to them for a
few years until I started playing with resin and making resin pendants, and
when I created this pendant with a traditional hamsa symbol, I knew I had found
the perfect beads to create this necklace.
Apart from the story behind the beads, there are other
stories in this necklace. The hamsa is an ancient symbol that represents
protection and peace among friends in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The eye
in the center of the pendant represents protection against the evil eye or evil
spirits. The spirals on the pewter pendants represent continuity - in this
case, the continuing of a friendship. And the Hebrew character Shin on the back
of the pendants is also a symbol for God. (Five points to the person who can
tell me which character from an old science fiction show popularized the hand
gesture for this symbol!)
Telling stories through your beaded jewelry projects can be
a wonderful creative exercise. If you need some inspiration for more beautiful
bead and mixed media jewelry projects, check out Cynthia Thornton's Enchanted Adornments.
instructions, creative bead and jewelry projects and inspiring stories, you're
sure to find something to spark your creativity. And now, you can get this fabulous jewelry-making book as a digital eBook and download it to your desktop or laptop computer in just minutes. (I think that's about as close as you can get to instant gratification with your jewelry-making, don't you?) It's all the same great projects, instructions and inspiration as the hard copy, but in digital form!
Have you ever used your beadwork to tell a story? Share it
here on the blog! Or better yet, post a picture of your beaded story in the
Reader Photo Gallery. And if you like the beading project pictured here, you
can find the pattern for the Storyteller Beaded necklace on the Beading Instructions blog!
P.S. The character who popularized the Shin hand gesture was
Dr. Spock from Star Trek with his "Live Long and Prosper" Vulcan salute!
Filed under: Beaded Beads, Bead Making, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Mixed Media Jewelry, Necklace Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily