Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fossil Find

Before I show you my weekly project, I'd like to tell you that this Wednesday I lost my Grandma.  She would have been 99 in January.  She died in her own home sitting in her chair while taking a nap. That is what she wanted.  We'd tried so many times to talk her into moving to Columbus to be near us, but she refused saying she wanted to be in her own house with her own things.  It makes you stop and think about first off your own mortality when a close loved one passes away and then about where you will finally draw your last breath.  Since I've worked in hospitals since 1976, I've been present when some people have died or been that last person in their room.  Alone in a hospital bed is how many people leave this Earth.  So even though I am very sad about my Grandmother dying, I'm happy that she actually did get to have it her way in her home with all her possessions surrounding her.  The one thing I regret is that she didn't make it to 100 as she and I had a pack that we were going to go sky diving when she was 100 and I was 60.  Now it will never happen, but I still smile when I think about an old woman willing to jump out of an air plane just for the thrill of it.  And isn't that what is important about growing still find the thrill in everything from a new food to a foreign wind blowing in our face.  I am going to make a pack with myself and Grandma that I won't forget to find the thrills for the rest of my days. 

And what thrills me so much right now is the discovery of designing jewelry.  After all these years, I feel pretty confident with my skills to not even think about how or why I am doing this technique or that.  Right now all I do is let the colors and patterns speak to me.  I am also discovering how to design each piece in different ways working each until I've come up with a technique that not only will be durable but will also say it is me.  You know there are times when just sitting at my work desk with all the beads and bobbles in front of me with my one Ott Lamp on that I get chills and thrills from placing them side by side in a three dimensional puzzle of color and technique.  Sometimes my heart races when I find myself inspired with some new pathway or pattern, and I actually have to make myself calm down.  Such a roller coaster ride I experience with my new passion for designing.  Up up up goes the ride as I pick out colors and beads, then with needle and thread the plummet and twirls go one until I pick up that last bead or clasp and finish the project.

Completed: Fossil Find
Thinking of roller coasters, I'd like to tell a story about my Grandma and Grandpa.  It was probably in 1972-73 when Kings Island in Cincinnati first opened.  They took me and my sister Cheryl for a whole day of fun.  Honestly, we couldn't keep up with them!  I think at that time both were in their early 60s but neither looked that old. Everyone kept thinking they were our parents and both laughed and laughed over that image.  We rode so many rides working our way back to the roller coaster.  Now back then there wasn't the Beast or any of the humongous celebrity coasters as there were now. All there was at Kings' Island was the Blue and Red Racer.  So there all four of us stood in line waiting to get on the roller coaster.  Then our turn came.  The guy at the gate told my Grandma that they were were in the front car but since they were OLD (yes he actually said they were old) that maybe they would rather go in the second car and let their "daughters" in the front.  My Grandfather looked at the guy and told him " nope, we're first in line, so we'll be in the first car".  So him and Grandma got in the front car with my sister and me behind them.  While the cars were filling up, Grandma took out her pocket book (a mighty heavy thing she always carried) took out a cloth hankie and with one quick motion pulled out her dentures and tucked them all back into her pocket book which was edged between her legs.  Appalled, my Grandpa said "what are you doing?".  She looks at him with a wink and said "I am not going crawling under neath this thing looking for my teeth after I've screamed them out!"  We laughed so hard and that became one heck of a story ever after. 

Well, enough of my personal story.  Let me show you what made me excited and sent thrills through be this past week.  I started with a big glass crystal cabochon that I'd gotten at the Met the Teacher's night at last year's Bead and Button.  The fossils were found at the local thrift store.  Digging through the craft section, I found a very discolored plastic bag that sounded like rocks when I shook the bag.  We weren't allowed to open it, so I bought is sight unseen.  Imagine how surprised I was when I opened the bag and found all those fossils.  There were 50 of them in that bag!  So yep, it never hurts to buy a pig in poke as my Grandma said.
From the bag of fossils

Beginning of Fossil Find which originally was going to be just a brooch
Then I remembered the fossils and though they would match the crystal
Attaching the fossils to the brooch

Adding support to keep the fossils from falling in upon themselves

The brooch became a necklace


char said...

I loved your story of your Grandparents. Sorry she didn't make it to 100, but sounds like you and she were very close. And what a wonderful find with the fossils. Your piece came out beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

BackstoryBeads said...

Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. And what a beautiful post you've written remembering her spirit. Fossil Find is a stunning piece that reminds me to take the time to find the thrills in every day.