Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Other Vice

We all have vices, habits, addictions that we find it difficult to break. Naturally there are vices, habits, addictions that we are just not going to attempt to break because we enjoy them so well! That's where I'm at in my journey. I've given up a lot of my favorite foods, disgusting habits (like smoking) and have sacrificed convenience for quality. I've formed new habits, spend hours--literally, spend hours reading labels on my foods, doing lots of research, and I let my 80-year old neighbor drag me around the park every other day. I've even stopped doing chores in the most time-saving and efficient manner so I'm that much more active. 

I have two vices--I call them vices. Whether or not you do is up to you. But I call them vices. These two shall not be touched. I won't give them up. Not now. Not ever. Don't ask. 

My first vice is my coffee. I was willing to give up smoking just so I could have my coffee. Seriously. Most smokers think I'm a total headcase because I was willing to throw away the cigarettes but not the liquid. Don't ask me to give it up. I won't. You don't know the pain I went through just cutting back from 2-4 pots (and mostly drinking that by myself) down to three measly cups per day. I made others miserable. It ghastly. It was difficult. Giving birth to my son was easier and less painful than cutting back on my coffee. 

(And here comes Harley as I type this. He has to "neck" when he feels traumatized. I mean do the nursing-mama-thing and suck on my neck--complete with kneading. I'm guessing he's feeling my pain at giving up a lot of my coffee and it's traumatizing him. He wants to neck. It should make me feel better. It works for him. But I digress...)

My second vice is beading. Don't ask me to give it up either. The need to bead is strong within me, do you hear?  And please don't ask me which one I value most--my coffee or beading. It's no competition! I've got to have both.

The need to bead goes back to my first real release from the hospital back when I was sick in 2008. I was hospitalized the first week in March and had four more hospitalizations by May. In June, although still pretty frail, I was feeling somewhat stronger. I still had the last vestiges of the suicide ideation which was caused by all the medications shoved, poked, and needled into my body during the past two months.  (Yes, being allergic to medication can cause suicidal thoughts.)  I decided that if my time was limited (and I felt at the time, that the end was fast approaching), I couldn't leave without first making some sort of memento for my sisters. I have two younger sisters. Middle Sister and Baby Sister. Despite all the fights, bickering, slap-downs (verbally--not literally) and miles between us, I still love my little sisters. 

I had seen this Sisters pin of three female figures-each figure done in silver, copper, and gold. Well at the time, I couldn't afford it and at the time, none of us would ever wear a pin. But I loved the idea of symbolizing the concept of "sisters." So I used silver, copper, and gold metal plated seed beads. I wanted a stone that would represent women, sisters, bonding. I found some beautiful rhodonite. I didn't want to make the necklaces exactly alike, but make them to reflect our differences despite us being connected by blood. I chose different colors of 6/0 seed beads.

That's Arby's paw in the upper left, holding down the shot.

The concept began growing in my mind. I realized there were several women in my life that I recognized as my "sisters." I wanted them to have a necklace too. So I made one for the special women in my life.  Unfortunately, I was in a hurry to mail out their jewelry, I didn't take the photos I should have. I wasn't quite thinking that clearly yet. 

Beading helped me get my life back into perspective. It gave me purpose. It helped me to get my brain functioning again. I temporarily lost the ability to read, count, do simple thought processes. It was a scary, scary time for me. Beading helped me by giving me something to focus and concentrate on and work through logistics of putting a piece together. It helped me burn the last of the medication effects out of me. 

The first piece I put together that helped me to start functioning again.

 It also gave me my new vice. My other vice other than coffee. I may not be able to drink coffee all day long any more, but I can certainly bead all day long! Well, when I can. When students are demanding lessons and graded papers back. When I don't have to clean the house and plan dinner. Or shop for food. Things like that.

I found I could make my own funky but stylin' earrings. I found these beads on eBay, created by Terri Stone at TLSClayDesign. I need to finish the bracelets. Did I mention I have a bunch of her beads?  

Middle Sister's birthday is in December. Last year I decided I wanted to give her something special. I found these beautiful clay shields on eBay, designed by Linda of NKDesigns. I saw one that would be perfect for Middle Sister. When it arrived, I discovered that really liked it. I kept telling myself that once I made it up, it would look like it BELONGED to Middle Sister and I would be happy. Which reminds me, I need to visit her shop and pick up a few more of her beads. It's an addiction, I tell you!

Naturally, this set didn't make it to Middle Sister. I LOVED it when I was finished the necklace. I loved it so much, I had to make earrings and a bracelet that can be worn with the necklace or separately. Yeah, I kept the set. Couldn't part with it. Which meant I had to find new beads for Middle Sister's birthday present. But that was ok since I'm up to the challenge of finding new beads. It's like getting a daily fix. It's rewarding. It's thrilling. It's an addiction to put it simply.

This is the set Middle Sister got for her birthday last year. The flowers came from a very talented artist, Mary Ellen at BeeTreeByME.  I told her she could have the clay shield set after I die. 

A close up of Middle Sister's birthday necklace.


  1. Ah, vices....we all have them don't we? I have Starbucks Chai Latte for my first. I am so addicted. I've tried to stop and I can't. I've been up to 6 per week and down to one then up to 4 then down to 2 and so it goes. I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I don't eat a ton of crappy let me have my chai!

    Second, let me live in my workshop. It is my place...I love it so. It's filled with things I love, like fabric and paper and ribbon and patters and buttons and oh, it just warms my heart and soul. I love it in here. I could sleep in here and eat my meals in here....really. How sick am I?

    Loved the post!

  2. Thanks for stopping by to "see" me. I feel so out of sync right now...not in my usual routine. The shelf has been cut and is now being reassembled. We shall see how it turns out!! I can't stop laughing!

    I have a couple of sets of coasters in MyOtherShop that are manly. Once is a baseball set, one is a tartan plaid and then I have a safari looking one. I'll be listing a green plaid on in FourDogDay tomorrow for the holidays.

    If there is something you have in mind, I can always get the paper and make them for you. Just let me know. I am always happy to do that.

  3. Your bead work is beautiful! I never acquired a taste for coffee or tea for that matter. If (to me) coffee tasted anywhere near as good as it smells I'd never be able to give it up either.

  4. Number one, numero uno vice: Sweet tea!
    Number two, numero dos vice: beading!

    By the way, I have blogged about your blog and used Swirly's photo. Hope you don't mind!

  5. enjoying your blog while I have my 4th cup of morning coffee ! Is there really life without coffee ???
    Thank you for the kind words about my beads .
    I am so thrilled to see them used in such a lovely design !
    I work for a veterinarian and am often involved in feral cat care and maintenance
    Keep up the great work ! I look forward to updates on your fur friends .
    =^..^= m.e.

  6. Thank you all for your warm and lovely comments! Yes--we all have our vices, don't we? LOL I've got to have both, coffee and beading!