Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.

- Eugene O'neil

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Secret Life of Beads

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kurt Vonegut, Jr.

I am cleaning out my art studio.  I mean I am cleaning OUT my art studio.  My entire living room is covered in boxes where I am sorting every kind of mixed media art goodie you could possibly think of - and more.  So far the big boxes that I am giving away are sorted into these categories: 

  • Magazines and books
  • Storage containers of all sizes
  • Ribbon
  • Metal  Items
  • Fabric
  • Frames
  • Wooden items - small
  • Wooden items - big
  • Items to paint / alter
  • Charms and crystals
  • Toys
  • Stickers
  • Mini boxes
  • Bags
  • Glass items
  • Foreign text and ephemera
  • Postage stamps
  • Magnets and pins
  • Collage sheets
  • Collage images / ephemera - small
  • Collage images / backgrounds - large
  • ATC/Card making supplies and backgrounds
  • Larger collage and scrapbooking backgrounds
  • Vintage and art dolls 
  • Misc.
  • And, as I shall pontificate on further down - beads!

A few days ago, I explained that my husband and I are planning to move into the room that was my art studio - since technically - it is the master bedroom.  My son is going to be moving into our old bedroom - and his bedroom is turning into a guest and craft room.  Phew. 

So, we have all these great plans - but still - the process is just excruciating.  For days I have been picking through every tiny bitty thing.  (I mean -we are talking every little bead.  I am not kidding.  Every bead.) And here is what goes through my head:

Do I need this bead?  I think I need this bead.  Wait, no.  I think I have ten thousand of these beads and I'll never use a single one...  But.. but if I get rid of this bead - what if I can never find another one again!?

{Insert here a musical refrain: "Someone left the bead out in the rain!  Aaaaand I'lllllll.. never have that recipe again...!  }

And then from there I start thinking -

My how this bead reminds me of my childhood.  Did my mother give me this bead?  Maybe my son made this bead for me when he was in kindergarten?  No wait - is this the bead I found on the ground the other day... ?

And so this is the process I go through whether it is a sticker, a bead, or a scrap of fabric.  I have to work through this arduous emotional turmoil just to get to the point where I can finally put the item in the giveaway box.

But the stress doesn't end there.  Oh no.

The whole thing becomes monumental.  I can't even sleep - contemplating all of the loss.  

I mean all the lost stickers, bits of ribbon, and beads in the world.  Why, just think of how many bits and pieces I myself have carelessly swept up when not paying attention - and - gasp! - thrown away.

And so long as we are focusing on beads - they are sneaky little things aren't they?  Falling off tables and rolling all around.   Why, there are probably tons of beads that have escaped during art projects and found their way into all kinds of nooks and crannies in my house. Just think - they are lost for good!  Oh what a terrible bead keeper I have been. 

So, at night, when I lay down - I stare at the ceiling and think- 'there are probably some beads under my bed right at this very moment...'  Suddenly I am the princess and the pea.  Except I'm not - I'm the princess and the bead!  I'm convinced I'll never sleep again - my bed feels so lumpy with all those beads that somehow found their way underneath my mattress.

And you know - I am not really that into beads.  I don't even use beads that often.

Just imagine what it has been like when I've had to sort through my stashes of glitter!

Oh, I haven't the words.

So - I've been crying a bit.  But laughing a lot too.  And in truth, looking forward to getting my art supplies and this whole house sorted out.  Sorted out - down to the very last bead.

Have a great weekend everyone.  ~ Remember, don't sweat the small stuff.  ~ (Do as I say, not as I do!)

PS - depending on how old you are, or - er uh - how much disco you allow your head to retain - you may or may not recognize the musical refrain (variation) in yellow, above.  If you would like me to mail you (gratis) a package of artsy goodness - leave me a comment that gives the actual song title.


Artsnark said...

fun post.Good luck with all of that

bonniebluedenim said...

I've been worried about that item left out in the rain, for years. LOrd grant me the serentity to sort the beads I can, throw away those that I can't and the wisdom to know the difference. Hmmm.... not quite the same ring. take care!

MinervasMadness said...

MacArthur Park!!!!! I so need to de-stash all the little goodies I thought I HAD to have and they are now in boxes in the closet.
Kudos to you, Chel
And yes, I am more than old enough to remember that song!

pam peters said...

Oh man, Chelise.....I am putting off doing the same thing. I BRAVELY got rid of the oil painting supplies....that was EASY and they are big! The rest is waiting

KV Creative Designs said...

I know a home for your Art stuff!!! MINE!! email me :)

Artful Blessings,