Apr 27, 2013

Bead Soup Party 7 Reveal

28 Pieces for Love; 28 Pieces for Christina

When I was a young woman, I met an incredible person. She was an artist, a real artist. Her home was fascinating to me, her long hair and soft wrinkles as full of treasures as the rooms of her house. There were precious items coming through her and with her and because of her. Organic foods, candles that did not drip wax, musical instruments, hardwood floors, a mortgage for her and her son, and light that streamed in through the window sill in every season. Her name was as beautiful as she: Gloria Still

One day, she explained, "I've written the most important poem of my life." She opened her hands, then closed finger to finger across her mouth. She would be published in The Iowa Review, the quintessential quarterly for literary artists who would receive Pushcart prizes, serious publication, state grants. Her connection to Source, to that which is greater than each of us alone, came front and center. Her ability to channel that which is greater than our imagination; her creativity forever bonded in identity, she would be forever changed. 

Today, this is the most important jewelry of my life. Everything is for my daughter. Everything is a seance. 

I've held onto each piece like a seamstress building her quilt; not quite ready, not quite ready but in time, as seasons change and children grow, adding patterns and weaves and squares. Singing and sewing late in the night. Quietly building a lifetime, and in one long sunrise, laying out the memories of a life: the soft brush of my baby's cheek against little giraffes on cotton, the second year and second pregnancy, two cribs and Winnie the Pooh, pastel pants and dresses softly faded, having been washed and hung on a clothesline with the smell of Dreft filling the backyard in the warm sun. Then stairsteps: three little girls, my little ducklings.

There are gardens full of vegetables, and little hands that pull green beans, point to huge beautiful orange blossoms on a vine: pumpkins beginning to grow. 

There are tears blurring the lines of the building and the blue August sky as my first born little one goes off to Kindergarten, vanishes into the little school. 

There are rebellious years: my rebellion. My only care in all of life, to be a good mother. I share love of education with my friend, another professor. We create our own schools for children. I homeschool my little ducklings, educate and empower my three beautiful daughters, myself.

Later, time full of laughter and love and years of friendship with my children, I make jewelry by myself. I watch The Bead Soup Parties from afar, taking in creations with awe. My grandchildren are homeschooled. I think there is something important about the jewelry parties; premonitions now.

Last July, I joined in my first Bead Soup party. Last July, my sweet daughter died. Everything I had ever believed became something now lived. My beliefs changed from thoughts to experiences; moving from my mind to my soul: death is not loss, but part of life. We are eternal. We are nonphysical first and forever. 

Like a Holiday, I cannot not remember her death as I create for my second Bead Soup Party. What I do not know as I begin again: I will hold onto the beads and jewelry like memories. 

This time, I have two partners. This time, there are finished focals, a preponderance of gemstone beads, silver treasures.  Like gathering and building a quilt, I hold all close to my heart. 

Jewels and beads for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party have come to me on angels wings. I sleep next to my beading table, wake to the sunlight illuminating the gifts from Nancy Smith and Pam Hurst. Forever in my heart, their art comforts and inspires me for the party, and with a timelessness beyond the party. 

I create jewelry with memories. I create designs with the dead. Each turn of my tools feels like an honor. I treasure each item and each moment. Everything never-ended. 

I hold on. I don't let go. I don't want it to ever end. 

This is the most important jewelry I've ever made. Not because it is beautiful, or grand; but because it is beading for healing, for honor & joy & mother-child connection.

28 Pieces for Love

Metal Me This Etched Caps

Chainmaille with Aluminum and Niobium, Czech glass

Lea Avroch Lampwork, Vintage Czech, Spiral Weave

Ocean Jasper Cabochon by Julez Jewelz, Coin Pearls, Copper

Sterling Silver Charms, Green Onyx, Handcrafted lampwork, 
Handmade Half-Persian chainmaille chain 
(I helped with tutorial: PBS Beads Baubles & jewels)

Jasper, Czech & Swarovski Crystals, Agate

Moonstone, Agate and Handcrafted copper rings

Metal Me This, Micro- faceted Quartz & Czech Crystal

Copper Chainmaille cuff bracelet 
with fantasy faceted quartz crystal and copper lined Czech

Lori Anderson lampwork, Resin by Jade Scott, 
Clay by Tree Wings Studio 

Larimar, Mystic Topaz, Aquamarine, Pearls

Larimar, Swarovski embellished pearls

 Jenn Cameron Lampwork, Garnet Leaves & Czech drops

Charoite cabochon in Chainmaille bezel
carved amethyst flowers, charoite beads, Swarovski crystal. 

Copper, amazonite, and copper lined beads

Metal Me This and HMB Lampwork

"Wisteria" Aquamarine focal, rose quartz & cherry quartz coins, faceted aquamarine briolettes and rose quartz briolettes 
(faceted rose quartz gifted by Lori Anderson)

(faceted rose quartz gifted by Lori Anderson)

Chainmaille basket weave earrings with AB Chrysoprase
( beads gifted by Tina Holden of Beadcomber)

Forged copper rings (gifted by Nicole Weltsh)
 gold leaves (gifted by Windbent)

 Seraphinite (the gem with "angel wings") cabochon,
 Swarovski crystal, seraphinite beads
Chainmaille bezel Half-Persian 3-1 
(you'll find the bezel tutorial I helped with for free at  Beads Baubles & Jewels ) 

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her for fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

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