On one of my gemstone buying trips, I had a list of colors that I wanted to add to my collection. Blue is a very popular color for jewelry, but I didn’t have much blue available in my stash. Naturally, blue was on my list.
Since I didn’t/don’t know a thing about gemstones, I chose strands based solely on their beauty and affordability. I found this gorgeous strand of smooth, almost silky, blue chips. I have a bit of trouble designing with chips, so I knew I needed something to go with them. On a distant corner table, I was fortunate enough to find a strand of carved rectangle focal beads that matched perfectly! The tags on the two strands were labeled differently – the chips were Lapis Lazuli and the rectangles were Sodalite – but since they matched so perfectly, I figured this stone must have multiple names.
It turns out that Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite are in fact two different stones, but they are often mistaken for each other. Lapis Lazuli can be found in many places including Canada, Colorado and California. It is sensitive to strong pressure and high temperatures. Sodalite is also found in many places including Canada and Montana. It often contains white veins from white calcite. (Interesting stuff (yawn), I know!)
Although I’m not sure how I feel about the validity of healing with gemstones, I am fascinated by the theory and would really enjoy learning more about it. I did find that Lapis Lazuli is thought to help with headaches, sore throat, sciatica, varicose veins, and blisters. Do you have a favorite book about healing with gemstones? I’d love to hear from you!
Diane Fitzgerald is the founder of the Upper Midwest Bead Society (UMBS) and is a well established and talented bead artist. She has authored many beading books and often has projects and articles published in popular beading magazines. She also teaches classes and gives presentations around the world. I have had the opportunity to chat with and bead along side Diane Fitzgerald. One of the conversations I had with her really stuck with me and changed my view on how I approach my passion.
At one particular UMBS meeting, Diane was working on the finishing touches to one of the projects that was going into her next book. She told me that she often has other beaders try her patterns out to see if they are comprehensible. In turn, I told her that I would love to ‘test-drive’ her patterns if she ever found herself in need. (How awesome would that be? Getting to create a Diane Fitzgerald piece before it was published, wow!!) I consider myself fairly talented and can usually figure out a pattern with a few quick glances. Diane’s pieces are all innovative and amazing, but none are particularly challenging for me so I felt comfortable offering help.
Diane responded to my offer of help with a slight hesitation and, “Well, are you any good?” I was slightly taken aback by her response. Of course I’m good! Doesn’t she know who I am? Hasn’t she seen my work? I can do anything she can! But the fact remains that I haven’t done anything she’s done. Of course she doesn’t know who I am. Of course she hasn’t seen my work.
I feel so fortunate to have met Diane and had an opportunity to speak with her. I learned so much in our few short encounters. (Did you know that she tries to spend six hours a day beading? I’m lucky if I can get in six hours a week!) The most important thing I learned from her is that she is human, just like me. She didn’t magically happen into beading fame. She worked hard for her success and continues to work hard for it.
Although I have no desire to be as awesomely successful as Diane Fitzgerald (that would be way too stressful and scary for me), I do desire to have a slightly larger presence in the beading community than I have now. This is going to be my year for staying focused and following through. This is my year for working hard and earning my version of success. This is my year!
Have you had the opportunity to meet someone you looked up to? If so, what lesson or tidbit did you take away from your encounter?
For the new year, I decided to tackle the world of social media marketing. I even bought a book, ‘Social Media for Dummies’, on the subject. My plan was to read what needed to be done, find out the best way to do it, and do it all perfectly. I was going to have well planned out, scheduled blog posts with beautiful photos and captivating posts. I was planning on planning elaborate give-aways, contests, and challenges. It was going to be wonderful! Who was I trying to kid?? I don’t have time to read a million page book! I am not an eloquent wordsmith. I am not a techno-savvy person. I am not a photographer. And, most importantly, if I can sneak a few minutes of studio time, it certainly isn’t going to be wasted making sure my grammar is correct.
So, here I am, blemishes and flaws included. When it comes down to it, my real goal is to share my love for my work with you. If I were to wait until I knew what I was doing in the blogging world, I would never get to share. So, bear with me as I learn the tricks of the blogging trade.
That being said, you can plan to see posts about projects I am working on, my creative process, and any bead-related events I might be at. I’ll slowly work on fine-tuning my blog with photos and links to my online shops. I’d love to hear any ideas you have for blog posts or even just ideas on how I can make my blog better for you!