I'm not into making New Year's Resolutions.
I don't usually make lists, either, unless I'm at work and feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done. I think lists could be especially useful now, though, since I have all kinds of time and so many things I need and want to get done. On my list for the past two weeks was this: "Make and send jewelry to Nancy."
My sister sent me about a dozen strands of stone beads and I've been making necklaces and bracelets with them, jewelery that I wouldn't mind keeping for myself. Meaning I love how they're turning out. In working with her choices I've been forced to expand my mind and creativity. I've done work on consignment before, but not to this extent. I usually work with my own beads which I loved enough at some point to take them home with me to pair with other beads I love.
I didn't immediately feel inspired by my sister's beads, an obvious fact when you learn that I've had them for two years. The stones--Amethyst, Kiwi Jasper, Striped Onyx, Pink Peruvian Opal, Blue Goldstone--and the shapes--coins, large round, rondelles, daggers, and large flat wavy ovals--are ones I've used before, but the kinship or passion wasn't there to begin with. Maybe I thought of them too much as a group that didn't go together, and couldn't see the possibilities for each strand of beads by itself.
The more I work with them, and the more choices I give myself in what to include in the design, the more I feel the connection with these beads. I've found that stringing short combinations of beads allows me to test patterns and colors until I feel that quiet rush of rightness that no other combination can produce.