Because this winter has been so difficult and long and depressing, I found myself enjoying crafty projects more than I have been in the past several years. There was a time, all the way back toward the beginnings of this blog, when I used to take my sewing machine out daily, and I used to have a knitting or crochet project started at all times. Now the sewing machine only gets pulled out when I need to adjust or repair something, and I haven’t touched the knitting needles for year. I never make anything from scratch anymore, because I fail to see value in the clothes that I make (I only see the mistakes). However, there are very few additions to my closet that haven’t suffered some sort of adjustment, because when I find something in the thrift store, I tend to see the potential in my head, rather than the reality that’s right there in front of my eyes.
Yes, so this big intro was to say that I haven’t sewn or knitted anything of interest lately, but instead, I have been working on jewelry.
I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. Several bracelets and a pair of earrings are usually it. Only when I dress up I often throw on a knotted, waist-long necklace. And this has worked well for me for a long time. This past summer, however, I bought a short bead necklace from the thrift store and I thought that it went really well with any casual t-shirt or blouse, without feeling fussy at all. I liked it. I am also liking this trend right now of layering delicate necklaces with various pendants. So I looked in my jewelry box for old, unloved pieces that I could work with to make something I’d wear today. For one necklace I repurposed some silver beads from another necklace that I didn’t use anymore, and from a pair of old earrings bought from a Tibetan store in Cambridge I made the lotus pendant. A tie pin that I had bought several years ago from a thrift store in Ogunquit became the pendant for another necklace. The big tube bead is the only thing I bought new from a bead supply website. I am liking my resulting creations quite a bit.
Now of course I don’t wear a necklace quite every day, as I was imagining. Especially since I can’t seem to take off these hanging earrings that I made from an old silver chain and a pair of amber-bead stud earrings that I wasn’t wearing (I don’t like taking my earrings off at night and the studs hurt when I sleep). I often feel that big earrings should not compete with a necklace; it’s too much for me. I wish I could embrace fully the boho aesthetic of layering a hundred and one pieces of jewelry, but I’m always struggling somewhere between baroque and minimalist tendencies.
I also often feel that jewelry doesn’t make sense unless it has meaning for the wearer, and I don’t have many meaningful pieces. I don’t generally allow objects to acquire meaning. There must be something interesting to decode in that behavior, but maybe later. Someday, when I won’t feel this frugal, I’m might get a Cucuteni Goddess pendant, or a Brancusi’s Kiss replica (although I would prefer a Mademoiselle Pogany, if I could find one in silver, not gold). Right now, though, I’m quite content with what I have. It’s already much more than I need, but then jewelry is never a need. Unless it has meaning, symbolism, and magic. But these qualities often come with time and wear, don’t they?