This has happened to me. My la-dee-da for the past seven years has been beadweaving. I loved the beads, the colors, the textures! I loved waking up most mornings with new ways to pattern the beads to make a whole new design. It was a natural song and I loved it.
Then one day, as the story goes, La-dee-dee, aka Zentangle, came into my sphere. The more I did it, the more I did it! (And I have to say, the world looks different to me in ways that would require a whole other blog post.) Suffice it to say, I am singing this song almost all the time. My beads look a little forlorn, the newest ones still in their baggies, not yet put away. I'm almost afraid to put them away for fear I won't remember the new ones are with me. There is a grief I feel for not having given the beads my usual attention. And as the universe works in funny little ways, amid all this lack of attention, I was surprised to see that my last design for the year in Beadwork magazine was now featured on the cover. I am really feeling honored by this, but I also am even more aware of my grief for the song I've neglected in the past few months. Having submitted a few new designs to Beadwork for the coming year, the newest design (called Ricky Rack) to get accepted is due this week. The magazine editors asked if I could make the design in a couple additional colorways. I tried and tried, but I was way out of tune!! It seemed the harder I tried, the less satisfied I was with the colors.
I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends...
I called my friend Jann to see if she would use my new design instructions to make a few color samples to send to the magazine. And wow, did she! She showed up with some beautiful finished pieces, and to top it off, she brought her "rejects." I was so stunned by how many colors she had tried! She truly saved me from my growing stress level of getting them done. But more than that, she allowed me to be ok with the break I needed AND she also inspired me to take another look. As I sat with a group of my friends, the samples and "rejects" all spread out before me, I began --- in Zentangle fashion -- to rearrange and poke around at all the what ifs... using the rejects, mind you! Pretty soon, a couple of friends were beside me, poking around with me, rearranging pieces and colors, getting into my bead stash to find additions. It was great fun!! When they left, I found myself energized and inspired to move forward... one bead at a time, one component and one stitch at a time. The stress was gone as I felt the energy of all of my friends in each stitch and in each bead. By the end of the night, a whole new bracelet was born, using all of Jann's sample bits, and all of the ideas that my freinds had offered. Collaboration is just the most fun! The new bracelet is in the middle, flanked by the original design of "Ricky Rack".
As I remember Ricky Rack's beginnings, I had almost forgotten that it had come from playing with new tangle experiments... so not only did I get a little (a LOT) of help from my friends, I think the new song and the old song might be more closely related than I was aware of. I think the new design needs a name that reflects the collaboration of all those things. Anyone have any ideas out there? It would only be fitting for another friend to name it!