Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Don't You Tell Me What To Do
I have a longstanding problem with authority and obligation. Any authority or obligation. I even resent aerobics instructors for telling me what to do, which is why I never take exercise classes. I'll jump around and flap my arms WHEN and IF I damn well feel like it. And just so you know, I probably WON'T feel like it. So stop yelling at me. I haven't done well in other types of classes either, because as soon as I sign up I resent having to attend. Even if I'M paying for it. I'd rather just...show up every now and again WHEN and IF I feel like it. (In fact, that's exactly what I did in college. And I rarely felt like it). This is also why I am not a joiner of organizations and clubs. As soon as I join, I get a schedule for the next six months of meetings and events I am expected to attend. How do I know I'm going to feel like going to a barbecue on September 5? Maybe I won't feel like it. In fact, I probably WON'T feel like it. I ALREADY don't feel like it because you just told me I have to. My resentment of having to go to work every day, at the same time every day, all day, and do what I am told to do, is mitigated only slightly by the fact that I am paid to do so. Not a lot, but the alternative (eviction and living on the street eating out of dumpsters) is less desirable. I'd sure have a lot of freedom as a homeless person but I don't like being cold and I wouldn't want to eat food other people had chewed on. And I don't like begging or rejection. Which is why I would never take a job as a fundraiser or a telemarketer.
So imagine my knee-jerk dismay when I recently got a pile of custom orders! And a pile of SOMEONE ELSE'S beads to use for them! I had never done custom orders before, and had never created jewelry out of materials I wasn't able to pick out for myself. Well, the sweet lady who requested the items is a very good customer (and a lovely person as well, too bad she lives way out in Ohio), so I plunged in. She sent me her beads, and some ideas she had for pieces she had been wanting, and I found myself ... rather intrigued by the challenge of trying to create something lovely and unique within someone else's guidelines. It's kind of like an improvisation game at a company meeting--here's a frisbee, a tampon and a throw rug; now make up a skit with that.
Our initial plans for her pieces morphed and changed a bit as I worked with her beads. It was really stimulating, actually, to work within specific guidelines, and frankly a relief; none of that labrador-with-twenty-tennis-balls-syndrome (this bead! no that bead! no this bead! no that bead! thisbeadorthatbeadthisbeadorthatbead!)--and it almost makes you be MORE creative. How to use this set of beads in a unique way, or make the most of them, instead of just moving on to a different bead that provides the novelty for you. Two of the custom items, using some of her beads (and some of mine) are below.
I especially like this set. The smaller lavender beads are amethyst provided by my Ohio lady.
This set used onyx rounds and turquoise chips provided by the customer:
She also had me create bracelets to go with the apple jade and brass necklace, brass and bronze pearl, and carnelian and brass necklaces she bought:
We have a little schedule worked out now, for items I will create for her in the coming months using some of her bead stash. We exchange emails almost every day--she throws more ideas at me and I let them roll around and suggest ways we can make it happen. She has some great ideas for color/bead combinations too, and sends me little extras as gifts with her beads. She sent me a little silver elephant I'm dying to use for something for myself. She's a delightful lady and I'm really enjoying the collaboration. I'm still a rebel though. Totally.