Living Inside the Box - Thinking My Way Out.
Before life got tossed upside down, I used to visit the grocery store every few days. We never stockpiled food, and I was never able to plan ahead more than one night, much less have the imagination to see two weeks of meals at a time. This week, as I am beginning to run low on supplies and dreading the thought of heading out, I had to get creative.
This act made me think about my grandparents. They were depression era children that started out their adult lives at the height of WWII. Conservation, hard work and creativity was ingrained in every sense of their being. They knew how to.....honestly, it seems like anything and everything, and they could do it all really well. They were smart, inventive, and very hard working. By comparison, I look at myself who grew up in the days of ease and excess and find myself a very-VERY pale comparison of their skills and accomplishments.
It is funny how just like in art, life can gain its greatest creativity and vision when put inside strict parameters. It is like if you are trapped in the box, you are forced to think a way out of it. Perhaps that is the greatest problem about living in the time of instant gratification - we take the path of least resistance and forget the imagination within us. These past few weeks have been a great exercise in thinking outside of the box while being stuck inside of it.
Just like the food scenario, I have also been working very hard to utilize the same concept with my jewelry making supplies. I want to see if I can make it through most of the year without buying anything new. I am trying to use what I have in creative ways and stretch the materials as far as I can go. I have a limited supply of metal stock, clasps, earring wires, earring posts, chain, etc etc. In contrast, I have absolutely no shortage on beads. No exaggeration, I probably have miles of them. So you are going to see a resurgence of bead work from me and well as a mixture of bead and metal work. #UseWhaChaGot
Over the past year or so, I have focused primarily on the metal work for various reasons. One of which is the art shows don’t like to see bead work, and art shows is where the sales are... that is until now. All of my shows for the first half of the year have been canceled, and every day I hear about shows further out in the future canceling too. To keep the business alive, I have started doing what I really should have done right off the bat when I closed the brick and mortar - that is pour all of my focus into the online shop. In doing that, I can showcase any work I choose, be it bead or metal. So far it has been a blast. I had kind of fallen asleep to the fact that deep down, I truly love beads. It has also been a lot of fun to work within the parameters of limited supply. I have stretched my way of thinking and have started to go beyond the mode of instant gratification. I could not be happier with the designs that have resulted so far. Just like my food dilemma yesterday.
So here we are, back where I started with this drivel. I looked around my kitchen, the cupboards and fridge are starting to look bare. I found some bruised apples no one wanted to eat, and I decided to make tarts with them as it was not enough for a pie.... but I really didn’t want to go through the work of making crust for a couple bites of apple tart. “Oh wait!” I thought, I have a small bit of leftover Easter ham that I didn’t know what to do with. Yes this is how my brain worked - apples + pie crust + ham = dinner and dessert. I had just enough ingredients to make a quiche. Now I am not known for being much of a cook. I make a lot of spring mix salad based dinners and frozen pizzas in this house. So making a quiche from scratch is a reach. But hey, if there was ever a time for me to grow in the kitchen, it’s now. As I made the pie crust from what I remembered to be my grandmothers recipe, all I could do was smile. I am no where near the person they were, but perhaps taking the time, effort, conservation, imagination, and love to make this meal (complete with desert) I would be one step closer.
Sending virtual (((hugs)))
PS -It turned out wonderfully ❤️