Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hobbies Have Taken Over My Life

 I've always felt the need to create something. I learned to embroider a little from my grandmother. I learned very basic knitting and crochet from my church as a teenager. My mother saw a "new" thing at a hobby store one time and bought me stuff to do "quilling". ( )  I learned how to play guitar, saxophone and a little bit of banjo and piano while I was growing up as well. I sang a bit, too. I was a theatre major in college. Shortly after I was married I learned how to do counted cross stitch. Then came seed beading and a bit of jewelry making.

Then, on Halloween 1998, I think, a friend and I were scouting out jewelry/bead stores in Salt Lake. I was handed a "Lapidary Journal" magazine, October issue, and since it was the last day, I got the magazine for half price. At that time, Lapidary Journal October issue was called their "bead annual" and focused entirely on beads. This particular issue had an article about Kristin Frantzen-Orr in it and showed pictures of her beautiful beads. It didn't stop there, though, in the back of the magazine there were step by step instructions on how to actually create one of her floral beads. ( )  Little did I know what was going to happen as a result of buying that magazine.

I was fascinated by that article, I had never heard of making beads in a torch although all through my life I had collected the wonderful lace work items those glass workers at the state fair and malls sold. This was a wonderful world of colored glass I didn't know was out there. I must have talked about it a bit because my husband bought me a beginning lamp working kit for Christmas that year. Then, by 2000 I had decided I had to open a bead store so people could buy my wonderful beads. (Ok, I didn't say I've ever had a close grip on reality, lol!) So, for seven years, my new "hobby" actually became my business.

I had a great time at that place. Met some fun people. Held classes and taught people how to bead (including two Native Americans). I can count on one hand the number of times I got angry or frustrated at any of my customers that whole seven years. During that time both my children married and I sewed and beaded two bridal gowns. But after seven years, I was still  the only employee there, six days a week. I think my hubby felt like he would actually like me to participate in a few activities with him once in a while. So I closed the store in Dec. 2006. (Ok, it was a couple months short of a full seven years, sue me.) Then in 2008, I got hired by my local stained glass studio.

For the last two and a half years I have taught beginning and intermediate glass bead making, fusing glass jewelry, soldered glass jewelry and made some pretty fun stained glass panels. I've joined a glass guild, and started teaching classes at a second studio. I've had my first gallery sale. I've been interviewed for at least two on line articles. I flinch when I do an art or gift show and someone walks by my booth and says "Oh that must be such a fun hobby!" Um, nope, not a hobby. I'm not famous or a leader in my field, but I'm actually earning my living making glass and teaching others to do so.

I've passed into a surreal state of being where there is no such thing as a hobby. It's my life. If I have the chance, I might pull out an afghan I've been working on for years and crochet on it. Some day it may actually be finished. I haven't touched cross stitch for a long time, even though I really love doing it. My grandmother was a prolific knitter, and since she has passed away, I feel the pull to learn how to get past casting on and basic knit stitch as some sort of a homage to her. I resist the urge to buy quilling supplies when I see them at the store. I take care of the embroidery urge as I do bead embroidery. I still do the music thing at church... I'm the one that chooses the music selections every Sunday.  But glass is part of almost every single day in some form.

I think I can be ok with saying I don't actually have a hobby right now.

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Design by Duane Miles, beaded by Kerry