There are many cool things about beads and also about making, creating, that keep them exciting and fun.
One thing is that beads can be re-used, combined in new ways.
Another is that they can be memory keepers. A static reminder of a day, a place, and people.
As memory keepers, they are instant visual reminders of the event, the people. The laughter and the fun.
Re-mixed these beads last night (liking that term, sounds like a music session or something - a bead re-mix) from an earlier necklace combination strung on bead wire with seed beads. The polymer clay beads on the three strands were made in 1997 by my daughter, when she was in school. It was her eye that picked those colors and combined them, her hands that made the beads for me.
I was working in fiber (weaving, knitting, spinning) at that time, jewelry and polymer clay weren't my area. She took it up, started working in polymer clay and caning designs and had fun creating these beads. I learned how to string them on beading wire and made a necklace with them and wore them to her great excitement at the time, and to my pleasure. They remind me of her, of that summer, and the place in Texas on the Gulf Coast where we lived then in a house on Galveston Bay.
Fast forward to last night. Found the strung beads in a jewelry box and got the itch to re-invent them and wear again this summer. The bright colors and stark graphic designs are not my usual design style, as I tend more to the vintage look when I make beads and jewelry now. I have learned a lot more about making jewelry than I knew back then, and wanted to show them off better, give them a new look and feeling.
I love them because she made them, and they are expressive of her. Which is another wonderful thing about beads.
I love the colors, the bold size of the beads, and her occasional fingerprint still in the clay from her schoolgirl hands, the memory of her rolling them in her palm and showing them to me.
Un-did the beading wire (at least I know now that stuff will hold up well after ten years) and started wire wrapping and choosing colorful glass beads to put with them.
This is the result, and they look great, fresh and new. Will be wearing them a lot this summer, and when I go visit her in her new home, guess what jewelry I will have around my neck. She will want them back, if I know her, and I won't let go of them. They are mine, full of my memories of our times together.