I’m not going to lie… the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus has definitely affected me! While I’ve not been physically ill, the effect on my mental well-being has been stronger than I expected. I’m sure many of you have experienced the same feelings of isolation, lack of human contact, and a general sense of lethargy.
The biggest surprise to me was that I really felt less creative! I think it stemmed from the fact that I was not able to teach my beading classes, so I had no sense of urgency to come up with new designs. (I had been going through a design slump but had moved on with two new class projects in late February… then… the lockdown.)
I thought about teaching a Zoom class, but my internet is not stable enough to be sure that I’d make it through a 3-hour class. It would be awful to have the class end abruptly and not be able to resume for 15-20 minutes! Presently, I’m collecting information and experimenting on how to create some online courses. But, to be honest, my heart’s not in it. I miss the comradery that comes with the interaction of others.
I am used to being alone, and enjoy my time to contemplate and think through designs… What is the best pathway to make it easier for students? How can I engage them to want to make more than one item? What’s the best way to make a bail or finish a project? BUT, I realized that I also depend on other beaders to give me feedback. I used to participate in a weekly beading group where I could run these ideas by other beaders. Having someone hold and look at your work is priceless! I will never underestimate that powerful contribution again. We still meet weekly on Zoom, and these wonderful ladies inspire me to continue beading… Thank you Betty, Linda, Yvonne, Sandy, Sarahjane, Sally!
As a result of feeling less interested in creating my own designs, I’ve discovered some new designers and purchased patterns from them. I’ve also finished up some UFOs, taken a few online courses, and participated in some Zoom meetings with the Beadworker’s Guild. All of these actions help me to continue to make contact with others. Below are photos of a few of those projects, and links to their patterns.
While my beading these days is mostly working on others’ designs, I recently completed a square for the Museum of Beadwork. It’s called “Return to Center”. I really enjoyed watching it come to life and often felt like it had a mind of its own as the colors and patterns emerged! I love the 3D effect, although it’s hard to capture in a photo. I have a video that I posted to my Facebook page that you can view here. If you are interested in participating, check out the Beaded Square Project . You have until March 2021 to submit.
I think it will be awhile until we are all able to meet again in person. But do check out online classes being offered by your favorite designers, and/or try a Zoom meeting with some friends and fellow beaders. It helps to stay connected, so maybe you could reach out to someone you haven’t seen since this all began. We are all in this together!
In closing, my wish for you is that you can find some outlet for your creativity, as well as a way to stay connected during this pandemic. Happy Beading!