The Beaded Version:

Updated: Feb 8


There is nothing new under the sun...not ONE DAMN thing! Everything comes full circle...evv-a-ray-thang. #mufasa


In my earlier years, I would find myself feeling a way when someone had the same whatever I did....clothing, shoes, idea, whatever. That also included men..but I digress and that is another rumination for another day...lol. #ruminations


When I first started making jewelry, I used to make these intricately beaded earrings. Although they took a while to create, I loved the attention to detail they required of me...the creative space they pushed me to...and they satisfied my craving for creating. Sometimes one pair would take 3 hours of meticulous work by much younger orbs.


Years ago, I purchased a pair of beaded earrings from a sista in NY for $15 which were within my means back then. The earrings I really wanted were close to $100 and although I really liked them, I chose not to spend my money on them. It was 1992 and I had just moved to Atlanta. I was not in a rush to work (no Afrikans yet) and spent my time taking African dance classes, exploring Atlanta and making jewelry. I also ingested every book I could lay my hands on and became inspired by the Kenyan, South African and Yoruba styles of beadwork during this time. #beader #beadartist


I tried my hand at making a pair of earrings, similar to the style of the sista's I had bought in NY. The earrings she made also resembled the Kenyan or South African style and shape of beading. After a few tries, my version came out pretty good. I wore them often and eventually people began asking me to make them a pair or two. #ifetayoartwear


Some years later, I ran into the sista from NY whom I had bought the earrings from years before. She looked at the earrings I was wearing and inquired if they were her design. I was flattered. In my eyes, she was a master beader and the question alone was a compliment of the highest order! With a wide smile, I replied, "No, I made these but thank you, sis!" Her response was cricket-like. #gratitude


I have a friend who also makes similar earrings. I discovered this when she sent me a pair as a thank you for staying at my home during the National Black Arts Festival one year. I was elated because it was a surprise AND I discovered that my sistafriend was also a beader!! The color combinations she used were invigorating!!! You know that feeling when you find out your long time friend also likes some some weird food combination or geeky movie as you do? I had found a kindred beader...in that moment, my life was better. #soulwork #mymeditation


I shared with this sista a challenge I was having with the sturdiness of the earrings I made. She is a generous being and listened intently, then offered a solution. As she talked me through (this was pre cell phone availability) the technique of how to reinforce the earrings, I remember a feeling of gratitude for her time and willingness to teach me. She is an educator and I am a visual learner, so trying to envision this over the phone was a challenge for me, to say the least. Add to this scenario that this was back in the day when you paid for long distance calls!! I was so appreciative of her gracious and sharing spirit, though that the expensive phone call was well worth it! #oldschool


I am very grateful for each of these experiences. Each one of them caused me to learn more about myself and one of my passions, beading. The first required that I acknowledge the skill I had developed by consistently beading and the second reminded me to always teach someone what you know with a patient heart. I believe it is our responsibility to share our knowledge... not just to the younger generation, but to our partners, peers, family and strangers. This is one of the ways we move forward, individually and collectively.


There can be ten people doing the same thing at the same place at the same time. Each one of us holds the ability to be abundant...or not...your attitude determines your outcome. There have been times when I have been one of many jewelry vendors at an event and have seen my money mantra work magic.


There is not a thing new under the sun....we all are creators. Your abundance lies in your attitude and energy. I am thankful to everyone who has used a word, a thought, an idea or concept in their life that I also have used in some way in mine. We are "one nation under a groove" and all things come full circle. #ifetayoartwear #belove



0 comments

Recent Posts

See All