Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Rosaries

At least some of my vast following (ha!) have said they like to read stories about how particular rosaries came to be. The last two rosaries I've listed have a tale to tell. They were originally going to be one rosary. In fact, I'd been planning it for months. The gold twisted beads looked very Christmasy to me, and what better to go with them than my most recently discovered angels? This set was lampwork, and cute, and I especially liked them because, with their dark hair and eyes and duskier-than-usual faces, they could be seen as almost any ethnic group.

So both sets of beads had been sitting in the drawer where I keep those that have been paired up and are ready to be made into rosaries. Every once in awhile when I opened the drawer I'd catch a glimpse of them and get excited about how that rosary would look. Then I started making Christmas rosaries and, a couple of days ago, it was time to actually put the beads together. As soon as I had them on the table in front of me, I knew it wasn't going to work.

Not only were the angels "cute" while the twisted beads were "beautiful," but I evidently hadn't noticed the pastel trim on the angels' robes, or how very yellow their wings were. The disconnect of tone between the two was jarring. And when I set up a decade to see how it would really look, the angels were overwhelmed by the gold beads. No good at all.

So I headed where I often do - to my "stash". I think everyone who does any kind of crafting must have a stash. It's the place where you keep things that you don't know how you're going to use but, somehow, know they're going to be useful some day. My stash is mostly a result of three things: 1) beads being on sale;  2) buying a set of beads I specifically need for something, and ordering more stuff from that Etsy shop (or other online source) in order to save on shipping cost;  3) buying a set of beads simply because I love them, even though I don't know what I'm going to do with them. 

The twisted gold beads found a partner through a combination of numbers 2 and 3. I'd fallen in love with the black and gold rectangles and had bought them when I was ordering something else from an Etsy shop. I knew they were gorgeous - stunning, even in the photos - but I also knew it was going to take a special kind of bead to hold its own with them without the whole effect being too much. I'd been holding onto them for ages.

As a writer, I'm familiar with the process of trying to find the right word, possibly for hours or days, then having the moment of excitement when the perfect word comes to mind: "Yes! That's the word I want!" It's a triumphant feeling. And I've had it a few times when I've been putting beads (or sometimes a center or cross) together for a rosary. I definitely had it when I put the twisted gold beads together with the black and gold swirled, glass rectangles. Here's the result (more pictures and a description if you click on the photo):

The little angels were more difficult because, at first, I couldn't let go of wanting them to be "Christmasy". I had a Christmas Rosaries section in my shop, after all, and had to have a few things there. And every rosary I'd ever made using angels for the "Our Father" beads had been Christmas themed. But that pastel trim on the angels' robes said something different. I'm putting the rosary in my Christmas section, but if it's still around when I next have a Springtime Rosaries section, it'll go there, too. Half of the angels have pink trim on their robes and half have light green. In my stash, I had some light green cats-eye beads that were a perfect match for the green trim. It wasn't as exciting a moment as the black-and-gold one, but I'm very happy with the result.

The cats-eye beads were in my stash because of reason number 1 (see above). I'm on Fusion Bead's email list, and whenever they have a sale I get a notice about it. Occasionally they have something on sale that I'm interested in. This time it was for a number of types of beads that they were discontinuing. I bought a few, including these light green beads. I wasn't thinking at the time, "I really need some light green cats-eye beads," but they were certainly something that might be useful in the future. And they were. (I still have some beads from that order that I haven't yet found a use for, but I'm sure I will.)

Oh, we should look at that rosary, too, shouldn 't we:

By the way, the center of that rosary is one I had left over from my Lutheran prayer beads experiment. You just never know.

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