So, the de-clutter has been completed, at least to the point where I can access everything I want again. I have two big bags of stuff ready for Ebay or donation whenever I can find the impetus, but that was never the point - I wanted to get back to enjoying myself again.
At some point during the process, however, I realized that the clutter wasn't the only problem. For the past couple of years I've been picking my projects according to saleability - how they'd fit on the stall, and whether they'd pay for themselves in terms of time spent and materials used.
I've always sworn that my beading is a hobby and not a business, and I'm still not sure when I lost sight of that, but it makes me rather sad to think about all the time I spent on safe, pedestrian designs rather than the pieces I actually wanted to make. For the past month or so, therefore, I've put all thoughts of profitability to the back of my mind and given myself the time and space to experiment.
Possibly the most gratifying part has been rediscovering the joy of glass beads. Half the people on the local craft circuit make jewellery, so everybody has to find their niche. For me, that was semiprecious stones. Don't get me wrong, I still love these, but there's a definite pleasure in being able to use vividly-coloured, decently-sized glass beads without having to spend half a day's wages for the privilege or being limited to chips and small rounds.
I've made a lot of pieces over the past few weeks, but not all of them have photographed decently. I'll be writing about some of those that have in the posts that follow, but in the meantime, here's the first one that really made me smile. I made it up in about fifteen minutes from my big bag of miscellaneous freshwater pearls, and I actually think it's pretty damned classy.
The colours and shapes are all over the place, of course, but that's half the fun of it. I'm allowing myself to play again, and having a great time.