Bead Journal Project

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May Bead Journal Project

I have about depleted my cancer experience ideas.  I am ready to move on.  I  do think it has been a good thing to turn some not so pleasant memories into something beautiful.  One of the last things I wanted to portray with a necklace was the whole issue of chemo brain.  When several people start a conversation with "I don't know if you remember..." you know you have a problem.  I confess to be a little dingy at times before chemotherapy but this took it to a whole new level.  It was like a severe case of attention deficit disorder.  I started collecting elephants and had a whole variety of different types and sizes.  Elephants are usually associated with wisdom and good memory.  I thought they were a good symbol of my lack of either one.  Once again some ideas didn't work.  I will have to consider that I may be too picky. 

The choker is a Russian spiral.  I really like the stitch because it provides a lot of opportunities for color play.  Once I had my new photography space set up I decided to try different types of props.  The wooden bowl was from a gift from a friend in Africa so I thought it was appropriate.  I intended to put more elephants on it but I seem to have forgotten..

April Bead Journal Project

I guess it is appropriate that I have had such a difficult time completing this necklace.  It represents the chemotherapy experience.  The problem with telling stories with beading is that the symbolism is so clear in my head it is hard to realize that in the project.  I wanted to convey the increasing burden that chemotherapy puts on the person as the effects of the chemicals accumulate.  In the beginning it was not so bad but 4 months later I could barely move.  And yet as far as the oncologist was concerned I was doing brilliantly.  His criteria was that there was no interruption in the therapy, no hospitalizations, no plummeting platelet counts, and I could still walk into the office for treatment.  My criteria was if I could continue any portion of my life without assistance.  Not so much.

I started this necklace so many times and took it out again.  I just couldn't get it to look the way I wanted.  Along the way I learned a couple of new techniques which was a good thing. I ended up using a St. Petersburg stitch.  The dropped beads gradually got longer and heavier to represent the cumulative effect of the chemotherapy.  The first visual you get is of the heavier middle of the necklace.  That is also my lasting impression of the chemotherapy experience.

I am not totally happy with the way it hangs but so far am resisting the impulse to take it apart again.

I have had this completed for a week or so.  My younger cat Bob knocked over a lamp and broke it and it has taken me a little while to set up another photography space.