We are all thankful to get this year over with, but what a strange New Years Eve! I watched the West Coast Countdown on YouTube last night and it was earie how the streets were so empty. The countdown included live video of various major cities on the West Coast in a collage type of setting. Cities like San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle and Las Vegas were featured. You saw very few people in the feed, if any. For instance, Santa Monica showed a fantastic light show on the Ferris wheel, but zero people. Las Vegas showed the iconic strip without a soul in sight. It was just a weird ending to a weird year. The feed just summed up the year exactly how the year had been for so many, depressing and isolating. As the countdown drew closer to midnight I decided to get out of bed and step outside – this is where things really came clear to me.
Ventura, CA is a relatively quiet beach town. In the mornings you can hear the roosters crow, in the afternoons you can hear the seagulls squabbling and at night you can smell the ocean air. Last night however, New Years Eve 2021 was a war zone of fireworks so loud your house shuttered. People in Ventura are so happy 2020 is over and done with. We’ve lost our favorite restaurants, travel was restricted even to our mountains and worse of all we have suffered human loss.
In 2020, you would turn on your TV and you were inundated by Corona Virus safety tips, numbers and statistics and the “what if’s”. Day in and day out – most of us turned off our TV’s and tried to make the best of the situation. Many neighbors started gardens, when they just had ugly yards for years prior. I saw “Martha Stewart’s” all over Facebook baking breads, creating face masks and lots of jokes about the toilet paper hoarding. That all would slightly fall off at the end of summer 2020. Instead we started ordering our groceries on Instacart, picking up curbside treats and watching a lot of Disney Plus. No one wanted to deal anymore with the Corona Virus.
I started upgrading my craft game. I started wood burning, polymer clay baking and painting. All this seemed to distract me from all the noise. I also had to remind myself that this not just happening to you. I had a pretty boring life before the virus, but at least I was able to go to the YMCA 3-4 times a week and swim out my aggression, but now the gyms are closed and I am antsy. I spent a lot of time lusting over beautiful handmade jewelry on Instagram, and wondered how I could make such beautiful pieces. Up until now I would get silver connectors and gemstones and glue them into the center, link them together and then add the finishing hardware. I wanted to do more than that, so then I came across beautiful detailed wire wrapping mixed with polymer clay! Holy moly I dove right into it and never came back up for air.
I started making and designing pieces entirely on my own, without existing pieces. A lot of time went into drawing out my pieces with the stones I had, molding and folding copper and silver wire and then sculpting the clay. It was all worth it when the pieces came out of the oven, they were so beautiful and 100% my handmade creation. I created labradorite pendants, minimalist moonstone and Australian Fire Opal necklaces. These creations really got me through this year and it also added an artsy story of sorts to my Etsy Shop. The very last piece I created in 2020 has a story just like the end of this weird year. My fire opal necklace is isolated on a silver chain, it shines in the light and has an explosion of colors when it hits the sun just right.
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Minimalist ire Opal Necklace