Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Art is cathARTic! An artist journals about her experience in dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia, scoliosis, ulnar nerve and carpal tunnel,...
When I was a kid, I liked taking things apart to see how they worked (pens, tape recorders, stereos, keyboards, mixers - yeah, I loved Radio Shack too). I liked taking beaded jewelery and arranging the patterns to my liking and adding different types of beads to it, to make my own design. I had a stack of magazines (for artists, photographers, beaders,...), and I wanted to do it all. And I am. But I chose beading for one specific reason: a creative outlet that would let me unwind and help me deal with the insomnia that I had (from working a continental shifts: rotation of days, afternoons, nights). I made a few delicate seed beaded necklaces with intricate patterns that I gave away as gifts.
In 2019, I started beading again.
I don't bead everyday. And when the pain (from fibromyalgia, scoliosis, ulnar nerve and carpal tunnel,...)
is too severe, I am not able to bead at all. I work on other projects (you can see a small amount of them on MultiMediaSusan.com and on my RedBubble account). Art is cathARTic, so one can always find something to do, even small simple sketches or watching tutorials on how to get better at your craft on YouTube or elsewhere.
The header image:
© Copyright 2019, Susan Leitch. All rights reserved.
FineArtAmerica (optional: add an inside message when ordering).
© Copyright 2019, Susan Leitch. All rights reserved.
It seemed to increase with the onset of stress. I would add caffeine and energy drinks to counter the pain medication, in order to stay awake and function at a computer related job,... This lead to a less organized thought process (one that is completely different that what I am use to, and I do suspect the medications). Projects took me longer to complete.
The only way that I have been able to gain some kind of control of my fibromyalgia, is with a strong increase in my daily consumption of fruit (mostly low sugar) and raw food. I have been a junk food vegetarian for over 2 years now, with a heavy addiction to sugar (which is detrimental to being a diabetic. I acquired type 2 diabetes around 2017). In fact, in the past, I have put it (fibromyalgia) in dormancy twice! I thought that I had cured it, but I have been told and I have read that there is no cure - yet, but it can be put into dormancy. Scoliosis pain: I just have to be careful when grocery shopping, etc. Ergonomically correct workstations are a must. I had to have long breaks after blue collar and white collar workstations that are brutal on the human body. It took me over 1 1/2 years to get back to normal scoliosis pain, after a work injury.
And then I recently discovered another way: I safely stop whatever I am doing and let go of the pain and any emotion attached to it, become neutral of the pain in order to neutralize it. Not always a convenient method (you can't always drop what you are doing in a work environment). But when I do this correctly, it works. I have tried many ways (yes, including yoga, but I have successfully cut ties and deprogrammed from all forms of spirituality and religion). Seeds of truth can be found everywhere, without adapting to the whole program.
UPDATE (minutes after posting this): one more way... I sat there in content, regardless of the pain. I scrolled through my Instagram feed, smiled and was reminded of projects that I want to dive into. My back started cracking back into it's normal alignment (normal for my scoliosis, that is). I usually fluke this by moving in different positions. This time, I wasn't even moving.
If you can find contentment and joy no matter what the situation, and if you can do that everyday, things will turn around. As Judy says, contentment and joy are not emotions - they are choices.
Beading Projects - Spring & Summer 2019
I use various sources for beads and findings, such as recycled thrift store finds (you can see a pretty necklace in the header image), as well as newly purchased beads. I am always on the lookout for amethyst. I'm also interested in finding cobalt and other variations of blue for upcoming projects.
My costume beaded jewelery will be raffled off for my Patreon Patrons (Tier 2 Bejeweled).
IRID - Amethyst Chip and Czech Glass Beaded Clasp Bracelet
The Iris: the butterfly of flora. My eyes took in all the variations of Irid, especially purple, and I was inspired to create this pattern. It's a unique hand crafted bracelet, made with Czech (and various other) beads, chips of amethyst and a lobster clasp.
Size: over. 7 inches.
WATER - Blue, Clear & Silver Beaded Bracelet
I wanted to create a pattern that reminded me of my top two favourites of Summer: water and beachglass! I also find beachcombing cathartic. To me, it's worth the pain to go at least once a week or every two weeks.
Next related pattern: WAVES: A double (or triple) strand of silver and blues of all tints and hues that I can find. Another future project may involve actual beachglass.
Size: aprox. 7 inches.
Amethyst, Pink Pearl* & Irid 30" Necklace
For this piece, I used over 6 different sources, including the recycled thift store find that you see in the header image of this blog.
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