The summer of 2009 my Mother-in-Law came to visit me. She brought with her jewelry-making materials and I was so in awe of the elegance of the beads, and the intricacies of the designs in the necklace she was making, that I asked her to teach me. So, my Mother-in-Law Fran took some time out of her vacation to show me the basics, and then she continued lessons long-distance through e-mail and phone calls. Fran and I delighted in discussing new beads that had come out, sales one of us had found, or beading techniques Fran learned and wanted to teach me. I dabbled for a while and even started an Etsy shop I called Song Sense. I picked that name because I was always listening to musical theatre while I worked that the jewelry became informed by the tunes themselves. But soon the pain kept me from finishing projects. I’d get frustrated since I’d forget what I was doing by the time I was able to get back to a design. Eventually, I gave up.
But in 2017 something told me to try again. By this time I was practicing meditation to help with my pain. So when pain interrupted my jewelry time, I tried meditating instead of rolling away. And it was working! Slowly at first. I had to perfect my technique.
I started out working primarily with beads, gemstones, and crystals that Fran gave me, but lately, I’ve learned polymer clay techniques to design wearable art pieces from clay.
Fran passed away in 2013 from ovarian cancer, but her beads and her lessons live on through me. When I work with something Fran gave me I remember how much joy the two of us had beading together. And I thank her again for the wonderful gift of a creative outlet to express my passions, my love, and the certainty of my place in this world. I’m now giving the same passion and determination to Song Sense that I gave to my work as an actress.