As you know, I make critter beads. You may also know that I didn't set out to make them. I skipped the chapter on critter beads in my glass bead books, kind of like I skipped the chapter on colic in the What to Expect When You're Expecting book - it would never affect me, I thought. Wrong. On both counts. My son had a bad case of colic up until he was around 3 months, just like the book said (I did go back and read it once his doctor explained why he was crying non-stop for hours on end). We finally figured out that running the vacuum cleaner all night was the only thing that soothed him. So in my first month or so making glass beads, I came upon a penguin tutorial online and something possessed me to give it a go. After that first, semi-recognizable penguin, I went back and read about critter beads in my lampwork books. I began trying different critters, honing my skills and creating my own critter style. This involved a lot of research online. Ok, it was more like online stalking. I quickly found a critter bead artist (Nikki the Sheep Goddess from NLC Beads) that I wanted to emulate. And if I couldn't accomplish that, which I couldn't, I'd at least spend a lot of time looking at her beads every day. It was research, after all.
Now I happen to be lucky enough to own some of Nikki's beads. But with two new kittens in the house, I didn't feel the beads were safe unless they were way out of little paws' reach. So I put up a little shelf and placed my beloved collection on it. I included a gorgeous focal bead by Martha Brogdon that I received in a bead exchange - so the critters have some lovely artwork to gaze at up there on the shelf. Artwork for my artwork.
I love my new collection of critter beads - a yellow dinosaur, a red and white cow and a perfect pink sheep. Looking at them makes me feel happy. It's as simple as that. What could be more therapeutic?
What do you have on display that makes you happy to look at?