When we got back from the US last week I yanked the box marked “Halloween Craft Projects” off the shelf and tore into it.
I was basically crazed from exposure to American craft store Halloween displays.
The first thing I wanted to work on was beading this mass-market Halloween mantel scarf or banner that I bought at PierOne during an after-Halloween sale for my usual 75-90% off.
This is what I call an “Uplift” project, after the science fiction novels by David Brin.
I have never beaded anything as fast in my life as I did this project.
I love taking commercially made items that I bought for almost nothing and investing hours of meticulous labor in making them more beautiful.
It’s obviously fraught to buy mass-produced items in the first place; I always think of the person who made them.
I wonder how my buying these items at the end of their retail life, when they have basically become junk in the eyes of the retailer, impacts the commercial production cycle in other countries of Halloween crap for American consumers.
I don’t know the answer, but I do feel a connection when I do this, like my labor and the mystery factory worker’s labor is of equal value.
As if by adding hours of my highly trained privileged-artist love-labor to their object of work, I’m giving it more space in the world. A better chance of lasting.
As you can see I’ve also been working very slowly on the beaded leaf corset project.
I made the perhaps injudicious decision to individually bead some of the velvet leaves. And hand apply glass hotfix rhinestones to them. Heaven only knows how far I’ll go down that rabbithole.