After 3 weeks of isolation from the real world, my perceptions were slightly skewed. Fortunately, lack of sleep and the recent memories of a violent bout of the stomach flu created a fog and listlessness that prevented me from feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work I had missed, nor panicked because I was now 3 paintings behind in school, nor doomed because I had not addressed bills, laundry or grocery shopping in quite some time. In fact, by the time I really came to, I was so darn grateful that my family was healthy, the sun was shining and that I did not feel nauseous - nothing could rattle me.
Our kids were just wiped out by a relentless virus that would eventually hit mom and dad too and turn into pneumonia for my little 3 year old. Two and a half weeks into this high-fever-croup-like-coughing-body-aches-sore-throat-runny-nose-super-cold, the stomach flu stopped in for a quick visit. Over the course of 4 days the 4 members of our family took turns soiling linens, moaning from horrendous nausea and begging for relief. It was not pleasant. But once it passed we became very grateful for our returned health so at this point, I am considering the whole episode as a gift.
During this time, I was selling all the old inventory I had from Jilliene Designs on ebay to keep some $ coming in and so I could feel like I was doing something other than taking temperatures , tylenol and naps. I had the computer right at my bedside so I surfed around ebay for hours while Eva lay there. By complete accident, I stumbled into the world of vintage costume jewelry. First I just looked, then I started reading articles, and one night I impulsively bid on a huge lot - over 100 pieces and since the closing time was at such a late hour (1:00 AM pst), I won it for a very fair price. When my box of treasure arrived, I started posting items on my ETSY store so the ladies attending Inspired could pick up a piece of vintage jewelry as required for Jennifer Stewart's kicked up canvas class. I had so much and I wanted to share with my friends. I listed big brooches and gorgeous rhinestone pieces for $3, $5, $8 each, not having any idea what things were worth nor feeling inclined to figure it out. Soon, antique dealers where buying up my lisrings.
"Hmmmmmmmm. What is this about??" I wondered, so I did a little digging and soon discovered that I had sold several items worth a lot of money for next to nothing. "Oh well," I thought - I had the same luck when I won the original lot on ebay for such a good price.
Little did I know, I would stay in bed with sick children for another week and during that time I became educated in the fascinating world of costume jewelry collecting. I am now enthralled. I have fallen in love with the timeless glamor, various designer styles, wonderful materials, rich history and amazing craftsmanship.
I've now got about 30 different pieces listed on my Etsy store and I've sold 15 more. I'm having a wonderful time researching each and every piece. It is like solving mysteries. I tell you all of this because I expect I will be sharing more about his amazing new interest and I thought the story of how I stumbled into it to be a nice introduction.
This new interest has rejuvenated my little girl spirit. I look at all the gorgeous pieces and I think about playing dress up and pretending to be a fabulous woman dripping in in jewels and feeling beautiful and important. Life was nothing but possibility back then. Pirates and treasure, fairy god mothers and glass slippers, and genies and magic carpets tickled us inside with wonder, hope, dreams of splendor. I rarely drift into that train of thought as a grown up and I am perfectly fine with that. I don't need Royal Balls (I'm referring to the dances at the palace :oD), fancy clothes or wealth and clout to feel like a fabulous woman. But I do miss that wonder, that air of possibility and when I look at the big heap of gorgeous jewelry I acquired late one night, I regain my access to that paradigm of thinking and it makes me happy. As my WASSIMA girls say - swirls - sparkle - shine