Crafting With Keanu

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A tale, told in Keanu memes:

On Monday morning, while starlets carefully tucked their gleaming Academy award gowns into tissue paper filled boxes, I stood in the bead aisle at Michael's.

Yay. I prefer my handmade items the way I prefer my supper: made by someone else. My theory about the jewelry aisle is to Pretend It Doesn't Exist, not out of snobbery, but more out of purpose. I'm a watercolor-paper-ink-paintbrush art store girl. In and out. Aisles 10-14 only. Never anything higher than Aisle 30. Never ever. But I have some literary events coming up soon, and I want to wear a personalized piece of jewelry. I had a vision of a moon necklace stuck in my brain, and I couldn't find anything like it. Initially, I bought the supplies online, but while the beads were exactly what I wanted, I bought the wrong supplies to go with them. So there I was, in Aisle 45...uncharted territory. Seeing a gathering of stones in my hand and a furrowed brow, a Michael's employee asked if I was looking for wire...and if so, what gauge? Here is Keanu Reeves as Johnny Mnemonic to demonstrate the uncertainty I felt:


Findings, crimpers, spacers, gauges, jump rings...all of these are words I learned in the bead aisle. I found a quiet corner of the store and compared a 10mm jump ring to a 5mm jump ring for longer than I care to admit. I wondered if I was a leather cord person or a chain person. I found out what a pincher is. I fanned packages of pins and tools around me like a metal rainbow; held each one in my hand with a silent question: Which One? How Many? What Is This, Exactly? Here's a gif from Keanu in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure to demonstrate the level of my WTF:




A Michael's employee took pity on me and brought me to the classroom, where she showed me how to attach pins to beads. I nodded my head slowly, then faster and with more enthusiasm as I understood each step. I've got this, I thought. I can do this. I bought a a pair of pliers, pins and jump rings. I was ready.

I came home, spread my supplies on the table, and opened the package of pins. With too much enthusiasm: the package ripped open and tiny pins went everywhere. I spent the first five minutes on my hands and knees, sighing dramatically and carefully picking up pins and placing them on the table. I watched a few YouTube videos as a refresher and practiced my grip on the pliers. I allowed myself to become totally focused on making a pendant. Here's a picture of Keanu sitting on a bench to demonstrate my level of focus:



And so I got started.

The tools felt unfamiliar in my hands, and soon my fingers throbbed in pain. I made mistakes. I ruined a few jump rings. But I kept at it. And then, after a pile of mistakes, I got it. I understood how to attach the beads to a waiting pin. These uncertain fingers of mine made a pendant. You know... like, to wear. It's all in the wrist, as they say. I had my pendant, and I loved it. I eyed the remaining beads and decided to keep going. I hung so many moons. And then I did some searching (and buying) and found other beads; this time choosing pieces that reminded me of planets. And before long, I made over 50 pendants: of the moon, of Venus, of Earth. This picture of a laughing Keanu Reeves is an accurate description of the sheer joy I felt.


I conquered the demon of self-doubt and now I hold pieces of the universe in the palm of my hands. Soon to be tied to a string, and hanging close to my heart. And someday, close to yours. I can't wait to bring them to my next event. Here's a picture of Keanu from Constantine to show how triumphant I feel:


And here's a Mason jar of moons on my windowsill. With a couple of planets thrown in for good luck.


photos: Constantine, Johnny Mneumonic, Dlisted,

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, EOnline, Know Your Meme