Monday, May 16, 2011

Sweet Serendipity

by Patty Lakinsmith

Handmade Petosky Stone necklace by RareDesign.

This summer my family will gather in Detroit to celebrate my paternal grandmother's 100th birthday. While that in itself is a huge event, my mom and I are taking a side trip to visit Houghton Lake, where her parents once owned a cottage. Since they passed away years ago, and we are without a street address, we are busy talking to county clerks and librarians trying to find the spot where my brother and I spent countless summers. The place where I had my first kiss. The place where I discovered amazing seed beaded Native American trinkets at the tourist attractions. And fried dough coated in cinnamon.

Mom's dad, my grandpa, was an interesting man who liked to have fun with kids. He would constantly ask me difficult questions like "you know how to get down off a duck?", and "how far is up?", and I would scratch my head for hours trying to figure it out. Often he would send my brother and I on a mission down to the dock to look for Petosky stones, a beautiful, fossilized coral stone that was the state stone, but the bane of my childhood existence. He had no example to show us, but would describe them and we would search. For hours. And hours. Despite the fact that they reportedly were throughout that part of the state, I never found one, and it killed me.

Here's a Petosky stone in this beautiful necklace from tkmetalarts:

and another in this gorgeous cuff by RedPaw:


Fast forward quite a few years to February of this year, and I'm at the Best Bead Show in Tucson, showing my latest series of beads I've named "Reptilian".

It wasn't until a customer in my booth mentioned that these new beads of mind reminded her of something. I asked her what it was, but she was hesitant. "Oh, I'm sure you've never heard of it. It's a kind of stone, fossilized coral actually, found in Michigan."

Until that moment it had not occurred to me that the patterns emerging in my latest work were perhaps the magical stone I'd been looking for since I was a little girl. Hey Grandpa, I found one!

10 comments:

tkmetalarts said...

What a wonderful story! So heartwarming! Thanks so much for the feature here on your beautiful blog.

MaCarroll Beads said...

That gave me goose bumps..... What a great story. I will be excited to hear about your trip. When you get to the camp, which I hope you find, be sure to look for that Petosky stone..... you never know what you'll find if you just look ;o)

KJ said...

What a great story.

Beautiful beads.

Have fun this summer.

barbarasfernald.com said...

Continuity! What a great story and what amazing and beautiful beads!

Alice said...

Patty, what a wonderful story! I hope you and your family find that cottage where you spent so much time during your childhood.

Sally Anderson said...

OH, heartstopping. I love this sweet and wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it! I hope you find the place where it all began.

Kelli said...

Awww, Patty!! What a great story!!!!! I love it!!!

mairedodd said...

how awesome is this story? isn't that incredible? what were are attuned to and somehow find through our work when guided by that inner voice? if anyone remembers what the area looked like, i am wondering if doing a satellite search on google maps would turn up...

Nicole said...

Great story and beautiful beads!
http://nicolesjewelrycreations.blogspot.com/

D'Arsie Manzella said...

I adore this story! I believe that all images are stored somewhere in our visual memory. They emerge in our artwork in the most beautiful and surprising ways... gorgeous beads!~

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