Do what you love now

This year is just flying by! I know I say that a lot but the events that have started off this year have made me realize there is just not a moment to waste. I knew going into 2014 it would be nonstop. I would be heading into my usual crazy show line up-Pasadena Bead and Design, Tuscon Bead Show at the Windmill, Bead Boutique in Concord, CA and finally Glitterfest in March. Literally a show every two weeks. I knew it was going to be hard work but I was used to that, but life has a way of throwing a wrench in our plans. Sometimes I think it's just to see what we can handle or maybe to put things into perspective. So lets go back to January. Some of you know that besides all the jewelry stuff I sing in a band. It is my other love. One of our fans and good friend of mine, Jimmy, very suddenly and unexpectedly lost his Father just moments after the year had begun. It really hit home hard, much harder than I actually anticipated. I had come to know their family because they have supported and loved our music for years. Jimmy had his own band that he had recently started which I had managed to catch a show or two. There I had a few moments to speak to his Dad, but really in the grand scheme of things, he was just an acquaintance. I could count on both hands the number of conversations we had had, but this person had left such an impression he had made his way into my dreams several times. His passing had much more of an impact than I was prepared for and I wasn't sure why. He was not only the same age as a my Father, but was equally as enthusiastic about music as my Dad is. I guess in someway he reminds me of my Dad. He would talk to me about how proud he was of his son Jimmy. He looked at Jimmy the way my Dad looks at me when I am performing. My Dad and I spent a lot of time playing music with Jimmy the first few months of this year. It seemed like the only way we could get him to smile and forget about his loss even if only for a few moments. Music is magic like that. It's the most powerful mood changer I know of.
At the same time all this was unraveling my Dad's twin brother was slowly losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. We lost Uncle Dan on Feb 18th, a few days after I got home from Tucson, which was also a few days after their 61st Birthday. Oddly enough the same age as Jimmy's Dad. It didn't seem fair. Two good people gone way too soon. My Uncle was a huge inspiration to me. Not only was he just as cool of a guy as my Dad is, he recently followed his dream to be a business owner right around the same time I did. He opened and ran a successful high end Bass Specialty store which had been lacking in the music industry. I loved hearing all the news about who was coming to do a demo in his store and how much all of his customers loved the service he was providing. It encouraged me to keep going the same way all of my customers encourage me at these trade shows.  But all of a sudden, all of this loss shifted my perspective. It made my question what I was doing. I still had 2 more shows to get through and inspiration was completely eluding me. All I felt like doing was crawling under a blanket and giving up. I know everyone deals with loss differently and it is normal to feel all of these things, but I felt like what I was creating was all of a sudden completely unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I was burned out and at the same time I was tired of wasting precious time. I was stuck. I didn't know how to snap out of it. All I wanted to do was escape from all responsibilities. This panic set in of impending deadlines but it just made it even harder to be creative. I ended up turning to the one thing that lets me escape everything, music. I had been spending a lot of time with Jimmy and his band The Fallen Electric as well as my Dad and the rest of the boys from my band 90 Proof. We sang. We forgot about everything. All the sadness just disappeared. We escaped to this alternate universe that only musicians can really understand and there my muse was hiding. I decided to use that escape as inspiration. 

The piece used lyrics from Coldplay's Yellow "it's true look how they shine for you"

I set out to incorporate lyrics from my favorite songs to create art and jewelry for Glitterfest. I was so in love with every piece it was hard to see them go. 
"Hero" was a piece I made using an old war medal, laundry pin, skeleton key and steel cut buckle. The lyrics "There goes my hero" were decoupaged on the skeleton key. Our band had dedicated it to Jimmy's Dad shortly after his passing.

    So I pushed through this artistic block with the help of my encouraging friends and greatest escape- the music. It always seems to come back to music for me. It's like breathing. Jimmy had written an original song about that feeling music gives you and the escape it provides. The song is called "Take Me Away." It's one of my favorites and I couldn't have said it better myself. So much has changed for me in just a few short months. I am refocusing my energy on what matters the most to me and breathing new life into what I am creating. As for Jimmy he is back to writing and performing his music with his band The Fallen Electric and they are rockin' harder than ever!

So what is to be learned from all of this? Don't give up! Ever! Inspiration is hiding in the most unlikely of places sometimes. Life is short! Tomorrow is never promised. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you because you never know. Most importantly, follow your dreams so when your time is up you can go without regrets.

Please take a moment & follow Jimmy's band The Fallen Electric on Facebook

Drew, Jimmy and Jon - The Fallen Electric

and to see where I'll be playing next or like us on facebook too!

Be sure to catch my rings in the latest Spring issue of Jewelry Affaire and check out what is new in my Etsy Shop!

Sparkle on!


Dan Basica Feb 10, 1953- Feb,18 2014
Jim Ganzer Oct 31, 1952- Jan 2, 2014