Jewelry and Motorcycles

Okay, they don't exactly go together, but they're both in my blog, and in my fantasy I would be riding my bike and making jewelry at the same time. Yes.. simultaneously! Or at least riding around the country and creating as I go.

Yesterday, as I was cleaning the saddlebags on my bike I thought I'd share the process with you since it brought up so many lovely emotions. I think some of you will get this, and some won't, but here we go.

My bike is my "baby" (along with my cats of course). I like it when she is shiny and well taken care of. Riding used to be my #1 love until disability made some serious dents in my life. I can still ride on occasion, but not like I love to. If I had my way, I'd be all over the country and probably never in the car unless it was unsafe to ride. Now, it's a few quick jaunts a year. But at heart, I am still "a biker", meaning riding is one of those things that I categorize as "my life and my love." Even if I never ride again, that will hold true. It is simply part of me. I find that jewelry making and riding are related in that they are both "me".

As I picked up my saddlebags to start cleaning them, I was thoroughly ashamed at their state. This is the part that some of you will understand and some won't. I'm trying to think of a comparison that most people would understand. Well... it may be for some, how they visually present themselves to the world... I'm not sure. It's about pride and love of my bike and keeping her shiny and clean. I'm ashamed when she is not. That has changed quite a bit though because I now live 5 miles up a mountain dirt road and for me to have a bike, there is no keeping her clean. I can wash, wax and polish for hours and she's still going to look like dirt when she gets down to the highway. That's the price I pay for living where I do.

Last year, there were a slew of wildfires (hundreds) in Northern California after some dry thunderstorms. We live in the mountains and were one of the many who were informed to prepare for evacuation. Of course for me that means people, pets, motorcycle, jewelry makings, and paperwork had to get out. I rushed the bike to a friends house dirty and all from the last ride home and there she sat for a long time. (By the way, the fires never got to us even though we could see them.. very lucky)

Finally I am getting back to her and getting prepared for a good cleaning. The leather saddlebags are covered in dirt and maybe now you'll have a glimpse into why that is such a bad thing! BAD SHAY!!


Here are some photos in the cleaning process:

Now this is where I started to get excited. In the above, lower photo you'll see one dirty and one clean bag. As I started to get the one clean I held it to my chest like a happy child with candy. If you have ever seen the Ice Age movies, you might remember Scrat, the poor little guy who is always running after his acorn. When he catches it, he lovingly caresses it with pure bliss. That was me.

Two hours later, the final final clean and polish. Yay! the fun part.
Here are some pretty shiny bag pictures:

And last, a photo of me with the bike. Granted this is a number of years ago and a number of pounds lighter! (me.. not the bike)

Around my neck is a gorgeous chunk of Jade that I love to this day.

So about jewelry and motorcycles...

Both are essentially "Me", and I had to pretty much give up one in order to find the other. Not that you can't have both -- of course you can! It's just for me, it was the loss of riding and many other things that led me into my life with jewelry. While I am saddened by what I have lost, I am blessed by what I have gained.


Mei (WireBlissMei) said...

I am very fascinated with your lifestyle and love your work. Not only are your jewelry beautiful, your #1 love too. All the best.

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Wonderful story and fabulous bike! Love those saddle bags, dirty and clean. So sorry you aren't able to ride like you wish you could, but happy that the loss opened a new window in your life.

Shay Stone said...

Thanks so much Mei! You know if you ever have any questions, ask away:) I think all of our lives are pretty fascinating.

Beverly.. aren't they beauuuuttiiifullll?! Thanks so much for the kind thoughts. I am happy to have the jewelry in my life as well:)

Swati said...

I am absolutely scared of bikes...because in my country there are so many fatal accidents on 2-wheelers. Lost two in my family, and almost lost 3 more. Anytime I see a biker, a say a prayer for him/ keep them safe always, and to help them enjoy what they like doing without fear.

Shay Stone said...

Oh I'm so sorry Swati. So very sorry. It is definitely true that i am making an active choice when I ride, to do what I love even knowing the risks. I'm glad you send out prayers. We can all use them.

KT Vestitures said...

Hiya Shay :)

I wanted to pop by and say hello. I love the picture of you with your bike! I love and admire the look and sound of Harley's, your bike is awesome! My brother also has a Harley, a blue one.

Although, i do admire the Harley's... i am with Swati, with her comment too... i have also lost a couple of relatives to bike accidents, and a close friend of the family on his Harley. It is a scary thought everytime my brother gets on his... he loves his bike.

I am with Swati sending out prayers to all of you that ride bikes. Please stay safe whilst enjoying your love and passion of riding.

Shay Stone said...

Hey Tracey:)
I'm so sorry for your loss as well. It hurts to think of so many people losing loved ones to motorcycle accidents. I once again will thank you and Swati for any prayers you send out to all the bikers out there and to all of their loved ones. I feel that I am a particularly careful rider but know that it is only a small part of what one can control while riding.
And on another note, just so we don't get any Harley riders all ruffled, my bike is Honda, not a Harley:) It doesn't make that beautiful Harley sound which I love so much but she is a sweet bike.

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Simply put, I'm a wire and gem jewelry freak! I like to string, twist, weave, wrap, form, and decorate with gems, wire and other earthy beauties. If you want to know more please click on the "About" tab at the top of the page. To contact me, check my blogger profile (click below) ... Thanks!