Your Favorite Gift
The most unusual beading gift I've ever received was a silver hoop earring that had been run over by a car. The owner of the earring was devestated–she had purchased the earrings on a special vacation and they were very sentimental. After hanging onto them for several years, she gave me the earrings (both the smashed one and the regular one) to use in my own work. With a bit of wire wrapping, I'm transforming them into a necklace pendant for her for Christmas. (Shhhh! It's a secret!)
Months ago I asked Beading Daily readers to share their favorite bead-related gifts. A "top ten" list appears in the Holiday Gift Guide, but I also asked for personal stories and one-of-a-kind gift ideas. If you're still shopping, take a look at these ideas that will fit a range of budgets, including a few that won't cost you a dime!
“A small gift bag just filled to the brim with wonderful vintage beads.”
“A trip to New York to visit a bead show.”
“Money to take my first beading class. Now I'm hooked.”
“The most beautiful carousel arrangement of hundreds of glass beads, sealed, each in a different compartment. The whole colorful contraption spins—it is an absolute delight to look at!”
“My niece made me a necklace and earrings and it sparked my interest in learning to bead!”
“Three great stringing/wireworking books. They accidentally got sent to the library the other day by my sister and I freaked out! Thank goodness the librarian held them for me!”
“A broken necklace strand of vintage pink glass beads from my mother-in-law which I used to create a beautiful memory wire bracelet.”
“A personal invitation to join a bead society.”
“My floor lamp with magnifier. Can't do without it!”
“A friend went to Alaska and came back with Baltic amber bead chips and a hand-carved ram head. (I'm an Aries.)”
“A wonderful set of tools in a leather zippered case.”
“Two wonderful clear plastic storage boxes that will hold all my seed beads and supplies. Compact, handy, and lovely to look at.”
“The best 'beady' gift I ever received was my aunt (a veteran beader) appearing one Christmas and sitting with me all day, helping me work through beading patterns for the first time. She patiently solved problems with knots, too-small bead holes, confusing terminology, and runaway beads. By the end of the day, I had a beautiful daisy-and-netting necklace, more confidence, and a keen desire to learn more!”
"Being left alone so I could bead!"
"I'm making a Berry Wreath Ornament for a friend who has limited use of her hands and cannot manage it herself. I guess I'm a surrogate mother for beaders!"
“My best gift ever was the silver clay materials I got for Christmas last year! (My boyfriend rocks!)”
“I always love magazine subscriptions. That's like a little present every month!”
“The gift of patience and understanding from my family when visiting every bead shop we can when traveling!”
"My hands–without them there would be no beads in my life."
“Best gift is my son's old computer so that I can search the web for bead inspiration.”
“A fishing tackle box and a push from my children to turn the family room into my own craft area. They said I need all of the room I can get and they'd help me set it up.”
"The information I receive from teachers and classmates during bead classes."
“A lap tray that was big enough to use while sitting in my favorite chair.”
“Probably the 400 year-old chevron beads my archeologist sister got from another archeologist. They aren't really that valuable but I love the idea of being connected to life events that happened centuries ago.”
What's been your favorite gift? Share your thoughts on the website!
New Free Project
Snow Friend Bracelet
This easy 2-strand bracelet is the perfect project for the holidays. It features handmade porcelain beads, white crystal bicones, red seed beads, and pewter bead caps, charms, and toggle. Notice how Melanie added a snowflake charm to dress up a toggle plain clasp–that's a simple design tip you can use with lots of other projects. Download Snow Friend Bracelet.
For more jewelry ideas, check out the new projects in the Beading Daily store. We just added another 15 new projects today, including the gorgeous Decorative Bead Pendant by Linda Jones–a vintage-look necklace created with just a focal bead and some wire!
Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.