I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy using beads and making jewelry. I always say that it's my mother's fault - she was a fabulous knit, crochet and needlepoint designer, and whenever she ordered her supplies she would include a bag of beads or buttons for my sister and me. I found myself completely mesmerized by the beads in the craft stores we visited, and as I grew up I continued to learn how to make my own jewelry. Then once I learned about the amazing history of beads and beaded jewelry, I was completely hooked! I knew there was no going back once I started dreaming about beads and coming up with new designs in my sleep, and I still find myself amazed at how relaxed and meditative I feel after a good session of beading.
I decided to ask our panel of bead artists and experts about their first experiences with beads and beadwork. This week's question of the week is: What first attracted you to beads and beadwork? What is it about beads and beadwork that keeps you coming back for more?
Read on for the answers from this week's panel!
||Shelley Nybakke: One of my sister's friends made a jewel-tone Memory Wire bracelet for
her. After requesting that this friend make one for me numerous times, I
finally gave up and went to Hobby Lobby and purchased my first sack of
beads. A small fortune later, I still can't quit buying beads.
Fortunately, I also can't quit beading. Just the endless endless
possibilities keep me going along with my nice stash of beads. And by the
way, I made hundreds of memory wire bracelets when I started out. I often
contemplate all the money I might have saved if the friend would have just made
me that first memory wire bracelet.
Mikki Ferrugiaro: As a knitwear designer I was
attracted to beads as a way to embellish my knitwear but it wasn't until many
years later that I discovered bead weaving. I am drawn to making big things out
of small things and beadweaving opened up so many options for that, whether it
be jewelry or sculpture. The more I work with beads and thread the more
possibilities I see, so I'll be coming back for more of these tiny, shiny
babies for years and years.
Kelli Burns: I used to be an avid scrapper and while creating a card for
my grandmothers' birthday from a scrapping magazine, it listed seed beads as
part of the materials list. So I headed off to the local craft store (we didn't
have a bead store -which is why I opened one) to find out what seed beads were
all about...I immediately fell head over heels in love.
The reason I have stayed with beading, opened a bead store,
gotten published, everything I do is because I LOVE beads! The endless
variations, the permission I'm granted each time I pick one up to create
anything, the colors, the styles, the textures, there is nothing not to love. I
still have my scrap supplies but I'm 200% beader now and proud of it.
Beki Haley: I
tell this story to my students in class all the time...my Grandmother is who
got me attracted to beads when I was about 8 years old. I spent my
summers with her, she was an amazingly artistic woman who dabbled in almost
every craft you can think of, knitting, crochet, paper crafts, model cars, even
those resin toilet seat covers with seashells embedded in them (I can make a
mean toilet seat myself!) But when she would pick up her beadwork I would
notice a calm come over her. One day I said, "Nana, how come when
you play with your beads you are so quiet?" She called me over to
her and pointed my direction down to her beads. She said, "See that
little tiny hole?" I nodded yes. She said, "When I bead I climb
down inside that little hole and there is no room in there for any of life's
issues to come and bother me, everything is peaceful and can I just
words hold true for me as well. While I use my beads daily for enjoyment
and the calm they bring to me, I also always turn to them during any major
crisis in my life for comfort and peace.
little tiny hole that I can climb into when needed is also what keeps me coming
back for more! I am truly, madly, deeply
Kerri Slade: Beads found
me at a very low point in my life and I have since discovered that they have
worked this same magic for many people through the years. The slow methodical nature of beadweaving and
the concentration required gave me something other than my troubles to focus on
and the awe inspiring feeling of watching something beautiful emerge from my
own imagination and fingers brought back my smile. That was over 10 years ago and now beads and
I seem to be inextricably woven together and we wouldn't have it any other way!
||Rosanne Andreas: I have a clear memory
of the first time I was attracted to beads. I was a baby in diapers. My mother
wanted to encourage me to start crawling. I would not budge. One bright sunny
day, as I was contently sitting on the floor playing with nearby objects, my mother
entered the room with a box in her hand. She smiled at me, and the box had
colorful glittering light reflecting out of it. That box had my attention
instantly! Mom placed the box on the floor about 4 feet in front of me. I
could not see into the box from that far away. Whatever was in that magic box
created streams of colors reflecting out of the box glittering & shimmering
movements all over the walls & ceilings. I looked all around the room
seeing the magical colors shimmering on the walls & ceilings coming from
THAT BOX! I looked back down at that box, and I instantly crawled over to that
box to see what was in it. I HAD to see what was in that magical box creating
all those delightful loving shimmering colors! To my delight I saw in the box
the most beautiful assortment of colorful shimmering stuff! As an infant
I had no idea what these object were, but they were magic to me! I looked into
this box with a large smile, looked back at Mom who was smiling at me, looked
back into the box, and I dived my hands into it!!! It was a box filled with my
mothers collection of crystal, glass & pearl necklaces. My little hands
lifted up strings of smooth glass beads, some faceted, some clear, and as I
lifted them up to see them better at eye level, and above for the light to
catch it more, and see all the glitter, I began to hug them to my face, and
drape them all over my body. I was....in heaven! That did it for me. And I
could hear my Mom giggling as I did this.
So what's YOUR bead story? How did you get into beads and beadwork? What did you enjoy the most about beadwork as a beginner? What do you enjoy most about it today? Share your stories here on the blog, and check back next week for another Question of the Week with our panel of bead artists and experts!
Filed under: Pearls, Crystals, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Glass Beads, Wire Jewelry, How To Bead, Seed Bead Patterns, Bead-weaving, Bracelet Making, Bead Crafts, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making