Once upon a time, I worked in the field of non-profit community development, grant writing and geographic information systems. I enjoyed the work, but most days I would come home feeling very stressed out and, well, fried. To counteract the stress I felt, I would go upstairs to my bead room, turn on a movie, and spend a couple of hours beading. Sure enough, my blood pressure would return to normal and I would just feel happier when I was finished. The icing on the cake was that I usually wound up with a few pieces of new beaded jewelry to wear into the office the next day, too!
I started to figure that maybe my chosen field of work wasn't going to be a good fit for me when I discovered that I was doodling new peyote stitch beading designs in the margins of my notebook during staff meetings. My lunch hours were spent beading with the other ladies in the office who enjoyed crafts like quilting and knitting. My beads even found their way into my lecture halls during classes, where I could string a necklace and bracelet during a geology class, much to the amusement of my (mostly male) classmates.
Beading has always provided me with the stress relief that I needed when I had a hard day at the office or when the world just seems to crazy to go on. When I met the ladies in my first beading group while working my way through college, I also discovered that beading was a wonderful way to practice meditation every day. I started to notice the transforming nature of beading -- a rather unassuming strand of wood beads can be turned into a stunning and elegant beaded necklace or bracelet with just a few bright gold metal beads.
I know I'm not alone in using beading to deal with life's ups and downs, so I asked on our Beading Daily Facebook page: What Do You Love About Beading? Here are the top three reasons why our readers love beading: (Do any of these sound familiar to you?)
Stress Relief. Almost everyone who replied said that they enjoyed beading because of the stress relief it brings. Reader Megan Burgess wrote, "I love beading because it helps me relax and de-stress as well as letting my have fun at the same time." And I'm apparently in good company when it comes to using beading as a way to escape from the stress of a job: Lynette Hilliard-Coulter wrote, "Just taking the time and sitting with some beads in front of me and following the pattern took my mind off a very stressful job!"
Other reasons for using beading as stress relief came in the form of a way of staying occupied while hunting for a job, as a way to deal with anxiety disorders, and even as a form of physical therapy!
A Sense of Accomplishment. Anyone who loves beading also knows that there's nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a long-dreamed of project or wearing a brand-new piece of jewelry into the office and being able to tell your astonished admirers, "I made it myself!" Sure enough, our readers on Facebook feel the same way. One reader told us that since she has become disabled, doing routine household chores like washing the dishes or vacuuming has become difficult for her, but her beading keeps her going and makes her feel useful!
Friendships Formed Over Beads.
||My dear friend Mary Jane and I met when she was a customer at my bead shop - and we've been best buddies every since!
For me, this one definitely rang true. I've made so many wonderful friends since I started beading twelve years ago! It seems so easy to form a friendship over the beads, as Kathy Fritz has discovered. On our Facebook page, Kathy wrote: "I just love to bead and opened a very small bead store. I thought the creativity would be what kept me going, but it's the friendships that have been formed at my store that keep me doing what I do." And Deb Conrad writes: "I love beading because I have met so many wonderful people around the world and struck up instant friendships as a result of our common interest."
And while it seems that beading is a common thread (no pun intended) in many of our lives, the reasons that we love beading are just as different and unique as we are!
If you need one more reason to love beading, you'll be happy to know that right now all back issues of Jewelry Stringing magazine are on sale in the Beading Daily shop
! Formerly Stringing
magazine, we've changed the title to give you a better idea of what you'll find inside: dozens of beautiful jewelry stringing projects, including beaded necklaces, bracelets and easy-to-make beaded earrings! Browse the pages for great ideas for your next beading project, or take your digital copy on the road with you for your next bead gathering with the girls. Who knows? You might make a new friend over your beading!
I'm sure you have your own reasons why you love beading -- what are they? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts and stories with all of us!
Filed under: Peyote stitch, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, How To Bead, Bead-weaving, Earring Making, Necklace Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Jewelry Making, Beading Daily