I've been beading for about 40 years off and on....in between regular life.....and got hooked on jewelry in general when my grandmother let me play with her "junk" jewelry drawer when I was a child.
When I was 10 years old, my parents and I took a trip to California. We were driving my brother's car back to Massachusetts, as he was just sent to Vietnam. When I met the couple who he left his things with, I fell in love with the beaded collars which "the missus" made! She was Native American, but her jewelry was made like old lace collars were. I came away from that trip with 2 of her necklaces which I still have to this day!
I think I recieved my first beading loom that Christmas......and things just snowballed.....I was making initial rings from wire and seed beads for my friends in grade school....braided and wrapped coils from telephone wire in junior high.....bead and feather jewelry in high school.....and seed bead necklaces for my sons' teachers with their names in morse code. My boys grew up with ALL my hobbies. They learned (or tried) to sew, crochet, cross stitch,macrame, cook, paint,refinish furniture, fix things, and of course BEAD. They would all sit at the dining room table and string necklaces...or invite the girlfriends to participate.
My home is a small seaside town about 15 minutes from Boston. I still live in the house I grew up in, and my children are the 4th generation to live here.My boys are 35, 25, and 21 years of age, and are all wonderful human beings! (Only a little prejudice coming through,there) This house has always been a center for "PROJECTS", even when my grandmother's toolbox was here. Everyone has very diversified interests, so there is always something new going on.
Growing up, there was car repair in the yard, astronomy in the back yard, art and sewing projects in the living room, microscope and camera projects in the attic, and electronic, metal, and lapidary work in the basement. Those are just the things that were the most constant...and even though some of those hobbies passed away with some members of the family....they are periodically resurrected for the younger generation.
My taste developed along with my life....from "pop" beads found in Nana's "junk jewelry drawer"....to gimp at the parks during summer vacation.....to natural rocks and shells found on "rock hound" trips with my brothers.....to precious gems found hunting through "rock stores" with my family on vacations. Even though I can now afford some of the nicer beads I only used to be able to drool over, I still find myself drawn to the more natural shapes and colors, and classic styles with a little individuality.
Although my friends and family haven't complained about being the sole recepients of my endeavors, I'm hoping to branch out a little and try my hand at selling to the public sometime in the near future.