Who’da thunk I would end up a beader? Certainly not me. But then odd things happen when you’re not paying attention.
It began the day the man who shares my pillow each night asked me to bead him a hat band. How hard could that be? I thought. Even kids can bead.
To my surprise it was much harder than I imagined. And much more fun. By the time that hat band was finished I was a gonner — the Bead Bug had bitten.
I’ve fallen hook, line and bauble for beads. For their colors, shapes and sizes. For the feel of glass and stone and metal, of wood and fiber. For the excitement of watching a piece come together as I add each bead to the unfolding design.
Beads are one of the earliest forms of human decoration and have played a role in almost every culture. Some of the oldest beads date back to the Neanderthals, about 38,000 BC. Working on a piece I sometimes find myself thinking about the beaders who’ve gone before, ones whose stitiches I now use in my own work — African, Russian, Scandinavian, Ecuadorian, Native American. I’m weaving myself into an ancient tradition.
I enjoy designing and wearing jewelry. My greatest enjoyment, however, comes from seeing other people wearing my creations — a necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet. Some glass, some metal, some stringing material. Yet woven together they can bring smiles, laughter and joy.