Beads, beads and more beads


I’ve been making jewelry and rosaries almost non-stop lately. I’m not sure what got into me. During my cancer treatments and after, I was tired, cranky, lethargic and apathetic. It’s nice to feel like picking through my beads to create something unique once again. The only thing wrong with making a lot of new pieces is that then I need more beads.

Jablonex Fire Polished-au-wI buy a lot of beads. I shop for sales and shop at online auctions, and know I’m finding bargains and wonderful treasures, so it is surprising when they all add up. Online shopping is slightly addictive and it’s a fun way to pass the time, but things can sneak up on you without you noticing. I’m not sure how some of the items sneak their way into my shopping cart. It is almost as if just admiring it adds it to my cart!

Anyway, every time a small package comes in the mail it is like Christmas time again. I love opening the packages and boxes. I love seeing the new beads, the new colors, sizes and shapes. I add them to my stash and know that later I will brainstorm while picking through and touching my beads and come up with something absolutely stunning and unusual. Almost all of what I make are one-of-a-kind items. I will pick a bead from this bag, a few from this one, find a leftover treasure from this one and arrange and rearrange until what appears is a wonderful creation full of sparkle and excitement! i do so love my beads.

001I hand make all of my things. My favorite tool is my rosary pliers that has been a companion for over 25 years. Then there are my flat nose pliers, round nose pliers, my flush cutters and I’m good to go. Add my silver wire, jump rings, bead caps, pieces of chain, toggle clasps and beads and I am ready to envision and create something special.

009Right now, my beads live in a grab bag of smaller bags. Some are new purchases, some are leftovers from previous creations. I will pick up my bag, look through all the smaller packages of various beads and see what comes to my mind. Usually, I will pick colors that will go together. I will grab everything I have in those tentative colors and lay them out in front of me. I sort through the colors and make a decision. Then I will place beads on my bead board in front of me. Which will be the focal point? Which beads will accent? What beads will I add to go with that? Smaller? a different shape for a pop of interest?Then I will add and take out, rearrange and ponder until what I see says ‘that’s it’.

005That’s when the actual construction of the idea happens. If several beads together are to be a ‘set’ or a component of the piece, that’s what I assemble first, using my pliers and wire. If there will be chain or silver links in between beads or inbetween components, I lay them out also. When all the components are done, and everything is laid out, there is still time for me to decide if what I see is what I envisioned in my head. Once I’m satisfied, I use wire or jump rings and links and put it all together.

006Once it is all together as a complete piece, I hold it and feel it and admire it. Then I try it on to see how it ‘hangs’ and make adjustments if necessary. I usually make matching necklace and earrings. Sometimes I will add a matching bracelet. Then each item goes into its own ziplock bag to prevent tangling and each part of the set goes into a larger bag so that I can put it into my ‘for sale’ drawer and be able to find it easily.

036After that, I have to take photos, pick and choose the most flattering and then post them to sell. I started out showing to friends on Facebook until I began to think I was spamming all of my friends. I heard about an online storefront and opened my Etsy store. I opened my store a year ago with 12 rosaries and now have almost 200 items in my store for sale. Another storefront option was offered through Etsy so I opened another storefront recently at my Spreesy store.

My husband rolls his eyes at how expensive my “hobby” can be at times. My creative juices tend to come in large and smaller spurts so it all evens out. When my ‘drawer’ starts getting full, I put some items on sale to make room for my newest creations. My customers always appreciate that! Who doesn’t like a sale?

So, I’m keeping busy, having fun, creating new and beautiful things and life is good. Right now, I am cancer free and getting stronger. I keep up with my therapy exercises each day. I blog, read, play with my beads, watch tv and spend time with my husband of 45 years and my daughter. I keep up with my long distance truck driving son through Facebook messenger. I pray and keep up with what’s going on in the world. I am blessed. Life is good. How are things in your life?

About estherlou

My husband and I married in 1970. I am the mother of 2 and grandmother to 5. I share my health stories and my experiences with Thrive. I am reading and writing blogs, watching tv, making jewelry and rosaries, selling in my Etsy store and playing solitaire. I am home bound and add in my physical therapy exercises to my daily routine. I will blog about my progress or anything that catches my attention at that moment. See you around and thanks for stopping by!
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