Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Bead Box Adventure Continues

Because I had to sign for the box, I cleared my calendar, rescheduled a couple appointments for D-Day, and pretty much looked out the front door every 5 minutes (or 30 seconds if you ask my kid with the stopwatch timing me). I think I might have startled the FedEx man by meeting him at the truck and grabbing the box out of his hands and telling him I had to sign for it would he please give me the darn pen already? I had beads to look at for crying out loud! And I have a deadline! And here I am about to miss my deadline. However, I still have a whopping 10 hours before the post office closes on Saturday...PLENTY of time!

And because I took a TON out of the box compared to the other ladies, I will be sharing what I gave first so it doesn't look quite as bad.

I decided to add in some completely different things than what is already in there. First, I added some various colors of Chinese Threaders (great for focal beads):

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Various colors of hand dyed silk ribbon:

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Bead Pens and Bead Key Chains (sorry, too lazy to remove plastic):

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I totally raided my Vintaj findings and got a little bit of everything.

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Various gemstone strands (fluorite, labradorite, moonstone, and can't remember what the red and the green in the lower right are, but they are really pretty!):

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A baggie with an assortment of Mykonos beads:

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Swarovski crystals.

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Sterling silver toggles:

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Some super cute little brass bells I got from an etsy seller just last week:

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Some of the chainmaille components I made up for use in various pieces of jewelry (sterling silver and copper jumprings used):

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A baggie filled with fun colored jumprings:

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I really tried to make some new things to put in the bead box. But when it came right down to it, I had very little time to torch and the little time I had was spent making BUB's (Butt Ugly Beads). So I raided my etsy beads:

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We were to give more than what we took and also feel a pang as we did so. When I decided to give a couple Anne Choi pieces, I knew I had reached that point. Ugh. It's not too late to steal them back out of the box...

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Now for what I took...

This gorgeous strand of quartz (?) sticks.

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Some silver headpins, noodle beads, and gunmetal beads. I usually make my own headpins, but having some on hand will be very convenient!

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Even though I already own a ton of Lisa Peters beads and buttons, I had to take these 2 sweet shank style beads:

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Linda Roberts made these super awesome polymer clay cabs and added them a couple weeks ago. They are very steampunk looking to me and I couldn't decide between these 2. So I took both. No worries, there is still one very similar to these still in the box plus some other cool polymer clay pieces she made.

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Linda also made this dichroic button. It is soooo pretty and sparkly and I love it. I can do dichro cabs, but have never tried buttons. It is clear Linda pays very close attention to detail and I love that.

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Ooohhh! Must have sparklies! Again, no worries, there is still some left even though I wanted to take everything that sparkled. I did add a few sparklies to the box to compensate. (see above photos for sparkly stuff):

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I got a MAK piece (which I've been wanting for a while now):

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And last but not least, I took a few seed bead tubes...the ones that caught my eye because I will be doing beadweaving. Yep. I will. It might not be today or even next week. But it will happen.

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The box (or will it end up as boxes? you'll have to stay tuned to find out!) is headed to Lynn Berry next. I can hardly wait to see what she gives and takes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Week Five: Lynn Berry

The Best Little Bead Box will head back to the West Coast soon, on its way to meet the fifth beader in our line-up, Lynn Berry.  Here's a little about Lynn and her involvement with our project, in her own words: 

I am deeply honored and incredibly blessed to be a part of The Best Little Bead Box. Unlike the other eleven participants, I am relatively new to the world of beading. My life’s path has been dedicated to designing projects and programs which empower people who have been disenfranchised by our society. For decades, I have worked primarily with abused children, homeless families, and people living with HIV/AIDS. About three years ago, a co-worker invited me to join a weekly beading group that she had started at our offices, and I was instantly hooked I have always had an enormously creative soul, and my obsession with beading nurtures me spiritually. These days my time is literally consumed with learning all that I can about this exquisitely stunning art form, pushing my boundaries of both experience and imagination. My insatiable voracity for beading is born of the same impetus that always drove me to help others: Passion. Participating in The Best Little Bead Box has provided me with the opportunity to wed these two passions, creating a marriage of rapture and magnificence.

We have it from good sources that Lynn has been assembling a notable bead stash of her own and so her additions to the box promise to be delectable!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week Four: Jennifer Cameron

Our box is doing a bit more than its usual traveling right now. After a quick"ie" (entirely too brief, just ask Shelley) stop in Illinois, it is under the care of the Interweave Press staff in Colorado today. On Monday, it will make its way back to the Midwest; this time to the Indiana  home of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions, who will get a little more time with the box than Shelley did...but still not as much as the other ten beaders in this round.

Here's a little more about Jennifer, in her own words:

I have been lampworking (creating glass beads using a torch) for about 5 years. I took up making jewelry once I realized we would drown in beads if I didn't DO something with them so I started teaching myself through books, magazines, and took a couple classes here and there. I love working with and experimenting with wire and metals and despise beading wire and crimp beads. Especially crimp beads. I think those things are pure evil. I am playing along in the Best Little Bead Box Project because I adore the mission of Beads of Courage. Also, the project just sounded like so much fun!

Since Jennifer is a creator of beads (as well as a user), I'm sure we will see some wonderful lampwork additions to our box before she sends it back on its journey next week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Best Little Bead Box Quickie

This was written by Shelley and posted by Carol Dean:
Sometimes, and under certain circumstances, a quickie will suffice.  But a Bead Box oggling quickie?  I don't think so.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control or fault, and thanks to a wonderful opportunity for some international publicity on the adventures of The Best Little Bead Box by Interweave Press, a quickie was exactly what I got.  The box was delivered to The Bead Parlor on Tuesday.  Over my lunch hour from my real job, I raced to the Parlor panting.  It's less than a block away, so obviously I was panting with anticipation.  
To my dismay, Linda Roberts is a darn good packer.  The box was almost filled to the brim, each little item having its own perfect place.  I realized right away that in my lunch hour limited time, there was no chance of unpacking it all, carressing each and every item, packing it all back up so perfectly that everything would fit, and adding my own contribution.  
So making possibly the only smart decision of the day (I'm usually limited to just one per day), I pulled out only the packages on the very top, made my selection which was still a hard one to make even with my limited choices, and added my bead stash to the box, and sealed up back up with love and a kiss.  It was just a peck but that is generally how quickies go.  I had that box ready and waiting for Fed X.  As much as I hate deadlines and often will miss them due to my own deadline fears, the box made it to Interweave for the photo shoot with time to spare. 
So a Bead Box Quickie???  I takes what I can gets. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week Three: Shelley Nybakke

After spending its first two weeks on the road in California, The Best Little Bead Box is now on its way to the great Midwest, more specifically to Illinois and the home of the talented, and funny, Shelley Nybakke.

Shelley Nybakke teaches a variety of classes, including her favorite, layered right-angle weave.  The first weaving class she ever attended, she pretended she forgot an appointment and left early because she hated it so much and was fumbling around lost with even threading the needle.  After that setback, she purchased Carol Wilcox Wells’ book, Creative Bead Weaving, and hasn’t looked back.  So from making hundreds of memory wire bracelets to now teaching around the country, she really believes anything is possible.  Her motto is “A day without beads is hardly worth getting out of bed for.”
Here's what Shelley had to say about herself and our project: 
Gosh, who I am.  That is hard to say.  I'm still trying to figure it out half the time and I change my mind every day about who I want to be.  Other than a creative beader, that desire is always there. 
There aren't a lot of things more fun than going through other beaders' stashes.  The box will be fun because it's a lot of people's favorites.  At least I know I'm adding some of my favorites to the box. 
Something tells me that we will see the addition of some metal seed beads to our box in the next week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Box is on the Move Again

It was with great anticipation that I received "The Best Little Bead Box" from Marcia this weekend.  In addition to all the goodies that Carol Dean blogged about, Marcia had also added some wonderful sparklies.  The box was so full I wondered how I would ever fit in my additions.  But it all worked out well and the box will be on it's way to the next lucky person tomorrow.

There was so much to choose from and some tough decisions to make, but here are pictures of what I chose to keep from the box.  These bright and colorful buttons by McAnaraks caught my eye right away.  Who can pass up buttons?  And those Lisa Peter's cabs are going to be perfect with the two I already had purchased from her.  (Boy was it hard not to take more!)  I chose the twisty bugle beads just because I've never had any!

It would have been very very naughty of me, but the thought did cross my mind to take all of the sparkles that Marcia added.  I was very disciplined and left a lot for the next person, but I did make these awesome selections - two items I've never had before.

Since I just took a class on working with metal from Rio Grande at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee this past June, these brass and copper pieces were an obvious choice.  Can't wait to get out my texture hammers!  By the way, there is still another set of these in the box.

And last but certainly not least, I chose these triangle and tila beads.  I haven't had the pleasure of trying the tila beads yet so I'm really looking forward to using them.  Not to worry, there are more of these to choose still in the box!

Now it was my turn to add to the box.  My first decision was easy.  I had just made some new dichroic glass cabochons so I chose some new, some old and a couple of buttons to go into the box.

Next I looked through my polymer clay stash and found some cabochons and lizard tail cabs that I hope someone will like.

I had recently purchased some fringe beads and found I had duplicates, plus I found some seed beads and other glass beads to add.

It took all the creative packing skills I've every learned to fit everything in the box, but I managed.  Tomorrow it will be sent on it's way again.

It is a good feeling to be a small part of this box that we hope will raise money for a great cause - Beads of Courage.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week Two: Linda Roberts

We've had a little schedule change at The Best Little Bead Box.  Today, Marcia DeCoster will personally hand the box over to Linda Roberts who is attending a workshop at Marcia's studio.  (Leslie Frazier will receive the box next month.)

Here's a little more about Linda, in her own words:

Dream ~ Design ~ Create

Those 3 words really get me excited. My beading path is paved with an interest in rocks and minerals – finding treasures from the earth. This interest led to joining a Gem and Mineral Society and taking classes in creating cabochons, silver work and wire wrapping. Attending a lot of Gem Shows led me to beads and stringing and along the way I learned about Metal Clay, Polymer Clay and Glass Fusing. I have been dreaming, designing and creating with beads for about 11 years now. I have learned most of what I know from magazines and books so I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who shared their knowledge and insights. I love diversity and to be able to create with a variety of mediums. After working as an elementary school teacher, an office manager and a corporate controller, I am happy now to simply call myself “an artist.”

Linda not only uses beads in her works, she creates it wouldn't be surprising to find some wonderful dichroic glass pieces added to the box by her. It will be fun to see how the contents of the box change. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I've got the box!

Yep, it arrived on my doorstep, all 11 pounds of it, and with the initial post, giving me an indication of it's contents I didn't dare open it until there was time to spend.

Beads of Courage first came to my attention through Cheryl Cobern Browne quite a few years ago. I tried to fit in a way to contribute, but somehow I never quite made it happen, until now!

The brilliant idea of Carol Dean Sharpe and Jennifer Van Benschoten gave me the opportunity.

I was first to receive the box with the instruction to take what I wanted, but to contribute in a way that left the box bigger and richer. Well I'm a sparkly girl, so sparkles is what I wanted to contribute, and I did. There is quite a selection of Swarovski, bi-cones and frames, and fancy stones and a button.....some felt balls, two of each color in case someone wants to make earrings, and a lampwork whose maker I've lost track of, but it's sure pretty, and some Heather Trimlett rings in those fanciful colors of hers...
oh and some 3 cut seed beads, because they sparkle too!

As for what I received from the box....

Some white Tila beads which just happened to coordinate with some Heather Powers beads

a Lisa Peters pendant, and two other beautiful focal beads.

Next on the list is Leslie Frazier and as luck would have it, Leslie will be at my house this weekend, so we will short circuit the post office this time around.

A big thanks to Carol and Jennifer for putting this together!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Week One - Marcia DeCoster

This afternoon, The Best Little Bead Box is on its way to Marcia DeCoster's studio in San Diego...

Marcia's love for beautiful jewelry and the desire to create her own designs brought Marcia to beads in the early 1990's. Marcia designs colorful and fun to wear jewelry and shares her designs through teaching and writing. Remembering her own early attempts, Marcia recognizes that everyone learns differently and so takes great care to provide clear, concise and comprehensive instructions, graphics and text.
Her work has been published Carol Wilcox Wells’s The Art and Elegance of Bead Weaving and Margie Deeb’s The Beaders Color Pallette.
In 2008 her work was featured in Masters Beadweaving and her urchin lariat graces the cover.
In 2009 her own book 'Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence' was published by Lark.
Marcia is one of the featured 'Designers of the Year' in Beadwork magazine.

When asked what made her agree to participate in The Best Little Bead Box project, this busy beader/author/teacher had this to say:  "I am participating because Beads of Courage is such an excellent cause and the opportunity to be part of it with so many stellar artists, well there was no way not to!"

It will be fun to see what beads Marcia chooses for her own stash...and what new beads she will add to our box before sending it on to the next beader. (Don't tell anyone, but in this instance, Marcia will be able to deliver the box personally rather than send it through the US Postal Service.)

And so it begins!

Hi there :D Thanks for stopping by and sharing this big day with us. You're probably wondering what this is all about.

The Plan
Two months ago, Jennifer Van Benschoten of VanBeads and Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers, both avid beaders and collectors/amassers of all things bead, put their conspiracy caps on to come up with a way to do a little bead "de-stashing" that would
  • be fun
  • get their friends involved
  • create a project that others could follow
  • and benefit one of their favorite organizations:  Beads of Courage
Why not just mail the excess stash to Beads of Courage?, you ask. Well, that would only take care of the last point.

With the Sisterhood of the Traveling Bead Box as a starting point inspiration, we came up with a list of twelve beaders, some of whom are very well-known in the bead world, others who are perhaps less well-known but no less trusted and admired. We contacted these beaders asking if they would be interested in participating in a brand new project, The Best Little Bead Box. We put it to them this way:
The Best Little Bead Box is actually a rather large box of beads that will visit twelve beaders over a three-month period. Each beader will be able to take what she wants from the box, as long as she replenishes the box with more and better than what she took before she sends it on to the next person on the list.
As part of the project, we also asked that the beaders share their experiences with the box on this blog. You can see the list of our beaders at the very top of this page, right under the title banner.

At the end of the twelve weeks we had originally planned to raffle off the box and send the proceeds to Beads of Courage.  While our intentions were honorable, it turns out that online raffles are illegal (unless you are a registered non profit organization, which we are not). Not good. We will take the next 12 weeks to figure out the best way to turn the Best Little Bead Box into money for Beads of Courage.  Our fall-back plan is to divide the contents into 10 smaller boxes and auction those off on eBay. (If you have suggestions/experience with this type of project, please let us know!)

The Box

We sent out a call for donations and some generous people/stores responded.  The first donation to come in was from Fox Den Beads, who had a large box of beads ready to send directly to Beads of Courage, and so offered us these seed bead (and tila!) goodies to include our box.  Remember, good things come in small packages ;)

The next package made it all the way from Israel, courtesy of Patrizia Tager of Triz Designs,, with these beautiful ceramic and dichroic glass creations:

The generous Kelli Burns of The Hole Bead Shoppe sent a box filled to overflow with all sorts of wonderful beads, including lucite and gemstones and sterling silver findings. This picture shows only half of the box's contents; the other half is being held back for the 2nd Best Little Bead Box, which should start making its rounds in January.

And here are some more detailed shots of The Hole Bead Shoppe's contribution to the 1st Little Bead Box:

The next box to arrive at the staging area (aka Carol Dean's house) was from Jennifer. Again, half of its contents have been put away safely for Round Two of this project.  Here's what will go out in Round One:

And here are detailed shots of these goodies:

The last beads to be added to the box came from Carol Dean's stash:

And here are some close ups of that contribution:

We must admit that there is nothing "little" about this box, no, nothing little at all. But The Best Biggest Bead Box seemed slightly overwhelming a name, and "The Best Huge Honkin' Box of Beads You'll Ever See," while true, just didn't sound right. So The Best Little Bead Box it is, even if the box going out in today's mail weighs in at more than eleven (11) pounds.

Tune in later today to find out about the first stop for this Best Little Bead Box.  Come to think of it, since you're here already, why not just follow us?