Friday, October 1, 2010

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?


  1. congratulations to everyone involved in this project. what a great idea. thanks for allowing all of us to follow the progress of the box!

  2. Beautiful idea! And what a treasure trove of beads! Can't wait to read more on this project!

  3. Wow that is so Wonderful! Can I Donate?
    Lots of Luck, Fun and Good Wishes on the Project!
    *HUGS, LOVE and LIGHT* ♡♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥♡ Mx

  4. Wow, I thought I was excited already, but after actually seeing the "stash" my excitement has exploded!

  5. Thank you, tinybeads!

    Julie, we will have weekly updates, so stay tuned :)

    Marjorie, you can send donations for Round Two of the box (to go out in January) to me anytime :) Thank you!

  6. Linda, pretty spectacular, isn't it! :)

  7. What a wonderful project! Can't wait to see what happens next . . .

  8. Oooooo....mmmmm! It's so pretty! I feel like a kid who just saw the Sears Christmas catalog! I want this...and this...

  9. What a great idea...why don't you start an Etsy shop and place the finished jewelry that the artists made on sale. Send this money to Beads of Courage. I know a ton of people would jump at the chance to buy an original from Jean Campbell or Marcia DeCoster...just a thought. I'm looking forward to following this adventure!

  10. What a box of beads.... and a fantastic thing to be doing :)

    Have fun beaders.

  11. That sounds wonderful! I wish I could play!

  12. What an inspiration and so full of giving at an exponential level.... and the fact that this life affirming box is traveling....

  13. I wouldn't reccomend ebay to raise money. People go there looking for deals, and theres lots of destash and scams and people probably wouldn't believe the money would really go to the kids. Could you do a facebook raffle or something? Or have each of the artists sell raffle tickets for it? I would buy a raffle ticket for it.

  14. This is an awesome idea! I will surely follow!