Monday, December 27, 2010

A feast for the senses!

It is such a wonderful honor to be involved with this project! 
The boxes arrived with a call from my favorite postal worker, Cathy, on Christmas Eve.  She is always looking out for me!  She didn't want me to miss the BIG Heavy boxes arriving just before the holiday.   I am so glad that she called.  I was able to sit and drink in all the shapes and textures over a wonderful evening of wine and delicious food. 

With so many well known and accomplished beaders in the group I feel like a real newbie.
It was wonderful to touch the wonderful handmade beads in this collection and also to examine so many different manufactured beads that I would not normally notice when making selections for myself online in shops or at shows.   I was even impressed with everyone's promotional materials!

The pieces I chose to keep from the box were either Art Beads from artists whom I admire or manufactured beads with shapes I found inspiring.

I found everything that Shirley Cook added to the box to be just gorgeous!  Her post cards are gorgeous too!   I chose one of her leaf pendants as an inspiration for craftsmanship.  --I find it natural and free flowing and it gives a feeling of effortlessness yet I am sure it took much practice to achieve these results. And I just loved these shell beads so much that I had to pull a few out for myself.  (there are more still left in the box)

And um, YEAH.... Dee Wilder!!!!  I am the biggest fan!  I drool over my computer screen at Dee's work!  I have never before seen any of her beads in person.  This, I HAD TO HAVE!  It was so hard to chose one.  (There are many more in the box~~ LUCKY YOU!)

The beads here were donated by Jill Wiseman.  I had never known that here were seed beads such as this.  I will definitely be checking out for more of these goodies.  I felt bad taking the entire tube, but I didn't feel right splitting it up either.  I am inspired by all you wonderful seed beaders in this group and I chose these to remember all the glamorous sparkly beads in your works.  I stole one lonely clear "C" shaped bead off a strand to keep as a design idea, and the wonderful nut "ring" is the perfect visualization of an idea I have been mulling over to far too long.  And lastly I could not get over the shape of the bottom strand of brownish white glass beads. 

Jennifer Cameron is another bead Artist whom I admire greatly.  I had to have one of her beautiful postcards.  That metal piece is fab and the crimp tubes are needed.

Lastly I chose a wonderful glass bead that I will guess is from Linda Roberts (please correct me if I am wrong), and interestingly shaped connector/pendant/bead made of shell(many more in the box), and some head pins from  I really like the layering effect in this glass bead.
And so you may be thinking that I made out pretty well..... and perhaps wondering about my contributions...
Here they are.... all beads I made out of stoneware clay and in some, I added recycled glass.
Cabochons!  and Donut :-)
So many of you are bead weavers that I had to be sure to include plenty of cabochons!
Pendants, Charms and Connectors...
Some funky porcelain disc beads that I am currently in love with making.....

An assortment of stoneware beads, links, pendants and buttons...
And lastly some smoke fired beads.
The boxes were getting a little bit soft from all the traveling and I had to find another flat rate box around the house to replace one.  The second needed to head out with some internal reinforcements.  The snow storm here in the northeast and the holiday didn't allow for me to go pick up new boxes.  And off it all went this afternoon... headed to Carol Dean Sharpe so she can do her magic and divide it up for you!  I wish I could bid on the contents!   Perhaps next round!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week Twelve: Kristie Roeder

Our boxes - now heavier than many a small child! - are traveling back East this week, to Pennsylvania and the home and studio of Kristie Roeder. Kristie is better known as Artisan Clay to those of you who follow her blog and work.

Before we ever asked her to join The Best Little Bead Box project, Kristie had already been working on donations for Beads of Courage, so she was especially pleased to be one of our Round One beaders:

"I am very excited to be a part of this project.  I can't wait to see the great things that everyone is going to contribute and to learn more about the artists involved.  I have made some special clay beads inspired by the projects that Beads-of-Clay offers to children in Hospitals and I can't wait to share~~~~ " 

Kristie is the last stop for our boxes before they return to their staring point in New Mexico. It will take us a few weeks to get all the wonderful treasures separated into batches, photographed, and listed for auction. We will, of course,  keep you updated.  In the meantime, look for Kristie's account of her time with the boxes later this week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh me, oh my! (From Jill Wiseman)

I really don't know how he did it, but my postman managed to get both GIGANTIC Best Little Bead Boxes stuffed into one of our community mailbox lockers. I practically needed a crow bar to get them out of there! And I also thanked my lucky stars that I live directly across the street - because when you're carrying over 60lbs of beads, you don't want far to travel. Yep. That's right. Over 60lbs!!!!
I had a special message from Jean on my boxes too.

Coincidentally, the boxes arrived a day after a special thing happened regarding Beads of Courage, the charity that will be receiving the proceeds from The Best Little Bead Box auctions. I was out of town for the day, but my mother was at home Sunday morning and said she turned the TV on, looked up, and there was Margaret Zinzer (lampworker extraordinaire, and avid Beads of Courage supporter) on the screen! Mom thought quickly and started taping...whatever it was. Turns out it was a news story on CBS This Sunday Morning about the Beads of Courage program. What serendipity! And y'all, I'm embarrassed to say this, but I had no idea. Seriously. I really didn't understand what the Beads of Courage program was all about other than "sick kids get beads." And I'm willing to bet that a lot of you are in that same position. So please pardon my ramble, but can I tell you just a little bit about this program?

Kids with serious illnesses go through so much, both emotionally and physically, and it's often hard for others to understand everything they're dealing with. When a child enters the Beads of Courage program, they are given a length of string with beads that spell out their name. After that, as they work through their treatments, colorful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child. For instance, they get a yellow bead for an overnight hospital stay, a white one for chemotherapy, and a glow-in-the-dark bead for radiation treatment. It's not uncommon for children to amass 10, 20 -- even 35 -- feet of beads. It helps young patients track and celebrate their progress, but it also gives them a way to get through upcoming procedures as well as a way of sharing and telling their story to friends and family. It's a visual representation of their courage. The CBS story brought both my mother and I to tears (please click on the link and watch,) but also immediately made us ask, "What can we do to help?"

Which brings me back to the Best Little Bead Box(es). As I opened each treasure in the box, fondled the beads, lusted after them and set aside a pile to keep, I kept thinking about that question: What can I do to help?" And slowly I repacked all the beads but one strand of beautiful purple lucite flowers from The Hole Bead Shoppe. I intend to make into a special, commemorative necklace from it to remind me of how honored I am to be participating in this project. But everything else? I decided I couldn't accept any more. I have more beads than I can use in a lifetime, and I'm lucky enough to have my entire world surrounded with them. So the beads in the boxes? Well...they are for the auction, and ultimately for the kids.

The spirit of sharing and giving also made me dig deep into my own beady treasures to add to the stash. And dig I did! Everything from crystals to glass, seed beads to pearls, and gemstones to lampwork. I've got it all in here. So please forgive the sparse commentary....but enjoy the BEADS!
Pearls (there are a LOT more of the green ones!), a silver chain, Ruby Zoisite, and some glass strands.

Cool side/top drilled pearls, and some interesting finish glass beads

The pink stash includes some Rose Quartz, Button Pearls, and a bunch of glass beads

All glass beads, some vintage

More glass - how cute are those butterflies?

Furnace glass I picked out for a bracelet I never made.

David Christensen Furnace Glass

Um, can you tell I really like Furnace glass?

All semiprecious gemstones

I threw a bracelet I made in there! Why not?

Some of my all time favorite seed beads, including Size 8 3-cuts by Toho. Sparkly!

Some of my specially coated 2mm Swarovski crystals

Green Girls clasp

Sterling Silver clasps

Fun beads from Susan Nestor!

The pendant on the right is polymer clay


Lilly Pilly, Dichro, and a stone pendant


Metallic lampwork beads by Donna Mehnert of Blackberry Beads



More lampwork

Adorable small set by Pam Way of Yellow Dog Beads

Another Pam Way set

Assortment of Tagua Nut pendants and beads

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Round 2!

Today, we're excited to announce the beaders for Round 2 of the Best Little Bead Box!  Before we list the participants we chose from the applications, we should say that it was hard to choose just 12 people, and all the applicants did such a great job answering the questions.

So, without further ado, here are the next 12 beaders (in no particular order):

1. Jeannette Cook
2. Sharon K. Erwine
3. Nikia Angel
4. Susan Feldkamp
5. Suzanne Cooper
6. Amy Blevins
7. Jan Atherton
8. Christine Boyer Maj
9. Lori Anderson
10. Rosita Pisarchick
11. Staci L. Smith
12. Grace Danel

Congratulations!  You will all be contacted within the next week or so with instructions and what we need from you so that we can prepare the second round of The Best Little Bead Box!

Here are some of the photographs that were included with the applications of the beaders we selected for Round 2:

Beadwork by Nikia Angel  

Beadwork by Susan Feldkamp

Beadwork by Rosita Pisarchick

We'll get to know more about our twelve beaders during Round 2!  Thanks again to everyone who applied!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week Eleven: Jill Wiseman

It's time to introduce our next beader in this round of the Best Little Bead Box(es) - Jill Wiseman!
Jill Wiseman lived a traditional 8-5 corporate existence until a chance encounter with beads in 2001 changed everything. Her black and white world suddenly became full of color and texture and sparkle and shine, and things would never be the same. Before long, Jill couldn’t contain her beady joy another moment, and had to share the world of beadweaving with others. She became a full-time beadweaving jewelry designer and teacher in 2004 and has had the pleasure of teaching at national bead shows like Bead & Button, and Bead Fest ever since, as well as traveling to bead stores and bead societies for classes full of laughter and bead learning. Jill makes her home in Austin, Texas, with her mother, as well as two dogs and two cats who only occasionally eat the beads.

Jill is also the newest educator at Beaducation, where she just finished filming her first online video classes. Her popular classes at the Bead & Button Show have been known to sell out in just a few hours, and she is in great demand as a teacher throughout the U.S.

Jill is thrilled to participate in the first Best Little Bead Box Project for so many reasons! First, because she loves supporting charities and doing small, random acts of kindness on a regular basis. It makes the world a better place and that's a really good thing. Secondly, because it's BEADS! Getting to use her beady calling in a charitable fashion is really just too, too cool. And lastly, because it's really an honor to participate. Even though it hurts a little as she starts picking out her contributions to the Box. Thank goodness they're going to good homes!

You can find out more about Jill's creations on her website, Tapestry Beads, and follow her adventures in beading on her blog -

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stop at Jean Campbell's House

(This post was written by Jean and posted by Carol Dean.)

What a wonderful opportunity to be involved in the Best Little Bead Box! “Best” it is…”Little”? Not so much. What came to my door last Monday actually included two boxes that each weighed about 30 lbs!

You can’t believe what was inside, either…I was thinking people would add lots of their cast-offs, but the items were just gorgeous! Stones…glass…Lucite…handmade beads…felt beads…. As you can imagine, it was like a bead store in a box. I was a bit hesitant to take anything out to keep for myself since my stash is out of control at the moment, but I just couldn’t resist. I found some great ribbon, Lucite, and a funky resin/wood cabochon from The Hole Bead Shop, a fossil cab from Slick Lizard Designs, and a beautiful ceramic button from Lisa Peters. What a score!

I added a bunch of stuff, too. Some wonderful bead mixes from Jesse James Beads:

Some vintage and other interesting bugle and seed beads and some resin from Natural Touch beads:

A selection of molded glass charms and beads, some lampworked beads from SoftFlex, a bead mix from The Bead Monkey, and a smattering of Swarovski crystal buttons, rivolis, and pendants:

I also added a bunch of freshwater pearl strands in various colors and shapes as well as a really nice strand of antique amber chips:

I hope the rest of my BLBB buddies have as much fun with the boxes as I did!

Thanks, Carol and Jennifer, for inviting me to this worthy and fun project.