Friday, February 25, 2011

Best Little Bead Box Visits New Jersey !!

The Best Little Bead Box arrived on my doorstep while I was out, so I didn't get to attack the mail lady (lucky her!).
As soon as I got home & saw it on the counter, I decided to clear my nightly schedule and DIG IN !!

But first, pour a nice glass of wine.
And of course, enlist help of friend that helps me do EVERYTHING around the house.

Meet DaVinci - he's my furbaby, office buddy, and foot warmer at night. He follows us around the house like a dog, gets into things he shouldn't (more on that later), but loves us more than I've ever witnessed a cat want to be around a human.
He's an 11lb, almost 2 year old, Siberian breed. Otherwise known as, "creator of all fuzz fuzz floating around the house."
This picture was taken before his mishap....(more to come...)

The box was packed nicely with a treasure trove of goodies! Each little bubble or zippy bag full of beading fun.
As a bead shop owner, I certainly have had my hands into tons of beads over the years. Yet, there are a few things that I am always a sucker for..... handmade and gemstones !! I am drawn to the unique, one-of-a-kind, or out of the ordinary beads.
Recently, I've had some sort of love affair with porcelain & stoneware pieces. (Lisa Peters Art and Marsha Neal Studio can attest to this!) However, there is some artisan work that I have had yet to see in person. Well, Best Little Bead Box Round 2 cured me of that !!!

I have to admit, I dove into the porcelain/stoneware/raku pieces and pulled them all out into the "maybe" pile. It took all I could muster up to put some back ! ha haaa!! But alas, in the good faith of sharing, many were placed back in to be enjoyed. (it was SO hard to pick my favorites...they were ALL favorites)

Here are the pendants / focals that I've chosen from the stash:

The next few things that caught my eye are unique! I think Lori Anderson & I have similar taste!! I managed to choose several of the items that she'd included when the box visited her.
I've selected some hanks of czech seed beads, some gemstones, a strand of pearls, a couple of handmade lampwork leaf beads, a shell pendant, a silk bead by Kristal Wick, some crystal spacers, and some beads that appear to be some form of wood (square with green sides):

Last but not least, I kept digging and found even more cool stuff !! I really liked the lucite that Kelli Burns had donated, and while I felt bad taking the whole bag, Kelli had requested that these stay together - so together they stayed !! (and it makes sense - I imagine I'll end up using the beautiful assortment in one project! Great idea Kelli!!)
There was a nice hank of luster green leaves included, so I pulled a couple strands from that (perfect for fringe). There are a few gemstone focals I couldn't resist, a small assortment of champagne coated Swarovski crystals and a few random glass and gemstone beads:

Now - onto what was placed back into the box.
An assortment of fun seed beads was added, including Farfalle (or peanut shaped) beads & Miyuki's Long Magatamas:

A wide variety of czech glass & crafted lamp beads:

Charms by TierraCast

An assortment of craft wire from Parawire

A generous contribution from Marsha Neal Studio - when Marsha found out I was participating, she was all too happy to help!

Lots of fun gemstones, all kinds of shapes & colors !! A lil bag of pearls and some metal beads

And since I had sticky fingers with the artisan crafted porcelain / stoneware pieces, I can only hope that the next participants enjoy handcrafted as well.

This batch of handmade lampwork beads was made by a very good friend of mine, glass artist, Jennifer Pagliarini

This next batch of lampwork beads was made by me, Amy Blevins, of Bead & Glass Boutique
There are a bunch to choose from, so don't be shy. I just hope they are enjoyed as much as I enjoyed making them specially for this project !

Last but not least, some books published by Kalmbach

Now...I have to tell the short version of the week's happenings while the box was visiting. For those readers that are friends on Facebook, you already know the story of the Kitty that got into the Lilies in my Valentine's Day bouquet. Lilies are one of the most toxic plants that a cat can get into.
A complete accident (as the flowers had been sequestered from kitty), he managed to get his nose into them. We spent 3 very long days praying he would be OK. Numerous trips to and from the vet, transporting him to overnight emergency care, and back in the morning.
As a long hair kitty, the vet had to shave parts of his legs to keep the IV in, flushing his system.
The good news is DaVinci is now OK. But we were really scared for a good 4 days this week. As I said, he's my furry-child and I wouldn't know what to do without him.
Ironically, as the Best Little Bead Box arrived and the Courage Tiger was staying for a visit, DaVinci welcomed him upon being unloaded from the box. He brushed against him and stayed close while I sorted the box.
I couldn't think of a better little guy for the Courage Tiger to share a photo with. DaVinci's visiting buddy.....full of courage.
My little buddy was so exhausted the day he got to come home from the vet, he just crashed out under a blanket "tent" we made for him.

Here's DaVinci this morning, saying his goodbye to his new friend

And seeing the 21 pound package off to its next destination

I am crazy for a couple of things in life: my kitty baby, my fiancee, and beads.
Yes - I "heart" my little kitty guy like a child, and not shy about admitting it....
So during a week where life was turned a bit upside down by fur-baby's incident, there was the box...full of joy, happiness, and solace.
It brought a peaceful calm to the end of a stressful week.

I couldn't think of a better way to share with my new beading friends. Thanks so much for having me participate in this wonderful project!
Kudos to our coordinators, Carol Dean Sharpe and Jennifer VanBenschoten !!



  1. How does one get on the list for this wondrous box of heavenly goodies?

  2. Poor baby kitty. I'm so glad he had his tiger friend for company. The beads (the already-present one and the ones you added) look WONDERFUL. I'm just loving this whole Bead Box experience.

  3. Its such a great project !! It was a pleasure to be able to participate.
    Update on Kitty - he's doing really well and seems to be back to normal :)

  4. I very nearly nabbed those gemstone pendants you chose! And OH I love Marsha Neal goodies -- and that lampwork is sooo delicious!

  5. Lori - You should have!! They are absolutely gorgeous colors.
    I'm sure we'll be able to find more of them at local bead shows in the coming months. They're too cool NOT to be available :)

    I LOVE lampwork & just wish I had more time in life to dedicate to making beads.