Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week Seven: Chris Maj

Our two anything-but-little boxes arrive at the home of Chris Maj in North Carolina yesterday. Chris will have the next few days to choose what to keep and what to add to these boxes before she sends them on to the next beader.
Occupation (either bead-related or non-bead): Homemaker / Bead Artist 



Facebook Fan Page:
How long have you been a beader/jewelry maker?
About 8 years

Why do you want to participate in the Best Little Bead Box project?
Beside the uncontrolled glee of opening a box of treasures and choosing a couple for myself, I would love being a part of the end goal of contributing to Beads of Courage.

Have beads changed your life? How?
Well, sure! I get to play with pretty, sparkly, shiny objects on a daily basis which makes me very happy. I spent 15 years as an administrative assistant during which I began to feel acutely the lack of creative/artistic outlet. Now I’m able to look at everything with the eye of an artist/beader for inspiration, and create ooak pieces that also make others happy.

Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or advanced beader/jewelry maker?
I’ve acquired quite a few techniques, but still consider myself to be an intermediate plus.

How did you get started working with beads?
For Christmas 2003 I was making jar candles for everyone in my family and I wanted to decorate the jars with some pretty beaded ornamentation. At the time, beaded amulet bags seemed to be all the rage and I bought a book and began making them.

If you were a bead, what kind would you be? Why?
I would be a voluptuous lampworked goddess bead. A big, one of a kind, sorta odd bead that you would admire, but never be quite sure what to do with.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one kind of bead with you, what would it be and why?
SEED BEADS!! There is no limit to what you can do with a mess of seed beads. You could make a fabulous hammock.

What is the best advice you've ever received from a bead artist, teacher or beading friend?
I can’t think of a single piece of advice, but in getting to know the community of beaders on facebook and ETSY, one of the things I’ve heard the most that has inspired me is “Try it”.

Do you have a particular quote that you think reflects your personal philosophies? If yes, please share it.
“Do what you Love”. I don’t know if it’s a direct quote from someone or just an often said ideal, but life is short, do what makes you happy and others will respond positively.

What was the best beady gift that you have ever received? What was the best beady gift that you ever gave to someone else?
A friend gave me this huge vintage bead from Africa and I had a blast playing detective to try and figure out what on earth it was. Still haven’t used it, but it’s fun to imagine. I’ve given my jewelry to many people because there is no greater gift than the happiness you feel as you present something special to someone. But one of my favorite giving experiences was in taking a beautiful agate that was very special to my friend’s mother, and creating a beadwoven necklace she’s able to wear anytime.

Aside from beading, do you do any other crafts? What are they?
Not currently. Back in the day I was a fabriholic and made quilts and renaissance costumes. And before that I crosstitched my way through the 80’s.

What three words would best describe your current bead stash?
Colorful, Organized, Incomplete.

Please include a photograph of your very best piece of beadwork, if you have one available.
I've attached a picture of "Mariposa" my entry to the Haute Couture Beading Contest that I created in September. My best bead embroidery piece. I've only been doing bead embroidery for less than a year.

I've also included one of my best beadwoven pieces, a cellini spiral.

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