Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Obsession Begins

I have never written a blog before and since this is my first post ever, it's really more of a test than anything...I just want see what my new blog looks like! I'm really not sure of the template design but I can always work on that later!

But no one else is out there reading this yet anyways...so, I guess I will just start with a simple introduction:

No one tells you how bad this obsession will get when you pick up your first tube of seed beads! No one tells you that you will soon own every shape, size and color that you can get your hands on...and that you will never sleep again because you cannot put them down!

It all started one winter when I was helping out with my 8 year old niece while she was on her winter break from school and I took her shopping for Christmas presents for her parents (my brother & his wife).

While in a department store, she desperately wanted to buy this little set of stretchy bracelets made of sparkly blue faceted glass beads and I just knew it was one of those impulsive, gotta have it cause it's so sparkly, kind of moments for her. But it was $20 for 3 (cheaply made) bracelets for an 8 year old...and I was not spending $20 on something that she would lose or break within the day!

So I promised that I would go buy some beads and the next time she was spending the day with me, we would make some bracelets for all of her friends. This seemed to catch her attention! So I dropped her off with my brother a few hours later and I went to Michael's craft store figuring I would just find some fun sparkly (cheap) beads that would be perfect for her.

And I did...but I also got a little carried away with all these hanks of colorful embellishment beads too! Of course these ended up being cheap, uneven seed beads, but they worked perfectly for my niece. And I spent much more than $20...however we ended up making over 40 bracelets for all of her friends and everyone in the family, and she loved it!

But when I first got home that night I figured I should at least do some research and find out the best methods for making these little stretchy bracelets so that they didn't just fall apart in a day. This "research" quickly turned into an all night google session that turned up some amazing results about bead work!

And this was the beginning of the end for me. I found Beadwork on about.com and within the first few days on that site, I had ordered another $200 worth of seed beads from Shipwreck Beads, Thunderbird Supply and from several eBay and Etsy stores.

Luckily Jen, the guide at Beadwork on About.com at the time, had written some wonderful articles about the different qualities of seed beads. So I knew I was looking for Miyuki or Toho Japanese round seed beads and Miyuki Delica cylinder beads as well as Czech Fire Polish rounds and Pressed Glass beads. Oh, and of course Swarovski Crystals and Crystal Pearls.

And I found them everywhere...then before I knew it I had a notebook with my own directory of all the online stores I found...I listed their shipping policies, their prices per gram or per strand, their variety of selection...and then I started shopping! and of course I haven't stopped shopping!

My mom came over after she saw the bracelets that we had made for everyone...see my mom used to be a seed beader, but I had been long out of the house when she started beading so I never really took an interest in it. But when she saw that I was getting into beading, she just had to see it for herself! Now that I look back on this, I know what she knew then...that this would become an all out obsession! But she didn't bother to share that with me then! She was just so excited to see what I was up to!

She had always taught me and my brothers arts and crafts...actually, she taught us everything that she could when we were little. She was a stay at home mom and spent all of her time and energy on me and my brothers. We could read long before we ever went to school...and I mean years before we went to school!

My mom taught me how to cook, sew, crochet, embroider and quilt...I was making dresses for myself out of pillowcases (with her sewing machine) when I was 7 or 8 years old. So she just had to see how far I had gone into this beading obsession.

And to my surprise she brought me a Tupperware shoebox full of seed beads...all kinds of seed beads...Silver Lined Czech seeds, tubes of Delicas, Japanese Bugle beads and round seeds. She hasn't been able to work with seed beads as much any more because of her eyesight, but she still does beautiful stringing work and she makes some of the most beautiful earrings! Everyone we know has at least one pair of her earrings!

So needless to say, the first real bead work project that I was able to create, was for my mom. I made her a beautiful 2 drop Peyote stitch necklace from a pattern by Rebecca Peeples "Mimic Fine Needlework with Peyote Stitch" that was published in Bead & Button Magazine. And I made one for her best friend too...she is like an Aunt to me and is my mom's seed bead buddy, they took all of their classes together and beaded together for years!

Now I make things for both of them all the time. And they love it so much that they are always trying to give me "seed" money, because I refuse to charge them for my work as they are the ones who inspired me to learn as much as I could! But that term "seed money" sure takes on a whole new meaning for me now!

Well, this "short" little introduction should set the tone for how much I like to ramble on about beads...or anything else for that matter...but I have my Mom, my Aunt and my Niece to thank for this wonderful obsession of mine!

Next time I will try to post some photos of my bead storage solutions, cause we all know that is a major necessity when it comes to seed beads!


Sally Anderson said...

I have now read your whole blog and love it! Question: Are you Tia or Vimala? I love organizing all my beads and it sure looks like you do, too. That desk you have is so perfect, I'm jealous! I have to tell you about Jet Beads. I get all my Fire Mountain stuff thru Jet Beads. They are an authorized re-seller for Fire Mtn and what you do is put the items you want from them into a Wish List instead of the shopping cart. Then you tell Jet Beads that you have the wish list. They'll order it and you'll get the 200+ price even if you just have a few things. It has saved me and my friend so much money this year. Love them. Hope to hear back from you!

Tia Dalma said...

I didn't even see this comment until I checked my email! Thank you so much for reading and loving it!

I am Vimala, but I have used Tia Dalma as my online ID for so long now that it kind of stuck! Maybe I should write a blog post about it...

Thank you so much for the info on Jet Beads! I have heard about this but have not used them yet...however, with a recommendation like that, I will be trying this out with my next FMG order!

Thanks again for reading and I hope to keep you all interested with my future posts!

Merry Christmas!