Posted by: shelleyjo's life beat | July 1, 2012

A Beautiful World!

My very dear friend, (my sister dubbed her St. D as she is so very good to me) lived in Alaska for a couple of years or so. She was a Captain in the Salvation Army at that time.

While she was there, she learned the native Alaskan beading. I have a problem with wanting to know and do what anyone else is doing. I mean, if it sounds fun, right? This brinks right into coveting, I am sure, and I have to watch myself closely in this area. Hee-hee!


It sounded so fun! Something new and exciting! She talked of the natives beading necklaces or making necklaces and pouches from beaded pieces.

So, off to the our local bead store I went. I learned that they had beading classes and I signed up for one.

The course was on stranding beads to make a necklace, bracelet and earrings. It was easy and great fun! I was almost embarrassed that I had needed a class to figure this out! But, I have never done a single thing with beads before, so what did I know? Nothing!

The beads were larger and in varied sizes. There were pearls, stones, crystals and other things. I loved all the little dishes and strands of beads of different textures and colors. It was so soothing and joyful to just run them through my fingers and hold them. So much joy and happiness! And here I had been so exhausted after a particularly rough work day, then fixing dinner, and running off to class. I was no longer feeling tired at all by this time!

I was the last person in the class to choose beads and colors because I kept playing with them and had a hard time making choices. It was overwhelming! In a delightful sort of way.

I figured out that if I took a bead of one color and  dropped it into a dish of another color, or wrap a strand of another color around it, I could see immediately if they were good together.

I could see if the color popped out, or receded, if it clashed or was something that drew you to it. So, I went around picking up a bead and dropping it into various dishes and strands. Then finally I just “felt” something in the room. So I looked up and realized everyone was at the tables and watching me with hopeful eyes! I was so embarrassed!

But I smiled, made my choices based on what I had to wear, and hurried to the table.

Everyone was so nice and patient, and seemed to enjoy my dreamy-minded unawareness of my surroundings.

The class went so easily and quickly that I felt I should have figured it out on my own! And everyone’s work was so lovely, even though no two were  the same color combinations or types of beads! It was amazing how lovely the uniqueness was! I was in heaven!

I was happy with the simple little necklace, bracelet and earring set I finished in class.

Can you see the cute little kitty charms? No? Bad picture, I know. This was the best lighting in the house and my cell phone just takes what it takes. I must have a photo shoot with someone one day.

Well, I tried to show you clearer picture of kitties, here.

Of course, I had to buy more beads to take home and play with!

At the end of class, we had a discount on everything in the store, so I took my sweet time figuring out what I could squeeze from my budget.

Then I noticed a woman that hadn’t been in class sitting off to the side of a table . She was making little dragonfly necklaces. I stood near her and watched, and sketched a quick sketch of what it appeared she was doing. These crystals are small! And, she was using things we hadn’t used yet.

I looked until I found those items, and took them home with glee!

I played with my beads for months, and was amazed at how much it perked me up after work, after a particularly rough surgery my husband went through, or his rehabilitation times.

After some months had gone by, St. D was home from Alaska. Story to follow, but I showed her what I had learned and figured out. She bought some stones and beads and shared with me. I bought a bit, too and shared with her. That way, we had better variety.

Then, I finally made a few sets of jewelry for people I know and love.

I also tried my hand at dragonflies, and I got it!

Can you see the different colors? They are so pretty in person, and you can make them into necklaces, earrings or things to hang from anywhere. In the car, they catch the light and shine colors around as the car moves. They are also lovely as shade pulls.

The center bead in this bracelet has a rose styled into the inside of it! By the way, while I watched the lady do the dragonfly, I learned how to do wire wrapped links! So, I played with that concept and made the above bracelet. It is very easy.

Here is a picture that shows the same technique of wrapped links, but in different sized beads and wire.

Then, I made a stone set for my sister-in-love, Halogirl. The leather strap is worn through so I have it to repair for her. I love the carved leaf beads. Yes, leaves, again! Love those!  St. D brought me these 2 carved black leaf stones, I think  from Alaska.

Here is my WIP stone necklace (leaf focal bead). I seriously want to keep this one. And surprisingly, I look good in these colors! The size of the beads is smaller, and I prefer tiny little things. So, now I need a new wardrobe to accommodate my necklace! Big smile!

Later, St. D and I took a class together at the same bead store. It was on wire wrapping a cabochon or a focal bead with flat bottom. We had fun with this.

This was my first one with cheaper metals. I made another one with sterling silver square wire that turned out lovely. I gave it to a friend for Christmas. On the back of these, you twist the square wire and it looks so lovely. We learned to make the bail at the top to hang it from a chain,  and a clip on the back to clip it on something or to put a pin through so you can do what you wish with it.

But…I hadn’t realized I had entered a different world than my dear St. D! (Next post for this story.)

Have you ever tried beading before? It really is so much easier than it looks, and you can whip up a set of jewelry to go with an outfit in no time!

I encourage you to give it a try!



  1. yes big beading jewry was new for me too st. d.

  2. Well done.

    Here is what my wife has done:

    Beads as hobby.

    Happy beading!

    • You have a very nice website, Sartenada. I did very much enjoy seeing your wife’s work. It is lovely that you share her work on your blog.
      Post how she enjoys her 5 day lessons, will you? I would love to see what she learns from it.

      • Hi. Yes of course. She takes a pocket camera with her. So, some day…

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