From the Beadwork Editors: Grateful for Creativity, Charity, and Family
Thanksgiving is barely over, but I bet many of you still have leftovers in your fridge! Hopefully some pie, at least. The Interweave Beading team is still feeling full of love and gratitude (and possibly pie!), and thinking about all that we have to be grateful for as the holiday season kicks into high gear. We’ll all be making handmade beaded gifts from the pages of Beadwork, and we hope you will be, too! Plus as we look back on this past year, we can’t help but recall the many ways that beading is among our blessings.
Thankful for Creative Pursuits in Beadwork
This holiday season, I’m thankful for the opportunity to write Beadwork Bead Artist and Bead Buzz articles. It’s fun to flex my writing muscles, and I enjoy staying on top of what’s happening in the beading world.
Bead Artist is an interview with an artist whose work has appeared in the magazine. I love these interviews because they provide a peek into the lives of jewelry designers whose work we admire. You get to know a little bit about the artist’s history, motivation, and habits. Susan Sassoon was the featured Bead Artist in August/September 2019. Susan and I talked about her path to beading and how it encompasses her skills as an architect and provides a way for her to engage with the beading community. Hungarian beader Vezsuzsi shared a look at her favorite bead shop and a few of her 40 beaded zoo animals in the October/November 2019 issue.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Carol Cypher in December 2019/January 2020. Carol and I had a wonderful conversation about her creative journey. I was especially intrigued by her discovery that beading has the same calming effect as when she meditates. I’m grateful to get to know these bead artists, and I’m glad to shine a light on them, too.
Bead Buzz focuses on newsworthy topics, such as my favorite charity, Beads of Courage, featured in the October/November 2019 issue. I’ve carried many Beads of Courage Carry A Bead kits, and I hope the article will inspire readers to get involved with this amazing organization. In the past year, we’ve also covered Bead Fest, tips for shopping the Tucson gem and mineral shows, a guide to healing gemstones, and more. Bead Buzz is always on the last page of the magazine and provides an interesting place to land when you’re wrapping up the issue.
Managing Editor, Beadwork
Mindful Gratitude and the Gift of Time
Gratitude is something I try to think about often, as this day and age it is all too easy to get swept up in negativity. I view gratitude as a mindfulness exercise or a habit to get into. It’s a practice—a tool to use to keep the walls from closing in around you! Therefore, I could write a whole book about the things I am grateful for, and in the acknowledgements section of that book I would express my gratitude for being able to write a whole book about it. Ha!
I try to show people I am grateful for them by spending time and energy on creating heirloom pieces for them every year. This year I am making beaded tealight holders for my mom and sister, using Agnieszka Watts’ Ocean Lily Lariat from the Beadwork Presents: 12 Designer of the Year Bead Weaving Patterns eBook as a pattern to build from.
Technical Editor, Beadwork
A good lesson taught to me a long time ago but only recently put into practice, is to ask for help. It could be help picking up a child from school when you can’t get home in time. Picking up something from the grocery store as you just ran out of milk and need to make a cake for the upcoming bake sale at church. Or, it could be big stuff, like taking in my dog for the day—or worse – overnight!
Remington’s actually a really good dog, but he’s a puppy and high energy, at that. So, when we ask for this favor, I’m all in for gifting something special (this friend would never take cash!) so they know how much we appreciate their help! My Gratitude Gift for her this year will be a variation on the amazing Mr. Wilson necklace by Karen Ovington (from Beadwork Dec 2019/Jan 2020). I just LOVE the Mr. Wilson bead and, of course, the collection of beads in Karen’s design. I think it will be the perfect message of how grateful I am for all the help she offers with our puppy!
Editor in Chief, Beadwork, and Group Editorial Director, Interweave Beading & Jewelry
Holidays with Family: Beaded Ornaments
As I write this, I’m nearing the end of a 10-day Thanksgiving visit with family back home in Tennessee. It’s my first trip back home since moving to Louisiana almost three months ago, and it’s going to snow tonight, which I love. I’m feeling all the feels!
While I’ve been home, we’ve been baking, watching movies, driving to the mountains to get a tree at the Christmas tree farm, pulling out beloved holiday decorations, many family meals and fun times, and endless warm moments. I’m so grateful for all of it. Plus, it’s the kickoff to my favorite time of year, and now the making begins: card making, ornament making, cookie making, and gift making.
I come from a long line of makers, so our family is flush with special handmade holiday ornaments and other décor. The adorable beaded snowman is on the top of my list to make this year. My aunts and I love snowmen. I particularly like snowmen angels (because, you know, melting ☹ ), so I’ll probably add wings to this guy from the Beadwork December 2002/January 2003 issue. There’s a beaded bear project in this issue that has wings, so maybe I can combine the two designs.
This same issue has snowflake beaded matchbox covers that I love (free pattern here!) and beaded, sequined fruit that will make a great ornament or centerpiece.
You never know what you’ll find in an older issue of a favorite magazine. I also discovered a project by Susan Lenart Kazmer that shares how to upcycle and repurpose the tiny bulbs from Christmas lights into jewelry. Lots of fun stuff to discover in that issue, even though it’s over 15 years old. In our fast-paced, disposable world, I’m also grateful for things that are timeless!
Web Producer and Social Media Manager, Interweave Beading & Jewelry