Shamans, Mandalas, and Beaded Earrings

Earlier this year, I paid a visit to a local shaman, who, during the course of our visit, gave me 3 tasks to complete as part of my spiritual journey. The first one was easy – she told me to take a bubble bath with as many bubbles as I could. Woo-hoo! The second task was a little trickier: she told me to put some beads in my hair. When I figured out how to wear some beads in my hair, she told me that I would see my creativity explode in new ways that I had never expected.

I’m not sure why, but it took me a really long time to figure out how to get some beads into my hair. I even went to my local craft shop (since we don’t really have any local bead shops within a 2-hour drive of my house) and bought a handful of different beads with big holes that I could slip onto a small braid in my hair.

But still, I resisted. And then finally, one afternoon, I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for my son, and I was overcome with the idea to start braiding little braids into my hair. I happened to have a handful of these beautiful carved wood tube beads that I bought at the craft store, and a little bag of tiny rubber bands, so while I waited for the bus, I put six braids into my hair and embellished each one with a carved wood bead.

Thankfully, my husband, after 12 years of marriage and 21 years with me, didn’t question what I was doing with my hair or why. My yoga students and teacher friends thought that my new hair beads looked perfect with the feathers I already had crimped into my hair. And so, I waited.

A few days later, as I was drifting off to sleep, I started seeing a pattern for a mandala forming in my mind. Somehow, I managed to retain that little idea in the recesses of my mind until the next morning, when this showed up in my sketchbook while I was eating breakfast:


Pretty cool, right?

In the days that followed, I started sketching new mandalas every day. Each mandala got progressively more complex and more detailed than the one before. I started seeing symbols just spontaneously popping up in my mandalas, and I started to dream about drawing them at night.

So before I go any further, you might be wondering what this all has to do with beaded earrings.

Half-Moon-Glass-BeadsA couple of days after I started drawing mandalas, I got a little package of beads to sample from my friend Leslie at BeadSmith. Among them were a few strands of these luscious new half-moon beads: round on one side, flat on the other, with two holes right through the center.

I sat down with these beads one afternoon and the first idea that came to mind was to make little beaded mandalas with them! So I picked up some half-moon beads and spaced them out with some tiny 2mm pearlized rounds, and started going round in circles. A few minutes later, I had my sweet little half-moon mandala beaded earrings.

Finished-Beaded-EarringsI sort of went nuts after that, making them in four different colors with lots of different embellishments. (Look for that tutorial next week here on Beading Daily!) I seem to remember coming across a quote from Carl Jung about how when things start to go well in life, people sometimes start creating circular mandalas and symbols in their art. Maybe it’s a good omen for the future!

Meanwhile, would you like to stitch up a cool pair of beaded earrings using more shaped glass beads? Check out the very cool Melinda Barta Trefoil Earring Collection in either blue raspberry or green!

Each collection includes a complete bead kit (you provide your favorite beading thread and beading needles), plus a video download of Melinda’s Beadwork Presents: Beaded Spacers, and two PDF projects for both the Trefoil Earrings and the matching Trefoil Bracelet! There are a limited number of these collections available, so grab yours while you still can in the Beading Daily Shop.

Have you ever found an unexpected source of inspiration for your beaded earring projects? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about it!

Bead Happy,




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