The Saga Of the Hard-to-Find Pearls

My first trip to the Tucson gem and mineral shows back in 2012 was such a life-changing experience! Being surrounded by all those beads, the artists, and the energy of the place had me buzzing with creative ideas for weeks after I got home. One of the highlights of that trip was when I got to meet my sweet friend Beki Haley, owner of Whimbeads, where I've been getting pretty much all of my seed beads for the last ten years.

I had, of course, brought a shopping list with me, since I was on a budget and knew that I needed to stock up on my favorite metallic brass and bronze seed beads for my bead-weaving projects. But what I wasn't expecting to find at Beki's booth were my other favorite beads — freshwater pearls! There were five strands of two-hole freshwater pearls in two colors, and, shopping list out the window, I added them to my overloaded bead tray. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were just so pretty! And I was in Tucson!

So, they came home to New York with me.

As winter melted into spring, I played with these pearls, trying to find the perfect design for them. After a lot of mistakes, I mean, learning experiences, I finally came up with a fun bracelet pattern that used these two-hole freshwater pearls, tiny Swarovski crystal pearl beads, and Twin 2-hole seed beads. It was fun to stitch up, lightweight, and showed off the two-hole freshwater pearls so nicely that it quickly became one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear.

Being the kind of jewelry person that I am, I would love to make a matching pendant, necklace, or earrings to go with this pearl bracelet. But alas! I have no idea where to get more of these pearls. Beki said she bought them for a project that she never got around to and couldn't remember where she bought them, and I've had no luck at all searching for them online. It's a bummer for sure, but now whenever I go shopping for beads, I'm enjoying the thrill of the hunt as I search for more of these two-holed freshwater pearls!

Until I find them, I've got plenty of pearls to keep me busy, along with four of my favorite pearl beading resources from the Beading Daily Shop:

Got a spool of wire and a handful of pearls? Then you have all you need to create beautiful pearl and wire jewelry! 10 Wire and Pearl Jewelry Designs is one of my favorite resources for quick and easy pearl jewelry projects. Great for beaders and wire artists of all skill levels, this is my go-to book when I want to whip up a quick wire jewelry design with some leftover pearl beads.
If you love to do bead stringing with pearls, you'll love the Best of Stringing Pearls eBook. These 12 pearl beading projects come straight from the pages of Jewelry Stringing magazine, and include other favorite bead types like Czech glass, crystals, and gemstones.
For pearl jewelry designs ranging from classic to stylish contemporary, you'll love Create Jewelry: Pearls. This testament to our centuries-long love affair with pearls will have you informed and inspired to add more handmade pearl jewelry to your collection.
Finally, the editors of Jewelry Stringing and Beadwork magazines put together 10 beautiful beaded jewelry projects to honor breast cancer awareness in 10 Favorite Pink Jewelry Projects. Whether you like to stitch or string, you'll find some pretty pearl beading projects in this collection

Have you ever stumbled across a shape or type of pearl bead that you just couldn't find again? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your stories and experiences with us!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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