Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bead Addiction 

I spend a lot of my hard-earned cash on beads and every now and then make attempts to retrench. As with trying to lose weight, both are equally futile undertakings, generally.

I have pursued other arts and crafts. A trip through my bead room reveals an elephant's graveyard of passions past: rotting plastic canvas, snarls of  DMC floss, pockmarked stretcher boards, shedding Styrofoam balls and pearl cotton (from my temari days).  But beads eventually swamped and drowned my other interests, and their remnants on occasion were ruthlessly abandoned to local yard and charity sales (though I have hung on to the giant cross-stitch pattern of a lady and unicorn medieval tapestry, because You Never Know). 

A couple of times in my odyssey I have broken with beadwork, even became a tad bored with it, though in retrospect it all seems part of the process of developing an addiction.  An addiction to working in a wonderful, creative field of art and craft, but still, I was caught.

The most recent time I swore off beads came not from boredom but fright. Back in 2008 when I had first discovered Etsy in a big way I began buying, buying, BUYING. I set up a Paypal account and away I went.

Then one day I got a notice from Paypal that I was well on my way to reaching my spending limit, at which time I would have to get "verified" so they could help themselves directly to my bank account rather than continue paying by credit card.  I was shocked, shocked, that I had spent so much money on beads.  I went on the wagon and swore off buying and beading, cold sweat, the GT's (globus tremens), everything.

I fell back on my first love, needlework, and started a fairly involved design I had bought in a nostalgic visit to a needlework show - a last fling with an old flame. 

How long did it last before the siren call of beads and that voice in my head prevailed?  That tells me it's OK to eat that extra slice of pizza and respond with enthusiasm to that online blowout bead sale? I went back and checked my records and it looks like it was… 6 weeks?  That may have been when I realized Hello, my name is Kay, and I'm a bead addict. I haven't looked back.

My needlework past does contribute to my beading present though. Here's one example where I used one of my books on bargello stitch to graph the pattern for this split-loom necklace:

And just remember: you can never be too rich, too thin, or have an adequate bead stash.


  1. "
    A last fling with an old flame." Love this post.

    1. Praise Indeed! Thank you. I had fun writing it.

  2. I never thought of putting the 2 together.
    Yes we all have a secret addiction of beads with a resulting bead stash!

  3. you are a very good writer. panda hall beads were looking for a designer to write blog posts. i came to beading via cross stitch. im half way done through a beautiful Joan Elliott dragon plus I have 3 kits, 1 each of wolves, lions & a jaguar. they would look so beautiful on my wall but beading is my master. I have found that cross stitch patterns work well for square stitch. bec