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In Which I Bead

I have a friend, we will call her Amanda, and she is good at everything. I’d be annoyed and jealous, and sometimes I am (jealous, not annoyed) and then I remember how lucky I am that she even hangs out with me and forget it. Plus, she works her little butt off. No, really.

Not too long ago, Amanda gave me a big bag of beads, having tried and abandoned the hobby herself. I’m not much of a beader, but I make jewelry so I took them. Plus, if Amanda offers you anything you take it. I live and die for that woman’s cast-offs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m pretty snobby about the whole bead thing. Unnecessarily and annoyingly so – I want to “create” not “assemble”. That sentiment in itself is ridiculous enough, but I’ve even taken it so far as to think things like, “Oh, wow. You’re hobby is doing is a task most frequently performed by forced child labor. Only slower and not as well.” Yup. My Judgy McJudgerson internal monologue is pretty darned offensive.

As I prep for my two up-coming craft fairs, however, I’m forced to take inventory of all my materials and I’ve got a whole lot of freaking beads. Ignoring them in favor of buying new materials would be both foolish and expensive. So, despite my snobbery, I’ve begun to bead.

I’ve beaded twice before. Before my wedding, I made a crystal and pearl tiara for my niece / Flower Girl. It hurt my fingers and had so many pointed wire edges it must have felt like wearing a crown of thorns. My second attempt at beading was on custom piece for another friend before she got married. The results were pretty, but the process just bugs the crap out of me. And I’m not good at it. I fully admit that.

My internal monologue has kicked up into high gear. Yesterday, as I prepped my first necklace, I found myself wanting to curse the gods that created beading. I quickly took that back, though, because beading is older than dirt and was probably invented by Quetzalcoatl or some scary god I don’t want to be pissing off. The fruits of my labor are something that I’m calling Kitchen Sink necklaces, because they are big masses of beads tossed together into organized chaos. I hope that will overshadow the fact that they’re beads and not very professionally strung ones, at that. Again, my fingers hurt, and my lack of skill has led me to do things like lick fiberglass bead thread and fill my tongue with glass splinters.

The one tiny piece of Schadenfreude I have garnered from this project has been taking inventory of my beads from the epic bag of sparkles that Amanda gave me. Within, she abandoned a few of her own creations. It’s brought me no small amount of snarky comfort to stare of them quizzically before cutting them apart and reconstructing them into something more acceptable. As it turns out, Amanda isn’t good at absolutely everything.



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