Sunday, December 19, 2010

Participating in The Best Little Bead Box project!

Please forgive me for cross-posting, but I wanted y'all to know about this cool project I got to participate in if you don't know about it already!

I really don't know how he did it, but my postman managed to get both GIGANTIC Best Little Bead Boxes stuffed into one of our community mailbox lockers. I practically needed a crow bar to get them out of there! And I also thanked my lucky stars that I live directly across the street - because when you're carrying over 60lbs of beads, you don't want far to travel. Yep. That's right. Over 60lbs!!!!
I had a special message from Jean on my boxes too.

Coincidentally, the boxes arrived a day after a special thing happened regarding Beads of Courage, the charity that will be receiving the proceeds from The Best Little Bead Box auctions. I was out of town for the day, but my mother was at home Sunday morning and said she turned the TV on, looked up, and there was Margaret Zinzer (lampworker extraordinaire, and avid Beads of Courage supporter) on the screen! Mom thought quickly and started taping...whatever it was. Turns out it was a news story on CBS This Sunday Morning about the Beads of Courage program. What serendipity! And y'all, I'm embarrassed to say this, but I had no idea. Seriously. I really didn't understand what the Beads of Courage program was all about other than "sick kids get beads." And I'm willing to bet that a lot of you are in that same position. So please pardon my ramble, but can I tell you just a little bit about this program?

Kids with serious illnesses go through so much, both emotionally and physically, and it's often hard for others to understand everything they're dealing with. When a child enters the Beads of Courage program, they are given a length of string with beads that spell out their name. After that, as they work through their treatments, colorful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child. For instance, they get a yellow bead for an overnight hospital stay, a white one for chemotherapy, and a glow-in-the-dark bead for radiation treatment. It's not uncommon for children to amass 10, 20 -- even 35 -- feet of beads. It helps young patients track and celebrate their progress, but it also gives them a way to get through upcoming procedures as well as a way of sharing and telling their story to friends and family. It's a visual representation of their courage. The CBS story brought both my mother and I to tears (please click on the link and watch,) but also immediately made us ask, "What can we do to help?"

Which brings me back to the Best Little Bead Box(es). As I opened each treasure in the box, fondled the beads, lusted after them and set aside a pile to keep, I kept thinking about that question: What can I do to help?" And slowly I repacked all the beads but one strand of beautiful purple lucite flowers from The Hole Bead Shoppe. I intend to make into a special, commemorative necklace from it to remind me of how honored I am to be participating in this project. But everything else? I decided I couldn't accept any more. I have more beads than I can use in a lifetime, and I'm lucky enough to have my entire world surrounded with them. So the beads in the boxes? Well...they are for the auction, and ultimately for the kids.

The spirit of sharing and giving also made me dig deep into my own beady treasures to add to the stash. And dig I did! Everything from crystals to glass, seed beads to pearls, and gemstones to lampwork. I've got it all in here. So please forgive the sparse commentary....but enjoy the BEADS!
Pearls (there are a LOT more of the green ones!), a silver chain, Ruby Zoisite, and some glass strands.

Cool side/top drilled pearls, and some interesting finish glass beads

The pink stash includes some Rose Quartz, Button Pearls, and a bunch of glass beads

All glass beads, some vintage

More glass - how cute are those butterflies?

Furnace glass I picked out for a bracelet I never made.

David Christensen Furnace Glass

Um, can you tell I really like Furnace glass?

All semiprecious gemstones

I threw a bracelet I made in there! Why not?

Some of my all time favorite seed beads, including Size 8 3-cuts by Toho. Sparkly!

Some of my specially coated 2mm Swarovski crystals

Green Girls clasp

Sterling Silver clasps

Fun beads from Susan Nestor!

The pendant on the right is polymer clay


Lilly Pilly, Dichro, and a stone pendant


Metallic lampwork beads by Donna Mehnert of Blackberry Beads



More lampwork

Adorable small set by Pam Way of Yellow Dog Beads

Another Pam Way set

Assortment of Tagua Nut pendants and beads

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holy Cannoli

Man, when I owe you a blog post, I REALLY owe you a blog post! I have yet to tell you all about the fun and interesting Beaducation video shoot (went great - I'm known as One Take Wiseman there!) And I do have stories and photos. But honestly? It's going to be next week before I have a spare moment to write a coherent account!

Why? Oh, because I'm INSANE! Wait. You knew that already. Why do I keep rediscovering it? At some point I have the nerve to actually convince myself things like "Oh yeah...I have a lot of down time in between Thanksgiving and mid-January." ???!!! NOT

So what I'm staring at right now is having roughly eleventy billion people over to our house on Saturday for our annual Tapestry Beads Open House (and if you're within driving distance of Austin, why aren't you coming??) and we've been rushing around like mad to get ready for it. The new bead cabinet and slat wall means having to fill it all up with fabulous things to buy, so I've been ordering vast quantities of seed beads, tubing and labeling them, and then getting them organized. Same goes for firepolish beads, crystals, needles, yada, yada....

We also have some (a lot of "some") finishing touches to the house remodel. Like hiding all the unpacked boxes we have yet to find homes for. But to hide the boxes, we had to clean out the garage because there was no place to walk in there, let alone hide things. So that's what Mom and I did all day today - and now we have a pile roughly the size of Mount Everest in our driveway for the Salvation Army to take away. Once upon a time, we'd planned to make money off it and actually have a Garage Sale. But then we got over it. The problem is, Salvation Army said on the phone today that they had room in the truck they were sending out for about 20 boxes. HAHAHAHAHAhahahaha....cough, gasp. So whatever THEY don't take, we hope the neighbors steal overnight. Because we need that crap, er, stuff, gone by Saturday!
Want any of this? Please? Car not included.

I've also got a big wholesale order I'm trying to get out the door by Friday, which involved making kits because I was out of some. I still haven't done any of the printing on that. I have to make a special trip to the fixtures store for hooks for my slat wall because when Mom stopped by there Tuesday to buy them, they were out of stock. Of course! So they had them brought in from the San Antonio store. Nothing like doing an errand twice. My last box of seed beads will not be arriving until Thurs or Fri, so Mom and I will be labeling like crazy at the last minute. Oh! And I'm also supposed to be updating the instructions for the Beaducation videos and sending those out, as well as deciding on 3 kit colorways for my class on Dec. 11th, because I gotta get those beads ordered like yesterday.

Meanwhile, proving that delusions are hereditary, Mom thinks she's going to bake brownies and cookies and stuff for the Open House, do all the Christmas decorating, help clean the house, and help label the seed beads, and install the knobs on her bathroom cabinets.

Down time. Yeah.