Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The REAL Beginning

I think this is the piece that actually sparked my interest in beads and beading.  This piece belonged to my grandmother.

We were not allowed to go into my grandparents' bedroom when we visited them. IF we did, we were not supposed to touch anything, period.  I remember kind of sneaking into that forbidden room to take a look at Grandma's necklaces... I mean really, how was I supposed to resist the call of jewelry hanging on the corner of her mirror? I was only 5 or 6.

I soooo wanted to have a closer look at this necklace, so I very gingerly slid my little hand under the focal point and looked at it closely, discovering it was made of safety pins and glass beads with a turquoise color inside! I think I lifted it off the mirror and sat down on the little bench  in front of the dressing table. I looked at it from the front, I looked at it from the back, and I looked at from every angle I could, wondering how Grandma turned safety pins and beads into such a beautiful necklace.  I got caught with the necklace in my hand, but I think Grandma could tell that I was truly interested in what I was looking at, so I didn't get in trouble. She just told me to be careful with it and put it back when I was finished looking at it. From that day on, I knew I wanted to own this piece, someday.

My mom got this necklace after my grandmother passed. I don't think I ever knew she had it. We, my mom and I , had both started designing and making handwoven beaded jewelry, and were talking about this piece, that piece, and I mentioned Grandma's safety pin and bead Squash Blossom necklace. She told me she had it and I could take it home with me when I left. I was both excited and reluctant to take it. I told Mom I would just like to know that I could have it when she passed, some day. She told me she never wore it and I might as well take it now. I don't think I was ever so excited to have a piece of jewelry in my possession! Thank you Mom for letting me have this piece. It is one of my most prized pieces, something I had dreamed of owning since I was a little girl, and probably REALLY what sparked my interest in beading.


  1. I'm glad it gives you so much pleasure, and I'd rather you have it now than risk not getting it after I'm gone. :) Your Grandma had a wonderful way with all sorts of crafts, even if she wasn't a designer.

  2. Yes, she did. As a youngster, I remember being totally fascinated with her doll furniture made of tin cans and lids, and the doll clothes she knitted or crocheted for our dolls. Thank you, again, for the necklace, and all that I have learned from you.