Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mama’s New Obsession

It all started innocently enough: I wanted to make some table decorations for my wedding reception. It’s an evening wedding, and the tables will have candles and a modest arrangement of seasonal flowers. That will be nice, but I also wanted something pretty, yet unobtrusive to add to the sparkle and glow, while adding texture, color and interest, all in an elegant way. Not one to think small, one day I saw some beaded strands hanging in the window of a bead shop that I walk by every day. I decided to go in and see what beads were all about, when KABLOOEY! I was sucked into the vortex that is the beading world and am now hooked for life. Oh, I love beads, in all their sparkly glory and wonder!

Where have I been that I have not checked into this craft form earlier than now?!? I learned to crochet as a child; I picked up sewing in highschool; and cross-stitch began in college. My mom enjoys doing all of these and taught them to me. She was a great teacher, by the way.

I might as well give a little family background here: Mom learned from her Grandma Squeezie. That name came from me when I was little, and somehow it stuck. She was this happy, short, sweet little woman who was plump and squeezable. Grandma Squeezie was talented at creation, and made many things, including doll clothes, crocheted blankets, and handsewn quilts. Of course, a lot of it was out of necessity, not having access to affordable, readymade clothing while out on the farm. She had 6 kids to clothe, and they had animals, crops, and a vegetable garden in Eastern Washington, and not a lot of extra money. Sewing and quilting were all necessary if you wanted to keep warm at night and not be naked during the day. She probably started making doll clothes for her kids, but it was a major hobby after the kids were grown and out of the house. I remember going to see her and seeing the quilt frame out in the living room, taking up most of the space. I liked to crawl underneath of it, like it was a fort. I was in awe of such a large project. I regret that I never learned to quilt from her while she was alive, because she knew how to do it all by hand. Mom knows how to machine quilt, and I’d like to learn how to do that.

These are all lovely art forms, and I love the idea of keeping these skills alive especially if they’re family traditions. I’d like to teach my daughter when she is a little older, too. It’s like a secret club: you get to share your excitement over beginning a new project, whether it’s with a nice soft yarn, a pretty new pattern, or some lovely beads to turn into something sparkly to wear.

Anyhoo, I’ve never done beading before, and feel I have lost so much time. Oh well, I have discovered it now, and I am definitely, certifiably, undeniably a beadfreak.

While at the bead shop this past weekend, I had OC pick out some beads so I can make her a bracelet. Of course, she chose pink. This shop is different than the one I walk by every day, so I’ll have to go to each one on a rotating basis to check out new things at each one. I’m so grateful to the universe and Al Gore for the internet! Oh happy day, there are bead stores online and they come to your door like little presents! *sigh*

I’m starting to think about things that I can make for family and friends. It opens up a whole new world of birthday and Christmas gifts. And hopefully they will be gifts people like. Luckily, I have two sisters and two nieces, not to mention a mom, aunts, and girlfriends…

See what I mean? Total. Freak. With. The. Beads. Already.

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