Things Glitzy and Glorious

It may still be the Lenten season on the spiritual calendar — and yes, I am still deeply involved with my Lenten spiritual practice — but on the Creative Woman’s calendar, it is Expo Season. As a bead and fibre artist and teacher, I always have a few dozen projects on the go. My mind usually whirls faster than my fingers can create, especially as I inevitably choose to work with the tiniest of beads and the finest of yarns, meaning many long hours woven into every creation. Nevertheless, like every red-blooded craftsperson, I look forward to these expos with great anticipation… I go to renew both my stash and my creative well.

Last week, I drove out through the English countryside (and yes, Essex is beautiful, so driving through the early post-storm morning was a winter delight) with two good friends, then spent several hours soaking in the creative richness of booth after booth of sumptuous beads. I behaved admirably, not pulling out my credit card even once, but I still managed to return home with treasures that make my heart sing.

I decided some time ago that henceforth and forever I will only buy things that make my heart sing, and that I will, from time to time, answer the siren call of things that sing to me loudly even when I’m not sure why I want them or what I will ultimately do with them. Consider this bead:


Who could resist? It feels as lovely as it looks, and its song is filling my entire studio space. I would have been happy if I had returned with just this single bead…. but of course I didn’t. I bought a few other things just because they were singing my name so alluringly.


As glorious as beads (and yarn) can be, it is once again the community that commands my attention. My classes at Bodkins, my correspondence with other artists, even my admiration of the authors of the books that inspire me, show me again and again that creativity does not emerge from a vacuum. Creativity grows from carefully tended seeds, is nurtured by the attention we give it, and thrives when we surround ourselves with a stash of materials we love and people who will fuel our passion for our work. I firmly believe that a good stash of interesting beads and fibers is a spiritual and creative resource of inestimable value — a belief I use to justify just about any acquisition and which also serves as an excuse for an impromptu handicraft party at a moment’s notice!


Don’t you just want to know these people? They are Ian and Lorraine, founders of Oak Tree Crafts, and part of my extended beading community. Their love for both people and beads infuses their business as they introduce more and more people to the art of building a Stash. They are such fun people to deal with that I’ve learned to cherish a whole new palette of beads just so that I continue to work with them! What a boon! Lorraine (the designer in the partnership) has a style that is very different from mine, so I’ve been able to learn a lot by studying her techniques and buying her beads, which are a bit flashier than the rich but sedate matte finishes that I gravitate towards. As her influence seeps into both my stash and my community, I find my work has taken on new sparkle and my imagination new depth! Such is the magic of connection!

One Reply to “Things Glitzy and Glorious”

  1. Taking a little break here… opening this page was like walking into your home and your friendship… your words and images they feed my soul… thanks Kimberly X 🙂 X

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