Beading Gifts: Giving the Best to Yourself and Others
This afternoon I was perusing at my local department store, and when I hit the holiday aisle, my heart began to pitter-pat at an alarming rate. Row upon row of perfectly aligned rolls of paper, little pegs stuffed full of bows and tags, orderly boxes of cards standing at attention and pristine shelves full of glittery objects to adorn your home were as far as the eye could take in. The trampled down section of Halloween has been replaced by toasty, holiday good cheer! The holidays are in full swing!
Usually in the front of the pack when it comes to the gift race, this year I have to admit that I’m gasping and panting while struggling to keep up with the tail end. Oh, you can go ahead and laugh. By this time I usually have everything done. Truth. So… this feels like panic time when I realize that my hand made gifts will potentially be replaced by store bought items. Darn! But, its not a bad thing, and I’ll tell you why.
What’s a great gift to give someone? Education. How can I do that for my fellow bead lovers… or let someone else do it for me? By introducing them to a beading class. You know, there are too many instances where we take a class because we want to make that cute bracelet we see pinned to the class example board. But what about a class that helps us learn a fantastic new technique or a new subject matter altogether? For the seed beader in your life, give them the gift of a class on wire wrapping, or soldering. For the mixed media artist, give them a class on lampworking. Or maybe someone who only knows how to make earrings would like to jump into drilling stones and sea glass! Open up someone else’s (or your own!) horizons by putting them in a place to learn.
A fool for tools!
As someone who’s been beading for a couple of decades, I would like to say out loud, in case Santa is listening, that I really love to have my tools updated! This is an amazing gift to give someone. Replacing tools that are worn and out of date, or increasing the selection of tools available for many kinds of jewelry making is a blessing. There are so many different kinds of pliers, cutters, needles, glues, lamps, tweezers, cases and containers for the main subjects we cover as bead artists. And these items are constantly being made to fit the demands and needs of today’s craftsman. No one is unhappy with a new tool that makes their life easier.
Here, kit-ty! Kit-ty!
This year I’ll be giving my brother-in-laws (hopefully) soon-to-be fiancé a gift of bead stuff. Ever since last holiday when she let slip that she’d like to learn how to do some beading, I’ve been selecting bits and pieces of findings and beads along with pliers and the like to make her an amazing kit of “How to become an amazing beader” stuff! I know that once she dives into it she’s going to get a creative burst of energy and the designs will pour from her. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with… and hope that I’ll be lucky enough to receive one of her creations at a future gift giving time! You, too can customize a kit for someone who loves something specific, like cabs or filigree, or maybe a color run like gobs of green!
Just give…. Beads. And lots of them!
The gift of glittering beads in tubes and on strands and glorious bead components makes a beader so happy! I love it when people choose beads for me. Often they choose stuff that I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself, and that makes me break out of my comfort zone to work with different beads and components in sizes, shapes and colors… and lo and behold… my abilities expand. A growing bead artist is a beautiful thing. You can’t grow if you’re always only stringing stretchy rainbow anklets, know what I mean? Be brave. And don’t resort to colors you know they’ll like. Get something YOU like! Hey, and maybe they’ll bead something for YOU with them! 🙂
It goes without saying that the same goes with seed beads. Although, if you choose this to give as a gift, I also recommend giving them some empty tubes and a bottle of Etch-All along with it. Etch-All is an etching solution that allows you to give your beads a matte finnish, and beads that you etch that have special coatings or that are galvanized will come out as a totally different bead. By etching you double a seed beader’s color palette! Etching half of your beads and putting the “new” colors into the tubes will allow them to keep their beads tidy and, oh! Probably a new case or two wouldn’t hurt in this gift, as well. Being a seed beader myself, this gift would make me smile warm fuzzies for at least a year!
Time is fleeting!
Gaps of time manage to get by me without any of it being reserved for beading. The demands of daily life as a wife and Mom are at times all consuming, and the creative energies get spent on doing kindergarten turkey bean pictures, making Play-doh elephants or at worst, rushed haphazard meals. One year someone gave me a hand made coupon to watch my children for an afternoon so I could pursue something creative! What joy I felt at that moment! While my children played at a local park for 3 hours I managed to chug out pairs of glorious earrings, try a new seed bead weaving stitch, organize my bead stash and begin working on a Russian leaf pattern I’ve been too intimidated to embark on. By the time my kidlets arrived home, I felt like I had a nurturing spa treatment with glorious beading to show for it. So make a coupon for your friend that is a super-parent, and they’ll remember it for life.
Gathering it all up!
Although you have time still to create gorgeous hand made gifts for the holiday, there are many options to you to give beady gifts that don’t require 25 hours of peyote stitch! Isn’t that a relief?? And vintage beads especially are thoughtful, unique and always embraced on the receiving end!
To be thankful…
November/Thanksgiving is a time to be gracious and thankful. Among my endless list of blessings is you… anyone who takes the time to read what I’ve written and also shares in this wonder-lust called beading. Cheers to you! And Happy Thanksgiving!
From: The Beadin” Path Blog