Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Time Machine

Another time machine post about my lifelong progression in Beadland
The first beads I ever made were these.
I was 16 and doing some beach combing at our bayside camp in Maine.
I spied an old washed up boat that had these wooden plugs shriveling up at each screw hole.
I pried them out and had my dad show me how to use a drill.
I am so happy that I saved some after all these years.

These were given to me by an old boyfriend when I was 17.
Let's just say we were on a "journey" together over the course of an evening.
He would place a bead in my hand one by one as the night progressed
They seemed so magical and special each one and at the end of the night he handed me a velveteen bag full of more beads that he had gotten on a trip to a bead store in Boston.
I was so thrilled!
...and as you can see I saved some and the seeds were planted.

One of my early necklaces from about that same time.
I know that those ceramic birds are ones that he gave me.
That amber is actually bakelite, which I didn't know at the time and was so surprised when I came to know how lightweight amber actually is.
 but these African faux amber beads are still collectibel.

These I made at the experimental commune I attended for a semester in Maine when I was 18
We actually got college credit for some inventive courses that were designed for the program.
I mostly hung out in the kitchen cooking those three months but we did have a resident guru of sorts- Harry from India, who taught us how to make these malas
He is now know as the Pink Prince as he was indeed a prince from a palace in Punjab.
He was teaching me how to cook Indian food which I was obsessed with at the time.
 Remind me to dig out some pictures of him. He was a handsome devil and his vows of celibacy were challenged greatly by us playful and nubile 18 year old girls at the commune.

This is my first seed bead project. I was doing the "Artist's Way" course from the book by Julia Cameron at the time and wanted to make something for my father.
These were seed beads that had belonged to my father when he was a boy. I had found them in my grandfather's attic when I was a child.  they were in little corked glass vials. I held on to them and hauled them to Alaska when I moved here.
That's smoke tanned moosehide as the base done in the native Alaskan style.
I did a lot of this sort of work for awhile until someone told me about lampwork.
( Thanks Bruce Anders)

Haaaah! look at this mess, my first beauties
 but when at one of my first craft shows that I put them out at the last minute and sold $100 worth of beads of similar caliber I knew I was onto something.

And sometimes they would crack right in half.
How convenient for my designs...instant cabs.
( also sewn onto moosehide)

a little dichro in there

Fast forward~
We just jumped up to yesterday!
I was trying to make some crusty blingy nuggets after seeing all of fancifuldevice's
sparkliness. I was encasing some dichro glass but the sparkle all but disappeared and made the light transparent pink glass turn P I N K! ( screaming pink!)
so very pink!
I have some ideas on how to retain the inner sparkle. I'm gonna give it another try today.

These kept a bit of the inner dichro fire. Shows up a bit better n person.
They remind me of my father's old horehound cough drops

I'm loving the nuggety shape of these though so there will be more manifestations of these.

Fruity pebbles!
Unfortunately the green ones cracked except one. Apparently the two glasses I mixed on these weren't compatible. Anyone want some crack beads? 

It's still been warm enough to not have to heat the Garaj Mahal extra much.
It's been a cool 50 degrees in there until I get the portable heater going which was a good thing to do since I had unplugged my stepson's little beer fridge when he moved out inadvertently unplugging our entire freezer of salmon and blueberries and discovered it in time when I had to run the extension cord downstairs because I'll blow a breaker otherwise with the kiln, stereo and heater going.
The fish was thawed out enough to be bendy but still cool enough to be safe so I just refroze it.
So I can continue with my sweatshop activity until I get froze out.

Good news is  Daveman the Caveman got a moose yesterday and brought me this~
Then I et it.


  1. Wow. I was in a funk until I read your post. LOVE the trip down bead history lane!

    Love the new beads, especially the ones that look like cough drops. Ha!

    That's a good hunk o' moose there. Was it good?
    xoxo Juliette

    1. Yeah it's good, that's just a slice of it. I'm still eating more. I love making Thai larb out of it.

  2. I loved reading your bead memories. Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Mooseheart - oh you brave one. Glad you got some meet for the freezer. Fun romp through your beadalish history oh hippie gal at heart. New crusties are superb - pink really you? Love em. xox

  4. How did you get that color pink??? I love that color! I confess, I'm a pink person...well, usually fuschia.

    1. It was a pale transparent pink over some pinkish dichro that had some sort of reaction I guess because the sparkly disappeared and made this pink come out.

  5. For a handful of beads eh? Totally enjoyable blog. Looking forward to seeing what kind of glowing sparklies you come up with..

  6. lovethose beads they look like pineapple chunk sweeties .......and the bead history .....lifetime bead connection .....less said bout the heart the better I guess !!.....xx

  7. Looove the coughdrops especially. And the trip down bead-memory lane. I have some of the same ceramic bird beads in my stash. Must be about the same vintage. I think they're Peruvian or Mexican and I've always marveled at how much work went into such little beads. Thanks for sharing!

  8. hehe. what fun! thanks for the trip.

  9. Love the trip down memory lane! I don't think I still have my first beads - it's so great that you have yours. I know I drilled out some seed pods & made my kids necklaces with rocks. Hrm. Wonder if I can find them.

    Man, I love those horehound cough drops!

  10. I love the stories - so romantic and poignant! The progression in your work is as clear as clear but your old work still is clearly you. It is quite remarkable that you found, developed and retained a style that is intrinsically Kim. This I believe happens when you are true to yourself and your creative goals. Eerrm - what does moose taste like?

  11. I think that it is amazing that you still hold onto things from such a different time in your life.
    How neat is that!
    Fun just to see how much you have changed in just pictures of your beads.
    Really a cool post!!!

  12. Could you possibly be any more interesting? Nope. You are as fascinating as they come as the saying goes. Love the chronicle of your creative life. From the wooden beads with your dad to the crusty coolness you're creating now. How good of you to share it all with us. Great journey to be included in.

  13. I just had to come back and look at all this wonderful work again! You're amazing, Kim. Such a great story about your first wood beads & the boyfriend story - and so cool that you still have some. And all that intricate bead work...just wow. Love the leather pouch. ♥

  14. I enjoyed reading about your bead journey and especially about the velveteen bag of beads. Not so sure about the hunk of moose though.

  15. Not sure about the moose either--I thought it was its heart! Wonderful stories, and how smart of you to save a sample of different stops on your journey. Looking forward to seeing pics of the handsome devil :)

  16. amazing that you kept all those pieces, I gave away almost everything... I thought it was a heart bead you made!!

  17. I love seeing your lovely early pieces and hearing your sound like you have had the most interesting life! My own history then was just some seed bead love beads and macrame work with wood beads...I was into painting. Thanks for refreshing some memories I had forgotten...

  18. What a nice tour through your 'bead history'! i love seeing all these different types of beads, as well as the new ones you just made (even the PINK ones!). I never et a moose heart, though. I hope you cooked it first.

  19. I enjoyed reading your bead memories, Kim. LOVE especially these 'Fruity pebbles'...amazing!

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