Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To all the beads I've loved before....

Its amazing to think back on the path that my business and I have been down.

When I first started making jewelry, I was hooked on seed beads and dedicated all my free time to learning new bead-weaving patterns and creating intricate pieces that took 20-100 hours each to complete. Free time at that point was a luxury, as I was raising 4 little boys on my own. It could take me months to complete a piece and was worth every minute of the time. I still pick up a needle whenever I need to relax and find my center!

But one day, while at the local bead shop picking up a new hank of seed beads, semi-precious stones caught my eye…. Carnelian, Turquoise, Labradorite, Agates of all shapes and sizes. I fell head over heels!

In love with stones, I was almost embarrassed to find myself attracted to silver. In no time at all, I was obsessed with silver, everything from beads to pendants. I developed a serious crush on the various Hill Tribes products, flirted with the earthy Green Girl designs and thought I’d gone to heaven when I found Israeli silver!

But my true love found me one day in the pages of Stringing Magazine when I saw an ad for Vintaj brass. I had already been playing with antique brass for a couple of years, chain, bead caps, filigree…creating a piece here and there. But Vintaj was offering products that I’d never seen before and was immediately drawn to. They have steadily become my number one love, finding their way into design after design until they are now the focal point of the Simply Willow line.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But, I can honestly say that each Simply Willow piece is made with love….love of beads, love of brass, love of creating…


Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Hi Willow
I find it amazing how many of us started out with seed beads, and have grown into other areas on Jewelry Designing. I still love bead weaving pieces, and have a few designs floating around in my head I want to make. Maybe when YOU find someone to add more hours to our day I'll get more done.

ChezChani said...

I'm still in the seed bead stage, been a year+. I'm looking at chain maille now, as something different but not sure.
Loved this article and the picture were just wonderful.

A Beaded Affair said...

I just love your work and your writing. Please post more often, you are a joy to read. I must check out Vintaj. I've never worked with their products. "sigh", I feel another obsession coming on. lol

Wezz said...

Huh, seems I'm going the other way around. I started out stringing with glass, crystal and then later adding semi-precious gemstone chips as it's all I can find here. It's only since a year or two that I've fallen for the true seed bead work, and I'm loving every minute of it! mmm, Lois, I'm eagerly awaiting my first order from Vintaj, I'll let you know if it'll be another obsession... LOL
Willow, I really love the donut piece with the dragonfly! I ordered that one too! Can't wait to see it up close! :-))

willow said...

Wezz...I love the dragonflies! The detail is amazing! Plus, they are very popular.

Thank you all for the very encouraging comments!

Empress Kateri said...

That piece with the 3 rings and stunning red focal is amazing!! (is it ruby? I still can't tell them all apart)
It's truly stunning tho, and if I had made it I'd be so tempted to keep it. ^_^
Gorgeous work. And your photography is sweet too.

Wishing you well,