Archive for the ‘Beading Community’ Category

Beading Helped Me Survive Chemo

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

We’ve all heard the horror stories about cancer.

I also have a story to tell, but my story has a little twist to it. Not only do I have the good fortune to be able to brag about being a two-time cancer survivor, but I also get to tell you about a remarkable gift that was given to me by cancer. Sure, I have the life-altering new outlook on life that many cancer survivors have, but I also have the gift of beads and how they have changed my life.

When I was first diagnosed in 2009, I was briefed by my doctor about the different treatments I was to go through – surgery, chemo and radiation. He explained all of them to me in depth, but what kept resounding in my head as I drove home were his words about chemo. I’d have to sit in a recliner for up to five hours while I got my chemo drip every three weeks.

Five hours! I dread boredom. What was I to do for five hours? So, I went to the bookstore to see if I could find an engrossing novel that was a minimum of 3,000 pages. What I found instead was The Art of Bead Embroidery by Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli.

Art Deco Seed Bead Embroidery Piece by CenyaI’ve always been artsy-craftsy, and I have embroidered my fair share. I’ve loved seed beads ever since my mother bought me my first tube when I was six or seven years old (the tubes were glass then). As I leafed through the book, I found lots of beautiful beadwork and simple-to-follow directions to create each project. I bought the book, stopped by Harlequin Beads to pick out some seed beads and supplies and put everything in a bag to take to my first chemo session.

I found that I LOVED beading. During those first eight chemo sessions, I made over 125 beaded brooches and gave them all away to friends and supporters who had helped me through my treatment. Afterwards, I kept beading. I joined the Beading Circle at Harlequin and, since I was starting to feel like I had gotten quite good at it, I started selling a few of my pieces on Etsy and to friends. In the spring of 2011, I was invited to share a booth at our local Saturday Market in Eugene – a thriving microcosm of wonderful artisans.

I was selling each week and enjoying it immensely when I was hit by a return of the cancer. So, I went through more surgery and more chemo – and my beads went with me.

Featured Artist Cenya at ArtWalk 2012I just had my 6-month scan and I am cancer-free. I bead almost every day, and this year I’ve been at my Saturday Market booth every weekend. I was the guest artist at Harlequin Beads during one of Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalks. I love my connection with other local artists and the time I spend in my bead room stitching away at some little beaded something.

I feel very calm while I bead and believe that my healing was helped by it. I doubt that I would have gotten into beading if I hadn’t had cancer, because my job ate up all of my time. I would never wish cancer upon anyone, but if they were to get it, I hope that they could find a gift in it as I have.

by Cenya

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Feature at Harlequin

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Harlequin is featuring a Think Pink Bead Special to inspire you to show your support. Create some meaningful pink beaded jewelry to wear and give as gifts to those who share your hope for a cure.

Bracelet Beading – Harlequin at Lane County Fair

Friday, August 17th, 2012

On Wednesday, August 15th, Angela and I hosted Harlequin’s annual FREE Bracelet-making Event in the comfortably air-conditioned exhibit hall at the Lane County Fair. This fun forum has become a yearly tradition for me – two hours of helping people make memories in the form of a bracelet.

Free Bracelet Making at the Lane County FairThis year there were several really young beaders, and I was so impressed by them! Apparently, four and five year-olds can do my job. We used size 6 pony beads and some of our pressed glass beads. Angela and I started the bracelets by cutting a foot of Soft Flex cable and attaching a clasp by using a crimp bead. We had 12 seats and 12 trays of beads to choose from, and the chairs were full for the entire 2-hour session. I only dropped and spilled one person’s bracelet – a little embarrassing, but it happens. Angela didn’t drop any.

It was really fun to observe each person’s beading style, from the pattern-oriented to random freestyle. I think my favorites were the mixed bead bracelets, because the combinations of colors achieved without over thinking were the most exciting to me.

When our brave beaders had strung enough beads to fit their wrists, we finished the final crimp for each person, so everyone left with a finished handmade bracelet.

It was nice to see whole families beading together. It really is an ideal craft to do with children, and with mixed ages. Beading is for everybody!

by Nome

Lady Angela at Oregon Country Fair

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Angela was a Fair goer long before she opened shop there. She especially loves the parades and recalls the enchanting gnome parade she once happened upon with her good buddy, Harlequin Lady Nome. Every year Angela looks forward to munching out at her favorite food booth, the Golden Avatar, where tasty Indian cuisine is served up by the Hari Krishnas. Her most memorable experience was being approached one year by a Psychedelic Flower at sunset, an enlightening encounter and magical conversation that left an indelible impression on her forever. (more…)

A Family Affair at Oregon Country Fair

Monday, June 18th, 2012

For 35 years and counting, Harlequin Lady Michele has been holding court at her Oregon Country Fair booth. At the spunky age of 15, she waltzed into the WOW Hall in Eugene and forked over her forty dollars to register a booth for her mom to showcase her oil paintings. The following year, Michele spread out her jewelry at mom’s table and, at that point, pretty much took over responsibility for their annual booth. Four beautiful bouncing babies, a marital makeover, and many enriching years later, Michele loves hanging out and selling at the Country Fair more than ever. (more…)

Following in her Daughter’s Footsteps

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Meet Adrianna from our Tuesday Beading Circle. For years, whenever her daughter came to visit her from Idaho, Adrianna brought her to Harlequin for beads and supplies. About a year and a half ago, her daughter finally convinced her to try beading herself. (more…)

The Special Language of Beads

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Mothers and daughters and bracelets have been a theme for me at Harlequin Beads and Jewelry lately.

The other day a woman comes into the store, and she has her back to me when I come to greet her. I say hello in my best cheerful voice. No response. I think, well, that’s odd, perhaps she doesn’t realize I’m talking to her, so I try again. Nothing. Hmm… maybe she just doesn’t want to be interrupted in her thoughts? (more…)

The Power of Color

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Knotted string necklaces in three thread and bicone color variationsMy favorite thing to do is experiment with color combinations. I am always amazed at how incredibly different a necklace with the same beads will look on a different color of thread.

These pictures show my latest creations that I have been busy making for my booth at the upcoming Oregon Country Fair. I used the same color mix of freshwater pearls but strung each necklace with a  different color of thread and crystal accents that match the thread. I used golden shadow Swarovski crystal bicones with the beige thread, jet with the black, and crystal copper with the carnelian.

I really enjoy making these necklaces knotted on silk. This technique is fast and easy, uses less beads than traditional stringing, and yields a beautiful necklace with a nice drape. Mona recently recorded a great knotted bead necklace video on this technique based on her beginning knotting class that she has been teaching for years.

Come visit me at my booth #22  at Country Fair to see the other combinations I cooked up!

by Stacy

Beading, for the Love of…

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Working at Harlequin has introduced me to some of my best teachers. Not just beading teachers; also the “how to be a better person” teachers – the kind of lessons I need most!

Lately, the best examples of this have come in the form of (more…)

Sheila Can See the Itty-bittiest Beads

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

We’ve all been reminded at one time or another that having the proper tools for any task will save us time and frustration. This is especially sound advice for beaders. The less we have to strain, the more we can enjoy the pure pleasure of our craft. Seed beaders, are you with me?

Sheila and her Head Loupe visor with magnifying lenses

Meet Sheila from Harlequin’s Beading Circle, a group of local beaders who gather on Tuesday afternoons to work on their latest beading projects. The regulars share good conversation, helpful insights and tasty treats with each other. It’s free, and anyone is welcome to attend. Sheila joined the fun about three years ago.

I dropped in on the Beading Circle for the first time yesterday, and (more…)