Sheila Can See the Itty-bittiest Beads

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 Sheila’s impressive head gear immediately grabbed my attention. Sheila explained how she used to squint and needed to switch eye glasses to adjust her bifocal vision. Her work was interrupted as she put on one pair of glasses to see the ladies around her and another to work on her current project.

When Sheila stumbled upon the Head Loupe magnifying visor, she really scored. The visor is totally adjustable, comes with several interchangeable lenses and a battery-operated light. The advantages of the visor over a magnifying lamp are that it is so portable and requires no electrical outlet. Now it doesn’t matter if Sheila’s wearing her distance glasses or contact lenses; her magnifying lenses bring everything clearly into focus – even the tiniest seed beads. She can also work uninterrupted.

Sheila owned a cake decorating shop for 25 years. When she sold her business and moved back to Eugene, she felt an artistic void. Sheila told her husband that she needed a new creative outlet that allowed her to design and work with her hands. She had once dabbled in making jewelry as a young girl, and her husband encouraged her to rediscover her beading talent.

So, it was about five years ago when Sheila first walked into Harlequin Beads & Jewelry and bought her first set of essential pliers and other beading tools. She signed up for a beading class that day, and the rest is history. She loves her rediscovered craft, her community of kindred spirits and – most of all – wearing those fabulous handmade creations.

Sheila has recently started to work with polymer clay in her designs. “It feels so natural, because it reminds me of working with fondant when I was a cake decorator.” I’ll catch up to Sheila soon to hear about that latest leg of her personal beading journey.

by Margit

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