akd beadesigns

I have been doing crafts of one sort or another as long as I can remember - knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitch, needlepoint, fabric covered boxes, decorative painting - mostly for fun and gifts. I have often commented that doing these crafts has saved me thousands of dollars in therapy bills! I find a joy and exhilaration and contentment in creating that I find nowhere else.

As my youngest child was preparing to go off to college, I began preparing for the empty nest. I took a two-part course on Beaded Crochet Ropes made of glass seed beads. After the first night of class, the instructor went home and bet her husband that I would be the one student who would not return for the second night, since I appeared to have 10 thumbs. I, on the other hand, went home and worked until all hours of the next six nights trying to master the technique that resulted in the beautiful supple beaded ropes. I returned to the second night of class triumphant that I could produce a reasonable facsimile of the instructor's beautiful samples. And so began my obsession. I proceeded to make crocheted beaded bracelets for everyone I knew. I created new patterns and color combinations that truly made the art my own.

When 9-11 occurred, my personal response was designing a bracelet to resemble the American flag. My mother was wearing it on a plane trip when the woman next to her admired it. By the time the plane took off, the bracelet was on the woman's wrist, and my business was born. I proceeded to experiment with other types of beads, and eventually began working with sterling silver and goldfilled beads, some accented with crystal or semi-precious stones. The combinations seemed endless, and one was more beautiful than the last.

One day, someone told me she had seen bracelets 'just like yours' and when I went to investigate, found they were not crocheted at all, but were made of 'daisies' that did indeed give a similar look. About that time I discovered Swarovski crystal, recognized as the finest, most brilliant crystal in the world, and a whole new range of ideas and stringing techniques opened up for me. Now, as I sit at my table with my extensive bead collection around me, the beads seem to rise up and arrange themselves in a never-ending variety of patterns, and I feel I will never exhaust the possibilities.