When Leanne and I began our jewelry-making adventure, we thought our stuff was elegant. Now we chuckle at those pieces. Clasps bought at our local box stores had shiny finishes which wore off quickly. Beads looked nice but their finishes scratched or became dull. Our tastes have also changed as we've been exposed to artfully produced pieces by seasoned beaders. I've realized that this craft is a never ending journey which constantly requires searching for better components, better methods, and quality resources. It's also much more fun when we have the support and encouragement from those we love and respect.
Along the way, I've joined with a couple of compatriots, women with the same excitement and enthusiasm for beads. We share successful techniques, our little secrets, our best suppliers. We respect each other's gifting. We share the cost of shipping, call each other to see if anyone needs products, let each other know when a supplier has a special sale. We want success for each other. There's nothing more encouraging than seeing someone do well, especially in this economy.
Saturday, my sister Carole, Diana Bunten, Laura Tidey and I get to spend a few hours going to a bead show in Pompano Beach. The anticipation of introducing my sister to great suppliers and rooms full of BEADS is delicious, but this morning, I realized that I'm more excited about having her meet two wonderful beading buddies. Befriending Diana and Laura has been a God thing. My jewelry and business have been better because of the contacts. They love God, so we have an added dimension to our relationship as well. They are great examples of the saying, "Happiness is an inside job." Can't wait for my wonderful sister to meet them!
Coin Pearls & Silver Shells is an example of networking good supplier information. The coin pearls are from the west coast. They are some of the best pearls I've ever seen. Combined with Hill Tribe Sterling components, the bracelet is gorgeous with a summer tan. Matching earrings complete the set. The creamy coin pearls are over 1/2" across. A shell charm dangles from the toggle. Sold separately, the bracelet is $59 and the earrings are $25. The set goes for $79.