We ♥ Hou
Our favorite things: Be still my beading heart
My favorite way to spend an afternoon and $20? Getting lost in The Bead Shop.
Not literally lost, of course. The shop is far from large, with almost all its space devoted to a seemingly endless amount of beads: Inside display cases, in strands hanging from the walls, and mostly in cylinders piled together on the waist-high countertops that dominate the floor space.
Sure, you could just grab a strand or a baggie full of a couple specimens and take them home to assemble some sparkling beaded creations. But what's the fun in that?
Tiny tray in hand, I peruse the color-coordinated beads, from wooden gobstoppers and Austrian crystal to tiny seed beads and creations of every shape, size and material. Sometimes I try to imagine a hole in my costume jewelry collection that I could fill—the mildly ridiculous phrase "I really need something purple and opera-length" has once escaped my mouth. Generally I peruse the racks of beads until something inspires me, whether it's a white sphere with delftware-like blue detailing or a pink translucent ladybug with gold trim, and work to create something fun around it.
To be honest, the shelf life of my creations is pretty short. The line between interesting and kooky is slim when it comes to beads, and I've aimed for the former and hit the latter more than once.
But for every miss (like, you know, an opera-length necklace made of a mixture of myriad tiny purple beads) there is something that stays in my accessories repertoire, like a collar of turquoise-colored beads accented with thin gold slivers.
But even if my beaded work disappears, never to be seen again, the magic of The Bead Shop is the intoxicating combination of a treasure hunt, a puzzle to be solved, and a craft project. Going home with the jewelry I made? That's a bonus.