I started beading in 2001 after seeing a leather vest with some beadwork on it in Cowboys and Indians magazine. I wanted a vest like that, but couldn't find any information on it's maker, so I decided I would make my own vest.
I didn't even know what a seed bead was back then, but soon found out via the internet. I ordered many different colors of size 11 seed beads from Out On A Whim. Once they arrived, I started teaching myself to bead embroider. I never did get the vest made, but I have been beading ever since.
I thought I was late to the beading party by starting in 2001, but beading has become even more popular since I started. Over the years I have taken classes in different bead approaches including lampwork and PMC, but bead embroidery is still my favorite way to bead. I like free form and I like pictorals, so bead embroidery says it best for me. I still order seed beads from Out On A Whim, but I also like to go to bead stores while traveling around the country.
A high point for me was getting a beaded piece accepted into a 2002-2003 traveling exhibit called The Beaded Cloth, (my piece is Bunny Garden, at the top of page two in this link) sponsored by Beadwork Magazine. That was also a low point for me--as my beadwork was lost when it was sent back to me by Beadwork magazine because they sent it to my old address where I no longer lived. I never recovered it even though the folks at Beadwork Magazine and I tried very hard to track it down. I am currently re-making that piece but it's hard to cover the same ground, so it has been a work in progress for longer than I care to admit. It was done with Delica beads, which are tiny and time consuming. When I finish it, I'll post it here!
In May, 2007, I joined an online group called the Bead Journal Project, started by Robin Atkins (a juror for aforementioned The Beaded Cloth!). For the next twelve months I will be posting monthly bead and fabric journal pages. My next posting will show my first completed page of this journal project.