I picked up beading as a hobby during our second year in Nigeria. I’ve always liked fashion jewelry and have collected all kinds of trinkets wherever we traveled, including ones made by my mom, brother, and a friend who finally presented me with a set of bead tools. Lagos is a good but expensive place to pick up this hobby. It would have been easier to simply buy beads (which are also not cheap), but most of these are strands of the same beads. I began buying findings, separators, and other beads to come up with my own designs combining African trade beads like bone and bronze with silver and glass. My friend told me about a bead wholesaler in downtown Cebu (Philippines) and I went crazy. My husband was grumbling that our excess baggage fees cost more than the beads (a kilo of black seed beads only cost $3). Another friend told me about a warehouse with the “world’s largest selection of beads” in Washington state. Naturally my husband refused to drive me there, but I was still able to order online.
Most of the time I give them as presents to colleagues, this way I get to see my work all the time 🙂 This weekend I was on a roll and began making more beads. Here are some of my old and latest creations: