Beads call to me just as much as fiber does. The sparkle and facets of crystals, the depth of color and vibration of gemstones, the variety and delicacy of seed beads--they all get my blood pumping and my imagination running amok.
Knots are my thing, so I typically pair beads with fiber, thread, or cord rather than wire. I've mostly design knitted and crocheted beaded jewelry, but the sensational result of Viking knitting with wire and the wild possibilities of micro macrame have me itching to learn more about these techniques.
My favorite local bead store in Southwest Portland is called Village Beads which is located in Multnomah Village. That is their wall of beads that you see in the first photo. The interior of this store is very cheery and full of light. It make your heart want to dance.
What really is a selling point about this place is the genuine friendliness of the owner and her staff. You know how when you go to some other bead stores (just like with some yarn stores) you are met with an attitude of superiority that makes you want to turn right around, march out of there, and go order online somewhere? You don't get that feeling at this store. Everyone is helpful and enthusiastic.
The classes at Village Bead are great. The class size is small so you get lots of help and the teachers are very good. This is where I first was brave enough to try bead knitting with seed beads.
This bead-knitted bracelet was a gift that I made this summer. I'll be putting up some similar bracelets in my Etsy store soon.
And this was a gift made of bead crochet. There will be some of these in my store as well.
Right now, one of my bead works in progress is this dancing donut-head doll that will dangle and jive from a macrame cord necklace. She was started in a micro macrame class at Village Bead. If you're in Portland, come to the village and check them out!