In love with beading for decades

I've been doing beadwork since 1983 when I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At that time, I sold most of my work in at a shop on Canyon Road run by my friend and mentor, Elaine Kidd. Elaine nurtured and encouraged the talents of many beadworkers, and without her support, I'm sure that I would have never survived those early years.

The name "Bridey's Beads" came from my nickname. Eventually, getting married and becoming a mother meant that a steady paycheck and health insurance made a lot of sense. For many years my beads were stored away, only coming out occasionally when I'd have a creative urge.In recent years I've decided that it's time to start beading again for fun, now that my kids grown and won't "rearrange" my work area for me!

I've always been drawn to Victorian styles and vintage Czech and Italian seed and bugle beads. For me, they have a magic that never loses its fascination. I've been told that my gift as a craftsperson is blending and combining color combinations and bead textures.

Since I first started working with them, seed beads have increased in popularity and availability. I am very fortunate to have collected vintage beads when they were still relatively inexpensive, but I also love the new beads that are coming out of Japan and the Czech Republic. The range of colors and finishes now available is fantastic, and I can't help wondering what I might have been able to design if those beads had been available back in my Santa Fe days.

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