For those of you who don't know, I come from a family of creative people. My mother, Barbara Elwood with me in the photo to the left, is largely responsible for instilling in me a desire to use my hands to make beautiful crafts. I can remember her teaching us how to sew, how to make Barbie clothes, and my memories are filled with recollections of homemade Christmas stockings and
dresses made from scratch.
This week, one of my cousins found some old photos of me and my sister dressed up in homemade green velvet dresses, made by my mother, for a family wedding back in the 60's. (Photo right...I'm the taller girl behind my little sister, my brother is the ring bearer too). These photos reminded me of what a long tradition I have in my family of homemade crafts...that continues to this day.
This week my mother and I have teamed up to make some unique hand crafted jewelry for Valentine's day. She has put together a collection of one-of-a-kind glass hearts that are decorated with Dichroic glass strips and hung on chains. These pieces started as rough collections of glass that went into the kiln and came out as beautifully designed glass hearts.
Both my mother and I are enjoying creating beautiful crafts to share with people. I've been encouraging her to create a whole line of creative glass crafts. At Christmas she made glass trees (pictured here) and now she has a line of hand crafted glass hearts you can find on my BeadItForwardStore.com.
Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day.
As we start the New Year with so much uncertainty in the air, I decided to focus on love. And with the upcoming Valentines Day, I decided to create a collection of beaded jewelry inspired by romance. Each purchase will come wrapped for Valentines Day and sent to your beloved. And, as usual, each purchase comes with a free pair of earrings to give away as a random act of kindness.
A friend of mine gave me this wonderfully colored bracelet cuff (pictured above) for Christmas and the colors have inspired me to look in my bead collection for a similar palette. Thus, I have been creating designs inspired by this beautiful collection of pastel flowers.
update on Maren's Peru Project
As many of you know, I've moved to Los Angeles to engage with my academic life and pursue my goal of getting back to Peru. I'm enjoying the academic work, but I must admit that finding work down here in Los Angeles has been harder than I thought. And, despite all the jewelry sales (thanks so much for your support), I'm still needing to raise about $6K to get back to Peru. So, my trip will have to be postponed till I get more established in Los Angeles. Envision a job for me here, hopefully at the Getty Institute.
Thanks again for your support of me through your beaded jewelry purchases...and your belief that I will get back to Peru one day.
Happy New Year!
As we approach the end of an eventful 2016, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have purchased my beaded designs and, in doing so, have contributed to my fundraising effort to get back to Saqsaywaman, Peru. I originally started selling my designs in small home shows, then on my On-Site Research & Marketing website...and now on this Bead It Forward site launched in late 2016.
This website has raised approximately $1000 for my Peru research and I hope that I will be able to continue selling my beaded jewelry designs (most of which includes beads from my travels around the world) into 2017.
For those of you who don't know, Peru has a long tradition of making unique beads from the many different precious and semi-precious stones that are found in that country. To this day, mining of these stones remains a source of income for many people in Peru. When I return to Peru this year, I hope to replenish my supply of locally made beads to support local artisans. And, I hope to include textiles and other local goods to my store on this site.
Several of the communities I'm working in, on the Saqsaywaman archaeological site, rely on selling their textiles and pottery to support their families. I will be posting to this website stories about these local people when I return to Saqsaywaman and hope, by doing so, to increase their sales online. I will be working with them as well to help them put together their own websites and social media accounts. My hope is to help the local people to reach outside Saqsaywaman to reach a global audience for their amazingly beautiful artistic wares.
Have a wonderful New Year and thanks again for your support through the purchase of beaded jewelry on this website and spreading the word about BeadItForward.
I have been selling my beaded jewelry for years via private house parties and little shows. I decided a few months ago to add a page to my On-Site Research & Marketing page to see if there was interest in buying my beaded jewelry online...and SURPRISE TO ME...a lot of people have been purchasing online.
I decided to put my bead designs online initially to help raise funds for me to continue my work in Peru. And that has been going so well that I have now created a dedicated website for my BEAD IT FORWARD BEAD BUSINESS.
Thanks so much to ALL OF YOU who have purchased online and have contribute to my efforts to get to Peru as a result. I am honored to have my designs on so many of my friends and their friends/family.
As a THANKS to all my customers, I am doing a "2FOR1" for the "Black Friday" period during the Thanksgiving holiday period. From today to the end of November, you can buy any of my items and get the "2FOR1" DISCOUNT by using that coupon code at check out.
Each purchase comes wrapped as a gift with a free pair of earrings or bracelet to give away as a random act of kindness.
Happy Holidays to you all!!!
Maren Elwood is a Visual Anthropologist who studies cultures with her camera...and collects beads on her travels to share with you.