Private Bead Stash Contains Big Dreams and Fond Memories

In addition to the stacks of organized-by-color beads in my studio, I have beads- in- waiting.

The container differs as if to signal the specialness of these beads. It’s flatter, larger and packed with treasures whose time has not yet come. It’s out of sight, placed behind the other boxes and marked P.S., short for Private Stash.

I raised the private stash lid today and felt memory after memory embrace me:

  • A tiny ecru cloth bag that once surrounded a piece of Murano glass from Europe now holds a precious, multi-colored lampglass bead named Dissy. (See photo.) I envision strands of fringe dripping from the bottom of this piece. In my mind’s eye it hangs from multiple pearl strands with clear glass spacers. Crystals swing from the end of each fringe. I caress Dissy and carefully replace it.
  • Freshwater blue and green pearls rest separately in clear display boxes. (NOTE to Self: I wonder if those pearls might complement the Dissy bead. Perfect! Ok. That project can now move up on the list. It’s beginning to morph into reality.)
  • Delicas of bonze, beige and blue hues are waitlisted in the back of the box. Every addition to the delica stash came from a different bead show or store
  • Several strands of aquamarine spacers await stringing with family pearls from the 30’s
  • High-grade white pearls and coin pearls stand by for a special assignment
  • Two Quan Yin cameos, perfect for earrings to match a completed Quan Yin necklace, queue up for my attention. I remember receiving the gift at the 2010 bead show. Just thinking of Bead Fest causes me to smile and anticipate this year’s event.
  • Chinese cinnabars of various sizes linger in another portion of my box. I anticipate a cinnabar-themed treasure necklace. One strand was purchased at an estate sale in Montrose, CO. Other cinnabar beads were gathered from separate purchases
  • Lampglass focal beads, too pretty to add to ‘just anything’ sit in a special compartment, labeled with the artist’s name, date of purchase and price. Once again special craft shows come to mind. “Remember when we…” and I’m  off down memory lane
  • Old world bronze clasps and findings join the waiting game for an unnamed future project; every time I make a trip to Scottsdale, AZ I add a piece to the old world bronze collection. I indulge myself and think about favorite colors and ideas. Yes, these are special. Reluctantly, I put them back in the stash to linger awhile longer
  • A section of charms includes sterling silver crosses and medals as well as 14-karat angels. I finger the ones that were gifts and think of the friends who valued me enough to indulge me in a hobby I love

The dreams in private stash seem different, somehow. They’re wrapped in a cloud of expectation almost too precious to disturb.

Until the pieces are pulled out of the stash and placed on my workbench, they’re merely dreams. Like the bridesmaid, the private stash is ‘in waiting.’ Extra time is required to consider these extra-special beads. The ideas bubble in the creative cauldron of my mind, whether or not the beads themselves are visible.

Reluctantly, I close the lid on private stash. One day its time will come. Meanwhile, there are things I must do, other beads I must string.

Until next time, the memories of this visit to P.S. must suffice. Ahhhhhhhhh, private stash!

Do you separate your most special beads?