Behind Every Beadweaving is a Story

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Lapis & Turquoise Cabochon

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Lapis & Turquoise Cabochon

This cabochon began its life during a road trip. I stitched it as the miles fell away, fondly thinking about the steel delicas and bronze metal beads. One of several projects-in-process, I tucked it away, fully aware that I had no preferred backing or beads for the finished piece.

Weeks later at the February 2014 Tucson Gem & Mineral show I fell in love with a painted marbleized ultra suede from “Bead My Love.”  Even now I can recall telling shop owner Moggie Moyer, “It’s the perfect backing for my piece!”

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Back for turquoise & lapis cabochon

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Back for turquoise & lapis cabochon

Hoping for project nirvana, I put it on top of my studio display and waited for inspiration to strike.

Finally! My friend and neighbor Lynda gifted me with a magnificent lapis chip necklace that once belonged to her mother-in-law. Lynda recalled buying the necklace and as I listened, I admired its deep blue color. Our discussion prompted me to consider revising the lapis chips necklace into an updated piece, one with more significance.

My fingers practically ached to begin creating at the workbench.

From the private stash I took a three-strand Old World Bronze clasp which I’d been hoarding for a special occasion. The clasp, a purchase from Scottsdale Bead Supply, is handcase by the Charveaux family. Each Old World Bronze clasp is hand crafted, comfy to wear and oh so beautiful.

Chalk turquoise ovals – the kind that perfectly matched my cabochon – from my stash came next and then an intricate, brass barrel-shape bead. My old brass rounds paired well with the other pieces and a design began to take shape. Three strands later I draped the project over a neck.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 3-strand not-yet-complete necklace

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 3-strand not-yet-complete necklace

While nice, the necklace clearly was not appropriately complete.

This creation demanded more strands. It needed magnificence and only abundance could give that impression.

Two days later I completed the project and named it Blue Heaven.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Blue Heaven

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Blue Heaven

It’s quite a story, don’t you agree?