Name tags. Nearly every meeting or major event has a sign in. It’s expected. Most name tags are ordinary in appearance.
Members of the Bead Society of New Mexico (BSNM) made their name tags this year. A pre-meeting note advised participants to bring ideas and materials, including scrapbooking papers, stickers, spare beads, etc.
At first, I thought a collage of several stickers and a stamp or two might work but I didn’t have a definitive design in mind. “It will emerge,” I thought.
What emerged was calligraphy, as Jan Florence, President of Escribiente, Albuquerque’s calligraphy society, drew samples of our names. I loved the curves, elegant lines and beautiful paper.
“I’ll reduce it with a color copy and it will be a fine name tag.”
In the end, my beading heart won out. I grabbed a piece of black felt, traced my name, picked up a needle, thread and some of my favorite bronze metal beads and a beading project was born. Once I began my bead embroidery, I couldn’t stop beading those beautifully curved lines.
I found myself contemplating shades of color and evaluating how to “pop” the main letter line. Turquoise worked, and I picked a pretty turquoise mix from my stash. (I keep a containers of bead bits by color. The bits include varying sizes and colors so I can randomly create.)
I discovered several challenges in using beads to define letter lines. I made a mental note to learn more.
In a nod to collage, I placed inspirational beads on the canvas: a turtle for groundedness, a Quan Yin for compassion, freshwater pearls, a bird for freedom, a button and one piece of red coral representing creativity and optimism.
Because the overall size of my piece was large, I added eyelets to allow for a necklace-type presentation. Whipstitching, I married the animal print backing to its other side. My goal was to complete the project in time for the February BSNM meeting.
In a spirit of committed bead flurry – beading while working at the gallery, beading in the evening, beading a few minutes each day – it happened.
My reward came in March when I unexpectedly won first place among my peers at the BSNM meeting. I couldn’t be prouder. The prize: a $50 gift certificate from Mama’s Minerals. Woo Hoo!
Had I not led with my beading heart I’d have a collage and not the special piece of name tag jewelry I now own.
Do you have beaded name tag jewelry?