Benjamuna's Blog

Stories…. with a touch of India….

Benjamuna beads… February 5, 2011

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I have always had “something” creative going in my life… There has been numerous projects; knitting, sewing clothes, dried flowers, patchwork, calligraphy…..
When I was a teenager I made tunics out of old jeans. I knitted colourful sweaters through high school. When I got my own sewing machine (early twenties) I made blouses – of all things. And they never fitted properly. I came home for Christmas with half made projects and my mother had to come to their rescue. I’m not sure a half made blouse was the most popular item in my luggage…

Making decorations out of dried flowers was another passion for some years. I took courses. I planted appropriate flowers in my garden. I dried flowers. I made decorations, – not always as symmetrical as I wanted them to be. I still have a lot of ceramic bowls in the basement, remnants of numerous decorations. Where did I keep them all? I mean, it’s not as if you send dried flower decorations via mail, as presents…. My house hasn’t seen a dried flower for years……

Then came patchwork. Again – I took courses. I bought fabrics and all sorts of equipment. But I was swearing in front of my sewing machine. Patchwork… well you have to be extremely accurate. I once went to a course with some colleagues, in the 90’s. The teacher thought I was talking too much, and working too little. Concentration has never been my strong side! And after making one really intricate kettleholder I almost fell apart when I realised I had to make one more… Kettleholders always come in pairs….. Exit patchwork, although I must admit some of my Christmas runners came out quite successful!

Then came calligraphy, quite a long lasting hobby. I took courses, I even went to England to attend fantastic summer schools, I got new friends. In between I went to a course and learnt how to make paper. But… it gave me a bad neck. Exit regular calligraphy sessions, but I still use all sorts of pens for cards and letters.

So what now? It’s beads… I guess “bead-mania” has been around for some years and that I’m a bit slow… But it seems like I always need a new challenge and beads came in my way. Last November, when Ram and myself was visiting Jaipur and Udaipur, beads were very much on the agenda. We were going here and there by autorickshaw, or on foot, searching for beads. Ram explaining numerous people what we were looking for. And we found…, in a basement in Jaipur. It was wholesale, so even though I bought 1,5 kilos I didn’t get a WIDE selection. But I was happy and content about whay I got.  Ram’s comment: I’m fed up by beads. Let’s go for coffee.

Bracelet made of memory wire and cloisonne beads.

So I have started. I have taken a course. I have bought the proper equipment. Here we go again………
I have made some bracelets, and to be honest I think my bracelets are better than my patchwork and dried flowers.

Here’s a few examples of Benjamuna Beads…:

The first bracelet I made. Brown and turqoise of course....

So far, the one I'm most happy with. Made by various beads given to me by Nathalie and beads bought in India.

Another bracelet made by memory wire and beads that originally was two other necklaces.

Favourite colours.........