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Hello. My name is Joan and I've been making rosaries and beaded jewelry since 2003. I use high-quality components and I try to do high-quality work.
For all of my work, I use BEADS of glass, Jerusalem olivewood, color-stained wood, Swarovski lead crystal, bone, and semi-precious stones, no plastic. I string them on C-FLEX, a 49-ply wire of stainless steel wrapped in nylon, which provides an immediate suppleness and drape that wonít break under normal use, but if forced to bend, can permanently kink or even break. For CROSSES and CRUCIFIXES, I use sterling silver, bronze, Jerusalem olivewood, nickel silver, and pewter. For CLASPS, I use sterling silver and silver-plated over pewter, gold-filled and gold-plated over pewter, and copper-plated over pewter, all nickel-free. For EAR HOOKS, I use sterling silver, gold-filled, copper and niobium, all of which are nickel-free.
It is now 2019, and I turn 80 years old this year, and life continues to get better all the time. My most favorite God-given creations are my husband Wayne of 57 years, our sons David and Christopher and their families, my sweet male beagle Txakur who died in May 2011, my extra sweet female beagle Beltzemea who died in Sept 2013, and my wise and very affectionate 16 year old male tabby cat Mixu, who now has stage 3 kidney disease and is finding it difficult to eat. Lord, please let him experience no pain.
My most favorite man-given creations are a sit and read at the coffee house, light-hearted romantic movies, chocolate, and, camping with our 23 foot pull trailer at Arkansas' Lake Ouachita State Park. A few years ago you could also find me at the locally-owned coffee house, before they closed, making Anglican and Catholic rosaries and beaded jewelry on the table with the beading light, where I had some very enjoyable conversations, even one that led to two wedding gift purchases. And now I have added crocheting neck scarves and prayer shawls/lap blankets to my list of favorites.
One of my most favorite prayers can be said at bedtime:
"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake." Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 124)
Another, said by Julian of Norwich, a 13th century Benedictine nun: "All is well." (The words to a tune using this belief: All will be well, and all will be well, all manner of things will be well.)
In the long years of my spiritual formation, I have come to experience that no matter what the circumstances, when all is said and done, all will work out well, all things will be well. This, of course, takes great faith, courage, endurance, perseverance, and time.
In the Spring of 2010, I wrote and then read the following for our church's adult class on Art and Spirituality:
My husband said that he had taken the subject of Art and Spirituality and wanted to know if I would say something about making my beaded jewelry. While I thought I hardly could say No, since I knew this was definitely part of my life with the Lord, I knew immediately that getting the words for this was going to be difficult for me.
Iíve never been able to have the right words to describe my relationship with the Lord. I havenít been given this gift.
Iím able to describe it a bit now only because Iíve been able to get it on paper. But Iíve never been able to speak about it at random. This is something Iíve always wanted to be able to do because the Lord has done great and wonderful things for me. Iíve always wanted to let people know how sweet the Lord tastes, so that they will be encouraged to seek him too.
The Lord has never given me a miracle, in the sense of something suddenly happening to me. Iíve always had to work for it - itís been very difficult, like pulling teeth.
So it has been with making my jewelry. Iím not a born artist or designer. Iíve never done anything artful. Iíve never been drawn to doing anything artful. Itís always amazed and amused me that I make jewelry when I have worn very little jewelry. But the Lordís plans are not always my plans.
On first glance, you might think that I get a particular idea, put the beads together and all of it, with the textures, sizes, and colors, is just perfect. But, no, most of the time itís not this easy for me. I do enjoy very much seeing how the colors and shapes mix, blend, and contrast, and feeling the touch of them as I place them side by side. There have been a few times when everything fits together so very nicely with the first try, and itís wonderful when this happens.
These are the times when itís easy to see the Lordís work within me. This is when heís clearly telling me that I should have great Hope for going beyond the ordinary.
But usually the process evolves from one try to the next. The Lord has given me Wayne my husband to help me with decisions, because I donít always know by myself when everything looks good together. I try some beads together, if they donít work as they are, I add or subtract another particular size bead or color, and work like this until I have finished them.
Sometimes, something sits several days because somethingís not right and I donít know what it is. This is when I begin pondering, as Mary the mother of our Lord did, letting things that I know to be true work together within me. Eventually, I begin the process again, or sometimes I discard the entire thing.
In making my jewelry I knew from the start that I wanted to glorify the Lord. And I wanted each person who bought my jewelry to be blessed by it. I have always known that all I did and all that took place within me in this process was because of the Lord. I knew that if the Lord has created me in his own image, then I must have the potential for being a creator too.
Just a few months ago, I suddenly realized that 4 colors of my beads and their sizes and textures might fit together. They did, after about 3 hours of working and reworking, to get the right arrangement. This was the beginning of seeing my beads differently, with a wider vision than before.
Little by little I can see that my work is evolving into a more satisfying place aesthetically, that one day I might be able to say that Iím an artist. Little by little, the Lord is creating his vision within me.
I wonder if the Lord, when working with his creation of the world, tried a little of this and a little of that, added a color or shape or sound, took away something that he didnít like, rearranged the pieces, before he got the design just the way he wanted it, so that when he looked at it, he could say as stated in the book of Genesis, ďIt is very good.Ē
This is what I am trying to do.
I have beaded by hand all the items I have in this shop. You will see all of my policies for the sale, shipping, and return of these items when you click the All Policies button. I have included the components I use on all product pages, as well as my USPS First Class Domestic and International Shipping Discount.