Drawer 4: Wood

drawer-4-5My Apothecary Chest: It arrived via container to California from Hong Kong in 1994 after an ex-pat assignment there; where I discovered beading; my repository of many beads.

2017 Challenge:  from 52 drawers of Beads; Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time.  Voila!  52 Necklaces!

Week 4/Drawer 4: January 25, 2017: “Celtic Turf”

Opening Drawer 4 full of wood beads was a big letdown. Wood is brown!  Brown is boring!  It took an Irish Claddagh and scented rosewood to bring life to brown beads!

The Claddagh symbol has been worn as a ring since Roman times; the hands, heart and crown symbolize friendship, love and loyalty. It became an Irish icon in 1637 when the design was approved by Charles I.  It was named after a small fishing village in Galway.  I bought this Claddagh during my first and only trip to Ireland to discover my ancestral land.

The title of this necklace is Celtic Turf for a reason: the centerpiece is made from ancient turf, or black peat soil, found in bogs all around Ireland.  This turf can be 5000 years old.  Interesting fact:  Ireland’s decayed organic matter is the most efficient carbon sink on the planet.

The rosewood beads have their own story to tell. Called red sandalwood in the Indian culture, these beads ask the god Ganesh to remove obstacles.  And it is believed their scent calms the immune system.  There is only a vague scent remaining with these beads I bought in Asia in 1993-4, my first year of a long love affair with beads.

I’ve learned a lesson. Not all of the 48 remaining drawers will be exciting, but they will be interesting because they have their own special stories to reveal.

Wear this necklace with your own sterling silver earrings.

The necklace is 25” long plus a 2.5” centerpiece.  $69.00

Drawer 3: Rock crystal


“From This Moment On”

My Apothecary Chest: It arrived via container to California from Hong Kong in 1994 after an ex-pat assignment there; where I discovered beading; my repository of many beads.

2017 Challenge:  from 52 drawers of Beads; Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time.  Voila!  52 Necklaces!

Week 3/Drawer 3: January 18, 2017: “From This Moment On”

From the first moment I saw the clear icy depth of a strand of rock crystal beads, I was smitten. I soon discovered everyone else is too since rock crystal, or quartz crystal, has metaphysical powers:  it is a conductor of energy; it is used for healing and meditation.

My most favorite pairings for rock crystal are sterling silver or pearls. I designed this necklace with hammered sterling circles and ovals plus a clasp by the same artist.  I found a small supply of this nice sterling while searching for something else and they practically flew over to the rock crystal strand I had chosen to be the representative of Drawer 3.  Necklaces often evolve that way for me!

The centerpiece is a crystal prism encapsulated in sterling silver wire, wrapped by my www.hullartists.com friend, Terry McMahon, who can be found at www.treesasstudio.com.

Wear this looker with your own sterling silver earrings. They can be large or small, but bold, if possible, to hold their own with this seemingly simple necklace.  It is 22” long plus a 1 3/4” centerpiece.  $111.00

Drawer 2: Winter White is so Ethereal!

"Light Fantastic"

“Light Fantastic”

My Apothecary Chest: We brought it back from Hong Kong in 1994 after an ex-pat assignment there; it is also where I discovered beading.

2017 Challenge:  from 52 drawers of Beads; Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time.  Voila!  52 Necklaces!

Week 2/Drawer 2: January 11, 2017: “Light Fantastic”

I am writing this in the middle of a raging blizzard with 8—10” forecast, so can you blame me for thinking white?

This delightful necklace is a white-out! But it will go with everything, unlike snow.  There are five white striped and one opaque white Venetian glass beads, each of a differing stripe and distinct size.  See Blog dated June 29, 2013 for my ode to Venetian beads, also called Murano beads since they are made on the small island just a vaporetto ride away from Venice.

Besides Venetian glass, there are many American Art Glass beads made in Rhode Island. Again, all clear and/or white.

Finally, there are white “sugar” beads. I coined this name myself, so let me explain:  they are opaque white beads coated with what looks like glittery sugar, but it is powdered glass.  There are more white sugar dots on clear glass beads at the end of the necklace and in the earrings.

Since I like the back of my necklaces to look as good as the front, note the asymmetrical glass clasp with a sterling silver toggle.

This 19” necklace is $99. It is fragile, but the glass is not as thin as the Drawer 1 necklace is.  Matching earrings are included to keep the white vision.

See you next week!

Week 1:  Gold glass from Venice

"Romance Retold"

“Romance Retold”

2017 Necklace a Week CHALLENGE:  from 52 drawers of beads, create a unique handmade necklace using only the beads from one drawer at a time.

These large (1″ around) mottled gold Venetian glass beads will make any complexion glow!  They are hand-blown thin clear glass with splatters of gold.

The centerpiece is a Nautilus-inspired shell in cranberry color with gold flecks which turn iridescent in the light.  It is an artist-made lamp work glass bead.  Other spacer beads are glass with gold foil inside.  Secured by a gold metal clasp.

These Venetian beads are lovely to look at and wear, but please, handle with care since they are fragile.  Don’t drop the necklace and don’t wear dangle earrings that are long enough to hit them as they swing from your ear.  Truth in advertising now satisfied, don’t lust for this necklace unless you like attention because compliments will be endless!  I guarantee it or refund offered!

Wear it with your own gold earrings.  Title:  Romance Retold.  Length is 18.5″.  $99.00.


To Celebrate 75th Birthday, Artist Priscilla Beadle Makes 52 Necklaces in 2017


Priscilla Beadle, Hull artist, will create a one-of-a-kind beaded necklace each week in 2017.

To Celebrate 75th Birthday, Artist, Priscilla Beadle Makes 52 Necklaces in 2017

To celebrate turning 75, many people choose a relaxing vacation or a great party; some people are happy just to make it through the day. Priscilla Beadle, Hull MA artist, challenges herself.

Inspired by a friend who was fascinated by the 52-drawer apothecary chest in her studio, Beadle decided to create a one-of-a-kind beaded necklace each week in 2017. Each neckpiece will originate from a different drawer. “I consider this an adventure fantasy trip,” enthuses Beadle. “Do I think about slowing down for 75? Do I think about maintaining? Or shouldn’t I speed up for a year?!” she laughs. “The fact I’m turning 75 makes me want to speed up!”

An English major in college, Beadle has lived her life by Robert Browning’s line, “…a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,/ Or what’s a heaven for?” This quote is the driving force behind all Beadle’s difficult and exciting endeavors. “It gives me permission to push myself,” she says. For her, this challenge is self-motivating as it produces a real accomplishment each week. “Sometimes you just have to push yourself to grow, stretch, and do things for yourself,” Beadle advises. She has already begun to write a maker’s journal that she will keep throughout the year.

Adding to Beadle’s motivation, her large vintage apothecary chest has 52 drawers; seven square drawers arranged in seven rows, with three large drawers at the bottom. Purchased in Hong Kong, the inspirational 1940’s era Elm wood apothecary chest is more than seven feet tall, four feet wide, with each drawer going 16 inches back.

“I’m going to start in the upper left corner drawer and work my way through every drawer, from left to right, top to bottom,” confides Beadle. She uses the chest to organize her vast collection of beads based on color and material. Each drawer has three compartments. The first necklace of the year will be drawn from Venetian glass beads which have been divided into silver/gold, blue/green, and red/orange groups. The second drawer has different color Venetian glass; black/white; purple/yellow; and multi-colored. The last drawer of the year contains faux amber—cherry, butterscotch, and yellow mock amber—resin beads from Indonesia.

Beadle keeps clasps and centerpieces in a special cabinet, not in the drawers. Center pendants can be made of glass, jade, silver, brooches, semi-precious gems, and oddities such as extraordinary buttons or other upcycled adornments.

Creating bead jewelry art since 1993, Priscilla Beadle first found inspiration for her bold, eclectic designs in the bazaars of Tibet and Nepal, in dusty shops in Beijing, on remote Indonesian islands reached by catamaran, in beautiful Bali, and in verdant Indochina—Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each Beadleful design starts with a centerpiece—add whimsy, color excitement, texture, chunky beads, a fabulous clasp—a collectable necklace is born.

Priscilla Beadle returned to her hometown, Hull MA, in 2011. For 34 years she had lived in California, eleven in the historic mission town of San Luis Obispo. She brought her business, Beadleful, with her and crafted a comfortable studio for her work on the ground floor of her home. The spark of Beadleful ignited when, after 23 years in the corporate world, Priscilla retired in 1993 to accompany her husband on his job assignment in Hong Kong. Southeast Asia became her handicraft fantasy world as she hunted for beads: –odd, large, ethnic, contrarian beads; antique or contemporary glass beads; rare and unusual colors; textures that lead to touching. Whether traveling the world or stalking New England galleries, successful bead hunting inspires the bold eclectic designs that characterize Priscilla’s unique necklaces and bracelets.

For more information or to arrange a studio tour, please visit https://priscillabeadle.com/