February 01, 2020
This Valentine's Day, we have a confession to make...we've been crushing on beads and jewelry-making for years. When did the love affair begin? Read our romantic memories about the day the beading "love bug" bit us.
"When I was 6 years old, my grandmother gave me a spool of copper wire and some pliers to play with in her silversmithing studio. I made necklaces for my dolls and decorated them with little wooden beads. Wire wrapping and working with sterling silver are my first loves, but I really started to get interested in the history of glass beads in high school. When I started to read about the history of the glass bead industries in Venice and Murano, Italy, as well as in the bohemian areas of the Czech Republic, I found the stories fascinating. From then on, I was hooked! I’ve been collecting beads ever since my grandmother first gave me those wooden beads as a child." -- Colleen Ewart
"I stumbled into Island Cove from the beach one afternoon. Island Cove had only been open just a few months. At the bead table sat Colleen, Sue, and Debbye; they welcomed me with smiles. Little did I know, that would be the start of our friendship. First, Debbye taught me how to crochet with wire. I loved it so much, I wound up making bracelets for my whole family. But I didn’t stop there! I have tried every class we teach at Island Cove and love to experiment with out-of-the-box projects. I’m now part of Island Cove’s ever-growing family." -- Camille Hammerschmidt
"In my 30’s, I lived in Ellicott City, Maryland. In the historic downtown section, there was a small bead store. Along with my friends Rita Miller and Donna Carlo, we realized that the local bead store was offering classes. The three of us signed up and the rest is history. Fast forward to 2013, I was dining at Keegan’s with my husband and noticed Island Cove next door. I was so excited to find a really cool bead store in Florida. I think our first class at Island Cove was a basic stringing on Soft Flex beading wire, but the most memorable one was one of Sue’s earring classes. For me, it’s been about 25 years of loving beads!" -- Marti Timmons
"I’ve been beading about 20 years along with my friend Nancy. Together we would go to art festivals and admire the handmade jewelry. We lived about 25 miles from each other, but we both ordered Fire Mountain catalogs and when they arrived in the mail, we looked through them together over the phone. The first stitch I learned was herringbone, and Nancy helped me a lot! I still have a few of those first bracelets I made. When did the beading “love bug” bite me? Probably at the first bead show I attended in Atlanta." -- Debbye Mika
"My first foray into the bead world was by accident! I ventured into a bead shop thinking they sold gemstone specimens. I was amazed at the possibilities – what a “never-before-beader” could do! My first class was the flat spiral which is now part of our Beach Bling bracelet offered at Island Cove. I ended up working in that bead shop and wound up meeting Colleen. We became fast friends and eventually opened Island Cove Beads & Gallery together. The rest, as they say, is history. Since Island Cove opened nearly eight years ago, I think I have taught our #1 beginner class well over 500 times." -- Sue Lennon
"I started beading when I first moved home from Germany in 2012. I was taking a break from the fast-paced world of advertising and needed to reconnect with my creative side after years of neglecting it. My mom, Nancy, had starting carving and polishing pen clam shells from Madeira Beach and crafting bohemian-style necklaces and bracelets with leather and suede cord and wooden beads. I decided to try my hand at making jewelry too. When I was a little girl, I had been drawn to my dad’s tackle box and fell in love with his colorful fishing lures. My collection, “Mermaids Bejeweled,” is inspired by the beaches and waters off Indian Rocks Beach, my hometown. But I’ve expanded into working with exotic seashells from far flung beaches across the globe, too."-- Phoebe Moll
November 27, 2021
October 31, 2021
Dominoes inspire artist Susan Sudnik, an instructor at Island Cove Beads in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, to create whimsical holiday-themed dolls.
November 01, 2020
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