My So Charmed Life

A Few of My Favorite Things #17


Beads? Me? Nahhhhh. Ok, yahhhhhhhh. And here’s a favorite place to score gorgeous beads of every flavor, from Czech glass to tribal goodness, and even some incredibly rare (and expensive) ancient beads. HappyMango will not disappoint.

PS: If you’re joining us late, I’m doing a once-per-day post through the month of December (yes, that’s 30 freaking posts), designed to help you support handmade and all things crafty for the holidays. Enjoy!

WIP: Practicing Basic Threading Technique


Took a break from the tin moth factory today to work on my bead stringing. Decided it was time to make these miniscule crimps and tips look all professional-like, so I watched a YouTube tutorial and got to work. The video really helped, altho these findings are so tiny you’ll see the camera-person struggling to keep them in focus! I had to watch it twice. FYI, pretty much anything jewelry-related that you want to learn via demonstration lives on YouTube somewhere. Soldering, beading, wire-wrapping… just search and see what you come up with. I’ll try to post some more links to some of my favorites. Wait, I need to learn how to embed video in the blog… let’s see…

Ok, how cool is that?! Great, because one of my Favorite Thing posts is going to be a short video that I’m shooting. Sorry… I’m talking to myself!

Not really sure where this necklace is going, but so far, having fun with the materials, colors, and a certain powerful feeling that’s emanating from the main focal. Not to get all woo-woo on you people.



Unbelievably, I never knew that there was a bead crack den warehouse located in an unassuming light industrial area just a few miles from my house. A metal door at the end of an empty parking lot is simply marked “Marvin Schwab.”

Marvin, it turns out, is a real guy, with a whole lotta beads. Hence the name of his business: The Bead Warehouse. When he is not carting TRUCK LOADS of beads to the warehouse, or from the warehouse to a trade show, he will open his stock to the public, about twice monthly or by special appointment should you need a large quantity.

The place isn’t huge, but it is sizable and crammed floor to ceiling with grids of hanging strands, boxes, bins, and showcases of beads and findings from all corners of the world. At the top of the post, some old brass with gorgeous patina, dug out of a dusty box. Above, collectible beads from Africa at really really great prices.

I almost never buy full strands of beads b/c they are expensive and I don’t need that many of one thing. My friend and I split the graduated strand of crystals above, and I’m going to give her some of the gorgeous opalite chunks too.

These are lovely hand-painted wooden beads from India along with some weird silver foil and candy pink beads that I can not really figure out. They all look like little toys.

I can’t wait to patina these lovely charms. On their backs is a stamped OM symbol. Gorgeous. Also pictured are resin beads that mimic bone and some tiny genuine bone beads.

The strand of wavy beads above is old, and incredibly cool, in a shade of blue-green that is wonderful. I was told these are wood, but they seem like some other material to me. Also pictured are luscious limey yellow glass and tiny bright red beads.

The large glass beads pictured above have really unusual confetti inclusions as well as some copper dust floating about. They were the first beads I spotted, at which point my heart started pounding in my chest. Surrounding them in the photo are very old glass teardrop charms with a crusty aurora borealis finish. These were dug out of a box of dusty glassine-bagged beads.

I have a small stash of these old reflector cabs, but could not resist adding to it. The emerald-cut glass stones are just gorgeous. There was a box of this kind of stuff gathering dust on a shelf. I think these are 1930’s glass but I’d love to know more about the reflectors if anyone out there has info. I’ve honestly never seen them in vintage jewelry, but they are magnificent.

Check the website for dates/hours that the Bead Warehouse will be open on any given month, as well as for directions. An off-the-beaten-path treasure trove that was a really fun experience since most of my supplies are purchased online these days. A special thanks to the anthropologist and his lovely wife for turning me onto this place and escorting me on such a fun field trip.

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