Prodigy - What to do with those Orphan Glass Beads

Not every bead I make comes out looking beautiful. Shocking. Sad. But true. In fact I actually have 3 different levels of unsatisfactory bead buckets. We have the pee cup - which houses all the cracked and broken beads. I have no idea why I save them. I guess I just don't have the heart to throw them in the trash. Somewhere, somehow they will come in useful for something. No I do not have a hoarding problem. Really. I don't.

Then there is the banker box - which contains a multitude of fuglies. These are mostly from my newbie days but the box does seem to be getting fuller, and I am pretty sure that beads cannot reproduce themselves through osmosis so I must be continuing to make them.

Lampwork Glass Beads in Bins

Lastly, we have the orphan dish. This is home to the beads that are not outright horrid but lack enough interest for me to attempt to replicate them or even make them a matching sibling. These unexciting and unwanted beads go into the dish with all the other abandoned orphan beads hoping someday, someone, will take pity on them and give them a real home.

My daughter is quite assuredly my biggest fan. I can always count on her to make me feel like the best bead maker in the world. The last few weeks she has been requesting to "make beads" with me. She's a tad young to put behind the torch so I thought we'd do the next best thing - string them up! I picked up some stretchy cord, pulled out the orphan dish and the banker box and let her have fun.

She picked out all the beads she wanted to put in her bracelet and laid them out on the table. Then she strung them one by one - studying them intently before committing them to the cord. When she was finished she handed it to me to tie the final knot.

Lampwork Glass Beaded Bracelet

My discarded beads suddenly had new life given to them by my young prodigy. 

Next time you are feeling down or frustrated or like everything is turning out ugly ... drop those beads into a little container and give them away. I promise it will make you feel better and it will make someone's day. 

Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization always looking for beads and they have a beautiful mission statement working with children experiencing serious illness.


  1. Hehe, you said "pee cup"! *snicker*

    But seriously, just like your 4 year old, my almost-three year old has always been obsessed with my beads. She calls them babies, wraps them in wash cloths, throws a fit if I have to take one away from her ('cause it's going into a set, or was listed on my Etsy, or something like that). I love your idea of sitting down with her with string and a pot of beads and letting her string them. I'm gonna try that tonight! :)

    Last night I was sorting out my broken beads, rod shorts and stringer shorts out of a tub on my desk and put them into three separate tubs, and she saw the rod shorts tub and started yelling, "I want glass! I want glass!" I can't wait til she is old enough to get behind the torch herself, or, for that matter, when I can hand her a dremel and a pile of mandrels with beads straight out of the kiln and have her clean the beads for me! Built it little helper! :) (OMG I'm so looking forward to that!!!) LOL


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