The One Who Enjoys the Most Beads Wins

Jewelry and Coffee with Rena
Video Episode 11

by Rena Klingenberg.

Do you save back your special beads for some cool future project – or do you make something with them to enjoy now?

Transcript of This Video:

Have you ever heard the expression “the person who dies with the most beads wins”?

Well, I’d like to think that instead of that, the person who used and enjoyed the most beads wins.

I know a lot of times we save back our special beads for some cool future project – but I don’t see any reason not to use them now.

Here’s an experience I had related to that:

Several years ago I bought this gorgeous turquoise sweater.

At the time it was kind of an investment for me – it was expensive.

But I thought, “Well, I’ll be wearing it for some special occasion so it’s worth it to get this beautiful sweater.”

So I bought it and took it home and hung it in my closet.

And every now and then I’d get it out and admire it, and think “Gosh, I can’t wait to wear this!”

So finally I did have a special occasion, so I got my sweater out and I put it on – and when I looked in the mirror, I realized that my gorgeous turquoise sweater had actually gone out of style.

It looked very outdated and I thought, “I can’t wear this to this occasion!”

So I actually never wore the sweater at all.

And that taught me the lesson that I don’t want to put off using things that I could enjoy now.

Because later on they may not be as useful, or you just may not have the occasion for them.

So I’d like to encourage you to use your special beads now, to make something for you or for someone else to enjoy wearing – and let those special beads out and let them shine!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic – using things now vs. saving them for later.

And I want to thank you for coming in today – I always enjoy seeing you, and I’ll see you next time.

The Jewelry Rena’s Wearing
in This Video:

Autumn jewelry

Earrings: Copper and brass metalwork patina earrings by Pear Tree Jewelry.

Necklace: Copper acorn and leaf necklace by Paperplated.

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  • Norma says:

    What a lovely visit. I have just found out I have osteo and combined with Fibro, the pain has been terrible. After a year of one Doc to another, finally I have a diagnosis…and he gave me 4 corti shots today…in 2 weeks more in the back…quite depressed with the news, so now new medication to try and I have always loved to be busy, and don’t want that to stop…thank you for a great idea.

    Norma ;))

  • Tamara says:

    Yes, I can relate to saving beads and things for a more special project or time. I tend to put off making the jewellery projects that I want to make for myself. For instance, I have been collecting up some great turquoise beads that I want to make into a necklace for me, but haven’t done it yet. I know they won’t go out of style, like your beautiful turquoise sweater, but I could be wearing and enjoying that jewellery now. I think it’s giving myself permission to do that for myself, rather than do something I feel I need to do.

  • Hello Rena,

    Thanks for the reminder sometimes we get so busy…

    I just cleaned out my studio last week and found those beads you were talking about.
    You have inspired me to get to them this week and start to enjoy them.
    I will be making some items today!

    Great work… Thank-You!


  • Nancy Keane says:

    Wow, did this ever hit home! I am a dreadful hoarder of special beads, waiting for that special idea that is never special enough! I have one right now, gorgeous, but if I use them and sell them — oh, my, they will be gone! I have been unable to match them. Of course, by then I’ll have saved other wonderful discoveries, lol!

    I am recovering from an unexpected hospitalization, and this just might be the time to make myself use those beads! (And maybe even all the other ones I am conveniently ignoring!)

    Thanks for a well-needed kick ….

  • hi, my name is Natasha and I am a bead hoarder….
    I try to use what I have and make great things, but sometimes it is so hard to let go…. thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Donna Davis says:

    Wow did this experience hit me in the face. My Mom saved everything “for good” ( her expression for special occasions). The older she got the worse it was. She would wear her clothes until they were rags even though we bought her new things to replace them. Unfortunately when she passed away she had so many wonderful things hidden that she never enjoyed. So I never save anything “for good”. New clothes and new wonderful beads are enjoyed soon after I find them.

  • Leslie says:

    My grandmother did the same thing mentioned (kept the gifts for guests to use when they visited instead of using them herself), used the worn-out, comfortable stuff. We learned when we bought stuff for her, to take away the worn, old stuff and put out the new (drinking glasses, bath towels, etc.).

    I am an admitted hoarder. I see something I like and buy it (I have 20, yes, twenty, three-drawer plastic containers by Sterilite bought at Target full of beads and things). I sort things by color of bead (teal/turquoise blue, denim or true blue, green, brown, red, purple, white, black, pink, etc.), and type of bead (silver charms, silver findings, gold charms, gold findings, copper charms, copper findings, brass charms, brass findings, glass, swarovski crystals, acrylic, sea/ocean theme, leaves, small tools such as ring sizers, lace wire, children’s plastic beads, etc.) and have access to them when I need them. I somehow keep them in mind when I am designing a new project (necklace, earrings, bracelet) and go to that drawer to sort for what I want. I am always glad I bought the beads I did as they are sometimes not there when I go back.

    When I go through books and magazines to look at designs, I often go ~ oh, I could use this bead for that or that’s what to do with what I have that I wasn’t sure what to do with but liked the bead at the time.

  • Ann Nolen says:

    I agree so much with our temptation to want to save the really nice things. When I paint a coin that turns out great, it can be normal to want to keep it.
    When I first starting getting your news, you wisely shared that you take a photo of everything you make. That made sense to me, especially since I would do that with my son’s school projects when he was young. He then could keep the photo, and let the project go.
    I am so glad I read your advise and followed it. I may have sold the jewelry piece, but I still enjoy the photos. In fact, I keep the photos on my smart phone, and they are often shared when people ask about a certain coin.

  • Anita says:

    I do that, with expensive things, or things I want to make for myself, and then lo and behold, I forget all about them!!! And when I run acros them in my archeological digs through my drawers, etc, I will look at them without a clue as to what my original purpose was! Good reminder!!

    But here is the thing, I buy most beads with the intent to create and sell, so the things I want to make for myself get put on the back burner. I feel that whenever I have a show or party…that I never have enough….and it’s crazy, because the customers don’t know what I had before, they are meeting me cold turkey.
    And even when I am going back to a place, not many remember what I had before, and will comment, that they love my new creations! So yes, I should concentrate on treating myself, and not hording those special beads, I work hard and deserve it 🙂

  • Maxie says:

    If I use some special beads I don’t think of them as gone (unless I give them as a present to someone). Nothing is forever and I recycle beads to make new jewelry. I that way some of my favourite beads have been faithful companions for years, but I don’t great tired of them because I restyle them quite often.

  • Judy Bontjes (The Bursting Jewel) says:

    I REALLY struggle with this. I come by it honestly! My Mother is worse! One day at work one of the younger girls was wearing a new top. After complimenting her I shared with her my “problem” with wearing new clothes. She responded ” Are you kidding?!! I can’t wait to rip off the tags and wear it.” . That really opened my eyes! I didn’t realize I do the same with my beads! Thanks for the insight!!

  • Susan says:

    My problem seems to be with those special findings, not necessarily beads, that I fall in love with without a clue what I’m going to do with them, and then finally have an epiphany and create something spectacular. This usually comes at 1am the night before Saturday market, then the item is the first thing that sells before I have the presence of mind to photograph it! So glad to know I am not alone.
    I don’t have the problem of not wearing new clothes. Shoes, however, are a different matter. But it’s not because I am saving them for a special occasion. I hate shoes and hate wearing them. Flip flops year ’round would make me happy. I find if I buy new shoes and they are not comfortable right away, I never wear them again. So I don’t buy new shoes unless absolutely necessary, (except flip flops). I have about 25 pr of flip flops. Too bad they don’t work when it’s 25 degrees.

  • Tula says:

    Hello Rena !
    Thank you very much for your advices ! Yes you are right, this is happens to me also ! I think that this is happened to all of us in all over the word.
    So we have to enjoy our things and not keep then close, and special if something is expensive we have to use it more. In my first trip to England 20 years before, I buy a lovely beach bag, red with a white apple in front ! I never use it and after so many years, it is pink and not usefull any more.
    So we have to enjoy our things as soon as we can !

  • Rosanne says:

    As Maxie wrote, many favorite beads can be recycled if they are not sold or given away. I feel like it is a safety net, so if I make something with that special ocean jasper pendant but have a better idea later, it can be re-worked. I am currently sorting through materials that I began collecting about twenty-five years ago. Aside from feeling overwhelmed, I am having fun finding things that I forgot I had or can’t afford to buy at today’s prices. I also have more of my early jewelry efforts than I remember making. A few I like as is, but others I’ll adapt or take apart. I realized that as I have gotten older, my hoarding tendencies have weakened somewhat and I think more about enjoying these materials and sharing them with others. I do have a stash of leather and tapestry fabric that I am stalling on cutting up, since I know that there are always new ideas and techniques to learn…..

  • Becky says:

    Love your site…..thank you! Why not wear that beautiful sweater? Had it lost it’s beauty to you just because it was ‘deemed’ out of style? ALWAYS wear what YOU deem to be in style for you, NOT what fashion dictates. To thy own self be true….and I bet your beautiful jewelry would look mighty sharp with it!!!!! 🙂

  • Diann Wilde says:

    Yes! I too have a parent like Donna’s who has always kept things that never get used and it has taken me a long time to learn to enjoy things like my grandmother’s china and more recent collectibles; also, clothes.
    As for beads, I do have the fear that if I use certain ones in a design I will then come up for a better use for them…it’s crazy, I know.
    Good to know other creatives have the same dilemmas : )

  • Patti underwood says:

    Omg. I thought I was the only one that buys more beads and want to save them.
    My mom had each new present I bought her over the years, saving it for good.
    This is a great lesson learned..
    Thank you.
    Patti Underwood

  • Colleen says:

    Oh dear, I am guilty with this one! I see a lovely and think about what “I” would love to do with it and that “I” want it…..yep, there it sits all sad in my “I” want pile! Will have to do some spring cleaning this year and give them all a happy home.

  • Debra Lowe says:

    YES!! I am always afraid I’ll kick myself if I use special beads and then decide on a different…better(?) design. Use it or lose it. I bought a gorgeous jacket, like your sweater Rena…better get the use out of it while it’s still in style and I’m still here to wear and enjoy it.

  • Maria Rodriguez says:

    Recently I reorganized my Bead Stash and found some beautiful beads I purchased a long time ago. Saving then as you mentioned! Well I fell In love with them again and I’m starting to design earrings and necklaces with them. As I do I find more design ideas. Not wanting to interrupt my first project I grab a plastic bag and put the beads inside it with finding I may have in the moment. I also make a quick note to self of the design idea I had for them! So far I’ve done a lot more beading then I did before and LOVE it.

  • Maggie says:

    I do the same Tamara. We need to follow Rena’s advice.

  • Maggie says:

    Thank you Rena for this great reminder. I have been doing this for quite sometime myself. You’ve given me the push that I’ve need. I appreciate your videos and emails very much!

  • Daisy says:

    Thank you Rena. As with many other posters I too am guilty of ‘saving for best’. Time to Sieze the day!

  • michele says:

    I’ve learned to enjoy wearing pretty things now instead of waiting for that “special” event. Like you I found if I waited that “special” event never comes at the right time. So, I learned from a friend of mine that “I” am my special event, every day! Enjoy it now. Don’t wait. 🙂

  • Mona Arnott says:

    Remember that all things come back around. I’ve been looking at what’s “in fashion” lately and often thinking that I wore that in the seventies and eighties when I was a teenager or a young woman. Your sweater may well do the same Rena.

    I’ve been guilty of the same thing with beads and findings. Right now I’m doing a major cleanup, redecorating and organizing of my studio and am so looking forward on starting to create again!


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