Kathy Shields

My love of beading began in the 1960s when hippy beads became popular.  It was heightened in the 1970s when a friend received a gift of a three-strand beaded necklace that looked totally organic – mostly black seed beads with a mix of other beads in what seemed to be a random pattern that come together in a beautiful whole.  I have been chasing that look for over 40 years!  Turns out, it isn’t as easy as it looks.  

I began collecting and recycling beads about 30 years ago, and all I can say about that is that I am lucky they are so small!  I particularly enjoy recycling pieces that my friends give me that were headed to the trash heap.  I also hunt for finds at yard sales, antique shops, and thrift stores.  I am happy to give these a second chance to shine.

About 20 years ago I took a beading class on using an image to create pieces.  It changed my beading life for sure!  Many of my pieces are inspired by a photo I took, usually of nature.  Using the image I focus on the colors and textures nature has so perfectly put together.  I call this “painting with beads”.   I have started teaching this technique in classes locally to enthusiastic students.

Recently, I have blended two of my hobbies together to create pieces that are crocheted and beaded. This is truly fulfilling!  I take wire and crotchet beads onto it.  Some pieces are three strands that are braided together.  There are both vintage and contemporary beads throughout.  The results are stunning!

Finally, I decided that it was time to create a business presence for myself.  You will find my small home business at I Heart Beading on Etsy and Facebook.  I hope you will take a look and find something of interest.  I am also willing to create a custom piece based on an image you like or beads of your choosing.  Just inspire me and watch what happens!