by Jen Bumann

Where I show off my beadwork of mostly loomed purses, but other bits and baubles too.

It all started sometime in the ’90s when I was perusing the shelves of our local bookstore and saw a book called “Antique Combs and Purses,” by Evelyn Haertig. I found it fascinating. Reading that book led to her “More Beautiful Purses.” And then I fell down the rabbit hole of beaded purses and was lost. Something about the beadwork in these everyday items spoke to me.

I found my way to online bead stores, and other books about beadwork and was most interested in the loomed purses, especially the Japanese delica beadwork. I made myself a small bead loom, nothing fancy. Then made my first purse, also, nothing fancy–I was teaching myself the technique so wanted a straightforward design. I was hooked.

My first simple design.

I was still working at the time and starting to find my job even duller and more uninspiring than ever. It was interfering with my need to create. I decided to do something radical. January 1, 2000 was my first day of freedom, after 16 years of working in the printing industry.

Now I could really focus on my creative side. Something I did for several years, even teaching loom beading classes at the local yarn store that sold a particular loom I was interested in buying.

But then something unexpected happened. I found I had more spare time, and money, to pursue something else I had been interested in since I was a teenager, finding my ancestors. (The internet made this even easier to do because when I started my family history there was no internet, and no money.) This led to my joining the local genealogy society, which led to my hearing about a job at the University in the Archives that was looking for a part time genealogist/assistant. So, I got suckered back into work. But this time I love my job. I must because I am still there. (My genealogy blog is still active.)

The downside to this decision was I ended up putting my beading aside for 18 years. But now I am back with a vengeance. You see, last summer thanks to the pandemic, I was put on furlough. However, for me it was a blessing in disguise because I have been able to get back to my first love.

I decided to start this second blog so that I can share old projects, and new ones, with whomever. This will be an accounting of my work, to help me stay inspired.

I do not sell my work, unless someone expresses an interest in a particular piece. That only ever happened once, many years ago. Usually I give my pieces away to friends and family to enjoy. Who knows what the future holds?

Enjoy! or not…Jen
Beadwork Blog:
Genealogy Blog:
Genealogy Website:

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