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The Bead Spill: My Horrifying Initiation!

Posted by learntobead on April 17, 2020

What was your initiation into that phenomenon called “Bead Spill”?

This was mine..

“Yikes!” she screamed, shaking the ground, the store, the parking lot, in fact, the whole wide world, and I was, to everyone’s regret, caught in that earth-shattering scream. I was carefully balancing twelve trays of loose beads, moving them to their new shelves when, behind my back, I heard that cry for help, that screech of fear, that siren of bead hell.

I instinctively turned. It wasn’t something I thought out and planned rationally. It wasn’t something that arose intuitively from my gut. It was pure animal instinct. Stimulus-Response. Lust. Fear. Gluttony. Raw Emotion. I tried to juggle the twelve trays as they fled my nurturing hands and arms.

And I urgently called to the beads. Which had been in the trays. Which were now flying out of my hands.

As if to calm them, I said, “Beads, you won’t fall.” You won’t get hurt. You won’t leave the safety and sanctity of these trays. Good beads. Good, good beads.

And, for a brief moment, I thought I had saved all these little, little, beautiful, beautiful, very round, very round beads from a fate almost worse than death. The trays were juggling and for a moment, I believed they had started to re-stack themselves. They were home free. One back on top of another on top of another….

If it weren’t for that scream and that deep primal instinct ripping my fear and anxiety from the depths of my soul, and the fact that it is hard to pivot wearing sneakers on a hard wood floor, juggle twelve trays of ever-more terrified loose glass beads, and respond to a lady in distress, the situation would have come to a pleasant end.

But alas, that was not to be.

With some shame, some guilt, much surprise and yes, a lot of embarrassment, this was to be my grand initiation into the phenomenon commonly known as The Bead Spill. What a mess!

I know a lot of people have a fantasy where they are bathing in a tub of beads. It’s sensuous. Caressing. You’re at one with the God of the Beads.

This wasn’t like that. This was thousands of round objects falling and running and spreading every which way. Along the walls, behind the legs of chairs and tables, under people’s feet. In with the dust, the dog hairs, and previously spilled beads or beads that had mysteriously escaped their trays.

She should have whispered, “Shoo Fly!”

Not screamed “Yikes!”.


I’ve never carried twelve trays of loose beads at once again.

Bead spills are not rare occurrences. In fact, some people spill beads like other people drink water.

There are the people who like to carry big purses in small places. These people are prone to sudden turns and distractions. Guaranteed spills!

These people need to understand the interrelationships between space, lack of space and time. Simple physics. Bead spills have physics, and I’m sure could easily be considered a science. Like, if you drop a bead, in what direction does it go? How far does it go? How fast does it travel? Do red beads behave similarly as blue beads? If someone dropped you from the top of a building, would you end up going in the same direction, and as far? Probably not.

So what is it about beads that makes things happen like dropping them off to the right, and finding them off to the left? Bead spills do not have the same physics as pick-up-sticks. That is for sure. They have laws of gravity and mass and energy all of their own.

Then there are the people who are torn between their love of beads and their love for their pets. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cat, a dog, a parrot or a fish. Beads spill. It could be a monkey or a ferret or even a Rogue Elephant. Beads spill. Sometimes it’s a dog AND a cat or a parrot AND a ferret. Beads spill.

People need to understand that animals understand the situation. Animals do not want to share their love — especially with beads. Beads are beautiful, but don’t need water or food. Beads are comforting to touch, but don’t need grooming. Beads are glorious in their splendor, but will not bite. It should come, then, as no surprise, that animals, when near any pile of beads, will instinctively have the urge to make them spill in ways you never thought of. Animals spill beads, but for more selfish reasons than humans.

The strategies of animals are legend, and have been written down in a secret book — Bead Spill Techniques for Dogs and Cats. You’ve seen these techniques in practice. Your cat angling for attention, moves toward you to sit in your lap — of course, moves toward you over your tray of beads. Your dog taking the pose to beg for treats while you’re moving your tray of beads from one end of the table to the other. Your pet actually eating those particular beads you’re working with right now. You catch them, but suddenly their tail goes swoof, and you are down on your hands and knees again picking up millions and millions of tiny, very small, eye-straining beads.

These animal-based-skills are very practiced and endless. Animals do not like playing second fiddle to beads. And if the pile of beads has been organized to accommodate the needs of a particular project, well, so much the better. They score more bead spill points.

Picking up spilled beads is a familiar routine. There’s nothing like dropping 14KT gold delica seed beads onto a gold shag carpet, getting on your hands and knees, and delving into product reclamation. Picking up bead spills works better when set to jazzercise music, but no music will suffice as well. Some people get crafty, and stretch a nylon stocking across the intake collection valve of a vacuum cleaner. Other people, however, are just plain tired of picking up beads. They let them stay where they fall. On the floors. In the couches. In clothing, in boxes, in food, in pots and pans.

New beaders seem especially concerned and anal-compulsive about spilled beads. They spot an errant bead, and rush to pick it up and place it in a container somewhere. Seasoned beaders have learned to live with such minor nuisances as combing beads out of their hair.

They see a bead on the floor, and let it lay.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Do You Know Where Your Beading Needles Are?

Consignment Selling: A Last Resort

Odds or Evens? What’s Your Preference?

My Clasp, My Clasp, My Kingdom For A Clasp

Why Am I So Addicted To Beads?

The Bead Spill: My Horrifying Initiation

The Artists At The Party

How To Bead A Rogue Elephant

You Can Never Have Enough Containers For Your Stuff

Beading While Traveling On A Plane

Contemplative Ode To A Bead

How To Bead In A Car

My Aunt Gert: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

A Jewelry Designer’s Day Dream

A Dog’s Life by Lily

I Make All The Mistakes In The Book

How Sparkle Enters People’s Lives

Upstairs, Downstairs At The Bead Store

Beads and Race

Were The Ways of Women or of Men Better At Fostering How To Make Jewelry

Women and Their Husbands When Shopping For Beads

Women Making Choices In The Pursuit Of Fashion

Existing As A Jewelry Designer: What Befuddlement!

The Bridesmaid Bracelets

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies, including beads, to spill or not.

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.


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