Buttercup Beads
~where creativity blossoms!
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the buttercup newsletter > We got worms.
We got worms.

Apr 5, 2009

We got worms.

I don't know about you, but around here, hundreds of fat shiny earthworms had wiggled out of their soggy earthen homes and inched themselves up onto the sidewalk, the driveway, the garden walk, and even onto the front porch surrounding the store. They were all over the place, looking as if they had somewhere to go and something to do... Why do worms come out anyway? To meet up with their friends? To dry out? To mate? To do...something...what?!, I don't know.

Whatever their reason, their slime-trailed little confluence forced me to do the obligatory Spring Worm Dance - stepping over and then around them, tip-toeing from one empty spot to the next, while simultaneously avoiding spilling hot coffee into my purse... "Careful - Don't squish them," I could hear memories of my Mother saying, "Earthworms are good for the soil.."

It was not surprising that childhood memories came flooding back to me. Research has shown that memories are strongest when they are attached to our sense of smell. And that morning, the air was strong with the scent of rich wet soil, as well as all those dang clammy worms...

As kids, after the rain, my friends and I would squat down to study the worms. Sometimes we'd poke them with the end of a newly blooming forsythia stick and watch them wiggle and curl up. Sometimes though, our mean side would come out and we would cut them in half with the stick to see what happened... (Oh stop, like you've never cut a worm in half before!)

Feeling both fascinated and slighly nauseated, the bravest of us would sometimes pick them up with bare hands and then turn to tease the younger kids with them. At other times, and especially if the sun came out strong, we would turn into Good Samaritans and race around to rescue any stranded ones before they could dehydrate and turn into little flat brown sticks.

We would argue over which end was the head, and which end was the backside. We'd all point and yell "Ewww!" when we happened upon a worm that "got runned over" by a car... Walking to the bus stop after a rain, someone would eventually say "Eww, it smells like worms today!" Once you know that smell - you never forget it...

We were weird kids in those days - wanting to play outside all day long, armed with only our imagination and our curiosity. There was so much to do, and so much to discover...

Spring meant a trip to our local five and dime store, called Grant's, to get a new pair of white canvas sneakers and a new "windbreaker" jacket. If we were really good, Mom might even buy us a new pink rubber ball, or a jar of bubbles, or a kite, or some sidewalk chalk. Nothing complicated, nothing expensive - just a little treat to celebrate the season. For my mother, it was a time to buy new clothespins and new clothesline, and maybe some new cotton curtains to freshen up a room that she had just Spring cleaned...

Spring was a time of discovery - we'd look for and count all the fat robins and watch how they would stand still and cock their head to the side - amazed that they could actually hear the worms underground, but then felt bad when they actually found one. We'd look for the new nests, and ride our rusty old bikes, and jump rope, and when tired, layed down on the cool grass to watch all the clouds float by.

We would examine all of the new blooms, and go down to the creek and look for tadpoles, being careful not to get our new sneakers muddy. We'd turn over rocks and look for bugs, and climb trees, and tear the "skin" from the peeling bark of the birch trees. We'd pick flowers for our Moms out of our neighbor's yards, and run like hell to not get discovered and yelled at. We'd discover rainbows in the sky, as well as in the puddles with oil droplets by the side of the road...

Whether it's the lowly soggy worm, a blossoming cherry tree, or a field of daffodils, Spring is a season filled with wonder and simple joys. Be childlike in your discoveries - and look at things as if for the very first time. Renew your imagination, with the growth and determination of a delicate bulb pushing it's way through the darkness. Happy Spring everyone.

~Andrea


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Okay, time for the beady updates:

Lots of new beads blooming in the Buttercup Garden this month!

Carlie and I are just beginning to see the bottom of the box of all the new Czech glass we got in recently. We've even put our Pop-Pop to work at home stringing and tagging them. Lots of firepolish in all sorts of sizes and finishes, some new florals, some beautiful glass pearls, a pretty garden of vintage Lucite flowers - perfect for a spring project. They also make fantastic button clasps for your seed projects!

We totally revamped the seed beads too - and put out something like 12 new trays of seeds in pretty spring colors. We've included a new selection of bugle beads too - because I got a few projects in mind for the coming months.

We have new vintage brass components and beautiful hand-made dichroic pendants and cabs just waiting to be used. Our beloved Faune has brought in some of her hand painted porcelain cabs too - that would be perfectly gorgeous wire wrapped or seed embellished.

The April class schedule is done and posted - Look for the fantastic new classes! May and June have some new projects posted too.

The seed classes:
I'll be teaching two new seed bead projects called Lady Gwendolyn and Cobblestone Path. Both pretty! Check the website for pictures and descriptions. I hope you'll join us. The beautiful Juliet and Beaded Braid are still on the schedule due to popular demand, so if you missed it last month -you can easily register for them again this month.

The wire classes:
Holly Tarr has joined the Buttercup team this month and will teach us how to do the "Garden of Eden" tree of life wire pendant on Sunday, the 26th. So Pretty! Holly does amazing wire work - welcome Holly!

Sue Quinque is doing another unique class called Egytptian Coils on the 21st. Gina is doing the beautiful wire Wrapped Cabochon on the 19th. And Jayne Stilly is doing her second sparkling wire crochet project called "All that Glitters" on the 25th. All fantastic classes and unique techniques that you will use over and over in your designs. Register early as seats are filling fast!

As for the website, I did some Spring cleaning and added and reorganized the pages.

First, I reorganized the class description page - as it was getting too long and hard to load - so I split the classes into categories and linked them all to a central page now called "Our Classes".

I've also added a "New Classes" page, which will feature the newest addition classes to the lineup so you can do a quick check to see what's new for the month.

Just for Fun, I've added two other new pages -
The Quotable Quotes page - little nuggets of inspiration to help with creativity.

And the "Bead Challenge" page - be sure to check out what amazing creations customers did with our "mystery beads" Congratulations to Beth Blank, Holly Tarr, and Gina Streubel all ribbon winners for their unique use of beads. Thank you to everyone who participated! Great job everyone!

Since the Bead Challenge was a lot of fun we've decided to make it a regular thing - look for the next packet of mystery beads out mid month - have your designs back to us by May 15 for a chance to win prizes. The exercise is simple - purchase a packet and use 75-80% of the mystery beads in your design. You may add whatever beads you'd like, and use any technique. Prizes will be awarded to the top three designs. All designs will be posted on the webpage. It's alot of fun - we hope you'll join in!

This months free bead soirees are posted for Thursday nite, April 9, and Friday nite - April 24. Join us for some fun beading and a chance to sit and chat. We will be discussing our new collaborative bead project more too. All are welcome!

Calling all Buttercup Beaders! We're gathering people to join "The Beaded Patchwork Quilt Project" - please be sure to read the separate newsletter about the event. Thank you to everyone, especially Lisa Applegate, for organizing and contributing ideas to the project. Of note: We've now changed the bead size to use size 8/0 seed beads! - finished size remains the same: 3in X 3in square. More info to follow..

Peter Cottontail dropped by:
We're happy to once again hold our EASTER EGG HUNT FOR BARGAINS - Make a purchase and search for a hardly well-hidden easter egg around the store. Prizes include everything from free classes to free bead mats to discounts off merchandise.

Carlie is the official keeper of the COUNT THE JELLYBEANS CONTEST - so come on in and do some guessing - winner gets a $10. gift certificate.

Spring has sprung and Easter is right around the corner. We wish for you a season of blessings and a holiday filled with family and friends. As always, thank you for your continued and loyal support - we appreciate your generosity more than you can ever know. Happy Easter everyone!

Best,
Andrea & Carlie, the jellybean counter.
www.buttercupbeads.com


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