September traditionally belongs to the beaders in Sweden. It’s the time when the Beadalong – the biggest beading event of the country – takes place. Usually around 150 Swedish beaders gather to chat, bead, learn, exchange ideas and make new friendships. In 2019 Erika was invited by organisor Kerstin Kallin to be the masterclass teacher of the event, leading workshops and meeting new bead-friends.
2020, however, offered completely new circumstances, and the Beadalong moved online. This change has it’s ups and downs, but there is certainly one big positive side of it: beaders from many different countries could participate, not only Sweden. It’s customary in Sweden to drink “fika” or”coffee” several times a day (maybe that’s why there is a connection between the Swedish beading community and Erika :D), eat cinnamon buns and chat. Everyone needed to take care of her own cafeine, ice cream and kaneelbollen, but just as during the previous years, different beading contests spiced up the event, one of them sponsored by The Storytelling Jeweller: ‘The Bluebird’s Treasure.’
The task was to finish the following story with a couple of sentences and a jewel, of course!
“Sophia was sitting in front of the window. A book in her lap, gentle music in the background. She only raised her head when she heard some quiet but explicit sound from outside: a bluebird has landed on the windowsill, tapping on the glass. In its beak, something shiny was glittering.Their eyes met for half a second as if the bird wanted to make sure that she noticed that it put down something on the windowsill. It flew away as she opened the window. Sophia looked around, but there was no clue where was it coming from or flying to. She looked down, and she discovered a jewel at the spot where the bird was sitting a little while ago.This is what the bird could have told her if it had the power to speak:”
6 brave participants took part in the contest sending in beautiful texts with jewelry. A jury choose the winners (Kerstin Kallin, Zuzi Hake and Erika), plus there was a winner chosen randomly.
Huge congratulations to the winners and all the participants! The task was not easy, but beautiful stories and jewels were born.
1. prize: Ulla Edenmark
Prize: 50 euro gift card
The bluebird cleared its throat importantly. “This is the sapphire Tara, originally brought to this country by your great grandfather. When dark times came, we the bluebirds were ordained the guardians of the stone, until such time as it could be safely returned to your family. You, Sophia, will soon need its protection, as your heritage and the hour of confrontation approaches. Will you accept the challenge and be a force for light and love in these difficult times?”
Sophia, feeling a bit numb, understood for the first time why she had felt like she had been waiting for something, all her life. She slowly stretched out her hand and picked up the jewel. With a happy chirp, the bluebird took wing.
2. prize: Ellinor Hellhoff
Prize: 30 euro gift card
If you pay attention to your surroundings, you have the opportunity to experience the beauty that exists in both people and nature. Small details as well as grand features inhabits beauty. Just waiting to be discovered by the ones who have an open mind, ready to make new experiences.
Use this drop as a reminder of how important it is to enjoy the moment we have right now. Let it be, like a seed, the start of the things that bring joy.
Who knows what tomorrow brings…
3. prize: Sara Lilja
Prize: 15 euro gift card
I have a message from your cat Cosmos that left you all too soon, just at the age of 2 human years!
Cosmos says: The minute I crossed the rainbow bridge my pain was all gone! I am so happy here even if I miss you mommy so don’t cry for me anymore, I want you to be happy. I watch you and I am so happy too see you have my sister and 2 of my brothers that keep you busy all day. I also met your cats Boster and Baloo up here and we play all day long and they are so happy too. Love and miss you mommy, it’s ok to move on now. I know I left paw print in your heart. Sophia looked on the windowsill and there is the charm with a paw print that Cosmos had in his necklace…
Special prize: Marianske Van der Horst
Prize: 15 euro gift card
“Wear this jewel for good luck and protection. The labradorite will change colours to tell you when danger is near. It will give you the courage to face and conquer any difficulties you may encounter. Take good care of it and it will take good care of you.”
“It was so easy to laugh with you
It was so simple to look at you
You made it possible
By being beautiful
If the little bluebird could speak here is what they would have said:
“This jewel is to be added to the other jewels I have bought you before, my friend. They each represent a kindness you have done for me. When you put out seed for me, fill the birdbath or nurse my injuries; your heart is filled with kindness like a jewel is filled with sparkles when the light falls on it. Sometimes the jewels are different sizes, shapes, and colors just like the kindnesses you do can be different but they all add to the kindness and sparkle of your heart. Thank you for being my kind friend.”
Ladies, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for participating in the beading contest! All six jewels are beautiful and you can be very proud of yourselves 🙂