This strand of beads belonged to my dear friend Frances Wright. Frances loved beads and jewelry making, had a huge wonderful personality, and was one of those people who always made you laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes. Frances was a member of the Bead Society of Southeastern Virginia, and I have been a long-time member myself. We lost Frances suddenly few years ago and were all shocked and saddened.
Her family had no use for her beads and sold a lot of them to the Bead Society. We used quite a few of them to initiate a project in her honor. We named the project Frances’ Beads and made jewelry to donate to a local organization that helps women enter or re-enter the workforce by giving them an interview outfit. Frances’ Beads has gone on to become an annual event. I know Frances would be proud.
I remember bead shopping with her. We were in Maryland at a bead show and we were both looking at some African beads. Frances said I love these beads so much but I never use them. I told her I loved mine too but I used mine and asked her why she didn’t use hers. She said the strands were just so beautiful that she could never bear to cut them. This strand of African beads is one I purchased from the beads Frances left behind. It hangs in my workshop, it reminds me of her, and will remain a strand uncut.