Ever since our distant ancestors lived in caves we have made body ornaments - from sharks teeth, from bones, from cowrie shells, dried berries and, of course, beads. Beads made of wood, clay, dried berries etc.
Once you start beading it is very easy to become obsessive about collecting beads as there are some very beautiful glass beads to be had these days. In fact, you can get carried away and buy individual beads which are lovely in themselves. I've bought a few and never found a use for them! You can see one or two of them in the photograph, together with some of the things I have made.
Some of the beads in the fringe on the specs case (they are mostly dull blue or green, without the shine of the glass ones) were made for me by a very clever friend, who works in polymer clay.
The specs case was probably the easiest to make of all the things in the photograph. Once you have established the bottom row of 76 seed beads the rest grows quickly. There are only about twenty-four rows in the case as you can thread a whole"stripe" on in one row. And making the fringe is fun because you can lay all the beads you are going to use out on a table and fiddle about moving them until you get the best effect.
The case is lined with a piece of painted vilene cut to size and sewn, then pushed into the case and secured with the top row of gold beads.
I can recommend beading as a relaxing hobby but BE WARNED: beading is obsessive - once you begin to send for brochures, visit craft fairs, find beading shops - you are hooked and you see some beads which you simply have to have. I haven't done any beading for several years but I still have thousands of beads waiting to be used. It is a bit like patchwork - some material is so pretty you just have to have it even if it means keeping it in the cupboard and taking it out now and then to gloat over it!!