Tools Rule – 20% off Tools – one week only
“Ugh” said Belinda, as she forced the bone needle through the thick hide. Belinda – whose name in the speech of her tribe meant Beautiful Serpent, or possibly Tree without Leaves. As early homo sapiens – on the cusp of new discoveries, they yet had a small vocabulary, and lots of words were forced to do double and even triple duty.
Ugh wasn’t a word, however, it was a lexical utterance and the meaning of it was not destined to change with the millennia. It conveyed her general unhappiness with her immediate task as clothes maker, her ongoing role as caregiver, and the very immediate sensation of having rammed the needle into her finger more times than there were stars in the sky.
“Someday,” she thought to herself, “Someday, far in the future, many risings of the sun, needles will be better. Stronger, sharper, easier to use. Maybe my daughters will make.”
Belinda was right – needles have improved, and we have them.
Remember, as the number goes up, the size goes down so a #12 is smaller than a #10. Which works with the way bead sizes work. So for a smaller bead, choose a smaller needle, i.e. a size 10/0 bead wants a #11 needle, a size 11/0 bead wants a #12 needle, a 15/0 bead wants a #15 needle. More or less.
Choose the Big Eye for elastic and beads 4mm and up.
Whether you like a flexible or stiff needle is personal preference. Some advanced beaders are happy to get an hour’s beading out of a needle, and by the time they are done with it, it is bent into a curve. Needles are not forever.
Somewhere, many thousands of grand-daughters later, another Belinda worked another tool. Her grandfather tolerated her working in the forge, surrounded by the noise and heat of the fire because she had a good way with the horses, and good eyesight and a deft hand with the delicate work. And possibly because his only son had been killed in one of the innumerable petty wars that the lords deemed fit to drag all the able-bodied men away to fight in, and so, at least his grand-daughter remained.
While she was stronger than most young women, her real strength lay in the delicate chasing and riveting work she did, to make the intricate decorations for the armor the barons and lords so desired. He never asked her if she wanted to work in the forge, she just showed up when she was a little girl, and he never sent her away. But if he had asked her what she thought of the idea of a life spent cleaning and cooking and raising babies, her reaction would have been “Ugh.”
Fast forward more generations. A hammer is a powerful tool, but more powerful still is knowledge. And the tool that transmits that power is the written word. This Belinda is reading, poring over the pages of a book. A book was like having your own mentor. All the world at your fingertips. “Ugh,” murmured Belinda as the alarm went off. Another night spent reading and beading and forgetting to go to bed.
“Ugh,” said Belinda, as a wheeled buggy, loaded with bags flaunting the slogan “Rocks, Of Course!” and being dragged by a determined-looking woman little taller than the buggy itself, climbed and wobbled over her toes. She elbowed her way through the push and shove to see past the craning necks, and bifocals. She was many many many granddaughters removed from the first Belinda, but the desire for better tools was in the bone. She was at a bead show, and she was watching an amazing young woman demonstrate an equally amazing tool.
“I absolutely could use one of those,” said Belinda. “I could polish, cut, sharpen, finish, drill holes, oh, do so much with it! I want a JoolTool!”
From bone needles to JoolTools* – we’ve come a long way, baby. We are not the only tool-making species – but quite possibly the only one that says “ooooo, tooooools.”
(JoolTool and accessories not included in sale. Sadly.)
Can’t find what you are looking for? Feel free to just email us and ask!
Gift Certificates – always a great gift.