Diane Lauderbaugh

My Beading History


Diane Lauderbaugh

When I first considered taking up beading as an art form, I found myself identifying with Hamlet. “To be[ad] or not to be[ad]—that is the question.” At the time, I was a bit stressed; okay, a lot stressed. I was raising a string of kids in Spokane, WA. (five children, but who’s counting). My husband went off to college every day while I was maintaining our own home, as well as running my own house cleaning business. It was Christmas time, and we, needless to say, were woefully short of cash. My dilemma: how was I going to give my family meaningful gifts, with little or no money to pay for them?

I shared my concerns with my close neighbor and girlfriend. She suggested I bead some gifts. I have to admit that my initial reaction was negative. It was true that I had taken on all kinds of crafty projects with my friend already: Rubber stamping, making candles, painting pots, and knitting three dimensional taken that copies of the Venus De Milo (well, maybe not the last one, but we very well might have tried it, if we thought we could’ve pull it off).
These crafts were fine, but I doubted that I could take on yet another craft discipline. I felt I lacked the necessary knowledge and skills to produce quality beading. However, after reflecting on Hamlet’s quandary, I realized that desperate times call for desperate beading measures. I decided to give it a try, and the rest, as they say, is her story. (Just in case you were wondering, my family loved my beaded gifts, even my husband, who I gifted with a 3-D miniature of the Venus De Milo.)

My beading adventure began approximately thirty years ago and it has not stopped since. What started for me as an avocation eventually evolved into a career, and a lifelong passion. In due course, I created a retail bead store, Main Street Beads, in Vancouver, WA. I ran it successfully for over fifteen years. I have given countless classes and created and worked with all kinds of beakers with a range of skill levels.

Eventually, I retired, but my passion for beading remains. I am still a beadoholic.

After closing my store I still had an abundance of inventory, including rare African beads, pearls, precious stones, and a sundry of other beads and beading materials. Presently, I have decided to come out of retirement, albeit briefly, so I can once again help share my passion, and knowledge (and my inventory) with friends, customers, and other beadophiles.

“To be[ad] or not to be[ad]?” is really not the question. The question is whether or not I will ever really to be able to stop myself.

I certainly hope not.

Diane Lauderbaugh
July 15, 2016