Archive for the ‘Bead One Pray Too: About the Book’ Category

I woke up this morning to open my email and find a message from Steve Riley, the best publicist in the world, that the writer of the blog Penny Carnival had mentioned my book.

That’s nice, I thought, and I clicked on the link.

Nice does not cover it. I hope you will read this Penny Carnival post – not because it is about me, me, me. It isn’t. It’s about the meaning of prayer beads and the purpose of writing about them. And the author of the blog, Megan Cooley, is very perceptive and totally gets what I was trying to convey in the book and in the CraftSanity interview. Megan, thank you so much. You have humbled me and made me so grateful for the opportunity to reach people like you.

And another lovely mention on Laura Brittain’s blog, Heart of Compassion Malas. Laura recently left a comment on one of my blog postings and said how she loved to make malas and posts some for sale on Etsy. We’re going to talk to her in more depth in a future post.

While we are talking about good things, I got this comment about my post on Seattle’s St. James Cathedral from Patty Bowman, the church’s director of outreach. She said I could share it with you:

Hi, Kimberly. Thanks so much for your email. I read your blog entry, and
was very touched to hear how much you enjoyed your prayer time at the
cathedral. We are pleased to be able to have the cathedral open all day for
prayer — for parishioners and for visitors such as yourself.

I’m also pleased that you sent this email to me, because I’ve recently
become hooked into beads and beading. I’m a lifelong Catholic, and when I
was a child, it was our family’s practice to pray the rosary every night
together. So I guess I’ve always had beads in my life as an aid to prayer,
but only recently discovered the joy of creating jewelry with beads. I like
it for many reasons: for one, it’s a very forgiving hobby, if I don’t like
how something turned out, I can simply take it apart and start over. I’m
also constantly amazed at the variety of stones that come from the earth,
which invites meditation on the wonderful diversity of God’s creation. And
then there’s the stories behind the beads, which I’m only beginning to see
— how beads were crafted, where, by whom, and what they signify in
different cultures. So much to learn!

I agree. So much to learn. And all of it from the great people I am meeting as a result of writing about prayer beads.

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I cannot imagine why anyone would want to hear me talk for an hour, but Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood sure did. This firecracker interviewed me about a month ago, I think, on the subject of Bead One, Pray Too and crafting with a spiritual bent. We had a ball – talked for two-and-a-half hours, she from her home in Michigan, where she had just put the kids to sleep, and me in Pinole, just after dinner. I do not know how she does it – she’s a mom, a crafty crafter, a wife and has a job, too! AND SHE DOES TRIATHALONS! Really, we must draw the line somewhere! Overachiever.

This week, Jennifer posted a podcast of our interview today on her fabulous website, craftsanity.com. It is a great site, where she blogs, offers project instructions and tips, conducts interviews with other crafters and generally kicks up a darn good time. While you are on her site, be sure and check out the great pictures she has of the craft projects she does with her kids. This one – of her daughter, Abby’s, “first official stitches” – is one of my favorites. And look at the rubber band Easter eggs! Anyone who takes the time to put rubber bands on eggs gets my vote for craft hero of the year!

I am going to admit that I have not listened to the podcast – yet. I can’t imagine listening to myself for an hour or more without wanting to stick knitting needles in my eyes. But I will – I promise. Someone else listen first and email me so maybe I’ll know I don’t sound like a total idjit. Maybe I’ll download it on my iPod, mix myself a strong margarita, and head for the backyard where, hopefully, no one will hear me scream. Yikes. But I am very, very grateful to Jennifer for her interest in my work. I hope you all visit her site and subscribe – she is a terrific crafter and a great writer, too!

I have some other fun news to share. Earlier this week I received the following email from Kathleen Davis Niendorff, a literary agent I met in San Diego late last year. We were both there for the American Academy of Religion’s annual conference. We met at my publisher’s party, and when my editor, Nancy Fitzgerald, mentioned that I had just finished a book about prayer beads (I was doing the final edits at the same time I was attending the meeting!), Kathleen’s face just broke into a big smile. She said she used prayer beads – an Anglican rosary – daily and talked about how much the practice had mean to her. Well, as you can imagine, that got me going and pretty soon I just felt moved to give her as a gift an Anglican rosary I had made and had in my purse at the time. Here’s the email, which I cherish, and share with you with Kathleen’s permission:

Dear Kimberly,

When you pulled out the rosary from your purse and gave it to me in San Diego, you could not possibly have known the extent to which I would use it! Every day. And every night it is under my pillow because I generally pray myself to sleep—how sweet is that? Thank you so very much for the way in which your gift has enriched my life.

And Nancy tells me your book is doing so well—congratulations!

God’s peace, Kathleen

Anyone else got a nice thank you to share from someone they gave a set of prayer beads to?

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While I was away in Los Angeles, I received an email from Heather Powers, the highly creative brain behind the Art Bead Scene blog and creator of some gorgeous, lust-worthy beads. She let me know that she had posted a review of Bead One, Pray Too on her site and I am so pleased! It is a most wonderful review and I am humbled by the lovely and kind thngs she wrote. That is the first happiness.

The second happiness is that she had been moved to create a few sets of prayer beads with some fabulous beads she made herself. I had been buzzing around her site one day when I saw these little beads she made in the shape of birds and I got so excited! They would, I wrote her, make great invitatory beads for an Anglican rosary (or a great bead for a Pearls of Life, or a pagan rosary, or some Baha’i prayer beads, or a shaheed for an Islamic tasbih or subha). She took my suggestion and you must see these! The birds are such a suitable symbol for prayer beads. If you are Christian, they can represent the Holy Spirit, and for people of other faiths they can represent peace, freedom or transformation. I LOVE THEM.

And just as good is her description of the beads she chose for this set, which is gift for a friend, and why:

“This one starts off with a branch bead to remind my friend to leave the chaos/wilderness of the world and to enter into a time of prayer,” she writes. “The bird is used to remind her that if God cares for the birds of the field, he will provide for his children. I used stones as a symbol of our Creator’s unending faithfulness to us and the glass as a reminder that life is fragile and precious. The wood beads are more personal as a reminder of the cross.”

Spend some time on Heather’s great blogs, looking at the great beads she creates. There is a lot of inspiration there for prayer beads of all kinds!

And one more happiness: Heather posted her review of my book on amazon.com and when I went to look at it, someone else – a total stranger – had posted another 5-star review. If any of you know Jacqueline C. Young, give her a smootchie for me!

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This must be my lucky weekend! Not only did Bead One, Pray Too appear in an article in The Toledo Blade (see last post!) but it was also in an article in The Grand Rapids Press – on the same day! Thank you Juanita Westaby for a great article, and thanks to my friend and colleague Charles Honey for assigning her the story.

In the Grand Rapids story, I love the description of the way Meg Jenista uses her Catholic rosary – to make 10 prayer requests for the world, the world, the nation, the church, family and friends. Wow! Meg, if you are reading this blog, please contact me and let’s talk a bit more. Very cool.

Oh – and a clarification or two – I do sometimes use a Catholic rosary, both with and without the traditional Catholic prayers; and I didn’t say the rosary began with the Orthodox. I am not sure what she meant.

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Yeah! Here is the article about the trunk show of the prayer beads from Bead One, Pray Too currently on display at Maumee, Ohio’s Bonita Bead Boutique. The article appears in today’s Toledo Blade. Thank you, David Yonke, religion reporter extraordinaire! I love the part of the story about the sisters, Anita and Ann, who run the store. I only wish they had better pictures for the online version – David told me his photographer got some great pictures. Darn!

And note what Ann and Anita say about being able to make a set of prayer beads for as little as $10-15. Very true – you can actually make some very nice ones made of Czech glass and maybe even some Swarovski for that amount. I hope that this article moves you to make a trip to your local independently owned bead store.

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Beader-extraordinaire Katie Hacker was gracious enough to write a very positive review about Bead One, Pray Too on her excellent blog. Take a look. I am very flattered – she is a beading superstar. I am over the moon about this. Will have champagne tonight!

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Bonita Bead BoutiqueI am often a very lucky girl. About six weeks ago, as I was marketing Bead One, Pray Too to independent bead stores, I received a call from Ann Tristan, co-owner with her identical twin sister Anita, of Bonita Bead Boutique in Maumee, Ohio. Ann thought the book sounded like a good fit for the store, where they regularly offer a rosary-making class, and where she makes and sells “inspirational jewelry” with semi-precious stones and sterling silver charms. Ann asked if I had a trunk show.Ann and Anita Tristan

A trunk show! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? Well, I am just lucky Ann did. For those of you who may not know, a trunk show is a display of a designer’s or company’s wares. They are usually for sale, but mine are for display only, as many are my own personal prayer beads and my purpose is not to sell prayer beads, but to get people to make their own and reconnect through them on their own, unique faith journeys.

So about two weeks ago I tagged about 12 sets of prayer beads and packed them in a box – malas, subhas, rosaries and prayer beads all jumbled together – and sent them off to Maumee. Now through Mother’s Day, Bonita Bead Boutique will display them with the book and help customers pick out the makings of their own prayer beads. You can see their publicity for the trunk show here.

So if you’re anywhere near Maumee – a suburb of Toledo, I believe – and you’d like to see the prayer beads in the book and browse Ann and Anita’s wonderful selection of beads from around the world (ask about the “Buddha beads”), I hope you’ll go. And if you do, take a couple of pictures and send them to me. I wish I weren’t 2,000 miles away from my first trunk show.

And if you can’t get to Maumee, check out the “Bonita Bead Gives Back” page on their website. Look designer Susan Matych-Hager‘s breast cancer bead – wouldn’t four or five of those make great cruciform or Our Father – or any kind of – beads for someone with breast cancer? And the store raised over $1300 for Beads for Life. Ann and Anita ROCK!

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I must have been an extra good girl lately because the good stuff just keeps on a-comin’ my way. Diane Gilleland, the brains behind CraftyPod just did the most lovely spread and review of both Bead One, Pray Too and Fabric of Faith. What I most liked about her review is that she hones right in on what I most want to convey – that any way that brings you into the presence of the Divine is valid way. Thanks, Diane and CraftyPod.

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book-cover-image.jpgOn Monday I received an email query via Morehouse, my publisher, saying that a customer who had bought the book had called the company to ask a question – where did I get the terminal charms pictured on the cover of the book?

Wanting to reward such ingenuity (how did she find the phone number? Is it in the book?) and super excited to actually BEGIN the conversation about prayer beads and prayer I hope this blog becomes, I answered right away! And tonight I was rewarded with the nicest email note from Cathie D. on Cape Cod, Mass. – MY FIRST READER!!!

So, I wanted to share the information I passed on to Cathie with everyone else – where can you get the terminal charms you see on the cover of “Bead One, Pray Too” – and where can you get other good terminal charms that are not in the shape of a cross?

The charms on the cover – the tree, the labyrinth and the wooden cross – came from a variety of places. The silver tree came from Baubles and Beads, my favorite local beadstore, in Berkeley, Calif. They have another store on San Rafael, Calif., too. I’ve provided a link to their website, and if you call or email them, I found the cross at the front counter, near the register, in a little bowl of charms. I picked up the pewter labyrinth charm on a trip toSan Franciso’s Grace Cathedral, where I found it in their gift store. Give them a call – they have LOTS of labyrinth charms and other items because they have two labyrinths. And I got the wooden cross at Michael’s, the national craft store chain.

But there are TONS of places to find terminal charms that are not crosses. In many beadstores, you can find stone donuts of different sizes which can be attached to the end of a set of prayer beads with a beaded loop of flexible beading wire and a crimp bead – directions are in the book. You can also final alternative charms at many religious and spiritual bookstores and supply stores. In Oakland, we are lucky to have Sagrada, where I have bought several alternative charms. Green Girl Studios also makes terrific sterling and pewter charms. You can also use large lampwork glass beads, which artists all over the world make and sell in their local bead and craft store.

Those are just some of the places to find interesting terminal charms. Anyone out there have any other ideas they can share? Anyone know any other good e-tailers or – better yet – local craftspeople who make and sell silver, pewter or base metal charms that can be used for prayer beads? Write in and share.

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bead-one-cover.jpgMy baby was delivered today in a brown padded envelope by the mail carrier at about 1:30 p.m!

Oh, how wonderful to open a package and, for the very first time, feel the heft of a year and more’s worth of work. Please forgive me if I do go on too much, but there is just nothing to compare to finally seeing your work in book form. For the first time, this isn’t a mass of pixels on the screen or a stack of disorganized papers. Here it is, finally – bound and ever so beautiful.

Let this be a formal thank you to all the wonderful people who helped make this book possible! I listed all of them in the book’s acknowledgements, but there they are again – Nancy Fitzgerald, Sue Banker, Andy Lion, Dorothy Perez, Ari Goldman, Diane Connolly, David Gibson, Steve Riley and my husband, Terry. I love and thank you all. And more thanks to the people who said nice things about the book on its back cover – Phyllis Tickle, Kathy Cueva and Ken Norian.
I promise to write/compile another set of prayers for Lenten prayer bead practice and have them posted by Monday. I have – thankfully – had a lot of work in the last two weeks and haven’t been able to devote as much time as I would like to the blog.

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