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Beeswax Queen of the Tri-County Area

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Beeswax used to be the gold standard in thread conditioning, both for seamstresses and for beaders like me. Just a few years ago, you could buy an ounce of beeswax (at least a year's supply) in any craft store for about $1.75 -- a simple, natural substance that keeps thread from tangling, makes it easier to hold onto, and stiffens it so you can handle intricate beadweaving constructions more easily.

But then somebody started marketing a slimy, gel-like substance called Thread Heaven, and beeswax has all but disappeared. Thread Heaven reduces tangling, yes -- but in every other way, it works to the detriment of the kind of beading I do. Miserable stuff!

Fabric shops carry something that's billed as beeswax, a yellowish wafer in a plastic holder -- but it's oily and slick, not at all like the real thing. Can't abide it.

So today, when I realized my trusty little lump of beeswax was missing, I panicked. I know I can order beeswax online from at least one major bead supply place where they still recognize its value -- but that would take days, and I feel the need... the need to bead!

Inspiration finally struck, and I checked in the candlemaking department of a big craft store. Sure enough, they did have good old-fashioned natural beeswax -- just the thing I was looking for. Except they had it only by the pound! A great big slab of it -- the mother of all beeswax, the beeswax that ate Dallas, the Last. Beeswax. I'll Ever. Need.

And I bought it, by golly. Fifteen bucks and this monster hunk of beeswax was mine forever -- which is about how long it'll take me to use it all up.

But wait... maybe there's a career in this for me! I'm perfectly positioned to become the sole source of beeswax for beaders throughout the tri-county area! Heck, I've already got six months' worth of inventory!

I can hear the news report now: "A local woman was taken into custody today on charges of dealing beeswax. A search of her home uncovered an excessive amount of raw, uncut beeswax, a single-edged razor blade, and 100 tiny plastic baggies. A police spokesperson told reporters, 'Nobody needs that much beeswax for personal use. It's clearly possession with intent to distribute...'"

post #2 of 13
Hey, mind your own beeswax, lady!

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Aw, thanks, Jan -- I knew you'd understand my beeswax passion! I made a bracelet last night, and it was so funny... here I am, all hunkered over at the table, squinting through high-powered dimestore glasses, weaving together these teensy little seed beads with a needle so fine as to be invisible -- and then when it's time to wax the thread, I have to reach over and haul out this giant slab of beeswax...
post #4 of 13


I think you need to be submitting articles to magazines or newspapers. You are SO talented!
post #5 of 13
What kind of beadwork do you do?

I used to make earrings with seed beads & rocaille beads as a hobby years ago. I stopped when I began to have a hard time finding supplies (good beeswax! you must have danced when you saw it!) and the time to bead, but have considered trying to take it up again a few times and learning how to make other types of jewelry.

All that extra wax might be good for making candles or homemade lotion bars...you really don't need to resort to dealing!
post #6 of 13
How about EBay?
post #7 of 13
I was hunting for beeswax a few months ago, too. I gave up.. and swiped part of a beeswax candle from my in-laws.

Which craft store was it? I'll have access to Hobby Lobby and Michaels the 16th, so I'll check those. I'm not sure what I would do with a large amount though. A lot of my bead work is wire (earrings) - which is fun, until I pop myself in the eye with whatever I'm trying to bend.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties View Post
What kind of beadwork do you do?

I used to make earrings with seed beads & rocaille beads as a hobby years ago. I stopped when I began to have a hard time finding supplies (good beeswax! you must have danced when you saw it!) and the time to bead, but have considered trying to take it up again a few times and learning how to make other types of jewelry.

All that extra wax might be good for making candles or homemade lotion bars...you really don't need to resort to dealing!
It sounds like you did pretty much the same sort of thing I do -- mostly off-loom beadweaving with seeds and Czech glass and Swarovski crystals. Do you have pictures of any of your work? I'd love to see!

I don't know how long ago you stopped beading, but these days, you can order almost anything you could possibly want online -- firemountaingems.com, shipwreckbeads.com, fusionbeads.com, lots and lots of good places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
How about EBay?
Yes ma'am, that's a good thought! I always forget to look on eBay for beading stuff, but when I have gone there, I've been surprised how much you can find. Even if the listings aren't what you need, sometimes they lead you to an eBay Shop that will have it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I was hunting for beeswax a few months ago, too. I gave up.. and swiped part of a beeswax candle from my in-laws.

Which craft store was it? I'll have access to Hobby Lobby and Michaels the 16th, so I'll check those. I'm not sure what I would do with a large amount though. A lot of my bead work is wire (earrings) - which is fun, until I pop myself in the eye with whatever I'm trying to bend.
And the candle worked? I thought about that, but didn't know whether candle beeswax was pure or not -- that's great to know! The store I went to was Joann's, I'm sorry to say... no luck at either Hobby Lobby or Michael's here, but the ones in your area might carry it. Everyone told me to go to a quilter's shop, but none of them had it either.

And you do wirework? I just love working with wire -- do you have some pictures too? Sure love to look!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post


I think you need to be submitting articles to magazines or newspapers. You are SO talented!
Oh, I missed this sweet note -- thank you, hon! Maybe someday.
post #10 of 13
It was a handmade candle, so the wax sort of worked. But I'm much rather have some pure beeswax. I did find a Joann's in OKC! so I'll have to check that out.

I don't have a lot completed. I took a long break due to joint pain and shakiness - the shakiness frustrates me so much. It was funny the other day though, I sat trying to get my hands steady - kept missing the wire I was trying to bend. I finally got it lined up and the power went out.

I have one pair at the moment and various half finished pieces. As a perfectionist, very little ever gets finished. I'll try to take a picture of the ones I do have done later. They're gold wire, gold chain, with green and turquoise shades of beads.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
It sounds like you did pretty much the same sort of thing I do -- mostly off-loom beadweaving with seeds and Czech glass and Swarovski crystals. Do you have pictures of any of your work? I'd love to see!

I don't know how long ago you stopped beading, but these days, you can order almost anything you could possibly want online -- firemountaingems.com, shipwreckbeads.com, fusionbeads.com, lots and lots of good places.
Thank you for the sites - I'll have to look at them; perhaps the beading bug will get me again!

I don't have any pictures of the earrings I used to make - I stopped beading back in the early 90's, and gave away most of the earrings I made as gifts, though I may have a pair or 2 in a box somewhere. If I run across them I'll post a picture.

I'd like to learn how to make woven necklaces and bracelets too, some time. It would be nice to start making pretty things again.
post #12 of 13
You guys need to come to south dakota! You can go to a grocery store and get pure beeswax here! I think its partly because we have so many Honey farms! I could walk a block away with a crow bar, pry open the box and take a sheet any day during the summer. My Dh used to work on a Bee Farm too, so we have access to all the free stuff they dont really use!

I love dipping candles, but you have to do it as a family! You get your wics, and you all walk around in a huge circle taking turns dipping your candles in the hot wax till they're the right size! Its a blast!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, that sounds like fun! Once when I was in school, a friend of mine taught a bunch of us how to make sand-cast candles, and that was fun, too. Maybe I'll have to try that one of these days.

I have a cousin who used to be the assistant police chief in Austin and is now consulting around the world, teaching police departments a whole new method of dealing with drug dealers and gangbangers -- he's even been written up in the Wall Street Journal a couple of times for it -- and he used to keep bees when he lived in the pine forest near Austin. But I wasn't a beader yet, so all that lovely beeswax went to waste!
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