A House is Like a Bead

You remember when I made beads, don't you? It's probably how you first got to know me. (If not, have a look at my Beadist page.) My beads were made in layers, lots of layers, sometimes thirty or more. There were steps that needed to be followed, but most of what happened in any given bead was organic and something of a surprise to me. Each new layer became obvious as I completed the one before it, until finally, I would know it was finished.

I've noticed that making a house into Home is much the same as making a bead. It's done in layers too. We came in and cleaned, even though it was already clean. We cleared old energies with essential oils and words of gratitude. (Intention is everything, and I hate the smell of burning sage.) We painted for days, until our muscles hurt, and I vowed never to paint another wall again. I'm sure I was wrong about that. We still have the other half of our house to work on, once the renters move out. (Soon please.)

We brought in furniture and clothes and kitchen things and bathroom things. We moved them around and around until it felt right. We moved them some more. We looked around and noted what was missing, and bought it and brought it in. We already have so many things, but we don't have the right things for this little house.

We got a fireplace. Electric, because gas is at the street but not in the house. We ordered a tiny dining table and a big, soft, vintagey-blue rug. I moved things around some more while Rick was in California for a week. And it's beginning to feel like Mine, and Ours.

In that same week, I also knitted a lacy curtain for the back door, and ordered fabric swatches for flowy curtains for the bedroom. I'm working on a coral colored crochet panel for the creepy little beveled glass sliver in our front door that makes me feel like I'm being watched at night, and looks like something from a grandmother's house. So what if I actually am a grandmother. I'm not that beveled glass kind of grandmother. And besides, windows need to be softened at night, even if there isn't a neighbor for miles around. (We do have many neighbors.) Flat, shiny, black nighttime glass just looks cold and un-cozy, like you could spill out into the night at any moment.

And with all that done - in only two weeks - it's kind of amazing - there are more layers to be added. The "core of the bead" is in place, and it's time for the final details, the shaping, the polishing. New paintings are coming home with Rick today, from my cousin, and favorite painter, Mitzi Miles-Kubota. Older, beloved pieces of art will come out of their paddings and packagings. The walls will come alive with color and texture and form and love. Finishing touches, inside, and then lots of work outside. Then, as I said, the other half of the house. So many layers.

A house is like a bead that's never finished. Layer after layer will either make it more refined, more what we want, more Home - or, will make it into a messy blob that lost its focus somewhere. I'm watching it closely, taking careful care. And I love how this gem of a house, our house, is already taking on depth and motion and beauty of its own, much like my favorite beads.



  1. Kim - this is lovely!! I am one of those who first met you through your beads, and what amazing works of art they were, and still are. I can hear contentment throughout this post - sure, it's been a lot of work making your house into home, and it's a work in progress - but it sounds to me like you & Rick have found your home, in more ways than a building.
    P.S. The curtain you knitted is gorgeous!!

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you've settled in Seaside. I love that particular area of the coast. And, I'm coveting your solace and serene walks. It's all together calming and yes, I've been saying the same thing for weeks, now, Portland is getting too big. Smaller is better! Enjoy your wonderful new life!


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