Sue Jensen is a very focused beader and designer. Although, in the past, she has worked with polymer clay and done some bead stringing, she is now totally focused on bead weaving.
“I started by going to a bead class and learned RAW with crystals and I was hooked,” Sue says. “I found it so relaxing and to see something come together with just the smallest beads was amazing to me.”
Sue is now totally focused on beading as her creative pursuit. She says she beads “always, everyday and if I do not bead, I am totally lost and go through major withdrawals.”
Sue and her husband, Jerry, have been married for 44 years. They live in Virginia Beach, Virginia where she is a Homemaker and Day Care Provider. She started beading “on a serious path” three years ago because she could work near the children she was babysitting. “They could play and I could play with neither of us bothering the other,” she commented.
Sue started designing her own patterns two years ago. She joined the Bead Patterns Boutique Design Team in June 2009. She named her first design Arrows Meet. She still has the first piece she made from the pattern. “It turned out very well,” she commented. “It is also available in a kit.”
The flowers in Sue’s garden are the biggest influence on her beadwork designs right now. Most of her patterns are done in Peyote, 2-drop Peyote or Brick stitch and feature floral designs. “Being in the South, our flowers bloom early and for almost the entire summer. There is always something in bloom,” she said. Sue uses a bead tool program to help her “work out the designs and colors.”
Sue sells some of her finished pieces on her website, www.sujensjewelry.com/finishedpiece.html. “There is only one of each (piece), so when they are gone, they are gone.” she added.
She also gives her finished pieces as gifts, “but mostly to family members. As I finish something and show it to my daughter, it is usually snapped up in a heartbeat.”
Sue does not belong to a guild or beading group. “As far as I can search, there is nothing here in Virginia Beach. Sometimes I wish there was a beading group that we could get together once a month and just play. I am not sure exactly how I would get one started, but it is a thought.
Although Sue’s favorite colors are purples, teals, sapphires and gold, newest set features “all the bright colors of orange, fuchsia and two different purples and gold.” The set includes both a cuff style bracelet and earrings and is named Lines to No Where.
Delica 11 beads are Sue’s beads of choice, and her thread burner is her favorite tool. “I would be totally lost without it,” she commented.
Although Peyote stitch is Sue’s favorite stitch and Brick stitch is a close second, she would still love to learn to do flat Herringbone stitch in the future. “I have made tubular Herringbone and I like the look, but flat Herringbone is one I struggle with because of my OCD for neatness and everything lining up. With Herringbone it gives you the feeling that the beads are crooked and I have a hard time with that part of it.”
Sue has also recently started to explore Kumihimo, the Japanese art of braiding. “I have so many books and satin rattail cords in beautiful colors,” she says. “I plan on putting (my) finished pieces on my ready-to-wear site after the holidays.”
Sue who was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where her family still lives. She and Jerry have two children, Rob (44) and Cindy (41). They have six grandchildren who range in age from 10 to 23, and three great-grandchildren who range in age from 6 weeks to 6 years old. They all live within five miles of each other and “have wonderful times together,” Sue says. She also has two West Highland White Terriers, Lacey 16 and Ozzie 6. “They are spoiled totally rotten, but I would not have it any other way!” Sue commented.