Fourth of July and Beads Made from Recycled Cardboard Cartons

This will be my last post from Namibia for awhile.  I am returning to the states; Maine to be specific, for a couple of months.  I really have mixed emotions about returning home.  I love it here in Swakopmund.  I feel as though I am on a perpetual vacation….waking up to the ocean view, jogging along the ocean, working on my writing, reading, relaxing.  Life is good!  Plus, it is where, David, my husband is.

Back home, life will still be wonderful but it will be much busier.  There are always projects around the house, my dad’s house and now, our new cottage.  Most importantly, I will be able to visit with my family….especially my mom and dad who are 81 and 85 respectively.  At the age of 60, I know that I am so blessed to still have both of my parents alive.  I want to spend as much quality time with them as I can.

I find this a difficult time in my life.  I wish that there could be two of me….one to spend time with David and one to spend time with my parents.  The time will pass quickly, though and before I know it, David will be on his way to Maine for 2 weeks at the end of August.  On Sept 10, we will head back to Namibia.

Over the 4th of July weekend, we had a party for the supervisors who work for David.  We invited them to help us celebrate the our independence day with us.  We had a lovely group of about 22 people.  Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate for us.  We were so hoping the sun would shine and everyone would be able to enjoy the ocean view from our balcony.  As usual, the morning of the party, it was a gray day.  Usually, though, the sun will break through around 1:00 in the afternoon – the time the party was to start.  It didn’t happen.  As the day progressed, the fog set in thicker and the temperature dropped several degrees.  By the end of the party, it was downright cold!

We did have plenty of food. I found a caterer and asked if she could, along with the finger food,  make cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting.  She inquired if we were celebrating the 4th of July.  When I said yes, she said that she would have a plate of “sliders” and she did.  They were really cute.  They were about half the size of a regular slider…they were very small…bite size.  I am not certain how she made the buns but they had lettuce and mayo on them.  Very cute!  We had more than enough food, all washed down with red wine and Windhoek beer – the popular, local beer.  The cupcakes were a big hit decorated in red, white and blue.  Only, the blue was not the navy blue of our flag’s color.  I couldn’t find anything in navy blue. I had to settle for light blue plates, table cloth and napkins!  It was a nice afternoon and I was pleased to be able to meet all of David’s co-workers.  It is nice to be able to place a face with a name now.  IMG_0919

The last trip to Maine, David brought me a couple of bracelets that one of his workers, Angelina, had made for me.  She had made the beads from cardboard cartons like cereal boxes.  They were really clever and something I had never seen.  When we arrived here, she offered to show me how to make them.  I spent one Wednesday morning with her to learn and last Saturday afternoon, I made some beads.  It is a wonderful idea and something that I hope to introduce to friends who work in the Dominican Republic. I think it would be a great cottage industry for the single mothers who are struggling to support their families.  Plus, it might help with the trash problem in the DR.

You start with a cardboard box. For example, a cereal, tea or hot chocolate box.  I started with a tea box.

IMG_0931Flatten it out…..


And then, cut a template wider at the top and narrow at the bottom.  Use this template to mark the rest of the box and cut them out.  IMG_0933Take one of the pieces of cut cardboard and curl it around a wooden skewer. IMG_0934When you get to the end, put a little glue on the tip and hold it until the glue sets.  Viola – you have a bead!IMG_0935

These are the beads I made on Saturday.  The brown ones are from the tea box and the orange ones are from a “Vitamin C” box.IMG_0941

The small beads are made from the same process but the cardboard is cut much narrower.  This is a bracelet that I made the day that Angelica taught me.  I used wooden beads to embellish it.  Also, the paper beads can be painted with shellac to make them shiny.IMG_0939

I purchased this necklace as a gift for a friend.  It is made from cardboard beads but the blue beads are of glass.


It looks as thought the small, round paper beads are painted to me.  IMG_0938

I don’t think I will make jewelry from my beads.  I would like to create mobiles with pieces of driftwood I find on the beach and the beads that I make from recycle cartons!  Once I finish my first creation, I will gladly share it with you.

That is all that I have to share today.  I am off to pack for my trip home.  Next post will be from the “other side” of the Atlantic.

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