French General owns a collection of over a ton of beads, which I have been buying slowly for the past 20 years. It amazes me the amount of old stock that is still hidden in basements. The staggering quantity of costume jewelry that was manufactured and sold is staggering. I designed jewelry for ten years and much of the old materials I used are from this stock of goods. You can read more about this and get a peak at some jewelry designs in our book French-Inspired Jewelry.
Over the years I have saved one full tin of almost every bead I have ever bought. I tell Sofia this is her inheritance. Someday she will take this collection to a flea market and sell it all for a song - but meanwhile, I like to think this is a special collection that has been hand-picked by me and will be appreciated in years to come. Really I like the way that I have organized all of the colors together - all shades of coral, cranberry or cherry glass beads - each has their own box - their own palette.