Ralonda’s first introduction to beads was during vacation bible school at a tiny church that once served the Flatwoods community as a one room school house when she was only 8 years old. It wasn’t until she had her own little house back in this same little community and within walking distance of that same little church that she found her love of beads. Beading for her began as just garment embellishments for an accomplished seamstress following in her grandmother’s footsteps. But in 2003, beads took over, as they often do!
Making dolls, much like grandma did, was fun but making beaded dolls captured Ralonda’s imagination and became the most precious creative outlet. Learning bead embroidery led to learning other off loom stitches and it stirred a burning desire to learn everything there was to know about beading. Going to bead retreats and teaching what she knew was the best way she could think of to learn, share, and have fun.
After a few years of beading, Ralonda began teaching designs of her own. She was received with such encouragement and love that it has become her main medium and calling. Only ten years after the beads took over, she has taught at several large bead conventions, stores, retreats, and even private and free classes for her community. She has been published in the galleries of two wildly popular beading books, Heidi Kummli’s Spirit of Bead Embroidery and Kate McKinnon’s Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume II, beading magazines, and even written an article for Altered Couture magazine.
Ralonda loves to use a unique approach to materials, bead stitches, and a creative vision to encourage her students to bead in ways they never dreamed before.