My friend Merrilu (she of the beautiful large jar of beach glass) asked me a few weeks ago if she could come over with her stash of beads (which she recently dug out of storage and dusted off) to do a little design consultation. Now, I don't have many friends locally who are interested in beads, so I was quite interested to see her stash and spend a happy morning beading. She arrived this morning (after we'd dropped the Short Ones off at preschool) with more than ten cases of beads all of which looked more or less like the above (in various colors).
Are these not things of beauty? I can't stand how well-organized these beads are. My stash is all over my house (although not yet encroaching in teacups or hardly worn shoes, I've contemplated these spaces speculatively from time to time), and it's not unusual for me to be hunting for a particular strand for a project while mumbling to myself under my breath. Once I stopped drooling, I just found staring at these cases inspiring. Designing with the beads at my fingertips like this was incredibly easy - what a, uh, novel experience.
In the end, I decided on a water theme with a cute little fish dangle. Here's the bracelet I put together during our session, using my friend's beads (and just six seed beads from my own stash):
Cute, eh? I particularly like the oval shape of the toggle clasp here, which is quite sleek-looking. Anyway, I used freshwater pearls, faceted and unfaceted quartz, amazonite, aquamarine and, I believe, fluorite (the darker blue beads - if anyone else has other ideas as to what they could be, I'm all ears), along with small silver nugget spacers.
I often forget what a social activity beading can be, since I work almost exclusively on my projects alone and quite late at night, after the Short One has fallen asleep. So, I'm curious: how often do you get together with your friends for beading? Are you a member of a beading circle? How do you set up bead nights?
(And thanks, Merrilu - I had a lot of fun today! Let's do it again soon!)
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.