A glorious mess

On my beading mat this morning are some cabochons and cameos for brooches and pendants.


But before anything can get to even a half finished state (and I work on several at a time) it’s necessary to fetch out all my seed beads to draw on.


So with this lot spread out all over my tiny craft space, and a drawer of crystals added to the mix, things look pretty disorganised to the outsider at the moment. Luckily I have a long suffering and supportive husband who knows from experience that putting up with my mess in the sitting room results in a batch of pieces he feels proud of and a very happy me. Until the carpet starts crunching underfoot – but that’s another story.



The laugh’s on me

I’m a sporadic member of a Bead Club. This means that, once a year or so, I sign up for a six month subscription and receive a packet of beads once a month. It always includes a tube of size 15/o Japanese seed beads, another of size 11/o and two tubes of size 8/o. In addition, there’s a string of 4mm Czech firepolished facets and a “surprise” item. All great for expanding my colour range and excellent value for £7 a month including postage. Except for the occasional shock:

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Metallic Gold 8/o

Yer-avvin-a-larff, I thought, as my jaw hit the floor. Not only was there one tube of the things but TWO, being size 8/o and all.  “Tacky” is the only word I can find to describe them. Everybody knows I don’t do bling, so the only solution was to shove the little beasts out of sight and try to forget the horror.

Fast forward a couple of weeks… I’m weaving a batch of nine-bead Russian Spiral rope necklaces to help with Woodbrooke’s fundraising http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/ and have been badly stuck for something to use with these:

Dark Topaz Frosted AB 8/o

Dark Topaz Frosted AB 8/o

Possibly the most boring beads in my collection, I bought 100g in 2006, used them about twice and they stare accusingly at me every time I open the cupboard. But wait:

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I can’t begin to express how satisfying this feels. My tacky little friends have lifted their dull companions into a really pleasing piece. I can’t help feeling there’s a life lesson here – something about room for us all, and all of us being necessary.

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What a difference a bead makes…

I woke up this morning straight from a dream of a necklace. Better see if it actually works, I thought. Sometimes my dreams are spot on, sometimes they need a little tweaking. So I made a sample motif using the beads I’d dreamed of:

Hmm, possibly too blingy for what I thought I wanted so, substituting the spine beads, here’s sample number 2:

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Then the centre looked a little dark, so that got substituted too:

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And, for comparison, here are all three together:

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You wouldn’t think that one bead change could make that much difference but, believe me, it does. That’s why I’m so passionate about seed beads. It’s not just the colour that’s important but also the finish and the way a tiny change can alter the whole effect, full of wonderful surprises.

And which sample did I pick for the necklace project? The one I dreamed of in the first place. The other two will make a couple of pretty little pendants. And here’s the finished piece:
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Entering the Blogosphere

Dipping a toe in the water feels a little scary but I’ve been thinking of blogging for quite a while. So, here I am, a Quaker, beader and trainee spiritual director with thoughts and opinions on a variety of issues. Welcome to my world.