Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beading I

So I've gotten into a little beading lately. Just walking through the bead aisle is enough to get me hooked, there are so many gorgeous beads, rocks, and stones out there.
I bought myself a little beading tray set up with a gift card a few months ago and have collected up a few supplies.


My first necklace had to be restrung three times before it was wearable. A couple attempts involved trying to knot the string between each bead like they do with pearl necklaces, so that if the string breaks the beads don't fly off and spread all over the floor. But the bead holes were too big, or the string too small...in any case, it didn't work. In the end I knotted between the repeated round beads by the clasp, but left the center portion free. I could still use some lessons and practice at the details like attaching clasps, but I'm improving. (I'm sure a book or two from the library would be in order.)

I made a matching bracelet by stringing the same beads on some memory wire. It was my first time working with memory wire and it was very easy, at least for the smaller beads. The wire is preset to a certain curve (or diameter) so you buy a different curve for bracelets or necklaces. Since the metal "remembers" its shape, you can either make the piece a little long so the ends just overlap to hold the item on, or with a little extra pressure you can form a hook on the end to grab a split ring (which is what I did). The longer beads were a little hard to push onto the memory wire because of the curve, but I managed to get them on without breaking anything (and by flattening the bracelet into more of an oval). All this set needed were some dangling earrings and voila: a complete set.

I had bought the black and white square beads a while ago and finally decided what to do with them: I strung them onto some leather thongs, secured with knots. (The pic shows the back side so you can see the knots better.)

It also required several tries to get the sizing right and everything even, but it's ok now. It is very snug (there's a reason they call them "chokers") but I like the look and besides, it's the only way the beads will hang right without flipping wrong side up.

I am currently working on another project with several related necklaces, but that will be revealed when it is finished and the recipients have all received theirs. (Stay tuned...)

Meanwhile I am wearing more jewellery than I normally do, and keeping an eye out at stores for beads that I like. It's been fun. Yet another hobby I can do while camped out in front of the woodstove...

Bead on!
-christina

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