Monday, January 28, 2013

A beading intermission

I blame my spring cleaning for my current beading addiction. If only I hadn't started arranging my bead stuff.... Anyway, it's too late now. I'm so far gone I have considered giving up sewing bags, moving to Beadsland and become a full-time beader. Well, I thought about it but I came to my senses. I will go back to my sewing very sooooon.

In case you're wondering why I'm making jewellery, it's because I have this stash of findings and beads gifted to me by one of my customers. Yes, I know how lucky I am. Thank you Tiba!  She gave the stash to me a while ago and although I managed to use a few items here and there, I never really sorted out the items until now.

This is a fraction of my stash - most are Tiba's and some are mine. I have organised them into seed beads, big beads, clasps, round little thingys and thread. It's so much easier for me to look for items now.

By the way, is it normal to wash your beads before you use them? I use the smell and feel test. If it has a smell or it feels icky, I wash them.

As you may know, my knowledge in beading is quite limited. I went for a few lessons at a local bead shop some time ago. Geez, I don't even remember when. I was keeping a friend company and needless to say, I became quite interested myself. Bead weaving speaks to me because it is so much like hand sewing. I learnt 3 styles of bead weaving but I guess I only liked the spiral rope. (it's all I can make at the moment)

One of the challenges I gave myself when starting any bead project is to use what's already in my stash and not go out and buy some more supply. That explains why when I saw 2 containers of similar sized beads - one white and one pinkish, I just jumped in and made a necklace using the two beads combo. I never really thought about whether the colour suits me or it it will turn out nice.

Here's the completed necklace. I think it's butt ugly. The colour doesn't suit me at all. I wear a lot of dark colours and seriously, have you ever seen me in pink/hot pink? So this is a good lesson learnt. For future beads projects, I will ask myself if I will wear it before I make it.

To be honest I have no idea where these white and pink beads came from. I know they're not from Tiba's stash. Yet I can't imagine myself paying for them.

If I were to enter a beads shop, these are the colours I will pay for. I'm always drawn to turquoise, teal, cyan, darks and some cream. Possible other colours are bronze, gold and maybe coral red. One colour I would love to get my hands on? Blue. Not the light blues but the pure blue or cobalt blue. But they're extremely hard to find.

You know what I dislike most about bead weaving? All the stray ends you have to weave in. The same goes for knitting and crochet.

For my next project I wanted to use these large black glass beads. I had bought a packet at Arab street and despite my friend warning me that some of the shops at that location mix their beads, I did not check the packet of beads too closely. Of course I was really angry when I realised that I had bought a mix of black and grey beads. If you do beading you will understand my anger. Firstly, you can't randomly pick out a bead as your end result will look weird. Like some black, some grey - it just doesn't go. Secondly, it's really hard to pick out the greys from the blacks. So I had to spend time doing just that. On top of that, all the beads were unevenly shaped.

So I was really motivated to get rid of a bad purchase. They were really cheap tho'.  I selected some black seed beads and big red seeds from Tiba's stash. I thought they would go together and I was sure this time I would wear the item.

What do you think of the red/black/grey bracelet? It's quite thick due to the size of the beads but I would wear it. If only my clasp matches! I did try looking for a dark toned clasp in the bead shop but it was so hard squeezing for space with the other aunties. By the way, my wrist is usually quite thin but in the photos, they look ginormous. Sadly, I have lots of the black/grey beads left.

For my next project, once again I wanted to get rid of a bad purchase. I had bought a packet of bugle beads from Spotlight many, many, many years ago. I have no idea what I wanted to do with the bugle beads but there it lay in the drawers year after year. After a good wash with dish washing detergent and drying in the sun, I attempted to construct another spiral bracelet. I kept the colours to two. I used some seed beads from Tiba's stash and despite the stiffness of the bugle beads, the bracelet managed to drape.

What do you think of the Bugle beads spiral bracelet? This time the clasp matches. And of course I still have loads of the bugle beads. How many bracelet must I make before I use them up?

I'm not over the spiral necklace phase yet. I have a couple more in progress. But after that I'll stop. Promise. It's almost February!


Azwa Laila said...

I also wanted to try beading someday, but i think the beads here in Germany is quite expensive. Maybe i'll try it when i'm back home. And I've been watching Beadaholique's Videos on Youtube a lot.They are quite good.

The bugle bracelet looks like metal, very interesting.

For the un-matching clasp, maybe you could try colouring it with black marker. Might work more.

Tiba said...

What a lovely bracelet you made Jane.Glad you are getting withdrawal symptoms from bag making.Happy creating! luv tiba

Catherine Daze said...

I think you saved the black beads; the red and black bracelet is lovely! The gold bugle beads produce a really nice effect too.

jane p said...

Thanks @Catherine Daze. I think so too. I can see myself wearing it a lot.

Linda said...

How pretty! Could you combine your beading and purse making? Maybe beaded straps or something.
Your are certainly a talented lady!

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