13 March 2009

Beader Madness!

Hello, my name is Aspasia and I'm a bead addict. Not that I want help; I'm having way too much fun with it!

Thanks to the aforementioned addiction, I have a fairly healthy bead stash to play with. Mostly I keep busy with other things, but every so often I get the urge to break out the beads and indulge my obsession. Here are the latest results:

I think I made 20 in total this last binge, although a couple were necklaces I made a while ago, which needed to be re-strung (I learned the hard way that flexible wire pretty much sucks. The pitter-patter of beads from a broken necklace hitting the floor is a sound I now know well).

The white (faux pearl) necklace to the left and the red one with cherry charms to the right are ones I repaired. The rest are all new.

I wish I could have got a better shot of the necklace in the middle of this photo. The transparent glass pendant with 3-D flower centre is just gorgeous. The butterfly hanging from the iridescent teardrop is another great one I couldn't quite capture (I so need a new camera). But I do like how the light shines through all the beads!

The butterfly actually proved quite the challenge. Because it's a button (not a pendant) the backing was all wrong for hanging and it wouldn't sit straight. I tried all kinds of fixes and ended up using a couple of drops of hot glue. Duct tape could learn a thing or two from hot glue.

I'm not usually a fan of large pendants, but I couldn't resist the dragonfly when I saw it at Michaels. The mermaid soon followed. My wallet's been cringing ever since I realized how conveniently located that place is.

The skull beads in this photo were freebies that came attached to the tags on clothes I bought from Inkubus. Never let a good bead go to waste! One of my favourite necklaces from this batch is the purple one with the flower pendant--so pretty. As I type this I'm wearing the necklace with the birch leaf pendant and the light blue seed beads. Something about that leaf reminded me of winter, so I tried to come up with an appropriate design. It turned out well, I think.

And now we come to the real problem with a bead addiction: storage! Here's my collection of costume necklaces, most of them made by me (and not including any of the ones in the above photos). There's nothing like reaching for a necklace and coming away with five, all of them in a crazy knot of tangles. I need to come up with a better system--any thoughts?

Note: since I just do this for myself, I buy all the components and put them together. I play around with the pieces until I'm happy with the design and generally just string the beads onto nylon string/thread. I've also made bracelets, earrings, and rings, but I prefer necklaces. A tool I've found invaluable is a bead tray like the one to the right (in fact, I think that's the exact one I have). I don't know how I ever got along without it. They don't cost much, either. My other must-have tools: wire cutters and needlenose pliers that I "borrowed" from my dad's tool box years ago :)

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