Thursday, 1 May 2014

Beaded Beads - Success at last



What is it about beads that I am so drawn to? Is it their generally diminutive size and scale,  and therefore their distinct 'cute' factor? Is it the huge range of materials they are available in; their wide colour and textural variety? Their cultural and historical significance? 

For me, it is all of these. We don't often talk about the last one, but beads have been in existence for literally 1000s of years. Isn't that amazing? Bead stringing has been around for so, so long - a length of days beyond my comprehension. They've been used as currency, to indicate social status and of course, purely decoratively for as long as human beings have had the inclination for any of these things to exist. Mind-blowing!

I have meandered through different sorts of beading since I was 4 or 5. From my Grandma's bead box (full of tiny repurposed glass jars, cigar and pill boxes and wee tins full of beads and sequins), to friendship daisy chain bracelets as a young teen, to an obsession with bead-weaving from ages 16 onwards, to discovering bead embroidery, stringing and wireworkin my mid-twenties, to art beads (they deserve something grander I'm sure, ART BEADS perhaps) in my very late-twenties, there's just something about beads that I love and feel I have a deep connection with. I'm not particularly crafty in other ways - I knitted a very little when I was wee (my mum is a master/mistress-knitter), but I've never done any embroidery or general sewing, crotchet, scrap-booking, cake-making.....I *have* made some of my own Christmas cards in the past, and there are definitely some crafts out there - screen-printing, (non-bead) embroidery, ceramics - that I would love to try. I tend to get very obsessed with one thing rather than flitting between though, so I suspect that with me and beads, it's for life.

One of the things I've been trying to achieve with seed beads for literally years, is the beaded bead - specifically, a wooden round covered with peyote-stitched seed beads. I can't tell you how often I've had a go at one of these and how sorry most of my attempts have turned out. I did manage a good one about 6 years ago, but I couldn't recreate it for some reason - left too long between the original and attempting to replicate it I think. 

However, last night, I sat down at around 10pm, determined to crack the secret. (Helen is currently away, and I am *appalling* at going to bed at a reasonable time when there is no one else to suggest that perhaps staying up until 3am will perhaps not aid me to feel at my sparkly best the following day...!) I watched two episodes of Endeavour, and ended up with these little babies. Of course, there are also a small pile of false starts and baggy, awkwardly covered beads, but now I am happy that I have a formula that works for me. I really am ridiculously pleased with them and am looking forward to including them in my jewellery soon.

The colourful ones were my first successful ones - I used three colours so that I could follow my stitch path more easily for subsequent beaded beads, but I actually quite like the way these three colours muddle together! 



10 comments:

Lottie me said...

Absolutely brilliant

Malin de Koning said...

Lovely Rebecca! :-)

Karin G said...

Pretty, pretty beads, can't wait to see what you're going to do with them!

Carol Briody said...

Whoo hoo! Good for you, Rebecca! :). I also had many an attempt at those lovely beaded beads, and Finally got them under control a few months ago! I love making them now..the possibilities are endless, mixing and matching so mant colors of seed beads or making them a single color but with different tones/values or sparkly/matte parts!

LiliKrist said...

Congrat Rebecca =)
Beautiful gradation indeed.

bo hulley said...

Wow! Gorgeous!

Alice said...

Congratulations on your success! I love the colors you used on these sweet beads.

My Life Under the Bus said...

YAY! I have tried these as well with very bad success lol.....I know those floppy beads you speak of!

Claire Lockwood said...

Bravo - and they're lovely!

Mary Redman said...

I love that you are "ridiculously pleased" with your beaded beads! It is always a joy to be ridiculously pleased with our creations. Puts a smile on my face! :)

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