Saturday, 27 September 2008

Beads! Beads! Beads!!

Ever since our distant ancestors lived in caves we have made body ornaments - from sharks teeth, from bones, from cowrie shells, dried berries and, of course, beads. Beads made of wood, clay, dried berries etc.
Once you start beading it is very easy to become obsessive about collecting beads as there are some very beautiful glass beads to be had these days. In fact, you can get carried away and buy individual beads which are lovely in themselves. I've bought a few and never found a use for them! You can see one or two of them in the photograph, together with some of the things I have made.
Some of the beads in the fringe on the specs case (they are mostly dull blue or green, without the shine of the glass ones) were made for me by a very clever friend, who works in polymer clay.
The specs case was probably the easiest to make of all the things in the photograph. Once you have established the bottom row of 76 seed beads the rest grows quickly. There are only about twenty-four rows in the case as you can thread a whole"stripe" on in one row. And making the fringe is fun because you can lay all the beads you are going to use out on a table and fiddle about moving them until you get the best effect.
The case is lined with a piece of painted vilene cut to size and sewn, then pushed into the case and secured with the top row of gold beads.
I can recommend beading as a relaxing hobby but BE WARNED: beading is obsessive - once you begin to send for brochures, visit craft fairs, find beading shops - you are hooked and you see some beads which you simply have to have. I haven't done any beading for several years but I still have thousands of beads waiting to be used. It is a bit like patchwork - some material is so pretty you just have to have it even if it means keeping it in the cupboard and taking it out now and then to gloat over it!!


Loren said...

My mother bought me an "Indian" bead weaving loom as a young boy, and I've never quite gotten over the fascination with it, though my ex still has the authentic Indian beads I bought from the Plains Indians.

I have drawers full of beading supplies, but seldom manage to get it out and actually work on them.

Janice Thomson said...

These are really beautiful Weaver.
A friend uses the bigger beads for necklaces and bracelets. She just loves beading too.

BT said...

Fabulous things there, weaver. Our neighbour is a beader, she sells at craft fairs. She makes complicated necklaces where you have to go up and down and back and count!! It'd drive me mad!

I don't think my eyes could cope with those tiny ones. I do love them though, and have loads of them, mostly from old necklaces I've bought in charity shops and taken apart!

Pauline said...

I know that feeling of gloating over having something beautiful in hand to look at, even if you don't use it. Somewhere I have a "recipe" for making beads out of rose petals. If I ever come across it, I'll forward it to you. Who knows what incarnation a rose may have in your hands.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving the lovely comment on my site :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

I used to have a loom, Loren - I had completely forgotten about it - I must look it out. You really need "native" beads for loom work I think - would love some Plains Indian beads - must look out for some next time I come to US. Went to several Navajo markets earlier this year in Arisona but never thought to look for beads.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, Janice, I could use up some of my bigger beads that way - but just have to wait for inspiration (don't we all).

The Weaver of Grass said...

My eyes are failing a bit b.t. so perhaps I would need one of those magnifying lenses if I took up beading again.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rose petal beads!! Love it, Pauline. Please find the recipe/pattern and send it on to me - can't wait to try it!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ooh, very pretty!
Right now I'm busy working with wool!!