I've been so busy with beads!
These are some of the pieces I've been working on:
I've made a half dozen of these crystal bangles (shown below.) It's a very easy pattern once you've made one. I’ve made this bracelet with several different color crystals. I love to wear two or three of these at a time. It is very comfortable and people always comment on how beautiful they are. The only drawback is that it is a bit pricey to make. It has over 144 bicone crystals in the bracelet and that means you’re spending about $20 just for the crystals. Add the beads and your time, 4-6 hours, and this bracelet is easily worth a couple hundred dollars. I must admit…it looks like it is worth a couple hundred dollars when you wear it!
It’s time to get back to blogging…sorry for the delay, for several reasons I just haven’t taken the time to update. I’ve been very busy with things around the house and things at work. The work stuff is technical, dry, and somewhat boring, but essential to our workplace. The home stuff is fun and time consuming.
It seems like I never have enough time for my beads, or enough money to spend. This can become a very expensive hobby. I like crystals, Swarovski crystals, and they are pricey! You can definitely tell the difference between them and the cheap knock offs. I made the mistake of buying some knock offs at a local bead store, I should probably just throw them away. They easily scratch and seem very dull when strung with other quality glass beads. A better option than throwing them away might be to make some Christmas ornaments from them. I just cannot get myself to throw them away! My dear daughter might enjoy stringing them with me for that purpose. Yikes, I just gave myself another project! Some of my bead magazines have patterns in them for just this type of bicone shaped bead used to make an ornament by stringing them over glass Christmas balls.
I currently subscribe to two bead magazines, Bead and Button and Beadwork magazine. I really like them both as there are similarities and differences in both. Beadwork has featured artists who create for each magazine. This is nice if you like a certain type of project, as these artists work somewhat in themes. Bead and Button is a little more “homey” in style and has a bit more variety in the type of project. I think that the projects in Beadwork have better directions and diagrams, and are a little more to my liking. It’s really a matter of personal preference, and I find that I enjoy both magazines when they show up in the mail. I mark the pages with a post it note when I find a project I want to try. I don’t bother with the ranking of expert to beginner, as I love a challenge! One thing I find challenging is finding the right beads for each project. Sometimes the sizes or colors are not available locally and are difficult to find online. I really don’t want to have 50 different sources for beads. I have found that I can substitute a size 14 for a size 13 seed bead. Going up or down one size seed bead doesn’t seem to affect a project, at least so far! I do find a difference when using larger beads. Going up or down a size in a bicone crystal will make some difference in certain patterns. Colors are not so difficult to substitute. In fact, I prefer changing up the colors from what the original pattern might have called for. It’s fun to see the final product, and know that I’ve put my own spin on it.