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4th Time’s a Charm

Well, I got to bead a little today. Or pretend to bead. It wasn’t my most successful project to date.

I started off good. The earrings went quickly – no goof ups at all. And I love them.

The bracelet is another story.

A sad story.

I’d found a worn piece of coral on the beach that was very much the same shape and size as the wide-holed barrel beads I use to make my beaded bracelets (5 strands of beads running through the barrel bead to keep them together.) I’ve made several, and I really like the style.

Anyway. So, today’s project was to use the coral to make a bracelet.

Everything started off good. I cut the elastic string, anchored a bead on one end so the beads wouldn’t come off and got started. It looked so pretty! Then as I was starting to tie it off, (you can imagine what is coming!) I dropped the end WITHOUT the anchor and the beads poured off and into the carpet. Shag carpet, of course. So, not only did I not have the finished bracelet strand, but I got to pick all the beads out of the carpet and restring the beads (although the 2nd time, it was shorter so I know there are still beads hiding in the carpet – but not to worry, I have plenty of extras.) So, I finish the second strand, tie it off, go to put it over my wrist, and the knot comes undone. AGAIN, beads go flying, but this time I’m sitting at the table and the beads are there instead of in the carpet.

Strand 3 – This time I got out a youtube video on beading elastic bracelets to see what I did wrong. Oh, yeah. I used a regular knot instead of a surgeon’s knot and THEN a regular knot, and this gal did a second surgeon’s knot and another regular knot, then a dab of bead glue, just to be sure. Sounded like a plan to me.

So I faithfully followed the instructions, but I forgot to run the strand through the coral bead first, so I cut it apart and started on strand #4.

By now I’m getting just a little pissy, but I power through. I’m not going to let a SIMPLE beaded bracelet get the better of me!

I tie on an anchor bead. I string all the beads. I tie another anchor bead at the other end (just to be sure the little suckers don’t run away again!) I run the strand through the coral bead, and tie it off just like in the video, including the dab of glue. Success! The 4th time was the charm!

Now I just have 4 more strands to go (I thought, but after the 2nd – or 5th depending on how you’re counting) it became obvious the hole would only be able to accommodate 3 strands if I was lucky.

Strand 2 went off without a hitch, and with a little ingenuity (using tiny seed beads on the last inch) I was able to make third 3rd strand fit through the hole. Barely.

It isn’t as full as I normally like them to be, but the coral is special, so the trade-off works for me. I’ll always remember that I made it on Maui, with coral I found on the beach.

We only have 3 more days left on the island, and we’re going to do a little running around tomorrow and Sunday, and I really need to start organizing all my treasures for the trip home, so I don’t know if I’ll get to do any more beading. It figures, just as I get on a roll. Oh, well. I’ll wait and put this stuff away last. Maybe I can squeeze in another piece. Or two.

Luscious Beads

I peeled myself away from Toy Blast long enough to sort all the wonderful beads and supplies I brought with me on our get-away, along with the ones I bought at my first trip to Ben Franklin.

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I have plans to make several necklaces, a couple of bracelets and a few pairs of earrings, but today was just prep work/organization.

At home each type of bead would have its own covered container, but here I settled for dumping all the beads of the same palette into a common bowl. I’ll have to hope I don’t accidentally dump them out. Just looking at them makes me feel warm and fuzzy. In fact, running my fingers through them is almost as fun as making the jewelry or looking at the finished products.

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That could be a bit of a problem, actually. I am apt to spend more time luxuriating in them than I do actually accomplishing anything.

In an attempt to do my projects correctly (as opposed to making things up on the fly – I am self taught after all!) I watched a couple of videos on youtube about stringing beads into necklaces, and discovered I am missing a few tools that would make my finished products a little more professional-looking.

Bummer. That will require another trip across the island.

 

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