Monday, December 14, 2009

Where would I be if not in a rush?

'Tis the season for hurrying and scurrying. I have a delusional feeling that I am somewhat on top of things, but only if things go smoothly. Any hiccup in a day's activities could set the dreaded domino effect in motion, but for the moment, things are going well. (I just jinxed myself, didn't I?)

I doubt I will around to blog until sometime next week. I feel a twinge of guilt because reading blogs and writing here does bring me joy, but a little time away isn't a life sentence. Many of you are caught up in frantic activities too and we'll all be able to kick back a bit and enjoy reading and posting more next month.

Before I disappear for a few days, I would like to share my recent jewelry creations. This bracelet is for a very good friend. If I said old friend, I would mean that the friendship is old, not that she and I are aging. Not one bit!
The earrings are for her daughter and daughter-in-law. The snowman pendant on the right is for me. It matches earrings I made last year.
There is a story behind the bracelet. It was sold as a kit at Mary Maxim's, a wonderful craft store in Port Huron, MI. They also have a store in Canada and have thriving catalog and internet sales (Mary Maxim online). I saw the bracelet, liked it, didn't examine it closely, and bought it all the while yakking away to my sister-in-law. When I pulled the kit out a few nights ago to assemble, I thought I had a simple bracelet of beads to strand on wire, a quick project.

Wrongo!

See this bead? There are three of them on the bracelet.
That is a pearl with six strands of tiny seed beads wrapped around it east-west, and then a strand a green seed beads circling the pearl north to south. This really isn't hard, but it is time consuming and round seed beads on a round pearl are slippery little suckers!

Seed beads are tiny which means the beading needle has a very small eye. Threading the needle can be the worst part of the project. This shows you how small the beads are, and the needle I find easiest to use. The eye is very long, the needle flexes to open, and it saves me a lot of grief.
It starts with 4 gold seed beads, one red, and 4 more gold on beading thread wrapping around the pearl. The spring-like device is holding the loose end of the thread.
One wrap made, another loaded on the needle.
The red and green beads are larger than the gold. It is partly a design function, and partly to make it easier to pass the needle through again when adding the green beads.
Six wraps made, now to wrap around the middle of the pearl.
The beading thread went back down through 4 of the gold and one red bead, then through a green one. The path through the remaining red beads alternated direction (up and down) and when finished, the thread worked back through 4 gold seed beads to meet the thread's other tail at one end.
Ready to knot. A tiny drop of glue or Fray Check seals the knot. After it is dry, the tails ends are cut. They should be cut carefully. Don't go through the thread actually holding the beads together as I did. For three beads, I strung these things four times.
I finished one bead at night. Tiredness was a factor in calling it quits after just one bead. The other two were completed much more quickly the next morning, even with clipping the wrong thread and rebeading one all over again.

I enjoy making these, but only when I am in the mood to do so. If I had to make them, it would make me twitchy.

As we close in on the last 10 days before Christmas, I hope none of you are getting twitchy. I hope your plans go smoothly and we all have wonderful holiday memories in the making. We may have to blog about them after the fact, but we'll have them nonetheless.

Peace to all...
Photobucket

9 comments:

Julie said...

This is beautiful. I love the beads you made and that bracelet your "old" friend will love. Thank you for sharing.
Have a very Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your family.

Kelli said...

Gorgeous, Knitty! Absolutely gorgeous! Your talent always leaves me wishing I could borrow some of it. ;)

Sewconsult said...

You are a woman of many talents! I leave the jewelry making to my older daughter. My fingers are too clumsy.
Merry Christmas.
Beckie

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Knitty,
You made those? Oh wow, they are beautiful! You must be a patient woman! I know how you feel about getting ready for Christmas, I am starting to feel a little panicky and better quit reading blogs and get my butt in gear! Merry Christmas to you, Cindy

Chatty Crone said...

I don't think I could hold still long enough to make something as beautiful as that - you must have a lot of patience Knitty. Every thing was beautiful - I especially liked the bracelet.

SmilingSally said...

How pretty, Knitty. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

The Urban Chic said...

Hi Knit, love the beaded bracelet. Thanks for the instructions. I have soooo many seed beads, plus all the ones I got from mom's stash, I may never have to buy another-lol. Hope to hear from you soon. Love, Hugs, and I pray you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas---all of you, Pat

Fifi Flowers said...

FUN Christmas jewelry!
Merry Christmas.. ENJOY!
Fifi

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Knitty... those are gorgeous! Great job on the jewels. I admire your talent.

I am dropping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas! May God's richest blessings be yours...

XO,

Sheila :-)