Showing posts from February, 2012

Unproductive Weekend

As often happens, I didn't get very far on the wall I had planned to repair last weekend, so that's one project that will extend into the next. Hopefully, it doesn't take too long, but I've found that home improvement stuff usually does.

I also didn't spend much time working on beads. I've been trying to better organize my workspace, but didn't get that done either. Hopefully, I'll get that finished before this coming weekend.

Beading Techniques

Check back often. More beading how-tos will be added in future posts.
Stop BeadsLadder Stitch -- Method 1: Use to create two equal lengths of string coming out of the ladder. This is ideal for projects in which the ladder is not on the edge of the project.Single-Needle Ladder Stitch: Use to create a single length of string coming from the ladder. This technique is ideal for projects in which the ladder is at the edge of the project.Square Stitch: Use in projects that look like loomwork.Peyote Stitch--Even Count.Peyote Stitch--Odd Count.

Stop Beads

Beginning with this post, I will occasionally add some beading how-tos. Here's a very basic technique.

Stop beads keep the beads of a project from sliding off. I typically choose a bead that is larger than the ones within the project so that it stands out. To secure a stop bead:
Thread your needle.String one bead onto your thread or other stringing material.Slide it within an inch or two of the opposite end of the thread.Pass the thread through the bead again so that the thread forms a complete loop around the bead, then pass it through again.Pull the thread tight so that the bead is secure.


While holding my daughter last night, I noticed a 6 mm bead lying on the floor. After blinking a few times as if I wasn't really seeing it, I bent down and picked it up. As I lifted it, I realized it was attached to a long, clear string ... and a whole bunch of other beads. It was the stop bead for the door hanger I'm working on. I'm so glad I saw it before my daughter did.

My Weekend

I probably won't do much beadwork over the weekend. I've decided that I need to finally finish my entryway, which has looked like this for a little more than a year. I spent a lot of time removing the wallpaper, but due to an issue with the ceiling, there didn't seem to be much sense in finishing the entry walls just yet. Once the ceiling was taken care of, I took time off from work to smooth out the wall and get it painted. Just my luck, though, I spent that week sick.

So, during the day, I'll be fixing this mess, and then working on the door hanger as I unwind in the evening, if I have the energy.

Japanese Seed Beads

Delica beads are still my favorites, but I also like the size 11/0 Japanese seed beads that Fusion Beads sells. They are every bit as uniform as Delicas, which makes them great for many of the projects I work on, including the kids rings I've made with my nephews.

Going Away Gift

A friend of mine will move out of state this summer, and I'd like to make her a going-away present. She collects Santas, but I know she already has a beaded one. She also doesn't wear much jewelry, so that idea is out, too.

One idea I have it to make an eyeglass holder. This will be a new one for me.

I Love Big-Eye Needles

I stumbled across IgoLochKoy needles at Fire Mountain Gems a few years ago, and ever since, I've used nothing else. They are super thin, which makes them great for seed beading, flexible and very easy to thread. Their only drawback is that they're so thin, they're very easy to lose. At one time, I had four. Now, I have one. It's on my short list of supplies to buy.

On the plus side, though, they do not stick into anything, which means that should I lose one in the carpet, my daughter is not likely to get stuck by it as she crawls on the floor.

Door Hanger, Take 3

I started over immediately after I discovered my mistake in the door hanger I'm making for my daughter, but into row 3, I realized the tension was way too loose, and I don't think it was doing to get any better as I moved along.

So, I've unraveled my second attempt and have moved onto my third, which is good, because I made a few adjustments this time around.

I wasn't too happy with the shade of blue I used the first two times, so I switched to one that has a little magenta in it. I decided to work from the bottom to the top instead of from left to right. By doing this, I realized that it was going to be much smaller than I had planned, so I modified the pattern.I switched from nymo thread to monofilament, which should give the hanger more stability. The drawback is that it might not be suitable for a door hanger because the interior doors in our house are hollow, and monofilament will make the hanger heavier. If that's the case, though, it will just go on the wall …

Kids Rings

This is a simple project that uses 11/0 beads in the ladder stitch on a thin wire (I cannot remember what gauge this is).

I've made these with my nephews a time or two, but not for a year or so now. My oldest niece just turned 4 years old, and I think it's something she'd enjoy doing. Maybe the next time I'm over for a visit, I'll take my bead stash and see if she wants to make rings.

I'm very much looking forward to the day that I can show my own little girl how to make these.

Back to Square One ...

Because it's been a while since I've done much beading, I made an error on the door hanger that I didn't notice until I began Row 2. The pattern I created was for a square stitch, but I started with a ladder stitch, which works better as a base for brick or herringbone stitches. Oh well. At this point, starting over is easier than redoing the pattern.

Row 1

I finally got a chance to start on my daughter's door hanger. I have the first row done. I have yet to decide how I want it to hang; I'll probably run a dowel through it. If I do, though, I'll need to extend the height to wrap the dowel. Here's my progress so far:

Odds & Ends

Random Tidbits

• I got the door hanger for my daughter's room mapped out on graph paper a few days ago and had hoped to start stringing it the same day. My girl had other plans for me, though. She cooed and played for a while, then made it clear she wanted to be held. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the little cutie pie. But stringing seed beads with a newborn on my lap is just not doable.

• Craft stores in our area have really cut back on their supply. My mom has been looking for some beads to finish the projects she's been working on and hasn't been able to find them locally anymore. The next time I'm at Mom's house, I'll go online to Fire Mountain GemsThunderbird Supply or Fusion Beads to see if any of them has what she needs.

• Off and on, I've struggled with an idea for a stretchy bracelet for kids. I've completed a few with a ladder stitch, but getting the string through the beads more than once was tough, even with the thinnest stretchy st…

Door Hanger

I'm in the mood to get started on some projects, so I've been thinking quite a bit about how I'd like to do the door hanger for my daughter's bedroom. My plan right now is to make it in colors similar to the ones in this shirt of hers:

The biggest reason why I want to use similar colors to this is I'm getting a little tired of pink everything. While there is some pink in the shirt, it doesn't dominate.

Baby Stuff ...

My first project for my now 5-month-old daughter will be a beaded nameplate for her bedroom door. She hasn't moved into her own room yet -- I just can't handle her being that far away overnight yet -- but I want it ready when she moves in.