"I won't buy any more beads until I use up those I already have." I often say.
Then I laugh and laugh and laugh...
I have been crafting in one form or another for most of my life. I've learned knitting and crocheting (which I still do on occasion), cross stitch, needlepoint, macrame, and scrapbooking. And, yes, I have even made a birdhouse out of popsicle sticks.
For many years I taught acrylic painting classes and sold my art at various local shows. Then I discovered the joy of painting with a mouse and my web design business was born at Round The Bend Wizards. Twenty years later it is still going strong.
Several years ago, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of a fabulous necklace she had made using seed beads on a beading loom in segments that connected some gorgeous lampwork beads. I knew I had an old beading loom in the depths of my craft closet, so once found it was off to the local craft store to pick up some beads. After the first bracelet was finished, I was hooked. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I discovered many tutorials and patterns that made the learning easier. If you have a hobby, you know the story.
I'm just not a 'sit and watch a movie' or 'read a book' type of person. While I enjoy both (especially a really good book), beadweaving is very soothing and is a great way to de-stress after a long day. It is fun to paint with beautiful beads and have a finished product that lasts for years.
Once I decided to sell my finished jewelry pieces, I had only one rule. Quality comes first. Each one sold is handmade by me. I don't outsource labor or import finished pieces. If you are going to spend your hard-earned money on a watch or bracelet for yourself or as a gift, you want the piece to not only look good but to last for a very long time.
Sometimes I tell myself "Put the beads down. It's time to get some housework done."
Then I tell myself "Be quiet."
Beadweaving is done by using a beading needle and special thread and one or more beading stitches to create an intricate chain of beads. While there are many techniques for making beaded jewelry and other items, this is the one I prefer and enjoy the most.
Beadweaving is most often done with small beads called seed beads. These beads were named because of their resemblance to seeds. Seed beads range in size from very small (size 15/0) to large (size 6/0). The size of the bead roughly corresponds to how many of that bead laid side-to-side will fit into one inch. Therefore, the larger the number, the smaller the bead.
There are also varieties of beads that include different shapes such as cubes, diamond shapes, flat tiles, crescents, bugle beads, drop beads, and crystals that do not necessarily share the small, round shape of a traditional seed bead. These vary in size from 2mm to 10mm and larger. There are also various beads that have one single hole, some that have two, and even some that have three or four.
There are several different beading stitches that are used to connect the beads. Each stitch has its own unique thread path, and creates a different type of beadwork. Some common beading stitches include peyote stitch, brick stitch, herringbone stitch (also called Ndebele), right angle weave, netting, spiral rope, daisy chain, chevron stitch, square stitch and dutch spiral, to name a few! Many of these stitches have variations which will make either a flat strip of beadwork, a round tube, a spiral or a flat circular shape.
All of this leads to an almost endless style of jewelry pieces that can be created by using a needle and thread and a variety of beads. Enjoy!