Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's time to pull the rabbit out of the hat!

Normally I’m pretty good with deadlines, but I seem to be struggling with ideas for this particular blog post. No single theme has popped into my head, so instead I’m going to free associate, wander about a bit, and see what happens. Please forgive me!
I was re-stocking some of the hooks in the store the other day, and started wondering why people are not aware of (or have stopped using) some of the older types of beads. I know the instinct is to get in on the frenzy, and quickly snap up the new beads (including all of the 2-holed ones), but I want you to think before you completely abandon the rest. Who besides me, loves Miyuki Cubes? I hadn’t used them, in bead weaving for years, until I needed to come up with a quick and easy bracelet for one of my “Pip” related “Inspirations”. These beads take to Peyote stitch like a dream, as they quickly snap into place, in nice, neat rows. The bracelet is fun, flexible, colourful, and very, very solid. In the old days, I would have probably stitched it with thread (probably either C-lon or Nymo), but now I use Fireline. Much less chance of having the thread fray, abrade, or break somewhere down the line. Wouldn’t it be a shame to do all that work, have the thread break, and need to deal with the heartbreak of “ripit, ripit, and ripit”? Curse words are perfectly acceptable, and often encouraged, when this happens!! Toho Triangles are also quite versatile, but they give a more textured look. I’ve used them for both Peyote and Herringbone, but I’m betting they would also showcase well, with other types of stitches.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I use a huge variety of beads in my Intuitive Bead Embroidery pieces. Cubes and triangles are often used as accents, as they quickly add texture and contrast. They take up valuable real estate, and you won’t need to use as many itty-bitty seed beads!!! Okay, call me lazy, but sometimes you just need to save a little time! Also, what about Hexes, Tila’s, Half-Tila’s, and Bugles? Do they deserve to be abandoned? Like Cubes and Triangles, they can be used in bead weaving, bead embroidery, wirework, looming, wrapped bracelets (with leather), and even stringing. Have you ever thought of adding them to Memory Wire, or even using some of them as spacers? Cubes would work perfectly as spacers! Triangles were used in the triangle bead embroidery shown below (how appropriate?). Not a lot, but if you look closely, you can spot the silver triangles at the bottom of the tree, and halfway up the right side. Blue bugles were used for the path, on the right hand side.
Apparently this post has turned into an ode to older beads! Despite struggling with our bulging stash addictions, there’s always room for a few more beads! I certainly don’t expect you to ignore the sexy new beads, but I dearly hope that you will think about giving the more seasoned ones, a little of your time and attention!

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