Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spiral Ladybug Necklace

Lady Bug Cluster by LaVeta Jude
Lady Bug Cluster
Photo Credit: LaVeta Jude.

“Embedded Colors in the World of Insects” is the May theme in the Etsy BeadWeavers challenge. Team member Isabella asked participants to create a piece that represents tiny insects in their vast environments. There are many beautiful and interesting bugs that could inspire beadwork, and I considered many of my favorites, such as the scarab beetle. In the end, I decided to challenge myself and select one of the more common insects for my entry.

The ladybug is a favorite because it is so cute, with it’s pretty wings and round body. They are also treasured among gardeners, because they eat smaller, unwanted pests. Luring and encouraging ladybugs is an important part of organic gardening. Usually, ladybugs are depicted with bright, cherry red wings and perfectly round spots.

The Inspiration:

In nature, most ladybugs have a tomato-like coloring, ranging from under ripe yellows, to deep summer reds. Their markings are far from uniform, with many interesting shapes in black and white. I wanted to create a piece that would include all of the colors of ladybugs in nature, while avoiding the classic round shape of a cartoon beetle.

Ladybug Bead Palette

The Beads:

I started by creating two bead soups. The first contained assorted seed beads and accents in black, white and crimson. I combined two pre-made black and white mixtures with other beads from my stash until it looked just right. The second bead soup contained oranges, yellows, and natural reds. There were a few green seed beads in the mix, which I would have to ignore, though I did end up using many of them as stop beads.

Twirling Ladybugs Necklace
Twirling Ladybugs Necklace

The Beadwork:

I considered many free form beadwork designs before finally deciding on double spiral, which would allow me to showcase the ladybug palettes evenly. I can only assume that the two color mixtures have the desired effect, because at one point my husband asked why I was making a cluster of ladybugs.

I increased the spiral rows gradually as I stitched, and at random. When it came time to start decreasing, I started to wish I had used some sort of system to count increases, but I was able to make the second half of the rope fairly even with the first. I finished it off with a few black druks - like bugs on a log - and a button clasp.

The Etsy BeadWeavers “Insects” Challenge opens May 9th. Visitors can vote for their favorite entry until May 15th. Stop by the EBW Team blog to see all of the amazing beadwork creations.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard


  1. I love the effect and the necklace. Good luck in the challenge.

  2. Gorgeous! Love the inspiration picture and your colors.

  3. I think it's great :) Good job!

  4. What a wonderful interpretation of the theme. I love your double spiral stitch necklace...it's a technique that I have yet to try, but I just might after seeing what you have done with it ;-) Best of luck with the challenge!

  5. Fantastic texture! And I love the inspiration photo as well.

  6. Beautiful inspired necklace! I bet you'll do great in the challenge, I love your beadwork!

  7. Thanks everyone! For awhile it felt like this piece was going to take forever to finish. Still, when it was done, I wanted to make another right away. I love the slinky texture of the long spirals.

  8. I love ladybugs and this combo is very intriging. I look at it and think of a big mess of ladybugs. You noled it and I love it.


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