Monday, June 21, 2010

One Ring Circus

Kaleidoscope Clown Ring by The Sage's Cupboard
Ring # 21 - Kaleidoscope Clown

At the end of this year, I plan to do a complete overhaul of my inventory and bookkeeping methods. It’s a dirty job, but it has to be done. In order to prepare, I’ve been planning to use up some older beads and clean out my stash. The real cleanup will have to wait until I’m done making rings, but I have managed to make a little time to get a head start.

The Inspiration:

I have had these multicolored seed bead mixtures for what seems like an eternity. They’re so pretty, but I never know what to do with them because they don’t really go with anything. And although they look great in the vial, they’re not all that sophisticated, so I’m always stuck for inspiration.

Finally, I decided that no epiphany was needed to use them. I would just make something with them and not worry about what it could look like, or what the name of the piece would be. This would be necessary beadwork!

Multicolored Seed Bead Mixes

The Beads:

Once I had put my foot down about not keeping these beads around, I felt totally free to just go with it and use them up. I didn’t have any doubts about combining them into one project - whatever would be would be.

One of the mixes is made up of matte Czech seed beads - some opaque and some transparent. The colors are very muted, with shades like peach, thyme, and cranberry. The other mixture is all shiny opaque seed beads. It includes all the classic colors like black, white, red, and blue… plus a few zingers like turquoise, pink and brown.

Kaleidoscope Bracelet by The Sage's Cupboard

The Beadwork:

With two such chaotic bead palettes to work with, I decided to keep it simple and use spiral rope to make a pretty bracelet. It’s an ideal technique not only because it would look nice with the beads, but it would allow me to use them all up quickly. I started with the clasp, then just stitched spirals until I ran out of beads. I had hoped to get three ropes, but two was all I could get out of the mixes.

Today’s Ring a Day design was created with the last of the leftovers. I used the matte finished beads and a red druk to make a button focal, then added it to a black herringbone band. I like the playful, circus-like quality of the colors. And now I have two more empty spaces in my bead stash. Only several dozen more to go!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard


  1. I hope all of your "use up the beads" projects turn out as fun and colorful as this one! Well done.

  2. Me, too! I only hope that my eagerness to get the projects done doesn't get in the way of making pieces that look good. Even necessary beadwork should be beautiful!

  3. I have several tubes of that same opaque seed bead mix and I always want to make something playful, but just never get around to it. Every time I see it it takes me back to daisy chains in 9th grade. Thank you for a bit of nostalgia!

  4. I usually see daisy chains when I look at mixes, too! I've actually used both of these mixtures to make daisy chains in the past, picking out all the white and yellow ones and using the rest as filler.


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