Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Tropical Beach

Tropical Shell Bead Palette

If only reusing, repurposing, and upcycling was as easy for everyone else as it is for beaders. Can you imagine if we were to throw away every bead we got that wasn’t quite what we’re used to? Sometimes beads are broken or wonky (that’s a technical term). Sometimes we just haven’t learned or discovered the best way to use them.

But we hold on to those beads, or share them with our crafty friends. Beads never get thrown away. I even keep all of my culled beads. I have a little cup full, right on my work tray, and I use them as stop beads. With all of the different sizes and colors, it makes adding new thread simple and efficient.

Over the last two years, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to use beads from two huge strands of mother of pearl chips that I got at a closing sale. There are still quite a few left, but there are only a few more projects worth. No more than ten, I’d say.

Tropical Blue Shell Cuff

There are a lot of beads in the mix that I have not used because the cuts weren’t right for a project. Many of them are too thin and sharp for necklaces. Some of them are oddly drilled. After all the pieces I’ve made with the chips, I’m starting to recognize the wonky ones.

“Well, hello Big Comma Shaped Bead with the scratchy side. How is Mister Shaped Like a Cougar’s Claw? Oh, I’m afraid neither of you is going to be in this necklace. Maybe next time.”

For this week’s bracelet, I decided I was going to put some of these beads to good use. So long as there’s no chance of the pointier beads poking someone, they can still make great jewelry. I just had to think of a safe place to put them.

So I made a pretty aqua blue and turquoise cuff, and sewed a whole bunch of my misfit beads to the center in a fun cluster. There are still dozens more chips - good and not so good ones - so I’ll be keeping this design in mind for later.

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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  1. I love that and you know we all have those beads (yes I agree Wonky is a technical bead term) so this makes me look at mine in a whole new light!

  2. How very economical of you! And something new and beautiful out of it at the same time... I've come to expect nothing less. ;-)

  3. Thank you! I'm really happy with the way this one turned out. It's possibly my favorite so far.

  4. Oh my, this makes my heart happy! I'm so glad I made it over here to see it!! SO PEACEFUL!! :)


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