Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Bead Stash Favorites

Most beaders have a go-to bead – a material that they can’t live without, and which usually defines their work. While these may be considered a "favorite", the beads that tickle our creative sides most can change with every new addition to the bead stash. The favorite du jour is a bead that makes us eager to sit down at the workbench, yearn to try new techniques, or sometimes we just want to horde them forever.

I want to share with you my top three favorite beads of the month. Every time I go into the cupboard to grab my bead tray, I think of them and look forward to finding just the right project to use them in.

Olive Green Czech Glass Seed Beads


Although I would say that 11/o seed beads are my standard fare, I still find that some new beads are always in my thoughts - at least until the next thing comes along. The rich colors and pretty finishes of seed beads are even more inspiring than the stitch possibilities. Right now my favorite seed beads are opaque olive green Czechs from Shipwreck Beads. Never mind that they’re on a hank, which makes all beads seem tastier; this color is both earthy and vibrant, and I can’t wait to see how it plays with other colors.

Vintage Czech Glass Egyptian Cabochons


If I didn’t have to save most of my bead budget to support my seed bead habit, I would probably spend an awful lot on unique glass accents. I picked up these amazing little vintage Egyptian cabochons on Artfire as a treat. Although the cobalt blue and cherry red are perfect for my favorite palettes, it was the bright green patina that really sealed the deal. Being so tiny at just 16mm, these cabs are ideal for bead embroidered pendants - I can add a lot more rounds of seed beads without the piece getting outrageously large.

Striped African Glass Trade Beads


Last but certainly not least, I’ve been hording two strands of striped glass trade beads from Happy Mango Beads for a couple of weeks. They are just so beady, I don’t even know where to begin. There’s always something irresistible about a striped seed bead, but the charming irregularity of these (along with the color and history) makes them almost too precious. I’ve been dying to make a new chevron collar with stripy bead accents – I’m just waiting for the magpie feeling to wear off so that I can bear to part with a few of these beads.

What kinds of beads have been calling to you lately?

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7 comments:

  1. Ha ha just a couple of weeks with the trade beads, I've been hoarding mine shamefully for about 3 years, the right project just hasn't come along yet

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  2. Oh, I went to a Native American Trail of Tears march this weekend and saw some of the most beautiful bead work!!! Can't wait to do some netting.

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  3. I too have a weakness for the striped seed beads, and have a good sized stash of the trade beads in a variety of colors that I've had for at least 12 years. While their irregular size is charming, it does make it a challenge to use them in a beadweaving project.So far I've only picked out a few of similar size to use in earrings, and the rest of my stash goes un-used. I look foreward to seeing what you do with yours.

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    Replies
    1. As much as I would love to weave with them, they really are best as accents. I try to think of trade beads as I would crystals or drops, and go from there.

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  4. I want some of those striped trade beads so much but when I check at Happy Mango they only have mixed stripes & solids. I want ones exactly like yours. HA!

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  5. I have a variety of trade beads in all sizes that I've been hoarding since the 1970's!!! And they were at least 100 years old then!

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