Friday, July 2, 2010


Czech Seed Bead Mixture

When I sat down to do my taxes this past spring, it occurred to me that my bookkeeping systems needs a lot of work. One of the things that needs the most improvement is my materials inventory, which is inaccurate at best. I know that if I want to fix things, I’m going to need to start by taking stock of my entire bead stash from top to bottom. The concept is horrifying!

Before I can even fathom such a task, I will need to clear out a lot of older beads, particularly those that I’ve had since long before beading became more of a business than a hobby. My ultimate goal is to have only items in my stash that also have invoices to go with them. This could take awhile.

I have a lot of good reasons for never using all these beads that I’ve been carrying around. Some of them only have tiny quantities; there aren’t enough to commit to a project, so they wait until they can be used as the occasional accent color.

Bead Soups

Others just keep getting passed over, and I tell myself “I’ll probably need them some day”. This is, of course, ridiculous. I don’t worry about saving beads that I really, really like, because I love using them. And if I’m ever in need of a certain bead color, I have no trouble ordering them. There is no reason to hang on to these beads until the end of time.

The Inspiration:

I am starting my big destash project by using up all of my old Czech seed beads. The first thing I did was pull out all of my bead boxes and removed everything that I haven’t used in months. I sorted the seeds by color, then created an assortment of bead soups. They instantly became ten times more appealing.

Cotton Candy Bead Soups

The Beads:

The first bead mixture that I wanted to use was a combination of all my pinks and purples. I liked the sweetness of the colors, and I wanted to put it to good use. I grabbed some more must-go beads - a 4/o mixture of magenta and baby blue. With the dash of blue thrown in, the bead soup was now the color of cotton candy.

The Beadwork:

The most exciting thing about a bead soup that absolutely must be used up is that there are no rules or boundaries. You can make any design, any size! It’s been awhile since I made a clasp free chain necklace, so I decided to make loops of right angle weave until I ran out of beads.

Cotton Candy Chain Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard, on Flickr
Cotton Candy Swirl Necklace

I created a pattern of accent beads in groups of four: magenta, pink, blue, pink. To make it a little more interesting, I alternated which side of the chain the accent beads were on, but in groups of three. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a pattern at all, but there is a lack of chaos that sort of soothes the eye.

I wish I had staggered the pattern a little more, because I ran out of pale pink accents long before everything else. Still, the necklace turned out to be a whopping 70 inches. I think this is the longest necklace I’ve ever made. I’m going to enjoy this destash mission.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard


  1. What a beautiful necklace!
    I love the term 'bead soup'! and putting the like colours together really makes them more gorgeous!

  2. "Bead soup", that is a great term, and a great method. I run out of beads all the time, and end up turning necklaces into bracelets. But I'm getting much better at judging my limits. Fantastic necklace!

  3. I believe that "Bead Soup" was officially invented by Beverly Ash Gilbert. She's an expert when it comes to mixing different bead colors and shapes. And her free form beadwork is amazing!

    I'm still not brave enough to try any really crazy freeform designs. Too many 'what-ifs' for me!


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