Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Frog it or Wear it Update

One of my creative resolutions for this year was to finally try frogging some old designs and salvage the beads. I’ve never really bothered with this beading step before, since it always seems a shame to cut up Fireline when I could just wear the designs instead. After my most recent jewelry shop overhaul, I was left with a lot of pieces that actually seemed to be worth ripping up. I thought I would give it a go and see if the resulting salvage would be worth the time spent.

I went through the box in my bead cupboard labelled ‘Frogs’ and sorted them into piles – one to wear and one to deconstruct. There are quite a few pieces that are mostly seed beads – I think it would probably be cheaper just to purchase the same beads again than to go to all the trouble of ripping out those stitches. I added a few pieces to my jewelry collection, including a spiral rope pendant and a couple of fun bracelets. At first I wasn’t sure about the peyote tube and cat eye bracelet, but decided that I didn’t want the beads that badly, and it would be more fun to just wear it instead.

The pile of pieces to be frogged was a lot bigger. There were a few designs that I really liked, and I almost added them to the wear pile. The stick pearl necklace was definitely a tough one. But with this piece, I like the beads a lot more than I need another necklace, so I decided to rippit! I also decided to finally dismantle a necklace set that I made for an Egyptian Hallowe’en costume about 20 years ago. Most of the beads are acrylic, but there are some really great teal Czech glass beads in both pieces that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. I’ve always liked having the necklaces around as decoration, but since I was going to be frogging, I thought it was time to take back those glass beads.

I ended up with a pretty good haul of worthwhile accents. I’m particularly happy to have some black and white druks again. I’m not sure how or when I’ll use them, but it feels good to have them in my stash. I wasn’t quite brave – or patient – enough to take apart the beaded flowers from that piece, so I’ll be saving them to use in other designs – possibly a set of rings!

I also got some lovely bead soups out of the deal. When I was finished frogging, I mixed the seed beads with assorted leftovers from my stash and now I’ve got all kinds of new inspirations for later. I think there might be a few multistrand necklaces and herringbone cuffs in my future.

In all, I think this particular frogging session was worthwhile. I still can’t see myself sitting down to rip a single piece at a time, but I would definitely like to keep them saved up for an occasional destruction fest. It was rather therapeutic, and it gave me a break from the monster collar that I’m currently working on.

Do you find it difficult to dismantle unwanted or unfinished designs? What do you like to do with your mishaps?


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  1. I'm reminded that every time I take apart something I'm better at the design a second time, third time.....

    1. That's true! I suppose now that I think of it, I dismantled a lot of my very, very first designs. Usually if I really liked the beads and wanted to try something different with them.

  2. Sometimes you just know a project just didn't turn out the way you invisioned. Easy Frog it or overhaul the design somehow. My problem is when I raid my jewelry box to see what can be salvaged or used in a different way. I take it out get it all cleaned up and look at to see what pieces I want to turn into something else, but it is all shiny and pretty now an I fall in love with all again. Back in the jewelry box it goes.

    1. It's so hard to murder your darlings, isn't it? Some of these were really tough to destroy, but I figure the beads are more valuable sitting around my stash than the finished pieces are sitting in my wardrobe. Sometimes you've just gotta cut your losses and move forward.


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