Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

A Series of Tubes

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on Jan 30th 2014

One of the great things about most vacations, is that I get time to bead. My holiday trip to Florida provides ample time for me to whip out some projects while the rest of the family watches sports. 

The December box included a supply of vintage bugle beads that were destined for more designs featuring winding thread paths and hours of beading. My box contained gold, lavender, and sky blue bugles. Think of this as a bonus box blog. Just don’t try to say it aloud 3x...

I built a lattice of right angle weave bugles and drop beads for a cuff bracelet. The copper clasps came from a grab bag from the booth at a show. I know I drone on and on about this, but I get excited whenever lots are listed on the website, or when I get to shop at or work the AGOS booth at a show.

The purple bicones were added after the lattice was complete. They were in a box from last year, in a little baggie labeled “West German Glass Bicones”. The drops are AB finish Magatamas. I buy them more than I've been using them, so I thought it was time to “put up, or shut up” more purchasing (of magatamas)!

Russian Spiral is one of my favorite stitches. The first stitch I learned was African Helix, at a local bead event. I liked the spiral pattern, but not the thread-on-thread contact...afterall if Fireline and Nymo can slice up my fingers when my tension is at its greatest, surely it can cut itself. A weird and scary thing I learned; DO NOT ever use your teeth to flatten Fireline. Mash the tip with pliers for easy threading. I have this odd tiny groove in one of my front teeth. Fireline is stronger than enamel!

Back to Russian Spiral. It has the same general look as AH, but uses thread passes through the beads for support. I used the tutorial from Bead Patterns Central to learn it, but there are instructions in many books, that’s just the one that clicked for me. Parallel(ish) thread is happy thread. The stitch really showcases your bugle beads. I like seeing where I can push it by trying different bead configurations to try for swirls and bulges. The longer bugles are also vintage; a few summers ago Suzanne had tubes of vintage bugles at B&B. The endcaps are a previous BHCC get.

The gold bugles in my box wanted to be a netted collar. I was able to pair them with semi-matte gold rounds and briolettes. It might be fun to replicate the thread path with bugles and faux pearls. I started this necklace as a strand on beading wire. I do this with spiral rope as well, I guess it just makes me feel safer to plan a sturdy foundation.

I’ll leave you with this photo of my Mom’s koi pond...I hear there’s another polar vortex coming ou