Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Confessions of a Crystal Hoarder Blog

Why be little?

Posted by Elizabeth Hamilton on Sep 1st 2014

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson 1841 

This may make some people cringe, and others may nod in agreement… But I don’t like every bead. In fact, I’m pretty particular, if a bit erratic, in what beads I truly love.

Shell and horn=ick. Purple=blrgh. Huge beads= squirm. Baby pink=meh.

Every month when I receive my box, I take the first 24-48 hours to come up with a theme for the month. Afterall, I don’t think it would be very entertaining every month to read a blog called “random crap I made”. (Yes, yes, I know it’s not crap, yada, yada.) In case you've ever wondered, yes, there are months when I peer into the box and nothing comes instantly to mind.

Yes, sometimes the theme changes as I make my way through projects.

And yes, when the theme changes, I often end up with pieces that never get photographed. A few months ago I made three pairs of earrings before I decided to go in another direction. These earrings were from a month with only one project that didn't fit.

I set my challenge for this month before I wrote up last month’s blog. I decided to use the beads that were the farthest from my comfort zone. When I opened the box I found...chain! Hooray!Chain! And cool glass cabs.

And some beads that I bought at a show to get the other beads that came in the bag...ah yes, back to the challenge at hand.

So what do you (I) do with two-holed metallic beads? Purple disc beads? Huge faux Chinese currency?

Well, I chose to go long. 18-20” is my favorite necklace length. Some people look awesome in longer necklaces...I just get them caught on things. But this month was about pushing beyond my comfort zone. So, long and boho I went.

Best laid plans...Ok, so I sort of eased into it. My first necklace included purple discs and exposed beading wire. I feel the same way about exposed beading wire as I do about exposed bra straps...some people can pull it off. I’m not one of them. But I really wanted to show off the discs from the side. I used Jacquard Lumiere paint and a sponge to give them a bit of copper shimmer, and rounded up my crimps. I’m pretending that the exposed crimps add visual texture.

Here, I pushed farther outside my comfort zone, and this necklace may be the most radical thing I made this month. Coins. Hippy chic. This necklace makes me think of patchouli. The crimps are a bit more hidden on this stone, leather, and coin focal necklace. Each strand is double crimped because I was feeling tense about the weight of the stones.

I could have called this month “crimping my style”. Crimps were really the glue that held this month’s pieces together.

Until they didn't.

I really enjoyed how this necklace turned out. It was very summery, and a bit retro-funky. I was trying to decide which chain to use with it, so I made it so all of the beads were strung on one long loop of beading wire, and were independent of the chain. I did double crimp the strand...but I thought I’d over-mashed one of them, but shrugged my shoulders and thought, nah, it’ll be ok. I don’t want to re-string the whole thing. And I paid the price. This necklace fell to its death as I took it off the necklace stand. The one crimp was indeed ruined, and the force caused the other crimp to pop...and red beads careened across my deck. There may still be some under the grill, or out by the hose. Sadness. But hey- better it break now than in public I suppose.

Learning that lesson, my metallic big beads for the next necklace are on wire. 20 gauge wire. With wrapped loops to secure them in place. Overkill? Probably.

I needed to lighten my beading mood after the debacle on the deck. (My poor neighbors probably thought I’d hurt myself- or had a salty sailor staying at my house.) Candy colored Kumihimo to the rescue! It’s hard to stay angry when you’re making a huge friendship bracelet.

Back in a better mood, I also made two pairs of earrings. It was a bit like getting dessert after clearing your plate. Or, in this case, clearing your