The Beader's Wish Book
Did you have a Sears Wishbook when you were a kid? This was the big Sears catalog packed with toys (and other stuff). I used to spend hours sprawled out on the floor circling all the things I wanted. Even though I rarely received anything on my wish list, it was fun to flip through the pages and dream.
I just spent a happy morning with the beading equivalent. The Bead Directory by Elise Mann lists 600+ beads and findings. For each bead, it lists the hole size, recommended stringing material, weight, size (length/width/depth), color range, and the number of beads in a 10" strand. I especially appreciate the hole size information since I often string with cord or ribbon that require large-holed beads.
Here are 5 pieces in The Bead Directory that caught my eye:
Three-Hole Moss Agate
A bead with 3 holes? This definitely got my attention! Elise writes, "Three-hole beads are most commonly used in 'power' bracelets, with the two ends of the elastic cord pulled through the hole at right angles and knotted. They can also be used at the midpoint of a Y-shaped necklace."
Who wouldn't like to make (or wear) a "miracle" necklace or bracelet? Elise writes, "It looks like something between a colored pearl and an opaque moonstone, seeming almost to glow. Unlike some coatings, these are as interesting in natural light as they are under bright artifical light."
I have some of these beads in a little tube labeled "drops," so it took me a second to remember that they have another name. These small beads with an off-center hole work well for fringe, spacers, or bead embroidery. I bought mine for no particular reason–I just thought they were pretty. Isn't that usually the case?
Round Sea Urchin
Did you know that they make beads out of sea urchins? They're beautiful, but I don't think I could ever work with these beads. I feel ill just writing about them.
I look at these every single time I go to a bead show or bead shop. I haven't bought one yet, but only because I am so distracted in those places (by what, I can't imagine). Elise writes, "The bottom section unscrews so that any bead that will fit into the space and has a large enough hole can be added without removing the top part from its chain or strand of beads." This means you can buy beautiful beads and immediately wear them home. What could be better than that?
So what are some of the most unusal beads or findings you've seen before? Any beads that you can't live without–or would never buy? Share your thoughts on the website. And if you need 600+ ideas of more beads and findings to buy, be sure to check out The Beader's Wishbook aka The Bead Directory, currently on sale for 20% off.
Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.