Nothing Says Romance Like Listerine
It was Valentine’s Day, 1985…my husband and I had been dating for a couple years…and this was the day I knew romance, poetry, and flowers wouldn’t be a big part of our relationship: He gave me a bottle of red-colored Listerine.
Most women would have turned on their heels at that point. However strange, I knew from that day forward ours would be an honest, forthright relationship. Practicality in all things. No funny business. I certainly also knew I would never need to anticipate getting flowers and be disappointed when they didn’t come or were the wrong color or type! And it really has turned out okay…we’ve had 20 years of happy, comfortable, fresh-breath togetherness.
Dark Chocolate, Crystals, and Other Indulgences
The fact remains, however, that I am still a woman, and, in my opinion, there’s a certain amount of romantic indulgence that must make up part of a woman’s life. So I simply indulge myself: There’s always dark chocolate in the pantry; my bathroom is stocked with bathtub bombs, votive candles, and all kinds of exfoliating devices for those off chances for pampering; and in the summertime the yard is full of flowers, each one with my name on it. Another romantic indulgence is, of course, my beadwork. Wearing certain pieces of jewelry I’ve made makes me feel feminine, pretty, and a bit spoiled. Crystals flash as nicely as diamonds and beaded flowers never die.
The Ultimate Beaded Indulgence
I’m not sure designer/author Lisa Kan ever got Listerine for Valentine’s Day, but she certainly knows how to design “spoil yourself” beadwork for girls like me. Her book Bead Romantique contains the ultimate in beaded indulgence, with designs featuring elaborate beadwork, filigree, fine chain, crystals, and pearls. Most of the projects within are for hardcore off-loomers, but not all. And for those of you who are just treading into the seed bead stitching arena, the illustrations in this book are extremely clear and plentiful. A great book to have next to the box of chocolate and dish of bathtub bombs!
3 Fringe Favorites
One technique Lisa employs quite a bit in Bead Romantique is fringe—bountiful, jangly, romantic fringe. There are as many types of beaded fringe as there are beads, but here are a few of my favorite kinds that make my beadwork feel utterly romanced:
String several seed beads, 1 round 3mm bead, 2 seed beads, 1 drop, and 2 seed beads. Pass back through the 3mm bead and the rest of the seed beads.
String several seed beads in a branch color, then 13 seed beads in a leaf color. Skip the last 3 seed beads just strung and pass back through the fourth. String 9 seed beads in a leaf color and pass back through the branch-colored beads.
String 10-20 seed beads, 1 crystal, and 1 seed bead. Pass back through the crystal and 3 seed beads on the original strand. *String 2 -4 seed beads, 1 crystal, and 1 seed bead. Pass back through the crystal, the 2-4 seed beads just strung, and the next 3 beads on the original strand. Repeat from * for the length of the strand.
What kind of techniques do you add to your beadwork for a romantic flair? Ever received an unusual or life-path-changing gift for Valentine’s Day? Share them on the site. (And Happy Valentine’s Day from one bead-spoiled girl to another!)
Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks!