A Case of Bead Doom

Oct 4, 2007

A Case of Bead Doom

On Wednesday ("Make Your Own Pendant"), I wrote about creating the Love Birds Necklace, my Beadwork challenge piece. After finishing the pendant, I thought the necklace needed something more--like individual seed bead daisies attached to a handful of the beads in the necklace.

Warning: If you're the type of person who thinks that editors are just naturally perfect (and want to keep that illusion), please skip down to the next section ("Thread Tip").

For the rest of you . . . 

 

I was working on the necklace on a Sunday night (yes, it was due on Monday!) and had limited thread options at hand: white Nymo or brown embroidery thread. Can you see my dilemma? The Nymo would have been a better thread choice, but the white was not aethestically pleasing against the dark beads. So, I went with the brown embroidery thread. How bad could it be? Ugh! It was so hard to handle and kept fraying. Once the piece came back from photography, I did end up redoing it with brown Nymo. So here's bead tip number one: resist the temptation to use embroidery thread for beading!

Here's the second tip: While the thread used on the pendant is neatly stitched into the satin cord, the thread on the individual daisy-embellished beads is exposed to the elements, making it the weakest part of the piece. (Dustin Wedekind, author of Getting Started with Seed Beads, calls this thread exposure "bead doom.") Since this necklace was just for me--and I have a habit of taking things apart when I get tired of them--this was not a major concern for me. If you are designing a similar piece to give away or sell, or you want an heirloom piece to hand down through the generations, think about covering the leading and exiting threads with additional seed beads, choosing smaller pearls or nuggets so that less thread is exposed, or eliminating the embellishments altogether.


 Thread Tip from a Beading Daily Reader

"Always start a new thread when you are starting to do a totally new step like attaching a clasp, making fringe or edging, or adding ornamentation or loops to the top of the work. Using a separate thread ensures that if this thread breaks, the whole piece doesn't unravel in your hands." --Mary Alexander


 Two New Beadmaking Projects 


Go with the Flow Polymer Pendant

Check out these new projects from the editors of Step by Step Beads:

  • Go with the Flow Polymer Pendants by Christi Friesen
    To create these pendants, you'll need blue, green, and yellow polymer clay, gold leaf, 28-gauge craft wire, and beads like pearls or crystals to use for embellishment. Visit www.cforiginals.net to see more polymer creations by Christi Friesen.
  • Playground Bracelet Beads by Kerry Bogert
    Get your torch ready to make these bold and colorful lampworked disc and bubble beads. More work by Kerry Bogert is available on her website: www.kabsconcepts.com.

 


 

Have you voted yet?

What's your favorite metal to use when designing? Voting will end on Sunday, October 7. I'll share the answers next week.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the voting for free projects. We will be doing this again with another set of projects--stay tuned! 


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. On her bead board: an unfinished necklace and an unfinished pair of earrings. Are you sensing a theme?



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Comments

SuzanneG@26 wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 8:57 PM
Michelle, I just wanted to comment on
your article about which thread to use...white Nymo versus embroidery thread.
Keep a supply of colored pen/ink markers and just color your white thread with whatever color you need......It solves all the color problems. I haven't bought colored threads in years. But I do have a great supply of colored pen markers.

Suzanne
gidget2 wrote
on Oct 7, 2007 9:44 PM
Michelle, I love the pendant that you put together. Could tell me who the manufactured them or where I might be able to purchase them. THX
on Oct 8, 2007 9:45 AM
Suzanne--thanks for the colored marker tip! That honesty never occurred to me! Anita, the individual brass components are from Vintaj Natural Brass - vintaj.com
SueW@69 wrote
on Oct 8, 2007 2:24 PM
I wanted to add to the idea of using markers on Nymo. I also use markers on Crystal Fireline and white Power Pro. Since these threads are best for crystals, it gives you more options.
Sue W
gidget2 wrote
on Oct 9, 2007 8:40 PM
Suzanne, I thought that they looked like Vintaj, but I appreciate your confirmation of the elements. Beautiful!
Anonymous wrote
on Oct 27, 2007 10:53 PM
My mentor and favorite bead teacher, Diane, also taught me to use an indelible marker to touch-up thread when there is an undesirable contrast showing. It might have been nine years ago during a class when she gave us that little tid-bit.
Ruth