Bead Emergency!

Jul 11, 2011

Wild optimism made me think that one strand of keishi pearls would be enough to complete an embellished spiral rope necklace.

I fell in love with these silvery-green keishi pearls the moment I saw them on the Lima Beads website. I'm a sucker for freshwater pearls as it is, and these were just so yummy I couldn't help myself. I thought it would be nice to make a beaded necklace just for myself for a change, so I ordered one and eagerly waited for it to arrive in my mailbox.

I wasn't disappointed. The keishi pearls were absolutely gorgeous when I pulled them out of the bag, and I got started making a spiral rope base that I wanted to embellish with these beautiful freshwater pearls. Instead of making just a small centerpiece of freshwater pearl embellishment, I decided that I was going to make an entire thick rope of keishi pearls for myself. It was going to be a "just for fun" project.

But once I got started adding the keishi pearls, I realized that I was going to have a problem. I got about one third of the way through the embellishment before I realized that I had run out of keishi pearls! I have no idea why I thought one strand of pearls was going to be enough to embellish an eighteen-inch spiral-rope necklace. Call me overly optimistic when it comes to my beading projects, but I was so disappointed that I wouldn't be able to finish the necklace that evening. It was a bead emergency!

The finished keishi pearl necklace. Lesson learned: always order more beads than you think you'll need for a project!


I ran back to my computer and quickly ordered three more strands of pearls - even if it was too many, I was determined that I was not going to run out this time. I don't mind saying that it was very, very hard to sit and wait for those pearls to arrive in the mail. Living where I do has its advantages, but having a good bead shop in close proximity is not one of them. The day that the rest of the pearls arrived, I cleared everything else off my table and finished that necklace, just in time for a long holiday weekend.

If anything, this experience only reinforced my urge to buy more beads than I think I'll need for a project! Have you ever had a bead emergency? Share your story here on the blog!

Bead Happy,



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on Jul 12, 2011 6:31 AM

My bead emergency tends to go the other way. I buy these beads that I absolutely love and then I don't want to do anything with them because then they'll be gone. My friends say I'm a dragon cuz I like to hoard my treasures. I typically over buy because I usually need to order things on line. We have a great local bead shop but they are still working at getting seed beads in their inventory.

claudia@89 wrote
on Jul 15, 2011 8:22 AM

I love your  keishi pearl necklace. Can you tell me how you made it.  I am familiar with some spirals, but don't know how you made this one and used the pearls for imbellishment .  Thank you.

momof2birds wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 5:42 AM

The keishi pearl necklace is wonderful.  I've had similar emergencies, like when I had made a bracelet with black and white dice that a customer quickly snatched up, then she wanted a pair of earrings to match.  I had no more dice and had to quickly find some online.  You'd be amazed at how hard they are to find in just black and white.  I finally found some tiny ones that worked well as dangle earrings and she was pleased...whew!

Moi@5 wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 7:44 AM

I tend to order small quantities in great variety as I make and sell a rather eclectic mix of jewelry items. Most recently I ordered some coin pearls to use for a friend's wedding necklace. The pearls arrived in poor quality and could not be used. I was mixing these with some tiny rice pearls and some lovely rounds. With it being wedding season, I was finding few suppliers of white coin pearls with any stock left. I did find an Etsy seller, ordered some beauties and they were shipped. Two days later, Canada Post went on strike. I went to our local craft store and bought a few teardrop shaped pearls and told the bride that this was Plan B. A few days before her wedding, the mail began moving and the lovely coin pearls arrived. I made her a necklace which included the teardrops and all other shapes. The bride was thrilled with the Plan C necklace.

Capemaynuts wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 8:33 AM

I like to make ornament covers and last year I made one with a beach theme. The cover was done with a cream colored seed bead and a mix of ocean colored Delicas. Since I wasn't following a pattern, I didn't know exactly how much of each bead I was going to need, but i thought for certain that 2 tubes of the seed bead would be more then enough.......WRONG! I was adding the fringe and ended up 48 beads short of completing my ornament cover. I debated taking the fringe off and redoing it all shorter, but fringe isn't my favorite thing to do. So I hung up the ornament and waited to hear people ask why the fringe wasn't finished. No one has noticed.  Two strands of fringe are missing, but no one notices. They just love the colors and how I used beach theme charms and actual tiny seashells in the fringe.