Thursday, May 2, 2013

Unregulated Beads or Why I Don't Design with Gemstones

Conformity is what I'm talking about.
Uniform sizes.
Holes in the right damn place!

Yes....I've been struggling.
Bright little spark that I can be, I decided to work with of those "What were you thinking?" moments after the work was half way done.

Ok...this is the deal:

I designed my Celtic Knot necklace while I was ill last year and am only now getting around to writing the tutorial and of course I needed a refresher on it not to mention a piece to test the tutorial. I made the first Turquoise Howlite version from some beads I picked up at a bead show.
And right there is a what was I thinking a designer who sells a lot internationally I have to use beads that can be easily found or offer 
up a supplier or carry the special beads myself.

So for my second version I found that Artbeads carried the shape and size of gemstone I needed albeit in limited colors....I bought the three they had.
Well....I've been working with them this week and so I could test the tutorial I illustrated the major components before I began beading.

Imagine my horror when it just didn't work.
The holes in the Coral Quartz are about 1mm higher into the stone than with the Howlite.  1mm is not much, a teensy measure but OMG!
It can totally mess with your design.

The result is I've putzed around for a couple of days this week, procrastinated like crazy, been very unproductive and then, of course, guilty for the lack of productivity.

Finally, yesterday, I sat down to work on the 'fix'.
I realized I would have to create a 'flexible' fix because who knows where the holes in you're gemstones are going to be?
The result is good, you probably can't tell the difference....yeah, part of that is due to the colorway change...but had I started with the Coral Quartz this is exactly what I would have done in the first place and the 'fix' would have been just easy and obvious.

My blog is about the trials and tribulations of this business and the problem with holes is definitely one of them.....we all know about the second blocked hole in a super duo bead....if you hear a beader scream these days that's probably why.

Anyway....problem solved.
I'll have to do some more illustrations on the 'fix' but I'd rather do that than have to go through tweaking everything.  On Monday I thought this one was going super fast and easy and would be in my store this week.....oh, how the Powers That Be like to play with me!

And it's always when I'm chomping at the bit to move onto the next project...which is the patterned version of the new Padlock Pendant.

I need to take some new shots with it's rope, a 36" half twist herringbone.
I need so many more hours in the day....especially when a 1mm difference  can take me down!

Oh....and I just opened a Twitter account.
So, do a search for my name and follow me, you never know what you might get to know.  I plan on using Twitter while I'm at the Bead & Button Show so that if I'm sitting beading and someone wants to join me they'll be able to find me.  I plan on doing a lot of my corrugated peyote while I'm there and it's the perfect time to demo the technique....and with the long term project I'm working on you might want to take advantage :)


  1. I can not wait to see the pictures with the chain. I am so glad it is not just because I am new at attempting design that this stuff happens to me. You should see the difference between the opaque 5x8 spikes and glass ones! OMG!

  2. What a great design. Love your work.

  3. the coral one is so pretty...looks very 'mary engelbreit to me..;>) have fun at b+b...I went once, wish it could be again and again!

  4. Breathless beauty by Mikki Merveilleuse.


  5. OMG! I LOVE the padlock pendant!!!!

  6. that blocked hole in the don't make THAT mistake too many times! i started warning people who bought them from me about it. that glass isn't always from another bead and pokable out with an awl! :-)


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