Back to Basics

Hey, everybody! So, after the sudden flash of motivation that helped me finally write my River Reed pattern that I shared in my last post, I’ve been stuck feeling kinda unmotivated to do much beading again. I’ve been spending time with my stash, doing some soft reorganizing and donating extra stuff to make free gifts for work and I’ve been really enjoying flipping through my beading books, but I haven’t been making much.

And honestly, that’s fine because I have such a HUGE backstock of finished pieces that need to be listed and I’m sure you can guess that I haven’t been super motivated to do that either.

I did manage to finally finish my remake of my Two Years Cuff. This is an older pattern of mine from 2015. The name is actually a reference to my two year wedding anniversary (and a subtle joke about how long the bracelet takes to make, haha). Honestly, with all the embellishment, it feels a little more formal and fussy than a lot of my patterns, but I still like how the criss-crossing at the top looks and I love any excuse to cover something if Fire-Polished crystals.

The base is made with metallic copper Kheops Par Puca beads and Picasso Brown Czechmate Tiles. I kept the seed beads simple by using both sizes in Matte Metallic Khaki Iris (one of my favorites) because I really wanted the Fire-Polished crystals to pop against all that matte. I don’t have a name for them, unfortuantely, but they’re some sort of half-metallic gold over a reflective blue AB sort of situation.

True to its name, it did take awhile to finish and after something with so many layers and picots and doubling-back, I was really drawn to the idea of making something super simple. I was puttering around in my stash and I found these round lavender beads. Honestly, I have no idea what they’re made of – they seem too light to be stone and the texture feels weird for glass or wood. Regardless, they’re slightly irregular, which has been keeping me from using them, since I don’t use irregular beads very often. But I suddenly felt inspired to use them in a flat spiral.

I paired them with one of my favorite Picasso seed beads – the Picasso Montana Matte 11/0’s and some half-metallic olive fire-polished crystals. I really liked the color combination and the slight irregularity of the beads didn’t affect the flat spiral too much.

While I was stitching it up, I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I made a flat spiral. How weird is that? It’s such a fun basic pattern and I used to be OBSESSED with them when I was first learning beadweaving. I was really taken with the way you could use almost any bead you wanted and that it didn’t require any special shaped or two-hole beads. Somehow, I’d forgotten how much I loved it. It felt really nice to rediscover an old favorite.

After I finished that bracelet, I really wanted to use up the rest of those half-metallic olive fire-polished crystals. Since rediscovering the flat spiral had been so satisfying, I was inspired to return to another old favorite – the classic spiral. Spiral stitch is another one of my favorites because, again, you can adjust it to include so many different types of beads and you don’t have to rely on any specialty shapes. That versatility is addictive.

The core of my spiral was this very soft, light cool-toned green and each loop had a repeating pattern of matte pewter 11/0’s, matte silver 8/0’s, 3mm Druks in a metallic olive, and the fire-polish from my last project. I just kept going until I ran out of druks and then had exactly on crystal left to dangle off the end of the extension chain. It was perfect. I really dig this monochromatic look and the light gray/green effect is right up my alley.

I’m trying not to beat myself up about this weird hit-or-miss motivation that I’ve been stuck in recently. It would be weird if six months of a pandemic DIDN’T mess with my emotions and creativity. But it was really nice to get these little bright spots this month. Going back to basics might be a good idea for me until inspiration decides to visit again.

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3 Responses to Back to Basics

  1. Andrea Hart says:

    I appreciate hearing from you and of your “human-ness”. I seem to be really struggling with any kind of actual production for quite a while now, and your posts have been enlightening. Thank you. <3


  2. Glad you’re back in the groove. Love the two year bracelet.


  3. Goody Beads says:

    Great efforts were taken, as well as explained everything in simple language. Great job!


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