I feel very fortunate to have been passed on Great Grandma’s beads to create with. Even though Gma didn’t invest in quality, she invested in quantity which has come in handy over the years
Gma’s beads are pulled out every Christmas and Advent season. Due to the quantity there is plenty to share. Family and friends, Scout troups and students alike, all enjoy gathering around to create with the large assortment of vintage beads.
I use Gma’s vintage stash of beads to try out hand beading designs and practice innovative and new techniques. Pictured above is my most recent hand made beaded ornament. Because I wanted a stiffer quality ornament, instead of using the materials which are many beader’s best friend, the very practical needle and thread, this project was made by hand without a needle using clear monofilament (Beadalon).
One advantage of using monofilament cord, besides the obvious advantage of the stiffness, is that a beader only has to go through each row once and can knot in the same row to achieve the desired stabilization that many passes with the N&T achieves. This saves both time and materials.
Even with these advantages, difficulty with the needle free beading technique is not unheard of. At times the filament could come out at the wrong place or fall within the piece. All you need are a couple extra tools to help.
Tools to Have on Hand
1. A blunt plastic yarn embroidery/sewing needle– Use this to press beads down that you are skipping in the pattern. By pressing the skipped beads down with the needle, this technique will help the filament come through and out of the intended correct bead.
2. Bent nose pliers– This is great for easy grabbing of the filament cord as well as a knotting assistant. My personal favorite are the professional micro-variety bent nose plier with smooth ends.
With these helpful hints and tips you should be good to go 🙂 Victoria
Post a picture of your creations in the comment section, I’d love to see how they turn out.
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