Sunday, May 26, 2013

Taming the Long Magatamas

I love long magatama beads, but their wonky hole and odd shape can make them a bit difficult to use with the common beadweaving stitches.

The holes go through the beads at a slant so they don't sit all nice and neat like cylinder or seed beads.

But still, I wanted to use them and like a design challenge.  I found they play pretty nicely using the spiral stitch so I created a pair of earrings.

The long magatama beads are the white beads that spiral gently down around a center core of size 8 seed beads.

Somewhere along my beading journey, I learned a trick to tighten up a spiral stitch so that the beads don't hang all willy nilly.  I experimented with my earrings and discovered that with a small change, I could tighten up the magatamas and really show the spiral effect.

I've created a tutorial for the earrings as well as a matching bracelet and have now listed it in my Etsy shop.
I hope you'll give the long magatamas a try!  Happy Beading!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to Moms Everywhere!

Mom turned 100 years old last January and is still enjoying life.  She walks a little slower and her eyes are growing dimmer, but her mind and wit are still pretty quick. Here she is with all four of her kids, from youngest (on the left) to oldest.  Yes, we are still kids at heart!  My younger brother claims to be Mom's favorite but I'm not so sure about that.

Each year I make Mom a necklace for Mother's Day.  She's wearing one in the picture above, but it's hidden by the flowers.  This year is no different.  I created a beaded bead from Cindy Holsclaw's Fiberoptic Dodecahedron pattern and then hung it from a Russian Spiral beaded rope. 

I hope I will get to see her wear it in person at her next birthday!

Give your Mom some love for Mother's Day!