Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh, no... BAD crystal! Very, very bad crystal!

An awful lot has happened this week, so today's post will be somewhat quick.  If you haven't been here in a while, I've posted an Iliad-inspired earring challenge and free instructions for a Super Duo/seed bead rope and beaded beads.  If you've missed either or both of those posts, please check them out!

Today I was all set to continue working on the funky Cobblestone Path bracelet I mentioned when packing for the LBS retreat.  I started working on it on Monday then got busy with all the new designs.  I'm not feeling well (again), so I took a nap this afternoon.  When I woke up for some reason I looked at the jumble of jewelry on my nightstand and saw this:

Well, that's unfortunate.  Crystals are known for having sharp edges, and sometimes threads break.  Fireline is a strong thread, but a sharp edge can still cut it.  From what I've heard, the new Fireline might not be as strong, but I haven't tried it yet.  One way to guard against threads being cut is to have seed beads next to the crystal so there's not so much rubbing of thread against sharp edge, but as we can see in my piece, it's not foolproof.

Fortunately, when I make a piece like this I reinforce every stitch so it isn't loose and floppy.  A side benefit is that when it breaks, I don't lose any beads.  I took apart that row then had a decision to make:

I basically had three options: cut it all apart and put the beads back in my stash, tie off each of those threads and add just the one row, or remake the bracelet.  Stashing it wasn't an option because I frequently wear this bracelet.  It's a great accessory for nearly all of my purple tops (and I have a LOT of purple tops).  I chose to completely remake the bracelet because the thread might be weak in other places.  If I was smart I would have changed out the "bad" crystal for one with duller edges, but I didn't think of doing that until this:

Um... which one was it?  Oh, never mind.  I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This was quite an adventure for me.  I really, really like my beads in neat little piles.  I'm a little OCD that way.  When we play cards, I straighten them out when they get too wonky.  It annoys everyone, but I can't help it.  It's just so untidy.  When I see people with beads in piles like this, my fingers twitch.  Tonight, though, I decided to throw caution to the wind and pick through the pile.  It wasn't too bad, but I did have a few stretches where I had to do a little hunting and pecking to find the bead I wanted.

When I was done remaking it, I had only lost one seed bead.  Miracle of miracles, I knew right where the tube was, and I could finish the bracelet with no further drama!

If you like this design and will be at the Madison Art Glass and Bead Show, I'd love for you to take my class!  It's on Saturday, March 22 from 6:00p to 8:00p.  The cost is $50, which includes materials in one of four colorways.  The above is not one of them.  I'm using fire polish beads for the centers instead of crystals, so you'll never have to worry about the thread cutting (unless you take a pair of scissors to it).

Here are the kit colorways:

The same design looks so different with the different colors, doesn't it?

For more information and to register, visit the Madison AGAB class page and search for "Legs".  That will get you to the right class.  Hope to see you there!

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