Knotting a mala or a strand of pearls is within reach. Of all the techniques I have taught over my 30+ years of teaching, pearl knotting is the biggest hurdle for so many. I'm not sure why; I sometimes think it dates back to when we were children playing with our grandmother's jewelry and we came across her knotted pearl necklace. Somehow those knots between each bead seemed so special. And it is, but it isn't difficult. In Learning to Knot a Mala, you can easily learn this technique. It just requires a pair of knotting tweezers and a forgiving thread like Fine-Weight C-Lon. There is some magic to the technique...it happens when you separate the two threads and pull them gently but firmly and the knot slips up next to the bead. That's when eyes would go wide in class; when non-believers would look to me with a new sense of self..."I can knot!"
I hope you'll try it. The handout is absolutely free. You can locate it at: http://www.beadshop.com/pages/how-to-knot-a-mala. I'd love to hear how you did and what you knotted. Grandma's Pearls? Stones? Glass? Anything!
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Nov 24, 2015
At this stage of life, I am learning that happiness is not a destination but a journey. Similar to how it feels stringing beads...finding joy is made up of little snippets of happiness strung together.
Every year at Thanksgiving my family shares what we are grateful for. This year I feel very fortunate for so many reasons: I live in a beautiful place. I love my work and I am so thankful for so many wonderful and special friends, co-workers and family.
I also want you to know how grateful I am for your support. As a valued customer, fellow artist and jewelry maker, I am overwhelmed by your kind words, thoughtful calls and emails. You are all so patient when we are out of stock or if we ship the wrong item or even leave something out. We always strive for perfect and when we don't hit the mark, you are the best customers ever. You are amazing! So, a big thanks to each of you for allowing us to be part of your journey. I hope we bring you joy!
Nov 12, 2015
Weave a Honeycomb
Just recently, The Beadsmith introduced its newest 2-hole Czech bead, Honeycomb, in 33 colors. With its signature 6 sides, this bead mimics a beehive pattern. And with two holes, it begs to be woven. When I went to research patterns and designs using this bead, there isn't much out there yet because it's so new. But what was really missing are ladder bracelet designs with them. And, as we are still the home of wrap bracelets (at least for the time being!), I thought, "Why not?"
It actually became a challenge to ladder Honeycomb beads. It took hours of experimentation to finally arrive at a way to graduate up to enough beads to make a wide, luscious cuff. I went through so many tries until I arrived at the final results.
What makes this project different from previous ladder designs is the manner of weaving using a needle and thread. It is much more like bead weaving than laddering; beads are added only from the right side and the needle and KO weave in a figure 8 or Infinity Stitch. I also added a new style of beginning and ending the macramé. It's a bit of a surprise to start with a longer tail that acts as a macramé cord. I want to thank Karen Marshall for originally bringing the Infinity Stitch to me as a way to ladder, Savanna Hall for helping with samples and handout editing and Grace Noland for her wonderful photography for all 70 steps. Thank you! I hope you enjoy. ~ janice
Last week Kate went shopping for some special strands at a local gem show, and she brought back six stone strands she couldn't live with...