Friday, May 01, 2015

Sow's Ear Into Silk Purse?

I had some time yesterday to work with my Tyvek beads from yesterday's post, hoping that the addition of thread and beads would spiff them up and make them more like the ones I drooled over on the ...And Then We Set It On Fire Blog here and here. As usual, this required gathering potential candidates from the stash.


First I tried just some thread, a gold metallic. I didn't like the look of anything thicker than a normal thread like you would use in your machine. It looked ok on the black but I didn't like it at all on the blue ones. The bead in the foreground is wrapped with a black Kreinik Metallic "blending filament". I'd gotten several of these from a friend when she worked at a fabric store. I believe they were in a bargain bin going for practically nothing and she thought I could use them. They absolutely would not work in my machine, and even though they are marketed as being for hand or machine use, I've found these almost impossible to work with. However, in these short runs, I managed to make them behave.


I liked the way that black metallic looked wrapped over the blue beads.


Just the wrapped threads didn't strike me as very much of an improvement so I moved on to threading a few beads on the black metallic. Better.


I'm such a matchy matchy person and it gets me into trouble with my quilting so those amber beads were a stretch for me (but one I liked). But I could not pull myself away from the blue beads in my stash. I think these work pretty well on both the blue and the black. I had to watch that I didn't wrap too much of the thread around the bead. I know - it's obvious - but I truly didn't think about the fact that the thread would be covering up the bead color itself. My mind just checked out on that little fact.


I was pretty much going through random mashes of beads and picking ones that I only had a few of. That's one of the reasons I chose these small grayish/black shiny ones. They really don't show up but glint as light hits the beads.


Finally, I tried a few big beads - again, these were all of this kind. I should mention that I ended up doing a knot of the thread ends when I was done wrapping, putting quite a bit of glue over the knot (the kind that dries clear), then trimming off the excess ends. Crossing fingers it holds.


Frankly, these look better in these close-up shots than I think that they do in real life. Perhaps the ones I saw on the blog tutorial are getting the same boost in beauty and are not as eye-popping in the flesh. Perhaps I should try another round with different colors and different cuts. But the truth of the matter is, I'm not at all sure what I would use these for. It was all I could do to rein in my compulsion to finish them out all the same, so that I would have 6 identical blue ones and 6 identical black ones - you know, matchy matchy for when one might need multiples on a project. See why it's hard for me to just "play"? At least this itch has been scratched, I can quit wondering and move on to the next bead-making technique tempting me. 

I have thought of one possible use for these or beads like them, but I'd be interested in hearing how you might use beads like these. 

10 comments:

Connie Rose said...

These beads are very cool! Personally I'd hesitate to wear them, because the little bits sticking up would itch my skin. Just sayin'... Have a great weekend.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Most definitely, Connie. Regardless of what the tutorial said, these beads are NOT soft. I can't even imagine using them on something like a handmade book or journal as a closure because of it - really like little pine cones. But I'm thinking they might work as embellishment on the coiled fabric baskets...

Susan Sawatzky said...

After looking at the pages I wonder if more color in your tyvek would help with the beauty of the finished product?

The Idaho Beauty said...

Susan yes. Like in most things, color choice can make or break a project & it definitely crossed my mind that a different color combination could make a big difference here. Even so, I'm missing those great curls...

The Inside Stori said...

Great rescue.....but of course beads can fix everything!!!

Living to work - working to live said...

Don't worry about how or where you'll use these beads. Pop them away somewhere and one day you will be working on something quite unconnected and suddenly know that you will need these beads to finish it off.

Btw I have made a lot of paper beads. I haven't tried tyvek. H xx

Wil said...

They are great for embellishments.

The Idaho Beauty said...

True, Wil and Hilary. They are already looking better to me and I know from experience that one does not always buy or make things for the stash with a firm purpose in mind. What's the fun in that? ;-)

Maggi said...

They look very effective. I tend to just make them and then they are then when the need arises. I most often use them in mixed media artwork that will go on the wall.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks Maggie. I must admit, as the days go by and my eye lights on them (as I've left them out), they are growing on me, striking me as much prettier and interesting than I originally felt. I suppose I feel a little adrift about them as I went into this experiment with no idea of how I might use something like this, just that I was intrigued with the process and a little droolie over the results of others! I know well the experience of curious odds and ends that miraculously become just the thing. I know their day will come.