Those Bad Bad Beads

Virginia Blakelock

I think it can be said that Virginia Blakelock is the mother of the bead movement here in the US.  I bought her book “Those Bad Bad Beads”  along time ago.  And it certainly got me hooked in beading with seed beads.  I still love seed beading but consider it my “hobby” now as my jewelry making has gone in a different direction.  But every now and then I sit down and bead myself something.

Red, White and Blue

American Flag

Last year I sat down one evening to bead this American Flag bracelet because I was going on a trip to Great Britain and would be gone over the Fourth of July.

It was a nice conversation piece.

American Flag

The American flag is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”) bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S.  Nicknames for the flag include The Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, and The Star-Spangled Banner.

To me the American Flag is an icon for Americanism.  It has gone through many iterations over the years as states were added to the union.

I was impressed to find out that a 17 year old, Robert G Heft was responsible for designing the current 50 star version of the American Flag.  

He created the flag design in 1958 as a high school class project while living with his grandparents in Ohio.  He received a B− on the project.  According to Heft, his history teacher honored their agreement to change his grade to an A after his design was selected.

I wonder who that history teacher was……………

creating the desert in glass and metal



Bead Weaving

Necklace made by seed bead weaving

Bead Weaving with Laura McCabe – Bead and Button Class No. 2

Yes, I love to weave those tiny little seed beads into jewelry.  It relaxes me.  There are many bead weaving techniques.  And there are hundreds of talented teachers and patterns.  And every year at the Bead and Button Show I like to indulge in one class on bead weaving.  This year I chose Laura McCabe and the project was her “Bouquet de Lavande Beaded Necklace“.  Of course it’s hard to finish a project like this in the time allotted for the class.  I did make a good start and was really pleased to have Laura as a teacher.  Learned some great tricks and tips.  So if you are into making beaded jewelry I highly recommend taking a class with Laura.

I also like to choose projects that have the possibility of enhancing some of my lampworked beads.  And I can definitely see some on my beads with the chain learned in this project.  The stitch for the chain is called ndebele or herringbone stitch.  It is one of the first bead weaving techniques that I learned and I love it.  In Laura’s class she taught us a great way to start the chain – one I did not know.

The herringbone motif is ancient in origin.    It is a zigzag pattern, composed of short parallel slanted rows that line up in one direction and then the other.  The herringbone pattern has been used in textiles including basketry and weaving long before it was adapted to beading.  Herringbone patterns can be traced back to Egyptian gold chains and in textiles around the world.  I love this beaded chain in lieu of metal chains sometimes for my designs.

Now I just have to find the time to finish this necklace.

creating the desert in glass and metal