A Recipe For Your Leftover Beads!

Most beaders would consider themselves to be bead collectors as well. We tend to “collect” beads for various reasons: we love the color, it was on sale, we may need more than we think, it’s pretty, and my favorite, “just because”. With all of the leftovers and collected beads that pile up, what is a girl to do? Make more jewelry!

Here in the Creative Room, we have piles of leftover beads. Most of the beads have come from projects that only needed a few beads, and the rest end up in a pile with all the others. I decided to sift through our stash and use some of these beads to make a new piece. But what would my inspiration be? Several of us have admired and been inspired by the jewelry artist, Julie Rofman. She designs beautiful loomed jewelry inspired by Bauhaus design, and then works with artisans from Guatemala to create the pieces. Her work can be found around the world in various galleries. Check out some of her amazing designs!

Then the fun began – digging through our random assortment (excuse me…collection) of Delica beads to find just the right ones. I knew I wanted to make a colorful piece and I also had decided to use more opaque beads to try to get the designs to pop. There were so many to choose from, but I eventually narrowed it down. I chose to work with one of our velvet boards and trays to try to keep it all organized. I poured just a small amount of each color out onto the board. Doesn’t it look pretty, all nice and clean and organized?

Then, it was time to set up the loom and start creating. I recently have fell in love with the fantastic Rick’s Beading Loom. I love that I don’t have to work in any warp threads and that it allows me to work at a slant so I can easily see my project. Once I got it all set up, the process was easy: pick up a few random colors, think about a tiny pattern to fit into 5 or 6 rows on the loom, and repeat until finished. The best part about creating the bracelet was that I got to keep switching up my patterns. I stayed with more geometric patterns to stay true to the design of Julie’s work.

I finished the bracelet off with Miyuki slide end tubes and a lobster clasp. I think it turned out pretty well for only using leftover bead colors! I now have the desire to make a few more in other color palettes, and you know what that means – time to go shopping for more beads!

Sparkle! – Lindsay

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