BBs and Beads. I Think They Breed.

February 25, 2010

Because this surely is of paramount interest, here’s an update on the bells: You’ll be pleased to know I’m keeping right on schedule.

Actually, I’m ahead of schedule (that’s because I’m approaching this like my job and I’m usually quite efficient when it comes to that). I’ve finished 12 bells: four gold, four silver and four red. I think I’m going to redo the gold bells, however, because they were my initial attempts and they’re not as good as I’d like. The fact that I’m saying this means I truly am my grandmother’s granddaughter and my mother’s daughter, because perfectionism runs deep in those genes.

So, how’s the bell-beading going, you wonder?

It’s going great. After eight weeks, I can now bead one of those babies up in a single evening. That even includes the intermittent breaks I take to do a few rows of knitting whenever I’m bored of beading. Ruth would likely shake her head at such a short attention span, but that’s what today’s required multi-tasking does to the brain.

I’ve adjusted the bell pattern a bit. I’ve also experimented with the monofilament line and beads. Monofilament is actually fish line, and I beefed up the weight of it compared to what Herrschners sent in their kit. Fish line at .0185 diameter thickness (20 lb. test) makes a nicely shaped bell but is still thin enough to fit through those tiny bead openings. And yes, I really need to take up fishing with all these rolls of line I experimented with.

I also wanted to step up the quality of beads. I explored various sources, but, wow, beads are expensive. Thirty-two beads per bell, times 60 bells…I’m back to the cheap, plastic 340-count bags at JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby or Ben Franklin. I like Ben Franklin, Oconomowoc’s selection best.

And here’s the thing about those beads—they’re migrating everywhere within my house. If any of you were foolish enough to allow your kids BB guns when they were young, you appreciate what I’m saying. Like BBs, these beads show up in the most remote and unexpected places.

Surely they’re breeding and multiplying.

I tried to capture the idea of beads multiplying by photographing them on a mirror. Instead, it turned out rather a mess. Actually, these bells aren’t that beautiful to begin with (it’s a craft from the 1970-80s, don’t forget), so coming up with good settings for them has been rather challenging.

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4 Responses to “BBs and Beads. I Think They Breed.”

  1. Ann Says:

    Nice work. I like the red ones! I saw somewhere in the newspaper that there’s a bead expo in Madison somewhere soon…. :)

  2. adunate Says:

    Oh, Ann, you’re such a good friend. You’re my one and only faithful reader!

    Actually, as of yet, you’re the only one who knows about this blog. I wanted to get myself going on the project and be sure I could keep up with it. But today is my grandma’s birthday – soon to be posted – and I’m officially launching my site with siblings and extended family. I’m hoping they come through with lots of comments, photos and even offers to write.

    So keep your comments coming! I love them!

    Have a great day,
    Di

  3. Terri Says:

    This is awesome, Di! A wonderful idea and a great tribute. Now, concerning the bells…they are meant to hang from a tree. That’s the background they look best in. :-)

    I had asked Grandma for a “whole Christmas tree full of bells” as a wedding gift. She made 24 for me. When we were packing to move last year, I divided up the bells between the 3 girls and myself.

    I still have the scarf and mittens she made me in 8th grade. I also still have a sweater from when I was little. I wasn’t smart enough to keep any written notes. They all vanished along the way.

  4. Buck Says:

    Di, I have one bell that I swiped from mom’s tree years ago. The kids always fight over who hangs it on the tree but I always win. I put it way up high so sticky fingers can’t get it. I also have hats and mittens,two white shawls which were (probably yours and Terr’s), and the cute green jumper outfit (probably Terr’s)all made by Grandma. Being the youngest girl who was stuck with all of your hand-me-down clothes, I figure I can have them! :-)


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