Chemgrrl: bead bane

glass bead stitch markers 1amethyst stitch markers 1

I made the hell out of some stitch markers, dammit. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, especially after seeing some lovely examples like these. So here is my contribution to the stitch marker world: on top, various glass and African Christmas beads; on bottom, amethyst chips, nickel heishe, and Thai silver beads. The needle shown is a size 4, and I have other jump rings I can switch these out with that will fit up to a size 11. Farewell, ugly plastic stitch markers! I’ve got style now.

These were pretty easy to make. There are several tutorials already out there (linky dinky doo), so I won’t bore you with the gory details. All you really need are some beads (duh), some headpins, some jump or spring rings, and a pair of pliers. I do have quite a bit of jewelry making experience (more on that below), but I haven’t done much wire work. No matter—once I did the first few, it became quite easy. In the beginning, I was accidentally snapping the small glass beads left and right as I accidentally caught them with the pliers. Man, those suckers can fly! The cats were in seventh heaven as the bead pieces ricocheted off the walls and floor. It was like a war zone—leaping cats and flying shrapnel. I got better, though, and I’m quite happy with the finished product. Aren’t they pretty? I made some other ones, too, but those are super-secret and they will be a gift, so no peeking.

It felt really nice to be working with beads again. I used to earn my bread and butter by making and selling jewelry. I even worked at a bead store in Berkeley when I lived there, oh, about 11 years ago. I was a bit bead obsessed, I suppose you could say. I used to have a huge bead stash–two large tackle boxes full (fishing tackle boxes are a great way to organize beads and findings and such). I only have one small tackle box now, and I have given a lot of my beads away. It made me a little sad to see how little I actually have left, especially since there’s not a decent bead store in this town. Oh well.

Maybe at some point I’ll post some pictures of the jewelry I’ve made in the past. Some of it is pretty intricate, and I do still have a lot. Anyway, if there are any budding jewelry makers or stitch marker makers (say that three times fast) out there, I’m morally obliged to suggest you look at Fire Mountain Gems. These people are really, really nice and have a HUGE selection. Their prices are also very good. Be careful if you look though. I think beading is even more addicting than sock knitting (coming from me this is a very serious statement), simply because beads are so cheap. And sparkly. And pretty.


Um, gotta go.