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Mmm, hobbies. Well. Aside from spending entirely too much time online, I do some beading and weaving of said beads. Something like amateur jewellery making. Take the beads, some thin thread, the thin, flexible wire needles, metal findings as desired, sit down and don't think of anything else but making pretty things with the ingredients at hand. Got several little necklaces, bracelets that way. And one woven bead cup.. thing.. that I made and gave to a friend for her birthday when she was back from her overseas trip.

So. Beads can be bought at handicraft shops. As far as I know, some of the best ranges of beads - and price ranges - are found in the shops in the Chinatown area. Not the various ArtFriend shops in the higher priced areas of town, unless money is not really a concern. Seed beads, little tubules and square cut beads are easiest for weaving with, owing to size and regularity of shape. The entire process of weaving beads, as opposed to stringing beads, is fairly time consuming - being a hand weaving process. There are several methods. There's one called peyote, with a variant that can accomodate non-regular beads with some ingenuity.. Square stitch, which lines everything up squarely and regularly - don't try it with irregular sizes, it has strange results. Small seed beads seem to work better. A parallel running stich of some kind - I use it with the little tube beads to make a solid band for a base - like weaving a ladder where the rungs are all together. Pyramid stitch, which needs a base, e.g. of ladder or peyote so the thread has somewhere to anchor. Network stitch, which weaves thread and beads into the form of netting - good for quick jewellery. Anchor the ends in findings, and weave as you like from the base strand. Variations exist for all these methods. So long as there's some idea what you want to accomplish, and some idea of how far your materials will take you.. I'm admittedly biased, but sometimes I think my little efforts are more worth it than the pricy versions in shops. At least now when I look at finished jewellery, my thoughts are related to reproducing the parts I like, not thinking about how shiny and attractive it is. Slightly easier on the budget that way.


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April 2014

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