Sunday, July 27, 2008

What do you do with leftovers? No, not food. Leftover food would imply that there was cooking going on, and I try to avoid that whenever possible. I'm talking about leftover beads. We all have them. Those little containers holding just a few beads from projects gone by. Do you mix them all up into bead soup? Leave them in their little containers and order more of the same ones? I know you don't throw them away!

I had some leftover shiny blue beads the other day after I finished a project, and as I was trying to figure out what to do with them (because I really didn't want to create bead soup, and I have way too many of those little containers with just a few beads in them) I happened to notice that the shiny blue beads were a perfect match for some matte blue beads I had just purchased recently. So I dumped out the shiny beads onto my beading mat, added some of the matte ones, and stitched away for awhile to make this cuff. It's such a gorgeous shade of cobalt blue!!!

I'm actually more inclined to try to use all those leftover beads in something that has a pattern. Although I've made quite a few things using bead soup (caterpillar bracelets, for example), I have this compelling urge to SORT beads. Yes, I know. That's just weird.

At some point I bought a bag of mixed beads from Fire Mountain Gems. I'm not sure why, except that I wanted to get a variety, and buying a bag of mixed Japanese beads just seemed like a good way to get some different sizes and colors. I think it was back when I tried freeform for the first time, and I just couldn't bring myself to MIX UP my well-sorted selection of beads. Much better to work with a pile of beads already mixed up.


So what happened? Oh, I made a freeform bracelet or two. And I had fun doing them. But the compulsion to sort all those delicas was just too strong. Now I'm not so off my rocker that I would just sit and sort them into little piles and put them into containers. But sorting while beading into a pattern isn't weird, is it? (The correct answer here is, "No, not at all! It's perfectly normal!")

The result of sorting while beading? This beautiful Autumn Patchwork bracelet. Isn't sorting fun? :-)

14 comments:

Melody said...

Yes, you are just as normal as any other beader. Which is to say, crazy as the proverbial loon. But I love what you've done with your leftovers! I have a million little tubes with 12 beads rattling around in the bottom, I suppose I'd best figure out what to do with mine now that you've provided this splendid example!

Swanee said...

I'm a crazy loon who's off their rocker too. It's a compulsion, and I just can't stop myself! MaryLou, the results of what you do with your odd-and-end bits of beads are beautiful!

thebeadedlily said...

I love the final product of both methods, but in practice method a is as far as I'm gonna go!

Jean Hutter said...

I like to sort my beads too - as far as leftover food I just eat it when I am cleaning up! Great post MaryLou!

Regal Beads said...

I sure hope it's not weird to want to sort...I'm not as compulsive about it as I used to be. But, when I had a lot less beads and they spilled all over the floor, um, more than once, I was known to spend endless hours sorting and sorting.

Both of these are amazing :)

triz said...

also don't like bead soups :-) both bracelets are gorgeous!!! :-)

Marlaine said...

They both came out really pretty. Love the patchwork one. I don't like bead soup either!

EuphoriaMoonDesigns said...

Autumn Patchwork is an amazing bracelet. I absolutely love it. Fabulous work.

Barbara said...

I adore the subtle interplay of colors on the blue cuff. That's lovely.

I really like how you photograph your work -- pulling these woven pieces up into the air so we can see how the colors flow and play.

And from one compulsive sorter to another?
*heh*

Carol Dean said...

I don't do bead soup...unless it's intentional, of course ;) Both of these cuffs are beautiful, maryLou!

Atniz said...

Bead soup? I bet nobody wants it that way. It's good you made something out of these leftovers. Need a real creative mind to think and deliver something like this and I'm sure you have it. Bravo!

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Ohmigoodness! Exquisite! I am amazed at your creativity (I have none). I am going ot bookmark your page so I can check it out again later and show it to my friend Deanna. I will look closer and find your store on etsy. I am very impressed! Beautiful blue bracelet!

Waterrose said...

How did I miss the Patchwork bracelet...it is absolutely gorgeous. The lighter yellows almost look like their transparent.

Softflexgirl said...

That bracelet is great! I love the use of multiple colors.

Sara