Monday, July 30, 2012

Evening Beading: Basic Stringing Class

Anyone remember my first attempt at making jewelry?  I thought it would be pretty easy, but my complete lack of experience meant that I was totally and utterly baffled as I stood there in the jewelry aisle of the craft store.  I fumbled my way through my project, but realized that I absolutely needed to take a Jewelry 101 class before ever attempting any sort of jewelry project again.  

Fast forward to my list of 40 Things.  I knew Jewelry 101 had to be on the list!  After some Googling, I realized that our local bead store would be the best place to take a class.  I recruited my friend Cathy and we signed up for the "Evening Beading: Basic Stringing Class" at Beads on Main in Vacaville. We were told to come an hour early to pick out our beads.


An hour was not enough time.

Talk about overwhelming!  The walls all looked like this:

 
and the center of the store looked like this:



Fortunately, the employees were incredibly helpful.  Our teacher, Jess, recommended we just start picking out beads we liked, without worrying about how many we'd need or what works with what.  She also pointed out some kits they had available.  She suggested that we find a finished piece that we liked and use it for inspiration.  I decided to make a bracelet similar to this one:

 
I knew I didn't want the turquoise/rust colors of my inspiration piece, but I had no idea what I actually DID want.  I started picking out beads... some blues, some whites, then some oranges, all with no real plan or vision.  Then I came to this section:   


I was totally drawn to these greens, so I decided to build my bracelet around these.  I kept the orange beads I'd chosen earlier, but put back the white and blue ones.  After a LOT of indecision, eventually I ended up with greens, oranges, and yellows.

 
Once I had my beads, it was time to lay them out and start planning the bracelet.  I spent awhile experimenting with different patterns and designs.  I snapped a photo of each rough draft so that I could move the beads around and easily recreate a previous design if need be.  

 
Then it was time to string the beads and to learn about the findings!  I was so excited to finally be taught the proper techniques.  I took a ton of pictures so that I'd remember how to do it the next time I make something.  



The class was small enough (6) that Jess was able to supervise each of us during the critical crimping step.  I was first, which meant that I had some time to snap some pictures of her helping the others.  



I also had time to add up the cost of my bracelet.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the whole thing cost only $9.21.  

 
Here's my finished bracelet. I LOVE it. I had so much fun at the class and will definitely be beading again. (In fact, some of you on my Christmas list might get bracelets this year...)
 
 
Goal #26 accomplished! 

7 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS!!!!! I have always wanted to learn! My good friend makes jewelry and she was over here on Sat. night making some stuff... and she just whips right thru it!!!

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  2. your jade green bracelet looks lovely !

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  3. Green is my absolute favorite color and you did an amazing job with the class. I'm looking forward to seeing more beading projects from you.

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  4. Wow! It looks really pretty! I love the beads you chose! Good price too! :)

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  5. Your bracelet is beautiful. I think those on your gift list are lucky.

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  6. Love your bracelet, Cindy! I'm glad you have accomplished another item on your list!

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  7. This is gorgeous Cindy. I love the color combo of green and orange. I was a beader before I was a scrapbooker. I loved beading but it was hard on my old eyes and not a good hobby to do around baby or toddlers (choking hazard). I haven't beaded in a long time, but reading this makes me want to dig out my stash!

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