Blue Beads

CS 395Blue beads are probably the most difficult color category of beads, because there are so many variations of blue and many of those variations occur in beads. Go into any bead store and you will find a larger selection of blue beads than any other color. Continue reading

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How to Bead: Dodecahedron

We’ve done the pyramid, which is great for decreasing the size of your 3D beaded object. We’ve also done a cube, which is good for keeping it a uniform size. Now we’re on to a dodecahedron, which is good for increasing the size of your 3D object. Dodecahedrons often form areas like the hips, shoulders, and heads of beaded animals. I will say that if you haven’t done anything with beads before, it would be better to start with the pyramid and cube before moving to the dodecahedron.

Materials:

  • 25 beads
  • 16 inches of thread
  • a needle
  • scissors

Instructions:

  1. After threading your needle, string 5 beads onto your thread and pull them down to about 2 ½ inches before the end of the string. Place your finger on the thread just behind all the beads and keep it there. With your other hand, thread your needle through the bead closest to your finger (the one that’s holding the thread). Before you pull anything, you may want to shove your beads back towards your finger. Keeping another finger on all of your beads, pull the string all the way through to make a lovely circle made out of beads. Note: This is the same as the cube and the pyramid, just with 5 beads instead of 4.dodecahedron-1
  2. Now string 4 more beads onto your thread. Pass through the bead where your strings are coming out. Pass your needle FROM the side with the tail TO the side it’s connected to. Keep one finger on your circle of beads, then pull the string all the way through and you should now have two lovely circles made out of beads. Again, same as you’ve done for the pyramid and cube, just with one more bead than you’re used to.dodecahedron-2
  3. Pass your string through the next bead in the top loop.dodecahedron-3
  4. String 3 beads onto your thread, then pass your needle through the right-side bead in the bottom loop and the right-side bead in the top loop.dodecahedron-4
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 twice. Pull the thread tight and you’ll start to see the dodecahedron forming. I’m going to leave it loose for now so you can see what I’m doing.dodecahedron-5
  6. Now pass your string through the next bead in the top loop AND the top left bead of the next loop.dodecahedron-6
  7. String two beads onto your thread.
  8. Pass your needle through the top left bead of the top loop, the left-most bead of the center loop, and the top left bead of the bottom left loop.dodecahedron-8
    You should have something that looks a bit like a flower.dodecahedron-9
  9. Pass your needle through the bottom left bead of the bottom left loop.dodecahedron-10
  10. String 3 beads onto your thread. Pass your needle through the left-most bead of the top left loop and the top left bead of the bottom left loop.dodecahedron-11
  11. Pass your needle through the next two possible beads (one in the loop you’re currently working on, the other in the next loop over).dodecahedron-12
  12. String 2 beads onto your thread. Pass your needle through the last bead of the previous loop and the two beads you just passed your needle through.dodecahedron-14
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 twice. If you pull it tight, you’ll definitely see the dodecahedron forming. I’m still going to leave it loos so you can see what I’m doing.dodecahedron-20dodecahedron-18
  14. Pass your needle through the next two possible beads (as you’ve done in step 11) AND through the first possible bead of the next loop.dodecahedron-21
  15. String 1 bead onto your thread and pass your needle through the last bead of the previous loop AND the three beads you just passed it through.dodecahedron-22
  16. Hold onto your tail and pull your string tight. As we did with the square, pass your needle around the circle of 5 beads at the top of the dodecahedron to close it up.
    dodecahedron-24dodecahedron-25
  17. And now you have a dodecahedron!
    dodecahedron-26dodecahedron-27
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Turtle!!!

Turtles are my favorite animals, so it was only a matter of time before I tried this one out. My main hesitation is the fact that while most four-legged mammals have the same general body shape, turtles are not mammals.

They have a shell.

Shells complicate things. Continue reading

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How To Bead: Cube

And now on to a beaded cube! We’ve done the pyramid, which is great for decreasing the size of your 3D beaded object. Now we’re going to do a cube, which is good for keeping it a uniform size.

cube tutorial-1Materials:

  • 12 beads
  • 12 inches of thread
  • a needle
  • scissors

Continue reading

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Elephant!

elephant-1

I made an elephant!

Continue reading

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Alert: Beads Can Change Color

Yes, you read that correctly: beads can change color. I’ve touched on this a little in previous posts, but let’s really look at the issue here.

I don’t mean that the color changes depending on the light, like I talked about last week. I mean that the color of the material actually changes based on environmental factors. This is mostly something to consider with archaeological beads, but it can also greatly affect modern beads as well. Continue reading

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Green Beads

Green is one of those colors that throws you for a loop when it comes to beads. Or at least, it does me. That’s partly because most beads that seem greenish are really primarily yellow or blue, and partly because most beads that really are green either don’t look green initially or look fake or plastic.

Glass collar bead from southern India.

Green glass bead from southern India.

But green is easily a color that appeared in ancient times. It doesn’t seem as common as blue or red or yellow, but they’re not as rare as, say, purple or white. Continue reading

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How To Bead: Pyramid

I’m going to start working in some how-to’s in my Sunday posts. The first is how to make a pyramid.

Materials:

  • 9 beads (any color or size)
  • String (beading or sewing, so long as it can pass through each bead at least twice)
  • Needle (one that’s relatively simple to string, but can also pass through all your beads with string at least twice)
  • Scissors (because you need to cut the string with something)

Also make sure you have a flat surface to work on and some light, so you can see what in the world you’re doing. Continue reading

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Sleipnir and a Puppy

So Christmas happened recently, and I had decided a while ago to make some rocking key chains for some friends of mine. One loves horses and Vikings (among other things). The other loves corgis (among other things). So obviously their presents had to be Sleipnir (Odin’s eight-legged horse and Loki’s son) and a corgi.

I started with Sleipnir. I’m not sure why, since it seems like it would be harder, but maybe I figured I’d get the harder one out of the way and the corgi would be smooth sailing. Continue reading

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Chinese Glass

In the past ten years or so, there has been an explosion of glass research in China, particularly concerning the origins of glass wares and glass technology. For much of the twentieth century, most Western sources agreed that glass and glass technology spread to China from the West. This was based primarily on a comparison of glass characteristics rather than chemical compositions. Recent research in China has now tried to identify the compositional types of Chinese glass and to compare them to Western sources to figure out their origins. One of the largest questions in Chinese glass research is whether the technology originated in China or came from elsewhere. Another large question is: If the technology is local, how did its invention occur? Continue reading

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