Bookmark, not bracelet!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie's bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie’s bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

For the last week I’ve been working on my youngest daughter Jaycie’s beaded bracelet…er I mean, bookmark! Every time I’d say I was working on Jaycie’s “bracelet” she’d quickly correct me with “bookmark!” Neither of my girls are fond of wearing jewelry so the two beaded loom projects I designed and made for them turned into bookmarks, not bracelets.

My oldest daughter Jordan requested a Yin Yang based bookmark with flowers and mountains. She sketched up her idea and I used my PatternMaker program to translate into something I could make on one of my two looms. She loved the end result and uses it for a bookmark in one of the three books she’s reading at the same time.

Jordan's fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

Jordan’s fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

My youngest daughter Jaycie didn’t specifically request a bookmark/bracelet but she does love Om Nom from the Cut the Rope app so I started working on a design of him in my PatternMaker program. It took a few tries to get him, the candy, his pal Roto and the cupcake looking recognizable in the pattern but with some input from both my daughters, I finally got it right! Jaycie loved it and asked if I’d make it for her. I promised her I would do just that.

I created the pattern months ago and got busy with other things but I never forgot my promise and neither did Jaycie. She’s been asking me for the past month when I was going to make her bookmark so I finally made the time and started working on it late last week. It’s the widest bracelet/bookmark I’ve ever made on the loom so warping the threads took some time. Weaving on such a wide strip of beads was also tricky to get the hang of but eventually I got with the flow.

I worked on the bookmark as often as I could because I wanted to complete it before our upcoming vacation to New England. Finally, yesterday afternoon I completed the bookmark!

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

After some off loom finishing touches I presented it to Jaycie and she thanked me with a smile before promptly disappearing with it into her bedroom. I later found her playing with it among her stuffed animals. While she may never use it as a bookmark, I know she loves it and that’s enough to fill my heart with joy sweeter than any Cut the Rope candy!

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Beading bliss

Just a small sample of my beads and thread.

Just a small sample of my beads and thread.

My favorite thing to do for the last couple months has been beading. I began exploring beading amid making earrings and once I discovered all the different stitches and techniques, I was hooked! I’ve learned peyote, brick stitch, ladder stitch, square stitch and daisy chain so far and have several books containing a variety of other stitches I still need to learn. I use a loom for bigger projects like bracelets but for smaller things, I hand stitch.

Still one of my favorite creations, a peyote owl pendant

Still one of my favorite creations, a peyote owl pendant.

Once I’ve figured a stitch out, I can just sit there and do it without reading directions. It’s a very peaceful and enjoyable thing to work with beads, needle and thread creating a unique new piece. I create my own patterns using PatternMaker for Cross Stitch and bringing them to life with beads is always a fun process. I’ve actually surprised myself with my own creativity despite how much it expanded by making dangle and ball drop earrings with larger glass and stone beads.

As any beader will tell you, it’s addictive! And it involves finding beads all over the house, sometimes in strange locations like the bottom of my coffee mug and between my toes. I examine the carpet carefully before I vacuum and tend to find some seed beads hidden under the couch. I take my beading supplies with me when I visit my mom for a day and on my trips to New England. I can’t be without my beads and thread!

At the pow wows I attend there’s always beads for sale and I can’t seem to get away without buying a package or two. Never know when I’ll need a particular color I don’t already have! At the last pow wow I went to, one of the vendors was giving away a whole bunch of beading trays and storage containers and I happily took as much as I could carry in my arms 🙂 I admire all the beaded wares for sale at pow wows and know just how much work is involved now that I bead myself.

I’ve learned that it’s possible to translate all sorts of images into beading, from flowers to birds to a stormy sky, all it takes is a little creativity, patience and a lot of beads!

Loom bracelet I designed and made for a friend.

Loom bracelet I designed and made for a friend.