Bead or Pendant

This weekend, while I was finishing up a few items for the upcoming Bead Bazaar, September 8-9, I started thinking about the difference between a bead and a pendant.  What makes a bead a “bead” and a pendant a “pendant’?  Most of the items I’ve submitted for sale at the Bead Bazaar are one sided, flat backed, but pierced through like a bead.

Merriam Webster defines a bead as ” a small piece of material pierced for threading on a string or wire” and a pendant as “something suspended: as an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free”.  So, the hole is the important thing that defines a bead.  So I guess a bead could also be a pendant, but a pendant might not also be a bead.



Last Minute Fun

Living up to my self proclaimed moniker “Last Minute Libby”, I have had a manic rush of studio activity.  E has a pair of friends coming home from college with her at the end of the week, so the house needs cleaning.  I’ve got tons to do in order to get ready to leave for a week.  The mind boggles thinking about how I’ll get it all done.  I haven’t begun organizing everything I need to take to Synergy2.

And all I want to do is play some more in the studio.  I’ve been having way too much fun playing with polymer clay and seed beads.

Swoop Pendant – polymer clay and seed bead mosaic.

Fringe Fun Pendant – polymer clay and bead embroidered fringe.  This pendant is hands down my favorite piece I have made in ages.  I just want to make more, more more.

Check the blog this week.  Cynthia Tinapple and I will be blogging daily from Synergy for Crafthaus.


Bead & Button Show _ Sherry Serafini class & Meet The Teachers

My class today was a bead embroidered cuff class with Bead Goddess Sherry Serafini.


This is the third class I’ve taken with Sherry over the years.  She is a generous, wonderful teacher and person.  It says a lot about the quality of her teaching that the majority of the students in our class today had taken other classes with her previously.

Here’s a look at what I have finished so far on my cuff.  It’s slow going because the majority of the beads are size 15 seed beads.  The finished bracelet features some interesting techniques new to me:  cut away areas and tonal patterns Sherry calls “cross hatching”.  The centerpiece is a beautiful borosillicate cab by Robert Jennick.


Tonight was the Meet The Teachers reception.


Every teacher has a table to display their work, and many of the teachers also sell kits.  It can be a crazy buying frenzy.  I strolled the aisles but there weren’t any beading kits that called out my name.  Ihad a good time looking around though, and it was great to say “hi” to Marla Frankenberg, Julie Picarello, and Barbara McGuire among others.

Marla and her daughter:


Julie P:


I tried to buy a pendant from Julie, but she only had a few pieces of work out for display.  Apparently I was the fourth or fifth person who wanted to buy that particular pendant.  I missed getting a piece of Julie’s work at Synergy too.  One of these days I’ll be able to buy something from her!


Beading Gremlins

I have some kind of beading curse or beading gremlins.  Beading projects, especially bracelets,  generally don’t go smoothly for me.  When I did more bead stringing, I could never string a bracelet in one try.  For one reason or another, despite semi-careful measuring and planning, it always seemed to take me three tries (or more) to get things right.

Recently I pulled out a freeform peyote bracelet I had started back in December of 2007.  This bracelet is in shades of black, and I know I will be able to wear it often.  The project was nearly complete when I added a row of dagger beads at one point on an edge that really looked off.  Unfortunately after I added the offending beads I had continued along and added a variety of other beads in surrounding areas.  I have never been a big fan of ripping out, so I just put the bracelet aside. Occasionally I’d glance at the tray it was on, but it sat there unfinished for more than a year.   A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try to work back and remove the dagger beads.  It was easier than I expected.

I should have expected the beading gremlins wouldn’t let me off so easily.

So, I worked along adding a few beads along the edge, reinforcing a few areas until it looked basically complete.  I thought to myself, “this is a piece of cake, I’ll be able to finish this quickly”.  Then I hit  the closure.  I prefer to use two buttons on one edge and make peyote loops on the other.  I made one loop and them discovered I didn’t have any buttons that were the right size.  (Let’s just ignore the fact that I could have very easily made some buttons out of polymer clay, or even silver.)

Instead of just waiting to buy (or make) buttons that would fit, I ripped out the loop I had made and started to attach a longish magnetic slide clasp.  I had it attached at two points before I really looked at it.  The clasp was just a bit too small for the width of the bracelet.  It would make the edges curl.  More ripping out and cutting of threads.

A couple of days ago, I stopped at Joann’s and picked a few buttons.  Yesterday afternoon I examined my new choices and picked out a pair of simple small matte silver buttons.  I quickly sewed them on.  I held the bracelet up to my wrist and admitted that it really needs to be a bit longer before I add the peyote loops.  I began brick stitching a few rows of beads on the other end, and then I noticed that I sewed the buttons on to the wrong side of the bracelet.



Third time’s the charm, right?

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