Gardenpinks' Blog

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The Virtual Crafting Challenge…

….for September is bead work. Billie is challenging us this month to get out all those beads, wires, string, pins and whatever else from the back of the cupboard and do something with them.

I have a great many beads; I love the colours and shapes. Beads are one item that I don’t very often buy online but when I visit a craft show I am drawn to those stands like a bee to a honey pot! A large display of beads will keep me amused for a very long time as my eyes are dazzled by the huge array.

Our grandchildren, Kim and Joe, were given a huge mixture of plastic beads which give them hours of fun. They have made necklaces, bracelets and ‘danglers’ for every family member and friend. Children have such an exuberance when they craft; they don’t worry about getting everything perfect or straight, they will mix all types of materials together and just see what happens. I think we, as crafters, could learn a lot from watching children craft.

Necklace Joe made

Three year old Joe presented me with this colourful necklace that he put together. I haven’t yet worn it as it is just a tad too small so I shall add a few more beads and the other part of the clasp to it. Kim, with the superior knowledge of a six-year-old, informed me that Joe had forgotten to put the other part of the clasp on ( a purple one!) because, she said, he is only little and doesn’t understand! So funny.

shell bracelet

I saw some bags of bits of scallop shells for sale at a craft show and, like a magpie, was attracted by the colours. The bits of shell have been ‘tumbled’ in a machine to round the edges off , holes drilled into them and dyed various colours. The dying effect is very pretty as the raised lines are a darker shade than the rest of the shell rather like rubbing an ink pad over something embossed or crumpled. The bags of bits were very good value as there is a huge amount in each bag and the shells are easy to string although, with hindsight, less is definitely more as this bracelet is quite heavy, next time I shall use less shell and intersperse with other beads or charms.


Love the iridescent sheen on these beads. The clasp is magnetic so no fiddling around trying to hook one thing in another however this necklace together with others hangs on a metal stand and the magnetic clasp is reluctant to leave the stand at times!


Peyeote is something I came across whilst surfing the web one evening, some of the designs are very intricate and beautiful. I downloaded a beginner’s guide to peyeote and then promptly forgot all about it until I was clearing out some files on the computer. I printed the instructions off and decided to have a go; at first sight it all looks very complicated but once the process is started it goes very quickly and easily. This is a work in progress! In other words it is a piece I started then went on to do something else and never got around to completing. How many of us have unfinished projects hanging around? Perhaps Billie ought to start another Virtual Challenge on finishing incomplete projects!

cheat's necklace

At a summer fete this year were several jewellery stands and I liked and bought this bracelet, it just had aĀ  summery feel to it. Back at home I looked at the bracelet again and realised I would rarely wear it as a bracelet so I turned it into a necklace which I would wear more often. Using an old broken chain it was a few minutes work to alter the bracelet. The first time I wore it as a necklace I was asked where I had purchased it as it was just what that person was looking for! I think she will be looking at bracelets in a different light now.


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5 thoughts on “The Virtual Crafting Challenge…

  1. Gorgeous beads you have strung into necklaces and bracelets. The shell bracelet, although one color, looks rich in many colors with the variations of the turquoise or teal and the darker bits that have held to the raised areas. Stunning.

    Awwww, your grandson’s gift to you is superb šŸ™‚ His love for you goes all the way round your wrist :-)…well will anyway once it is finessed. Lovely and such sage advice from your Kim šŸ™‚ Delightful that is.

    Your Peyote bead thing is quite a work all by itself. Did you enjoy working with it or did you go cross eyed? Truly lovely with the vertical bands of color. Now I probably would not finish it further but figure out how to attach it to a larger scale project as an embellishment for texture and to bounce light off of the beads.

    One other thing I will have to try and tackle once I finally get home for good. Working with beads to create embellishments and charms. I love your bracelet you’ve turned into a necklace. I bet your acquaintance will take another look at a bracelet and fashion her own necklaces, just as you did. Great challenge you were given and you most certainly took it up and ran with it.

    Love you – Leslie

    • That Peyeote piece was quite enjoyable to do and one day I shall finish it but I will need to find those instructions again to remind me what to do as it some while ago when I started it šŸ™‚
      I was once in a card swap and one of the cards I received had a lovely bit of peyeote work in a kimono style – very pretty to look at but looked complicated to do.

      You did make some charms with beads didn’t you? Or was I dreaming that? You will have a ‘to-do’ list a mile long by the time you get back home šŸ™‚

      I love my necklace that Joe made for me and he was so pleased with himself when he presented it to me šŸ™‚

      By the way Leslie I have actualy done some stamping on those experimental pieces and will get some photos taken and uploaded but have a few other things to blog about first that I did whilst off line!

      Love and hugs
      Lynn xxx

      • The peyote piece looks complicated, fantastic but complicated.

        Yes, I did some experimenting with corsage pins and beads. Your Joe could have excelled at what I attempted :-(. I do have a very large To-Do list waiting for me to get off the road. Trouble is, it keeps growing :-}

        How fun!! Stamping on your experimental pieces already. I’ll keep watching your blogs for updates and watch for your finished “pies de resistans”. Bad at French, worse at Spanish.

        Love you my friend

  2. billiescraftroom on said:

    Hi Lynn

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time creating šŸ™‚ thats fantastic, so nice to see that some one is joining in with the challenge.

    Love the purple necklace, I’m a big fan of black n purple, well done on the repurposing too. its great to see the grandchildren had a go too.

    Right off for some food then Christmas cards for me this afternoon…must turn off the puter!


    Billie šŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for looking Billie, it is a shame that more folk don’t join in with the challenges you set. I bet you would have hundreds if there was a giveaway šŸ™‚

    How many Christmas cards did you get done? I’ve only done 4 so far but then I don’t make many as not many family members appreciate handmade šŸ˜¦

    Oh the ‘puter draws you in for hours! I did a heck of a lot of crafting when I coudn’t get online šŸ™‚

    Lynn x

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