Posts Tagged ‘beads’

Tied up in knots!

Posted: January 24, 2014 in The Garage
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A rather quick post this week, with something equally speedy to make as the main subject……..

I decided to have a go at finding something on the random tutorial generator to inspire me after drawing a blank with much of the Pinterest feed I’ve seen over the last few days – There’s an awful lot of glitter inspired pinspiration around at the moment……. the bullies of the bus would have a field day; I don’t fancy chasing round the house wiping up sparkling pawmarks from every surface possible and the thought of what might happen with a careless swish of their ever wagging tails fills me with dread. They love ‘helping’ just a little too much!

Biff of the Bully Bus - If he can't resist burying his head in a craftbox full of feathers, what hope would there be for me with a pot of glitter?

Biff of the Bully Bus – If he can’t resist burying his head in a craftbox full of feathers, what hope would there be for me with a pot of glitter?

So I hit the button here…….. and then I hit it again a few more times until something caught my eye 😉

My eyes finally came to rest here:

Perfect! I have plenty of beads and waxed cotton cord stashed away – As I’ve kept on with occasional bracelet production since that first tentative dip into making macrame jewellery many moons ago……

And I needed a new keyring for the million and one padlocks currently keeping assorted gardening tools safe inside the allotment shed…….

So, a quick dip in the bead box turned up the perfect handful of subtly glowing ‘miracle’ beads – Seven in total, just right to make a little rainbow to carry around in my pocket 😉

Perfect! Just need to find that elusive pot of gold now!

Perfect! Just need to find that elusive pot of gold now!

No glitter was harmed during this week’s make – Good Result! And as well as it being a great little crafting activity to do with kids I am happy to report it can be carried out equally well in the company of slightly crazy English Bull Terriers. Happy Days!

Quite a few of my jewellery designs feature Fimo beads.

I’ve been making jewellery since I was at high school; To be fair that’s quite a while!

Quite a few of my designs feature millefiori Fimo beads, so this week I set myself a challenge of having a go at making some of my own. Here’s what I got up to in my adventures…….

…… But first we’ll do the explanation bit!

Millefiori is a term that’s more traditionally used to describe a particular technique used in glassmaking. It’s derived from the Italian words ‘mille’ (thousand) and ‘fiori’ (flowers) and it’s a brilliant way of adding decoration and colour. Glass millefiori beads are absolutely stunning – I use a lot of those too.

Millefiori Glass Beads available to purchase from

To make polymer clay (Fimo) millefiori beads you first need something referred to as a ‘cane’. Now as I’m an ex teacher I suspected that all of this ‘cane’ business was going to be fairly easy. But I didn’t think to factor in that I had decided to try this challenge out on the day that I celebrated my 21st birthday (Yes, AGAIN !!!!!) and was already slightly the worse for wear after starting celebrations a tad too early. I tried my best regardless……

Making a cane seems to use pretty much the same technique as putting letters in sticks of rock; Possibly a strange comparison to make, but I’m from Lytham, a stone’s throw away from a rather famous Lancashire seaside resort where I was born in the Royal Victoria Hospital (21 years ago, like I said), and as about 99.9% of all the sticks of rock sold all over the UK are actually made in the aforesaid town with a tower, I figured that surely there must be something in the blood that would deem me a natural with such things.

I found a video tutorial to aid me in my quest; It’s brilliant!

Here’s the one that I made:

My first attempt at a flower cane - all ready to roll out.

Take a good look at it because disaster struck shortly afterwards……. I think possibly because I took a while to find my camera……… and then stopped for a short wine and snacks interlude…….. the fimo wasn’t as pliable as it had been when I first started working it. So as I returned to the task and began to roll the cane out it started to crumble and broke open. I pieced it back together as best I could but it’s not as flowerlike as it should be 😦

Luckily I’m an optimistic soul. Nothing’s a disaster; It’s never a mistake – just a design element I might not have planned. I’ve learned that you can’t walk away from something that’s only half done if you’re using Fimo – next time I’ll do better 😉

So, I carried on until I’d made my beads – I’m so glad I did. I’ve still got to bake them in the oven and then incorporate them into a finished piece of jewellery. You haven’t seen the last of them though; Watch this space…………!

My very first millefiori beads - I'm delighted with them!

Now where’s that glass of wine and bowl of nibbles? – There’s some celebrating to be done :0)