Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Filling Up My Free Time May 3, 2012

I had my first checkup!  The doctor said everything was looking good and I could get my cast off probably next Thursday.  Yippee!  I gotta tell you my body has so many bumps and bruises from getting around using only one foot.  Knowing that I will have use of it someday soon makes me so thankful.  In fact this whole experience has really caused me to step back and see how lucky I am to even have two legs to walk on.  It sounds dramatic, but I really took for granted that I could get around so easily before.  Now I see it is a blessing!

A good thing that has come out of this experience has been more time.  Last week I was off of work completely and this week I have gone back part time.  In the time off from work I have caught up on TV shows, and read a lot.  In fact I finally finished Game of Thrones!  That felt like an achievement to me.  Now my sister has me watching the first season OnDemand on HBO.  It follows the book pretty closely, but almost makes me mad how quickly it can tell a story that took me so long to read.  I told myself I won’t continue with the series, but I find myself really wanting to know what happens next. …we’ll see.  After that book I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender- The main character can taste feelings of whoever made her food!  And then since that was kind of a downer I read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo- a true story about 4 year old boy who almost dies and sees Heaven in the process.  That one was a way happier ending and very uplifting.  Next on my Kindle is The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain.  I don’t know too much about this one yet, just that it’s a historical fictional story about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife.   I have yet to start a book club like I mentioned on my 2012 Aspiration list.  Maybe someone has one I can join?

This past weekend my sister and I went over to my cousin’s new apartment to help her set up some things.  We also made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to pick out the fabric for some pillows my sister is making for her.  While I was there I picked up a few items to make my April Project {just in the nick of time}.  It took me awhile to choose what I would do.  I went through Pinterest and all my bookmarked websites for projects.  I decided on a beaded braid necklace.  I found a photo of this necklace awhile ago on Pinterest.  It originated from a blog called ECAB- Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business by Elizabeth and Jessica.  I’m unsure which one of them did this tutorial, but I just fell in love with this necklace and decided to make it for myself.

Items I purchased:

Glass Beads– I bought mine already threaded but rethreaded using heavy thread
Metal Chain– 20 inches and its a plus if you find one that matches your jump rings
Jump rings– I used 2 large only
Bead tips– used to cover the knots you make in the thread
Heavy thread– I used double duty thread made to use with denim

I had scissors, pliers, and a tape measure on hand to use as well.

I followed ECAB’s tutorial pretty closely, but thought I’d show some of my pictures because I’m a visual learner and thought they might be helpful.

1. Cut six 20 inch sections of thread and bead 5.5 inches onto each strand. You can see I used a needle to make the beading process easier

2. After you have your six strands beaded, pair them up, thread a bead tip on them and tie a knot (it needs to be as close to the beads as possible). You can then use your pliers to close the bead tip over the knot and then cut off the hanging thread. Do this to the other side as well and then to the other two pairs.

3. Attach three of the bead tip hooks to a jump ring {clamp them using the pliers}, attach the jump ring to a piece of chain 10 inches long, then attach the clasp to the other end of the chain. You can take the other piece of chain and attach that to the other side of the clasp.

4. Now you can start braiding! Just make sure to anchor the necklace so the necklace doesn’t move around. Once you are happy with your braid, clamp the bead tip hooks to the jump ring on the other piece of chain.

Words of Wisdom:

  1.  I would recommend for people who don’t work with jewelry that often {ME} is to cut the thread a little longer so you have more room to work with and your beads that you so painstakingly threaded don’t fly all over the floor.  <– Unfortunately I’m recommending this because of personal experience.  Their recommendation was 6 strands of thread at 10 inches each.  I ended up doing 6 strands of 20 inches each.  You can decide what works best for you.
  2. The hardest part for me was tying the triple knots close enough to the bead strands before I added the bead tips over the knot.  All I can say is you need patience and practice.  I’m pretty sure I spent at least an hour trying to accomplish that part {I told you I had extra time lately!}.
  3. It is very important that when you are braiding the beads into a braid that you take your time and make sure you braid as much as you can.  Meaning if you have a loose braid it won’t look as nice once you connect it to the necklace.  It will stay looking like a braid if you keep the braid tight and clasp the bead tips to the jump rings in order so the braid stays together.

This project took longer than I originally thought it would, but in the end I was very happy with the result: 



One Response to “Filling Up My Free Time”

  1. […] None .Feb.-Paper Heart Wreath .March.- Diaper Cake .April.- Braid Bead Necklace .May.- Tiered potted plant .June.- Wine basket .July.- ‘M’ Button Initial .Aug.- Photo Strip […]

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