Antique African Djenne trade beads

Meet the oldest beads I own. I have strung these Djenne beads into a 27″ triple strand necklace with Italian seed beads as spacers. Lois Scherr Dubin, in The History of Beads, writes that “all the glass beads excavated from Djenne in Mali date to the later phases of the Islamic period, c. A.D. 1000-1400.” They are beautiful things, some with the iridescence that glass can get when it is buried for a very long time. I am honored to be their custodian.

Waxed cotton bracelet

So, beading time has been scarce, but I made this little bracelet. I’m going to make a couple more, wrapping the waxed cotton between the beads twice to see if the color will show more. It should also decrease the curve a little; this bracelet almost wants to corkscrew. I was inspired by several examples of this style of bracelet online, using various things where I used beads. It’s really fast, and really effective. I think a stack of them would be attractive and fun.

Knotting pearls

All of those pictures of Tucson bead shows with their tables of pearls reminded me that I have these funky brown keishi pearls waiting for me, and that I’d purchased orange silk for knotting them. I bought my pearls locally, and the button hiding the knot is a vintage button I purchased at General Bead in San Francisco. My knotting isn’t professional and smooth, but it’s in character with the pearls.

I also spent some time picking up my work area. It will be easier for me to bead now; I don’t need it to be perfectly neat, but a big mess makes me want to avoid my work table. I also made lists of projects I’d like to do soon. Now, what’s the next bead project, hmm….

Vintage German flowers

Sylvia came back from Tucson with a gift for me of these amazing beads. The core colors are varying shades of orange, with a milky-colored-glass covering, and while I believe these are pressed, not cut — they appear cut. Look at the glow!

I tried combining them with a matching Italian milky-white seed, it looked boring. I tried various oranges, but that didn’t work either. So thinking of the color wheel, I ventured generally to its opposite side and came up with this light blue. Now the oranges are more noticeable and vibrant.