Bead Weaving in a Hurry: When Your Day Doesn’t Match Your Deadline
I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those days. You know — the kind when everything goes wrong! That is my day, today. And it made my bead weaving quest a challenge!
This morning I sat down to make a pair of beautiful earrings from the book Modern Beaded Lace by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel. I wanted to add to my beading skills for the benefit of my new job as well as create something for a wedding I have to attend this weekend (a solid deadline). Trouble is, I can’t seem to get anything accomplished!
The wedding is in Iowa and I would be showing off my new beading skills to my family and friends. I wanted something that looked elegant—as if I spent hours on it, but needed to find something I could make in no time at all and within my skills. I grabbed Modern Beaded Lace which contains projects that look like they take a lot of time and skill, but are mostly beginner ready.
I was thinking I would just get them done quickly and then have time to finish a couple other projects before I left for the weekend. It turns out the universe was conspiring against me and everything that could go wrong did!
I started by picking out a pattern, the Hypnotize Me Earrings immediately caught my attention. They not only looked elegant and would match my dress, but also were a beginner level with only one technique listed. It was as if the universe wanted me to find those earrings. Finally, things were going my way and I would have some earrings in no time at all.
Now that I’m looking back, I laugh at how optimistic I was this morning.
Where My Day Went Wrong
I started my day by digging out some beads to use from my stash. The pattern calls for neutral tones, so I figured I could easily find the materials I needed. I did have the beads; they were just in premixed containers. I dumped out two bags of different mixes and then picked out the ones I actually needed. Time was flying by.
A meeting popped up that I needed to attend but didn’t have on my calendar. I kept telling myself it would be all right, I had a whole day to accomplish very few things on my list. I would just start again after the meeting and then maybe attempt one other project. It would all be fine.
Wrong again! I got back to my desk and started beading. The earrings call for a modified right-angle weave, but for some reason my tension was not holding snug! I had to keep going back and reworking the thread to get it to sit correctly. Minutes were ticking off the clock and I was making no progress.
Do you ever have days like this? Days when little tasks pop up and distract you from a project? It felt like every time I started again, I would forget where I left off on the earrings. I would start again then pull out an entire round, not once, but twice! I finally decided today was just not working. I got some coffee, sat back, and began to work on what I could do differently so I could be successful.
When I Just Couldn’t Take Anymore
As I sit here contemplating it all, I can’t help but wonder how I got to this point. My needle sits with size 15 beads, which I’m now unable to attach because my string is woven around extra beads in the project. I sip my coffee, now cold, and think about why I started this project in the first place.
In college, when writing a paper, other work would pile up. I would feel stressed out and even more would go wrong. I would lose my passion for the topic and just want it done, accepting it wouldn’t be my best. After a cup of coffee, some movie binging, and a short (actually long) nap, I would remember how interested I was in the paper I was writing. I would find my passion again and this would encourage me to fix any problem and finish!
As I continue to write and reflect on this beading project, I find myself eager to get back to the earrings. The day may have slowed me down, but I know what I’m doing. I remembered how cool it would be to show off these elegant lace earrings at the wedding. How awe-inspiring these earrings would look finished. I start again, not letting this day destroy my passion.
The projects in Modern Beaded Lace are elegant and much simpler than they look. However, I can’t guarantee the universe won’t conspire against you. When frustration takes hold, take a break. Get some coffee (or some pumpkin spice tea!) and remember why you started in the first place.
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine
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