Can Yoga Philosophy Improve Your Beaded Jewelry Designs?

The more I practice yoga, the more I discover that my practice can apply to every other aspect of my life — including my beaded jewelry design ideas. One of the most important concepts to me in all of yoga is the concept of santosha. Santosha can be interpreted in many different ways: either as a sense of contentment with things just how they are, or as a sense of not being attached to any thoughts or expectations. So, what does this have to do with successful beaded jewelry designs?

Well, as I work my way through National Seed Bead Month, I made it my goal to tackle a couple of UFOs that have been sitting patiently on my bead board as I play with my two-holed seed beads, my spikes, my gumdrops, and all those other fun glass beads that I use in my beading and jewelry making projects. The first piece I decided to tackle was this bead embroidered necklace, which I have been referring to as "Call of the Wild", made with a gorgeous Laura Mears porcelain mountain lion bead and one of my favorite gemstone cabochons from Gary Wilson that I bought at Bead Fest Philadelphia.

This piece was hard for me to envision from the beginning. I must have played with the arrangement of the components dozens of times, ripped out hours of stitching because I didn't like the way the colors lined up against each other, and finally settled on a composition that used three feet of copper-ish chain as fringe.

But I still didn't like it.

For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that this piece just had to have that copper chain as fringe! It had to! Why did it have to? I don't know. But there had to be copper chain in it! Somewhere! Somehow!

I even posted a picture of the piece on a Facebook group, asking for critiques and ideas on how to finish it. Lots of ideas came in, but I wasn't happy with any of them. Looking back, it's probably because I was so attached to the idea of using that chain in the finished design.

So, there it sat on my bead board, until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to look at the project in a whole new way. The first thing I did was tear off the chain from the bottom of the pendant — whew! It was almost instant relief to rip those threads out. (I don't care what anyone says, I find it highly therapeutic to tear apart a beading project that just isn't working.) Then I cut the component with the porcelain bead off the bottom of the cabochon and attached it to the top. Much better!

Finally, the thing that had been bothering me the most about this particular beaded jewelry project was the neck strap. I wasn't sure if I should do an elaborate bead embroidered set of components, or just go with a simple beaded rope. A couple of hours playing with my seed beads in the same color palette that I used for the bead embroidery showed me that, yes, in this case, a simple twisted herringbone rope was exactly what I was looking for to add a little bit of texture to the finished beaded necklace. (A bonus: this twisted herringbone beaded rope will work up faster than a set of embroidered components would, and it won't overpower the cabochon and porcelain bead!)

The only thing I have left to figure out is if I should put any fringe on the bottom of the cabochon, and what kind of fringe to use. Again, I'll  be practicing non-attachment and instead of approaching the fringe with an idea of what it should look like, I'll let the beads tell me what they want to do.

If you need a little boost for your beading projects, check out some of the cool beading kits now available in the Beading Daily Shop, like the Sweet & Spicy Necklace Kit. Each kit contains all the beads you need to make the project (you provide the needle and thread), plus full instructions for a successful beading or jewelry making project. There are limited numbers of these kits available, and once they're gone, they're gone! Need a quick holiday gift for a friend who loves to bead? Beading kits make great gifts for all your beading friends!

Letting go of my attachments really helped me to create a beautiful piece of beaded jewelry! What attachments are you holding on to with your beaded jewelry designs? Can you take one piece that has you stuck and think about it in a completely new way?

Bead Happy,


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