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  1. #1

    Default First project... and second.. third.. fourth... okay, officially addicted

    Hard to believe until recently I didn't care for pearls... but I had no idea the variety they came in. Discovering pondslime pearls was what won me over. I picked up some pearls and some Beaders Secret (thank you Pattye!) and learned to string them. I really have to thank all the wonderful contributors to this forum, I learned pretty much everything from this site and it's members. Gotta say... I really enjoy the design and laying out process, and knotting is the best, it's very "zen". So relaxing.

    The first necklace I made is a 8 - 9mm freshwater pondslime pearls. Also, somehow, the one I'm most happy with. I love how they are "chameleons" that go with everything. The size is perfect... I made another necklace with 10-11mm in the same shape/color, but I ended up liking the smaller ones more (on me). There's one pearl with a flat side that bugs me and I'll take it out when I re-knot it (and add french wire).

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    Second necklace was the larger version. It's interesting to see how the colors of the thread effect the look of the necklace. The coral thread looks a lot better than gold, which I think washes out the color of the pearls a little. But it's still pretty!

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    Third necklace is a special project. Years ago I was given an antique coral necklace, but it was too short for me to wear, and was not knotted, and some of the beads were missing and had been replaced with glass beads. I re-designed it, mixing in complementary peach pearls. While I'm very happy with the end results, this one was a nightmare to make. The holes in the coral beads are larger than the holes in the pearls. I tried double knotting but wasn't able to get the second knot to line up right every time. So I cut and re-strung it... by doubling the double thread (quadruple thread! wtf). Never. Again. If it ever needs to be restrung, I'll pay someone else to do it. Good grief! When I got done, I found I'd dropped a bead and it's uneven. Fortunately the shorter side is the one with the hook so it sort of works. I wanted to wire wrap the extra bead and hang it from the clasp, but discovered I'm terrible at wire wrapping, lol.

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    Hopefully I got these picture attachments right. To be continued!

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I sent you a private message, jixie.

  3. #3
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Welcome to the cult-ured pearl society. You did a great job. I think there are other options for restringing the coral beads that don't involve knotting.

  4. #4

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    Thank you! If I had strung them without knotting, it would have been fine, but I like the added security knotting offers (because with my luck, they would break at the precise moment I stepped onto a sidewalk grate). Beading wire or fishing line are probably better options, but my understanding is that coral is very soft and like pearls it can be rough on them... I think that would've been fine if it wasn't for my anxiety from the sentimental value (it's one of those: the family friend who gave them to me has since died, I was a tween and lost the other things she gave me ).

    I keep flip-flopping on learning other beading methods. It's good to expand your skills but I also love the traditional aspect of knotting, the fact you can do it without tools (that said: I ended up using the tip of a mechanical pencil as a awl, lol). I'm not big on beads, but then, I wasn't big on pearls until a month or so ago? I find myself thinking: it would be fun to go to a class at a bead shop, then I think: that would be a great group activity, then I think: I'm way too disorganized to organize something like that. So that's where I'm at right now with beading wire.

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Beading wire with silicone bead bumpers in between instead of knots is one way to be secure yet not let the beads or pearls rub against each other.
    See : https://www.beadalon.com/products/beadbumper.asp

    Keep practicing at wire wrapping! It gets easier, really! Just use softer craft wire and head pins to practice; some base metal head pins are just too hard to work with and will only discourage you if you practice with them. When it comes to actually making the jewelry, gold filled and sterling silver are both easy to work with. I use half-hard or dead soft wire.

    Here is a great book on technique: Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques by Janice Berkebile and‎ Tracy Stanley
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/14...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Jixie,

    Awesome projects and knotting! Your coral beads make a great combo with the peach pearls. I love pondslime pearls, too. Gorgeous toggle!

    Sorry you had to work with 4 threads until you had more knotting experience, but you were up to the challenge and succeeded! Often I work on 3 or 4 threads, so now I'm used to it, sometimes with the thinner thread.

    Unfortunately, the silicone bumpers only come in a few colors and finishes.

    There's a bucket of flat sided and misfit pearls under my work table, lol, waiting for some type of "sew on" project.
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    Keep practicing at wire wrapping! It gets easier, really! Just use softer craft wire and head pins to practice; some base metal head pins are just too hard to work with and will only discourage you if you practice with them.
    Oh man... that sounds like it was the problem. There's always a learning curve, and some new skills are easier to pick up than others, but after wrecking a bunch of head pins with zero improvement it was like "boy I'm really terrible at this". Never even considered the wire hardness. I'll check into the book and give it another shot, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    Your coral beads make a great combo with the peach pearls.
    Thank you! I'm very happy with how it turned out. Also relieved that the peach complimented the coral, they looked good on screen but you never know how it'll really be in person. Fortunately it works.

    How do you use 3 threads?

    There's a bucket of flat sided and misfit pearls under my work table, lol, waiting for some type of "sew on" project.
    Yes... I'm building a collection of "nopes" I don't know what to do with, but can't bear to throw out. Especially those heart-breakers that are gorgeous, glowing and iridescent and belong in the front of a necklace... but there's a huge flaw right in the middle. I'll find something to do with them. Someday. Maybe.

  8. #8

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    So, "to be continued"

    I've done a couple of these "Mad Max" pearls, this one is mine. Dyed black freshwaters, with odd rusty brown splotches. They've got this punk, post-apocalyptic feel and I like to think these are the pearls Furiousa would wear if she wore jewelry, lol.

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    Here's an action shot:
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    Latest is this glass pearl necklace. I got these beads to make the bracelet for my mother in law, to match a necklace she has. The bracelet needs to be redone. There were so many leftover beads I knotted a necklace, but it's got some serious issues. I decided to take on the challenge of quadruple thread again.... it was better this time around. However, the beads are really crooked. You can see it on the left side especially. I hung it with a weight on the end, hoping that will tighten the knots and straighten it out, but I'm not sure if the problem is actually the knot?

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    Bonus: rabbit tax

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  9. #9
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Hi jixie! Welcome to PG and congrats on completing so many projects. It really is a lot of fun to make your own jewelry. Sometimes if you knot too tightly, the pearls will be crooked, but eventually the weight of the piece will help straigthen it out. Although I usually break Beaders Secret before I can pull it that tight. You do have 4 threads running through your beads and that may be causing it to kink up as well. Maybe if you gently pull the necklace in sections you can relax some of the tension. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    If you hang the necklace from a hook, gravity may help straighten it out.

    I like the rabbit! What is his/her name and what kind of rabbit? Those are some seriously long ears!

  11. #11
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Aww, your bunny is adorable! (We had bunnies for quite a few years.) Way more fun than I originally thought they'd be.

    About using 3 threads~usually I run the thread through all the pearls before I start knotting. Allow extra length to be taken up by the knotting. Before that, though, I check to see if 5 threads will fit in the drill hole. Start the "regular" knotting with the beginning pearls as usual, and leave the end of the 3rd thread just hanging out of the end pearl, attach gimp and clasp with 2 main threads; you'll trim the 3rd thread later. Knot as usual, on the 3 threads, tightening each as usual, keeping as smooth as possible. When you get to the ending pearls, do the same process, add gimp, clasp and knot back to finish. Carefully trim all ends. (I'm looking for an old photo that shows the process.)
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  12. #12
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Sometimes you can gently apply tension and let the beads slide through your hands. Also roll against your thigh or a towel on a table. Sometimes a combination of smaller, lightweight beads and tight knotting can create the rippling, but usually it will loosen up and be just right.

    I really like the name of your etsy shop!
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  13. #13

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    Thanks all! I will try the suggestions to loosen up the necklace. It's a funny how the learning curve goes both ways... at first I was afraid of breaking the thread and had to learn to really pull on the beaders secret to get it tight against the pearl... Also it's interesting how different glass pearls are to work with.

    The bunny is Barda aka "The Beast", a Flemish Giant. She's a pistol. Bold, clever, affectionate, devious. We've had rabbits before, but she's really something else. She's around 6 months old so I'm hoping age + spaying will reign in some of the deviousness.

  14. #14
    Professional Rethreader Senior Guide Member Bernadette's Avatar
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    Well done you! With the ripple affect you are getting I reckon your grip is too tight, so loosen your grip a little.
    The shape of your knot can also influence the way the pearls/ beads sits.
    The more you restring the more you will get the feel for tension and the technique you use.

  15. #15
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by jixie View Post
    Oh man... that sounds like it was the problem. There's always a learning curve, and some new skills are easier to pick up than others, but after wrecking a bunch of head pins with zero improvement it was like "boy I'm really terrible at this". Never even considered the wire hardness. I'll check into the book and give it another shot, thank you!



    Thank you! I'm very happy with how it turned out. Also relieved that the peach complimented the coral, they looked good on screen but you never know how it'll really be in person. Fortunately it works.

    How do you use 3 threads?



    Yes... I'm building a collection of "nopes" I don't know what to do with, but can't bear to throw out. Especially those heart-breakers that are gorgeous, glowing and iridescent and belong in the front of a necklace... but there's a huge flaw right in the middle. I'll find something to do with them. Someday. Maybe.
    haha, "nopes", that is a great name! I collect my nopes, flat-sided pearls, and misfits in a large soup mug that I call "bead soup". I keep it handy for my 10 yr old granddaugther; when she visits, she has her own stash to design with!

    jixie, what is the name of the thread color you used on your Mad Max strand? I love it!

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