I have to preface this with just how ridiculously tired of this winter season I am. I have caught every cold that went by and it has slowed me down. They’ve none of them been serious but for someone who doesn’t have allergies… I am much better friends with tissue and decongestants than I ever wanted to be! Sheesh.
What this means is that Sam’s cutely wrapped package arrived from over the pond at some point last week, our fabulous mail person put it in the shop’s box and then… I didn’t even look for days. So! There were adorable beads in my mail and I didn’t even know it. How very sad is that?
I quickly remedied that issue and found lovely, shiny beads. Fun glass and stone. There’s a pretty sort of free form focal bead – the hoarded bead in this case! – by Lorna Johnston of Pink Blue Sky.
I can cheerfully say I have no idea what I’ll make yet but I have ideas. The kind of creative and dangerous types. The blog hop and reveal of everyone’s lovelies is slated for March 25th. If I’m on the ball I’ll set it to auto-post for midnight.
And I get to share what I sent along to Sam, my partner, since she’s just let me know it arrived! Glass flowers from Fran Davis of Dragonfire Studio, lampwork from Cheryl Harris, and a last, hoarded bead from a previous swap mate – Michaela Pabeschitz. I poured a lot of soup.
A few years ago I participated (several times actually!) in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party and when I found there would be another one this year I signed me right up. I found out I got Sam Waghorn, of Pale Moon Creations, for my swap partner. Sam is much more on the ball than I am and regularly posts delightful things on her blog and Facebook page.
Part of the whole bead swap process is posting a really artsy teaser of what you’ve sent your partner so I took a photo of the little monsters I’d rounded up from my hoard (my horde of hoards?) before they rolled away again and photoshopped it. Sometimes the weirder filters in there come in handy.
This is to be the bead hoarder edition of the bead soup blog hop so I made sure to tuck in a couple beads I have from over the years that I love but for some reason or the other have not used. Before I really settled down and started cranking out masses of my own beads I bought many more focal or fancy other beads. I still do when I go places: buy local rocks, local artisan lampwork if I find it. Or do swaps and trades.
Let me preface this with: I am no sort of sports person. I initially made baseball beads because a customer wanted some. This tends to be the reason I make a lot of the stuff that wanders off from rose canes or little flower beads. This tutorial is a high level walk through of making the cane. It assumes you can do a Skinner blend and are comfortable reducing or working with odd shapes. The beads are what I call slice beads. Each bead is a slice off the reduced cane. I drill holes after baking, typically, but you can punch them before you bake. You can bake the cane and slice the beads while still warm as well.
To make the shade on your baseball, mix a very light grey. Skinner blend the light grey to white and then turn it into a plug. If you don’t care about the shading, skip right along to adding the red “cord”.
Shape your plug into a half circle with the darker part on one end of the half circle. Cut the half circle into 3 parts. The middle section will be where we add the stitching. Slice the section in half and line the inside with red rolled out to midway on the pasta machine (in my case, yours may vary).
This gets you the sandwich with the red in the middle. Cut that in 7 parts, without mixing it up (we want the shading to stay in it’s place). Line each of the sections with a little of the red and then reassemble. Roll the cane to smooth it back out to fit back into your half circle block.
Reassemble your half circle chunk. Reduce it until at least 3 or 4 inches in length. Cut that in half and assemble it into a full circle. Voila! Shaded baseball cane. Reduce and use for all your baseball needs. In my case, beads for a good customer!