October 24, 2017


Back in July, I posted a picture of my beading board, with the caption "Okay, I'm Ready."
I had all my beads picked out and ready for Jean Powers' annual "Secret Bead-Along."
The secret is that you don't know what you're making. She sends out new instructions every day.
Yes, of course you can actually see it all if you choose to download the whole thing at once.

However, the project did not proceed as expected! I sat down to start "Day One" and discovered that I had somehow missed the memo about the Prep Work!  There was homework?!? Okay, back up and do the prep work.  Yikes, there was a lot of it!  That took over a week, so the rest of the world was basically finished before I even got to the starting line! (Or so I thought.)

During that week I created 6 little triangles and two barrels. It doesn't sound like much, but man! It took a lot of hours!

Okay, I'm behind, but I'm just going to do it on my own timetable.  
It took a few days to complete "Day One," but it looked pretty cool.

Eventually all those triangles became this fabulous asymmetrical ball thingy.
I think this was Day Two.

Day Three and Day Four were spent turning the barrels into these fantastic creations. Again, each "Day" took about a week. Thoughts of Biblical discussions were inevitable....

Then came some serious doubts and experimentation. It was time to make the rope. I have to admit I had a hard time understanding the instructions. I started about ten times. I came close to giving up a few times.  But finally it "clicked" in my head. However, I could not find a color combination that pleased me. And by now, the blue beads were no longer in the picture.

After a LOT of false starts, I decided there would be 3 different ropes, and the project would turn into 3 different necklaces.  None of the three would be the rope designated in the instructions. But two of my favorite attempts at the rope eventually became bracelets.

I did put all the beaded beads onto one of the ropes, just for the photo. 
This is how the project was intended to look. It's nice, but a bit much for my taste.

After much exploration, I came up with three different ropes that I liked. 
I would call these "Day 5, Day 6, and Day 7." 
Each day took at least a week, plus many more "days" for the rejects..
The first is cubic right-angle weave with size 8/o beads. 
The second consists of Superduos and size 15/0 beads.
The third is also CRAW, with small size 11/0 seed beads.

Along the way I discovered that I wasn't alone; many people were still chugging along, trying to finish this project whenever they could. We encouraged each other to keep at it, and continued to admire the new completions as they were posted on Facebook. People's color combinations were wonderful, and it was interesting to see how different people modified the project. 

In the end, this Bead-Along took up WAY more of my time than I expected, but it was a great learning experience, so I'm glad I persisted and finished it!