Have you started collecting your beads yet? Assuming you have 1) your intention and 2) your prayer, including each part of it, it’s time to gather your beads and organize them.
As I mentioned last week, you may find it handy to have an envelope for each part of the prayer, or for each bead, so you know exactly what you need.
If you already have an assortment of beads and materials on hand, you’re fortunate, since then you can just rummage through what you have and find beads that match each component of your prayer. For instance, if you are creating a Goddess prayer strand, you can sort through and see which bead speaks to you of, say, Diana, or Pele.
On the other hand, you may need to go shopping. If you are like me, this is tricky for a number of reasons. First, the Faery in my nature immediately wants to go overboard, collecting every shiny, pretty bauble in the place. Unless you just won the lotto, take a list of what you need and stick to it! Bead purchases for the besotted can add up fast, and you do not want to taint this project later with guilt or buyer’s remorse.
Another hazard can be that many arts and crafts bead departments offer them only in strands. You might not really want a string of thirty amber beads. But if have a store in your town that specializes in beads, they often have loose beads as well as bargain bins with odd assortments. These can be terrific resources for inspiration and serendipity.
Of course, another huge advantage of shopping at a bead store is that you can ask for knowledgeable help and advice. And it is always Very Good Magic to support your local merchants.
If this is not available, however, you might luck out at a thrift shop or Goodwill store, finding inexpensive costume jewelry that can be recycled for your purposes. Another alternative is to make this a project you do with friends, so you can pool your goodies together, and not have to buy as much.
To get started, you will need some string for the beads. I have experimented a bit and here is what I have found (your mileage may vary!). Fishing line: may make having a needle unnecessary but sooner or later, in my experience, it comes untied. Even when I have melted the ends together, it gets brittle and can break. I have lost a couple of spacer beads thanks to fishing line. Not recommended.
Heavy thread: even with knots between each bead, it breaks, especially since you are handling your beads at least once every day, each and every bead. Thread just does not hold up to this kind of treatment.
Your best choice is the wrapped wire of a “real” bead-making material, like Beadalon or Soft-Flex.
With some gauges of stranded wire (and depending on the kind of beads you are using), you might not need a needle. But they are so inexpensive and can make your project so much easier, you might as well pick up a pack or two.
The kind of needle you want to use is mostly just personal preference. You can read here for some information about choosing your needles.
And even more helpful information if you are a beginner at beading can be found here. Luckily, this is not rocket science, and even fumbly-fingers like mine can easily find their way for this kind of project.
Tomorrow, I’ll share a bit more, so you can get started this weekend, if you haven’t already.