To Bead or not to Bead
I dabbled with jewellery making years ago and never really got anywhere with it. I think it’s because on the whole I like things that give me instant gratification. When I knit I always have a mix of projects on the go, long term bigger items like a cardigan but then some quick and easy ones like cowls.
A while ago I started going to some craft workshops. I tried bead embroidery and I was hooked! Once I get the needle threaded it is so relaxing. I’ve done some quite intricate designs in workshops that took place over a few weeks and a couple on my own.
One piece I used a resin cabochon I’d made in a workshop as a centre piece. I’d looked at a few designs courtesy of Pinterest for some inspiration but didn’t pick an actual pattern. For me not to have an exact finished product planned is a big thing. I just went with my overall idea and let it grow organically. The finished piece has a few curves and looks quite organic and I have to say I really enjoyed the whole process of doing a bit, then putting it away before going back to it.
My friend Rachel, of Beads by Verchiel, who runs the workshops, also makes travel bead mats. There is something quite satisfying about being to zip a part finished project safely away into something that hides away neatly and doesn’t take up anywhere near as much room as a knitting bag! And a couple of mats mean a couple of projects on the go.
I’m having mixed success with bead weaving projects – whilst I love the finished look and almost fabric like feel to some of them they just sometimes feel that they just don’t have that structure I need to hold onto during the actual creation. But that’s OK, we are all good at different things. For me to actually try something and not quite achieve the end result I wanted without beating myself up is actually a bigger achievement for me.
I’ve always been my own worst critic and accepting that I won’t always get everything perfect has been one of the many benefits I have gained from my crafting. When I’m crafting I’m gentler with myself, yes I have some moments when I get really annoyed when I’ve had to re-thread my needle for the third time in under 5 minutes but I’m human.
A knitting community I’m part of has really helped me be gentler with my self too. By being more mindful I what I choose to knit I end up with less things in the naughty corner because it’s taking too long or I just have a mental block over a particular technique.
I’m hoping that over time this attitude of being more gentle to myself will spill over into other areas of my life and help improve my mental wellbeing but it’s OK to start with baby steps.