Mandala, More Beads, 2018 Year of Coffee

2018 is starting off really busy, with the completion of this year’s Mandala from “Lotus and Lily” writing in December, fashioning new and old necklaces from “Christmas Beads” and other newly acquired antique beads, and the ever important element, coffee.

2018 Mandala

2018 Mandala

One strand knotted Christmas Beads, a necklace by Kathleen O'Brien

One strand knotted Christmas Beads, Talisman for Joy 4, a necklace by Kathleen O’Brien

Ever since first finding old Christmas Beads at the Richmond Pow Wow from a wonderful bead vendor fifteen years ago, they continue to be some of my favorite beads. She also showed me her collection that had Roman beads. From that encounter, I began to be most interested in ancient beads. I’ve restrung and knotted several necklaces with Christmas Beads, and recently made this one strand version.

Me trying the one strand knotted Christmas Bead necklace on.

Me trying the one strand knotted Christmas Bead necklace,Talisman for Joy 4 on.

In the winter, it’s so bright we have to wear sunglasses in the house, love winter light.

Restringing 4 strand Christmas Beads, a 2003 necklace by Kathleen O'Brien

Restringing 4 strand Christmas Beads, a 2003 necklace by Kathleen O’Brien

They are full of joy to handle, each one slightly different. When you buy them the strands have a predominance of yellow, way too much for me, so I re-position, restring and them knot. For a while I’ve been observing my first Christmas Bead necklace to see if the waxed nylon was thinning. It was still OK, but I wanted to try my new salmon S-Lon cord, so I restrung it.

2000 year old Green Indian Fairwinds, Venetian Beads (1800), Dutch Annular beads (1800), 3 antique Bohemian hand faceted beads, a necklace by Kathleen O'Brien

2000 year old Green Indian Trade-winds Beads, Venetian Beads (1800), Dutch Annular beads (1800), 3 antique Bohemian hand faceted beads, Talisman for Longevity 2, a necklace by Kathleen O’Brien

With new Robin Egg Blue S-Lon I was able to approach two necklaces in different ways. Green Indian Trade-winds necklace has five strands, perfect to accommodate the large holes of the Venetian, Bohemian and Dutch beads, knots fit inside the large holes. One strand was right for the small holed Green Indian Trade-winds beads. Imagine, 2000 years ago they were named for being created in India and traveling by ship to Cambodia. The S-Lon is super strong and makes better wrapping.

One strand knotted Antique Italian Coral, a necklace by Kathleen O'Brien

One strand knotted Antique Italian Coral,Talisman for Transformation, a necklace by Kathleen O’Brien

One strand was right for the small holed antique Italian Coral beads. The Robin Egg Blue knot compliments the gorgeous coral color, sets off each irregular shape and gives a nice wavy look. Having this new cord inspires me to include more knotting in my designs. In fact, I’ve been saying “knotting is the new knitting” for me.

Antique Tibetan Turquoise pendant and many antique varieties, a necklace by Kathleen O'Brien

Antique Tibetan Turquoise pendant and many antique varieties, a necklace, Talisman for Power, by Kathleen O’Brien

There’s some real choice beads in this necklace with the Antique Tibetan Turquoise pendant that are identified on the ID tag for later when these are professionally photographed. New in my collection are several, like antique Venetian eye beads and 200 year old opalized glass.

2018 Year of Coffee, Greg by the coffee station.

2018 Year of Coffee, Greg by the coffee station.

Due to a mix up with our grocer, we ended up getting 32 pounds of our favorite coffee. It gave us a laugh, because I gave Greg a new coffee machine, and our son gave us the same brand burr coffee grinder all around the same time. We’ve decided 2018 must be The Year of Coffee (and getting lots done). All that coffee touched off the reorganization of the pantry, then clearing out the black hole of the coat closet.

The Mandala engine is rolling, we’re beading, cleaning, writing and drawing by the warmth of the fire.

%d bloggers like this: