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Friday, February 25, 2011

Ordering Beads

For those of you just joining me, I am writing about the process of creating a made to order large neckpiece for an Australian bride. The dates at the top of each post show the time period covered.

Dec 6 -10

The  next step is to order the beads for the neckpiece.  Since I felt I couldn't wait more than a week or two to receive the beads and get started, I chose Fire Mountain Gems.  I had ordered from them many times and they seem to be quite fast.  They also have a huge selection of beads and I thought that we would be able to order most of the beads we needed from just one place.  Another advantage of FMG is the ability to create a Favorites list, add the items you choose, then give permission for another person to access the list.  This worked like a charm.  I  picked out beads that I thought Prisylla would like, added them to the list, and she chose the ones she did and didn't like.

The ordering was really a bit overwhelming.  I still did not know exactly what she had in mind, but felt I needed to get the order in so I could start.  It was definitely hard to figure out how many and what kind and size of beads to order.  It took many hours to get this all together. I think it was the hardest part of the whole process.
 $300 later I FINALLY got the order sent.  I ordered a lot more than I thought I would need for 2 reasons- I didn't feel like I had time to count on a reorder before I got to work in earnest on the piece, and Priscylla wanted a lot of turquoise.  She didn't like the aqua colored turquoise, but preferred the greener color.  Since Turquoise varies so much in color from strand to strand and I was concerned that they would be the wrong color.  I ordered a lot so I could pick and choose.  I knew I would not use all these beads, but I could return what I didn't use (ha!) or buy the unused ones for myself.

The order was mainly Turquoise and turquoise Howlite, cream/brown Howlite, wood and seeds, and some seed beads.  Does this give you a picture that this will not be the typical white wedding necklace? My thoughts were to have a large center focal piece, use mostly the cream Howlite for the "flower" components, have turquoise drops on the bottom and wood, turquoise, and cream colored beads in the connecting strands.

So now, to pick out a focal piece.  I emailed Priscylla pics of some focal pieces I had to see if she would want to use any of them.

She liked the round brown one in the last pic, but since I didn't know anything about the symbolism, she decided against it.  So I went back online to see what I could find.

Next post- I will show you the focal she picked and let you know what I did while waiting for the bead order to arrive! (besides stress out)


  1. I can't imagine ever doing something like this. Hard enough if the bride lives next door, but another country. Yikes!

  2. I don't think a lot of people truly understand how much time and effort goes in to just choosing the beads! Hours of work, and you haven't even started the process of design and beading. I can hardly wait to see the end result. :-)

  3. I love your journaling, Betty! We, as readers, are able to FEEL your joy with all the stressors involved in creating this beautiful addition to the bride's ensemble. Can't wait for your next entry!

  4. I really admire your talent and artistic vision and thanks so much for sharing this journey with us.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. I think you are right, Mary Lou, many do not realize how much time and energy go into this process. Although it is really fun in some ways, it is also quite stressful. At least it was for me! I appreciate each of your comments and encouragement!