More Creative Stuff

Our family is participating in the Relay for Life walk for cancer.  We have been hard hit, as a family, with cancer.  Four of my uncles on my mom’s side of the family have or had cancer.  My Grandma had cancer.  My Grandpa had cancer.  My cousin had it.  My brother, Jeff, died in January from complications from his chemotherapy.  I have had skin cancer.

I have lost my brother, two uncles, my cousin, my father-in-law, my husband’s uncle and aunt, a dear friend of mine, and several of my parents very good friends (more like family than friends-people I have known my whole life).

I hate this disease.  I want it destroyed before it can wreak the lives of any one else.  I know my loved ones won’t be helped by our efforts, but perhaps yours can be.  Which is why we are all doing everything we can think of to raise money for cancer research.  One thing we’re doing is a family wide garage sale.  Which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

So today, after church, I spent my time working on things to sell at the garage sale. I was scheduled to work this afternoon, but I have broken a tooth and have an appointment in the morning with an oral surgeon.  I am a nervous wreak and my tooth hurts, too.  So I worked on stuff for the sale trying to keep my mind off the upcoming root canal and/or extraction…

I made two wreaths, began and/or worked on 5 different art journals, became disgusted with the sheer volume of ugly scrapbook paper I am the not-so-proud owner of, and became distracted.  I have been trying to use up this ugly paper with very little success.  I reached the end of my patience with the stuff today while I was wading through it looking for something decent for my art journal projects.

So I have cut it down into triangular strips and I’m currently rolling beads from it.  And I have to say, the ugliest paper makes the prettiest beads!  Which is a relief.

It annoys me like crazy to find three or four truly hideous sheets of paper in each and every package of patterned paper I buy.  Do they do this deliberately?  Hire ugly paper designers so there is plenty of ugly paper options for them to choose from for the scrapbook sets?  It is so irritating to find these heinous papers in an otherwise gorgeous pack.  And then you are stuck with them.  It’s not like you can return it once you open it-find the ugly-and decided the price is to high for the amount of usable product you receive.

But the beautiful thing is these beads are stunning.  I have paper that is almost a neon turquoise, embossed with gold on the other side.  The paper is incredibly thick and I have to fight each piece to get it into my quilling tool, but it’s so worth it!  These beads-thankfully I had two 12×12 sheets of this incredibly ugly paper-are just breathtaking.  I haven’t even glazed them yet.  Imagine the beauty once they are shiny!  I can’t wait to see them decorated.  I’ll post pictures of the final beads.

I use my handmade beads on my art journals.  I have-really, truly-thousands of rolled paper beads.  Last winter I became obsessed with them and made tons.  Thanks to Jenniebellie and her fabulous fancy bead tutorial!

I remember I cut up several entire magazines and rolled every scrap of them.  They were a bit thin and I prefer thicker paper now, but that’s where I started my paper bead obsession.  And since I had them and they were just going to waste, why not?

I’ve also made my own rollers.  I prefer thicker holes in my beads.  Because I use them primarily on my art journals and I use thick fibers for my bindings on my journals.  My new favorite is the one I made from two skewers.  I used the larger bamboo skewers which I found at the Dollar Tree.  You can find them at a grocery store, Walmart or another big box store as well.

I used two because mine broke.  I split the bamboo skewers from the widest end right down the center about 2 1/2 inches.  I cut the pointed end off completely, as I don’t want the pokey end stabbing me.  I used a very fine nail file to sand down the rough edges of the split wood.  Which was when it broke.  So I split another one and used the one piece from that one and glued it to the broken side of the other.  Since I wanted them very smoothly sanded this worked well.  I simply glued the end closest to the handle part and added tape to the join and handle.  I let it dry and it is very sturdy and holds the paper beautifully.

This is a free-or nearly free-option for bead rolling.  I also have “official” bead rollers from Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.  Neither of these had very long slotted holders for the paper to slide into.  This limited me on the size of my beads, as I have moderate to severe hand function issues.

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