I am planning to make a birth necklace and thought that I would see if there are any other September mamas interested in a bead exchange? If there is interest, I can set up the details and guidelines.
Bead Exchange, Anyone?
Good! I have not ever done one online before, but from what I have read (and by snooping through August's DDC ) I think that it would be so much fun. I will lay out an idea, and see what you think.
- Gather names of interested mamas with a cutoff date of 7/2(?).
- Each mama will select enough beads (make, bead shop, internet) for all the mamas in the swap and one for herself.
- I will PM all participating mamas my address.
- Each mama will send the beads and a self-addressed, postage paid padded mailer (I think the USPS flat rate mailer is $4.95) to me by 7/16(?).
- I will sort the beads, pack into the mailers, and send out to everyone by 7/23(?).
- We will each have wonderfully diverse beads from our DDC friends to keep!
Does this sound ok? Am I missing anything? I am open, of course, to suggestions from everyone.
Love to join in!
One variation I've seen is that after the cutoff date, the list of addresses are sent to each participant and each participant mails one bead to each name on the list. That way the coordinating mama doesn't have as much work to do (no sorting and shipping back piles of beads, she just has to compile the list of name/addys and PM/email those to the group) and depending on how many people join it can be less expensive for individuals (a single flat bead can often be sent in a regular envelope/regular stamp. In this variation there is generally a "mail your beads by" date too.
Another variation is to send a card with a quote, blessing, or wish along with the bead.
But either way, I'm in! I have bead exchange necklaces from mdc for all my kiddos except for ds... the bead exchange fell through and I was really sad. I still made a birth necklace, but it wasn't as meaningful.
Love the note idea! I am super excited that you mentioned this, cparkly. I really want to have a Mother Blessing-type thing, but I don't know that many people, so my necklace will only have, like, 4 beads!
For those of you that have already made one, what is the best thing to make the necklace out of? Cord, chain, etc.?
With dd1 I used beading thread (a waxed linen thread). With dd2 I made chain mail! I hung each bead on a uniform length metal loop, then "wove" those loops into a chain mail choker. With ds I used beading wire and no clasp (I made one long strand of beads with a pendant at one end and a loop of smaller beads at the other, the pendant goes through the loop and gravity holds the whole thing in place).
I make beaded items so I have lots of stuff haning out around the house and love to experiment... but you can find beading supplies at just about any Michaels or AC Moore. And if you go online there's an even bigger selection. In general you should be able to find materials for not that much money...
Waxed linen or silk thread is easy to use (and pretty inexpensive, coming in many colors) but it's not the strongest option. Totally fine for something you wont wear a lot but if you do plan on wearing it often and maybe letting the babe yank on it a bit, then look up a how to on a technique called "pearl strung"... basically you tie a knot or two between each bead on the strand so that if the strand breaks the beads don't go everywhere! Also, remember that beads can be hung on loops so don't let the size of the bead's hole stop you from using something bulky like leather cord or a braided hemp rope if that's what you want to use!
Chain mail is fun and funky and, depending on what gage you use, it can look light and airy while still being really strong. And it's actually not that hard to do if you have some needle nose pliers. There are a lot of nice web tutorials on chain mail, and youtube videos as well.
Beading wire comes in a bunch of strengths and while it's super easy to work with (it's strong, it's thin and fits through nearly every bead, etc) it does have some drawbacks. You'll need to get "spacer beads" to seperate the pretty beads from the exchange (spacer beads are small or uniform colored beads that go between your bigger/showier beads to fill out the length of the necklace as well as to keep the nicer beads from bumping into each other). And you'll need to get "crimp beads" to finish your necklace... there are plenty of books and websites that show the "how too" aspect, but again basically when you use wire you can't "tie a knot" at the end. So you fold the wire around the clasp you want, tuck the loose end down through a few beads to add strength, and then use a crimp bead to hold the two bits together (crimp beads arre thin metal that you crush with pliers to trap the ends in place).
Thank you for all your words of experience, Wombatclay!
I really like the idea of icluding a thoughtful note, quote, or prayer. That makes it all even more meaningful.
I do not mind coordinating and sorting the beads and mailing them all out. But, if each person wants to mail them out themselves, I understand. I will leave that up to y'all. Just let me know.
So far, we have 10 beady mamas:
Mrs. B. Sprout