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Once upon a time, I stumbled upon this great site full of adorable and gorgeous bead patterns, called Thread A Bead.

I believe I had done an Internet search for beaded Christmas presents or tree decorations – but I can’t be sure what I had been looking for because everything went haywire when I happened upon yonder site and the sheer cornucopia of  ideas (and instructions) for Christmas presents! Within (what feels like) seconds, I had bought four of their patterns and was ready to give myself over to absolute beading frenzy.

Let’s take a look at the presents of Christmas past that resulted from said frenzy.

Why today?

Good question. Let me reply in a threefold fashion:

  • Christmas is only 285 days away and I thought you might appreciate some ideas for gifts. 😀
  • Plus, I think some of these might do well as Easter decorations, too.
  • Also, I’ve been wanting to share my ThreadABead addiction for some time now, and there’s no time like the present!

Speaking of present(s): Here’s what I gave three different parties for Christmas: A beaded Victorian Photo Frame, outfitted with sepia-ized pictures of Hubby and me behind cut-outs of antique (not really) plastik envelopes.

Close-up

I love this tutorial so much! It is the piece that made me fall in love with ThreadABead in the first place.

That love is due, in part, to the pure genius of their patterns. The great shape of this photo frame, for example, is achieved through six 3mm fire polished beads strategically placed among the Delicas. I am just a sucker for easy genius results!

By the way: Beading stuff with high-quality materials is about 1.000 times as much fun as beading with not-so-high-quality equipment! This was my first Delica and  Fireline experience, and what can I say: I’m hooked. Just to think of that beautiful small *plink* when a Delica bead nestles in between two of its brethren or sistren makes my heart skip a bead (*snort*)!

It’s a kind of magic!

And yes, I’m exaggerating for rhetoric effect!

But it really is beautiful!

I also made a Photo Frame in different colors for a colleague who has a dachshund.

Victorian Photo Frame Ornament_lilac

Neat-o, right? 😀

This Photo Frame doesn’t have to be committed to the box of Christmas decorations and hidden away in the basement until next year. I think it makes for great spring and Easter decorations as well, if you use lighter and spring-ier colors (and put a picture of a dachshund cleverly disguised as the Easter Bunny in there).

The purple beads, I had originally purchased for this beauty I made for my mother-in-law. Ten brick-stitched diamonds are linked with pearls and fire polished beads to make a beaded christmas bauble.

Kristall_Baumkugel

I thought it would be a bit bigger, but it ended up really dainty. And it took forever to make. For-e v e r!

But it love it, and it’s another example of a genius design, in my humble opinion.

Kristall-Baumkugel

Next up was this pretty bell with a winter scene on it. I made two of those, but I had only one pair of those little jingle-jangles.

This is the second bell I made, and I fashioned the jingly things out of two humongous bead caps and some metal beads.

Glocke

The bell sounds awful, but then, it’s not meant for gathering a congregation but for looking at.

And I really like the way it looks. 🙂 Plus, it was so much fun to make! I believe it started my whole new passion for peyote tapestries.

Bottom line: I have completely fallen in love with the Thread A Bead-instructions! They are chock-full of high-quality photos and very clearly written. They tell you how much time and how many beads you will need and give you ideas for different color palettes some of the time. The times given are not completely accurate for me, but then I am a v e r y slow beader.

For the level of detail and quality of the instructions, the individual patterns are also very decently priced. I wouldn’t say they’re cheap, but most of them cost well below 5 €. That’s a very fair price for genius in my book.

Btw: The folks at Thread A Bead have never heard of me and don’t know that I wrote about them. I just love their patterns.

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