Don't miss an issue of The Beading
Interested in advertising here for
less than .01 a reader?
Treat yourself to holiday designs
By Bethany Waldrop Keiper
"The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads." -- Clement C. Moore
Always curious, I looked up sugarplums to see just exactly what they might be, and found that they are described as small round or oval pieces of sugary candy. Long ago, when Moore wrote that book, children were dreaming of candies. And I'd imagine a few adults were too.
Come to think of it, sugarplums sound quite a bit like beads! Round or oval, and sometimes they can be very sweet to find, with no calories. Some of the beads I've seen lately reminded me so much of candy that I was almost tempted to take a taste. And with Christmas so close, I thought of the holiday and candy, and thought the combination would be perfect for designs.
This lovely necklace is a dreamy mix of many different "sugarplums". The center bead appears to be a soft, creamy peppermint nougat encased in glass. It is flanked on either side by two perfectly round candy apples, followed by two clear beads with red centers, which appear to be cherry cordials with only a tiny drizzle of their rich chocolate coating. More cinnamon-ny red beads continue the necklace, while cool, simple, silver accents provide continuity.
One tradition most older people remember from Christmas mornings long ago was getting their stockings from the mantel first thing. Each stocking usually had an apple, an orange, hard candy, and nuts. My parents continued this tradition with me. Today, unfortunately, people don't seem to pay attention to the traditional stockings as much anymore. Now children are too busy hoping for supersonic electronics to care about hard candies and fruits.
But for my stocking, you might find that sweet Satsuma orange beads flecked with wide stripes of gold and dots of orange make a juicy design. Unstrung and resting in the palm, these beads look good enough to taste. The golden accent beads with their rough-striped texture remind me of two other Christmastime treats -- Brazil nuts and walnuts, with their rough shells. Add another treat to this design if you choose to make it into a bracelet -- sweet, delicate dangles. One slim lampworked bumpy bead and one facetted Czech glass bead on fancifully curled wire are nice choices.
It seems like candy canes have been a holiday tradition forever. Although the candy itself is much, much older, the striped peppermint version we are used to seeing wasn't the norm until the turn of the 20th century. Legend has it that the white, crooked version first appeared in 1670.
Red-hot red and swirling spearmint green are perfect companions for this perfect candy cane made of cane glass. This combination is the start of a sequence for a bracelet, but you can easily see the patterns for earrings, decorative chopsticks, or a letter opener (for all of those holiday cards) waiting for you here.
Now we must ponder a super-important candy connoisseur question -- is this center bead hot buttered rum or caramel cream? I know it's tough. Whatever flavor you choose, I think you'll agree that these lampworked beads look warm and buttery. Half-color glass copper accent beads and copper metal accents keep the theme of warm and rich going. Tiny tan luster beads and tiny dot copper beads add delicate touches.
Small Double Dotted Circle Copper Bead, shiny Copper Plain Cross, 9mm by 5mm Copper Dumbell courtesy of and available from the Bead Peddler.
Register to win 25.00 Worth of Beads and Beading Supplies
Full line of
available to the public!