Beadweaving Feather Fancy with turquoise

The Power of Completion Encourages Experimentation

I completed Black Drusy last week.

Black Drusy Beadweaving focal

© 2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan Black Drusy Beadweaving Focal

I belted out the resounding and positive phrase: “Yes!” and then added: “Wow! It feels good.”

© 2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beadweaving Black Drusy Class

© 2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beadweaving Black Drusy Class


You may recall my earlier post about this and other unfinished objects. 

Given the affirmation I get from completion, it’s hard to believe I waited nearly two months to add a necklace to my beadweaving focal. During that time, I frequently fingered the beads alongside the 3.25” center. Sometimes I’d add strands of different shapes.

As it turns out, the beads I’d originally set aside to complement the centerpiece didn’t make the cut. Instead, I chose a larger, stronger bead of drum-faceted black onyx as the base for the 20-inch necklace. Labradorite spacers add metallic luster and a sheen to the piece. It’s finished with a small sterling silver hook and eye.

Black Drusy holds a special place in my heart. While shopping with Paulette at Bead Fest Santa Fe, I fell in love with the drussies. She generously purchased them for both of us.

Now, I anticipate another project in my near future: Paulette’s drusy.

The joy of beading comes in part from sharing a love of beads and pretty things. Each finding sparks a memory and usually, a story.

My sterling silver feather, for instance, was a second-hand-store find.

Beadweaving Feather Fancy with turquoise

© 2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beadweaving: Feather Fancy


It perfectly matched three pieces of McKenzie turquoise purchased at Indian Jeweler Supply. During the 2013 Tucson Bead Show, To Bead True Blue, Moggie from BeadMyLove  helped me find a stainless steel delica.

Mary Ellen Merrigan and Moggie Moyer of BeadMyLove at The Tucson Bead Show 2013

Mary Ellen Merrigan and Moggie Moyer of BeadMyLove at The Tucson Bead Show 2013


It worked perfectly into an asymmetrical beaded slide. I used silver leather for the backing and love the finish.

What about completion do I love?

    • Process. A complicated piece represents a thought, design, the process of searching for materials, re-design, the joy of actually beading the object, and the opportunity to finally pull all of its disparate parts together in a beautiful finish.
    • Celebration. So often we rush past recognition of accomplishment. I celebrate beadweaving completion, with a picture. The result lives in an ongoing slide show on a frame in the studio. Sometimes I’m surprised at a past idea or stimulated to combine one technique with another.

My promise to myself is to use completion to encourage experimentation. For 2014 I’m considering requiring completion (and its documentation) of one creative project each week. Think how that could stack up!

How will you use completion to push your boundaries?