Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque describes multi-strand purpose in ABC for Beading with this five-strand peach moonstone and labradorite necklace.

ABC for Beading

© 2019, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 5-strand peach moonstone and carnelian necklace

ABC for Beading: Always Be Creating. Isn’t that a great line? Credit for the quote goes to any number of authors or artists. When I googled it, I saw names like hand-letter artist Abbey Sy, author Samwise Didier or photographer and entrepreneur Allen Luke appeared.

While giving credit is important, credit is not necessary to recognize the importance of maker magic. Always Be Creating celebrates the magic of each unique work. The creator earns credit as he/she expands their body of work with every new contribution.

During my most recent 30-day project, I challenged myself to three hours of creativity per day. In reviewing the results of my activity at month’s end, I noticed a preponderance of multi-strand necklaces in my creations. Another quote came to mind:

“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”

Mae West

Multi-strand necklaces call to me. The time and patience involved in their design feed my creative eye. It gives me pleasure to consider the drape of strands or the flow of common elements compiled in a seemingly random manner.

The five-strand peach moonstone and labradorite necklace that is the featured photo for this post is one such example. A small choker, its energies are magnified by two clear Tibetan quartz beads that stimulate am expanded frequency for those who believe in the power of crystals. Small carnelian rounds support the health of the physical body and encourage action. For me, moonstone honors timing, helping one attune to the cycles of energy. Labradorite honors personal magic. The stone’s small flashes of light and soft color help pull the entire necklace together. It feels soft, supportive and lightweight on the neck. Tiny circle charms add interest and whimsey to the piece.

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque uses this three strand lapis lazuli necklace to discuss the ACB for Beading.
© 2019, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 3-strand lapis lazuli necklace

Another three-strand necklace is dominated exclusively by lapis lazuli, a stone of self-knowledge and reflection. Some of the beads include veins of gold pyrite, which works to assist one in acting on one’s highest ideals and visions. This necklace is larger and heavier than its sister creation. It features four nuggets of lapis that hang from sterling silver. The beautiful blue stones, fit for royalty, look good on anyone. In ancient Egypt and China lapis was frequently the stone of choice for kings and queens, emperors and other dignitaries.

This multi-strand necklace of branch coral and garnet is part of the ABC for Beading by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.
© 2019, Mary Ellen Merrigan, 3-strand branch coral and garnet necklace

A third multi-strand choker of branch coral and garnets symbolizes the flow of “chi”, a Chinese word referring to the life energy of a living entity. The lightweight piece is meant to feel soothing and bring a sense of peace and calmness to the wearer. 

Each of these necklaces was assembled on a bead board so I could judge the positioning of different elements and estimate their flow. Although some of the same techniques are used to build each necklace, they are quite different due to the properties of the beads and the different focus of each element involved.

Read more about my fascination with multi-strand necklaces in an earlier post about interconnected amber beads or this discussion of white heart beads.

Whether you prefer one, two or many more strands in your necklace, remember this ABC for beading: “Always Be Creating.”

How will you put that quote into action during the coming week?

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