Arts and Crafts – Hunting and Gathering

Image Description: a title-post picture with the words 'Arts &Crafts' written in the centre in rainbow word-art with a clip-art picture of a red rose in each of the corners
I love Stationery, it is my greatest weakness, there’s just something about hunting and gathering for Stationery items (most likely the illusion of productivity) that is both enjoyable and calming for me. The problem with Stationery is that once all the required items are assembled, that means I have to begin the desired project, which can be problem when you’ve perfected the art of obtaining items for said project but usually fail when it comes to actually completing the project.

For example: I really wanted to get into Book Binding or Book Making, I love blank notebooks and it would be awesome if I could just make my own blank notebooks. But then I found out you actually need to be talented at sewing to make books, and I am truly awful at sewing, so all of my book-binding equipment has been sitting in a canvas shopping-bag inside my Room of Laundry for several months, dusty and forgotten, until I start riffling through my bookshelf (where my guide to making handmade books is) and I wonder what happened to my Book Making equipment.

But, this time, I’m fairly certain I’ve found a hobby that is both Crafty, doesn’t rely on Sewing to complete and is possible for me to obtain all the required tools and items. I am talking about Beaded Jewellery, specifically Bead Ring Necklaces.

Image Description: site header reading “Abstruse Arcana Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts” featuring vector images of a green tape dispenser, a sewing needle, a sewing pin with a red head, a yellow measuring tape, a brown paintbrush, a light tan bandaid, an embroidered red flower and a blue and brown striped round plush thing that looks something like a bean bag.
Kim has set up a new WordPress-blog called Abstruse Arcana: Neurodivergent Arts and Crafts and the first post is a tutorial on how to make Bead Ring Necklaces, which I’m hand-flappy excited about it as I’ve been wanting to make Bead Ring Necklaces for ages now. So, this post will be going through the items I purchased in order to make Bead Ring Necklaces, where I bought them and how much they cost (and maybe some random items thrown in for good measure).

Image Description: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Image Description: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Item: a medium sized white box with a rainbow-spectrum of polka-dots decorating the outside with a bright-red lid on top
Purchased From: The Reject Shop (Ballarat)
Amount: AU $4
I’ll be using this box to store all of my bead-related items inside of, isn’t adorable? I just love polka-dots but especially rainbow polka-dots.

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Image Description: a 500 gm bag of pony beads from Lincraft in mixed-colours
Item: a 500 gm bag of Pony Beads
Purchased From: Lincraft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $12.99
These aren’t the doughnut-shaped pony beads but rather they are shaped more like an hour-glass (I think, I’m not entirely sure, I could be wrong). Kim uses these beads on my Pink Drawstring Dice-bag they made for me.

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Image Description: Hoopla Sweets Collection pink plastic lunch-box with snap-on lid. The lunch-box has clip-art pictures of an ice-cream-on-a-stick with a smiley face, a doughnut-with-pink-icing also with a smiley face and an ice-cream-cone with blue-gelato and a smiley face. There are also clouds and a rainbow.
Item: pink plastic lunch-box with a snap-on lid
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $3.99
I figured if I was going to buy a large bag of beads I would need somewhere to store them and, as you’ll be able to tell further down, I enjoy purchasing matching/themed items. The Hoopla Sweets Collection of stationery was pink and looked adorable (how could I possibly resist?)

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Image Description: a pink plastic lunch-box containing a 1 LB (435.59 gm) bag of Pearlized Pony Beads in mixed colours.
Item: a 1 LB (435.59 gm) bag of Pearlized Pony Beads
Purchased From: Riot Art & Craft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $19.99
While I like transparent Pony Beads and glittery Pony Beads, if I had to pick just one type, it would be the pearlized Pony Beads, I am a sucker for shinny objects.

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Image Description: Hoopla Sweet Collection Stationery Pencil-case. The pencil-case is pink and has clip-art pictures of an ice-cream-on-a-stick with a smiley face, a doughnut-with-pink-icing also with a smiley face and an ice-cream-cone with blue-gelato and a smiley face. There are also clouds and a rainbow
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Image Description: The insides of the Hoopla Sweets Collection pencil-case. It’s pink with a couple of sections of netting to separate the two halves of the pencil-case.
Item: a pink pencil-case
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $4.99
I bought this with the intention of using it for Beads and bead-related stuff, like storing cords and things inside, but now I’m not so sure. Oh well, I’ll just have to use it as a pencil-case, Mwuhahahaha

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Image Description: a pink Snack Container 400 mL that I obtained from K-Mart
Item: a pink Snack Container
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $2
I have about three of these snack containers (one from K-Mart and the other two from Aldi) and I thought I could use them for specialised beads, such as some star-beads I bought from Lincraft but also some glittery star-beads I bought off of Ebay. I thought I could use them for the ends of Bead Lanyards, however, I should probably figure out how to make Bead Ring Necklaces first (it goes cart THEN horse, I need to remember that).

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Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that I obtained from Aldi
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it's three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container and the opaque in-between layer
Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it’s three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container and the opaque in-between layer
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Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been separated into it’s three parts, from left to right are lid/top, bottom of the container with pink Pearlized Pony Beads and the opaque in-between layer
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Image Description: a pink Crofton Snack Container 400 mL that has been combined into two parts, bottom of the container with pink Pearlized Pony Beads inside and the opaque in-between layer on top of the pink Pearlized Pony Beads (I’ve taken this picture to show scale and dimensions)
Item: a pink Snack Container
Purchased From: Aldi (Bacchus Marsh)
Amount: AU $2.49 each
Now this is one of the snack containers I bought from Aldi. I’ve placed the pink pearlized Pony Beads in the container to demonstrate size and scale of the containers. They look small and I was almost afraid they would be too small to store Pony Beads in, but they surprised me. If desired, you can fit two colours from a large mix-colour bag of Pony Beads.

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Image Description: a 100 packet of Rainbow Strings obtained from Lincraft
Item: a 100 packet of Rainbow Strings
Purchased From: Lincraft (Bendigo)
Amount: AU $4.99
I thought I might be able to use these to make Beaded Lanyards but I think these might be too thin, not sure, I’ll have to find out.

Image Description: there are two items in the photo, from left to right, the first item is a packet of Hair Elastics in pink, yellow, white and blue. The second item is a packet of hair bands in brown hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in and black hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in.
Image Description: there are two items in the photo, from left to right, the first item is a packet of Hair Elastics in pink, yellow, white and blue. The second item is a packet of hair bands in brown hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in and black hair-bands with silver-sparkles mixed in.
Item: Hair elastics and hair bands
Purchased From: Daiso
Amount: AU $2.80 each
I also bought these with the intention of using them to make Bead Lanyards, however, I think these might be a little too thick. I won’t know for certain until I attempt it, I shall keep readers posted on my progress.

Image Description: A small bronze-coloured clutch-purse with various brown key-ring accessories attached to it.
Image Description: A small bronze-coloured clutch-purse with various brown key-ring accessories attached to it.
This was given to me as a Christmas/Birthday gift ages ago, I don’t use it at all, however, I have re-purposed it to hold jewellery I no longer want to use such as a bracelet with dolphins on it (how do people get the impression that I like dolphins? I’m not saying they’re bad, I just don’t have any interest in them). I thought I might be able to use them as stoppers on lanyards or general decoration for Bead Ring Necklaces.

Image Description: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit in pink.
Image Description: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit in pink.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. From left to right, a crafting-scalpel, a 30 cm metal ruler with cork on the back of it, a thick white object  and it's about as long as the metal ruler (I think the kit said it was for flattening pages, I'm not entirely sure), then there's a mental cylindrical object that looks like a pen but when you open it there's a sharp metal pokey-bit at the end (I think it's a scribe for indenting), then there's a clickey black-ink pen, a small pink measuring tape, and spare scalpel-blades in a little plastic box.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. From left to right, a crafting-scalpel, a 30 cm metal ruler with cork on the back of it, a thick white object  and it’s about as long as the metal ruler (I think the kit said it was flattening pages, I’m not entirely sure), then there’s a mental cylindrical object that looks like a pen but when you open it there’s a sharp metal pokey-bit at the end (I think it’s a scribe for indenting), then there’s a clickey black-ink pen, a small pink measuring tape, and spare scalpel-blades in a little plastic box.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. There's a small pair of pink-handled scissors, a small pair of pink-handled pliers and a small pair of pink-handled needle-nose pliers.
Image Description: Inside of the Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit. There’s a small pair of pink-handled scissors, a small pair of pink-handled pliers and a small pair of pink-handled needle-nose pliers.
Item: Zutter Bind-It-All Book Making Kit
Purchased From: Amazon (online)
Amount: I dunno, I’ve completely forgotten.
I bought this off Amazon ages ago (or at least four years ago), however, unfortunately Amazon no longer sells it. The closest I could find that also does international shipping is the Zutter Bag-A-Bind Tote, for some unexplainable reason most of the Book Binding/Book Making equipment that Zutter sells via Amazon is all pink.

Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. It also has pictures of various lures on the front of it.
Image Description: a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. It also has pictures of various lures on the front of it.
Image Description: the back of a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. I took this photo so readers could see the size of the compartments. There's four compartments down and six compartments across.
Image Description: the back of a Jarvis Walker worm-proof lure-box with adjustable compartments. I took this photo so readers could see the size of the compartments. There’s four compartments down and six compartments across.
Item: an opaque white plastic lure-box
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $10
Kim recommended this purchase and where to find it (thank you) and I’m sort of annoyed with myself because I have the sinking suspicion I should have bought two, however, one should be enough for now. I plan on going down by type (for example: transparent beads, glittery beads, pearlized beads and hour-glass beads), then across by colour (for example: red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple and pink). Although it only has six compartments across so I may need to place pink and purple beads in the snack containers for the time being. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Image Description: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Image Description: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Item: a pair of split-ring pliers with black handles
Purchased From: K-Mart (Melton)
Amount: AU $3.00
I know that my Bind-it-all kit looks like it has a pair of needle-nose piers attached to it, but I figured I’d get an extra pair just in case they’re too small to use.

Unfortunately, I have yet to be able to find Key-rings/Split-rings (you know, the key component to the entire thing) despite traveling to various arts and crafts stores, but I shall not give up, not when I’m this close. I’ll keep readers posted on my progress.

2 comments

  1. Maybe because I come from a family of crafters and have been crafting all my life and hence cadging craft materials from relatives but the idea of buying so much before you’ve even tried to make it amuses me. I bought one tiny pack of pony beads and a couple of split rings to start, nothing more. I hope you do genuinely like doing it!

    You don’t actually need amazing sewing skills to make a basic handbound book. If you can do a running stitch and an over stitch (two basic stitches) and you have a couple of items your kit doesn’t have (most items you have there you just don’t need, actually, not for a beginner-level book) you can make a book. In fact, I am BAFFLED that a book binding kit DOESN’T include an awl. As in, I think that’s bloody criminal. If you’re going to bind a book by sewing, at all, you want an awl. (And … no needle? WHY?)

    (This said, I have a proper awl and fine handmade one I made by taping an upholstery needle to the handle of a broken felting needle, and the handmade one is by far superior for bookbinding because you can’t accidentally widen the hole. When I taught bookmaking I had everyone fighting over the handmade awl.)

    I really, really want to try making a girdle book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girdle_book

    You may want even thinner needlenose pliers (specifically jewellery or beading needlenose pliers) if you have to use them to wedge the split rings open to thread the beads on. If you have hand strength to hold the ring apart, it might not be so much an issue (but it *will* hurt your fingertips) but *large* pliers are a problem here, not small ones. The smaller, honestly, the better.

    I’m a little appalled that you paid $10 for a divider box. I’ve never paid more than $6 or so for them. Maybe check out dollar shops? You don’t have to pay that much money for them. I’m pretty sure I’ve never paid that much for any I’ve bought from K-Mart, either – although mine didn’t have the adjustable compartments. I’ve bought the adjustable compartment ones (sized large enough to hold sewing thread across each compartment – they’re fabulous) for $6 at dollar shops!

    What are you planning to do for the necklace chains?

    There’s several different sizes /shapes of pony beads; there’s no such thing as a consistent size or shape. Several of the “hourglass” ones I’ve got are still several different shapes whilst being approximately the same size. Same applies for the “doughnut” ones.

    The split rings are available in bags from Lincraft and Riot Art and Craft, but they’re much cheaper in the stationery sections of dollar shops. I have to go into Footscray on Friday, where I know they’re cheap; do you want me to get some for you? (Answer me on Tumblr where I’ll definitely see it.)

    • Yeah, I tend to get little over-excited and a little over-enthusiastic about the “purchasing of items” aspect for a crafting project. My mother and sister are good with sewing and they both know how to crochet but I’m kinda awful when it comes to sewing and crafting things. So while I am missing an awl for my book making collection, I have a small sewing kit I managed to keep from Secondary College that contains the basics. I unfortunately have a bad history of getting really interested (almost to the point of obsession) in a topic and then I either get distracted, or bored (or both) and I end up dropping it completely, but I have a good feeling about this. Besides, I figured if I don’t like it or I get bored with it, I can offer my beading stuff to you, although you are of course under no obligation to accept.

      The Girdle Book looks awesome and fascinating, I have a book on how to make Homemade Books, so I’ll bring it with me when we catch up next so you can check it out (maybe there’s something in there that can help).

      Thanks for the heads up on the needle-nose pliers, in fact, Brendon recommended we check out Bunnings Warehouse to see if they had a divider box and the right kind of pliers, unfortunately Brendon doesn’t normally get home until about roughly 7:00 pm so it does limit my choices of shops open. I have been hunting around in a few dollar stores I’ve been able to access, but every dollar store I’ve been to over the last couple weeks don’t have the required items (although I will acknowledge I’ve been limited to the Bendigo, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh area and the Woodgrove Shopping Centre). K-Mart in Melton was the only place thus far I could find a divider box, but maybe I’m just not looking in the right places, I don’t know.

      I was planning on using rat-tail cord for the necklace chain but I’ve been unable to obtain it. Every Lincraft and Riot Arts & Craft store I went to gave me the WTF look when I asked about it and told me they don’t sell it (they gave me the same WTF look when I asked if they had Key-rings or Split-Rings). I even tried searching for rat-tail cord on the Lincraft and Riot Arts and Craft store websites and I still couldn’t find any. I managed to find some on Ebay but it’s 2mm by 200 yards and I figured that might be a little excessive. I’ll see if I can plan a road trip to the Ballarat Lincraft store (I’ve only been the to the Ballarat Riot Art & Crafts store). I did manage to find some key-ring/split rings on the website but they were too small, the only thing I could find on the website that resembled 30 mm key-rings were album loops. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

      Thank you for commenting though, I really appreciate it 🙂

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