Eye of newt and toe of frog

For the last few years, I’ve participated in a Halloween bead swap. It’s similar to a secret Santa exchange, but the skulls and spiders add another element of fun ;) When my package arrived this year, I immediately liked the beads (the two on the far right in the photo above). But, they are two of the styles that I have difficulty combining: white-based beads, and floral beads. Still, I was determined to make them work.

The pattern on the white bead reminded me of little eyes, so the first bead that came out to play was my eyeball. The second was the retired Green Dot, since it also reminded me of eyes. And, I figured that if I had one white-based bead, why not make it two! After wrestling with them for a while, I realized that I was wrong; two was twice as bad as one. I reverted back to the silver eyeball and two swap beads, then added a solid black glass to give it a darker look. I wore the mini combination for a few days, but knew that it was missing something: an orange bead to match the orange dots on the unique. I tried Coral Bubbles. I tried a few of my orangish ambers. But it needed orange. Real orange. I wondered if Orange Armadillo, Royal Orange or the Orange bead from the World Tour, The Netherlands would work, but I had none of those.

After my trials trying to match yellows online, I didn’t want to risk trying to match an orange online. I was also trying hard not to buy any beads this month, so I that made me even more reluctant to make a mistake. I kept tinkering with the mini combination, hoping that I could get it to work without an orange.

Then I caved. At least I was smart enough to take the bracelet with me, so I knew that the oranges matched. As I walked out of the store, I wondered if the orange was too bright for the combination, then realized that it gave me a chance to use one of my brighter greens too.


Back at home, I rifled through my bead box again. Back came Green Dot. On came a few other blacks and the green braid. I remembered the artisan bead and popped it on too since it reminded me of an eye. Then I set about finding silvers.

Despite my intention to pick up Halloween silvers over the past year, the only new Halloween silver that I have is the eyeball bead that I made. I really need more silvers. I had hoped to get a bat, skeleton, or spider but kept thinking that I had lots of time to get one. And then I didn’t. So, I picked out a few silvers that reminded me of Halloween costumes (devil, pirate, and mummy) instead.

I’m so happy that I was able to use both of my swap beads, and even got the second white-based bead on there. Although, along with Halloween silvers, I think I need more orange beads now!

Have you had beads that you found challenging to use, but that ultimately worked out for you? What did you do to make them click?

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