I confess that lately I've become a teensy bit addicted to the art of placing small plastic beads onto a white plastic board. I went through a brief spell of guilt regarding the sheer amount of time I've been spending either placing the plastic beads on the board or surfing the net looking for suitable designs for the plastic beads. But it didn't last long (the guilt, that is), and I soon got over it. I figure that if something as simple as Hama beading is giving me this much pleasure then I should be celebrating it, not feeling guilty.
The thing is, I got innocently caught up in Little Lady's rekindled Hama bead phase (now over it seems, as quickly as it began) and I followed her sweet footsteps into the depths of Pinterest. Oh yes, you can see where this is going, can't you? Much to my delight, I discovered that all manner of Tapestry Designs can quite happily be translated into plastic bead format, resulting in a wealth of design possibility aimed squarely at ladies of my age. And so I give you Hama Beads for Mums - a little nudge into this simple, creative, feel-good hobby. The above pixelated image is from a Cath Kidston book I believe, possibly the "Stitch! " one, although I'm not 100% sure about this as I found the image on Google.
I translated the little flower motif into bead form using a small square board, then adapted it slightly and made myself a little heart.
Ta-dah!!! This provided such a perfect diversion from the business of Doing The Housework, I was most pleased with the outcome. It also enabled me to get out the ironing board and iron, thus convincing myself that I really had done some housework after all. Well, I did go on to iron a few shirts afterwards, so it kind of worked as motivation in the end. Kind of.
Yesterday was a stay-home Sunday and I managed to spend much of my time flitting between leisurely pursuits of my choice (oh happy day!). The Hama beads called to me once more, especially as I had just taken delivery of a Large Square Board. I wanted to try out another Cath Kidston design which had caught my beady eye on Pinterest (source here). Fortunately for me, we've amassed a fair stash of Hama beads over the past 7 years, so once I had the large board at my disposal, it was Hama-Beads-a-go-go!
Just as with a needlepoint design, the secret here is to establish a middle line, then work the design outwards from the centre.
It's insanely satisfying watching the pixelated flowers come to life....
....and the more you do, the more satisfaction there is.
I worked on my masterpiece solidly for an hour or so whilst my Little Peeps were busy playing with friends, then off to the ironing board I trotted....
.....it didn't go smoothly. I failed to get the iron hot enough the first time round and ended up with more than half the beads scattering themselves across the ironing board when I lifted up the ironing paper. It was one of those moments where I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or spit out a stream of cuss words. In the end I simply stood patiently at the ironing board and spent the next 20 minutes painstakingly putting every single bead back and trying again. Second time round I only lost a corner which was fairly easy to fix. Then third time lucky and it all went well. Phew.
This is my ironed plastic masterpiece, and I honestly love it. I love it! It measures 14cm square and looks very much better when viewed from a distance so that the pixelated image springs to life. I've got it propped up on my shelves at the moment along with my collection of jugs, but that's only because Little B has stolen the lump of Blutack from my desk drawer. I do rather like to stick decorative things about the house in unexpected places, just for the pure pleasure of coming across them during the course of the day. I think I might put this one up on the bathroom wall when the blutack materialises, the colours will look lovely in there.
I wonder how many of you have Hama beads in the house (they're also called Perler beads)? They have very therapeutic properties you know. I've been asked about the ones I use, they're the "Midi beads" (as opposed to Maxi or Mini), you can buy them in packets of single colours, or in tubs of mixed colours . You then only need a suitable Pegboard and some sort of ironing paper (I use ordinary baking paper as I've lost the official sheet of hama bead paper), and away you go. Oh....I almost forgot....just in case you might need some sort of reference point, I've created a Hama Bead inspiration board on Pinterest, you know, because I thought it might be useful. Not because I'm obsessed or anything. Ooooo, have you seen the little Russian Dolls? And the birds?