I used to make all kinds of necklaces with seed beads when I was in my teens, over ten years ago. I tried it again for the first time tonight, largely to make necklaces to sell at my merch table when my punk band plays shows. I had all the supplies sitting around and I figured why not use them? MY MY, how my hands are screwed up now! I had a terrible neuropathy attack, which made my whole body weak and tired. I'm only typing this now after lots of massage and heat and tiger balm and advils. Definitely calling the doc on Monday.
You see, I have a number of nerve problems in my arms thanks to 16 years of knitting (had to give that up 4 years ago, sob sob), computering, and carrying heavy bookbags. I guess all that beading didn't help. It's thoracic outlet syndrome, ulnar and radial neuropathy, and cubital tunnel syndrome. Basically everything but carpal tunnel. I'm 27 now, and I see a chiropractor and lots of doctors to keep the nerve issue under control. I can only just manage to play the bass in my band. Tonight the beadwork made my hands sooooo unhappy. I lost feeling after one necklace, and my hands shook so. It was never like this before! I'm so sad, because beading is fun! All these ideas popped up and I can't do anything about them!
I began to think about adaptations. I have a huge issue with pinching motions, moves that bring the index finger and thumb together. I already tried sticking the eye end of the beading needle into a pin cushion and adding beads to the exposed end. That did work because it gave my left hand something much easier to grasp lightly. That still leaves the problem of the bead-gathering hand.
I thought about those automatic beader dishes, the ones that twirl. I could have one for each color, and I figure it's easier to knock off extras than try to put beads on the needle tip. Has anyone tried making their own automatic beaders? They seem a little spendy, and I seem to recall instructions in an ancient issue of Highlights for Children for making one with a short tin or a cup and some sort of twirly apparatus.
I also thought of using painter's tape. Like I'd secure a piece sticky side up on my work tray, scatter some beads on it, and guide the needle through the beads.
I think I might also want to get a set of reverse tweezers, the kind you squeeze to open.
Of course, I will probably need to stop using seed beads, and switch to larger beads, but I have so many seeds left!
Ladies and gents, if you have any other ideas, I would be beyond thrilled to hear them! I want to make all my ideas real and raise some much-needed money! I don't want to lose another craft!