Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ahoy me hearties!

A-pirating we will go...

Ahoy me hearties! (Which actually means 'Hello my friends' in pirate-speak). Don't worry-I haven't actually become a pirate (though living in Cornwall there could be some danger of this, as pirating once ruled the waves around these parts). My greeting is due to this week's Beading Club project taking on a pirate twist. So who's the most well-known pirate? Well we can forget Blackbeard, it's Captain Jack Sparrow of course! Our pirate bag charms were to be based on Jack Sparrow's Kuchi beads. Captain Jack Sparrow , the character played by Johnny Depp in 'Pirates of the Caribbean' inspired the trend for pirate jewellery. Jack's hair is adorned with all manner of beads and trinkets gathered from all around the world, each one reminding him of a different adventure.

The trend for all things skullish. 

 When you think of pirates you most likely think of golden earrings, eye patches, half legs and skulls. I  must admit, I have never liked skulls-but of course pirates are famous for adopting the skull and crossbones as a symbol to strike fear into their enemies. I did discover however, that the skull as a symbol can have other meanings in different cultures. In Mexico for example, skulls symbolise the Day of the Dead, a big annual festival where the dead are celebrated in carnival-like festivities. Fabric designer Alexander Henry celebrates this so well in his Folklorico range - skulls with floral tributes in amazing colours-take a look! 
It's also unavoidable that there is a current interest amongst the young in all things skullish and when I spotted these skull beads I knew the children would love them. 

Coming in such gorgeous colours they are actually quite cute!

The project:

Our project was to make a pirate key ring or bag charm, using waxed cotton cord and simple knotting techniques.

We had a selection of cord in yummy colours at the ready.

We made a simple double strand by folding a length of cord and making a loop at the top. We then added the skull beads into designs which included a mix of wood, glass and silver beads. We had a range of cute sea themed charms-mermaids, anchors, fish, shells, ships' wheels and even a tiny pirate's dagger! The children dived into the beads and, heads down for an hour of concentration designed their creations. What surprised me most was the children's determination to get the design right first-they tried out multiple ways with colour and shape before starting to thread on.

Adding more beads to the second strand.
Many of the designs were symmetrical-links to Maths again! They also enjoyed using sea-themed cork boards to work on-I decorated these with  Graphic 45's 'By the sea' scrapbook papers.

Some of them added an extra fun charm to the top by knotting on extra, shorter threads.
They then popped on a ring and clip. Some of them wanted to make extras for friends and family members!

Well shiver me timbers- didn't they do a fabulous job!

A profusion of sea colours seemed to rule this session's beading waves!

The children continued the theme with an extra take-home project where they followed instructions to make a Kuchi bead hair braid like Jack's-here is their design brief:

They are planning to wear them at the end of term barbecue-let's hope it's a fine and sunny day!  

What fun we had a-pirating...and without a bottle of rum in sight! 
Hope you've had fun this weekend too!

Alison xx