Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall and Spiders

I've begun to understand the significance of "Fall" in the US.  Fall is a celebration of Autumn, and houses / gardens are decorated from September onwards with orange lights, pumpkins, chrysanthemums and corn sheaves, as well as Halloween-themed decs, presumably until the Christmas decorations come out (I'll let you know shortly!).

Fall also reflects the tremendous leaf fall - and as our house is surrounded by big trees there are suddenly a LOT of leaves.  Maybe I wasn't quite so aware of the leaf fall in the UK, or maybe they just got bedraggled and soggy and weren't as noticeable, but here they're piling up everywhere.  Obviously hubby had to buy a new toy and has been happily playing with his leaf blower.  Things are quite well organised in the township though - you sweep / blow the leaves into a big pile on the edge of the road outside your house, and then every few weeks a truck with a big hoover attachment comes along and sucks them all up!

It was while tackling the leaf build-up on our patio last week that I uncovered a nasty looking and rather large spider.  I didn't scream like a girl, which is unusual because I absolutely hate spiders, especially big furry stripy ones with knees like him...  Probably because he didn't scuttle anywhere but played dead for a bit (I had just raked him halfway across the patio before I noticed him). But I did stop picking up leaf piles with my hands and kept a wary eye on him whilst I finished up.  Eventually he did sidle away.  Apparently he's a harmless grass spider, but he's still big and furry and stripy with knees and still gives me the shivers...

But he also inspired me into creativity.  Beading is my thing, and I remembered a Pinterest post I'd seen a while ago on different ways of making beaded spiders originally posted by Brandywine Jewellery Supply (  There's some fab tutorials on here.  So I decided to make a non-scary, non-furry, slightly sparkly spider to see if it would take away those shivers.  It kind of did.

The first blue one was great fun to make - I found a couple of bracelets in a craft shop clearance bin with just the right beads for the body (I think they're called shamballa beads), and along with the seed beads and bugle beads that I already had in my stash, he came together really quickly.  I had to undo the first set of legs as they were a little flimsy, so I used a slightly thicker gauge of wire the second time around.  That worked much better and the legs were much more pose-able, although I still found that they twisted slightly around the body - I fixed this with a little spot of jewellery glue.

There's nothing less intimidating than pink sparkles, so the next one was the perfect antidote to furry stripy spiders...  I adapted the legs slightly on these as my bugle beads were quite long, and I didn't want them to be too leggy.  Pretty!

I think they're both a lott less intimidating and shiver-inducing than the real-life variety.

However, I'm intrigued by the possibilities presented by working with wire in terms of beaded shapes, as previously I've only used beads by hand-sewing them.  I'm still experimenting, and I'm thinking how I can perhaps expand to other bugs (cute ones only, obviously).  I feel another project coming on!

(If you like the spiders, I will put some in my Etsy shop - - please take a look!)


  1. Really enjoyed reading about your new life in the US, Emma. And I love your spiders. I haven't worked with beads before but you've given me inspiration to try. Looking forward to more posts!

    1. Thanks Paula! I'm hoping my next post will be beading themed, so keep reading! :-)