Do you know what lentil beads are? Not beans, beads. Well here's a picture. These are Swarovski crystal lentils. Size 10mm in Vitrail Medium II. They are drilled from front to back with the hole being set to one side. They look a lot like a rivoli with a hole in it. I found them in two stores, Beyond Beadery in Colorado and Beads Gone Wild in West Palm Beach.
I fell in love with them after a friend asked me to repair a necklace that her aunt had given her. The necklace was completely unstrung, so I didn't know how to put it back together. I searched the internet and found some examples from the 1940's and 50's where the vintage crystals were strung. One was up and the beads on either side hung down, but you were looking at them from the side, so you didn't get the full impact of their beauty.
Since then, I have purchased over 100 and here is but one of the ideas I've had for them. The rope is Herringbone (Ndebele) spiral, then straight across the front, then spiralling again. When the rope was complete, I then anchored the thread at the straight area and criss-crossed over the rope adding a lentil at each point on the bottom.
Another pattern appeared in a beading magazine that had the lentils standing up using the Ndebele stitch. I worked a bracelet of lentils that are not crystal, as the edges are too sharp on the crystal. The beads have a finish that makes them look like they just washed up on the beach, very much like labradorite.
Here's a picture of the crystals from another angle that shows how sharp the edges are. Beautiful, but deadly, especially on a bracelet.
Next time you're shopping, if you see lentils, give them a try.
Today's tip: Needles that are hard to thread may be turned backwards. Roll the needle around and come in from the other side. The eye is punched out with a bevel shaped die and sometimes the back side is not as cleanly cut as the front, thus making it harder to put thread through it.
Happy beading, Marilyn