It’s cool to be crafty. My latest borderline obsession is creating accessories instead of buying them. You still get to shop (and end up with customized stuff!), but then you have have the added bonus of a fun project and an excuse for a low-key social gathering. It’s totally win-win. My gal pals get together regularly to “Stitch & Bitch” over piles of knitting, and occasionally sign up for pottery nights at the paint-your-own places around town, and even meet for classes on deconstructing and reconstructing your own clothing. I dig it. I only recently learned to knit, and will never again pay $85 for a funky fuzzy scarf when I can now go make the same thing for ten bucks and a trip to Hobby Lobby. The time spent making these things is actually really fun, especially when you round up a bunch of chatty chicks and put food and wine within reach. My latest crafty-chick challenge is jewelry. You’ve surely seen see some of these cool beaded pendants around. Surely it’s not THAT hard to do, right? Well, not exactly. My first project is a simple – or at least I had thought it would be simple — pendant necklace with a cluster of dangling beads trailing down underneath. I went to a neat little shop in Highlands called Studio Bead and bought sterling wire, picked out the pearl, aquamarine, and crystal beads I wanted, found a pair of round-nosed pliers, and went to work.

Problem is, it really is harder than it looks. Just making those little loops to hang the beads from the chain is difficult — mine are lopsized and uneven, and I’m afraid they won’t hold together long and my groovy beads will drop off and find new homes in a gutter somewhere. I thought I could do this, but no. I need help. Fortunately, Joy over at Studio Bead offers handy-dandy classes for women like me. Wednesday nights she teaches a class from 7 – 8:30 p.m. for necklaces, with other classes throughout the week for pearl knotting, beaded bracelets, or whatever you and four to six friends want to know. Anyone up for Bead & Bitch some Wednesday night?