These beads weren’t made for wearing

Fabi Ajates' beads climb up the walls on PolymerClayDaily.com

Need a break from jewelry or have a bare spot on the wall that could use a spot of color? Cruise through the blog of Spain’s Fabi Perez (ConTusManos). There may be other uses for your favorite beads.

Fabi gathers fancy colorful polymer focals and builds them into bouquets mounted on painted wood. Some are featured in framed windows or made into knobs.

If a bowl or a box is more to your liking, she’s full of ideas. Here’s her Flickr.

Yes, Fabi makes great jewelry but she shows us how to branch out to decorative items for more variety.

Normal polymer

If you had any tired or timid thoughts this Monday, prepare to lose them. This shot of exhuberant, exotic polymer beads, called Same Same But Different, comes from Thailand’s Aow Dusdee.

Her beads are made into simple necklaces here. Her more elaborate works mix beads and fibers and polymer in constructions that drape the body.

Aow has added new images of “my crafty home” to her Flickr site. Crochet and polymer and color surround her in an inviting tropical home. Polymer beads hang in the doorways, pair up with tassels and embellish sculptures. Colors that might seem garish in other settings fit perfectly here.

It’s a big world out there and there are many, many ways to express yourself with polymer. A page from her sketchbook reads, “Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.” Happy Monday!

Decorating with polymer

Pictures of beautifully painted stairs have been featured on decorating blogs recently. These inspirations made me itch to continue the saga of my own small stairway. (Polymer mosaic tiles were a 1998 project and the wall installation was added in 2007.)

Mareike Scharmer’s fantastical interiors on Flickr (don’t miss the bathroom) and then Wendy Malinow’s ethereal dining room wall in Portland (here’s a snapshot of it), emboldened me to have another go at my humble hallway.

First, friend and muralist Bonie Bolen painted the risers and trim. Then we collaborated on embellishing the risers with paint, small round mirrors and baked polymer cane slices.

The only problem with the resulting sparkling “celestial stairs” is that they lead you to believe that there’s something special upstairs…something more than a bedroom and office. The project to polymerize my decor continues.

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