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motherless child

About this design:

Two "orphan bead" bracelets. They kinda beg to be together--take a look at the second photo, taken at a fashion shoot. :)


Mother of pearl and Picasso jasper rectangles, miscellaneous freshwater pearl shapes, mottled blue glass beads.

Additional Images:

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. JulzJewlz
    JulzJewlz says:

    These are beautiful bracelets!! By themselves or together! Love what you’ve done!

  2. No Photo
    Lynda aka DivaChick says:

    Beautiful! I’m a sucker for orphan beads, too!

  3. Wemai Coffee Chick
    Wemai Coffee Chick says:

    Really stunning!! Great mix of beads! :-)

  4. No Photo
    Mary - Sweet Chick says:

    Phenomenal use of orphan beads!!! They’re gorgeous!! I often wonder what to do with rectangular beads such as these, great design ideas!!!!! Fav!

  5. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Fabulous use of your orphan beads! These definitely should be adopted together!!! :D

  6. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Wowza! Gorgeous bracelets on a very attractive model. Wonderful picture.

  7. Valentine Chick
    Valentine Chick says:


  8. No Photo
    Dora H says:

    LOVE these 2 bracelets…very unique :)

  9. Sandra Martinez
    Sandra Martinez says:

    These bracelets are fabulous! Where will the foto of the model be published?

  10. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I really like both of these, and they are even better together. Lovely photo!!! :D

  11. ChickyD aka Debra
    ChickyD aka Debra says:

    Fabulous! Love both bracelets!

  12. No Photo
    Cotopaxi Chickie Sue says:

    Very earthy, great stone mix! Aren’t orphan beads fun? Really make for some interesting designs!

  13. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Thanks, everyone. :)

    Not sure where the photo (or even if the photo) will be published. I have a friend who shoots fashion and he just works in a piece of my stuff now and then for fun.

    On the subject of orphan beads, I had an idea: would anyone be interested in doing a group “swap”? I would be happy to organize it. Here’s how it could work. We could choose a size of zippered plastic bag to use. All the participants would fill one with orphans. Then I’d take everyone’s names and addresses, put them in a hat and randomly match participants. Then I would write to each of you and tell you to whom/where to send your baggie. At the end, we could all post photos here of what we make with our orphans! Let me know if you are interested by leaving me a message here at Lima Beads!

  14. No Photo
    D D Mystic Chick says:

    these are great grouped or singular… I especially like the one on the right.

  15. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    You read my mind Dok!!! That’s been on my heart the past couple of weeks… cool would that be to trade random beads, leftover beads with others on this website.

    One question that I have is this….if some designers use mostly plastic beads, and I don’t think I’ve seen any on this website yet, but would we want to specify what materials we’re trading?

    Love the bracelets by the way….gorgeous and so rich looking!!!

  16. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    Ali just posted a blog about using “orphan beads.”

    I think if we do this we need to specify “like for like”. I don’t use plastic beads except for small children’s projects. also, some of us use a lot of glass and some use mostly stones.
    The idea of bags of a particular size is super! :D

  17. Cj w aka Slacker Chick
    Cj w aka Slacker Chick says:

    I think a swap is a wonderful idea. Help everybody learn about different beads and move us out of our color and type comfort zone. I’m in.

  18. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    I agree it’s a great idea. I use mostly stones and Swarovski’s….haven’t really gotten into the glass.

  19. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Curious, aren’t Swarovski beads made of glass? I’ve never used them.

  20. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    That’s a good question, is crystal glass? When I say glass I mean the strands of glass you can buy at stores like Michaels. I think I will have to research crystal vs. glass. Is “crystal” just the way the glass is cut? I think we need an expert on this topic! Anyone??

  21. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    I did a quick google search and found this explanation:

    “The meaning of crystal versus glass changes according to the country. The word “crystal” means, in most of the western world, the presence of lead. According to European Union rules, glass goods containing less than 4% lead are defined as “glass”. Goods containing more than 10% lead are defined as “crystal”, and goods containing more than 30% lead are defined as “highly leaded crystal”.

    In the USA it is the opposite – glass is defined as “crystal” if it contains only 1% lead. In the Czech republic, the term “crystal” is used for any exquisite, high quality glass. Leaded crystal means crystal containing more than 24% lead oxide.

    The presence of lead in crystal softens the glass and makes it more accessible for cutting and engraving. Lead increases the weight of the glass and causes the glass to diffract light.

    Glass can contain up to 40% lead, if maximum hardness is desired. On the other hand, crystal can contain less than 24% lead if it has a high proportion of barium oxide, which ensures high quality light diffraction.”

  22. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I think Swarovskis are lead crystal, and yes that is glass. The sparkle is just so pretty and the color varieties can really help a design come together.

    I have some lead crystal in the china cabinet, glasses and wine decanters and vases. Now they don’t recommend letting wine or other acidic drinks sit very long in lead crystal, especially the older pieces, due to the possibility of minuscule amounts of the lead leaching into the acidic beverages. But it is still safe to wear and use in jewelry, especially for adults. There is a whole article on this if you “google” Swarovski. Hope this helps. ;)

  23. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    So if you order “crystal” directly from Europe, once you get it into the U.S. it would be called “glass”? How’s that for confusing!

    You get what I’m saying about using only stones and Swarovski’s though, right? When I think of Swarovski’s, I don’t think glass. They’re probably the most well known crystals, don’t you think?

    I’m starting to think that this website needs a chat room.

  24. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I think we already are in a chat room…just a very big one! LOL ;)
    Have to finish the decorating. I’ll check back later.

  25. Fashion Chick aka SC
    Fashion Chick aka SC says:

    These bracelets are gorgeous!

  26. No Photo
    Lynda aka DivaChick says:

    I’d love to do a bead swap. Count me in! I have a bunch of orphans running around who need good homes. :)

  27. No Photo
    Lynda aka DivaChick says:

    As far as where to show them, we could create a group at Flickr. It can be private, member only or semi-private, public would see photos but not discussion. The only thing about Flickr is you can’t show a price or value in the photo description, but what I’ve done with other groups is to have a code, like anything with “A” would be worth $2, “B”, $4, etc.

  28. Bead-itudes
    Bead-itudes says:

    Yes I too would like to be involved in a bead swap. I am with the other ladies. I use gemstones, Swarovski or Czech’s crystals and Fresh Water Pearls.

    I am NOT a fan of pressed glass, Milliflori, plastic beads nor do I care for Lucite.

    So I think we should somehow specify what materials the beads are in our bags. I would be very disappointed if I swaped a nice back of gemstones and got a bag of plastic and glass beads in return.

  29. No Photo
    Lynda aka DivaChick says:

    I don’t use plastic or resin beads, mainly natural gemstones and vintage czech glass crystal. I think we should have categories, too.

  30. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Several of us have talked in the past about how much fun it would be to have an organized bead swap here, but haven’t been able to pin down the logistics of it yet. This could really work, Doktor!!! I also agree with the ideas of comparable size/type/quality for the exchanges so that no one is disappointed. It would be really fun to see what our beaders create with their new goodies — as the saying goes — “One beader’s trash is another beader’s treasure!!!” ;)

    Plus, I just hate the idea of a bead not having a good, loving home….. :(

  31. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Given that we all shop at Lima Beads (and have therefore demonstrated our good taste and appreciation for quality) and that we are so supportive of one another’s efforts, I was counting on the fact that everyone would contribute nice beads, without a lot of rules and regulations.

    Silly me, I assumed that everyone would want to put together orphan bead bags that would delight another beader and that THEY would be proud to give.

    To me, the whole idea of an orphan bead swap is “I’m not using the beads–why not let someone else enjoy them? ” There is a spirit of generosity in the idea, it’s not a “tit-for-tat” kind of thing.

    That being said, I’d like to propose that there be only two rules: that we all use the same size bag and that none of us send any beads we aren’t proud to send.

    I’d be happy to participate, organize and execute the swap under those circumstances!

  32. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Doktor — I agree with what you just wrote. I wouldn’t send on anything that I wouldn’t use myself — nothing cracked, broken, damaged, etc. — just beads that I have no need for anymore. It might be fun to experiment with something I’ve never worked with before, too! Always good to stretch my creativity with a new challenge! :D

  33. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    I agree with everything….let’s get this show on the road!!

  34. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    We could use 33-gallon trash bags to start with……ROTFLOL……poor DoktorDesigns!

  35. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:


  36. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    …those must be HUGE trash bags!!!!! 8) 8O

  37. Sandra Martinez
    Sandra Martinez says:

    Count me in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    LOL, Lynn, have you been peeking at my workbench?

  39. No Photo
    kitty mom jb says:

    Count me in! I was just looking at all my boxes of stones and wondering what the heck?

    Oh yeah – the bracelets are beautiful

  40. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Little Chick, the 33-gallon size is what we use in our giant trash barrel for pick-up at the curb each week!!! Yikes!!!

    Doktor — No, I sent my spy, AquaKitty, to check it out for me!!! LOL

  41. No Photo
    Lynda aka DivaChick says:

    PLEASE count me wholeheartedly in! :)

    What can I do to help?

  42. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    Sounds like a winner! I want to play too! ;)
    Btw. I think I like your 2 bracelets together more every time I look in here. ;)

  43. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Okay, it looks like there is enough interest to actually do this!

    What size bag do you think will work best? I was thinking of those half-sandwich size snack bags that you can find in the supermarket, since we may not all have bead bags of the same size on hand. Please post your opinion on this question.

    Also, we need to choose a date by which all entrants must notify me that they wish to participate. We need a second date by which all beads must be mailed. Do we want to make this happen before or after Christmas? I know it’s a busy season for everyone but it would be fun to share our beads as holiday “presents” to each other, too. Please post your opinion on this question, too.

    BTW, Kevin has suggested that he might do some kind of feature on the swap to help us publicize it. Yay, Kevin! That being said, I’d like to limit the size of this first swap to the first 50 beaders who send me their names and addresses–so I don’t have to send out hundreds of emails! If it works out, who knows, maybe Lima Beads will sponsor future swaps!

    My email address is If you want to participate, drop me a note.

    I will send final bag size and due dates to everyone who signs up via return email, along with the name and address of your swap mate.

    Sound good?

  44. No Photo
    Judith Ann Boyer says:

    Gorgeous bracelets! Love your work dok! :)
    Count me in on the swap…

  45. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Anyone have any thoughts on the size of baggie for the swap — or whether to swap before or after Christmas?

  46. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    I say before, and I would agree the snack size plastic bag, I think it’s half the size of a sandwich bag.

    My question that I have is are we trying to send beads that match each other, or just random leftovers that won’t necessarily be used in the same necklace?

  47. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    I would say, BOTH! I think it would be nice to try to coordinate some of the beads. But it isn’t critical….after all, it’s an “orphan bead” swap and sometimes orphans don’t resemble each other. Besides, you never know what is in someone else’s collection. The odd colored stuff could work perfectly!

  48. Nicki - Taylored Designs
    Nicki - Taylored Designs says:

    I am so excited for this!! It will be so neat to see what people come up with for a design. It would be nice if Lima Beads could someday turn this into a contest and offer a prize of some sort.

    I’m ready to send off my orphans whenever we’re ready!!

  49. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I’m in too! I think that is a good bag size. Do we send our e-mails today? ;)

  50. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    I just sent it to you. ;)

  51. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Thanks for joining, ladies! Be sure to tell your Lima Bead friends about the swap, too. I’m going to ask Kevin (are you reading, Kevin?) to help get the word out, too.

    To participate, just send your name and mailing address (not just your email address) to me at

    This will be fun!

  52. No Photo
    Carole S says:

    Ilove this bead swap idea! I’ve got loads. One suggestion as to plastic bags: whatever kind you decide on, would you specify the measurement. Some sandwich bags seem bigger than others, and some of the smaller bags really seem small. Looking forward to doing this.

  53. No Photo
    Marcia e says:

    Love your bracelets and the photo shoot pic.

    You have g-mail ;)

  54. No Photo
    RubberT aka Plucky Chick says:

    i wanna play but not until after Christmas! my beads are a mess right now because i am beading for christmas presents. after Christmas would help me clean up, organize, review what I have!

  55. No Photo
    Lady of Beads says:

    I love your use of bead frames here as well as in your happy bracelets. I wish bead frames in stone beads (no MOP thank you very much) were easier to find.

  56. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    I will be including some of these bead frames in my swap bag!

  57. Tetyana B
    Tetyana B says:

    Hello Dok.I just started to submerge into the beading world, & it`s a luck to see your gesigns.
    they are realy have ideas & style, not just number of beads. Thanks.

  58. No Photo
    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    OMG! I didn’t see these! Gorgeous! Again I ask, what is this “Orphan Bead” thing? And what can I do to help?

  59. Jewelry by Shannon
    Jewelry by Shannon says:

    I’m in and sending you an email! I love the idea of a bead swap! I have some beads that are just beautiful and for the life of me just haven’t used them. :-) SLS

  60. No Photo
    Timeless 2 says:

    Very beautiful peices. I am looking for stone and beads of this nature. Do you have any recommendations as to where I could locate thses items.

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