Beading is currently my new craze... not sure whether it's the scent of the glue or what, but I find making paper beads quite addictive. It's getting too hot to go our much so indoor activities are more appealling. Plus, I had a rush of blood to the head, accompanied by a rush of money from the pocket, at the Global Village this year, and bought lots of beads and semi precious stones to work into jewellery.
Then a friend who is an absolute beading fiend, found all these amazing shops in Dragonmart...
For those who don't know the Plague Pits of Mammon -- sorry, I mean Dubai -- Dragonmart is an enormous wobbly warehouse on the outskirts (insofar as Dubai, which has no centre, can be said to have outskirts.
Dragonmart is different from the average Mall in that it is entirely Chinese, mainly tiny little stalls and shops with names like Modern Appliance Trading Co (which sells, as you'd expect from the name, frilly baskets). Basically it is a cross between a souk, a Shanghai slum and the very biggest mound of tat you have ever seen or imagined in your life multiplied by ten.
Wander round there for five minutes and you wonder just how deep the Chinese tat mines can possibly be. Lots of shops sell beading suplies and what the jewellery trade rather bafflingly calls findings (the bits of wire, catches, spacer beads, etc that you string your beads on or use to stop them falling off the chain. I plundered.
Making paper beads, though, requires very little equipment - just toothpicks, glue, something to stick the toothpick into (I was using half a potato at first, but I've since acquired an old piece of polystyrene which does very well), scissors and paper. Thin magazine paper is good, but I've also had some fun with wrapping paper. I get pretty stuck on experimenting with shapes and colours. So far I've made two necklaces and a pair of earrings from paper beads and have dozens of beads in various stages of completion on the go.