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#93: Botanical Spider

When I first saw this glass pendant, I knew it would be great for a pressed flower, and with ferns being so attractive in their simplicity, a subject from my garden (the ONLY fern growing in my whole yard) was perfect.

Materials: Industrial Chic glass pendant, light and dark green bugle beads, brass and fern-green seed beads, silver wire

#92: Scherenschnitte Spider

Named for the German art of finely snipping a silhouetted design from paper in much the same fashion as a snowflake, this spider appears both daunting and delicate. Scherenschnitte, meaning "scissor cuts," were first started in the 1500s and brought to America in the 1800s by people who settled primarily in Pennsylvania. Designs that were originally known for their symmetry have evolved to include storytelling images and intricate foliage patterns that vary across each art piece.

Materials: scrolled plastic pendant, black plastic beads, black bugle beads, black seed beads, black faceted beads, black shell beads, silver wire

#91: Earth Spider

I suppose that this would have been better as last Friday's spider for Earth Day; however, I didn't locate the chime ball and have the epiphany until yesterday, so better late than never.

Materials: earth chime ball pendant, blue plastic bead with copper inlay, green and mottled blue bugle beads, copper and peacock blue seed beads, rusted wire

#90: Fabergé Spider

The first Fabergé egg was created in 1885 for the Russian Tsar Alexander III to give to his wife for Easter. Known as the Hen Egg, it is crafted from gold. Its opaque white enameled shell opens to reveal its first surprise, a matte yellow gold yolk. This in turn opens to reveal a multicolored gold hen that also opens. It contains a minute diamond replica of the Imperial Crown from which a small ruby pendant was suspended. But the last two surprises have been lost. Still, can you imagine something so beautiful? I used to get excited about a Fisher-Price wooden puzzle I had as a kid with three layers of pieces, a hen that peels away to reveal an egg that peels away to reveal a baby chick.

This spider is inspired by pictures of Fabergé eggs and even intricately painted blown eggs. My great aunt used to make painted blown eggs that were just beautiful! Maybe I'll try my hand at it one day.

Materials: glass beads, gold head pin, blue and gold bugle beads, gold and iridescent purple seed beads, pink rondelle beads, gold wire

#89: Egyptian Spider

With a body like an Egyptian sarcophagus and legs adorned with bright jewel-like colors, this spider makes me think of Egyptian pharaohs and King Tut, probably the most beautiful archaeological finds in the history of the world. I'm not saying that million-year-old skeletons or dinosaur bones aren't beautiful...just not as beautiful as everything that Egyptians bury in tombs with their greatest leaders.

Materials: copper metal bead, scarab bead, copper head pin, copper bugle beads, burgundy bugle beads, various-color seed beads, various-color round and faceted beads, rusted wire

#88: Playhouse Spider

You all know what to do anytime someone says the secret word, right?

If you're not a fan of Pee-Wee's Playhouse or Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, I probably don't know you. If you've never envied Pee-Wee's red bike with the lion horn, I probably don't WANT to know you. I watched Pee-Wee's Playhouse every Saturday morning with my brother, much to my mother's chagrin. She particularly had a problem with Miss Yvonne's "pajamas" when Pee-Wee had a slumber party in the playhouse (and in this same episode, Pee-Wee marries a bowl of fruit salad after he is jokingly told to marry it for loving it so much), but Pee-Wee has always been about subtle adult humor mixed in with the other good stuff. The show wouldn't be the same without Miss Yvonne; Lynne Marie Stewart has weathered the storm with Pee-Wee and currently appears in the Broadway show.

When I caught The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway aired on HBO last month, I realized Paul Reubens still has it, "it" being talent up the Zyzzybalubah. The show is just as funny now as it was 20+ years ago. I wish I could share with you a picture of my brother dressed as Pee-Wee for Halloween one year and yukking it up with a Pee-Wee laugh imitation. That would be the icing on the cake.

To have a little fun with the launch of this spider, I'm giving away 7 one-inch Pee-Wee buttons that I purchased from Café Press featuring a disheartened Pee-Wee with Texas sign and runaway satchel in hand, moping on the side of the road from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure...but you have to share your favorite Pee-Wee quote to get one (and like I said, there are only 7). I don't make monkeys. I just train 'em.

Materials: painted stone bead, painted metal bow connector, pearl bead, gray glass bugle beads, metallic seed beads, gray E beads, oval pearl beads, silver wire

#87: Bacon Spider

You might wonder why bacon gets so much attention, but I think bacon speaks for itself. In the past, I've made maple-bacon lip balm and bacon soap, and I even have a bacon ornament for my Christmas tree, but visit and look up "bacon"--you'll see that I'm not alone in my bacon fascination. We are a bacon nation! (I'm just rhyming on purpose here.)

And aside from the deliciousness of bacon, who doesn't love Kevin Bacon? Am I right? So I knew that I had to make a bacon spider.

Materials: plastic/rubber bacon pendant, brown plastic beads, agate bead, peach and brown bugle beads, ivory seed beads, brown E beads, red coated wire, silver wire

#86: Boudoir Spider

This spider, made with a carved segment from a broken bracelet, brings to mind women's vintage dressing tables with bottles of perfume on mirrors, intricate brushes, and other pretties. It also reminds me of the story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry in which a husband and wife make sacrifices to give each other gifts. For Christmas, Della decides to buy Jim a chain for his prized pocket watch given to him by his father's father. To raise the funds, she has her long, beautiful hair cut off and sold to make a wig. Meanwhile, Jim decides to sell his watch to buy Della a beautiful set of hair combs made out of tortoiseshell and jewels for her lovely, knee-length brown hair. Although each is disappointed to find the gift they chose rendered useless, each is pleased with the gift that they received, because it represents their love for one another.

This story is has been memorialized often in film and literature to reinforce the importance of giving from the heart. Remember the Little House on the Prairie episode when Laura sells her horse to buy Ma a new woodstove, and Pa makes Laura a saddle for Bunny the same Christmas? Ouch.

Materials: carved bone/shell/ivory(??), white stone bead, translucent white bugle beads, carved shell beads, translucent seed beads, silver wire

#85: Yellow Tiger Spider

I can remember a distant dream from when I was really young of a midnight forest with large almond-shaped leaves and ferns growing in dense clusters of blues and greens, a quiet pond somewhere in the middle, and jungle animals like leopards and tigers lurking between foliage. Therein also lies the yellow tiger spider.

Materials: striped yellow glass focal bead, yellow pony bead, black faceted bead, yellow bugle beads, black and metallic gold seed beads, decorative gold head pin, gold wire

#84: Sherbet Spider

I loved the colors in this glass focal pendant, and as I was deciding the colors to use for the rest of the spider, everything came together in a sherbet theme.

Materials: glass pendant; cloisonne bead; pink, orange, and white bugle beads; lime green and clear seed beads; green floral wire

#83: Caribbean Spider

My husband suggested I call this the My-Husband-Thinks-It's-Green Spider. We really couldn't come up with a name for it. But the beads are wooden and just have a sort of laid back, handmade, rustic sort of look, and the aqua blue and white of the colors lend nicely to a vacation theme. Why not the Caribbean? Can you see me beginning to struggle with spider ideas?

Materials: blue trade beads, light blue bugle beads, aqua blue seed beads, white E beads, silver wire

#82: Shining Armor Spider

I love making silver spiders, and the two patterned silver beads used for this spider look like they belong on a knight's armor.

Materials: silver focal beads, silver bugle beads, silver seed beads, gunmetal round beads, silver wire

#81: Extraterrestrial Spider

My brother suggested I do an X Files spider, and although this spider stems from that idea, I don't think it does the show justice. I'll keep that idea on my list for the future. An alien spider has to glow in the dark, right? But finding glow-in-the-dark beads was a bear, so I used glow-in-the-dark baking clay to make my own for the knee joints.

Material: vintage yellow beads, metal alien head charm, lime green bugle beads, lime green seed beads, phosphorescent clay beads, green floral wire

#80: Rosewood Spider

"Rose is a rose is a rose." --Gertrude Stein

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." --William Shakespeare

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
--William Blake

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
--Robert Burns

"Every rose has its thorn, just like every night has its dawn, just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song. Every rose has its thorn." --Poison

Materials: vintage plastic rose bead, red wooden beads, coral tube beads, burgundy glass bugle beads, red and brass seed beads, rusted wire

#79: Renaissance Spider

Occasionally, I find myself making a spider with some really great pieces but am totally stumped as to what to name the spider. The last time I had this much trouble was with #4, the circuit spider. But the longer I stared at this spider, the more I could see Shakespeare and poetry...a voyager in time. The Renaissance spider looks as though it belongs in another era, part future and part past. Have any better ideas?

Materials: metal tin, metal grommet I found on a walking trail, stone bead, wire mesh bead, Industrial Chic nut with dictionary print, bead caps, silver tube beads, Black Hills gold-colored seed beads, copper wire/metal beads, silver wire

Olga Kurylenko

Olga Kurylenko

Candice Swanepoel

Candice Swanepoel