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#127: Mars Marble Spider

The fourth and final of my marble spiders is made with a unique opaque marble swirled with what I'd refer to as Dr. Pepper red and yellow. It looks like Mars or Jupiter. Or maybe it's a Minnesota Golden Gophers marble. Hmm.

Materials: red/yellow glass marble, brass bead cap, dark red glass bead, brown faceted bead, brass spacer, head pin, brown and yellow bugle beads, yellow and iridescent brown seed beads, silver wire

#126: Green Marble Spider

One more marble spider after this one for which the glue is drying and I'm choosing the colors, so no big surprise--I'm posting marble spiders for a few days in a row. It'll be a nice set when it's finished. I focused on the green and yellow of this marble.

Materials: green/yellow/brown marble, gunmetal bead cap, vintage lemon yellow bead, iridescent black E bead, round chartreuse bead, silver head pin, sea foam green and lime green bugle beads, melon green and gray seed beads, silver wire

#125: Blue Marble Spider

Another marble spider, this time in blue tones. And I made an extra one to sell as a pin on Etsy. Two more marble spiders will almost complete a set that I'm working on. And then it's back to another Hitchcock spider I've been working on in stages and another 2-part set that is in the works.

Materials: blue marble, brass bead cap, blue glass beads, brass spacer bead, royal blue and baby blue bugle beads, gold and blue seed beads, blue craft wire

#124: Orange Marbleade Spider

Ha ha. That was a good one, right? Orange marble. Orange marmalade. Get it?

I have a bunch of marbles that I found in our yard at our first house. I think the kids who lived up on the hill must have dropped them and they rolled down into our yard. (In other words, they lost their marbles. Bad jokes will end here.) I knew they'd come in handy at some point. So this is the first of a few marble spiders that I'll make because they're pretty. And I'll probably put a couple of them on Etsy, too.

Materials: orange glass marble, bead cap, head pin, agate bead, faceted orange bead, iridescent brown bugle beads, orange and yellow seed beads, gold wire

#123: Voodoo Spider

I'm sure you're wondering how anyone could have it in for a spider. Preposterous, I know.

Materials: muslin, Polyfil, black thread, red glitter vinyl, black seed beads, gray and black bugle beads, gray and almond seed beads, silver wire

#122: Gunmetal Spider

I finally found some gunmetal-tone bugle beads to make this spider.  Like many of the tonal spiders, this spider is "filler" for the extraordinary themed spiders.

Materials: Shell bead, gunmetal floral spacer bead, hematite star bead, gunmetal bugle beads, gunmetal seed beads, gunmetal round beads, silver wire

#121: Octo Spider

Like any smart craftsman, before I removed the tentacles on this awesome plastic octopus, I made a mold of my undersea cephalopod. The tentacles will be used for earrings at some point, and I'm now able to make octopuses for other projects, namely the antiqued octopus necklace from page 55 of Altered Curiosities: Assemblage Techniques and Projects (Wynn, 2007).

This octo spider resembles an octopus more than a spider. For the first time since starting my spider project, I constructed the legs differently. I used a high-gauge wire and added more seed beads to help resemble suckers. Rather than being jointed like a spider's, the legs are curved like an octopus's.

Materials: plastic octopus toy, matte coral-colored wire, coral bugle bead pieces, peach seed beads

#120: Worry Spider

When I was 15, I bought a small decorated balsam box filled with six Guatemalan worry dolls at a gift shop at Mount Rushmore. According to folklore, if you tell each doll a worry, the doll does the worrying for you, thereby giving you peace. These small talismans are given to children in some medical centers, perhaps as a testament to the power of positive thinking; they're really more like prayers in disguise.

Materials: vintage doll clothespin; embroidery thread; fabric scrap; multicolored bugle, seed, and E beads; green floral wire

#119: Cola Spider

I love the way the colors and shapes pull together with this spider. It may seem generic compared to some of my more extravagant spider ideas, but the shimmery red is really brilliant.

Materials: large red square glass bead, medium red square glass bead, small red square glass beads, red bicone bead, brown and red bugle beads, iridescent brown seed beads, tiger eye beads, silver wire

#118: Tooth Fairy Spider (Specializing in Cavities)

This tooth fairy spider may not be what you expected: opalescent white glittery beauty. When you deal with cavities all day, it's hard to be bright and cheery, thus the black glittery wings and black and purple legs.

Materials: brass tooth charm, silver wings spacer, black glitter paint, glass round purple bead, black and lavender bugle beads, clear/purple E beads, brass seed beads, gold wire, rusted wire

#117: Zombie Apocalypse Spider

If you think God is hand-picking his best at 6 p.m. this evening, then you may as well prepare for zombies arriving at dawn. If you visit the Centers for Disease Control government web site, you can find a zombie apocalypse preparation guide--no lie! And while you're reading that, you should tune into "Re: Your Brains" by Jonathan Coulton. But don't get so caught up in computer activities that you forget to board up your windows, etc.

Materials: silver brain locket pendant dyed with wood stain, clay zombie head with wire hair, green bugle beads, brown seed beads, moss agate round beads, red coral bugle bead, ivory seed bead, silver wire

#116: Gear Spider

If there was a little more to this spider, it would be a steampunk spider. I constructed his body by gluing and wiring together different-size gear findings, then using the closest thing to gears that I could find for the leg joints...but I'm not really happy with how it turned out. It's possible I'll alter this one later by replacing some of the spacers with smaller beads. Also, I need a better name. Blah.

Materials: Tim Holtz and Industrial Chic copper-tone gear findings, shiny copper-bronze bugle beads, shiny copper-bronze seed beads, copper spacers, rusty wire

#115: Raspberry Ice Spider

I had this necklace that I knew I would never wear again but could use for parts, so that's how this spider came into being. I have gotten so carried away with some of my spiders (not that it's a bad thing) that they cease to resemble spiders except for the eight legs (e.g., pretty much all of my Hitchcock spiders), so I have to get back to spider basics now and then.

Materials: Pink plastic beads, magenta and light pink bugle beads, dark red seed beads, light pink plastic beads, silver wire

#114: Archival North by Northwest Spider (#4 in Hitchcock series)

Cary Grant's character is mistaken for a spy and pursued throughout the movie by a mysterious group of people whose plan it is to thwart Grant's interference with their attempt to smuggle microfilm out of the country that contains U.S. government secrets. The most memorable scene of the movie, when Grant is chased by a crop-dusting plane, was used for this spider. In reality, there were two planes used in this sequence. Did you know? The plane that chases Grant is a Naval Aircraft Factory N3N Canary, a World War II Navy pilot trainer sometimes converted for crop-dusting; the plane that hits the truck and explodes is a wartime Stearman (Boeing Model 75) trainer.

More Shrinky-Dink, and three times was a charm with the tiny silhouette of Cary Grant running from the crop-dusting plane. To keep the spider looking archaic, I used gold paint and green patina on the already brassy plane. I used copper mesh for the flag behind the plane and oxidized the metal with my mini-torch. I used metal letters (I'm not into scrap-booking, but there are a lot of very usable scrap book findings that can be used for other this one) for the title.

Materials: brass plane pendant, copper mesh, scrap-booking metal letters, head pin, Shrinky-Dink plastic, gold and blue bugle beads, amber seed beads, blue E beads, rusted wire

#113: Galactic Spider

I saved lots and lots (but evidently not enough) of tiny screws when I took apart our Macintosh ibook to save for parts. I had it in my head that they would be really cool glued backward to something. Today I was inspired to glue them to a focal bead for a death star spider, but I decided when all was said and done that it wasn't as "death star" as I wanted it to be, so maybe I'll save that idea for later. Still, gluing all of these little screws to a bead with E-6000 glue, then painting it all silver, then very carefully trying to bead the rest of the spider without knocking a screw loose (heh, heh) was a bit of a challenge. The bead looks like a miniature futuristic metropolis, and I can picture Luke Skywalker zooming in between the tall buildings with his star cruiser, but let's stick with "galactic."

Materials: plastic bead, screws, silver paint, silver focal beads, silver bugle beads, silver seed beads, silver sparkle beads, silver wire

Greta's First Spider

Greta wanted me to show her how to make a beaded spider. We selected black beads to make an easy job of it. I got her started, she did all of the beading, and I helped her twist the wire at the ends of the legs. She's already talking about making another spider, but I think her dad will lose his mind with two messy work areas that never get picked up. Seriously, I never clean up after making spiders. It's so ongoing that I don't have a chance. I think that next year I'll have a 365 Messes project and will take a picture of a mess every day. Do you think I'm kidding? I've given this project a lot of thought. Messes I'm good at!

#112: Frida Spider

The central piece of this spider immediately made me think of Frida Kahlo. I thought it would be neat to hang or put milagros on the inside of the tiny "cupboard," but I don't have any, so perhaps I'll add them later.

Materials: copper metal locket pendant, decorative head pin, bloodstone tube beads, coral bugle bead pieces, copper wire beads, rusted wire

#111: Land Shark Spider

At number 111, the numbers may as well stand for tally marks for this man-eating shark spider. If you thought just being in the water was dangerous, you've got another thing coming...and it's coming on eight legs. Talk about "jaws of life."

Materials: plastic toy shark, metal man charm, jump ring, gray and mottled blue bugle beads, teal seed beads, gray E beads, silver wire

#110: Angel Spider

The angel spider is likely to stand out among the 109 other spiders I have created. Few of my creations are this "good." I lean toward a fascination with the macabre, so the angel spider doesn't do much for me. Still, this wouldn't be a challenge if I didn't create spiders that were unlikely of me.

Materials: pearl beads, Swarovski crystal bead, gold-plated wing charms, white bugle beads, gold seed and E beads, gold wire

#109: Jason Voorhees Spider

Blogger was down yesterday, so I am posting yesterday's spider today.

Cheating is allowed for Friday the 13th; I made this spider months ago! And I planned to use the bacon spider in a video because as fans of the original Friday the 13th movie know, Kevin Bacon dies. It is difficult, however, to film a spider smoking a cigarette and getting speared through the neck from underneath a bed, so instead I incorporated my Dexter spider and gave the "movie" a different spin.

Materials: goalie mask guitar pick, metal cabin charm, red and black striped bugle beads, ivory seed beads, red rondelle beads, silver wire

#108: Neapolitan Spider

When I was a kid (and even now, although my teeth don't appreciate it as much), I loved Brach's Neapolitan coconut candies. But the ice cream and cake just aren't the same sans the sticky coconut. Whenever I see pink, white, and brown together, I think of Brach's. And if I end up lost in the woods, gnawing on a candy house, it better have coconut on it.

Materials: ice cream cone eraser; white, pink, and brown bugle beads; brown and beige seed beads; green floral wire

#107: Beer Bottle Spider

The focal bead for this spider is made from a beer bottle, and I sorted through a lot of my beads to stay with the same color scheme.

Materials: beer bottle bead; golden yellow faceted beads; amber bugle, seed, and E beads; gold wire

#106: Archival Dial M Spider

"Dial M for Murder" is one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films. You need absolute quiet to watch the movie so that you catch every important detail. It's a whodunit where the audience knows who and watches as the characters slowly put the pieces together. Grace Kelly's husband's plot to kill her goes wrong, and the unraveling of the mystery is what surprises the audience.

For this spider, I used a lot of themes from the movie and two different patinas with the already copper and antique gold finishes of the findings. I want the complete set of Hitchcock spiders to have a common finish with just a slight variation of color (i.e., Vertigo has an aura of orange, The Birds has blue, and Dial M has red).

Materials: antique gold scissors pendant, gold wrapped wire (painted copper), copper letter, vintage Avon phone charm, eye pin, antique gold gear finding, maroon bugle beads, red and gold seed beads, rusted wire

#105: Biological Aesthetics Spider

Okay, first of all, I might just as well have called this the Spiny Spider or Holes-in-My-Fingers Spider (I will explain momentarily), but this spider is named for a YorkArts Gallery exhibition this coming September. The deadline has passed, but they're still accepting submissions, and I'm trying to do a bunch of artist prep stuff that I've never done before to get it ready by tomorrow. Fingers crossed that I won't have to change the name of this spider.

A note regarding safety when trying to use a Dremel to drill a 1/32-inch hole into 24 pieces of dead Scottish Broom twigs that are about 1/16 inch in diameter: Use pliers or some other pinchy device other than two of your fingers to hold the twigs so as to avoid the Dremel having a mind of its own and veering out the side of a twig piece and into your fingers...twice. This is all hypothetical of course. I mean, perhaps you're smart enough to be prepared with goggles and other tools and don't even need my advice on such matters. I just thought I'd throw it out there.

Materials: Um...someone will identify the seed, yes?; wood beads, Scottish broom twig segments, brown and champagne glass seed beads, silver wire

#104: Mother of All Spiders

"M" is for "Moment"...and of course, "Mom." It's Mother's Day.

I don't get all gooey about being a mom. Millions of moms have come before me and have gone about raising their kids using their intuitive powers and memories of how they were raised by their mothers and grandmothers before them. I don't get terribly sentimental in thinking that I somehow deserve a great big load of heaping thanks for all I do as a mom. I decided to become a mom, and everything that has come after is part of the job and part of my life. I didn't make the choice in order to have anyone's gratitude. I am in awe of the things that come naturally to me as a mom...sitting at the kitchen table on a school morning and signing all of my children's necessary forms and homework assignments so that they have what they need that day, without my kids even necessarily knowing what they need to have signed. And I don't worry about being a perfect mom. I try not to contemplate how others are doing their motherly jobs and whether I should do it that way. I'm proud of myself for not trying to mold my kids into some idea of who they should be, other than making sure they mind their manners and make good moral choices. There are certain things that I want for my kids, but I know that they have to want those things in order for them to happen. They have to step out on their own journey and just consider a few of my helpful suggestions for places to stop along the way.

My own mom didn't force her opinions on me or shove me into opportunities that didn't feel right to me. She let me find my way. She let me make my own choices. She let me get dirty and dress in mismatched clothes. She understood my emotions without always trying to repair them. She let me have bad friendships so that I could determine for myself the importance of having true friends. She never ever spoke ill of my dad after they divorced when I was 3 years old. These are the things I appreciate about my mom. I walked through my youth a little scathed, a few scratches on my knees, and learned to let lots of little things roll off of my shoulders. Thanks, Mom, for helping me to become who I am by setting me off on my own adventure, by pointing to all sorts of possibilities on the horizon, then adjusting the straps on my backpack, tying my shoelaces, and giving me a supportive nudge ahead.

Materials: tea pot and token findings, green-flecked glass bead, dark red bugle beads, pearl plastic beads, green E beads, rusted wire

#103: Student Spider

Party City has so many fun, tiny toys, and the miniature composition notebook is no different. Pencils are easy to come by, and they sever with much greater ease than I would have suspected with a pocket knife.

Materials: pencil tip, miniature composition notebook, gray and yellow bugle beads, teal and silver seed beads, silver wire

#102: Burnt Umber Spider

It's nice to have pretty spiders sporadically dispersed among the themed ones. I found a new bead store in Lancaster, PA, a week ago and stocked up on some new colors of bugle and seed beads, among them the small iridescent brown beads I used for the legs on this spider. They're smaller than most of my bugle beads and make the legs seem daintier. The subtlety of this spider compared with my others, however, is enough to scare the bejeezus out of you if you spot it in your peripheral vision.

Materials: brown plastic beads, brown bicone bead, copper spacer, brown bugle beads, coppery red and grape seed beads, gold wire

#101: School Spirit Spider

As Fun Week at my daughters' school winds down, I have been recalling my own grade-school's dress-up days during Homecoming week and then again in the spring around spring break: wild hair day, pajama day, backward day, you name it. One year, I won a free pass to the school dance for having the craziest hair. It was an impromptu moment of having someone rat my hair with a brush right before Mrs. Halsey's morning class started.

Our Fridays were always to dress in school colors. The Ogilvie lions were orange and black, and my mom helped me craft a lion tail to pin to the back of my jeans. I vividly remember stuffing it with Poly-Fil and then sewing orange unraveled macrame yarn to the end for the fur. My girls' school is gold and black, and they're the lion cubs until they get into middle and high school when the mascot changes to lion.

I am looking forward to seeing some old friends from school this summer during a camping trip in WI, so this spider comes at a time when I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

Materials: black plastic bead, round orange glass bead, black faceted bead, orange and black bugle beads, orange and black seed beads, silver wire

#100: Celebration Spider!

Day 100 snuck up on me...sort of the way spiders do! I have only begun to slightly struggle with ideas for my daily spider, so getting to day 100 is like having stepped off the dock and really set forward on my journey. I'm still so far from halfway.

Way back when I first thought about what it would take to get to the 100th day, I knew I would have to do something special. But until yesterday, I didn't know what that "special" would be...until I stumbled upon these flashing mouth lights at Party City. A spider that lights up! I first considered completely removing the piece that lights up, but because it was encased in a flexible plastic mouth guard sort of thing, I had the body of the spider all ready for me. I just used kitchen shears to remove everything surrounding the circular light-up piece. I used my most glittery, faceted beads for the rest of the body, then painted the flexible plastic part with layers of glitter glue and glued several rhinestones to the surface. There is a very tiny button inside the circular cavity just beneath my lower-most large rhinestone so that when I press it, the spider lights up. Presto. It really is magical. 100 days down...265 left to go.

Materials: flashing mouth light, glitter glue, rhinestones, large faceted clear/silver bead, faceted crystal, clear bugle beads, clear seed beads, clear round beads, silver wire

#99: Clown Spider

I might never make a scarier spider! I found this miniature clown, which doubles as a pincushion, at a little antique shop this past weekend while hanging with my girlfriends in Berkeley Springs, WV. I had been looking for a small clown doll head for a while, but nothing I found online was quite right. This jumped out at me...for $.50.

Materials: creepy clown pincushion: violet blue bugle beads, gold bugle beads, red seed beads, purple E beads, silver wire

Japan Racing Girls

Japan Racing Girls