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#187: Prehistoric Spider

I've figured out that a great place to find potential spider components for next to nothing is at the dollar store. Although I prefer to recycle pieces in order to make my spiders, paying $1 for a piece sure beats spending money on Etsy, then on shipping, for a bead/charm/pendant. I've tried to keep to ideas that allow me to pick things from nature or the recycling bin. That's not always easy. 

I found dinosaur skeletons at Dollar Tree that actually would be fun for numerous projects. I saved a T-Rex skeleton for craft room decor, and I chopped up a pterodactyl for this spider. I gave the "bones" a bit more depth by sponging on an ivory color, then dabbing a dark bronze onto some areas for a more fossilized look. 

Materials: plastic toy dinosaur piece, ivory crackle bead, ivory bugle beads, multi-tone metallic seed beads, gold wire

#186: Lampwork Spider

Lampwork beads are just amazing, and this black and blue one caught my eye. It reminds me of Russian egg painting.

Materials: black and blue floral lampwork bead, silver spacer, silver bead, black plastic bead, black bugle beads, silver seed beads, blue E beads, silver wire

#185: Black Hills Spider

As with so many of my non-theme spiders, I get the idea for the whole spider from the one bead/piece I use for the body/abdomen of the spider. I work from there. I found this black and gold marbled and faceted wood bead in a bargain bin at my local bead store, and the idea of using all black and gold beads and then naming it after the Black Hills, which were notorious gold-hunting grounds, just popped into existence.

Materials: black and gold wood bead, clear amber bead, gold pearl bead, gold bead cap, black and gold bugle beads, black and gold seed beads, gold wire

#184: Geode Spider

I made this spider with a geode slice from the Taylors Falls Bead Store and coordinated the dull natural colors with beads that I thought would make this spider look like it belonged in a mine. The dull rusty red of the bugle beads and shiny brown faceted beads that I used for the joints really give it this quality.

Materials: geode slice, metal pendant slider, rusty red and black bugle beads, shiny brown faceted beads, dark purple seed beads, silver wire

#183: Friendly Neighborhood Spider

My favorite superhero, aside from hunky Christopher Reeve as Superman, has always been Spider-man. He's just so casual about fighting crime, and his sense of humor probably keeps him sane when the city expects too much of him. I love the quirky puns and one-liners that Peter Parker is known for once he suits up. He's not cynical like Batman, not so serious and uptight like Superman, not big and hunky like basically every other superhero. He's quick and witty, and I would totally be his girlfriend.

Materials: painted brass locket, painted brass spider charm, teal pearl bead, clear/red diamond-cut plastic bead, twisted blue bugle beads, red bugle beads, iridescent copper and peacock blue seed beads, gold wire

#182: Flip Flop Spider

This may be the most far-fetched spider idea I've had (other than my Hitchcock spiders), but what good is just one flip flop? I  never found the owner OR the other matching flip flop, and I did try. I almost feel guilty making this spider because I have to agree with my friend Erin that I just don't get why people decorate with these shoes. Flip flops on charm bracelets? Party wares? Somehow this strange fad caught on, and I'm contributing to it. A shoe spider just doesn't make sense. This really is "scraping the bottom of the barrell." But I promise I have some good spider ideas coming up.

Materials: Barbie/Ken flip flop, round green bead, round pink bead, marbled pink and lime green bugle beads, pink and lime green seed beads, gold wire

#181: Strawberry Spider

Have you ever seen those really tiny red spiders before? My brother and I used to call them strawberry spiders, but they're actually spider mites. Gross. I was happier when I thought it was a spider. Of course, my beaded spider is out of the ordinary. I used metallic color paints to make the body of the spider shine as much as the legs, and now it looks surprisingly like a real strawberry!

Materials: strawberry eraser, green and red metallic paints, clear coat, vintage red plastic bead, marbled pink and seafoam green bugle beads, hot pink and yellow seed beads, gold wire

#180: Heirloom Spider

I would expect to find this spider in an antique shop with its mosaic shell and antique gold body. I found the mosaic shell bead at the Taylors Falls Bead Store. Lovely.

Materials: mosaic shell bead, antique gold/rhinestone bead, antique gold spacer bead, small shell beads, antique gold seed beads, tan/rose marbled bugle beads, rusty wire

#179: Bat Spider

After removing the plastic wings from this bat for the Purple People-Eater Spider, I used black wire-edged ribbon for new and better wings.  First I glued one edge of the ribbon to the top edge of the bat's arms. Then, I brushed on black glitter glue to the areas where I would be cutting. (This keeps the ribbon from fraying when you cut it.) Then I traced where I would cut the ribbon. (free tip: a watercolor pencil works just as well as a transfer pencil and comes in so many more colors than just violet purple or white. Just lick and write, lick and write. I improvise all the time.) After trimming the wings to perfect bat-like winginess, I used my trusty Dremel (I really need a holster for it) to drill a hole through the chest of the bat for my wires (the spider legs). The rest is history.

Materials: plastic bat toy, black ribbon, black glitter glue, iridescent black bugle beads, black seed beads, silver wire

#178: Starfish Spider

I received the button as an extra freebie from an Etsy seller from whom I bought something. I had thought to save it for a purse, but all things round and small say "spider" to me these days.

Materials: blue and ivory starfish button, carved bone bead, blue faceted glass bead, blue bugle beads, blue and ivory seed beads, silver wire

#177: Reanimator Spider

These beads, while not lit, practically glow. They emit the sort of phosphorescent green that brings to mind radioactivity and in my case, a certain late-night horror flick from the early 1980s. You might be thinking of Toxic Avenger. You did see that I wrote "horror," right? Toxic Avenger can be categorized as "horrible" but never classified as an actual "horror" movie. No, I'm talking about a movie that, in my youth, scarred me, left me with unsettling thoughts and dreams for days on end! This movie was (for me) the bridge from classic scary movies to disturbing, I-wish-I-could-unsee-that movies. (The Hellraiser series soon followed in its wake.) We're talking H.P. Lovecraft here! "Reanimator" might be cheese now when you line it up with movies like "Saw," but it frightened and sickened me back in the mid-1980s when it was released.

Materials: plastic ponytail holder bead, plastic green and black faceted bead, green/black E beads, green-painted bead cap, dark and emerald green bugle beads, emerald green and lime green seed beads, green floral wire

#176: Alphabet Spider

I love children's wooden blocks (especially old ones) as much as an old abacus with wooden beads and vintage alphabet cards...basically, I love vintage children's toys. Even the paper-covered cardboard Fisher-Price toys of my youth like wind-up radios, popping push toys, and jingling telephones with wobbly eyes--I LOVE this stuff. Throw in some creepy dolls, pop beads, paper dolls, Old Maid cards...I could go on all day. I took a picture of this spider with an alphabet page from an 1950s children's school book. The book was crap (as in falling apart), but I intended to use the pages for some kind of wall art.

Materials: wooden block beads, natural wooden bead, purple glass bead, orange and purple seed beads, yellow bugle beads, gold wire

#175: French Burnt Spider

I used to love French burnt peanuts and Boston baked beans candy. My teeth do not love them as much these days. But when I saw the focal bead that I used for this spider, aside from thinking it looking like a walnut or seed pod, the color and texture made me think of a French burnt peanut.

Materials: dark red seed shell bead, red plastic beads, reddish brown bugle beads, red and iridescent copper seed beads, gold wire

#174: Fobulous Spider

These days, fobs are very popular. Key fobs. Scissors fobs. Cell phone fobs. In the case of the fobulous spider, the loop that is the body of the spider is used to hang eyeglasses and other lightweight attachables. A jump ring can be attached to the wrapped wire "pincers" of the spider to attach the spider to a chain, but if this spider were to be worn as a jewelry item, I would recommend turning it into a pin instead. Still, the project did give me a chance to practice with my wire jig a bit.

Materials: rhinestone bead, rhinestone bead cap, metal ring, Swarovski crystal beads, pink bugle bead fragments, dusty lavender bugle beads, silver wire

#173: Beetle Spider

I had the beetle spider (and Beatles spider!) idea on my list of future spiders, and when I found real painted beetle wings at a bead store in Taylors Falls, MN over the weekend, I snatched them up. Like the Purple People Eater spider, the wings were very easy to wire to the spider after the rest of it had been made.

Materials: black plastic beads, painted beetle wings, iridescent black bugle beads, green and purple seed beads, green floral wire, high-gauge black wire

#172: Klimt Spider

I'm not sure what kind of stone this spider is made with, but I've seen it referred to as mosaic turquoise. The angles of the colored flecks and the shape of the pendant, once I started beading the legs, made me think of Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss."

Materials: mosaic turquoise pendant; mottled blue, light green, and gold bugle beads; brown and green seed beads, gold wire

#171: Hokusai Spider

The Great Wave of Kanagawa is a very well-recognized painting by Japanese artist Hokusai. It is so well-recognized that I'll bet everyone of you who reads this blog entry will have seen it before now. With the focal bead as the main inspiration for this spider, I tried to keep with the blues, creams, and even brassy-tan tones of the painting.

Materials: swirled glass bead, blue plastic flower bead, cream crackle bead, mottled blue and cream bugle beads, brass and peacock blue seed beads, silver wire

#170: Flyder

What do you call a spider this intensely beautiful (it is, even if you don't think so) with an emblem of a fly on its abdomen? I can't see how a spider like this would have it in for flies. In fact, much like Peter Parker who is half man, half spider, Flyder is half spider, half fly. And the fly bead is a mood bead with peach undertones, so it's especially pretty when the coloring changes to a bright emerald green.

Materials: fly mood bead, agate bead, emerald green bead, vintage peach bugle beads, peach faceted beads, green seed beads, silver wire

#169: Tiger Spider

There's really nothing to say about this spider. I like the animal print beads/pendants, and it's fairly easy to come up with animal spiders.

Materials: tiger print pendant, black plastic bead, black and yellow bugle beads, orange and black seed beads, gold wire

#168: Potted Flower Spider

I wanted to make a potted flower spider some time ago, but every time I tried, it just didn't look right or I didn't have the right flower bead or the stem wouldn't stay up straight. But today I found just the right flower bead and some drop beads that are perfect for the leaves, and while this spider looks a little crazy—almost like a Shop of Horrors spider (note to self—make a Little Shop of Horrors spider)—it still turned out better than expected.

Materials: miniature terra cotta pot, patio paint, head pin, green seed beads, yellow flower bead, dark and light green bugle beads, leaf drop beads, gold wire

#167: Wish Spider

This is just a playful spider with no particular theme that I made using a rose quartz star pendant from a necklace that my daughter used to have. (Like how I said "used to"?) But stars are for wishes, right?

Materials: rose quartz star pendant, purple and light pink glass beads, silver bugle beads, pink bugle bead pieces, large purple seed beads, silver wire

#166: Prism Spider

After surfing through the "Collectables" shop in town (spelled wrong on their sign. oy.), I came across a crystal that was so befitting of a spider. And although I've done all-white or all-transparent spiders in the past, this one seemed to need a classier look with matte black. Something you would expect to see in the window of Tiffany & Co. perhaps.

Materials: crystal pendant, Swarovski crystal bead, matte black and shiny black glass bugle beads, black seed beads, small Swarovski crystal beads, silver wire

#165: Dr. Who Spider

Typically, you're either a die hard Dr. Who fan...or not one at all. But I've always been a wannabe, completely mesmerized by the swirly Dr. Who credits and bizarre theme music. At the very least, I have a favorite doctor, and I think it's clear who my favorite doctor is. For those of you who MUST HAVE the tardis template or information about knitting your own Dr. Who scarf (note: I did not knit the scarf; I printed the color scheme on transfer paper and ironed it onto flannel, then cut it to size), here is the link to each: Tardis Paper Model and Dr. Who Scarf.

Let me also point out that I had no idea the scarf was so blinking long!! In pictures of the good doctor wearing his scarf, it's wound around his neck and then extends almost to his feet. That's crazy! That's a good way to trip and fall or get hurt, as I'm sure his mother warned him.

So basically, I printed the template in miniature size, cut a piece of wood to fit, drilled out a hole for the booth light (which I painted blue), and glued everything on, including the top and bottom pieces, which are made from baking clay. I used a clear coat to seal the exterior. I tied the scarf around and through the legs and glued it in place. I think this spider actually looks better standing up--so very Dr. Who.

Materials: wooden block, printed template, baking clay, battery-operated light, flannel, iron-on transfer paper, glue and clear sealant, various colored bugle and seed beads (browns and blues, mostly), green floral wire

#164: Grandma's Missing Earring Spider

Clip-on earrings always make me think of my own grandma, who never got her ears pierced and for a while owned some extravagantly beaded numbers. I wonder if she still has them.

Clip-on earrings, especially of the vintage variety, make fun hair clips, too, because they're easy to manipulate.

Materials: vintage peach beaded clip-on earring, brass spacer bead, vintage pearly pink bead, brass beads, vintage apricot bugle beads, brass and apricot seed beads, gold wire

#163: Bob Staake Spider

I can't say enough about how much I adore Bob Staake. His illustrations and children's stories are favorites in my house. And he's an all-around great guy, of course, not withstanding his aversion to marzipan and obsession with midgets. When I realized he was coming out with a book called "Bugs Galore" (Candlewick Press, spring 2012),  it seemed to be a good opportunity to make a spider in his honor. Bob's work is full of bright, geometric, retro goodness, so I hope that this spider captures all of those things. And if it doesn't, at least it was fun to make, although I sacrificed the last of my small drill bits to make it!

Materials: clothespin, acrylic paint, baking clay, black head pins, green glass beads, powder blue and black bugle beads, lime green and red seed beads, rusted wire

Lindsay Lohan