Arrr, ye probably already knew this, but today be Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Ok, ok, I'm not going to write my entire blog in bad pirate-speak. But I do enjoy this corny holiday. Who doesn't like to let out the occasional "arrr"? I even intended to dress like a pirate today, but since I'm not going anywhere, it would be a bit of a wasted effort. The cats don't care how I dress, after all. They'll shed on my clothes whether it's jeans or a pirate shirt. Instead, I'm thinking of beading like a pirate.
How does a pirate bead? Well, that depends on how much rum she's drank!
Having a hook might make beadweaving difficult, and that eye patch really messes up depth perception, so I'm guessing a pirate might stick to simple stringing. Stormy seas make for many bead spills, so the smart bead pirate would work on a towel or vellux pad to catch those stray beads.
And what kind of beads would a pirate use? Why, whatever she could plunder!
Trade beads immediately come to mind. After all, people traded with them, so they were probably occasionally found on ships that pirates raided. If you take a look at this pic of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, you'll see that the beads in his hair have a definite trade-bead look.
Recycled glass beads from Africa have a nice, rough look that brings to mind antique beads without the price of trade beads.
Afghani jewelry has a mysterious, antique aura about it, and I think any pirate wench worth her salt would enjoy wearing it. Big pieces can be worn as-is, whereas pendants and the like could be worked into beaded creations.
Coins, naturally, are a great accessory for every pirate lass. If you can get real coins, that's even better, but the imitation coins will do in a pinch.
Of course, what pirates really love is GOLD! But for those of us who don't make a living out of plundering, real gold beads can be just too expensive. To get the gleam of gold without breaking the bank, might I recommend vermeil?
Don't limit your imagination to the materials I've listed, though. A pirate might just as easily wear some nice, chunky stone beads, or tarnished brass, maybe some precious Venetian blown glass beads. Because honestly, who's going to tell a pirate -- armed with cutlass and flintlock, naturally -- that she can't wear something?