Seeing spots - A JAC challenge

What's your first thought when you hear "spots"? Mine were lampwork beads with dots, but when I checked out my stash, I found that I had used most of them, and I simply didn't have an idea for one lonely lampwork bead (yet).
My second thought for the Jewelry Artisans Community July/August challenge, however, were sequin spots on ladybugs. Now that was something I could do, even if a bead order was necessary to finish the project.

Ladybugs have turned up in my work several times, in bead loomed bracelets, earrings, even as the one polymer clay sculpture that I really like.
All of them have seven spots like the original Coccinella septempunctata, the European ladybug, a species which has also been introduced to the USA.
Have you ever seen clusters of ladybugs, in your house or on an outside wall for example? Those were probably Asian ladybugs or harlequins. They were introduced to the USA for controlling aphid populations and also came to Europe from there, but have proven to be a very invasive species. They come in different colors and can have any kind of number of spots on their elytras.
I remember seeing clusters like these twice, once on the bathroom window of a hotel room that had been left open. Luckily, the door to the hotel room itself had been closed! The other time was on a path just outside Cambridge. There were so many of them that we decided to take a different path because it would have been impossible not to step on them.

These ladybug earrings are the European kind as you can tell from the number of their spots, black sequins that sit on bead embroidered red wings.
They come on their own "leaves", an edging from matte green AB cube beads.

Challenge goal achieved! :-)

P.S. A little tip - don't spill black sequins on a black surface, especially not if it's already night. Actually, don't spill shiny black sequins at all. I spent more time than I liked with picking them off my hand with a needle because they kept clinging to it.
P.P.S. I have been thinking of making melon earrings in the same manner. What do you think, good idea or are there enough melons around already?


  1. These are so cute, Cat! And now I know more about ladybugs than I did before. Yes, challenge achieved!


  2. Thank you, Michelle!
    I guess I'll take a very close look at ladybugs from now on.
    What I forgot to mention is that a friend of mine said she's afraid of ladybugs because they keep biting her. Turns out the harlequins really do bite (it's not dangerous and not supposed to hurt much), but the European bugs don't!