Beaded Curtain?

Q: I'm fairly new to beading - but have a question for more experienced folks. I'm interested in making a bead curtain for my bathroom window, which is tall and narrow (about 30" X 16"). My dream is to weave images into the curtain, but I'm afraid that the small seed beads that would make an image most lovely, don't have the 'heft' required to make a swingy bead curtain. Has anyone ever tried this? I've searched the web to no avail, and all I've seen have been the 60's style 'love beads' curtains, which don't have much of a pattern.

A: Your statement sort of contradicts itself. The 60's style curtains were mostly long strings of beads - more like a very long, very wide fringe. It is certainly possible to do this with seed beads. I still remember a piece that was exhibited at the 'Torpedo Factory' in conjunction with the '1995 International Bead Symposium' in DC. It was at least 48 inch wide, by about 8-10 feet tall. Before we get too far, YES I do sell the products I am mentioning, but like all the products I routinely sell, it is because I USE them myself all the time and find them to be the best for my style of work, include woven pieces such as you seem to have just described. Your biggest challenge (and it was, on close inspection a problem in this one) is the weight is going to cause stretching of just about any stringing medium except perhaps 'SoftFlex'(tm). You also referenced weaving. For a bead weaving of this size, you will have several challenges. First, will be adequate tension during the weaving, second will be how to keep the finished work from stretching out of shape when done. I've never beaded anything, but I too had a project in mind for a beaded window "drape/curtain". Now, being a novice... is there something that I should read? I have a local bead seller, but I'm not certain that this is in their scope. They have done a marvelous job of helping me with my first necklaces . The window covering would be a FAR larger project. I have no desire to see it end as a pile of beads on the floor! My original inspiration for this came from the Fall '98 Beadwork magazine: "Leaf Me Alone" beaded valance. There is apparently FAR more to this than the article dealt with. Any suggestions would be appreciated, as I think I need to learn more before I start anything. I saw this curtain (and some others with 'Mona Lisa', etc.) - they are really beautiful! I thought pretty hard about how I could make something like this myself, since they sell for over $100 around here. I figured that I could make a curtain of fringes of pony beads, or E-beads in the image of 'Mona Lisa' (or whatever). If you have some bead or cross- stich software, it's easy to graph out the design you want by scanning in a picture and having the software convert it to a graph. Unfortunately, it looked as though it would take a "bizillion" beads, and a "bizillian" hours to do, and it probably wouldn't have enough granularity to really look like the image it was supposed to.