So, I moved on to some jewelry making and tried these drop earrings from the website Jewelry-Making.com. There is a fabulous little tutorial on that site with great pictures of each step.
I started with these pieces:
cutters (is that what they're called?)
Once I got the beads on, it took a bit of practice to use the pliers and make a loop at the end. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.
At that point, I just slipped on the earhook, closed the loop, and they were done.
I tried a couple other different bead combos:
This last one I took some of the larger beads and strung them on jewelry elastic, tied off the end, and had a matching bracelet.
Okay, that was therapeutic. Tomorrow I'm back at the sewing machine. Wish me luck.