Monday, December 16, 2013

New Pattern: Serotonin and Dopamine Molecules

I've finished my final beading pattern of 2013, the Serotonin and Dopamine Beaded Molecules!

Beaded Chemistry!

This pattern describes how to make weave the beaded skeletal chemical structures of two molecules important to brain chemistry: serotonin and dopamine. Like the Morning Coffee Molecules pattern, this design uses 8°, 11°, and 15° seed beads for a simple approach to creating beaded representations of molecules. The resulting beadwork is flat and self-supporting, and I included instructions in the pattern on how to use an acrylic floor finish to stiffen up the finished beadwork. These beaded molecules can be attached to jump rings for individual pendants, or they can be strung together in a larger piece.

Neurotransmitters: Brain Molecules

As I previously mentioned on this blog, serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters; molecules that carry messages from one cell to another in the nervous system. Serotonin is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being, and regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Many antidepressant medications aim to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Dopamine is part of the reward system of the brain, and it's the molecule responsible for the happy feeling after a rewarding experience.

Here are both molecules in CPK colors, a standard coloring system used in the sciences to color-code each atom in a molecule.

Lacy Molecule Necklaces

In addition to individual pendants, the serotonin and dopamine beaded molecules can connect together for fancy, lacy necklaces. You might remember this gold and pink necklace from a few months ago:

More recently, I also wove this purple and green necklace using two beaded serotonin molecules, and three beaded dopamine molecules. I wove one of each molecule in its mirror image to make the necklace look more symmetrical, and I explained how to do this in the pattern too. A 17 mm Swarovski briolette drop crystal adds a final touch to this piece. I love the lacy look of this necklace, and it has the most comfortable drape!

The Serotonin and Dopamine Molecules Beading Pattern is available exclusively at Kits for this design will be available in the new year.

In the meantime, I'll be traveling internationally during this holiday season, so I will not be shipping beading kits between December 19 and January 5. Patterns can still be purchased and downloaded, however all kits ordered during this time will ship on January 6. 

Have a very warm and Happy Holiday Season!

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