Behind the scenes I’ve been busy collaborating with my great friend and bead artist Melanie de Miguel. We’ve written a beading book, a gorgeous selection of designs inspired by the lavish Tudor and Elizabethan periods. The book has ten projects, but here’s the thing we are excited to share, all the projects are elemental… so there is also a library of all the elements. Why? to make it easy for you create your own sumptuous jewellery by simply picking and mixing which ever elements you like. We enjoyed working together so much we’ve organised a retreat and we’d love you to come join us for a weekend in the countryside.
Here’s just a glimpse of our hoard of treasure.
To find out more, order your very own copy of our book, and sign up to join us at our retreats,
From small beginnings, wonderful things grow. National Beading Week is now International, and lots of designers are joining in to bring you free designs to bead. The event started with the Beadworkers Guild in the UK, as a time to celebrate everything we love about this wonderful craft. It’s all about community, getting together to bead, visiting your local bead store to shop or take a class, supporting a designer who’s work you like by buying a pattern or kit. Invite a friend to bead group, or go all out and host your own beading party. However you choose to celebrate find out more at www.nationalbeadingweek.co.uk
I’ll be at the StitchnCraft Garden party on August 4th for some make and take Flora fun.
Meanwhile, here are just a couple of ways you can use Flora to make a bracelet and earrings.
So excited to be returning to this lovely show in Hamburg. So many lovely bead stores and designers gathered together for a grand weekend of inspiration. I’ll be bringing multiple choice days, choose between Luciana, LilyBeth or Viola. Want to join us for some beady fun? find out more by clicking here.
Cover girl! Do you know… it’s the best feeling to discover that your work has been chosen for a magazine cover! Thank you Bead&jewellery magazine.’Into the woods’ was the theme for the issue and it was the best fun to create a design, my imagination wandered down pathways through the woods, fairy stories and the picture books I’d loved as a child. I couldn’t stop at one colourway!
Even lovelier was when the magazine arrived in the post, it is packed with gorgeous designs. Call me ever so slightly biased, but I love what Editor Vicky Roberts and her team are creating, each issue just gets better! lots of beading from talented designers, plus really tempting tutorials on other techniques. I was also interviewed about my beading life, a sneek peek behind the scenes, edited for the shiny highlights of course!
If you’d like to explore Bead&jewellery magazine, you can visit their website and sign up for paper or digital versions here: https://www.beadmagazine.co.uk
It’s all go here, preparing for a very special get together.
I’m delighted to be teaching at the Alpine Experience for the first time this summer… five whole days to bead together in beautiful surroundings… with delicious food and wine! I hear tell there’s even a hot tub for easing the beaded out shoulders after class.
The inspiration is Granny square blankets, those warm hugs of colourful yarn. I’ve created a whole new way to use Albion stitch to make squares, triangles, pentagons and hexagons. We’ll explore how to grow, join, and build everything from simple bands to complex 3D shapes, all with one simple technique. It’s going to be fun and creative!
My next lovely job here in the studio is to pick out some delicious colour packs for everyone to use, inspired by those vintage blankets.
To get the party started there is a delightfully delicate pendant called… Divine, it’s worked with tiny crystals and vintage accent beads. Worked in 3D it’s the perfect introduction to the techniques we’ll be using.
I have had an amazing year of travelling to meet and bead with so many amazing beaders. My journeys have taken me to many village halls in the UK. Further afield I have crossed from the East to the West coast of the USA, with a couple of stops in the middle. I visited my lovely friends in Germany a couple of times, and, just got back from a delightful tour of Northern Italy in the company of like minded beaders. Meanwhile, I’ve been working behind the scenes on a new book; so there hasn’t been as much time as I’d like to sit and finish the pile of new designs. I promise new delights are on their way! Meanwhile, I have a fun beading idea I’ve been playing with for you to try too…
Take a design you loved making and wearing this summer, I’ll use my Carousel cuff workshop as an example. Now pick out the beads for your design, but in a colour way that fits with your autumn and winter woolies. It’s amazing how different a design can look simply by changing the colours.
Here’ the Carousel Cuff in the original bright and zesty colours, perfect for summer, and the same design, but in colours to go with a winter top.
If you’re in need of a pattern to play colour changes with, the Florabud bangle is a very quick and easy way to get busy with the seed beads, the pdf is available here.
International Beading Week is underway and it is lovely to see everyone coming together to celebrate!
Flora is my little offering, a quick and easy flower that can be made in any bead size (15’s anyone?) I made a double row bracelet to match my much loved Johnny Was top… but then I thought, why stop there.
With a little tweak to the pattern (start with five beads so you get five petals instead of six), the flowers can be joined to make a ball. You can decorate the flower ball with more beads between the petals and the joins too.
You’ll need 12 flowers, and a little planning while you join the petal tips together. In mathematical terms it’s a platonic solid, and if you google that term, there are lots of graphics to show how to make a Dodecahedron by joining 12 Pentagons together.
I added loops to flower centres opposite each other, and attached a fringy beady tassel and a simple right angle weave rope decorated with little ladder stitch beaded beads.
The bracelet is made of two rows of Flora flowers. Beads? I used Miyuki Duracoat opaque colours in size 11.