Whoot! A new kit and a brand new design to share with you. LightWeaver is a really pretty combination of delicate metal Eternity frames and lots of lacy beading. I love the swishy fringes. I made myself a green and bronze one (of course!). This design started way back last Autumn when I was given some Eternity frames to play with. A street market on a hot and sunny summer day was where the little ideas began to fall into place, after all it doesn’t do to rush things! Chatting with a stall holder, and secretly admiring her boho chic style, I had a jewellery envy moment! I just loved her random mix of delicate necklaces, and from there, the beads just fell into place around the metal frames. LightWeaver is really fun to bead and can be made in different combinations too. I’ve chosen the prettiest Firepolish crystals and sparkly chatons to add to the seed bead mix in the kits. Take a closer look and choose your favourite here.
After my first Alpine experience in France, I am so looking forward to our next mountain adventure! I’ve created three bead embroidery project which take you from free form fun and cuff building, through art of adding cabochons and building scrunchy beady textures; to the more traditional techniques of ‘painting with beads’. I’ve added some pure beadwork to the mix in the form of bails, beaded beads and pendants.
I’m excited to share that the class sold out super fast! and the good news is that we have a waiting list, so if you love what you see, add yourself to our list and we’ll keep you posted. To find out more visit the website here.
To celebrate being made a permanent ambassador for International Beading week, I’m doing things a little differently this year.
I’ve teamed up with a lovely bead shop called Spoilt Rotten Beads to offer you kits for my Ravenna bracelet.
To complete the circle of love, £5.00 for every kit or pattern sold will be given to the The Beadworkers Guild, who started Beading Week and who work so hard to keep this wonderful craft of ours moving forward.
Ravenna is fairly easy to bead (If you’re a beginner there’s a simple wrap version included to get you started). The kits and patterns can be purchased here.
Ravenna is inspired by this gorgeous courtyard window I spied on my travels through Northern Italy last year. Too high in the wall to see the hidden garden behind it, leaving the imagination to start creating stories about who might have taken a stroll or held a tryst there in times past. The Bracelet is available in three colour ways, but I couldn’t resist mixing things up with all the gorgeous colours available in the beads used.
The Wrap is worked in: Pastel Olivine, Pastel Lime, metallic matte green turquoise, with Miyuki 459 seed beads.
The Green multi bracelet is worked in: Pastel Olivine, Pastel Light Brown Coco, Opaque Light Green ceramic and Dark Bronze Matte, with Miyuki 8195 seed beads.
The red bracelet is worked in: Violet Gold ceramic, Metallic Bronze and Bronze Red Matte, with Toho 222 seed beads.
The pattern and beads needed are available from Spoilt Rotten beads too.
I hope you have a wonderful time during International Beading week, Enjoy!
Retreats are such a treat, and my first week long series of classes at the Alpine Experience in the French Alps was the best fun. The landscape of mountains forms a backdrop to the studio where we work. With a whole week of studio time, everyone has time to explore the projects at a pace to suit themselves. As a teacher it is heaven to have time to help students grow ideas and new techniques.We arrived to find the region basking in a heatwave, which gave us spectacular lightening light shows and thunderstorms some evenings. Awesome!
We kicked off with Divine, a gorgeously sparkly pendant, just to get our beady fingers limbered up.
Then we dived into the Colours of Love, beadwork inspired by colourful granny square crochet and the maths of Plato and Archimedes. You can see more about Colours of Love here). Everyone went home brimming with new ideas and inspiration to explore, which made me very happy.
A retreat is also about fun, food and fresh air. We went up a mountain in a cable car, walked back down through the beautiful landscape. Stopped to dine alfresco on the freshest local foods en route (cheese anyone?). Each evening we relaxed before supper with drinks, and watched the sun painting the mountains pink and gold as it set.
Nadine, Mark, Aubin, Jackie and the team look after everyone with great care and attention to the tiniest detail, from special dietary needs, to a choice of lovely excursions.
We day tripped to the beautiful town of Annecy, with it’s turquoise blue lake and quaint old town, everyone shopped for cheese and other delicious treats.
If you’d like to join me next time, in 2020 we’ll be meeting in the mountains in October for a week of exploration into the intricacies of bead embroidery combined with pure beading. The textures, the techniques and three very different projects to play with. I’ll be posting all the details very soon.
Samarkand was such a fun workshop! Now it’s time to share it to everyone who can’t make it to a class. If you’ve ever sewn a simple seam, this is a lovely introduction to a different kind of mixed media. You get to make a silk bead first. Which could be the start of an amazing creative journey through the fabric remnants. But for this design, just one silk bead is gently encased with pure beading. The inspiration was a conversation with a friend who makes silk jackets. It reminded me of the basket full of fabrics I had at home. Here’s how it happened.
All sorts of bits and pieces are gathered together, then work starts in the sketchbook. Scribbled ideas, cuttings from magazines and the internet, all gets messily mixed together. With gleaming and jewel coloured snippets of silk spread out, ideas begin to flow, which is a lovely state of being.
Then it is time to start working with the materials until there is a finished design. This goes in stages until a design emerges that I can’t wait to wear. Then it is refined and written up in easy steps to share in class. Here are two gorgeous versions made by students who joined me for a Samarkand day.
Like to make yourself a light and easy to wear Samarkand necklace too? The kit with everything fabric and beady to make a complete necklace is available in three colour ways here.
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.
Tempted to join us? Just click on this link for all the details, dates and booking.
Bead & Button magazine are having a year long 25th Anniversary party. Who could resist an invitation to join in!
Thank you Bead & Button, for publishing my Celebrations necklace In the April issue (issue 150). It is featured worked in silver and gold, the perfect colours for special anniversaries.
But I couldn’t resist making one for me to wear using my stash of Grey Opal AB crystals and pale green seed beads.
I also made one in darker Olivine which has now found a new home, so, I’m thinking of making one for summer with the 2019 colour of the year, Coral with maybe a hint of turquoise too.
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,
please visit our Tudor Inspirations website.