National Beading Week 2016

People Chain x 12

Last year the Beadworkers Guild here in the UK launched National Beading Week. A way to get people talking about our wonderful hobby, gathering together to bead, and, to visit our fantastic bead shops to show love and support. I don’t think anyone expected it to take off quite so quickly, but within days it was no longer National, but International beading week.

NBW Logo - 2016 Dated

This year I was invited to be an ambassador. Well you know I can talk beads like, forever! but I thought it would be fun to create a simple bracelet and bangle design to share. It is free to download here. Or you can click on Shop and then click on free patterns.

National Beading week bracelet

You’re welcome to use it at your bead shop, store, group or club, just show and share your creations as the week progresses. I’ll be inviting posts to my facebook page and we’d love to to spread the word and share the bead love, so feel very welcome to get in touch and join in.

Why a rainbow? well the logo has a rainbow of beads on it. There are seven traditional colours of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, so that’s one of each day of National Beading week.(Or eight if you are a Terry Pratchett fan and include Octarine, the colour of magic).

Bright playground colours are not everyone’s thing, so how about a pastel rainbow just like the ones that light up our skies.

Or maybe muted one lifted from the colours of antique tapestries. If you are more a single colour kind of person, how about going from the darkest shade to the lightest in seven steps. I’m loving the idea of a coffee lovers rainbow from sultry cafe noir to frothy cafe latte with shades of mocha and cappuchino in between. Closest to my heart would be a set of turquoise through green to pale lime.

Download the pattern, then have a joyous time picking out your beads and don’t forget to show and share your rainbow creations.

If you’d like to know more about the Guild and the things get up to visit

If you’d like to find out about National Beading week there is a special website with more freebies and lots of information

People Chain x 12


The story behind Beloved

The story behind Beloved.

The inspiration for Beloved is sitting right here on a shelf in my work room.

A squishy, lavender filled heart in my favourite shade of lichen green, made by English knitwear designer Catherine Tough. A present from my friend Jackie, it has become a treasured posession which is hugely comforting to hold in times of stress, and calming to look at when things are going well. Next to it is a cute folklore gift tag made of painted wood which arrived on a parcel at Christmas, too nice not to keep.

A little shelf full of hearts.
A little shelf full of hearts.

The first Beloved necklace came about because I was experimenting with Albion stitch and the ways in which  it has similarities to crochet. The challenge to self was to see if the beads could form gently rounded shapes in three dimensions, one experiment grew into a little heart shape. Which led to more heart shapes.

The one I settled on was this. I added a  loop at the top, then had fun making a tassel and beady beads to go with. I found myself wearing it a lot, having conversations about it, enjoying it’s versatility.




So, I decided to see if the pattern would work in other colours too. I like the gentle sparkle of mineral metallic in the original so I kept that in. Next with thoughts of romantic hearts in mind, I chose shades of pink inspired by  this gorgeous rose.

beloved rose2


Then I got to thinking about wild hearts, the rebels wearing denim and their hearts on their sleeves, this colour mix is my second fave as it is a perfect fit with jeans and whatever.


Beloved ColourwaysIf you’re a true romantic you can fold away a secret on a slip of paper to tuck inside the soft as a cloud cotton wool stuffing. Add some dried Lavender or a couple of drops of Rose essential oil and the pendant becomes a pretty pomander to hang in your room.


Beadworkers Guild weekend

Once a year the Beadworkers Guild in the UK gather together in Daventry for a weekend of beady happiness.
We’re going to be gathering for a ‘Bead in’ on the theme of the 1960’s and I’ve packed a bag of neon bright (or should that be day glow?) beads and deliciously colourful plastic cabochons that look good enough to eat, oh, and some enamel cup chain that I’m looking forward to experimenting with. Time to break out of my comfort zone of muted tones and get groovy!
Who knows what Albion Stitch adventures might happen.
If I come up with anything cool, I’ll be sure to show and share it with you here when I get home.

60s Beads
60s Beads

Join us if you can as there’s a lovely Bead Bazaar on Sunday May 8th 2016.

To find out more about the Guild, this event, and our much bigger bi-annual event ‘The Great British Bead Show’ with lots of workshops to attend in 2017… visit

As well as organising events and attending bead shows, the Guild publish a quarterly Journal for members. It’s packed with projects, news and… book reviews. Lovely to see ‘Introducing Albion Stitch’ reviewed in the current issue. Thank you so much for the glowing review, special because it’s written by beaders, for beaders.

New Albion Stitch

It has been a long time in the development but I’m so excited to share with you a new Albion Stitch book, published by Kalmbach Books in the USA. I’ve had such fun working with the team. The excitement is definitely mounting here as we count down the days until it is published.
Here’s what the lovely Kalmbach team say…

Introducing Albion Stitch
Buy the Book

In the world of stitching “new” stitches tend to be variations of old favourites, and truly new stitches are extremely rare. In Introducing Albion Stitch, Heather Kingsley-Heath teaches bead stitchers her own Albion stitch, a new invention that can be used to create flat pieces, lacy designs, and stunning dimensional “ridged” pieces. Beaders can use Albion stitch alongside their old favourite stitches to make 20 new projects.
Heather’s designs use the latest bead shapes like spikes, gum drops, rula, tila, and others in the most popular colors.
All the projects feature Heather’s playful sense of color and organic, dimensional designs.

All of my books can be purchased via my shop page.

Albion translation

Albion Stitch just got a whole lot bigger!

German Book Cover of Albion Stitch

I’m delighted to share the news… My friends at the German publishing house Creanon have chosen a selection of designs from books one and two and published ‘Albion Stich’ It is so exciting to see my work in another language and I love the way the team have presented the designs, with gorgeous new photography. In August I went to the Beaders Best show in Hamburg for the launch of the book and for a moment felt a little bit famous as I got to do book signings and pose for photographs with all the lovely beaders buying my book.

If you’d like to buy the German language version just click here.

Dragonfly tails

The Dragonfly first appeared as an exhibition piece for Swarovski London, and features in the gallery pages of Albion Stitch book two. It also appeared in articles in Beadwork Magazine in the USA and Bead Magazine in the UK. As a result, a lot of requests for the pattern arrived in the inbox. The original was made without a workshop in mind, and used a lot of vintage bits from the bead box which I knew would probably not be widely available. So for the longest while I replied to those emails requesting the pattern with a polite thank you, but it can’t be done.

The original Dragonfly
The original Dragonfly

Finally the penny did drop! I visited my favourite bead store to gather crystals and beads with which to re-work the design. I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t looking forward to the task of following the thread paths back through the original piece, but like most things that get put off, once you commit, it’s easier than anticipated. Dragonfly two was born, and to make sure everyone could access the beads and crystals if needed, a kit was born at the same time.

Since then it has become one of the most popular designs and it is enchanting to see the many colour variations that get created.

Dragonfly has been made to adorn wedding outfits and party frocks, as gifts and thank you’s; even as a set of several to make a sparkly mobile; but my favourite story is about the one made to decorate a parcel containing a fishing tackle box, a retirement present for a much loved colleague.

Albion Bezel inspiration

Albion Stitch is one of the easiest ways to create a bezel. I was at a bead show when one of my lovely students, Lynn Gosling, brought this bezelled Laboradite cabochon to show me. She was full of enthusiasm about how easy it was to make the bezel fit a slightly uneven stone. I love her use of colour! There are lots of different ways to use Albion Stitch to create bezels, from simple ones to fit even stones, to variations which can accommodate the lumpiest of pieces and any number of corners.

Lynn Gosling's Albion stitch bezel.
Lynn Gosling’s Albion stitch bezel.

I also like the fact that you get to see a lot more of your focal stone using Albion Stitch, which is not always the case with other stitches.

To date I’ve bezelled just about everything from buttons to cheap and cheerful plastic crystals.
The visit from Lynn was timely as I’d just started the process of sorting out my cabochon stash with a promise to self to use them before being tempted to buy more (epic fail on that score!).
This in turn, got me thinking about the many beaders I know who also have a collection of lovely stones in the ‘one day when’ box. As a result I have a new workshop almost ready to teach for the 2014 season. Designed to show and share how to bezel just about any shape, the ‘Sticks and Stones’ class will also take a long look at the beading techniques needed to create links and framing once the stones are bezelled. Perfect for beaders in need of the first steps into designing. A big thank you to Lynn for reminding me about this one lovely aspect of Albion Stitch.