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,
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.
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.
2018 started with a bang, literally, pfoof and my computer was no more, eek! So, we are late getting the party started after a scramble to replace the computer and recover files and images. But this year is going to be fun packed. It’s a year of lots of travelling, teaching, and a new book! More of which as we work towards publication day.
The inspiration mix today is vintage rose, I’m still loving this soft grown up hue. It may be cold and still jumper weather so we need a splash of colour to lift the spirits. Here are some bangles made using the Chantry Window pattern, without the final rows of edge embellishment. It makes them easy for everyday wear. I’ve used Swarovski Amethyst, Vintage Rose and Olivine Rivoli and picked out beads and crystals to match. For a kit in similar colours (Vintage Rose), click here or if you have enough beads and crystals and just want the pattern you can find it here in the PDF store.
The Hilzingen cuff was inspired by the landscape outside the window on a beading retreat in Germany. That, a pile of shapely Pip beads in silky finishes and a fun plan to use bigger than size 11 and 15 seed beads for a change.
The end result is a bangle cuff (or bracelet with a clasp) which snuggles against the wrist and is super comfortable to wear. You can use all sorts of accent beads other than Pips for the edging, petals, thorns, tulips, pressed leaves, lentils. Each will give a slightly different look.
My favourite is worked in dark metallic and matte Olivine with just a hint of sage and ginger.
So if you feel like a project in larger beads, you’ll need size 8 and 11 seed beads, Pip or other single hole accent beads, and, if you’re planning a bangle I recommend using the Sonoko beading thread to give it a touch of elasticity.
Beader’s are the ultimate Artificers aren’t we?, happy fashioning glittering piles of tiny glass beads into fanciful imagining. This pendant is a gathering of elements, square, triangle, circle and half moon bails. It began when I was experimenting with glass cabochons and little scraps of art work. I have worn my teal one so often it feels like an old friend, it fits right in on formal occasions, but looks equally at home with jeans and a jumper.
The kit comes in two colour ways; warm copper and pewter with pale coral accents, or dark bronze and duck egg blue with teal accents: both are available here.
For those wanting just the pattern (the design will work with most 30mm diameter cabochons), it’s available in the pdf store here.
It’s that time of year when Christmas isn’t quite as far away as you thought, and there’s beading to be done. I have three quick make projects that are perfect for parcel toppers, tree decorations and, if you have an office party to go to, festive earrings and pendants too. Each only uses a small amount of beads, crystals or pearls.
You are welcome to make and sell these designs at the Christmas bazaar, or to fundraise for your chosen charities.
I love this little Mistletoe design and make more each year in soft pale colours. Where there is Mistletoe there must be Holly too. Sparkly and spiky in silver lined beads.