Colour way inspiration

A new woolly jumper needs a beaded necklace, right? How about this gorgeous dried foliage sprayed rosy coppery gold as inspiration. I love the touches of darkest chocolate purple.









Kelim beads are my go to project for playing with colour quickly, and I’m loving my new necklace.

The Kelim bead pattern is right here  if you’re tempted to play too. If you’re stuck on picking out the colours, I used Miyuki size 11 seed beads in:

Galvanised Blush 1086, Opaque Beige 4455, and Brown Iris 458.

I used wooden beads, but it’s easy to use a roll of felt instead. Then all you need to do is thread your beaded beads on to a length of vintage finish chain.

Winter fun with Little Owl

On my table today is a dish of pine cones collected in our local woods, my favourite rosemary soap to give the air a fresh wintery scent and a Little Owl beaded in bronze and silver. I love how grown up and serious he looks.

Little Owl pattern is available to download here.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here’s to a 2017 filled with good things.

Here, it’s time to finish tidying up the workshop and relax with some easy beading.

I’m beading myself a new Midwinter bracelet in shades of blue to match a winter jumper and add a dash of sparkle, you can find the pattern here.








If you’re looking for a New Year project, there are lots in my beading books,have a browse here.


Festive cheer

Christmas is nearly here! to celebrate I’ve popped the Holly and Mistletoe patterns into the pdf store.

These are quick make designs and the perfect little stash buster project. Both designs are copyright free, I donate the income to charity too. Find the pdf here.

Come bead with me

As the year speeds towards Christmas I’ve been busy tidying up the workshop and organising myself ready for next year. I’ve posted the classes and links for the first half of the year here

I love the teaching part of what I do, it’s always fun to meet new beaders and travel to new venues, so please feel very welcome to come join us at a venue near you.

If getting to a workshop is tricky, don’t forget you can browse and download my patterns here.

There is something very satisfying about ‘sorting out’, although it has taken a bit longer than anticipated! The satisfying bit is when it’s done and everything looks neat again.

These are just a few of the boxes of beadwork samples I’ve had fun organising. Inside are lots of old favourites, samples from classes, new workshop pieces ready to go and even newer designs that need some more work… and now I can find them all!

Loom love

I love it when an idea sets things in motion. A loom lover spotted this picturekeralaonloom in a blog post I wrote a few years ago about my Kerala bangle workshops (you can read it too, here). Then I began to get more emails asking for a ‘how to’.

After a lot of rummaging in the archives I found the original notes from the workshop which I’ve tidied up into a ‘recipe with ingredients’ which gives you all the basic info. It’s not a step by step, but all you need is a loom, beads from your stash and some embroidery weight threads to get started. Then you can explore the fun of mixing a selection of weaving techniques to create a unique and colourful mix. Instructions are included for finishing off warp ends to make a seamless bangle.

Tempted to have a play too? It’s now available in the digital store here.


The story behind Relic

Part of being a creative person is the fun of digging out ideas. looking for inspiration is like treasure hunting and mystery solving all rolled together. it’s exciting and enticing and you never know where the next clue will turn up. I’ve long had a fascination with symbols and trinkets and what they mean to the wearer, so I was looking at a book about sacred prayer boxes and reliquaries. I love the idea that  jewellery can contain a hidden secret known only to you, the wearer. A relic is ‘something left behind’, a Reliquary is a place to keep a precious object.

relicpic3aNext in this particular treasure hunt was the arrival of pyramid shaped beads which resembled many of the decorations I’d seen in the book. Like iron nail heads in oak treasure boxes! I love that we have so many new beads available to play with, some sit on my desk for ages before inspiration strikes, but the pyramid beads I fell for instantly.

Relic was made using six pyramid beads and embellished with pearls, I really enjoyed how gothic and steampunk it turned out! The pattern is here in the pdf store.

I wear my Relic pendant a lot in the autumn as it goes well with the textures of knitted jumpers and winter woolies, I have it on a satin ribbon. With so many bead colours to choose from it could easily be made in pretty delicate colours too, and if ribbons are not your thing it will easily slide on to a chain.



The story behind Michaelmas bracelet

Now I’ve spruced up the house and got into the right frame of mind for the beautiful changing of the season, it’s time to get inspired by all those stunning autumn colours. Michaelmas Bracelet is one of my early designs, but one I come back to often as it’s easy and very satisfying to bead. I am lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country and as I drive out to visit and teach, I sometimes go through a Beech tree wood. It doesn’t matter what time of year, these grand old trees always look stunning. One Autumn I was setting off for a class and tmicleafhe sunlight was glowing through the turning leaves, as I was teaching in a bead shop that day I decided to stop, collect a few leaves and treat myself to a selection of delica beads to match them.

Michaelmas is the feast of Michael and all Angels. The Archangel Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night. Michaelmas has long been associated with the turn of the autumn equinox and the shortening winter days. The Michaelmas bracelet is cosmic in many ways!

The pattern for Michaelmas is available in the pdf shop here: 

The finished bracelet is shown here on an embroidered leaf, it’s one I made a long time ago. I used to make a lot of hand worked textiles and enjoyed discovering and buying hand dyed threads to use. It’s one of those pieces I look at now and wonder when I ever had the time to make it it must have taken me hours! The leaf is stitched entirely by hand and is made by laying fine organza over a wire frame and stitching to cover the wire. Then the fabric is filled with all sorts of stitches and threads until the leaf is done.