The lovely people at Facet have put me on the spot and asked five questions about my beady life as part of the National Beading Week celebrations here
I am so happy! well over 1000 beaders have now downloaded my free bracelet pattern for National Beading Week!!! (you can find the free patterns here). I love the feeling this brings, the thought of beaders all over the world sitting and beading ‘together’. It’s a tough old world out there just now, so it’s very reassuring that so many of us find peaceful delight in our ‘weapons of mass creation’, a phrase my lovely friend Huib Petersen shared, inviting us all to show images of our crafts.
I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone’s bracelets. If you’ve downloaded the pattern and are still rummaging through your beads in search of perfect combinations? Here are some mixes I found in my studio this morning.
First, my Dad’s watercolour paints, I love the mix of inky dark colours with a dash of bright coral and yellow. The pale grey background gives these colours added vibrancy.
Next is this pile of Miyuki Duracoat permanent finish seedies. When these colour samples first arrived, I confess to bead lust! They are all those in betweeny shades we didn’t know we were missing until they created them. Soft and a bit vintage, like William Morris printed textiles. Any combination of these is gorgeous!
And, this, a hairdressers sample swatch I begged from my local salon. Lots of fairy dust shades of pastels, with more vibrant accents of magenta and purple. Now if only I had the courage to use them all on my hair, tehehe. I love the teal and lime combo in the centre, so now I’m curious to see how adding a coral or peach to my all time favourites will work out in beads.
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.
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.
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 www.beadworkersguild.org.uk
If you’d like to find out about National Beading week there is a special website with more freebies and lots of information www.natioanlbeadingweek.co.uk
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.
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.
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.
If 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.
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.
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 beadworkersguild.org.uk
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.
I’m thrilled to have Introducing Albion Stitch translated into German by Claudia and the lovely team at Creanon.de I’m also loving how pretty they have made my book page look.
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…
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 Stitch just got a whole lot bigger!
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.