The boys have a picture book filled with photos of pigs. Piggies sleeping, piggies leaping, piggies guzzling, piggies nuzzling, and piggies kissing. So when I finished my new bezel, which surrounds a luna soft cabochon with facing pairs of two hole ‘Piggy’ beads, no other name would do. The bezel came about because at the last Big Bead Show I found myself ambling around with nothing to buy – it’s more of a stringer’s fair than a beadweavers, and although there are some great teeny bead suppliers in between the big bead stands, I wasn’t really seeing anything new. So I started looking at all of the new bead shapes which I had hitherto resisted – the two holes, the funny dragon scales, rullas & pellets, and I picked up a pack or two of each, (discovering along the way a new supplier, The Old Bicycle Shop, who I can heartily recommend for their interesting selection, £1 postage and quick delivery). Then they sat in my stash for a few months whilst I dealt with going back to work, Christmas, and sickly children.
Finally a couple of weeks ago I dug out the piggies, some superduos and a lunasoft cab and made myself keep trying until I came up with a decent design. I’m pleased with the finished design, it’s nice and simple and should be suitable for beginners who’ve tried a bit of RAW and peyote and have tension sorted. That said, it took a fair few attempts and a good many failures to get to something that would work as a tutorial (or work at all), so banning myself from doing anything else until I had mastered it was definitely necessary! I had the picture in my mind of the snuggling pairs from the beginning, so started from the outside and worked in – I can safely say that this does not work as a method, it was only once I gave up on that and designed a bezel that would have space for the piggies that things came together (although arguably without trying the outside in approach first I wouldn’t have known how much space to allow…..)
Eventually with the help of an MRAW starter (thank you again Contemporary Geometric Beadwork beaders – Jenny Sangster explains it very nicely on her blog)I mastered it, and it’s finished, written up & checked. As usual I’ve stuck with diagrams rather than just photos (as I find it’s worth the time to draw the diagrams to ensure that everything is absolutely clear, and it helps me check my placements and thread paths as I draw them), and every step is also written out.
So anyhow, it’s available now as a tutorial – instant download from PayHip & Etsy, and e-mailed from Folksy, all at £6. And in a fit of extraordinary organisation, I even have materials packs ready to rock and roll from Folksy and Etsy at £10 (UK only, sorry but I can’t get to the Post Office for overseas posting at the moment, and I think you’d find it uneconomic for a £10 pack anyway). It beads up in around an hour, and uses nothing smaller than an 11 (and only three rows of them) so nice and relaxing. Stick Sewing Bee on the telly and get beading!