One of the wonderful things about the Beadalong is seeing all of the different colourways. It’s unusual to be exposed to so many interpretations of the same design so quickly, and it’s been fascinating looking at the different approaches we all take. Some of us chuck as many colours as possible in, others focus on their favourite colour and use different tones, and others pop a single colour as a highlight with neutrals. For me, as a bright beader, it’s been lovely seeing some really outrageous combinations, but I’ve also become drawn to some of the more sophisticated palettes. I think my next delica project might be done in matte steel, with some antique gold – classic with a twist, and perhaps more wearable than lime, orange, scarlet and fuchsia…..?
Anyway, a few people have asked me to post my bead details so here you are. Seeds and delicas are all Miyuki & from Stitch N Craft (of course):
Rivolis – Chinese ‘Volcano’ from Southampton Bead Shop. I don’t normally buy cheaper rivolis but the colour on these is unique. They are a bit fat, so you need to adapt the pattern (one extra row of delicas did it here), and I don’t use them for my own patterns and materials packs because of that.
Pearls/Rounds – 2mm Scarlet Czech Rondelles. Not a clue where they came from!!
And as for the next step, I’d guess I still need another 18g or so of delicas, so I may have to make up a mix from my stash (I’m only using stash beads for this and I won’t have enough in a single colour by a long way), or come up with a way to use multiple colours once I know what we’re doing.
Nice, although my tension on the surround has a tendency to distort the bezel, and I prefer the look of the back set of petals to the front….
…..and I cheated a bit too. I wanted the second set to be seen in the middle of the gap of the first set (so offset by two bezel beads), but going out of the next row of peyote was going to leave them only partially offset (1 bezel bead). However, as I had used non-Swarovski rivolis, which have a thick band around the middle (rather than a neat pointy edge), I had already added an extra row of delicas to the bezel, so I was able to bead the second set two rows back from the first set and acheive the tidy offset.
Domestic commitments yesterday mean I am no longer working a day ahead! So here is day 4, just in time. This one was quite fiddly and took a while to complete, but I like the results. As a set they are looking rather splendid.
I have also done half of day 5, which went together more quickly, but want to check placement of the second half, so will wait for Jean to post her picture tomorrow……….and it is way past my bedtime anyway!
The first instalment of my new ‘Beading Beaded Beads’ project, in which I will bead lots of beaded beads and tell you all about it. Beaded Bead 1 was not good – I rather suspect this was my fault rather than the designer’s, so I’ll re-do it and tell you about it later.
Beaded Bead 2 is from a free tutorial by BeadTurtle. It’s a nice simple tutorial using one of the standard techniques for building a dodecahedron – groups of 3 larger beads linked through groups of 5 smaller beads, and I’m sure some similar ones will appear later in this project. She specifies size 10 seeds, but I don’t have any, and as this project is supposed to be a bit of a stash buster I had to use what I had already. I’ve tried the tutorial before with size 11s and it didn’t work, so I went for size 8 seeds and tweaked the embellishment.
Don’t worry too much about tension as the final embellishment of the seed bead groups of five tensions and stiffens the ball (up to that point it was alarmingly floppy). Where she adds the yellow centre to the groups of size 10 seeds, I simply added an 11 between each of my 8s.
This was a lovely quick and comfortable project, and has given me a good base technique which I will use again and embellish. Although I think these were my only 6mm rounds so there won’t be another one with rounds in this project – it would work equally well with any type of larger bead, and I’ve seen similar techniques applied to fire polisheds, crystals and even spikes.
For my next beaded bead I’m going to try an even simpler version, which omits the smaller groups of 5 and just goes for the triangles of larger beads – hopefully soon! And then there is Beaded Bead 1 to try again………….
Here in the UK the Beadworker’s Guild’s National Beading Week will begin tomorrow (25th July). There are lots of activities all over the country, at Bead Groups and in shops, but as I am a bit constrained by work and it bring the school holidays, I’m joining the beading community remotely in a few different ways. Firstly, I’m taking part in Jean Power’s Secret Bead Along – I’ve completed my prep work which you can see at the top of this post with my beads all ready, and a bit of day 1 (a bit early but I couldn’t wait, photos tomorrow). As you can see I have chosen very subtle colours.
Anyway, you can read all about it on Jean’s site or read my blog post containing the details here. I’ll be popping a quick blog post out every day to show progress, and you can follow lots of other beader’s work on the Secret Beadalong Facebook group which Jean has set up. Over 4000 beaders worldwide have signed up for this, which is absolutely amazing – Jean has done an amazing thing and it’s really very exciting and inspiring taking part. For me the lovely thing is knowing that so many other beaders will be working on the same piece at the same time. That includes that my little sister Susie Hoad, who I taught to beadweave a few years ago and got hooked on Jean’s work. She is now a designer and teacher in her own right, and we plan to finish the last day’s beading together next Saturday, which will be just lovely. Being Susie she is doing two colourways (but she is a teacher so I guess she has nothing to do now school has broken up – or could it be that indecisiveness runs in the family?).
Secondly I’m going to kick off a project for this blog to celebrate the awesome range of beadweaving going on around the world – ‘Beading Beaded Beads’. I’m going to be coming back to one of my original reasons for blogging – to show, review & comment on tutorials and patterns by other designers (as well as writing about my own original work). I’ve put together a range of beaded beads, some from books & tutorials I already own, some from free tutorials, and some of my own designs, and the idea is that over the coming months I will focus on beading them. I’ll be working from my stash, so I’m going with two colourways (as even my stash won’t accommodate the range of beads required to complete the various designs in one colour scheme) – bright fuchsia, lime, scarlet and orange, and fuchsia (again), indigo, cobalt and a bit of silver and gunmetal. Hopefully I will end up with two very spectacular necklaces. You can see the initial cut of designs on a Pinterest Board here, if you have any suggestions (or designs you’d like me to road test) then comment here or on Facebook and I’ll give them a try too.
I started beading earlier this week, and was hoping to have the first beaded bead to show off for the start of National Beading Week, but sadly the first beaded bead did not go well. Out of fairness to the designer I’m going to have another go before I post about it………….probably just me being tired and being a bit of a tight beader.
I’m not great at finishing things – as well as the usual UFO box of failed projects I even have a box full of nearly finished projects. Brooches needing brooch pins, pendants needing only a jump ring, and of course tutorial pieces needing writing up.
Seeing so much bead embroidery in the Battle of the Beadsmith reminded me that about 3 years ago I had a go at it, and had an almost finished piece cluttering up my beading cupboard. So I girded my loins, dug out my bead embroidery book (Jamie Cloud Eakin’s dimensional Bead Embroidery) and worked out how to finish it. And finish it I have.
I’m quite pleased with it, but made a couple of errors which mean it will be staying with me rather than going into the shop………….
I made a booboo when I was cutting out the backing, forgetting the remnants of a sticky label. Which doesn’t look great.
I looked at the big roll of heavy interfacing in my sewing drawer and said ‘ I can use that, not this ridiculously expensive beading stiffener’. This might have worked for a flat piece, but didn’t work for a bracelet as the interfacing has folded slightly, so I don’t have a smooth curve.
On the bright side, the faux suede upholstery fabric I used (I started this so long ago I hadn’t heard of ultrasuede) does seem to be fine – it’s nice to work with and hasn’t frayed at all. Since it’s one of a large wad of samples I bought at a fabric sale I’m quite pleased since I now have a huge range of colours of backing to choose from.
So here it is, my first completed bead embroidery piece – beads from my stash, a polaris clasp from Stitch N Craft and backing from my overstuffed fabric drawer. I’ve enjoyed the process more than I thought I would – I have always perhaps slightly looked down on bead embroidery, feeling it doesn’t have the engineering and construction challenges of the 3D beadweaving I’m more used to, but it does give an opportunity to paint with beads, and really make the most of the finishes and colours. Since finishing this I’ve made two more pieces, more about them soon (once they make it out of the nearly finished box!).