From Petal to Pod – my beginnings (featuring some really big beads)

Prompted by Facebook chat with the lovely Cath Thomas, and inspired by her new ‘Petals to Pods’ project, I stole the boy’s fake Hama beads and made my first petals.


Cath’s technique is really clever, works up quickly and easily and has loads of potential for organic forms. Sadly Hama beads do not – too square and clumsy unless you truly scale up.  This is what Cath plans to do, and recently we saw an amazing example from the always imaginative Kris Empting-Obenland – her extraordinary fag bag.  However, trying the components this way though has allowed me to get the hang of them quickly, to learn that I’d like to spend some time with them, and to give me some ideas as to direction.  My plan is to try using size 8 seeds next to create some dramatic 3 petalled pods (lots of people are already doing marvellous flowers, so I’m going to branch out into pods).
At the end of the evening I thought I’d have a play with my old friend the Fortune Teller bangle – I used a modified RAW Rick rack start, with five repeats of five.


This on reflection may not have been the right size (I have always struggled to size these, and this one will currently go round my wrist about three times), but looking on the bright side, I don’t think a standard Fortune Teller would have worked later anyway, as these beads are far too square and chunky to form elegant horns.


So when I have time I will have a go at using this base to work up an entirely new shape, which may be a disaster, but will also be a useful creative exercise/learning opportunity.  And because it only takes 5 minutes to do a round, instead of many times that with delicas, I can learn those lessons nice and quickly!  And as previously, if the sizing can’t be rescued, I can zip up one side to make a bowl.……….


More UFOs

Last week I was hunting for my wire box (which should have been labelled, but the small people like to take the labels off, presumably to make life more fun), when I happened upon the UFO box. This should really be called the failure box, since this is where I put things I’ve given up on (genuine UFOs which I intend to finish live in a different box in a different room, and I’ve already blogged about them and done nothing to them since).

Amongst a tangle of hopeless failures and technical disaster zones I found several viable pieces, which I think got thrown in there in a hurry when I was clearing my stuff out of the spare room before we had the smallest boy.  As he is nearly two and a half you can see it’s been a while since I looked in there, so it was a pleasant surprise to find so much usable work! There were also some lovely beads and a finished pair of earrings……..

In no particular order we have:

  • The black net base for a Racel Nelson Smith Ootheca cuff.


  • Part of another Rachel Nelson Smith piece in lovely earth colours.
  • A finished black and white hollow cube – a sample with more zip beads on the corners than I now do, so an early point in the evolution of this series, but I now think rather fun.
  • Some lovely mushroom beads, and a pair of earrings made from them.
  • A couple of salvageable beaded beads – the giant pewter ones has issues at either end, but can be embellished to hide them, and the blue one was an attempt at using RAW which didn’t go well, but will be fine as an Anenome base.



  • The teeny ones were going to be part of a big piece, but bored me.  They will now be a nice little pendant, hung as a trio.


  • A khaki and copper attempt at a sea urchin design, which failed as an urchin but could make a rather nice hollow beaded bead.
  • A long piece of peyote with graduated delicas that simply needs zipping round a wire core to make a necklace.
  • Assorted beads, stones and bits and bobs.

I did find the wire in the end, but got distracted and haven’t used it yet. Tomorrow…….