It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally finished my Sun Star Brooch tutorial. This is my first bead embroidery tutorial, and has evolved over a number of years from a bezelled RAW ring to it’s current huge embroidered flamboyant form, with a centrepiece hand painted cabochon. It plays to my ongoing obsession with Czech etched beads, particularly the larger sized seeds and absolutely amazing daggers.
It uses a variety of bead embroidery techniques, including back stitch, bezelling using circular peyote, seeding and edging to make a statement brooch or pendant, and would suit beginner bead embroiderers comfortable with a needle – it’s an ideal project for beadweavers or embroiders looking to try out bead embroidery as it covers key basic techniques which you can then go on to try out in your own designs. If you already have some bead embroidery experience, then this makes a lovely quick project – I can do one in an evening (although to be fair I have had quite a lot of practice and am a bit naughty about letting the glue dry properly).
The thirteen page tutorial contains a full materials list, with suggestions for colour schemes, and every step is fully illustrated with a detailed diagram showing thread paths etc, with photos to show you what you are aiming for. And of course every step is also written out clearly for those of us who prefer written instructions.
Once you’ve mastered the basic brooch, there are possibilities for variations which I hope to explore here over the next few months, so watch this space. I’ve already worked out that you can add extra rows of embroidery around a smaller central cab if you can’t find a 30mm one:
How completely gorgeous are those capri rose etched beads?
And the advent of 2 holed daggers opens up some new ideas……..
I’ve been a little short on beady mojo lately – I have some big pieces and tutorials that are nearly done, I keep having to restock my materials packs and I’m plenty busy, but because I’m procrastinating about some of those things I don’t feel I want to start any big new designs of my own. But I do want to bead, and I want to bead really really bright. So I dug out one of my favourite books, and knocked up a couple of pieces in very summery colours.
The book is Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies, and I’ve made my favourite ‘Granada’ brooch, and a necklace which is new to me called Art Deco Necklace. Sabine is an incredible designer, and I’ve made tonnes of her pieces, and it’s been really nice to return to the first book of hers that I bought and bash out some simple, quick and very wearable projects.
Obviously I love making Granada, as I’ve made it at least twice before, and I really enjoyed Art Deco too. Sabine’s patterns are always easy to work from, and although they are a bit condensed and harder to follow in the book than in her individual self-published tutorials (presumably because there is a lot less space in a book), the diagrams are good and I didn’t really have any problems.
And though I say it myself, I LOVE my colours! All the beads were from my stash as these were spur of the moment projects, and I especially love the neon coral 6mm Swarovski Pearls, which I got on sale from Stitch n Craft, the Crystal Light Coral Swarovski Rivoli (also Stitch N Craft), the 3mm milky lime bicones from Robin’s Beads, and in the necklace, the neon red matte rounds from Creative BeadCraft (must buy more….).
And I’ve also used another excellent Stitch n Craft find, a brooch back with bail, which will enable me to wear the Granada as either a pendant or a brooch.
The lovely Gill Goldfinch runs Whitstable Bead ‘n’ Banter, and rather excitingly is hosting a Bead in of my Baroque Tape Measure for International Beading week.
I’ve donated the patterns for the day to support the event and International Bead week, so if you fancy going along all you have to do is book in with Gill, and pull together the beads you need using the requirements list here (or if you’d rather, you can buy a materials pack from my Etsy shop here, where I also sell hard to get 2.8mm drops, and robust Hoechtmass tape measures).
The Bead-in is on Wednesday August 1st and runs all day (10-4pm) at The Horsebridge, 11 Horsebridge Road, Whitstable CT5 1AF. Please let Gill know in advance if you would like to attend so they can plan for the right numbers – you can reach her at email@example.com.
It’s a lovely chance to get hold of the pattern for free, and more importantly to get together with some friendly other beaders to enjoy a day of beading ‘free of domestic distractions’ (which sounds particularly attractive to me as I type with a 4 year old running riot).
More details of this and other events and activities being run for International Beading Week can be found here. As well as meet ups and classes, there are lots of activities you can join in at home, including Jean Power’s legendary Summer Beadalong – even if you can’t get to a meet up the feeling of beading with other beaders across the world from the comfort of your own home is very uplifting, so have a look and join in!