Un-Started Objects

Early last year I wrote a post about my beady UFOs. None of the pieces in that post have really progressed (I have put a couple more humps on the Ootheca cuff, but that’s it).  Then I wrote a piece about the tutorials I was planning to publish – one (my Space Needle Case) is now out in the world, but the others haven’t really moved.  I’ve managed to recreate the CRAW ring, but I’m still not quite happy with how to write up the corner joins….  All in all my beady planning is looking like the opposite of Mastermind – no ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ here.  On the other hand, I did get some work finished last year, published a new tutorial, and won a competition, so I won’t berate myself too much.

This year, rather than a series of pictures of lonely, unloved UFOs, a glance through my PDFs on my iPad has prompted a different kind of list – rather than UFOs I thought I’d share some USOs (Un-started objects).  As well as a huge stash of beads I’m afraid I have a large collection of tutorials lurking – I buy them because there is a discount offer, because I simply cannot fathom how something’s been done and I need to know now, because I want to support the artist, or just because I really want to make them.  Because I’m trying hard to focus on original work at the moment the unused ones are starting to accumulate, so I thought it might be interesting to give you a flavour of what has caught my eye (since it may be a while before they appear here as finished or even started beadwork).

So first (and I’ve had these for a while) a set of three from Barbara Briggs bought while I was very into Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  How I ever thought I would have the time for such substantial pieces made almost entirely of delicas I can’t say, but they are quite amazing:

Fantasy Floral Cuff by Barbara Briggs (image by Barbara Briggs)

Fantasy Flora Cuff

Mermaid Cuff by Barbara Briggs (image by Barbara Briggs)

Mermaid Cuff

Barbara Briggs Dragon WrapFire Dragon Wrap

I’ve been a huge fan of Sabine Lippert for many years, and have completed lots of her pieces, which gives me an excuse for accumulating so many patterns (plus two books) – although I have to say until I wrote this list I didn’t realise quite how many.  Sabine has a sale on at the moment for some of these patterns, and even with the ridiculously low pound they are super value:

Sabine Lippert Tchacka Boom BangleTchacka Boom Bangles – a free pattern using her spiky button beads.

Sabine Lippert Wanna be a ButterflyWanna be a Butterfly – another freebie, this time using her Rizos.

Sabine Lippert TweedTweed – I’ve already beaded the related Baroque Dimensional which has a similar basis – I just need to get organised and pick fire-polished colours for this as I’ll need to do a bulk order as it needs 460 4mms!

Sabine Lippert TurbulenceTurbulence – looks like a lovely, smallish project.

Sabine Lippert - BoomerangBoomerang Bling – another one which needs some planning/shopping, and a fair amount of work, but looks like it will be amazing when finished.

Sabine Lippert Squaricals and PenticalsSquaricals & Penticals – I tried to start this on holiday last year but was a few beads short.  I should do this soon – it looks lovely to bead.

Sabine Lippert Go-Dimensional


Go Dimensional
– a classic Sabine blingy beaded bead – my Rivoli stash is much more substantial now so I should be able to do this without shopping!

From Cindy Holsclaw at Bead Origami (my sister is a big fan, and I love the way Cindy works) courtesy of a small special offer:

Bead Origami Teardrop BubblesTeardrop Bubble Beaded Bead – I love beaded beads and I love Czech teardrops, easy choice.

Bead Origami Supercoiled RopeSupercoiled Beaded Rope – how completely cool is this – I need to know how it is done, and hopefully a bit of a stash buster.

None of you will be surprised to discover some of the fabulous Jean Power’s work lurking in my collection.  As well as lots of tutorials and book projects from her which I’ve already beaded and some inevitable UFOs, I have two still to do:

Jean Power Star FlowerStar Flowers – this is quite new so I don’t feel too guilty about this one.  I have some of the giant acrylic stones already, so this should happen soon!

Jean Power Interlocking CrystalsInterlocking Crystals – this is a Jean classic which I’ve had for years.  I tried it with some cheap rivolis a while back, and it didn’t work because they were a different shape to Swarovski ones, which is fair enough.  I’ll need to take a deep breath before starting this one as the necklace takes over 40 rivolis.

Actually, apart from the huge glut of Sabine’s patterns, and the fact that I also have a pile of beading books and magazines, this list doesn’t look quite as bad as I had expected.  Hopefully I’ll get onto some of them soon – I have all my new cabochons to work with first though, so don’t hold your breath!

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Playing with forms

For years now I’ve been eyeing up my children’s tiny plastic toy animals – surely I could bead around one and make something really funky?  But I’ve been put off by two things- firstly they are really small and it would be fiddly (I know this is ironic coming from a beadweaver) and the ‘spare’ ones here are all creepy crawlies and I really don’t like them. We do have a giant octopus just crying out to be beaded but he is much too big.

So when I was in the local art shop (gorgeous Cass Arts) the other day and saw some small Decopatch creatures I thought ‘aha – they look fun’.  So I now own a lovely Brontosaurus – she’s small enough to be achievable, but big enough to allow me to work out some techniques in sensibly sized beads.  She’ll be an ornament rather than something to wear, but if she works I can try a smaller form next time – I’m seeing a range of necklaces made of tiny beaded T-Rex’s already…………….

 

 

My 2016 beady to do list

After my obligatory blogger’s 2015 review, here’s my equally obligatory 2016 look ahead!  Thank you to my sister Susie for the apposite mug – it is sadly true as I spend a worrying amount of time thinking about what I want to bead.  This is probably because I have so little time to actually bead, so this year I want to make a plan and sort of stick to it, so I can always have something on hand ready to work on (rather than sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike because I’ve forgotten that really good idea I had three months ago).

So to begin, the projects I started in 2014 and didn’t touch in 2015 – the dreaded ‘unfinished but not quite a UFO yet’ box.

Planned for me to wear at my friend Jane’s wedding in the smartest venue imaginable.  Abandoned when I decided the dress was too short for said venue.  This was going to be a series of arches to mirror the digital print of the Ted Baker dress, and I think I’ll continue trying to work it out as it’s a lovely dress.  That said, when I pulled the bits so far to take a snap I wasn’t very impressed…….so for now this is back in the ‘maybe’ pile.

Arches - in progress - Sarah Cryer Beadwork

Planned for me to wear at same  wedding with smarter outfit, just as a simple short necklace.   Abandoned when I realised said outfit now too small.  I have plans to turn this into a shoulder covering cape of bezelled stones, connected by a cobweb of antique gold 3mm fire polished beads, but it could take a while to bezel enough stones for that!  The stones are a mix of vintage and new Swarovski, and were a very good exercise in working up similar bezels in lots of shapes and sizes. I’m a lot more confident in this one though, so it’s high up the list to actually do.  It would be a good holiday project as I’d only need the gold beads and chatons (not my normal case full of random pulls).

Sapphires & Gold - in progress - Sarah Cryer Beadwork

These are a variant on Jean Power’s Geometric Secret vessels – only with triangles instead of hexagons.  They’re lovely shaped things, but the one in 15 delicas (at the front) is rather more succesful than the one in 11s as it holds it’s shape, but I’ve never quite known what to do with it as a triangle is not a very wearable shape – it sticks out rather.  It could make a nice pendant hanging below a suitable bosom I suppose?  Not sure what to do with the other one?  Back on the ‘maybe’ pile.

Stepped triangles - Sarah Cryer Beadwork

This one may not make it – I was playing with twin beads to make a flat weave, but I’ve run out of the twins and can’t remember where I got them.  Luckily I do in theory log all my purchases (so I can cost up work/kits), so I should be able to work it out.  If I finish this it will have a long or box clasp and sit as a snug cuff, and I’d like to as it is my colour.  I’d say there is no more than an hour’s beading left to do once I’ve sourced the beads, so stays on the ‘to do’ pile.

Cuff - in progress - Sarah Cryer Beadwork

Maybe I should have included a section on ‘pieces where I’ve run out of beads’ – this one qualifies as well……..it will be a necklace once I’ve worked out how to elegantly extend it to a normal length (or tracked down some more beads).  This would make a nice beginners tutorial as it is super easy, but I think there are already quite a few similar ones around.  On the ‘to do’ pile.

Collar - in progress - Sarah Cryer Beadwork

This is a barely started Jean Power Affinity Bangle – using very cool rubber coated rondelles from my now defunct local bead shop.  I think I have enough to get me through it (I kept buying more in their drawn out closing sale), and I’ve made one before which was a joy, so I want to get going on this soon as the colours are more winter than summer and I think it will be lush!

Affinity Bangle - designed by Jean Power, beaded by Sarah Cryer Beadwork

So, that’s the really old stuff out of the way – just tutorials, last year’s unfinished pile, my long list of unstarted patterns and of course a ‘to try’ inspiration list to go.  This could be the longest set of New Year’s resolutions I’ve written (hopefully I’ll be better at sticking to them than I normally am).  Tune out if you get bored………….

Secret Bead Along

The utterly fabulous Jean Power is holding a Secret Bead Along for National Beading Week.  It’s £5 to participate, or if you either subscribe to her newsletter (recommended – always interesting, you hear first about new designs and usually get a discount code for patterns) or are a member of the Beadworker’s Guild its’ FREE.   I have my instructions for the pre-work, and am currently faffing about what colours to use (normal for me I know, but worsened by not knowing what I’m actually working towards)!  Hopefully my sister Susie Hoad will also be participating – we are off on holiday together towards the end of that week and it would be great fun to finish off together.  I don’t get to bead with other beaders in person very often, so I love the idea that so many of us will all be beading together around the country (or perhaps the world), and even if we’re not in the same room it will be supercool to see what everyone produces.

Above is a picture of one of Jean’s designs (beaded my me) so you can see just how exciting her work is!

Busy bee

Apologies if things have been a bit quiet here – the usual endless winter cold cycles have come to a head recently with some pretty nasty temperatures for both the boys, so energy and time for beading has been severely limited.  Plus as usual I have been inspired by the Great Britsh Sewing Bee to sew instead.  As well as a very quick and simple transformation of a pirate costume into a Cat Pirate for World Book Day I’ve now also made a completely amazing Triceratops head and tail for the bigger boy (although I do rather wish it was for me).  They came from a Simplicity pattern (1765), with some adaptations – the tail is mounted on a belt rather than sewn to their suit as I definitely don’t have time for entire outfit, and I used poplin rather than fleece which may have made things trickier, but the end result will be wearable year round.  

Greater love has no mother than to give up part of her precious Kaffe Fassett fabric stash to make a small dinosaur……..

Chromomania (part 2)

And so to Bath for a belated birthday mini break sans enfants. Main reason (other than loveliness of Queensberry Hotel and Bath in general) was of course the Kaffe Fassett exhibition up at the American Museum, and it was as expected completely fab. I particularly loved the use of giant blown up photos of his work on some kind of vinyl as flooring, which coupled with his work and the intense wall colours made it a very immersive experience.   It is so difficult to describe his use of colour in particular adequately to those who haven’t seen his work, so here is a link to a video about the exhibition on the American Museum site and some of my snaps instead so you can experience some more chromomania.  Apologies for quality of photography, my iPhone seems to find his exuberant use of reds in particularly quite hard work.  Wimp.

My quilting mother and I have both loved and been heavily influenced by Kaffe’s work since he came to prominence in my teens,  and although beading has largely replaced patchwork, tapestry and knitting for me, I still find him incredibly inspiring.  As well as two huge Persian Poppies shawls I knitted at Uni, posters, insane cardis, scarves and hats using his wools for Rowan, and various other pieces designed by him including a divine lobster needlepont, Mum’s vivid patchwork pieces scattered round the house are a daily reminder of his influence on us.  So the exhibition has wound me up nicely, and on my return home the colours will be out in force for both textiles and beading …….. I’m wondering if I can do a Jean Power faux cro rope tribute to some of his early knitting designs, and how about something ridiculous with those neon pink spikes that have just arrived?

Whilst in Bath my tolerant husband also allowed me to amble round the Fashion Museum which was as always fascinating, and we had some stunning food – very interesting tasting menu and wines at the Olive Tree (below the hotel), Sushi at our old favourite Yen Sushi (behind the Assembly Rooms) and a wonderful fishy experience at Blunos.  Yummy.