As you know I’ve donated a chart which you can find on the IBW site or in my Free Charts section, and from 25th July until 1st August I will be offering 20% off all tutorials in my Etsy shop (no code needed, tutorials only, please note that this doesn’t start until tomorrow – 24th July).
I should say now that we’ll be taking a much needed holiday though for bulk of the week, so I’ll be closing my shops for everything other than those digital download tutorials (which run happily without me needing to post stuff), but fret not, the beads, cabochons, crystals and goldwork wires will be back on August 9th. During that time I will still be beading, as it’s time for Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong, so watch my social media to see how I’m getting on.
Whilst you’re there, why not join the IBW Facebook group, or have a look at the IBW Facebook Page and the lovely Beadworker’s Guild Instagram account and see what we’ve been working so hard on behind the scenes. This year we have a theme for International Beading Week (IBW) to celebrate the positive mental health impacts that beading has with the tagline: ‘HANGING IN THERE’. We will have daily prompts to help you get involved on social media and throughout the week we will be sharing tips, ideas, free patterns and beaders’ stories on our channels – and we would love to read your stories too!
Please help us spread the word about beading by tagging the Beadworkers Guild in all of your social media posts and use the hashtag #beadingweek.
With just a few days left of International Beading week as well as looking after my Etsy shop with a lovely 20% discount on all tutorials, I’m as usual doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 8 joins the pairs of rivolis together but leaves some mysterious gaps? One more day to go and I’m starting to have an idea of where we’re going but still not sure!
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 7 completes the skirt on the lovely Bermuda Blue dome crystal and adds a long strap. Lots and lots of herringbone in 15s…….
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 6 is quite a substantial bead, adding a skirt to the domed stone’s bezel. I’m working in the stripes I used in the bezel so there is a lot of bead swapping but I love how it looks.
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 5 is adding some bicones to one of the rivolis we bezelled in the prep work as we did on Days 2 & 3 with pearls (you can see my prep work and colour choices in my previous post here), but as I said yesterday I’m playing with 4mm fire polished beads instead. The image today looks very like yesterday – the crystals have the same base Royal Red lacquer but yesterday’s one also has the additional DeLite coating, which gives it blue flashes which are only just visible in the photo. In real life it’s a really strong, visible finish though so they look really different.
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 4 is adding some bicones to one of the rivolis we bezelled in the prep work as we did on Days 2 & 3 with pearls (you can see my prep work and colour choices in my previous post here). I don’t have any bicones which I want to use for this so I’m experimenting with using 4mm Fire Polished in a red lacquer finish and so far so good! They actually sit slightly better than the pearls as they are slightly narrower than they are long rather than being a perfect round.
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 3 is adding some pearls to one of the rivolis we bezelled in the prep work as we did on Day 2(you can see my prep work and colour choices in my previous post here). It’s going along very nicely as you can see – here it is with my rope from Day 1 (plus some extra work on that on Days 2 & 3).
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – Day 2 is adding some pearls to one of the rivolis we bezelled in the prep work (you can see my prep work and colour choices in my previous post here).
As usual for International Beading Week I’m doing Jean Power’s Secret Beadalong – which today started with a lovely superduo rope. It’s whizzing along nicely, and looking epic in my unsubtle colourway of navy and neon sunflower yellow.
This will hopefully work with my colour choices which you can see above in my prep work – I’ve worked a little stripe into the rivoli bezels and tubes already so we’re going for brights tempered with navy, matching the rivoli or crystal colours in the additional outer beads.
I’m also adding turquoise to compliment the gorgeous Crystal Bermuda Blue 18mm domed crystal (a new shape from Swarovski, which looks amazing), a pair of yellow rivolis (Swarovski Crystal Buttercup and Matubo Goldenrod), and a pair of pinkish red rivolis (Swarovski Royal Red Lacquer and Royal Red DeLite Lacquer). My beads are all Miyuki – delicas in 2143 (Navy), 729 (Turquoise Green), 873 (Matte Red AB), 2193 (Light Squash); seeds in 4493 (Navy), 412 various finishes (Turquoise Green), 407FR (Matte Red AB), 4453 (Light Squash). I have Swaroski Iridescent Dark Blue 4mm pearls, but might also swap in some Silk Turquoise Green druks. So far I’m thinking no bicones – the colours and rivoli choices should mean this works well for day wear and there isn’t a suitable bicone colour which won’t make it blingier than I want – so I’ll either repeat the pearls if the design works, pop in a 4mm fire polished, or have to switch back and pick a bicone. That’s the nice thing about the Secret Beadalong – because you don’t know what you’re making it’s sometimes a good idea to have a few alternative options up your sleeve!
So day 4 was not such a good day for me. I lost my nerve as regards my colour scheme, and switched in my etched rainbow coppers in place of my matte dark metal. Because they are etched they are a bit smaller, so the netting surrounding the superduos was a bit thready.
So I unpicked that and tried again with my antique copper highlight beads.
They looked much better, but when I got to the rope on day 5 I realised that gave me way too much copper in comparison with the other beaded beads.
So I ripped out the central section (just a few steps worth) and switched in the correct dark grey beads, which has toned it down nicely. Without some copper I think this bead would have been too different from the rope to wear alone, whereas now it has a connection.
So onto the rope, which should take up days 5-7 (although I've only spent one evening in it thanks to all the indecisiveness around day 4). It's lovely. Pay attention to the instructions, they are very clear so I have no excuse, but I messed up the first couple of inches by getting the 8s to sit vertically rather than horizontally. Not only is this very fiddly to do, and much slower, it gives you a very inflexible rope with far too much thread showing. Once I twigged I was able to switch to the correct orientation and now it's beading up more easily, and has a nice curve. I'm definitely thinking of making some bangles using this rope – the maximum curvature feels like it would be spot on for a rigid bangle, it's easy and relaxing to bead a whole armful, and it looks great.
So I have a few more hours ahead of beading the rope, and need to dig out a clasp. I had been planning to use one of the Anna Bronze clasps I've just bought, but I can see now that the finished piece will work well with one, two, three or even none of the beaded beads, so I need to ensure that the clasp doesn't stop me sliding them on and off, so may simply have to obey Jean and get a S clasp.