Image

Sun Star Brooch

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.

Sun Star Brooch – Sarah Cryer Beadwork – Magic Apple

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).

Sun Star Brooch – Sarah Cryer Beadwork – Magic Apple and Crystal Marea

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.

It’s available now in my Etsy shop as an instant download, as are the cabochons (both hand painted and Liberty print) and I hope to complete some materials packs in the next couple of days.

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……..

Advertisements
Image

Playing with bright colours

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.

 

Image

Baroque Tape Measure Beadalong for International Beading Week

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 gillgoldfinch@btinternet.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!

Image

Boomerang Bling – Sabine Lippert

I wrote a while back about all the lovely patterns I have stored up which I was waiting to work on, and I’ve finally actually managed to make one. Sabine Lippert is a favourite of mine – I find her patterns really relaxing to bead, but I’ve not made many of her bigger pieces, largely because of the volumes of beads needed. As a stash lover I’m always a bit uncomfortable actually using my beads……. But as of recently I’m now able to buy some beads in wholesale packs, so when I bought a lovely big bag of 3mm matte sliperit fire polished beads, and a good sized pack of 3mm fuchsia preciosa bicones which worked beautifully together, the time was come to grab some etched sliperit 4mm fire polished and seeds out of my stash and make the lovely Boomerang Bling.

It’s a completely genius pattern – essentially CRAW or PRAW but with some clever twists and additions, but largely unebellished meaning the basic network and form really shines through, making a beautiful 3d fabric of beads. After the first few components I really got into the design, and was able to bead the remainder without constantly referring to the pattern, which was really relaxing.  And it’s woven in one continuous rope, which means less stopping and starting and minimises the end weaving in.   I made one tiny change, which isn’t noticeable – because I was using etched beads I didn’t have any 15s (which form the tip of each boomerang component), so I stuck with the 11s.  Which still look great – thank you Sabine!

Image

Christmas Secret Beadalong 2017

Do you know I’ve done every one of Jean Power’s Summer Beadalongs, but never a Christmas one?  I’m not really sure why – it’s a very busy time of year for us, whereas in the summer I’m usually away with the family, with quiet evenings to work.  And I guess I’m also not a big kit buyer (all of the previous Christmas beadalongs have been kit only). So this year when Jean told me that she was releasing it as a pattern rather than kitting it, and that even better, it used standard delicas rather than the tiny 15 delicas and 15 seeds she featured in the previous year’s, I said ‘well I’ll do it then’. And do it I did. And I really enjoyed it.

I didn’t always manage to stick to the daily allocated beading – initially I got a bit ahead and then I had to have a big break and went from ahead, to right, to very behind, but it was an enjoyable process. The amount of beading was actually really just right for December – if I hadn’t had other pieces on the go (unplanned Christmas brooches, sudden ideas which just had to be tried, and several batches of cabochons), it would have been perfect. Each night’s work was under an hour for me, so had I not been distracted I could have made up for nights out and away from my beads comfortably.

But the pattern is lovely – very Jean, annoyingly clever, and the finished result is splendid. I went for a ‘change colour every row’ approach as that seems to be becoming my thing for peyote with delicas, and I love the finished effect, which used purples and fuchsias. It’s used up a few more beads from my stash, and meant I didn’t have to buy more to have enough of a single colour. The central crystal AB Swarovski crystal was also from my stash, as were the lovely fuchsia 2xAB bicones.  It’s now hanging from our desk light – it was far too lovely to send up into the loft when we took the tree down!

Jean has been making lots of these, and working on some variations using acrylic stones, different sized petals etc. I have a coral acrylic stone in my stash so I’m going to have a go at making a pendant sized one when I get some time – have a look at Jean’s various blog posts to see what she’s been up to and what that could look like. And if you fancy making one yourself then the pattern is still available here.

Image

Oscar’s Bauble

Oscar’s Bauble was originally made as a fully beadwoven babies’ rattle.  It formed the winter part of my entry for the Stitch N Craft Challenge in 2014.  In 2013 just as I was working on the piece our second son Oscar was born – a winter baby, the beads I had to incorporate for the challenge were soft cream opals, palest pinks and blues, and they matched his lovely delicate skin tone, so I made him a rattle.  It has a tiny bell, a cellini spiral candy cane handle with lovely pink opal chatons at the base, and the main body is a dodecahedron made of hexagonal gumdrop bezels.  

DSC_0372

Whilst I don’t think I could repeat the rattle as a whole (there was a particularly challenging join to the handle involving a 20 bead hole needing to meet up with a 7 bead spiral), the bauble works really nicely on it’s own, with gumdrops or spikes, so I’ve finally written it up as a Tutorial which is now available in my Etsy shop.  Hopefully in a week or so I will also have some Materials Packs for it as well – it’s taken nearly 4 years to write up the Tutorial though so for now I’m just focussing on getting it published!

DSC_0401

Techniques – Circular Peyote

Difficulty Level – Intermediate.  Knowledge of 3d beading is useful, and you’ll use the concepts of ‘step ups’ and ‘point rows’ so if you already know about these that will help.

The finished bauble measures 5.0cm in diameter made with Gumdrops, and 6.5cm with Spikes.

What will you need?

12 qty Czech Gumdrop beads 7x10mm, or Czech spikes 7x17mm

11A 11g Size 11 seed beads, colour A (main colour)

11B 8g Size 11 seed beads, colour B (highlight colour, forms the petals/star)

15A <1g Size 15 seed beads, colour A (although these are not seen so you could use any colour).

Something to hang the bauble with – fine chain, thread or fine ribbon or cord.

Beadweaving needles, thread of your choice, scissors.

DSC_0411

 

Image

Materials Packs – Yay!

So I finally got my act together and made some Materials Packs using the lovely Hoechtmass Tape Measures that arrived about a month ago. They are very well made, and should last well, and their slightly recessed outer edge means the beads sit really nicely. The colours are absolutely stunning too – I got lots in the fantastic deep fuchsia (obviously) and then two each in some of the other colours. I’ve used the fuchsia in two of the new packs, and the red, jade & purple, but I’ve still got some pink, yellow & orange left to come up with some more combinations.  They are available here in my Etsy shop.

I’ve also been able to get hold of some fantastic Czech beads, including matte glittery, neon or ‘happy’ finish rounds, etched glittery, matte slipperit (my complete favourite) or metallic ice fire polisheds.

I should say though at this point that because the Hoechtmass Tape Measures are so very well made, they cost me several times as much as my usual tapes.  I’ve tried to absorb some of this, but I do need to charge slightly more for these packs – £22 instead of £20. I do still have packs using standard tape measures too in some lovely colourways here if you prefer.  Additionally the Hoechtmass Tapes have a smart metal end, rather than a plastic removable tab, so there is no need/option to add a beaded bead or tassel, so I don’t include additional beads for this.

So at the moment I have in stock the new Baroque Tape Measure Materials Packs ‘Plus’ with Hoechtmass Tape Measures  here in:

Silver & Fuchsia – this colourway goes with the Navy & Fuchsia Space Needle Materials Pack (currently out of stock in Long, but in stock in Short). It includes Etched fire polished and Matte Glittery beads plus all the usual Swarovski, Preciosa and Miyuki beads. I’ve made one of these as you can see from the picture to check that the etched beads don’t cause any fit problems, and to check the sizing on the new tape measures and it looks fantastic!


Crimson & Silver – this colourway goes with the Crimson & Silver Space Needle Materials Pack ((currently in stock in Long, and Short). It includes Metallic Ice fire polished and Matte Glittery beads plus all the usual Swarovski, Preciosa and Miyuki beads.


Fuchsia & Dark Golds – this colourway adds gold to my original Fuchsia & Bronze version for added sparkle. It includes my current favourite matte Slipperit fire polished and some completely stunning ‘Happy’ finish round beads. plus all the usual Swarovski, Preciosa and Miyuki beads.

Blackberry – Fuchsia, purple & plum combine for a bruised blackberry treat. Again this uses the matte Slipperit fire polished and ‘Happy’ finish round beads. plus all the usual Swarovski, Preciosa and Miyuki beads.


Jade & Silver – Emerald, silver, crystal & vivid blue for an oceanic mermaid like zinger.  This one uses blue neon rounds for added ‘glow in the dark’ fun, the etched fire polisheds again and the usual Swarovski, Preciosa and Miyuki beads.  And for once, unusually for me, no red or fuchsia…..

 

And finally, an update on my shops.  I’m starting to separate out my Etsy and Folksy shops, to make it easier to manage stocks on the packs and supplies side.  As previously my Etsy shop will have a limited range of my finished pieces, plus all of my Materials Packs, Cabochons and Tutorials for download.  My Folksy shop will have all of my available finished beadwork pieces, but nothing else, and I’ll continue to offer an alternative source for Tutorials through PayHip via the Tutorials page here on my blog.