I’m busy at the moment helping fellow Beadworkers Guild Members to run all of our Social Media channels during International Beading Week, and struggling to find much time for actual beading. Hopefully you all have a bit more time to bead – if you do I’m having a 20% off sale on my tutorials in my Etsy shop – no need for a coupon code, they’re already reduced. Just click on the image to go to the tutorial section.
If you’re interested in finding out more about International Beading Week, please swing by the website http://www.internationalbeadingweek.co.uk and/or search for our page and group on Facebook, or follow #IBW2019 and #Internationalbeadingweek
So I finally had time to put together some materials packs for my Sunstar brooch tutorial. The tutorial uses basic bead embroidery to bezel a 30mm domed cabochon, and then add some amazing dagger beads to make a striking giant flower. The finished piece was designed as a brooch, but also makes a stunning pendant, and the cunning brooch pin in these packs already has a bezel on so you can wear your finished piece as either a brooch or a pendant without any adjustments.
Three of the packs are based around my own hand painted cabochons, and also include amazing Czech etched beads – both seeds and daggers. The etched daggers were the original inspiration for this design, so it’s been great picking the right colours for these packs, and it’s been even nicer getting to play with my Pebeo paints and custom make cabochons to compliment the daggers exactly.
Colourways are Vitrail dots (I mean how amazing are those dotty etched daggers, and though I say it myself the cabs are exquisite); Sliperit (etched Sliperit is my absolute favourite of these finishes, and I use it constantly so it seemed right to share), and Magic Apple (a partially transparent red and green finish, with metallics which was the first colourway I made this brooch in).
The fourth pack is based around some amazing matte canary yellow daggers, and my own hand made Liberty print cabochons, with this colourway guaranteed to bring sunshine into even the darkest day. So you don’t feel left out of the etched bead side though, some of the seed beads in this set are etched too.
As well as the beads and cabochon, each materials pack contains Nicole’s Bead Backing as the embroidery foundation, Ultrasuede for the brooch backing, and the dual purpose brooch pin and pendant bail. As with all of my packs, the tutorial needs to be purchased separately, and you will need to dig out your own beading needles, thread and some strong glue. The tutorial and packs are available in my Etsy shop here.
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!
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!
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.