Snippets from a bead artist.


January 2019 Beading Prompt

Happy New Year everyone!  I sincerely hope that it brings you each what you most want and need and that it's full of joy and many, many beads.  (And that you might have gotten a few stash items for Christmas as well. ;) )

Speaking of Christmas gifts brings me smoothly to this month's prompt, as it is entirely brought about by a generous and wonderful gift I received from a very special friend over the pond - Becs Dean Skinner sent me BOTH of Heather Kingsley-Heath's Albion Stitch books!

I'm so excited and can't wait to dig in!  Albion is a fabulous stitch with so many variations and uses, and Heather's projects are amazing and beautiful.  If you don't own the books I highly recommend them (yes, I've read them already!), and if they aren't in your budget right now,  Heather has many pdf patterns available on her website, as well as some free ones that she created for International Beading Week.  

There are a plethora of projects to choose from in the books (which are really well written and have step by step directions that are sooooo easy to follow).  A selection of the patterns I am most drawn to in the two books would be the Sea Curl bracelet, The Cloister Ribbon necklace and (squeeeeeeeeeee) freeform vessels!! 

Projects/patterns you can find on her website (which is HERE) include The Harlequin Lariat;

this STUNNING Country Garden Beaded Flower;

The Spinning Wave Pendant;

And the Winter Butterfly (seriously, this is so gorgeous it takes my breath).

These are all located in her for purchase pdf patterns, which you can find HERE.   If you'd like to browse her free pdf downloads, you can check them out HERE.  And last but not at all least - Heather has written a new book with Melanie de Miguel (author of the fantastic Hubble Stitch) named "Tudor Inspirations - Elemental Beadwork" which I am DYING to buy. The projects in the book were inspired by the Cheapside Hoard,  something I discovered years ago and was sooooooooo inspired by but never got round to designing from - Heather and Melanie have brought all my beady dreams to reality in this book!  Feast your eyes upon the cover, and the inspiration photo from Heather's blog.... so much DELICIOUS...

So you know what's on my wish list now...  Sherwood is definitely getting a few nudges for my birthday.  :)  So that's it for me for January, I wish you the best of the beginnings for this year, and I hope you find something that makes you want to dive into Albion stitch as much as I do!  Have a wonderful month, and see you soon!


December Beading Prompt

Happy Holidays, everyone!  December is hugely busy for most of the populous, no matter which celebration someone takes part in.  So this month I am keeping it pretty short and sweet, so that everyone has a chance to join in if they want to, and still keep up with their Everythings.  :)

But first, an update here on what I managed to do last month - I finally managed to do one of my own prompts!!!  *trumpet flares here*  I finished the cuff I picked up to do AND I started another project that I hope I can show sometime during December.  It was so so so good to get back to things, and to FINISH something!!  There were also a ton of awesome embroidery projects shared in the group - everyone that participated did gorgeous things, and I was so happy to see so many photos.  Here's my cuff done!

On to December!  This month's prompt is make a pendant!  I would say they're fast and easy, but some of the ones I've seen out there are pretty darned complex and amazing, lol! However, you can find simpler ones around, and they might be the perfect thing if you're needing something for a gift.  I wanted to mention that Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has a FREE pattern for a Christmas pendant that she has uploaded to Facebook - I shared the link on my personal page, if you'd like to make one of your own.  Isn't it beautiful?? 

Instead of looking through Etsy and sharing my favorite finds with you this month, I'm challenging the folks in the group to come forward with their favorites and share links.  I'd love to see what you all are loving.

I really hope 2019 is going to be an excellent year for all of us, and that things can be a little more peaceful and a little more easeful.  If I don't get around to writing another post until January, let me wish you a fabulous new year's now.  :)   Happy beading!!  And thank you all for following along for another year's worth of prompts with me, it's been a pleasure.  


November 2018 Beading Prompt

Happy day after Halloween!  I hope everyone had a lovely time yesterday.  Ours was pretty relaxed, we never get trick or treaters (darn it!) and I'm down with a case of pneumonia, so QUIET was the word, lol.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and Samhain is just the icing, though, so I was happy as can be anyway.

November's prompt is near and dear to my heart, and hopefully will spark lots of creativity.  I didn't get to doing any brick stitch last month, but hopefully I will get right into working on this month's prompt - Bead Embroidery!  In fact, I dug out an unfinished cuff project yesterday and hope to complete it before the end of the month.   If that doesn't work out, I have promised myself to start a new piece of embroidery of some kind.

In a lot of ways, I feel that bead embroidery is one of the very best, most creative forms of bead work, with SO MANY ways to make it purely your own.  There are many gorgeous patterns out there (and yes, I'm going to link to some of them) but it also provides this gigantic playground for the person who wants to just jump in head first.  You can grab any focal at all and just go to town.  You can include any bead that tickles you, and objects that aren't beads or even resemble beads -there are no rules at all!  One of my favorite ways to use it, other than cuff bracelets or wall hangings, is to combine it with weaving such as freeform - to make necklaces, to make bracelets, to make rocks into art objects.   (I have a tutorial called Atlantis that shows how I combine embroidery and freeform in my shop if you'd like a peek at my process.)

My second favorite is doing what I called Mixed Media bead embroidery  -  which is basically using weaving such as freeform or RAW on top of fabric along with embroidery, and including things such as fibers or patches of different fabrics or metallic components.  (I have a tutorial on  that as well.)

So 'my kind' of embroidery is sort of free flowing and rarely looks like a 'thing' in itself.  But a few of my friends do amazing portraiture/caricature work and have made tutorials, as well.  Kinga Nichols of CrimsonFrog does, of course, AMAZING work with embroidery.  As of right now, she is off teaching and her shop is closed, but she offers gorgeous kits for her creations, as well as offering a seasonal, curated collection of beads each season, specifically meant for embroidery - these kits also include beautiful fabrics to work with, and unique focal bits.  She has an FB group for those people who have bought her kits,  and I highly recommend both the kits and the group!  You can find the group HERE, and these are a few of the kits from past seasons (and may I say, they are hugely inspirational):

My friend Jody Young also has a new bead embroidery group on FB, called Beyond The Boundaries with Beads, where she is inspiring people and conducting both swaps and challenges  - you can find that group HERE.  Jody's work is incredible and features what she calls her Raised Texture method of embroidery.  She has a shop on Etsy with delicious embroidery kits as well, HERE.   A few photos of her incredible work:

There are so many artists out there that inspire me, I could go on and on and on and on;  Diane Hyde, Jamie Cloud Eakin, Sherry Serafini, Heidi Kummli, Catherine Chinoy, Laura McCabe, Laura Boudloche Zeiner... the list is a mile long at least.  A few of my favorite bead embroidery tutorials would have to include:

Carol Paris of BumblebeadCrafts on Etsy offers WONDERFUL and whimsical tutorials of adorableness such as Puffins, Heilan' Coos, Foxes, and my ever favorite (and I even own one of the originals!!!) Hedgehog.  You can find her shop HERE.

 Donna Louise Sanders provides fabulous tutorials for her Goddess brooches, earrings and necklaces as well as Christmas ornaments in her shop on Etsy and her Payhip shop.  One of her designs that makes me grin like a loon is the Big Girl Panties brooch, which is a free download you can find HERE.  (We all need some of these, don't we??? ;) )

Tamara Scott Designs has the Lizzie lizard tutorial that caught my eye.  You can find that HERE.

Eva Csizmaadia Lajosne of Vicus on Etsy has stunning design tutorials for barrettes, cuffs, earrings, necklaces - AND she sells some lovely components as well.  You can find her HERE.

If all of that isn't enough inspiration, I highly recommend wandering over to Pinterest (if you have half a day or so to spare - you'll get lost!) and putting bead embroidery into the search.  I hope this kick starts your November beading, and hope to see you soon!  I'm off to see if I can figure out the ending to this cuff....


October Beading Prompt

Happy autumn, everyone!  Fall is my favorite time of year and we've been out and about taking the dogs for lovely long walks and enjoying the air and the fact that we can wear long sleeves without sweating our brains out.  I hope you're enjoying your weather, too, wherever you are.

September's break was a good one for me, and I hope all of you had some fabulous 'free' time with your beads.  If you're in the group, I would love to see what you got up to over the month, please feel free to post a pic!

October's prompt is the stitch I learned first  -  the very first thing I ever beaded; brick stitch.  It was the gateway to beads for me, and so it holds a special place in my heart.  I actually don't have ANY photos of brick stitch that I made, I looked and looked, and they're all gone!  But I must have made thirty or forty pairs of earrings, and then I made barrettes in the shape of three hearts across in brick stitch and sewed them onto felt and glued them to barrette blanks.  One in particular sticks out for me - it was a white background and the hearts were in rainbow colors, and it was given to a little girl who saw it one day and was just so unhappy when her mom couldn't afford to buy it.  I couldn't let her walk away without it!  It made me massively happy to be able to make her smile that day.

I found a few wonderful tutorials, if on the off chance you haven't already learned this stitch - and they're REALLY wonderful.  I mean, lookit this: Sian Nolan's fabulous Hens in Heels!!!  You can find it in her shop, HERE.

Then there is the marvelous Laura Boudlouche Zeiner's Enchanted Evenings necklace tutorial, which I simply love.  Elegant, but oh so sparkly!  You can find it HERE.

Tamara Scott Designs has a cuff tutorial that features brick stitched components in a beautiful design called Elegant Garden HERE.

Crystal Star Gems (Tracey Lorraine) has this gorgeous ornament - please click through to the listing to see the photos of this beauty and how it morphs!  Fuchsia Flower can be found HERE.

And Heather Collin has a sweet but edgy bracelet called Geared Up HERE.

So that's it for me, I hope you find this month's prompt inspiring!  Happy beading, all!


September Beady prompt - or not

Hi all.  I'm taking a bit of a break for September, but will be back again in October.  Life's just a bit nuts at the mo, and a break will do me good -  I hope you all have something inspiring on your bead mats this month regardless!!  Cheers -- see you soon.  :)


August Beady Prompt

Good summer, friends!  At least, I hope yours has been.  Mine has been busy, but also SO rainy.  There are maybe three days of sun and bearable temps and then a loooooooong stretch of rain and thunderstorms - so frustrating when you need to see that sunny day! If you've been having lots of rain too, I hope that the beachy theme from July helped to get you through.

August promises to start off hot and humid and FULL of thunderstorms (for the next five days in VT) and so I thought I would pick one of my favorite things for this month's challenge so that I might be tempted to get my beads out and stick with the air conditioning happily rather than sitting in it with a mighty sense of frustration (so much that needs doing in the yard!).

One of my favoritest things are spirals - in any form, whether in nature, or in art, or in beads.  I LURVE spirals.  They speak to me of all the infinite things that are good.  They speak of ancient, lovely things.  They make me happy.   So August shall be Spiral month - any way you like.  Spiral beads (have you seen those? pressed glass beads that look like shells!), or spirals in the form of ammonite cabochons, or spiral motifs, or spiral ropes.

There are lots of different spiral rope stitches - Russian spiral, regular spiral, cellini spiral, double and triple spiral, spiraling (twisted) herringbone - and tons of variations of patterns in all stitches that include spiral motifs. I'm sure I haven't tackled them all, but I have done quite a few different things with spirals in the past!

 Two necklaces with spiral stitch and crystals.

 Right angle weave with embellished herringbone spiraling around it.

 My favorite ammonite in the world!

 Herringbone with embellished herringbone spiraling around it.

 My Triple Twist  has three spiraling ropes in one necklace.

If you're interested in the tutorial, I have it HERE in my shop. :)

Russian spiral bangle with drop beads. 

I found a ton and a half (maybe two tons) worth of spirally sorts of beady things on Etsy with a quick search.  These are a few that caught my eye.  :)

Carol Dean Sharpe has a plethora of spiraling, swirly patterns in her shop and this one is one of my faves - the LINK will take you to a page full of gorgeous designs:

This lovely bracelet tutorial really grabbed my attention - Tubular herringbone with a layered twist!  I'm purchasing this one myself to try, not only do I love the color combination, but the layer look is wonderful.  You can find the pattern HERE:

Sevtlana has this fabulous take on spirals HERE that I was soooo intrigued by, what a cool use of crescents!

And Heather Collin has a lovely pattern for a spiraling cubic right angle weave that I love HERE.
I promise you there are loads more patterns and tutorials out there if you need more inspiration, but I think this taster is a good one for now.  AND, if you're part of the Facebook group, I'm going to include a complimentary spiral tutorial in the files section just because.  Hope to see lots of spirals popping up this month!! Happy beading, everyone!