Snippets from a bead artist.


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!


July's Beading Prompt

Hello again!  I hope you've all had a lovely month tasseling along and making wonderful pieces.  It's hard to believe our year is half over and we're into the seventh month (and prompt) already, but here we are!

July's prompt is the underwater world - and that's pretty broad, but I thought it would be a great one to use for this vacation-y kind of month.  Sea, sand, underwater creatures, fishes, coral... so many things to choose from.  If you're into making up your own designs, I highly recommend a Google search of ocean imagery - you will be inspired for YEARS.  If you're into doing tutorials, I dug up a few off of Etsy that look fabulous.  :)

Kathy King's necklace tutorial grabbed my eye instantly - this looks so lush and beautiful (and FUN)!  She also has kits available with all the necessary beads.  The tutorial is HERE.

The amazing Eleanor Pigman has two tutorials/kits up that would be perfect for this month's theme - a pretty mermaid and an adorable crab!  You can find them HERE.

Barbara Briggs has the Sea Dragon Wrist Wrap tutorial (and a kit as well) in her shop -perfect for someone who's loving the geometric beadwork craze.  You can find it HERE.

Hannah Rosner created this gorgeous nautilus shell peyote bracelet - you can find the pattern HERE.

Chloe Menage of PinkHot has a wonderful tutorial for a beaded tape measure that features little sea creatures, as well - you can find it HERE.

And Sharri Moroshok has her Anemone Beaded Beads in a pattern HERE.  I love these, and have made a few myself with garnet beads - sOOOOooo fun!!

I hope this month's prompt is inspiring for you - and even that you get a chance to bead something for it in the great outdoors, whether at the beach or at a picnic table, or out in your garden.  :)  Happy beading, everyone, and see you in August.


June Beading Prompt

Hello, all!  Sorry for the late posting this month!  Between allergies and other personal loss things, things have been feeling pretty rough around here for about a week, and I've fallen behind on just about everything... we won't speak of the housework.

HOWSOMEVER, here I am at last and I think this is a seriously cool prompt - I'm not hesitant to say so because it wasn't my idea, lol!  I was running on empty at the end of May and asked for suggestions in the group for things they thought might be interesting.

June's prompt, therefore, is beaded tassels!  What a cool concept and what a gorgeous treasure trove of inspirations I found when I did some searching.  I could only think of a very few things I did myself that included a tassel (I'm much more likely to do fringe or drops!) and this is a pic of my favorite, called Water Lily:

It just so happens that Marcia DeCoster has a design in this month's Bead and Jewelry Magazine featuring a tassel, as well!  I believe this is a UK magazine, but ohhhhhh... so tempted!! I have HEARD that they sell single copies in Barnes and Noble, after all.  :D

On Etsy, there are (is?) a plethora of designs to choose from if you don't already have a tassel tutorial in your stash, or if you're not feeling like designing your own.  I'm only going to list a few of them, because I double dog dare ya to go and search yourself, if only for the eye candy.

The lovely Helena Tang-Lim (Maneklady on Etsy) has this luscious Tassel Lariat - tutorial HERE.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has a stunning tassel HERE that I love:

Norma Jean Dell (njdesigns1) has a lovely lariat necklace tutorial HERE that includes adorable little loop fringes:

Amanda Connell of BeadiACDesigns has this intricate and opulent pendant tutorial HERE:

Lynn Davy 's Nemesis necklace tutorial is an excellent one for learning to attach a tassel under a lamp worked bead (and who doesn't have a hoard of those saved up?!?!) HERE:

And Nikia Angel's Tudor necklace with three tassels is just divine, you can find it HERE:

A big thank you to the group for not only being so patient with me, but for helping me to come up with a really lovely prompt for everyone this month.  Be happy, get tasseling!!


May's Beading Prompt

Happy May!  I BEADED A THING last month!!! Yes, yes, I actually did one of my own prompts, lol.  ;)  I made an amulet/vessel pendant designed by Donna Louise Sanders of Delicate Sparkles.  I love love love this pattern.  I'm actually working on a second one now!

If you're interested, the tutorial is called Juliet's Potion Bottle, and you can find it here in Donna's Etsy shop. (She has also just finished a second vessel tutorial that will be my next thing!!  You can find that one here.)

Soooooooooo... this month's prompt is more like a challenge, really.  How many tutorials do you have sitting on your hard drive (or stashed in a file somewhere) that you haven't gotten around to tackling?  No, really... how many??  WAY TOO MANY, that's how many!  So this month I challenge you to go and look through that huge stack (mine is huge, I bet yours is too) and pick one and DO IT!  Bead the thing!!  I'm going to show a few of mine that I have sitting there just waiting for me, and of course you could go and buy one of them for yourself (enabler that I am), but the challenge is to grab one you already have.  You could always do new ones next month, or after you finish making one from your stash of tutorials... ;)

I have a huge hoard.  This is only the very tippiest tip of the iceberg, here.

Carol Paris's Northern Star Pods.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Gwen Fisher's Cellini Asterisk Pendant.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Heather Kingsley Heath's Chantry Window Bracelet.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Helena's La Chiave necklace.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Martina Nagele's Phoenix Feather Lariat.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Sabine Lippert's Bunch of Bangles.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's Mermaid Bracelet.  Love.

Tutorial is HERE.

And that's just a few!!!!!  So I dare ya, go dive into your stash.  See what you have.  Then bead one up!


April Beading Prompt

Happy April, everyone!  I hope that spring is springing (or fall is falling) happily where you are.  It's still snow and mud in Vermont, but soon it will be just mud, lol.

March's prompt was embraced by quite a few people and there were some beautiful bezels showing up in the group. At least one person hadn't  bezeled before and had a good time trying it out, which made me ridiculously happy.  I hope that I will have something to show myself, soon, too.

April's prompt is amulet bags.  I know, I know - people either love them or hate them!  But there are so many variations of this that you could go off on, and my take is a little different -   to count for the prompt, it basically just needs to be a vessel that can be worn - this would include something along the lines of a locket necklace.  (So if you have a locket pattern - now's the time to use it!!)  There are many 'bags' that aren't bags at all - one of my favorite ever vessels is one designed for Beading By The Bay by Marcia DeCoster called Cryptex.  Is this not GORGEOUS???  The version in this photo was beaded by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel - so elegant.

And, if you leave the fringe off (which I did), you can simply use it as a vessel to display on your desk or your jewelry shelf.   I had soooooooo much fun making this!!

There was a round robin bead a long type thing I participated in years ago, and we made amulet bags then, too - Laura Zeiner's was AHMAZING and ROUND!  And the one that was completed for me was just stunning... I have it in my office hanging right in front of my desk so that I can see it all the time.  Julie Kitchen Harper made the bag, Darcy Rosner made the strap, Laura Zeiner did the embellishing and Marcia did the fringe.

Laura's Amulet Purse

My Amulet Purse

There are tons of patterns for peyote beaded amulet bags, some with incredibly detailed graphics, and some with fantastic amounts of embellishment or fringing.  Some are huge and some are teeeeeeeeeny tiny.  I would love to see what you could come up with in other ways, too - herringbone, RAW, hubble stitch...  I have three books in my library dedicated to amulet bags/vessels for wearing, and I'll list them below if you're interested.  I encourage a nice search on Etsy as well, there are several really nice peyote patterns listed that would be fun to make.  You could also graph out any design you liked yourself, any size, and then bead it up and make it into a necklace.

Back to Beadin' by Barbara E. Elbe is full of beautiful peyote stitched amulet bags - the diagrams/patterns are in black and white, but there is a section of full color photos to make you drool. Amazon link is HERE.

Beaded Amulet Purses by Nicolette Stessin includes a faaaaaaaantastic amulet in the shape of a triangle with wings (right on the cover) that I adore.  The projects inside are by various artists, collated by Nicolette - and there is a gorgeous photo gallery of inspiration in the back of the book. Amazon link is HERE.

Thimble Catchers (Vol. 1) by Amy Lot-Kupser ( is adorable and fun - and these really are meant to keep thimbles in.  But I think they would make great little amulet bags.  You could store a tiny little stone or a message or....  Amazon link is HERE - but it's for Vol. II as they seem to have discontinued Vol I.

And those are just the tip of the iceberg.  If you do a little googling, you will find so many different amulets/wearable vessels that your head will spin.  ;)  I hope you'll try one - and if you aren't in to wearing them most of the time, engineer your strap so you can remove it and use it as a vessel (I know- extra challenge!).  Happy beading until next month!!