Snippets from a bead artist.


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!!


March Monthly Beading Prompt

Happy almost spring, folks!  Pretty soon those daffodils will be waving their pretty little heads at all of us here in the northern hemisphere - as soon as we get done digging out of the mud.  ;)

Since this time of year is pretty much all about the returning of the sun, I thought we would do something sparkly and light and fun.  March's prompt is to use a bezeled chaton or rivoli in your creation.  As a sort of add on - extra 'points' if you come up with a bezel that isn't peyote or right angle weave!  Both of those are perfectly valid and acceptable, however, and if those are your most comfortable go-to stitches, feel free to use them.

I know that bezeling can be challenging for some beaders, especially those just starting out, but it's totally worthwhile to learn if you aren't there yet - the bling alone makes it a must for most of us!

I had a bit of a poke around various places looking at bezels and came up with a few to share, because - SHINY!  Also, if you haven't seen these before, they may tempt you if you haven't tried bezeling yet - and a few of them use different stitches and/or beads than you may have attempted to bezel with previously.

This is a beautiful pendant by Carol Paris of Bumblebead that uses Superduos to bezel a rivoli.  You can find that HERE, if you'd like to give it a go.

These lovely bezels are made using flat, two holed Czech triangle beads, and Laura Graham has the tutorial HERE.

These dainty seed bead beauties are made by Gwen Fisher and are called mini crowns - you can find the directions HERE.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel also has a wonderful little pair of star earrings that I love, HERE, and her netting bezel is gorgeous in its simplicity.

Kassie Shaw, of The Beading Butterfly, offers these delicate bezeled 12mm rivoli earrings, HERE.

Cortney Phillips of Baubles By Cortney has this lush chenille stitch bezel in her tutorial section HERE.  Yes!  Chenille to bezel!!

And last but not least, you can find two different free bezeling tutorials on my website - my Lila Earrings tutorial bezels a chaton, and the Perfect Evening Earrings use various sizes of rivoli. My free tutorials page is HERE.  (Although you will have to come up with a different drop crystal if you choose to try to make the Lila set, as I can't find a distributor for those lovely long cubic zirconia drops any longer, sadly.)  These two are very basic bezels - RAW/herringbone and peyote respectively.

I hope you enjoy the shiny of this month's prompt, and it brings some glitter to the dreary last gasps of winter.  Happy beading!


February's Beading Prompt

Happy February, all.  I apologize for the lack of a New Year's/January prompt, but hopefully the rest of 2018 will be cooperative and we will have prompts each month on the first.    I did put out in the FB group that you could use bead embroidery as a prompt for January but there was no actual prompt or post.

This month I thought we would work with a stitch that is fairly under-used, but really gorgeous.  St.  Petersburg chain is slightly daunting to learn at first, but quickly becomes easier with repetition, and results in a beautiful, almost braided, look.  It can be worked in single rows, with a wonderfully jagged sort of look, or in double rows for more of a chevron feel.

Because there are so many steps to the initial stitches, it looks more complex than it is to weave once you get going.  I STILL refer to diagrams or my own instructions when I start one, my brain just won't retain the first few steps - but once it's started, it gains a rhythm that can be quite addictive.

You can make the single chain, a double chain, or hook more and more doubled chains together and come up with very different results.

This necklace I did awhile back has straps made from the single row - they look like diagonal peyote or little teeth, to me.

Then there is the doubled chain, which was worked in the traditional manner for this necklace which was designed by Hatsumi Oshitani for Bead & Button magazine (in 2009, I think). (Beadwork by me.)

I designed In Bloom with St Petersburg chain, but I joined the two strands together differently, so that each of the single chains are made separately and THEN joined. 

There is a free tutorial located on The Spruce that I found, if you haven't ever tried this stitch before, and the link for that is HERE.  There are various other free ones around, too, if you Google - many YouTube videos as well, if you're more of a video leaning learner.  If you'd like to support your small business designer, Valorie Clifton has a very reasonably priced St Petersburg workshop tutorial (photo below) on Etsy HERE.

When I searched through Etsy I didn't see very many, but I did find three that I thought were absolutely excellent - Twyla Harbick has this GORGEOUS lariat tutorial using stunning etched dagger beads as accents:

and you can find that HERE.  Simple Bead Patterns has these lovely Pheonix earrings HERE, as well as a pretty chevron looking bracelet tutorial that shows how to add more and more chains together.

My In Bloom tutorial is available HERE if you'd like to try it.  :)  I hope you enjoy this month's prompt and do try it out - I really like this stitch and would love to see more versions in the group.  Happy beading until next month!


December Prompt Post

Happy holidays, everyone!  I hope that each and every one of you has a wonderful season - those that celebrate in some way and those that don't.  :)

This month's post is going to be quite short, because this is a 'free' month.  I'm not posting a prompt for December, as it's SUCH a hectic time for everyone, and because I would like to start the new year with a prompt on the first of each month rather than the 20th - which wouldn't leave a lot of time to complete a December prompt in any case.

There were a few votes in the group for wanting a prompt, so I did come up with a suggestion which you can use or not as you see fit - bead something with a metallic in it, something sparkly and exciting with golds or silvers, bronze or copper included with your happy colors.  Use a mixed metals palette!  Bronze, gold, and copper together look stunning, as does a mix of gold and silver or bronze and gold.

In closing out the year, it would be awesome if you took a moment to sit and think about what inspired you most with your beading this year - was it a specific design or pattern by a  favorite designer?  A new (to you) bead shape?  Using a color you hadn't tried before?  Learning a new stitch that you always wanted to master?  I'd love to hear about it, whether here in the comments or in the FB group.

I'm so pleased that folks have enjoyed this year's prompts and even more pleased that I did manage to bead a little - not enough, but a little.  I hope that the new year brings me some inspiration and some new designs and some excitement around the beads, and I intend to come up with prompts to get myself beading some more!