Snippets from a bead artist.


May's Beading Prompt

Helllooooooo lovely peoples!  Today's post may be slightly shorter than some of them, I have managed to slam my finger into a door today and typing is challenging, ha ha ha.  Regardless, last month's prompt brought forth some really beautiful ruffles, and it was a ton of fun for me to see them popping up in the group.  AND, even more folks have been trying their hands at beaded rocks, and whoa! they're gorgeous!  My husband grabbed some photos of my rock, so I can show that this is how mine came out.  I really enjoyed the ruffle at the top, and then I just HAD to add fringe.

And that's this months prompt!  Fringe!  I looooooooove fringe.  I do realize that there are many people who detest it, or at least detest making it, but for me it's always been a love affair.  All that swingy, delicious, seductive movement.   I could add 500 photos for inspiration, but I'm only going to share a few, and then a few tutorials I came up with that showcase some pretty fringes if you want to try your hand at making some yourself, and haven't before.

There are lots of kinds of fringe, you have so many choices you could make.  Long fringe, short fringe, ruffly fringe, leafy fringe, coral-fringe, twisted fringe...  One of the best places to start, if you haven't already, would be The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini.  They show their various kinds of fringe techniques really clearly, and Heidi has a special way of doing one of her methods that I hadn't heard of before.  (Nope, not telling - you'll have to get the book! You can grab one on Amazon here.)

 Both necklaces by Heidi Kummli 

Necklace by Sherry Serafini

Another wonderful set of resources would be Jamie Cloud Eakin's books on bead embroidery and working with cabochons.  She shows SO many different ways to fringe!  (Get Beading with Cabochons here, or Dimensional Bead Embroidery, or Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects here.)

Necklace by Jamie Cloud Eakin

Some of my favorite long fringed pieces that I have made include Dryad (oh how well I remember this bead soup and how MANY different kinds of beads I had to choose from), October's Goddess, and Reflections.  All of these feature bead soup 'mixed' fringe rather than symmetrical and 'counted' fringe.

But there are also cases of SHORT fringing that can look really good as well, on necklaces and bracelets as well as earrings.  Short fringes can be as short as stop stitches, really (a larger bead, a small bead, pass back through the larger bead while skipping over the smaller), or even just a bit longer.  Universe is one of those that combines some long with some short.  Climbing Roses and Spring Buds are almost all very short fringes coming off of either herringbone or CRAW.  My Ice necklace is all short fringe created very densely on top of a herringbone rope.

You can also use chain as fringe with your beaded pieces, something that Marcia DeCoster does magnificently.  Marcia's Beads In Motion book includes her Swing Dance Earrings, which use chain for glorious movement in a really innovative way.

Swing Dance Earrings by Marcia DeCoster

And these wonderful Bella earrings (I own a pair!!! Made by Marcia!!!):

You can find Marcia's beautiful Bella Earring Tutorial here, which shows how to make that superb draped fringe with chain.

Mortira VanPelt of Sage's Cupboard has a fabulous tutorial for leafy fringe cascading from a herringbone rope.  You can find that here.

Leaf Fringe Lariat by Mortira VanPelt

And Tracy Lorraine of Crystal Star Gems has this stunning tutorial on how to create a fringed bracelet here:
Fringe Bracelet by Tracy Lorraine

For a larger project, Lynn Davy of Nemeton has a tutorial for her wonderful Jungle Collar here, which combines fabulous fringing with her netting technique.

Lynn Davy, Jungle Collar

I hope you'll try fringing, if you haven't before.  Even if you do short, spiky fringe, it can really add a spark (and sparkle!) to your pieces.   I haven't QUITE decided if I'm working on another rock (with fringe of course) or a pendant or maybe a bracelet... hmmmmm.

Happy beading, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

(If you aren't a part of the Facebook group and would like to be, you can find us HERE.  Please be aware that I check each page before approving a member - if you have no bead weaving photos showing publicly, or if you are a member of over 100 groups already, you will most likely need to send me a private message to get approved.)