Snippets from a bead artist.


March Beading Prompt

Happy spring-almost!  How has your year started?  Have you gotten to any of the things on your 2019 To Do List yet?  I haven't, either, don't feel bad.  ;)  We're at the point in the year when we start to rearrange what we planned, I think - you're either massively excited about the things you're ready to do (but can't yet because weather!!) or you're thinking of changing directions because the planned things aren't floating your boat anymore.  I think both things are perfectly ok - it just means realigning yourself with what's resonating.  

I didn't get around to beading last month's prompt, but I did get out an old, half-started project and consider it.  It's still a thing I want to work on, so we'll see if that happens within the next few months.  It's a huge project, and it felt very intimidating and led to this month's prompt as well, because I thought to myself that it would be good to maybe dip in a toe rather than belly flopping.  Soooooooo, a smallish type of prompt this month - earrings.  They seem do-able since they are usually (not always!) small and quick.   And really - you MUST have at least one earring pattern floating around in your stash that you haven't done up yet?  Or one in a magazine that you've been eyeing?

These are some of my favorite ones I've made in the past which I hope will give me some impetus to make a few more.  I discovered that I enjoy creating bead embroidered ones much more than the woven ones, but there are some lovely weaving patterns out there (and in here, in my stash of patterns on my computer... oh so many!!).  

One of the problems lots of people face with earrings is the issue of The Other One.  Making the first earring can be a blast, having to follow through and make a second can be a pain in the butt.  SOOOoooo, here's the thing - if you make some mismatched ones this month, it totally counts.  In fact, if you make one earring and decide holy heck! this would make a fabulous pendant! - it still totally counts.  :D  I hope to see bunches of earrings - matching or not, turned into pendants or not - in the group this month! Happy beading!


February Beady Prompt

Good second month, all.  I hope the new year brought you loads of goodness!  It brought me another round of chest infections, lol, so this post is going to be rather short and sweet.  On the other hand, it also brought me a new oven (which works a million times better than the old one), and brownies are always welcome.

February's prompt is Freeform weaving.  It doesn't have to be peyote, although combining peyote and right angle weave is my favorite ways to freeform.  You can do freeform with most all of the stitches, herringbone in particular can be very pretty and corrugated.  Most online sources for directions are about peyote stitch and freeform, but I encourage everyone to try it with all the stitches - you never know what you will come up with that might be utterly gorgeous.

Folks usually either adore freeform or absolutely loathe it - for me, it's freeing and a way to bead without worrying about patterns or formality.  You can add ANY bead or component, or wrap it around any old thing and make it special - rocks, sticks, vases, compact mirrors, pens... pretty  much anything goes.  It's a beautiful way to meditate or to work on mindfulness, something that I have been trying to invest myself in these last two years.

If you've never tried it, I really hope you will.  Keep in mind that freeform projects almost always go through a very Ugly Stage where you're convinced it will always look awful and you should give right up - and keep going.  It gets past that stage and you end up with gorgeousness.  Honest!

I do straight freeform with beads only and then I do freeform with bead embroidered components included as well - both of them are hugely satisfying and fun to work on.  Here are a few of mine from days past...

(Freeform peyote + RAW combined with bead embroidery)

(RAW and peyote freeform together)

(Freeform peyote only)

(Freeform peyote only)

 (Freeform RAW only)

There are lots of  tutorials online for freeform beading; one of my favorites must be Karen Williams' book  Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading (and she included me and one of my rocks - squee!!) and you can get that HERE.  I have a tutorial in my shop that combines the freeform and the bead embroidery if you want a starter - you can find that HERE if you're interested.  For a wonderful free tutorial you can't get a better one than the one Beki Haley provides on the Whimbeads site HERE.  For those of you who really really hate freeform - and I'm sure there are a few! - feel free to keep on working on Albion stitch or Trellis or anything at all that makes your heart sing, and share in the group anyway this month, so we can keep in touch.  :)   Happy beading!!