Thursday, 17 November 2011


I can't believe I ended up with a CRAW rope 1 metre in was so soothing to do I just HAD to keep going! Here it is finished, with a Heart focal bead by Helen Mitchell at Lala Lampwork to match the round lampworked beads. The focal just squeezes through the end loop , and the rope can be worn with a short or long dangle. I've named her Serpentina as she definitely has a snake-like slither


And here is a close up of the focal to show the lovely swirl of colours and a dash of goldstone:

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The joy of colouring in

First of all let me show you the finished necklace I made with the Flower Power pendant!

I was really pleased with the cubic right angle weave rope, my first completed project in this stitch. I chose size 11 seed beads in colours to tone with the pendant, using the same frosted AB lilac from the pendant as the dominant colour in the 'bead soup' and just sprinkling other colours to taste. I estimate that there are about 6 colours in the mix in total, quite low for one of my mixes. If I am making a soup from a wider spectrum of colour I can generally use 20 or more different colours and finishes.

Colour is one of my great loves, and probably what drew me to seedbeads in the first many different colours and finishes are available. As a child I loved colouring in- outlines in colouring books (sometimes the line illustrations in my reading books -terrible behaviour!), doodle posters, graph paper (squared and isometric) and my all time favourite Altair design pads. The designs in these were developed by Ensor Holiday in (I think) the 1970s and are geometric patterns reminiscent of Islamic tiles etc. I was looking for a link to these following a discussion on Nikia Angel's sparkly geometric units, and found this Interactive Altair design site, which does mirroring, rotational symmetry and can shift hues as well. Give it a go, you'll love it, and so will your kids! Colouring in- in the computer age!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Subconscious Beading

This week, I made a new Facebook friend from Sweden via the OTTBS group. Her name is Veronica Jonsson and she was asking for ideas of jewellery to make and wear at an Arts event where she would be engaging with politicians, but not able to display her creations other than by wearing them. I took a look at her FB albums and ETSY shop and saw that she really likes the quirky side of beading, incorporating glass eyes and other objects.

Like many beaders, she sometimes makes items from patterns and I was taken with a flower pendant she had made which led me to download the original pattern for myself from Sova Enterprises. The Designer is Holle Sauerwein, website here, and the pattern is named Flower Power. I bought and downloaded the pattern which requires seedbeads (size 11 and 15) and cylinder beads (size 11) and immediately got to work.

Initially I intended to use 'tropical' colours but the pink (072) and Lustered red (1694) delicas I bought last weekend were on the table, as was a tub of 142FR size 11s which looked good together. I found the size 15 264 was a good match for these, and I had c-lon thread in a matching shade (haven't used c-lon for ages but my other threads were the wrong colour).

Here is the finished item with a bail. My advice if you buy this design is to keep tension tight and make sure the increase delicas are stacked properly. The written instructions are very clear, so otherwise I had no problem. The diagrams are also clear if you work better from those, showing 1/5 of the design (which you repeat to make the other 4 petals. ) The initial round of peyote is quite large, so you may like to use a support in the beginning (perhaps a cardboard tube, or in my case lipsalve tin which was the right diameter)

Why did I title this post 'Subconscious beading' ? It wasn't until I finished the flower and had attached the bail, ready to start on a rope for it, that I noticed that this would be a perfect replacement for my current bag charm, a Jean Power beaded star, which got trodden on and needs remaking:

So the question is: did I subconsciously select colours (to buy, and to use) which would be a great match for my bag,  or is it just happenstance?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Earring Swap

I've just received my OTTBS earring swaps, from Clare Thomas, and here they are:

The central blue beads in the brick stitched  circles are a perfect match in real life to the seed beads in the surround, but the flash makes them look different!
The purple floral earrings are from a design by Cynthia Newcomer Daniels called 'Dainty Dianthus' and are worked mostly in tiny size 15 beads. I love the way the flower and leaf nestle in the loop, a really unusual design.