Saturday, 29 December 2012

Sugar Rush!

Well this is nearly the end of the year, so time for just one more blog post...

Just before Christmas, I thought I was pretty much beaded out, from making gifts and items for fairs...Then Nancy Dale produced a Christmas Cracker of a tutorial for an embroidered/freeform cuff, and I couldn't resist! Immediately the pdf landed in my inbox, I was mixing soup and selecting focals, I chose a lovely piece of etched dichroic glass which looked like opal, by Silvermoonlyn as the central item and this is the soup mix:

I also had a couple of vintage glass square cabs with an opal effect so they became the secondary focals, and I began by fixing them to some of Nicole's bead backing in pink. The bead embroidery extends a little way, to allow the anchoring of freeform.

Bezelling the squares was a bit tricky and I fudged the first one, but the second worked better and I got everything connected. I then raced away with the freeforming, and by Christmas Eve I was finished (although I might add more dimension later).

I named the piece 'Kingdom of Sweets' after the fantasy land in the Nutcracker ballet, the colours were sugary pinks and lilacs for the most part with the odd accent in copper and orange. I was pleased with the overall shape which is reminiscent of a wrapped candy or a cracker, all consistent with the confectionery theme.

 I recommend the 'Atlantis Cuff' tutorial to anyone who would like to try freeform peyote/RAW. It was a lot of fun to make, and although every piece will be different, there is plenty of guidance and support to help you achieve a satisfying end result!

Thank you for reading and commenting over the last year! Hoping you all have a happy and healthy new year 2013!

Sunday, 9 December 2012


So sorry for neglecting you all this month (and last) I thought I'd just update you on some beady happenings, so you won't worry that I have given up...

I have been making squares for the Bead&Button magazine Bead-it-Forward appeal in aid of breast cancer research. Having had a scare earlier in the year, and knowing several families affected by the disease I was keen to join in and in a fit of enthusiasm cut about 25 squares of beading foundation to the prescribed size. Of course I didn't manage to complete 25 squares, but through the OTTBS facebook group effort I passed on the spare cut squares to other beaders who didn't have the foundation.

We had made contact with the associate-editor in charge of the project and she had said that provided all squares were submitted together they could be combined into a single quilt so that the group's efforts could be auctioned as one! At the present time we have over 80 squares between us. I have just sent off the 12 I have managed (not all perfect in my eyes, but all good experiments) to our coordinator in the US Janine,  and we hope to collect all our groups' together by January, although the deadline is not until March.

I have been so impressed by the effort put in by inexperienced novice beaders and experts alike, and would like to encourage every beader to have a go! In order to help with inspiration, there are a number of free charts on the magazine page.

Anyway here is my 'set' all together

Otherwise, most of my bead efforts need to stay 'under wraps' until the recipients see them, being either gifts or 'Round Robin' embroidery projects, which will be revealed only when every square in the group has completed the circuit. Our group has participants in the US, UK and Australia, so it is likely to take a while... I'm on my 3rd square now, but will need to work on two others in the future, as they appear in the post!