Friday, 6 December 2013

Bead, Book, Bounce: I Can Herringbone by Melissa Grakowsky

I Can Herringbone by Melissa Grakowsky was November's choice of book for review and make, over on Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, my fave group on Facebook.

I had just purchased this book, while I was pre-ordering another title... you know the 'People who bought this....' who am I to argue with 'People'? I've always rather liked Herringbone or Ndebele stitch, and had admired Melissa's work for a while, especially her gorgeous masks... I was easily persuaded!

The shorter than usual deadline for this challenge caught me napping however, and I was shocked to find I had only a couple of days to make something and review the book...this is by way of an apology if you find the following rather thin.

I chose to make the Fern earrings, the final project in the 'Flat Herringbone' section, because it appealed to my botanist side and also looked satisfyingly complex. The detailed instructions made it much quicker to make than I thought possible, I began over my breakfast, and had made the first side of a fern by the time it came to leave for work. I finished it off in an hour this evening since I had other commitments yesterday. Initially I misunderstood the written instructions and joined the pinnae too far up, losing the flexibility, but looking at the photo clarified things. The diagrams are very clear too, as might be expected since Melissa is a go-to graphics expert for other bead designers.

Here is the one earring I have completed and I shall be making its pair shortly. The beads used are matte champagne duracoat 11s and 15s and bronze 11s and 8s. I didn't have rondelles in the right colour but the 4mm matte gold firepolished were a good substitute, and I mixed it up with some matte gold 6s too

I have a few more projects lined up to make from this book. Although the title suggests it is aimed at beginners, and it is indeed a stitch primer for many variations of the stitch, there is plenty to interest more advanced beaders too. If you haven't tackled herringbone stitch in your beadwork, or if you wish to expand your capabilities, this is a great book for the shelf.

Edited as we were given a month's grace:

Here is the next piece I decided to make, the Transcription Bracelet. Just the title appealed to my Molecular Biologist alter ego. I had to buy some 10mm pearls, fortunately my LBS owner had been on a buying trip and had an inexpensive selection of Chinese glass pearls to choose from. I picked Purple for the pearls and stuck with gold and metallic raspberry for the seed beads. I found the tension harder to keep consistent for this, as it twists as you work. Keeping a good grip was a little difficult and every now and then I'd lose my needle! I substituted slightly smaller drop beads by accident, so the size 6s stand a little prouder than in the illustrations. There was a small error in the instructions for adding the pearls so I followed the diagram instead. I did find the 15s which were supposed to secure the pearls in the curves could slip through the tube of herringbone unless I was careful to cross a thread. I didn't quite finish, as the bezeled Rivoli for the clasp is a little slack: I may substitute a button instead. There is the other fern earring so you can see I did complete a pair too!

Please visit the OTTBS blog for links and pictures from other group members.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Barrette Bedlam

I had a sudden burst of creativity over the last fortnight, which manifested itself as a plethora of barrettes (or hairslides if you prefer). It has got so bad that a fellow member of the OTTBS group has nicknamed me the 'Baroness of Barrettes' which makes me feel rather refined! I think the scale of the pieces is rather appealing, and as happened last year, it has whetted my appetite for a larger endeavour (whispers..maybe a purse). Anyway, I was really encouraged by the sale of one of them within a week from my Etsy, although it was one of my favourites so I would have taken pity on it and worn it myself if it had stayed there...

Another aspect of barrettes which makes them fun to do is that they are good for using up 'odd' or singleton focals, and a few accent beads (not enough on their own to make a full project). And then, the back of one's head is a great place to display one's work too (I do have fairly long hair)

Anyway here are the completed ones:

All but the green one have button focals. I think the next one will use one of the luna cabochons I bought at the last bead fair I visited: I got there a bit late, and had a limited choice and only odd ones. Perfect for this kind of thing!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Freeform Peyote Beading: Captured Treasures Blog Hop

For years I've been saying I want to unleash my inner freeformer, and I have made a few pieces with which I am reasonably happy. I do feel, however, that I am holding back from true exploration, so a bit of a push is sometimes welcome. I decided to take part in a blog hop organised by Mandi Ainsworth via the Freeform Peyote Beading group on Facebook. The brief was to use a 'found' object and capture it in Peyote. I thought this would be a big inspiration, but in fact I ended up 'dithering' for the longest time as to which of my 'found objects I could use: a rock, a shell, an acorn and a twig were all attempted with messy and unaesthetic results. Then a few days ago I was passing the 'free to a good home' table at work, and saw some discarded glass vials, still in the original box and unused.

They are of a type of precision glassware for laboratories known as Quickfit, which has joints which can be connected to different apparatus according to the codes. These have the numbers 10/19 on them which indicates which other pieces may be joined to make up a full apparatus... I decided to turn a vial into a pendant. The stopper may well be embellished as well. Because I took so long to decide, I'm only at the beginning stage, and have decided to call my piece 'Fool's Gold' as it has Alchemical and frivolous aspects, and my colour scheme is gold. Here is my work so far:

As you can see I can keep my working soup in the vial until needed, I expect I will leave some inside to add interest. I can see a few more of these in my future, I love combining the scientific with beading!

Please take time to visit the other blogs listed below (names should be clickable). I can't wait to see what other people began with, and the results of their inspiration:

Catherine Chinoy -You are Here!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Bead MAD

After a series of connectivity issues (holidays in remote locations, laptop malfunction and repair, wi-fi hub replacement) blogging has lapsed in a shameful manner, however I have still been able to bead!

I've had tremendous fun in the last week, including two classes in Dorset at Stitchncraft with one of my beading idols Marcia DeCoster. Marcia is also one of my blogging idols as she manages to post regularly and interestingly (see her blog here). I travelled down and stayed in a cottage local to the venue, with two of my best beady friends (and others were in neighbouring cottages). It was a dream weekend in many ways although the weather was not the greatest. We beaded and ate and drank and were generally merry...tomorrow we may diet, as the saying goes!
The classes were 'Vienna' with it's Art Deco feel, and Aelia. of the two, Vienna was the most challenging, as I hadn't even attempted shaping CRAW before. Aelia was a lovely instant gratification project in that the bezeled button was complete by the end of the day for most people, although there was still the bail, connections and rope to make. The pendant is reversible and I have made mine using mostly astral pink and copper crystal Swarovski. Here are my projects in the beginning stages, I'm determined to finish them both:

And here we are with Marcia in the bead shop:

It was one of the most enjoyable classes I've done. Marcia is an excellent and patient teacher, the venue was very nice with daylight lamps and bead-on-it boards provided, staff in the shop were lovely and helpful, and being away with beady friends was so much fun. The only thing to suffer was my bank balance, although I had been collecting £2 coins in a jar for extra bead spending money... perhaps I should have turned it into notes at the bank before I went though!

Friday, 6 September 2013

OTTBS Bead, book & bounce: Beaded Colorways by Beverley Ash Gilbert

The July/August 2013 book for the OTTBS challenge was Beaded Colorways by Beverley Ash Gilbert. This book has been on my shelf for a while, and was something I referred to for my first experiments in freeform beadweaving and using bead 'soups'. If you are contemplating this style of beading the book is an excellent introduction.

Colour theory forms the basis of the introductory chapters and, as actual beads are used for illustration, it is much easier to understand than some 'paint based' works. Colour wheels are supplied in a handy wallet at the back of the book, for ease of reference.

The projects in the book are based on netting and peyote stitches, both of which are clearly explained. There is also a little metal/wirework covered, so something for everyone.

Despite my best intentions, I left myself only a few days to play with the book for this challenge. I began with a soup of seedbeads left over from another project, in lavenders and salmon pinks, which was, perhaps, a little bland, and added an accent bead soup of a similar palette with darker  beads also included. I used the Pastel colour wheel to identify the beads in the soup as below

I added the lime to give the expanded split complementary scheme some zing and swiftly started the Wanderlust earrings. I was a little sceptical as to the wisdom of freeform earrings as I didn't have much confidence in my ability to make them match but as time was running out I carried on . To keep the weight similar I used all 11s for the first row, then an 8 per loop for the second, and an 8/larger bead on every other loop, for the last row. 3 rows curved as required so I stopped there to keep the weight down.

The folding and stitching of accents (lampwork spacers from Shirley Giles, a local lampwork artist, and a few pressed glass shapes) was also limited for weight considerations. I decided the hanging loop would be in the lime 15s to pick up the lime in the freeform. Although the earrings are non identical they are similar in weight and comfortable to wear (provided your earwires are of good quality, these are goldfilled)

I have plenty of soup left, and plan to make a cuff/wrap bracelet with some of it, or maybe you have some suggestions?

Overall I'd recommend the book as suitable for adventurous beginners and intermediate beaders, or for the more experienced who lack colour confidence.

Beverley also has a website and has limited edition soups available to buy at times, though they tend to be snapped up quickly!

Please visit the OTTBS blog and follow the links to other members' posts on this book

Saturday, 6 July 2013

BOTB '13 round 2

Well I was amazed to make it through the first round against Patrick's gorgeous necklace, but people seemed to like the Oceanides purse for its swirling patterns and restful blue colours. My second round battle is against Anneta Valious who recently published a book on her speciality 'Soutache'. Her piece is titled 'Skyfall' and is a great example of this style of beading. I haven't tried it myself, but as a 'round 2 treat', bought myself the book to have a go, and it does seem very comprehensive.

The theme of sky also chimes sympathetically with my 'ocean' based piece, so this time I think the votes will be based more on preference of the overall style
I was allowed to add more pictures to my album, and chose the base of my bag to show how I kept it level so that it would stand stably:

The corners have mother-of-pearl leaf beads representing some kind of planktonic form, and were carefully chosen from a strand to be of similar thickness. In addition each is surrounded by a row of size 8 beads so that the 'feet'  are a slightly larger area. The accent beads on this side of the work were restricted to 4mm or smaller to keep the work smooth.

Bead, Book & Bounce: Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski, by Laura McCabe

The Operation: Tackle that Bead Stash occasional series of book reviews chose as its Spring book,  Laura McCabe's 'Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski'.

This has been on my bookshelf for a couple of years now, I bought it after attending my first class with Laura, which was the first time I'd attempted bezelling crystal stones. Once your appetite has been whetted, those sparkly little rivolis and dentelles are a BAD addiction!

Laura has wonderfully useful tables of peyote bead counts for different sizes of stone, even the odder shapes like triangles are covered, although as time has moved on, more variants are now available. The book remains a great reference book for this reason alone.

There are also many lovely projects in the book ranging from single embellished rivolis to multiple stone, geometric constructions which can be quite taxing for even experienced beaders. I came to this book from a background of mostly flat beadweaving so the dimensional stuff was really interesting to me. A head for maths (or at least division and multiplication) helps with some of the more advanced projects, but if you choose to make the project as described, then all the counts work out just fine.

If there is a drawback  to this book it is that Laura frequently uses vintage stones and the photographs show these so beautifully, you will spend HOURS of your life trying to track them down!

These are some pieces I've made using the book, with additional embellishments depending on what I had in my stash (the one made specifically for the challenge is the green Crown Jewel):

Crystal burst:

Ring with a flower

Crown Jewel:
Falling Leaf Pendant.

Thanks to Clair for organising this Bead Book Bounce, and please head across to OTTBS for more links

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Battle Reveals

The Battle of the Beadsmith  pairs are finally going up and I am so GLAD I was placed in group C as those have been the first to be revealed. My partnered beader was Patrick Duggan from the other side of the world. Patrick's piece is named Katerina referencing Catherine the Great of Russia, and is a very stylish necklace with medallions with military vibe:

I love the colour of the central red stones in particular, and it does seem as if it would be lovely to wear!

Another outstanding piece within group C is the Phoenix Collar of Helena Tang-Lim, based on Peranakan wedding costume:

I adore the way that the design elements have been used in a modern, fresh way. I'd like to include more ethnographic aspects in my own beadwork some day.

So you can see the incredibly high standard of beadwork in this contest! I shook in my shoes! For more examples pop over to the Facebook group page and go straight to 'Photos'

Anyway, without further ado I'd like to present my own piece. 'Oceanides Purse'

Photo: Andrew Davis, Model: Melissa Dokarry

The Blurb I wrote for the entry was as follows:

I am a 48 yr old beader from the UK, originally from London but now residing in Norwich. I have a full time job in plant science research, and my piece is loosely inspired by microscopic life forms of the sea (diatoms, phyto- and zooplankton, their geometry and diversity).  I like to combine the scientific with the artistic in my beading. I love organic, freeform and beadsoup. Beading is my therapy and relaxation.

1) Name of your piece: Oceanides Purse

2) Name of stitch, stitches used: Bead embroidery, Peyote, Right Angle Weave, Herringbone, Appliqué, Couching

3) Name of products used, size and material: Seed beads, Swarovski rivolis, dentelles, chatons, fancy stones and bicones, Swarovski and Preciosa cupchain, freshwater pearls, glass pearls, moonstone and labradorite, pressed glass and firepolished beads, Ultrasuede. vintage flatback glass cabochons and nailheads, heavyweight interfacing, upcycled satin purse.

4) overall size of piece: Worked area is 31.5cm x 19.5 cm. Finished purse dimensions: 20cm x 11cm x 5cm approx

5) time to complete 90+ hours

Here is a close up of one of the motifs, I bezelled a 27mm Swarovski stone using RAW and peyote and then applied it to the embroidery foundation, then embellished with the matte gold firepolished, and then couched down the 'rays' while making the first round of embroidery

Photo Andrew Davis

I think Helena and I had the same colour muse working with us, and possibly the Geometry muse was with both Patrick and myself.

Public may vote on the Group C battles within a limited time frame, and using a spreadsheet format downloadable under files on the BOTB '13 group page (click the logo at top right of this blog)

Friday, 31 May 2013

Long time, no see...

I am finally finished with the Battle of the Beadsmith piece, and the photos are submitted, so I am going to kick back and relax for today. I still have a load of beads and components which didn't fit the project so before relegating them back to the beadbox I thought I'd play a bit and treat myself to a bit of freeform.

The labradorite cabochon was just a bit too big for the competition piece but makes a lovely focal pendant. I'm adding more green to the bead soup to echo the bottom area on the stone, and I think it will be fringed as well! So far I'm thinking this will be a keeper, a souvenir of the travails I put myself through...

I'm going to take the BOTB piece itself to visit my local beadshop today to show them where some of the cabs I bought ended up, and then celebrate with a cup of coffee and a pastry. 

Look out for all the creations which will shortly be appearing on the BOTB'13 Facebook group, clicking the logo at the right should take you there. I'll post a picture of my piece here once it has gone live on the Battle page for those of you not on Facebook.

Thanks for all the messages of support  (and beads) which I've been receiving throughout the last 8 weeks, all were much appreciated, and helped me through my first foray into International competition waters!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Battle Skirmishing

I have been steadily working on my Battle piece since the first of April, but for the last couple of days have laid it aside. I made about 18 woven motifs and applied them in a 'pleasing arrangement', and am now up to 23 motifs, with extra ones worked directly in place. So far, so good. BUT one of the motifs is not quite is OK, it looks pretty, but somehow it is too 'unlike' the rest of the work to fit.

I am not sure enough to unpick it straight away, but I need to think about it, and whether I can recycle the idea in a more coherent (to the overall design) manner. Could be I decide that it is just because I am seeing it  in isolation without the surrounding area and it would actually be fine as is...

The positive side (i.e. the 22 elements which I like) are definitely staying though. I have used a variety of stones ranging in size from 27mm diameter to 8mm, and several different shapes consistent with my original theme, and for something scientific, it is looking rather artistic.

Yes I did say scientific! I have another life in scientific research, and many times have seen images and structures crying out to be rendered in beads, so that is my inspiration in this piece. I can't be more specific, but I am sure the motifs I have made from this theme will be great additions to my beading repertoire, I hope to make a range of necklaces based on them later on.

Anyway, I'm very busy at work this week so I think the battle piece will be left until the weekend for the cut/don't cut decision, when I'm feeling more relaxed...

....And now it is the weekend, I've taken up the work again, and have managed, by removing the outer ring of beads, to make the problem part 'work' again! I also managed to add in a few of the little navettes I bought, along with the cupchain, from The Crystal Pool

Here is a tiny teaser for you, to show the navette (motif is about 2cm long):

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Battling on...

So I expect your curiosity as to my BOTB'13 project knows no bounds? No? Well I admit I am curious as to where this challenge is taking me that's for sure. There are teaser shots going up from many of the contestants, and it seems fair to say that the standard is likely to be as high as last year's. Does it intimidate me? Maybe a little. It is easy to look at the small pile of pieces on the beadmat and think that my progress is painfully slow, but on the other hand I have tackled 3 shapes which are new to me and have begun the process of laying out the full design. I have 4 days left (including today) before I return to the full time job, so after that the the beading will be limited to weekends and evenings. I am beginning to dream the finished project though, so I think it has 'gelled' in my brain- all I have to do is execute the design (hollow laugh).

You would like a teaser shot? Really? OK then, this is the Battle stash as seen in the Battle Biscuit Tin! What's that? Who ate the biscuits? I have no idea what you mean!

I have also indulged in a mini shopping spree for cupchain which is new to me (apart from a one inch section which someone gave me from a Swarovski sample box). Haven't decided quite how I shall incorporate it into the Battle piece but the initial trial looks OK.

Well I can't say much more other than the piece has both woven and embroidered elements, and will be shimmery and sparkly enough to satisfy my inner magpie!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Bead Book and Bounce Blog Hop: Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies

This is one of the series of Bead Book Bounce blogspots Visit the OTTBS blog to see other group members' reviews, links and work

At last a bead book to review that I have actually used quite a lot! Lark Books published 'Beaded Fantasies' last year to instant acclaim. One of the 'Masters' series it has 30 projects within its covers, and what projects they are! Among my favourites are the Granada brooch (and I know others love it too: I can't tell you how many different versions I have seen. it seems to work in just about any colours!) and the Scheherezade pendant. Whilst the projects are, in general, exceedingly sparkly, Sabine's fondness for using firepolished Czech beads means they are not quite as financially crippling as they look (except that it is difficult to resist making several different colourways for each project). Swarovski crystals are also much used, but in ways to maximise their impact. The unique bezeling technique developed by Sabine means that the majority of a rivoli or chaton is showing rather than hidden by peyote.

This book is a great jumping off point for explorations in beadwork, particularly using Right Angle Weave. The final chapter is called 'Sabination Nation' and describes the processes involved in Sabine's designing. I was encouraged by this to try some variations on the themes in the book and am particularly pleased with the spiky Scheherezades. Here is my latest version:

Overall, this is a book which will appeal to experienced beaders, as well as those with an intermediate understanding of basic techniques. Although some projects can be demanding and require careful tension they are clearly explained. There are a few errors in my edition so it is worth contacting the author if you find something is not working. My one reservation is that several steps are usually combined in one figure, so that if you are more guided by illustrations you may need to spend time working out the order of steps. Reading the written instructions as well is probably the way to go!

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Prepared for Battle...

Well we are nearly there, the Battle of the Beadsmith begins tomorrow and the next 8 weeks will be Beading Madness! I am not sure what the beading equivalent of girding one's loins is but I have cleared my table, assembled a good selection of seedbeads, stones, accent beads, pearls and crystals to help me on my way. Many of the other contestants seem to have been limbering up with some big projects, but I am worried that I'll burn out if I try and do too much... Here is my workstation, and I can tell you now it will not look like this for long. If you hear a distant rumble it will be me, being buried under an avalanche of beads etc!

The OTTBS group have formed a cheerleading team to encourage those members who are participating ( 9 at the moment) so thanks to them in advance for their efforts in keeping us motivated! I'd also like to thank my anonymous donors who have been sending me treasures to add to the battle stash, it means a lot to have so much generous support!

All the best to everyone taking part, I hope we all enjoy the reveals as much as last years and look forward to some superlative pieces. I am hoping to pull a rabbit from the hat and use the materials I have to make something really special, but only time will tell!

The only thing left to do is get a good night's sleep (although I might be too excited) ready for the starter's pistol!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


A quick post to let you all know that I have been accepted as a participant in the second Battle of the Beadsmith. This is a Facebook based contest for 192 combatants from around the World. There is some stellar talent in that group and I am shaking in my shoes!!

I sent in photos of my 'Juno Moneta' as  my 'audition piece' and made the cut. As it is a knockout contest I fully expect to make it no further than the first round, but I am so pleased and excited to have been selected that I can hardly speak (and those of you who know me will realise what that means!)

Anyway, my project for the contest will remain a closely guarded secret until the reveal in the Summer, and work cannot even be started until the 1st of April, but I am beginning to deliberate over possible designs and doing a lot of browsing for beads and other materials. If the posts become less frequent over the next months you will, I hope, bear with me.

In the meantime please have a look at the Battle page (clicking the logo at the right should take you to the page). You should be able to see a gallery album of last year's pieces. Sadly there is no webpage for the Battle so you need to be on Facebook to see the lovelies.

A final excitement for this post: my friend Janine made a lovely montage of the bead-it-forward squares the OTTBS group made for Bead&Button magazine's appeal, and it was featured on their FB page

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Singin' the Blues

Last year I challenged myself to use more pink in my work as I had got a little stuck in my (green) rut. I managed to find a palette of pinks with which I was happy, generally mixing in some brown or cream to prevent things getting too saccharine. This year (you guessed it) it is the turn of the blues. I actually have a reasonable stash of blue beads, but rarely use them, so it shouldn't mean buying more beads...except, well when you start looking there are some VERY pretty blue things out there!

I also decided to move into 3D with the bead embroidery, now I feel I have served my apprenticeship with flat pieces, and am moderately competent! I asked Renetha Williams Stanziano to make me a fish shaped form and she made this for me:

And look, he is BLUE! He isn't that big but when I started I realised that working on a form is quite different to working 2D.

I raided the local fabric store for buttons for eyes, and looked through my books and the internet for some inspiration. At around the same time I ordered some spike beads from Beads of Bohemia, and when they arrived I had the idea of making a longhorn cowfish, so the first beads were added...

The placement of the mouth went a bit wrong so I had to reposition, but soon I was off with the actual embroidery. I also made some beadwoven fins in (of course) herringbone stitch, using some of the new Rizo beads between the ribs. The pectoral fins worked well, but in the dorsal fin the Rizos flopped sideways so had to be reinforced, the fireline I used is exposed a little but I think it is better than hiding the Rizos under a lot of other beads. Here is the current status of my fish whom I have named 'Finnegan' after all the 'begin agin' I have had to do!

The main colour of beads will be blue but with the orange and lime accents he will be quite exotic! I still don't know if I will completely cover the surface in beads

And finally, the OTTBS blog colour challenge for February 2013 happened to be 'Blue and Brown' so I decided to use some more spikes, this time in milky turquoise, and made a modified version of Sabine Lippert's Scheherezade, which I'm calling 'Dunyazade' (the name of Scheherezade's little sister, to whom she told the 1001 nights' tales)

So the 'Blue' year is well under way!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Proud as a Peacock

I am pleased to announce that this week I finally finished my embroidered purse. I have named the piece 'Juno Moneta'. Juno, consort of Jupiter in the Roman Pantheon, is famously associated with peacocks and since I have made stylized 'feather' motifs using the oval and round cabochons I thought at once of naming the purse for her. Also it transpired that she was responsible for finances (holding the heavenly housekeeping money perhaps?) and that her temple was the location of the Mint where coins were struck. All in all an auspicious connection!

The completed embroidery just before attaching to the bag.  The unembroidered edge was trimmed once I was sure it fitted

I have learnt a great deal from making this purse, and finally used some of my 'good stash' of crystals and beads. The main supplies are a mixture of Swarovski (Navette in Sahara, Comet d'Or flat backs, and various bicones, mini beads and cupchain); Dichroic glass cabochons by Helen Welch; Semi precious stones (Green Goldstone, African Green Opal, freshwater pearls); Czech firepolished beads (mostly 3mm and 4mm) and pressed glass leaves; and Japanese seed beads in sizes 6 to 15.

Front of bag

Reverse of bag

Initially I intended to use Miyuki 468 mid-green iris as the background colour for the filling in around the motifs, but finally decided on Miyuki 335, cranberry lined peridot AB. This looks less exciting in the tube, but picked up all the blues and purples as well as the greens of the other beads. Also, because of the outer colour being transparent, the textural patterns of the rows seemed accentuated. I am using more and more colour lined beads in my work, as they definitely add interest. I used the 468 in the feathers instead where it looks lovely alongside metallic bronze. A late arrival in my palette was Miyuki 1017, a silver lined emerald AB, which now replaces the Matsuno version which I loved for its colour, but which was a little larger than the Miyuki 11s. I was sparing with this as the silver lining tends to dominate.

Many of the beads used in this project have been the gift of other beaders from around the world and the whole project has a lot of emotional connection for me. I am truly grateful for the gifts even if they were only words of encouragement, which gave me confidence to persevere with my own creative urge! I am proud as one of Juno's peacocks that I managed to do it!

Thanks to all who made this possible, and in the spirit of beady co-operation, I would be happy to answer any questions from anyone thinking of embarking on a similar project...