Saturday, 13 October 2018

Autumn Arabesque

My latest necklace (pictured below) went off to a new home a couple of days ago and for a few hours my workdesk was tidy.

Gardens and hedgerows are full of inspiration for a beadworker at this time of year. The last of the summer flowers are still hanging on despite the windy weather. I still have sweet peas, petunias and brightly coloured geraniums and our autumn crocuses are in abundance, their beautiful mauve petals contrasting with the yellow and orange leaves which have fallen around them. On our walks this week we’ve enjoyed looking at all the lovely fruits and berries, and I've started a new project inspired by all that natural autumn glory. The desk soon became covered once more by a bright array of lovely treasures from my hoard!

I’ve begun these earrings by making a framework from copper wire. I made little arabesques which I soldered inside the frame – so glad I did classes and learned to solder, it’s meant I can custom make rather than buy certain pieces and I find that it allows me to express my vision in a much more personal way. 

Fallen leaves have so many colours, ranging from lime to gold to purple and pink, so I’ve selected threads in those shades. A weekend of beady bliss to look forward to!


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Dance 'til Dawn

My beading desk didn't stay tidy and bare for long. It's covered with beads in pink, blue and blush, all jostling to be included in my 'Dance 'til Dawn necklace.

Have almost done the central panel and have a clear idea of how it will progress. The 3 drops at the base will be beadwork which will help to add interest and movement.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

A big blue bead

I love deep blue glass beads, they remind me of apothecary bottles. I fell in love with this large focal bead as soon as I saw it, but have been waiting for just the right beads to come along to team with it. At last I found them. Combined with sections of bead weaving they make a necklace that would look just lovely with a V neck top.

Now the desk is bare and tidy again – onwards to the next project, not sure what that will be, so an inspiration gathering walk is planned for later today.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Bees, buckwheat and beads

I find needle felting a wonderful way to make a foundation for bead embroidery. There is a real satisfaction in using a material that is 100% natural. What I never liked though was the foam you use as a base when prodding the fibres. I found it a bit ‘nails on blackboard’ if you see what I mean. But I received a new pad last week, made of hessian and filled with buckwheat. Much nicer and it came beautifully wrapped from the Felt Pixie, with some sample needles.

 I was inspired to make a necklace inspired by lavender and honey and spent an age ferreting in my bead collection to find beads to make the centrepiece. Then I came across this lovely handmade bead with a drizzle pattern on it. Perfect!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Blackberry Lane

There are so many luscious colours in the hedgerow just now. Elderberries with wonderful rich red stems, blackberries in their varying  shades of ripeness and all the iridescent splendour of the insect world – various bees, golden hoverflies and shimmery dragonflies are all seen amongst the berries in the hedgerow near my home. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that these shades have made their appearance in my latest piece. I had originally intended to make something pastel and delicate, but my muse has other ideas! Sometimes it’s just good to go with the flow!  And this would look just stunning with an outfit in autumn colours.

One of the challenges with this piece was making the transition from the flat section of strap to the round woven chain that completes the back – it meant some nifty bead engineering to make it look seamless. I guess that’s why beadwork fascinates me so much, there is a real problem solving element to each and every piece that can be both challenging and rewarding.