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.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

'Harmony' necklace

It’s often a colour combination from nature that has me reaching for my beads. I had a blissful morning twisting wire and laying out some beads for my next project. I’m really excited about this colour combination, inspired by a tiny clump of flowers I spotted during a walk to the post office yesterday.

The lyre shape was created using a wire jig, as it helps me to keep it nice and symmetrical.

I made sure to make a looped element at the base, so I can add a wire wrapped drop. Should be very striking when it’s done.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Time, tide and treasured memories

It’s been a bit of a blessing to have something watery themed on the go recently.  It’s been very hot and dry, so beading my Water Sprite necklace has been slow, dreamy and oh so pleasurable. As I stitched I recalled many images from childhood fishing trips in a little rowing boat with my father. I see us sitting like Mole and Ratty, with me in a pair of tartan trousers that Mum thought practical garb for a six year old on a boating trip. I hated those trousers! Memories bob up to the surface and find their way into the beadwork. I remember the little swirls and eddies the oars made as they sploshed into the water, like mini whirlpools. So I made two little swirls from blue wire to go at the bottom of the pendant section. I attached them with teeny gunmetal coloured pearls.

Sometimes Dad would catch a fish – roach, bream, or perch, with beautiful silvery bronze scales. Before we rowed home they would be gently put back in the water. I searched through my drawers of seed beads until I found some gilt lined smoke coloured ones which are just the right colour and finish. I made the shell drops in my fringe overlap like fish scales. Now I need to think about the strap section.