My Beadwork Blog and Gallery

Beading is a bit of an obsession. My beadwork blog is home to my thoughts on pieces I am working on, techniques I am learning, and my beading inspirations. I live in Bournemouth, Dorset and am mum to two gorgeous young children. I volunteer at both school and toddler group, and work part-time in online ad production. I try to fit in as much beading here and there as I can, for both relaxation, and to stretch and expand my creative side. I've learnt a variety of textile crafts over the years, but have always loved jewellery-making. I enjoy wirework, but beadweaving and bead embroidery have proved to be my favourite mediums, and it is these types of beadwork that I always seem to come back to. I love the colour and feel of beads, planning new projects, learning new techniques and of course, bead shopping! I read a wide variety of beading magazines and books, and apart from the occasional workshop, am primarily self-taught.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Nancy Dale ' 50% off Sale for Nikita'

I am very excited to be the lucky purchaser of some gorgeous earrings from Nancy's site, which I am hoping arrive before my holiday so I can show them off! If you are not aware of Nancy's sale, this is a chance to own some stunning beadwork by a true professional.

Please check out Nancy's blog on the right, or on the link here, for details of the fantastic sale that she is holding to raise funds for Nikki's vet bills. This sale goes on until Thursday night I believe, so check out her amazing work on Etsy  here and contact her about any item you would like to buy!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Nearly there with my Blue Vintage Cabochon Bead Embroidered Collar!

Apologies for this being the first post in six weeks! I still have some pieces to add to my galleries, but it has been a choice of blogging or beading around the everyday melee. Beading won and as a result this collar is taking a shorter time to complete than my Green Shell Cabochon Collar.

Here it is so far - I have embroidered, embellished, lined, and backed with ultrasuede, so I just have the edging and some fringe to go!

It would have been even quicker if I hadn't spent so much time unpicking it! My initial design only used the large focal cabochon, but I then added the smaller ones and edged them all with sequins.

 As I beaded, I realised that the two styles I was trying to combine just didn't go together.  I wanted a one piece collar, but the way it was going it would only have worked by splitting it up into components and then reattaching them. So after much unpicking and re-stitching, I now have a collar I am happy with. Although revising a design can often make it a great design, this time I should have trusted my instincts first time round.

This has been interesting in a way as I do now have a design for some lovely small pendants and earrings or smaller necklace components.

I will post a photo of the collar when I have edged and fringed it over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for following!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New bead embroidered collar project

I still need to update my galleries with recent wirework, bead embroidery and bead weaving projects, some of which have appeared in my posts, but I thought I would post a couple of photos of a new project I'm designing in the meantime.

I'm using seed beads, delicas, size 13 czech charlottes (these have a good sparkle but aren't as tiny as the 15s) and vintage facetted acrylic cabochons. I'm also having my first go at using sequins using stop-stitch.

Here is the central section;

And here is how it fits into the overall design so far;

I'm using the bottom guideline, and the second one at the top as an outline.

I was originally using the outer lines to create a more pointed collar, but as I've beaded I've revised both the width and shape of the collar band. I had originally sketched out a couple of designs, one very simple and one with more of an opulent feel., both with some fringe. Having worked with the cabachons for a while I've gone with the more opulent design, plus I'm watching a lot of 'Horrible Histories' with the children so am probably a bit inspired by some of the Tudor and Georgian costumes!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

I've finished my first bead embroidered collar!

After spending some time considering colour and shape of clasp, I've finally completed my very first bead embroidered collar. I put a picture of it on facebook yesterday and have had some great feedback, so for those first to see it, here it is!

I am very pleased with it - although I used a combinatin of freeform and symmetrical in the design during the actual beading, I am happy that for my first neckpiece it has turned out so well. It is very comfortable to wear and is reasuringly heavy rather than being uncomfortably so, and is easily wearable.  The large shell design cabochons are 30mm in diameter, so the depth of the front of the collar is approximately double that - quite deep and a good area for embroidering. I planned the collar to be this size so it would be bold enough with simple edging without fringe - any fringed ones I make will probably be narrower to take this into account.
I will endeavour to take some better photos for when I add it to my gallery! As mentioned before, the vintage cabochons are from Rosebudlia. Sue has very kindly featured this on her front page! These cabs are very easy to bead around, and are a good weight if you use a few of them. Stones would have made this collar much heavier.

These photos show the back with fern green ultrasuede, and the clasp. I used the attachment method Sherry Serafini outlines in her 'Sensational Bead Embroidery book, to give me a 6cm gap at the back for correct fitting.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bead embroidered collar - bead embroidery is nearly finished!

Thanks to all the bank holidays recently I've made a lot of progress on my bead embroidered collar. After bezelling the cabochons I started the fill-in beading at the back of the neck straps. As this is my first collar I wanted any minor imperfections to be less noticeable if I didn't want to unpick them. This has proved to be a very good idea!  The embroidery I've done as I've neared the front is definitely smoother, and this has also helped me decide where the design is going. 

I am also loving beading on Lacy's Stiff Stuff - the shrinkage is not as bad as with ultrasuede with my tight tension, and it feels great to handle. I am nearly used to beading on a white background, although I will be applying my new Sharpie pens to any gaps that seem too white! I am hoping to finish the embroidery this weekend, and add any embellishments, before hopefully backing it. I then have to decide on the clasp.

Anyway, unfortunately my photos of the collar a little further on have not come out very well, so here is a snippet of one of the neckstraps to give you an idea of where it's going........

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lots to update!

I have a lot of pictures to put up of wirework birthday projects that have been completed, the results of my Jean Power geometric beading course and my bead embroidered collar. Hopefully I shall get a chance to do so during the long weekend so please do check back next week.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Completely inspired.....

There are some fantastic bead artists out there and I am enjoying finding new beading blogs and seeing such amazing pieces - they truly are an art form.

Last night I sat and read my copy of Sherry Serafini's 'Sensational Bead Embroidery' from cover to cover and it's made me ping off all over the place with ideas, particularly since I'm a cabochon obsessive!  It really makes a difference having the designs in print in your hands, and this is such a breathtaking book! It is the first book I've had which on first flick - through I've been instantly torn between reading it and getting a new project together!

'The Art of Bead Embroidery' made me try to source the same components and make projects from the book -this time two years on I'm confident enough to enjoy the designs but want to use the techniques with my own ideas and colour pallet.