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.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bead embroidery materials in the UK

I am particularly pleased with my Blue Shell Cabachon Cuff, which was a great experience in how much you may need to change a design, to both get it to work and show off the materials to best effect. I have aspired to bead larger cuffs and embroidered collars for a long time now, which is becoming easier now cuff blanks, ultrasuede and cabachons can be sourced within the UK, rather than ordering from the US where bead embroidery is much more popular.

Many of the US designers use beautiful semi-precious stone cabachons, which can make the finished jewellery expensive to make and heavy to wear. Vintage cabachons come in a huge range of colours, patterns and finishes whilst keeping cost and weight down, and there is something very satisfying in using cabachons with a past in one of your pieces.

My next ongoing big project is a beaded collar with green and peach shell patterned cabachons. I am going to make this more freeform and use more texture than in my pieces so far.