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.

Bead Embroidery Gallery

New pieces are displayed at the top of the gallery on completion

Blue Shell Cabachon Bead Embroidered Cuff

I adore these cabachons and have wanted to make a wide cuff for some time. I used ultrasuede as a beading foundation as usual and then glued the embroidery to a blank 2" aluminium cuff, finishing it with an ultrasuede back and brickstitch edging. I thoroughly enjoyed this project and the challenge of fitting the embroidery to the cuff as it needed a lot of manipulation to do so neatly. I planned the design out beforehand, but the curve of the cuff, size of cabachons and shrinkage due to stitching required some revisions along the way.  I decided to include the ultrasuede as part of the design rather than embroider the whole surface.

Blue Shell Cabachon Bead Embroidered Pendant

This was made using the beautiful 30mm vintage cabachons from Rosebudlia, which I now have in three colourways. I wanted a plain edge to leave the focus on the cabachon and surrounding beads, so have left this as plain brickstitch without any embellishment or picots. The attachments are small seed bead 'handles' on the back which hold the cord quite tightly to prevent too much movement.

Purple Cabachon & Crystal Bead Embroidered Pendant

Made using backstitch, peyote stitch, and brickstitch using a 40mm x 30mm cabachon (from the collection I won from Rosebudlia), ultrasuede and 6mm and 4mm Swarovski crystals. The ruffled 2-tier crystal effect is the result of adding the crystals on the fringe close together so the smaller ones are pushed forward.

Pink Cabachon Bead Embroidered Earrings

Vintage Cabachons glued to an Ultrasuede base, and bezelled using delicas and size 11 and 15 seed beads. I glue all my cabachons in place regardless of bezel technique but these are secure enough so have a backstitch bezel rather than a peyote. Earring wires are fixed to the bails. I've also made a pendant to match but with a hidden bail at the back.

Shell Cabachon Bead Embroidered Pendant and Earring Set

Made using backstitch, peyote stitch, herringbone stitch, brick stitch, on an ultrasuede base. The square cabachon particularly was a dream to bezel so more square cabachon work in now in the pipeline.

Rivoli Peacock Bead Embroidered Pendant 

Made with a bezelled Bermuda Rivoli, using backstitch, peyote stitch, brickstitch and fringing, on an ultrasuede base. I was trying to emulate the colours of a peacock feather as accurately as possible, but found that it depends on the photos you find as to whether the surrounding fringe is gold or green. On this one I chose green. The daggers are quite firm.This piece has two loops at the back to run cord, ribbon or chain through, although it would also make a successful pin, or large earrings.

Rosebudlia Blue, Pink and Cream Challenge

This was made for the challenge, using only beads in my stash, and ended up very differently to the original design I had in my head!  The colours are pretty - I think this would be good in black and gold or red and silver. It did win the competition (made by draw) but didn't inspire a whole set.

Rivoli Bead Embroidered Cuff

This cuff is made with ultrasuede covering a brass bracelet blank, with vitrail medium rivolis. The purple ultrasuede edging looks good but wasn't part of my original design! The depth of the rivolis resulted in the ultrasuede pulling quite tightly over the blank and the extra edging was required to make it fit.

Kiwi Jasper Cabachon Bead Embroidered Pendant

This piece was the first one I made after reading 'Beading with Cabachons' by Jamie Cloud Eakin, and uses her techniques of using backstitch rows as a bezel to hold the edges of the cabachon instead of using peyote stitch. I used a twisted edging which gives it a slightly more Victorian feel.

Serene Lady Bead Embroidered Pendant

I was bought 'The Art of Bead Embroidery' by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini and it this was my first freeform piece, using seed beads, freshwater pearls, a few bugles for texture, and a polymer clay face I made using a mould. I love this, and feel it would also work as a pin.