Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Free Pattern - playing with pinch beads

Last week, I ordered some pinch beads... I'd not seen them before, and I thought they looked interesting!

The first thing I did with them was have a bit of a play... I came up with a cute little design for a beaded bead.

If you'd like to have a go at making your own pinch bead beaded bead, I've written up the pattern and published it as a free tutorial on craftsy. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Beaded Flowers

It was a while ago that I posted my pattern for Friday Flowers, but it's really sparked some inspiration in me (and hopefully some of the 5000 of you who have looked at it).  I've been working on designing a repertoire of flowers because I would like to start making more bridal jewellery next year (once I've got my wedding out of the way).

Two of my recent flowers are based on the Friday Flower, the  Ruffled Rose and the Water Lily.  The Ruffled Rose is available as a tutorial in my Etsy Store, and the Water Lily should be joining it there soon. 

The water lily has pointy petals, which curve more, they make a cup-shaped flower.  The centre of these flowers is a pearl, rather than a chaton, which gives a softer look, and also allows for a deeper flower too.

The last of my flowers (for the time being) is a little daisy.  This flower is completely independent from the Friday Flower as the bezel start is peyote rather than herringbone.  

Here are a few more flower pictures to give you an idea of how they look. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Beaded Bag - the final instalment!

It is around 10 months since I started making my beaded bag - for the express purpose of using on my wedding day.  I finished it two weeks ago.

I didn't spend the whole 10 months working on it... I've guesstimated that it has taken me around 300 hours. So, 300 hours, about £200 of beads and I'm left with something I'm immensely proud of.  I can't wait to walk down the aisle to marry my wonderful man, and I can't wait to show off my sparkly bag, either!
This has been the largest project I've attempted, it's been challenging, and I now know I wouldn't attempt a project like this in the same way again... I won't go through the ins and outs of what I'd do differently, but there are a few things that would have made it easier.  

I think the most surprising part of this project was how much thread it consumed... 5 whole reels of KO!

The really special piece on this bag is a cab made by my good friend, and wonderful artist/designer Donna Sanders (her shop is here) with our names, and the date of our wedding on.
The bag is predominantly stitched in boucle stitch, which gives the depth to the bag.  It also adds to the weight!  This little beauty weighs well over half a pound.

The strap for the bag is made with bead crochet - which gives it real flexibility and strength, it can also be tucked into the bag to use it just as a clutch bag.

I'm looking forward to sharing pictures of the big day with you all, so you can see all the little beaded accessories I have made.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

And the winner is....

Just a quick follow up post to my give away...
Random.org picked number 6, which is BEAD QUEEN!  

Carol, I'll pop it in the post for you asap!

For those of you who entered and didn't win, I will be doing another giveaway when I get to 20,000 views!

Thanks so much to everyone who reads my blog.


And here is Carol looking gorgeous in the necklace!  

Sunday, 5 May 2013


This post is all about saying a big THANK YOU to all of you who have been reading my blog!  I had promised myself that I would give something away to one of my readers when I reached 10,000 views... but between 10,000 views and now, I've reached over 11,000! So, a big thank you to all of you!

I made this bead crochet rope necklace, based on a pattern by Bert & Dana Freed, it's made using beautiful Czech seed beads in turquoise and crochet, and fastens with a ball and socket clasp.  

All you need to do to win this necklace is to leave a comment below, saying you would like to be in with a chance, and make sure I have some way of contacting you if you win.  At the end of May, I will use random.org to select a winner!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Friday Flower Freebie!

Yesterday was Friday... and I was struck by some inspiration after work on how to make a herringbone bezel for a chaton, and turn it into a flower.  I'm in a generous mood too, so I thought I'd write it up on here as a free pattern, rather than put it up for sale in my Etsy store.  There are plenty of other patterns/tutorials in my Etsy store if you feel like having a look though!

To make a Friday Flower, you will need... an 8mm chaton (ss39), and seed beads in sizes 11 and 15 (just a gram or so of each), plus beading thread, needle and scissors.

Start off with about a metre of thread, thread the needle and pick up 10 size 11 seed beads (called A beads from here on in).  Go through all the beads again to make a circle, and then the next 2 A beads to close the circle nicely.

Pick up 2xA then go through the next two A beads in the ring. This is the start of a stack of herringbone.

Repeat for a total of 5 times to make 5 herringbone stacks, and step up through the first bead added in the step above.

Pick up 2xA, go down through the next bead.  These beads will sit in a pair above the start of your first herringbone stack.

Pick up one size 15 seed bead (a B bead), and go up through the first bead of the next herringbone stack.

Repeat all the way around, making herringbone stacks with A beads, and B beads between the stacks.  Step up at the end so that your thread is exiting from the top of your herringbone stack.

Pick up 2xA, and go down through the next bead in the herringbone stack - this stack will now be three pairs of beads tall (not including the beads from the original circle of beads).

Pick up 2xB, go up through the next A bead on the next herringbone stack round.

Repeat this all the way around - adding 2xA onto the stacks and putting 2xB between the stacks.  Pull this round quite tight, and your beadwork will begin to form a cup-shape.

Step up at the end of this round, but instead of exiting the top bead of a herringbone stack, come out of the second bead down.

Pick up 2xB and go through the next bead in the herringbone stack, but still working on the second level, i.e. NOT the top bead.

Go through the pair of B beads between the stacks, and out of the second level A bead in the next stack.

Repeat the above step all the way around the beadwork, and step up with your thread coming out of the first B bead added.

Pop your chaton in the beadwork,make sure it is sitting straight, and that the top edges are BELOW your pairs of B beads added in the previous step.

Pick up one B, and go down through the next B to make a little picot shape.

Pick up 2xB and go up through the next B bead.  Pull your thread tight - it is this round that will hold your chaton in place.

Repeat the above two steps all the way around, pulling tight a you go.  Make sure your chaton is sitting straight in your bezel as you work your way around - as you can see here, mine is a little wonky. Step up into an A bead at the top of the herringbone stack.

Pick up 7xA and go down through the next bead on the NEXT herringbone stack.  Step up by going UP the next bead in the same stack.

Repeat adding petals of 7xA beads around the bezel.  Step up at the end of the round by going up through the first bead of the first petal.

Next, use peyote stitch to work around the petal.  Pick up 1xA, miss 1A, and go through 1A.  Repeat this for a total of three times.  Work your way around to the next petal.

Repeat around the flower.  Step up so that your thread is exiting from the first A bead added in the first petal.

Finish off the petal by picking up 1xB bead, go through the next A bead.  Pick up 3xB, go through the next A.  Pick up 3xB, go through the next A.  Pick up 1xB, go through the next A. Step up into the next petal by going through the first A bead of the next petal.

Repeat all the way around the flower, then weave in your thread ends and trim them off.

I'd love to hear what you think of this little pattern, and what you make with your flowers!  You're welcome to sell anything you make using this pattern, but please do not reproduce the pattern or teach it.  Please credit me (Becs Dean) as the designer, or give a link to my blog.

Friday, 12 April 2013

April's stash-busting challenge - crochet rope!

As I'm sure you know, I have a rather large stash of beads... so I joined a group on facebook dedicated to tacking your bead stash.. Little did I know that it would in fact end up at least doubling the size of my bead stash!  This month, our monthly facebook group challenge was to make a kit entirely from stash, and make something with it.
Those of you who know me really well know that I have a serious affection for tiny, tiny beads, in fact, I own more 15s (super small beads) than 11s (the size beaders use most frequently).  So I decided to tackle some of my 15s.  I started off with 5 10g tubes of beads, which ended up as 8 10g tubes of 15s, along with a generous sprinkling of 2.5mm swarovski bicones.

I've been enjoying bead crochet a lot recently, and in fact, I will be demonstrating this technique at my local hobbycraft store tomorrow... so I thought I'd make a rather nice rope.  

As the beads were so small, I decided to use my Grandma's old 0.75mm crochet hook, and C-Lon D thread, and started off with a six-bead circumference.

So, I beaded away for 12 days (while I wasn't working), an finally ended up with a rope which was 46.5 inches long... for those who prefer metric, that's 118cm.  It's officially the longest beaded rope I've ever made.  I would have got completely bored threading all the beads onto the thread before crocheting them if it hadn't have been for a friend of mine who swapped her bead-spinner for some of my ultrasude.
So here it is... my finished rope!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Travelling Bracelet

Recently I was given the opportunity to  look after one of Sig Wynne-Evan's travelling bracelets; I received the Asian Crane.

The premise behind the travelling bracelets are described here: travelingbracelets.blogspot.com

While I was looking after the Asian Crane, I took it to various places with me - to work, to Bristol for a weekend away to go to a concert, around Salisbury, and most excitingly, to Stonehenge.

I work in a secret location so I can't show much of what I do... but here is the Asian Crane in my office.


Next visit was to the pub.  Salisbury is a rather historic city, and it's full of beautiful, traditional English pubs.  This pub dates back to the 1300s and is called The Chough Inn (pronounced chuff).

The following day, my fiancĂ© took me to Bristol for the weekend as an early birthday treat.  We went to our favourite coffee shop, out to dinner, to a concert to see the lovely Nerina Pallot, and spent the night in a nice hotel. 

Beautiful coffee shop called Cafe Amore

 This photo is in the concert venue.

Like I said earlier, Salisbury is a historic city, and it's twinned with some European cities, and has sister cities in the USA.  

The final trip for the Asian Crane was to one of England's most famous landmarks - Stonehenge.  I live about 30 minutes away from Stonehenge, but I had never been there before -  Julie Cowan, who had the Asian Crane before me suggested I took it to Stonehenge, so I did!! It was a lovely, crisp February day, and I really enjoyed my visit.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Radiance Earrings - Tutorial Review

The lovely Sarouchka Lobbens of JuJu Jewellery has published her first beading tutorial.  I was given the opportunity to try it out!  

The tutorial is for Radiance Earrings, beautiful rivolis captured in a unique bezel using seed beads, superduos and bicones.

This really is an unusual, but innovative technique for capturing a rivoli, leading to quite a structural piece.  Suitable for an intermediate beader, this tutorial is beautiful, full of sparkle and uses some of the hottest beads around.

If you would like to try out this tutorial, or see the other beautiful jewellery she has for sale, you can find it in Sarouchka's Etsy store.