I love beading beautiful but quirky, whimsical things; Christmas decorations are right up my street! As it turns out, I really enjoy beading baubles, and it seems that they are very popular. I am selling them as fast as I am beading them (sometimes faster!). So, here are photos of the baubles I've beaded recently.... I'd love to hear what you think of them. Unless it says otherwise, these baubles are for sale for £10 each (+p&p - UK addresses only).
I've been very quiet on my blog for a very long time - I had been blogging a little on my sister-blog (mrspicklefish.blogspot.com), but I've not had a great deal that I can share with you all... I have been beading in secret! Usually, I get so excited about what I make that I just want to share it with everyone, so making something for a competition, where the entry has to be anonymous is very difficult. I have blogged before about competitive beading, and how I find it a bit of an odd concept, but I recently made something that I would be willing to submit to a proper beading competition. In the summer, I started playing around with triangles, making eicosahedra (or icosahedra). An icosahedron is a platonic solid, made up of twenty equilateral triangles, so I made a couple using peyote stitch.
This was my first colour selection - I love the bold bright colours and the contrast of the lime green with the blues and purples. I made a second in pastel tones, which looks a lot more subtle, but is just as pretty.
I do confess to being a bit of a geek when it comes to geometry, so I wanted to see where I could take this idea next - so a stellated icosahedron seemed like the next logical step (of course)! Stellated means star-like, so instead of making a smooth ball, it would be spiky - like a 3D star.
Of course, spikes mean more triangles and more beads.... so I stocked up on some delicas and decided to throw some crystals and pearls in the mix too.
I stuck with the bold colour scheme, but in metallic finishes, and set about to bead sixty more triangles. You'll soon understand why my stellated icosahedron very quickly got named "Sixty Flippin' Triangles"
The resulting ball of beady spikes was something I was very proud of, and ultimately, I decided to enter it into the British Bead Awards. I entered it into the 'Beadwork - Non-Jewellery' category.
After entering, I pretty much forgot about the fact that I had entered, and to my absolute amazement, I received an email several weeks later telling me I had been selected as a finalist. (I have to confess I squeaked in excitement when I read the email!) So, my sixty flippin' triangles got sent off to be judged 'in the bead' against the other finalists... and I was invited to attend the award ceremony at The Big Bead show in October. It was an absolute honour to see my beadwork on display and to overhear people discussing it, but unfortunately, I didn't win any awards.
I'm not deterred though - this journey of making geometric shapes out of beads has really sparked some interest in me, and I think I am now beading my 126th triangle of the year - keep your eyes open for more of my geometric bits and pieces!
This was originally published on mrspicklefish.blogspot.com on 26th March 2014
Bowls full of beads.... or bowls made of beads. Either is good with me!
My slight obsession with beads means that I often buy beads
when I don't actually *need* them. Well,
who does actually need beads...???
So, I bought some big tubes of bead soup a while ago, I
think I ended up with 6 tubes of 24g of miyuki bead soup - just size 11
beads... nothing fancy, but some gorgeous colours.
Quite often I sit down with some beads with no idea what the
finished product will be and just 'doodle' with beads (or beadoodle, as I like
to call it).
I didn't have a plan when I started off with this, but I
ended up with a bowl, looking rather like this!
It's a little flexible, but holds its shape nicely, with a
rolled-edge at the top for stability. It
measures about 7.5cm across at the top.
The bowl is made using a mixture of peyote, netting and
right-angle-weave - it's quite a multi-stitch project, but it has been great
fun to make. So much fun in fact, that I
I'm not sure they actually have much of a practical purpose,
due to the holes in them, they're not massively useful for storing beads... but
they are quite handy for putting earrings in at the end of the day.
The earrings in this
little bowl are made using bead quilling techniques - the pinky ones are
designed by Kathy King, and the golden ones are my design - published in Bead
magazine in December.
I plan to write a tutorial for making these cute little
bowls... I'd love to hear what you think about them.
This was originally published on mrspicklefish.blogspot.com on 1st January 2014
As a beader, I've always shied away from fringing. Don't know why - it's just one of those
things that I've been fearful of. In
the last few months, I've got over my fear of it.
Another thing I've never done, is make individual bead
embroidery elements and link them together... until now!
Before Christmas, I bought some gorgeous vintage cabochons
from a shop called Rosebudlia; she sells a beautiful selection of cabs and
other goodies. I decided to put these
cabs to use for another beading first - joining embroidery elements.
I decided that five elements would look best, and
surprisingly, I had the right colours in my stash, so this was quite a
This is what the finished necklace looked like, and here is
me wearing it - so you can see how it sits.
It's just my opinion, but when making a piece like this,
involving no metal components in the design, the best way to finish it off is
to make a beaded clasp. I love beaded
toggle clasps - and the circular motifs in this lend themselves to a toggle
This shows a close-up
of the beautiful cabs I used - they reminded me of ammonites, and the little
bits of glitter in them give them a bit of sparkle.
One other slightly odd thing about this piece is that I
actually used bugles in it. Usually I
don't use them as they are often sharp at the ends and can cause threads to
fray and break, but these matte ones are very nice, and they work well in
I'd love to hear what you think about this latest piece of
beading... I'm very excited about it, and I'm looking forward to using this
This was initially published on mrspicklefish.blogspot.com on 22nd December 2013
I love beaded beads.
The idea of making a bead from beads fascinates me. There is a lady called Sharri Moroshok who
makes beaded beads - in fact, she designs and sells beautiful beaded
beads. You can check out her shop here:
The Beaded Bead
A while back, I bought a tutorial of hers to make her
signature beaded bead, it's beautiful, and I'd wanted it for a long time. I bought the tutorial, and then discovered I
didn't have any size 13 charlottes... so it sat, waiting for a long time to be
Yesterday, I gathered up my beads and started to make...
They were really nice to make, the tutorial was really well
written and easy to follow.
I'm going to enjoy wearing these over Christmas. They're light, pretty, and remind me of
This was initially published on mrspicklefish.blogspot.com on 16th December 2013
O-beads - gorgeous little beads which are new on the market
- they're flat, O shaped discs measuring 4mm across, 1.5mm high and they have a
1.5mm hole in them.
As soon as I saw these, I knew they would be great when used
in bead embroidery, but thought they could lead to interesting bead weaving
I had today off work, so I thought I'd spend some time
playing with these little beads, and I came up with a design which I think is
rather nice. It's a skinny bangle, with
a base of right-angle-weave, embellished with O-beads. In a fit of efficiency, this bangle has been
designed, and the tutorial written up in the same day! The tutorial is available in my tutorial shop.
I have to say a little bit about colour here - the picture
above was not my initial colour choice when I was playing with this design -
the colours in the picture below are more like my 'go to' colours. I do love the purples and the coppery golds
Also a little note about the O-beads themselves... the
crystal capri gold O-beads used in the purple bracelet are different on each
side - one side is clear, or crystal, the other side is the coated gold
side. In my bangle, I used them
clear-side up, giving them a greater look of depth, but they look equally good
with the metallic side facing up.
Initially published on mrspicklefish.blogspot.com 20th November 2013
A friend of mine has been very good to me over the last 8
months - she's been there for support and a shoulder to cry on when I've needed
She has often commented how much she likes the jewellery I
make - but not the colours I usually work with.
I must admit that I do have a comfort zone with the colours I work with
- earthy tones, lots of pinks and golds.
My friend likes brights, jewel colours and the like.
I wanted to make her something special, to say thanks for
the support she has given me, and as a gift for Christmas, so I decided to take
the plunge into some peacock tones - just for her.
The cab I used was a 'swap', but I really can't remember who
made it, so I can't credit them, unfortunately, but it is beautiful. My friend also has a nickel allergy, so this
needed to have a non-metallic clasp - I finished it with a beaded toggle clasp.