Snippets from a bead artist.


April's Beading Prompt

Hello and happiness, everyone!  I was thrilled that so many people enjoyed last month's prompt.  The FB group was really active, and many of the members went ahead and tried their hand at beading good ol' rocks with some really spectacular results, and there were also some really beautiful bezeled cabochons.  I thought that since there was so much lovely happening, I would share some here on the blog.   (Grab a cup of something you love to drink and scroll... and scroll... and scroll, lol!! It's a long post with a LOT of eye candy.)

Amy Blevins (in progress)

Audrey Gray

Judy Ball Reed

Barbara Pearson

Becs Dean-Skinner (in progress)

Caroline French

Caroline French

Christine Morabito

Christine Sincerbox

Dee Avril

Donna Louise Sanders

Donna Louise Sanders

Gabrielle Girgenti

Judy Ball Reed

Kate Larson

Kate Larson (in progress)

Mona Lane

Patti Parker 

Rebecca Kemp Brent 

Sarah Louise Gordon (ELEPHANT!!!!)

Tracey Lorraine

Wendy Heitzman

I think everyone deserves a huge round of applause - what a lot of gorgeous work!!  And here is mine, too - still in progress.

It needs some more coverage and then some embellishment... which brings me to this month's prompt!  RUFFLES.  Beady ruffles.  When the idea struck me to add some ruffles to my rock, it seemed like it would work as April's prompt as well as helping me finish the project. You would think there would be LOTS of ruffles out there in Planet Bead, but really, you'd be wrong, lol.  It took some digging to find ruffles, but I did come up with some you can try out, if you're of a mind to.

First off, there is a very nice basic (and free) tutorial by Mortira Vanpelt on the Inspirational Beading Blog for Ogalala stitch.  This was maybe the third stitch I learned, and it was a lot of fun.  You can add sooooooooo many different beads into this to come up with different looks!  You can find her tutorial HERE.

Then, if you're loving ruffles the way I love ruffles (only beaded ones, though - I look hideous in actual ruffles), you HAVE to love these wonderful tutorials by Shelley Nybakke of SturdyGirlDesigns on Etsy.  The first is called the Sparkling Waves Bracelet.

And then there is the EPIC Until I Can Breathe Again necklace...

And her Just Call Me Curvy necklace... 

If you'd like to make one of these delicious designs, you can find Shelley's shop HERE.

Another lovely ruffly design is this Atlantis bracelet by Hannah Rosner of HannahRachel on Etsy.  I can imagine this in so many different colors!  

If you'd like to try this out, the tutorial can be found HERE.  And, if you're going to be there, Hannah is also teaching a beautiful bracelet at Bead and Button called Royal Ruffles - photo below - and here is the LINK to her class if you want to sign up. )

Sabine Lippert also has a stunning bracelet full of ruffles, called Aattetur.  I LOVE this. 

You can find Sabine's tutorial for that gloriousness HERE.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has a beautiful ring in her book Modern Beaded Lace - and if you don't have the book, you SHOULD!  It's a staple for your beading library. 

And finally, the wonderful Beverly Herman of NoEasyBeads on Etsy has gifted our FB group with the pattern for her stunning Passion Flower Pendant.  It is incredibly kind of her, and this is a fabulous piece to bead up - especially if you're new to ruffles and want to see if they're for you.   If you're in the Facebook group, you can go to the Files section and you will find the PDF that Beverly has given us.  (You can also go to her Etsy shop and purchase this PDF if you would prefer to support her beady habits, or if you aren't a member of the group, HERE.)

Beverly was also kind enough to let me use a photo of a bracelet she made in a class with Gail Crosman Moore - this is called a Grapevine Cuff, and you can find Gail's tutorial on the Interweave site HERE.

That's actually a lot of ruffles to choose from!  But you can also just make your own ruffles, of course, or add some onto a rock... just because you can. I added some onto my Turtle Cove rocks along the bottom because I was hoping they would resemble waves.  I'm not sure what kind of thing they'll represent on my current rock, we'll have to see how it turns out.

Carol Wilcox Wells added some ruffles onto a decorative bottle in her Creative Bead Weaving book, too - another beaders' staple that I hope you have in your library.  :)  I hope some of these have inspired you, and that you have some fun ruffling!

Happy beading, see you all next month!


March Beady Prompt

Hellllooooo again!  I hope some folks had fun with last month's prompt - it's been pretty quiet in the Facebook group, but I continue to hope that the little ideas are helping someone's muse.  I wasn't able to get down to the beads last month, but I've sternly admonished myself that this month I shall make it work.

Getting down to business, this month's prompt is something that almost always inspires me - Bead A Rock!  Since I know  that not everyone is quite as excited about beading an actual, normal, boring rock as I am, I am including beading around a semi precious cabochon or donut as Beading A Rock.

In the last few years I have been collecting little rocks from places my husband and I visit, bringing them home, and encasing them with beads.  Sometimes I encase them with freeform peyote, sometimes with freeform right angle weave, sometimes with a combination of both.  If you're interested in photos of some of the ones I've done previously, you can find them all in a blog post HERE.  This month I plan on using a special beady soup I purchased to encase one in a combination of the two stitches mentioned above.  If you're interested in finding out how to encase your own rocks, Karen Williams of Skunk Hill Studios wrote a book on freeform beadwork  in which I have a tutorial explaining how I go about it.  (The book is also jam packed chock full of other awesomeness, so I recommend it even if you never want to bead a rock!)  You can grab the book HERE on Amazon, or you can get the quick download Ebook HERE in her Etsy shop.

This is the rock I made for Karen's book.  :)

I found some really fabulous tutorials/kits around this prompt for beading around cabochons or shaped rocks if you aren't into beading a rock from your driveway, so read on.

Have you ever seen those gorgeous semi precious egg shaped rocks? Should you happen to have one, or want to go and find one, Helena Tang Lim of Manek-Manek Beads has a stunning tutorial on creating a beaded version of a Faberge Easter Egg in her shop HERE.  (I'm sure you could use a different egg form rather than the semi precious one, which is likely to be expensive, but for this prompt it would really need to be a rock.)

Betty Stephan Beadwork has AHMAZING tutorials and kits which use semi precious rocks - I especially love this brooch kit.  You can purchase any of her things HERE.

Ella Dess of Ellad2 has a beautiful tutorial in her shop for beading around a semi precious donut - something I keep meaning to do myself, as I have a ton of donuts and Ella's tutorials are wonderful. You can find the tutorial HERE.

And the terrifically talented Lynn Davy has a tutorial on capturing a cabochon with right angle weave and peyote HERE in her Nemeton Etsy shop.

There are also lots of  tutorials which use lunasoft cabochons out there, and if you have a semi precious cab of the same diameter you could definitely substitute.

This is the ordinary little rock I'm starting with - hopefully I will have some in progress pics to show in the FB group, and a finished and ornate rock to show next month. I hope you have fun with the prompt, I can't wait to see what you all come up with!  Have fun and happy beading!


February's Monthly Beady Prompt

Helllllloooooo beady friends!  I have the prompt all set for this month, but don't have a piece that I actually beaded up yet, so I will be beading right along with you.  :)  I did have an idea, but it didn't work out for me and so I'm changing gears a bit.

So this month's prompt is to combine two or more stitches in one piece.  I have always had a good time trying to get two stitches to work together in a piece, whether it be a beaded bead or a rope or an object.  Combining stitches  was one of my favorite chapters in Carol Wilcox Wells' book Creative Bead Weaving when I first started; I was fascinated by how she melded right angle weave and peyote, or transitioned from peyote to herringbone, and it became one of my favorite beginnings when designing something myself.  I especially love layering one stitch on top of another - say, right angle weave as a base with netting as a layer over the top, which is what I did with my Trellis Necklaces. (Tutorial here.)

Transitioning from one spiral to another as I did with Triple Twist, also makes me happy.  I like how each spiral stitch is made differently from another, yet blend visually when combined in one piece. (Tutorial here.)

Another piece that strikes me always when I think of combining stitches is Sabine Lippert's Bokhara bracelet, a gorgeous combination of peyote stitch with an overlaying layer of fringe that has always made me swoon.  SO PRETTY, people!!! (You can find Bokhara here.)

An ingenious and beautiful piece of work which marries prismatic right angle weave and Pondo stitch, is the Goosebumps bracelet pattern designed by Heather Collin.  This one amazes me in lots of ways... Pondo is so lovely, and PRAW is so much fun - not to mention Heather's fabulous use of color! (You can find her tutorial here.)
Tracey Lorraine of Crystal Star Gems has combined peyote, brick stitch and herringbone in her Patience Daisy tutorial, which results in a truly stunning flower.  (Tracey's daisy can be found here.)

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has used modified right angle weave and lacy netting to great effect with Moroccan Melodies, creating a structurally sturdy yet visually fragile piece.  This bracelet is full of paradox and pleases my nerdy brain no end.  (You can find Cynthia's bracelet  here.)

Freeform beadwork is also a wonderful way to combine stitches, you can use ANY of them together and just have a blast.  One of my favorites is to combine peyote and right angle weave - you can go back and forth without a trouble in the world.  But I have run across freeform in herringbone and even St. Petersburg stitches before as well - if nothing else, you can put the St. Pete's on top of the other stitches for a fern like effect.  Right angle weave on top of bead embroidery is one I like, too - I did that in my Reflections necklace.

It really doesn't have to be complicated when combining stitches - one easy way would be to make a rope of one stitch and then beaded beads using another.  My Meld necklace is a combination of so many stitches I don't think I could remember them all!  The rope is a version of Trellis, and the beaded beads are by various different designers including Cynthia, Callie Mitchell and Heather.

My original idea was to combine herringbone and hubble stitch - I wanted to do a herringbone base rope and do hubble on top, but I couldn't figure out my connections to make it happen smoothly - if you decide to try this, please do show the results!!  If you aren't familiar with hubble stitch yet, please let me point you to Melanie de Miguel's Let's Hubble and Hubble Stitch II books.  FUUUUUUUN!!!

So, grab two stitches you adore and smack them together and see what happens!!  If you're part of my Facebook group, I will be posting a coupon code for half off of either my Trellis or Triple Twist if either of them intrigue you.  :)  I would love it if you would come and post your combinations in the group if you're on Facebook, it's always fun to see what others come up with.  I will definitely post my results both in the group and here on the blog when I come up with March's prompt.  Happy beading!