Monday, March 20, 2017

Journey To Design

I love beading, and I also love making someone else's design my own by putting different finishing touches on a pattern. One thing I have always wanted to do, though, is to design my own beadwork. I am so in awe of those who can just sit down with a pile of beads and emerge with a beautiful structure.

I think that's why I enjoy beading Nancy Dale's Summertime Wrap Bracelet so much. Even though I'm following a pattern, I feel free to go my own way with it and change things up so that each one I make looks very different from the others.

The question is, how do I start learning something like designing? Can it even be learned, or is it something you have to have inside you from the start? I don't know, but I intend to find out. I have a craving inside to design beading projects. This leads to a lot more questions.

Do I just sit down with a pile of beads and start beading? How will I know what to do? Should I buy Karen Williams books on freeform peyote to get myself started? Will freeform eventually lead to design? If nothing else, it will make me more conscious of what the beads can do.

Do I start by designing something on paper first, then trying to bead it? Even though I know I want to design, I don't have jewelry ideas floating around in my head. Maybe I should look at pictures of vintage or antique jewelry, then try to design some of the same styles.

The one thing I have designed is my Superduo ring. The way I came up with that idea is I wanted a beaded ring, but Delica peyote rings were too flimsy, so I decided to try peyote with Superduos. It made a nice sturdy ring, and I made a tutorial out of it. I've even sold a couple of them.

So, I need to choose a first step. As stated above, I'll look for pictures of old jewelry to get a taste of which styles I like. We'll see where it goes from there.

If you have any ideas that will help me get started, please let me know in the comments. I could use all the help I can get with this project.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Big UFO Reveal

So, today is the day. We have to show the world how many UFO's (UnFinished Objects) we have, projects waiting to be finished. I think I have way too many. So many that I had to buy a drawer system for them. A small drawer system, but still...

I have no idea why I haven't finished this one. It's going to be very pretty, and it's from one of my favorite books. The Beaded Sphere, by Judy Walker. I even have an autographed copy of it. But I put this project down about a year ago, and haven't picked it up since. It will only take a day or two, then I'll have a beautiful pendant.

This one is a great bracelet. I tried to pick it up the other day, but it's been so long that I can't remember where I am or what comes next. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful design by Beads Gone Wild. I really need to take the time to go over the pattern and figure out where I am so that I can finish it.

Now, this one, I know why I haven't finished. Because it's a PITA. Even though I know I will love it when it's done. It's a little "pod purse" by Idele Gilbert. First when I ordered it, for some reason I thought it was peyote stitch. Then I got it and it is square stitch, ugh. With 30 colors. In size 15 beads. I've been trying to make myself do a row a day, but I'm actually doing about a row a week. I may have it finished sometime in 2025.

And then there are a few more: a pair of earrings for a friend, another bracelet, and a few "beginnings" of 'I don't know' what. And I keep starting new projects, instead of finishing these. I need help. And that's why I'm glad that Karen Williams, of Skunk Hill Studio, has started a support group for us on Facebook. Maybe I'll finish one or more of these projects with support from the group. Maybe.

To see all the blogs and unfinished projects of other members of our group, or to ask for an invite to join us, hop over to Karen's blog at


Monday, March 06, 2017

Cute Little Bunny

Thread-a-Bead is a website from the UK that has really cute beading patterns for peyote and brick stitch.

I bought this little Easter Bunny pattern last week and beaded it up the other day. The instructions said it would take 3-4 hours to bead. It took more like 6-7 hours, but it was fun. It turned out so darling!

I'm going to send it to my grand-daughter for Easter. She always appreciates any beaded items that I make for her, and I know she'll just love this little bunny!