Secret Bead-Along – Day 3

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In case you’ve missed my other posts, I’m taking part in a bead-along organized by Jean Power for National Beading Week. An amazing 4000+ beaders have signed up for the bead-along – kudos to Jean, this must have taken some organizing! It’s a great feeling being part of something so big, knowing that beaders around the country – and probably around the world – are working on the same thing as you each day. I’ve been popping onto the Facebook page regularly to see some of the work others have been doing and I’m really enjoying seeing all the different colours schemes that have been chosen.

So here we are on Day 3 and another lovely pendant design – I had no idea what the 9 Superduos were going to be used for so this was a nice surprise. And yes, another change of plan! I chose matte grey for my size 11 seed beads and, while I think Jean intended for the flowers to be different, in colours as well as in construction, I felt that this one was just too far away from the other two. So I added a Metallic Abalone Iris seed bead to the tip of each petal on the second round to provide a ‘link’ to the others. I like that they’re individual flowers but I don’t want one to be the odd one out.

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Secret Bead-Along – Day 2

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Here’s my work for Day 2 of the Jean Power’s Secret Bead-Along and another change of plan! The pattern for this pendant calls for 3mm bicones. I do love my Swarovski bicones but I mainly use 4mm so at the moment only have a small collection of 3mm – those I do have were accidental online purchases involving me and a drop down box, not realising there were different size options! The only 3mm I had that would fit in with my colours were clear crystal AB and I would have been happy with them if it wasn’t for the fact that I changed my beads on day one. A couple of petals in and I decided that the clear crystals looked a bit lacklustre next to the more colourful pendant I made yesterday, so I decided to switch them for the same rondelles. As I don’t know what the other three captured Rivolis will look like and I only have a vague idea of how the final five will be arranged, I hope I’ve made the right decision! Another lovely design from Jean Power…

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Secret Bead-Along – Day 1

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So here’s my work from Day 1 of the Secret Bead-Along. The pattern calls for 2mm pearls but I don’t have any in that size so I plumped for 2mm fire polish beads instead. A few stitches in and I didn’t like how they looked at all. So I switched them for some 2x3mm crystal rondelles which I picked up at the bead fair back in March. I absolutely LOVE how they look! A complete change from the metallic silver that I was going to use but I think they will inject a little bit of colour into my finished piece.

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National Beading Week and a Bead Along

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It’s the very first National Beading Week from July 25th to August 2nd, organized by The Beadworkers Guild and there is a lot of excitement in the beading community – it’s about time we celebrated the art of beading! One of the events that I’ve been eagerly anticipating is the secret bead-along which is being run by Jean power. I have all my materials waiting on the bead mat and can’t wait to start on the work for Day 1 tomorrow. We had some preparation beadwork to do which was stitching a bezel around five Swarovski Rivolis and adding tabs to the backs. We’re allowed to show this in advance so here’s a sneak preview of my colour scheme. I wonder what they’re going to be?! Hopefully I will be posting each day so if you’re not joining in yourself then you can at least watch how the design is unfolding :)

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Free Starlet Earring Tutorial

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I love making these little earrings, they’re so quick and easy and use beads that most of us have in our bead stash. Who else ends up with just a pinch of fire polished crystals and doesn’t know what to do with them?

Whilst I’m calling them earrings, this simple motif lends itself to many other uses. They would look great on a charm bracelet or handbag charm, one as a small pendant or many in a cascading necklace. Made in white, silver or palest ice blue they would make wonderful winter tree decorations, just thread a piece of clear fishing line through the top loop for hanging.

Whatever you use this tutorial for, I’d love to see what you make! My email address is on the right hand sidebar or if you’ve blogged about your make you can post a link in the comments below. Simply click here for the free tutorial, I hope you enjoy it!

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Litha

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Beading at the speed of light, my Litha Goddess doll was finished in time for Litha! She’s now sitting happily on my bookshelf. Now I’m trying not to criticise my work, I have a habit of doing this and I feel it’s something that needs to stop.  I love the finished doll, I think the colours look great, I’m happy with the stitching and she sparkles like the sun on a lake. However, I wish that I could have used more larger beads as I did with Gaia. Yes, I could have bought some, but I was trying to use stash only and didn’t have anything suitable. I did use some large crystals but they don’t stand out from the crowd. I feel that some smaller focal beads would have given the eye something to travel along. But that is my only grumble, apart from that I’m really happy with how she turned out!

So here is Litha, resting on some Heather in the garden. Also a few close up shots and a view of the back…

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I also made a little something for a challenge in my beading group. It’s been ages since I made any jewellery using fabric and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was hard trying to capture the colours, the fabric is actually a deeper red rather than pink. The photo below shows the front and the back. I was going to make a pendant but I though it would make a nice hanging ornament so I added a small length of gold chain.

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