It’s been a while since I blogged hasn’t it? Well there has been so much going on here, and already we are in the middle of November. There are few new projects I can blog about because most of them are destined for the book, so I can’t show you. It’s all coming together now and I’m so excited! I’m off to London in a couple of weeks to do the first photo shoot. We are presenting each stage in photographs overlaid with the thread paths, in a ‘see it grow’ format. So there has been much communication about colours, order of projects and so on, and several changes made on the way.
So in the meantime, I haven’t had much chance to do any new stuff, except for the occasional couple of days while I await a decision on choice of colour or bead supplies.
I did manage to add a couple of things.
First I remembered a few years ago I made a pair of pretty poinsettia earrings, which were snapped up. I always intended making more, but as always, other things got in the way. So this year I did manage to write up a tutorial for them. Made with brick stitch surrounding a central crystal bead, they are so pretty and perfect for Christmas.
I played around with turning an 8mm pearl into a pendant. Using peyote stitch I made the Faerie Flower Pendant, which is so pretty with the little dangling leaves and matching crystal drops.
I also worked on a couple of beaded Christmas Ornaments, one is not complete yet, and the other I made in white and blue, then gold and black. I like them, and they will look fabulous on the tree.
Meanwhile, everything here turned from green to all sorts of golds and reds, and though there are still leaves hanging in there, the trees are now all but bare. One frost and the whole lot will drop and we’ll be in the depths of winter.
After the end of this month, there will be less to do on the book and more time to create more projects to make. I have so many ideas, some formed while I was working out projects for the book, others from the back of the book projects, and others just forming randomly as ideas while I’ve been daydreaming on trains or looking at magazines etc. These will all come to fruition in the new year.
So here we are almost at the end of July, and I haven’t been updating my blog at all. It’s been such a busy month I’ve hardly had time to breathe, and as for housework, very little is getting done right now.
The reason is I’ve been working on the book. Following the planning meeting at the beginning of the month, I’ve been in contact with the publisher discussing and agreeing on colour schemes for the projects. I’ve had to match the suggested colours with beads available from suppliers. You wouldn’t believe what a headache that has been, some have one colour, some have another, and nobody does pearls or crystals in the same colour in 4mm, 6mm and 8mm, which two of the projects call for.
So I’ve put in orders with three suppliers, Stitchncraft, Robins Beads and Firemountain Gems. I’m still waiting for the Firemountain Gems order to be cleared by customs. According to their tracking it’s been in the country for nearly a week. So a customs tax bill will probably arrive first.
There are still some project colour schemes to be sorted out yet and a bead budget decided by the publisher, and I did get a bit of a slapped wrist for ordering beads, but if I don’t I won’t get the projects ready in time, I want to get on with it now.
And that where I am now, three projects completed, with made up stages ready for photos, instructions written, diagrams made, and ready to proof-read later on.
Oh and I also had to revise a project. I found a spookily similar design in a ring, and it was really too similar to mine, so I scrapped that, and have now designed a gorgeous lariat necklace with a rivoli pendant and elements from other projects in the book. It’s gorgeous, and will be the last one in the book, ending with a flourish. That’s all I can say about it.
Contract has been signed too, so it’s all sytems go apart from waiting to get the remaining beads.
I’ve got no projects to show you this time, but let’s go back to the beginning. This is my first every tutorial, and it’s still selling like hotcakes, a big favourite. My Star Flower Pendant. Made with a 14mm rivoli and SuperDuos, it’s still one of my favourite pieces and it’s the one that started me on the road to a new career at my time of life!
So here we are again after a record-breaking hot week. For me a little too hot and humid, but we began Saturday with a massive electrical storm in the early hours. How I wish I had the camera to take some pictures of the lightning, it was spectacular!
We’re in July now which is another step toward Christmas, and I have these stunning poinsettia earrings which are just right for the occasion. Made using brick stitch, with a fire polished crystal bead in the middle, they don’t take too long to make up, and you have lots of time to make everyone a pair.
I have a book planning meeting in London tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to. Meeting everyone again, planning the book, talking about colour schemes and lots of other details, and of course all the legal stuff, contracts etc. I’m all packed and ready to go, with samples of the projects included, and half of my stash of SuperDuos to show the colours to help everyone decide.
This last week I have spent beading like a mad thing, getting samples ready. Some of them hadn’t even made it off the paper, but they’ve worked really well, especially one bangle which I had doubts about. Now I’m so pleased with it I can’t wait to show it. I’ve felt like I couldn’t do anything wrong this week!
Anyway, enough rambling from me, more to report once I’m back from the meeting, and I find out if some of the patterns I pulled from the book can now be released as tutorials.
Here it is finally! Summer has arrived in the UK. Sort of. Ok we haven’t had much in the way of heatwaves, but the temperatures are certainly rising even if it’s still overcast in this part of the country.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I’ve been incredibly busy with several things on the go at one time. You know about the book, I have a planning meeting in London in July, where we will discuss colour schemes. I’m also waiting to see if Kalmbach have accepted the new synopsis with fewer projects as they wanted. If they do then there will be a few tutorials available in the near future. For now I’m holding on to them.
I have had a pattern accepted for Beadwork magazine too, which will be published in the June/July 2016 issue. We have agreed on colours, the bracelets are made up and ready to go, and I’m just waiting for the contract to arrive by post.
I am also maybe helping to co-write some patterns or maybe a book for a friend who has worked a new stitch too, I’m doing the illustrations for her, though if it’s accepted as a book the illustrations probably won’t be needed but it’s been great fun working with her on that.
Then there are tutorials. I have two new ones out, both earrings. I’ll show one of them now. These are my Aztec Sun earrings. Lovely long drop/dangle earrings perfect for summer, with a rivoli centre and gorgeous crystal drop bead, the shape is very ‘Aztec’, hence the name. These have proved to be quite popular so far on Etsy.
I will show the other earrings in a few days, until then, be good.
I have been busily working on new projects lately and neglecting to add them to this blog, so here we go for a grand catch-up.
First, I made this gorgeous ruffle bracelet. It uses the same netted ruffle as my Anemone Pendant, but using Bi-bo beads and fire polished crystals in a strip along the centre, the ruffle outlines it beautifully.
It is a very delicate-looking bracelet, and made in soft colours certainly looks light and lacy.
The next is my Harmony bracelet, made with six motifs with glass pearls at their centre. The pearls are captured by a tubular peyote ring, and surrounded by netted seed beads and smaller, matching glass pearls. Each motif is joined by shared SuperDuo beads, so each is made separately and joined to the previous one as you go along. It was probably more difficult to write up than to actually make!
Finally, and this is the reason I have been rushing new tutorials out, I have finally got the green light for my book. Kalmbach have accepted the synopsis and spreads, and though I may not use all the design originally proposed, it will be published in September 2016, or possibly earlier if it can be agreed. So I must stop creating new ideas and get back to the book.
In the meantime, I am also working on a second compilation book, which currently has 22 designs, but following negotiations with the publisher, more may be added, including a couple of designs some have already seen. I’m hoping to have that one published by September this year (indie), so that will keep you all going for a while.
Here’s another new design, the Zahira necklace. It almost has a Greek feel too it, with the individual units reminding me of the Parthenon. I already had the name Zahira for it, so it’s stuck.
Made with Czechmates tile beads, it has a fairly wide foundation, in that there are two layers of SuperDuos and a layer of tiles, but the overall design is versatile enough to make a bib necklace, a full collar, or spread the units out a little. Because it is made with the foundation SuperDuos first, where and how you add the Tiles, pearls and remaining SuperDuos is entirely up to you.
We’re just edging into summer here, but I love these autumnal colours of reds, golds and coppers in the full necklace, and the blues and mint greens of the bib version brings to mind the deep blues and greens of the sea.
I also had a very pleasant surprise last week when one of my best customers, who runs a bead shop in Chesapeake, USA, bought my Luxor tutorial ready for her teaching program in the autumn. She always makes them up first and she sent me a photo of the result, laid over the printout of my tutorial, and I have to say, I love what she's done with it. I wanted to make a black and gold version but didn't get around to it, but this red and black is just perfect.
So there I was trying to get together some more designs using Kheops®Par Puca® beads, rummaging through my stash, when I noticed I had some Silky beads, Superduos and 'O' beads in the same colours, my favourite pastel mauve. Now I love black and purple, so I put together this bracelet using that very combination, with black Kheops®
I’ve had to use a two-needle method again. I’m not a big fan of two-needle beading, I find it confusing, but it’s worth it when you’re working on the entire length of the bracelet, and where the beads are such a shape that there is no way to anchor them or tie them securely using a single needle.
I made one with green and white, another colour combo I like, but this time I matched (almost) the Kheops and the Silkys, while the seed beads and SuperDuos are white. It gives a completely different look.
For the second new tutorial, I decided to use a similar pattern, but this time using Kheops and SuperDuos on opposite sides. This creates a more zig-zag feel to the bracelet, and to avoid waving, I used less 'O' beads. Again, different colour combinations created a different effect and I’m really pleased with both of these bracelet.
I’ve also been messing about with photography, finally finding a way of softening the focus in Gimp. So I’ve been out and about collecting flower photos to play with. Here’s some blossom I took last week, before I sprained the ligaments in my knee. Not bad for a point and shoot digital eh?
I have been looking at the new Kheops Par Puca beads recently. I’ve seen some fascinating designs with them on Etsy and Facebook, but what prompted me to go an order them was a competition, run by The Beadsmith, on their facebook page, to show new designs using the Kheops beads.
So, while I’m waiting to hear about the book, and putting the brakes on it for a little while, and meaning to come up with some more new designs for tutorials, I ordered those little triangles, and waited with anticipation for them to arrive.
Kheops Par Puca are gorgeous little Czech glass beads in a triangle shape with two holes running through them. On one side, you can see both holes, and these hole exit one on each of the other two sides. This makes them a little bit challenging to work out designs that can use them and where the thread can run and so on. So I thought I’d start with a fairly simple bracelet. I got confused and had them all the wrong way round, but…I had got the ‘feel’ of them.
So I began with the same SuperDuo foundation as my Louisa necklace, and just worked from there. I produced a whole collar, but ran out of the Kheops, but decided to use the same design in a bib necklace. Here it is. I’m really pleased with it, and will be making one in black and gold once the next order of beads arrives.
So in the meantime, I have entered it into the competition, and it has been really well received. In 12 hours, 18 shares and dozens of ‘likes’ on it since it was added to The Beadsmith’s page. Even Ella Des, a fabulous designer who, although she doesn't know it, gave me so much inspiration in the early days, complimented it, and for me that is one hell of a compliment. Lots are asking for a tutorial, and it is in the pipeline, but for now I want to put more new designs out there in the competition. There will be one very soon though.
We have some rather wonderful spring weather going on right now. It really does cheer to soul to see the natural world waking me up again. I went for a walk a few days ago in the woods nearby, and found a carpet of wood anemones, and the bluebells beginning to flower already. Leaves are breaking open on the trees and insects are buzzing around. The sound of birdsong fills the air, with the summer migrants arriving, such as the Chiffchaff and blackcap all adding to the dawn chorus that is currently waking me up at about 4am.
I absolutely love recording the changes in the woods through the seasons, and it has long been my ambition to take a photo from the same spot on the first of each month, regardless of the weather. Always something happens to prevent me from doing so, but I will one day. However when I am in the woods, I usually try to take photos from the same spot, so I have built up a collection over the years. Just as well as some of the trees were badly damaged or even felled during the winter storms of 2013/14.
So what about the book? Not much to tell, except that it was presented at the London Book Fair last week, and was well received. That’s all we can say for now. I have been working up the projects ready for the word ‘go!’, or in preparation for a new batch of tutorials if the word is ‘no!’. Always have a plan B.
So I had a new pair of earrings ready for a new tutorial on the back of one of the projects, but unfortunately, (or fortunately), I’ve had to add them to the book now as a pendant I was working on just cannot be done without trying either other beads, which won’t fit with the chapter, or doing something that has already been done. So I’ve admitted defeat on that one, and will work on that design for a tutorial later. The earrings are gorgeous though, I’m really pleased with them.
I caught sight of a competition on facebook, using Kheops Par Puca beads. These are triangular two-holed beads, and I’ve not worked with them yet. I liked the idea of the competition though, because even if I don’t win, I gain much needed publicity for Iceni Bead Design…so I put in an order yesterday, and will be working with them when they arrive tomorrow. I WILL be able to show you the results as soon as I have them, and there will be tutorials to go with them.
I hope everyone had a happy Easter weekend. The weather here in Norwich wasn’t great but it stayed dry.
It’s lovely to hear the birds singing, waiting to hear the summer migrants come in. I’ve usually heard the chiffchaffs and blackcaps by now, but they seem to be late this year.
So, I finished the first section of the book, with some gorgeous projects, and I am so pleased. I only wish I could show them now, but all in good time. I promise, they are fantastic.
While I was waiting for my beads to arrive for the next section, especially lots of lovely sparkly rivolis, I was at a loose end. Keeping up the writing discipline, I kept working over the weekend, and soon found myself with a gorgeous pendant I almost gave up on. The Silky Moonlight Pendant.
As I was making this up, the beads kept twisting and bending and I was getting most frustrated with it, until I noticed the twists and bends were all in the same direction. I put the pendant down and took a step back…literally…and I liked it! It was even, shaped, had texture and gave the appearance of layers.
So after modifying the outlining 15° beads a bit, this is the result. I just love that purple with the lustered pink silky beads!
I made another in blue, and I’m equally pleased with this one, and so we have a new tutorial for you.
I'm Teresa, the designer and writer of the tutorials you see, and a bead addict.