Thursday, 26 January 2012

Pink Pearls

I over did it yesterday and Fibro pain struck in a big way last night. I took too many painkillers and I didn't get up until 11am this morning. I've done hardly any work. But I'm working with some very pretty materials.
These are some of my favourite colours. There's some very fine mother of pearl beads in there and some glass faux pearls. I'm sure this will look lovely. Now all I have to do is actually get in there and embroider the thing.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Today there wasn't much time to create, what with getting new school shoes for my youngest, taking both kiddies (hmmm, 12 and 15, not exctly kiddies anymore) to see Hugo at the movies and then getting home to clean the house for guests on Australia Day.

The guests are actually my husband's gaming friends so I will largely be ignored for the day and able to sit down to some serious creating.

A few days ago I pulled out a nice rose tray and I've been using is as a project caddy when I need to take bits and pieces from room to room. Tonight I got it ready with my 'pallete' for tomorrow. The mag theme coming up is 'pearls' so I'm doign an embroidered piece with some lovely mother of pearl beads I bought just after Christmas. I haven't drawn the desing yet - but something will happen tomorrow I'm sure.

I realised two things today
1. Blogs are so much nicer to read when they have pictures. So here is one of my challenge piece for the beading forum last week. The theme was Picasso. My bookmark is called Petit Picasso
It's available for sale at ETSY

And another realisation is about my passion.

Last year I would have sworn my passion was cross stitching. And now I can't get enough of beading. I realised that my passion is actually designing and the materials are less important, but are often my inspiration.

Often you hear the term 'Jack of all trades but master of none'. I used to think that applied to me until recently when I realised that you can be a master of just creating.

Deep and meaningful tonight peeps :)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Mermaid Detail

Of course I can't show you the whol thing until it's published. I unpicked the backstitch on the face about 7 times to try and make her look pretty. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Loom End Treatments

My appologies to my cross stitching friends, I know I've done a lot of bead related posts lately. I promise a cross stitch related post next.

In the new beading forum I joined we were talking about the end treatments of bead loom work, particularly the warp threads. I mentioned that I use a weave and then super glue. I've tried to get some photos, but they aren't that great.

Ok, this first one shows the threads woven through the warp threads and glued so that they hold, but no other treatment yet. I'll be cutitng the warp threads and then sewing this to felt to finish it into a cuff. The warp threads and the woven threads are both 2 strands of stranded cotton (DMC). There is no fear of it falling apart when I cut as everythign is held firm by the glue.

This one shows one of the first treatments I tried. The warp threads are crochet cotton. I made a feature of the weaving by using a pink stranded cotton (two strands). Then glued it in place. Then I made three groups of the warp thread and plaited them. I held the plait in place by adding a small amount of glue to the first criss cross. The rest of the plait is soft.

In the photo below you can see the 'clasp' which is actually just the two plaited ends passed through a glued knot. The ends have white pony beads glued over the knots. It can be tightened with just one hand. There is no felt on the back of this one. It means it feels a bit stiffer ont he wrist, but it is still comfortable.
By the way, this cuff is available in my etsy store.

 This photo shows a finished piece (though I can see a few threads I should trim :). The warp threads were purple stranded cotton. I then wove through them with the same thread and glued. The warp threads were cut and the whole thing was sewn to a purple felt (Maybe I could trim the felt a bit closer to the weave). Then I added the ring of beads to hold the gold toggle. This is VERY soft to wear.

And here is the magic glue.I buy it from the Reject shop. It's $2 for about 18 tubes of the stuff. And it is POWERFUL, so don't get it on your skin. One drop is all you need to secure threads for beading. I use it for all my beading projects (in rounds, peyote, and now square stitch. It keeps knots from pulling lose and you can then trim right down to the knot in your thread (with a sharp pair of scissors).
I hope this has been helpful. I find bead looming so quick and effective and it would be nice to share that passion with more people. It seems to be an undervalued craft at the moment.
Sorry I can't show you more of the finished works, one of them is for my upcoming book and the other one is hopefully goign to be published in Beading Australia Magazine.
Any questions? You can leave a comment or email me

Monday, 16 January 2012

Square Stitch Beading

I had a go at square stitching with this little design I knocked up. The oen is there to show you scale.
I did enjoy it once I got going. And it is neat, even in thise beginner project. But it is much slower than the loom. This tiny project (10 by 40) took me nearly two hours when I can do a cuff in about the same time (20 by 60).

I want to try Delica beads (the really tiny ones) so I thought I may have to do it square stitch. But I'm not sure now. I do so like the speed of the loom.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Some disapointing news

Well, it is softened with some good news too I guess.
The editor of the magazine I contacted about my beads loved my work. BUT they don't pay contributors?!!!!? So I will only be publishing with them a few times a year for the publicity (they do publish your web address and business details).

So the beading work I did frantically over the last few days was somewhat cheapened.

Well, I'm comforted by the fact that not only will my name be in more magazines, it is good advertising, and I still have my paid magazines.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Mermaids and swirls

I should finish the little mermaid today. All I have to do is sew the beads into her hair and the beads she is holding. Then all I have to do is paint the box she will sit on. She is for Cross Stitch and Embroidery Magazine.

Yesterday I completed a work on the bead loom for a new magazine (well new for me). I need to get it made up into a finished piece today and sent to the editor for approval. It's an art nouveau type piece with a fan in the middle and swirls out to the side. Here's the cartoon I made to help design the chart and pick colours.
I chose a much lighter purple for the bead inside the fan in the end. It's going to be a cuff bracelet. I'll elt you know if it's chosen for publication.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Designing and Stitching today

I'm working on the swirly butterfly bookmark today (I went to the shops to pick up the colours of threads I ran out of). I should finish it this afternoon.
Also on today's menu is the design of little mermaid, cross stitch style for the magazines.

So I'd better get off this blog and get cracking!!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year

Hi all,
happy new year for 2012.

I've been busy stitching the past few days, but I can't show pictures sorry - the piece is for the book and as I don't have a publisher, I'll have to be super careful about not overstepping publishing rules about prior publication (yep, some publishers consider picutres on the internet as prior publication). So all I can say is that is has swirls and a red butterfly and lots of shades of peach and red. It's a bookmark, but very heavily stitched (covering all the fabric actually). I've been at it for 8.5 hours so far and I expect it to take another three.

I had a nice night on new years, at my friend's house. The kids jumped in the pool even though the water is still cold as the weather is not really that hot yet.

Having said that, today was hotter and tomorrow the kids and hubby and I are hitting the beach. it's supposed to be a very warm day.

Happy Stitching