Quilty Box monthly subscription


Quilty Box monthly subscription

Found another interesting monthly subscription. This one is from Quilty Box. Looks like high quality fabrics, notions and books. Like it. Sometimes a nudge of inspiration is all you need to get going on a new project.

Zulu beaded bracelet

Zulu beaded bracelet

Zulu beaded bracelet

Made at the Portland Bead Society annual retreat in Cannon Beach, OR. This was a workshop given by Karmen Schmidt – we chose our own beads. I went very classic with gold, cream and brown along with a simple button clasp.

The bracelet is 8 and a half inches long.

Orange You Blue necklace

Orange You Blue necklace

A tongue in cheek necklace, made for the Portland Bead Society annual retreat on Cannon Beach in Oregon.

Read more about the retreat and the Margaret Scovil challenge.

Here’s a closeup of the necklace.

Closeup of Orange You Blue necklace

More info on how the necklace is made and why I made it can be found on the website.

Portland Bead Society Bead Retreat


It sounds like something whistling or even screaming? OK. I’m just going to lay here, in the dark, and think about it before I start creeping around the hotel room as though in a horror movie.

Phew. It’s the wind pushing through the hotel room door.

Tolovanna Inn, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Tolovanna Inn, Cannon Beach, Oregon

For the 3 days we stayed at the Tolovanna Inn at Cannon Beach it rained, and stormed. Exactly what’s supposed to happen in the winter on the Pacific NorthWest coast. Magnificent. And really, really weird at night time…….

Having sent in my registration, and completely forgotten to include a check, I was looking forward to the famous PBS bead retreat. Luckily our organiser took it in stride and just laughed when I emailed my ‘excuse me, I’m an idiot’ note. And I got to go.

Yes, of course I paid.

My husband came with me and spent each day fishing. He fell in every river, even washing downstream at one point. He had a blast and got very wet. Oh, and no fish were harmed.

And so did I – have a blast, not get very wet.

This is probably one of the best organised retreats I’ve ever been to. Everything laid on – catered breakfast and lunch. Thank you so much to the 2 Englishwoman, along with their colleagues, who ran around feeding us, .

They both came from Manchester in the UK and were born in the same hospital. Not on the same day….. Then they worked for the same catering firm in America. How serendipitous is that?

English breakfast WITH black pudding

English breakfast WITH black pudding, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms – close to what we had for our Sunday brunch

When I exclaimed the brunch on Sunday was brilliant – almost like an English breakfast, one of the woman laughed and remarked grilled mushrooms and a tomato would really complete the meal. She knew what she was talking about. The only other thing missing was a couple of slices of black pudding.

This time around we had several workshops to choose from. Virginia Blakelock of BeadCats was teaching a bracelet pattern she’d designed especially for the retreat – ‘March at the Beach’.

Sadly I didn’t get to take the class as by the time I ambled up to the registration desk the sign up sheet was long filled, with a waitlist. But I did get a kit, which is stunning (the kit, not that I got one!). And I was able to sign up for a couple of other classes which looked interesting.

Fafnir's Tail bracelet designed by Darlene Fordyce

Fafnir’s Tail bracelet designed by Darlene Fordyce

First was the Fafnir’s Tail bracelet from Darlene Fordyce. Darlene hadn’t found a clasp she liked so it was up to us to design something. Magically Bello Modo had an excellent selection of buttons and bingo, bango, there was my fastening. Lovely finished piece.

Zulu bracelet

Zulu bracelet

Karmen Scmidt taught us a Zulu bracelet. We brought our own beads for this. The button I had intended using for a clasp had a broken shank. Poo! So I used a back up which wasn’t quite as nice. The bracelet still came out very prettily.

Imagine that – two finished pieces. Pretty darn good for a weekend’s work.

And what’s with the clasps…..? Bad clasp day?

AND, we had a retreat challenge – the Margaret M Scovil Bead challenge. This was bitter sweet. Margaret, who sadly I never met, died shortly before the retreat so wasn’t able to see our work.

Blue Segment by Vassily Kandinsky

For 2016 the challenge was to make a wearable piece inspired by the painting Blue Segment by Kandinski.


Took me a long time to be inspired…….. Eventually I decided to go weird, after all, I do live in Portland, Oregon.

Q. What has segments? A. An orange.

So I made a necklace of orange slices, orange flowers and leaves. See if you can find the ‘blue segment’?

Orange You Blue necklace

Orange You Blue necklace


Here are our four winners: Maxi Starr, Teresa Shelton, Karie Heib, and Cherie Calwart. I wish I’d taken pictures of the pieces they made. Stunning. Every one of them was imaginative, thoughtful and beautifully made.

Bead Challenge Winners

Bead Challenge Winners

Teresa sat next to me during the day and was a wonderful companion. She helped me with the ‘March at the Beach’ bracelet, put in a bid for me at Bead Bingo (she won a book for me!!!!), and was just a delight.

Karie is a remote member – she is living in Chicago right now but her heart is with the Portland Bead Society. I get to see her at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, WI. Also a top notch beadweaver and designer.

Maxi Starr – well, I have no words. She does magnificent work, she has a standard poodle companion named Katie. Katie came to the bead retreat and visited all of us. Just another reason to love standard poodles and Maxi.

Guess what? I’m so seriously going to next year’s retreat. CHECK ALREADY WRITTEN.

Fafnir’s Tail bracelet

Fafnir's Tail bracelet

This bracelet was made during the Portland Bead Society’s annual bead retreat in Cannon Beach, OR. Darlene Fordyce taught the workshop. This is a clever right angle weave design with the middle row of dagger beads set in the opposite direction to the two outside beads. When the bracelet is fastened the ‘dragon scales’ lift up and create a pleasing effect.

Much knashing of teeth went into the making of this – sometimes a pattern comes quickly and begins to make sense early. Other times, such as this, my brain goes into meltdown mode and it doesn’t matter how many times I repeat the section it won’t stick.

Fafnir's tail bracelet open

The button was a fortuitous find and works perfectly with the colour of the beads.

YLI Prime Piecing Cotton Thread 1500 yards, 2 ply 70wt

Black YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-BLK.Ivory YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-IVR.Khaki YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-KHK.Light Grey YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-LGR.Medium Grey YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-MGR.Natural YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-NAT.Light Brown YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-PST.White YLI Prime Piecing glazed cotton thread - 1500 yards, 70 wt 2 ply, 233-01-WHT.

YLI have come up with a lovely thin 70wt machine piecing thread which means your sharp points and corners don’t get so built up with thread. We carry all 8 of their Prime Piecing colours.

It’s not just for machine quilting – it makes a lovely, fine thread for hand piecing too.

Sew Sampler monthly subscription quilting box

Sew Sampler Quilting Box monthly subscription

Sew Sampler Quilting Box monthly subscription

This looks interesting – the Sew Sampler monthly subscription quilting box from the Fat Quarter Shop. Each month you get 5 quilty related items such a fabric, notions, patterns, and thread. Plus a Block Recipe which, added to further boxes, eventually spins into a finished quilt. I love surprises! And this seems a nice way to get the creative juices flowing – sparking ideas for further quilts.


Beaded Horn of Plenty and necklace

Horn of Plenty basket containing necklace. Beadweaving - seed beads, fire polish crystals, delicas, Swarovski rivolis, and wirework. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
The initial design of this 3-D piece began at a Masterclass with Nancy Cain at the Milwaukee Bead and Button Show.

I got stuck on filling it with the conventional fruits and veggies. However, common sense prevailed and I made a delicate necklace for the bounty spilling out of a basket.

Horn of Plenty basket - peyote beadweaving. Made with seed beads and Swarovski glass pearls. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.The basket is shaped peyote using seed beads, pearls and coloured wirework.

Horn of Plenty necklace - beadweaving. Made with seed beads, drops, fire polish crystals, and Swarovski rivolis. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.The necklace is made with bezelled Swarovski crystals and a daisy chain fastened with a silver and Swarovski clasp.

Updated website for Rushbrooke Strand

Rushbrooke Strand

Rushbrooke Strand

After many hours of coding I’ve finally got the new website up. Google has been bugging me for months to update for mobile devices. I hate learning to navigate a website all over again so really wish I didn’t have to do this, but the world changes, technology faster than most things, and I have to keep up. Sigh.

Anyhow, it’s here now – Rushbrooke Strand.

Ritzy Too – free online bead magazine for handmade jewelry

Ritzy Too magazine

Ritzy Too magazine

The Portland Bead Society is featured in the February 2016 issue of Ritzy Too.

A nice little article about our group. A couple of patterns and lots of resources.

Definitely worth signing up for – and of course, it’s free.