When I lived in Florida I was part of a beading group which met every Thursday. It was my first experience working with beads – and being with others who beaded and shared their talent.
Jerri Heer, along with all the other amazing work she produces, teaches how to make gemstone trees. I bought one of her smaller kits to try my hand.
I chose gold wire and amethyst gemstones. The package was a brilliant surprise – it contained just about everything I needed to make the gemstone tree, including a twisting tool, toothpicks, wire, gemstones and a lovely stone base. The only thing I had to supply was patience, and glue!
This encourages me to continue on and make a larger gemstone tree for a complicated piece I am working on…….
If you would like to make your own tree, Jerri Heer not only has the kit but she has an excellent tutorial video available for free on her Etsy site Nature’s Arts.
The professional group I’ve belonged to for 20 years or so has produced a video about the association. This film includes member interviews PLUS beautiful artwork. Find out more about SAQA’s history and how the members get inspired to create.
You can view it on Vimeo – Stitching Together a Global Community
Back in 2012 Beadwork magazine celebrated their 15th anniversary by presenting a challenge. They offered 4 months of beaded bead patterns and we had to come up with our own colour choices and design a piece of jewelry using the beads. The original piece I created was VASTLY too complicated and was basically a mash up of a needlecase necklace and this beaded bead necklace.
Eventually the penny dropped and I realised I needed to simplify the necklace – which I did – and it’s a better piece for the reduction.
Made with seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds. The chain is in herringbone stitch and woven with cobalt delicas. I love the contrast of the bright blue with the warm browns and creams of the beads.
Here are close ups of the individual beads:
I didn’t win a place, not surprisingly seeing as the original necklace was totally over-worked, but in its simpler version I bet I would have!
Every year the Portland Bead Society holds a retreat. Usually at Cannon Beach in Oregon. We also have a bead challenge.
Last year I entered my Orange You Blue necklace. This year I entered a piece I like so much I’m going to work on it some more and you’ll just have to wait until it’s finished before I put it online (PS. I did win second place!).
Here are a couple of beaded goodies I particularly liked. And if you would like to see more you can go to the Portland Bead Society Artists page and have an idea of what we get up to.
I particularly like this rabbit necklace by Anna Chase. It’s very subtle and needs looking at. She made the brown shaded polymer beads herself.
I love unexpected surprises when I wear jewelry and having the clasp in front is fun. This Burgundy and olive necklace has a spiky focal made with a glass spike, seed beads and Swarovski crystals. It’s fastened with a snap clasp.
Here it is unsnapped.
The diamond shapes in the chain give it a nice textural effect. The necklace is 27 inches long from end to end when unsnapped.
If you want a fine cotton thread for piecing this is the one. 70wt on a 6000 yard spool. This is in Medium Grey.