Monday, 28 May 2012

Jean Power's Honeycomb Bracelet

Mummy decided to have a quick make and this was the result:
Yep, the Honeycomb Bracelet by the utterly fabulous Jean Power! I know this piece is stunningly fast and very satisfying to make, not just because it makes up so quickly, but because it can be delicate and romantic, such as the one Mummy beaded here, or it can be dramatic and dangerous in other colour schemes.  I made one in deep reds with blood red large beads around the outside and it was so completely different looking to the one that Mummy made that it just shows what a chameleon pattern it really is.  And and absolute bargain at only £3!!!

Shame these colours don't really suite me though!!  :(

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mummy's Medallion

Another of Mummy's pieces for this post!

A few months ago, Mummy and I decided to take a bit of a road trip up to The Bead Shop in Nottingham.  I needed some of the 27mm Swarovski rivolis and a couple of cosmic squares for my beading lesson and couldn't wait for the postage, Mummy wanted some drop beads to make Ayshe by the fabulous Sabine Lippert, so I took a day off work and we drove up together.  

I picked up what I needed and Mummy picked up the drop beads that she needed.  Unfortunately they were Indian drops so weren't quite uniform or perfect enough for the Ayshe pattern, which was a shame.  However, on went her Thinking Cap and she came up with this design:

I love how it makes me think of a Bollywood Saturday Night Fever!  The colours are fab and it really looks superb on. 

 Here you can see that Mummy used a bail thought up by the ever-fabulous Jean Power, and see that the herringbone rope is chequered.

And here you can see how Mummy beaded the pendant.  Goodness knows what her bead path is in this (in fact I'm not even sure Mummy knows!) but this little blighter is very sturdy and really holds it's shape as well as staying perfectly disc-like.  Very talented Mummy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Fade Necklace

As my muse seems to have returned from an astonishingly long holiday I have been putting pencil to paper and needle and Nymo to beads!

Last weekend Mummy and I went to the Beadworker's Guild Bead Bazaar and spent an absolute fortune between us.  It was so inspiring to see people wandering about wearing the most fabulous creations.  I wore my Pyramids Cuff and received lots of compliments on it.  I also saw a few really amazing kits, but at £40 they were a bit too expensive for me (although not as expensive as the Sylvia Fairhurst kit Mummy liked - a whopping £73!).

I bought some rather lovely Swarovski rivolis and this is what I made with them:

I stuck with simple (yet again!) and bezelled three Swarovski rivolis; one 27mm, one 18mm and one 14mm.  I used Delica DB925 Sparkling Grey for the starting 3 rows of peyote stitch and then switched to Delica DBS041 Silver Lined Crystal 15's for the next two rows.

You can just see the Sparkling Grey in this photo.

For the rope I decided to try something that I've often seen, but never done before.  I beaded a six bead round herringbone rope and started with the sparkling grey and then faded into Delica DBC0041 Silver Lined Crystal for the front portion of the rope and then back again.

It faded in quite well I thought.  It's not as good as I've seen done elsewhere, but I'm reasonably pleased as it was my first go.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Very proud teacher!

This evening was Kathy's last lesson until we start up again in September and I just wanted to post to say how proud of her I am!

When Kathy first came to me about 6 months ago she'd done a bit of stringing and had attended a couple of day courses where she learned to bezel a rivoli and add a plain bail to loop onto a necklace.  She'd bought hundreds of beads, books and patterns but for some reason couldn't follow them.  Since then we have learned lots of different stitches (including flat peyote!) and I said that she should find a piece that she liked but wouldn't usually dare to attempt.  I wanted her to find something that she aspired to but didn't quite feel ready for.  She went straight to Creating Crystal Jewellery with Swarovski by Laura McCabe as she's quite the magpie!  She chose a piece that was made with a rivoli and some cosmic squares but she didn't like the spiral rope.  For some reason she really dislikes the look of spiral rope so we started on the pendant and once that was done, we would look at which kind of rope she would like instead.

Here's the pendant:
She used a volcano rivoli with volcano and light vitrail cosmic squares.  She started to add the picot round the secondary squares but decided that she didn't like them and wanted it to get plainer the further away from the rivoli so that your eyes are drawn in and then out again.  At first she really worried about deviating from the pattern but I said that it was excellent that she felt she could personalise it - it is an important step in learning how to design jewellery for yourself after all!  (As an aside - the charlottes are actually a pale  AB metallic green but look white because I was using my phone camera and no natural light!)

After much thinking of all the ropes we had learned, she decided to plump for twisted herringbone, a wise choice I thought!  She did remarkably well and started off two ropes in a lesson and finished them as her homework.  Today, in our last lesson until September, she did a loop and toggle closure and made sure all her ends we securely woven away and cut off.

Here's the full finished necklace:

Didn't she do fabulously?!  I can't quite explain how proud of her I am, she has come such a long way in her grasp of different stitches, changing from one stitch to another and most importantly, the importance of tension!

I asked her what she was looking at doing come Autumn, and she's asked me to find a pattern made of lots of components so she can do homework.  I have a design brewing in the back of my brain that I think she will like - it's lots and lots of little circles (inspired by Jean Power's Freeform Cuff but as a necklace, asymmetric and using lots of different types of circles, mainly in peyote but with the odd sparkly rivoli) so I shall let it brew a little longer and then do a few rough sketches before putting needle and thread to beads!  Luckily I have 3 months to make and then write up instructions after photographing it and sending her a picture! 

And yes, this is an hurrah as it seems my muse is back too!  Wooop!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Eleanor by Spellbound Beads (made by Mummy)

Recently Mummy made the Eleanor Necklace by The Spellbound Bead Company and this is how it turned out:

She started off making the silver on the top and the black on the bottom but it looked really odd and just didn't work so decided to flip the colours.  For some reason it looks strange with the dark on the bottom yet utterly right with the dark on the top.  Must be something to do with something I don't understand!

The finished piece sits delicately on the collar bone and for such a simple project, it really does look quite elegant and sophisticated.

Monday, 7 May 2012

25th Wedding Anniversary

Last August was Mummy and Daddy's 25th wedding anniversary.  They threw a fabulous party in the ballroom at The Ramada Jarvis in Leicester and it was a truly lovely evening. 

To go with a fabulous deep red frock she had made, Mummy designed and made this necklace:
It was made using two drop peyote for the neck straps, peyote flowers and leaves and lovely ladder stitched curls.

Here you can see a close up of the flowers with the small beaded bead centres.

And here you can see the drape of the leaves and the fabulous little curls which dripped into her cleavage and looked rather indulgent!

The main bead colours matched her dress perfectly and with a wide and deep square neckline, the asymmetry really worked well.  She looked amazing and is proud of such an intricate and sentimentally important piece.

Muse In Hiding

Well it seems my muse had been in hiding these past few weeks.  I have no idea where she's gone or what she's up to but I blooming well hope she comes back soon!

Until she returns to me I have decided to post what Mummy has been making...