Tag Archives: fireline

Fireline and tiny Gemstones

Fireline & 2mm Gemstones
Fireline & 2mm Gemstones

So, a quick glimpse at my beading board….notice I use a foam beading mat not a macrame board, or any other kind of board – the reason is that this beading mat at a cost of less than £1 holds the beads perfectly, quite how the “expert designers” on JM manage with a macrame board I have no idea, because when I try using on for basic beading my beads fly everywhere!

Anyway, I have drifted back to bead weaving, and really fancied using up some 2mm and 4mm rounds, so have a combination of quartz & jasper in various sizes on my board.

I decided to do a Cellini Spiral as this stitch looks amazing and is incredibly easy to learn, it’s basically a tubular peyote stitch but uses different sizes of beads so the end result is absolutely stunning.

To start the peyote, ideally you need 4 different colours of bead, ideally at least 2 of these are graduating in size, hence I used 2mm and 4 mm, the effect of this is that as the tube grows the beads appear to spiral.

The basic steps are to load 6 A beads, 2 B beads, 2 C beads, 2 D beads, 2 C beads and 2 D beads, take the thread back through the first 2 A beads and then step up, so the golden rule is quite simply which bead you are exiting, pick that up for the next stitch, so it’s a standard peyote. Go through a bead, pick up a bead, miss the bead and go through the next, thus producing an almost brick work effect once a couple of rows have been stitched.

Once you get round to the beginning, don’t just go through the next bead, but also go through the first bead added on the row you are just finishing, i.e. the step up, then continue adding beads as you spiral around. The pattern will commence quite quickly, but pay attention as it will be obvious if you get the wrong bead!

So I was busy beading away,  my fireline snapped 🙁 beads fell everywhere ……..I needed the chocolate orange to console myself.

This was quite unexpected, as fireline is quite hard to cut – in fact I have a special pair of scissors just for wildfire and firemen. It will blunt normal snips & scissors as it’s quite a tough thread to use. These threads are thermally bonded,  traditionally used by fishermen but my gemstones cut through the firemen …… so I have no picture to show you – however I won’t be defeated I will get some larger gemstones, and do the same but with a wire threading material. The end result won’t be a dainty, but should still have some impact, depending on how tight I can get the tension on the wire.

Watch this space!



When using wildfire or fireline you may find it tricky to get through the eye of the needle, if this is the case, use your flat nose pliers to squeeze the end of the thread, it will make it go flat which you can then turn on its side and slide thorough the needle eye 🙂

My favourite purchases ……part 1

So the last weekend was from a selling point of view an absolute disaster, I made some beautiful jewellery (gemstone based, black agate strands, Amethyst & Silver necklace, beady beads in Green quartz, Kyanite in a Kumihimo braid and much more besides. In fact I had some real attention grabbing items on the stand (loom bands, hair clips) at pocket money prices but sadly when you don’t get the customers through the door it really doesn’t matter how many beautiful stalls there are without customers its not a fair. There were some stunning items for sale, and I made a couple of new friends which was lovely.

Anyway, whilst I was sitting all alone at my stall with a flask of hot tea, and a tube of pringles (roast chicken flavour and they are lovely!) to keep me company, I made good use of my time.

On Saturday I created a couple of macrame bracelets using leather, one in a brown leather with a silver bead to secure the sliding knotted ends, and another using purple suede effect fabric, with skull beads incorporated within the braid – rather excitingly my son absolutely loved the skull bracelet and now wants one of his own. So I may have to make myself a new one and pick up some Swarvoski I also managed to watch The Honorable Woman, a drama currently running on BBC, I had put it on iplayer, I have no idea why because I am not a fan of the middle east, or politics, or scary dramas that involve little children but I am totally hooked, its a tad gory, and iplayer on the iPads in my house are normally full of Gory Games, and Arthur!

So this program I downloaded a while ago, just on the off chance I get bored, happen to have my iPad to hand and need something to watch (it does happen periodically – honest!).  So the drama touches on subjects I try to block out of my world (kidnapping, murder, politics of the middle east, history of Palastine – not that any of these issues aren’t important obviously, I just try to avoid getting embroiled in them, I guess its because they are real, most TV isn’t “real” so doesn’t play on your mind as something obviously true to life does).

Sunday I went back to my roots, and got my seed beads out, created a triangle and incorporated some pearls, a design from the Jean Power contempory geometric beadwork book 1, which I have had since it was published but not really got into. I have the utmost respect for Jean, and her amazing beadwork I guess I just haven’t been in the Geometric zone lately!

(pic to follow, its too dark to snap it effectively tonight sorry)

So, I got thinking, what are my favourite purchases of late ? I own lots of lovely gemstones, and could,  I guess technically be called a gem collector but I do get an immense amount of pleasure just touching, sorting through and feeling my strands.

Even more excitingly I am booked on a course (beadwork’s guild) this coming weekend with the most amazingly talented Heather Kingsley-Heath   so here goes :

Favourite purchases:

A Bead Scoop   – A bead scoop is a random selection of beads / gemstones from Jewellery Maker – I love them! 

Bead Scoop - Pinks & Purples
Bead Scoop – Pinks & Purples

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So aren’t these bead scoop amazing little bags of pirate treasure!!

The green / blue tones was a gift from my wonderful mummy, doesn’t it have the most amazing large gems, one almost looks like turquoise its has the most perfect veins running through the piece, not to mention the Amethyst rounds, the unique natural pearls and the shell beads & drops.

I intend to take the larger stones from this mix to the beadworks guild workshop at the weekend for my freeform piece. Mum bought this bag of gems with a silver plated findings pack for £8 I think she said, amazing value – without a doubt worth all the pennies!! The mixture of gems is simply out of this world. (link at the top of the paragraph)

Some of the smaller gems will be used in the tassels hanging below the main cab that I will beading around (probably in Albion stitch as that is the stitch Heather is famous for creating)

One of the pinks & purples pack has a huge bead made of Amethyst, it is stunning – so this week these bead scoop packs are without a doubt my favourite buy, (from www.jewellerymaker.com). One of the bead packs was pretty much full of Amethyst, they have given me an immense amount of pleasure, right from the moment they first arrived and I was desperate to tip them out all over my desk at work! (I resisted, but not for long :)) Sadly I couldn’t find them on the website so I suspect they are a random as and when they have enough to sell they advertise them, so definitely worth a watch and if you spot them BUY THEM! (thats my top tip for the day!)

Today, I also ordered some Swarovski chatons to bead around too …. am excited about the arrival of those in the morning if the postman is feeling kind 🙂 and some fire line, as I haven’t had much success buying beading thread from any local angling shops. Fireline is an amazing product, I have noticed that its a marmite product, you either love it or hate it, it can be stiff to work with, but being thermally bonded its virtually impossible to pierce, let alone fray whilst in use like the nymo bobbins of thread tend to do. It is however quite stiff to use, and does take a while to learn to sew with the right tension this time.

So thats my first favourite purchase of late, check back tomorrow for my next favourite purchase ………