Tag Archives: swarovski

National Beading Week – Jean Power Secret Beadlong




People Chain x 12




A secret beadalong I hear you ask, what on earth is that ?

The super awesome amazing Jean Power in her capacity as a #NBW ambassador created the most amazing secret beading project, which over 4000 beaders worldwide are taking part in, for FREE!

The aim is to spread the love of beading, the instructions were clear, do some preliminary beading (if you want to) and then each day during National Beading Week the next step of instructions is emailed out.

So, am running a little behind but will still get them done this weekend (I hope) the fun of course is seeing what we are making.

In the beginning it could of been a ring, a bracelet, brooch, necklace it was a complete surprise.  I also discovered that its quite tricky to select colour schemes for a project when you have no visual idea of the end piece so its been a bit a revelation in my creative mind. Afterall its tricky to pick colours at the best of time which I imagine is why kits are so hugely popular in the beading world, I tend to stick to a purple themed colour palette, so I was fairly confident that my colours regardless of the project would blend beautifully, I did however use real miniature cultured pearls in the first piece – since I discovered Jewellery Maker I avoid all fake & glass beads where possible, obviously I need to caveat that as delicas, seed beads are all glass beads and not gemstones but sadly its virtually impossible to create some of the intricate beaded designs with gemstones as they simply can’t be faceted, or made uniform enough to be used in intricate bead woven designs such as this bracelet I created

#nationalbeadweek bracelet
#nationalbeadweek bracelet using delicas 

Now the piece is coming together, and I have seen (and printed out) the instructions for days 5 & 6 I realise that it will be a pendant, and I am guessing that we just thread the pendants on the beaded chain to complete the piece (unless there is a twist!) but regardless I am happy with the Greens, Gold and Purples I used.

Preliminary Beading for Jean Powers secret beadalong challenge.
Preliminary Beading for Jean Powers secret beadalong challenge, So using 5 Rivoli’s, size 15 seed beads and some size 11 delicious here are my starting pieces. 










A beaded flower - day 3 challenge piece
A beaded flower – day 3 challenge piece using Superduo beads , size 11 seed beads 








#NBW day 1, pearls!
#NBW day 1, pearls!







Day 2 #NBW Delicas and Crystals (Bicones)
Day 2 #NBW Delicas and Crystals (Bicones)

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

IMG_0396 IMG_0397

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 ………