Finally, I can let you all into a big secret I’ve been keeping. I’ve been doing some secret beading, at the request of Jewellery Maker TV… And I’ve made a beaded Nativity set!
To be precise, this comprises eight characters and the Crib with Baby Jesus. So, this was a bit of a challenge for me. I have to confess that I am aware of more than one beaded Nativity set. Although I’ve never made one myself or bought any patterns for this. However, that did mean I was wary of copying.
So, how did I avoid this? What were the pitfalls? And where can you get hold of the pattern?
The Ideas Behind my Beaded Nativity Set
Well, I’ve just said I was wary of copying since I know this isn’t the first beaded Nativity set to hit the market.
In order to avoid even accidental copying, I made sure not to look up any beaded Nativity set patterns or photos! The only one I’ve actually seen in the past, is made with Peyote stitch. (I’m sorry, I’m not even sure who the designer was, but the figures I saw were lovely).
So, mission number one: avoid using Peyote stitch!
If you know me, you’ll know Peyote is my favourite technique. So, this was quite a challenge.
Having avoided beaded Nativity figures, I then immersed myself in Google Clip Art images! Yes, I find the way these simplify shapes and colours is really helpful for me. I knew this beading project was going to have to be small scale. Yet, it needed enough detail to make the characters recognisable. So, I wanted to think simple.
Then, I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to pour into this project. I also knew that none of you will, since Christmas is creeping closer. So, I wanted to use techniques that would be quick and easy to manage.
The Results of My Plan!
Anyway, a bit of thought, inspired by those ideas, resulted in this little set. I hope I don’t need to introduce the characters… If I do, then I did a really bad job!
So, you might notice that each one is actually built in a similar way. I created a single design that would serve for all the heads and bodies. Then I added cloaks in a couple of different designs. All these elements are made with basic netting.
I find this a really easy technique to teach. So, that means it’s easy for you to learn if you don’t already know it. Best of all – it works up really quickly. So, a single row of netting goes a long way!
I used colour and simple pattern to differentiate between the characters. So, the Three Kings have much richer looking outfits than the Shepherds. Mary and Joseph are simply dressed, but coloured to stand out.
I did resort to using some Peyote stitch for the Crib and also the Kings’ crowns. The other details on the characters are mostly freeform.
So, again, I didn’t want anyone to feel bogged down in complicated instructions. If you don’t understand exactly what I did, just go your own way and make whatever works for you!
Where Can You Get the Pattern?
Simple: from Jewellery Maker TV. They are launching this beaded Nativity set as a kit on Friday 1st December 2017 (yes, that’s 3 days away if you’re reading this live now!).
This link will take you to the Jewellery Maker homepage. (It opens in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place here).
You have a few options. You can watch any of their shows live via their website. Or, if you live in the UK, you can also watch on some TV channels. Their morning show, from 8am until 1pm is broadcast on Freeview 76. You can also watch all their shows on Sky 665, Virgin 756 or Freesat 807.
I’m afraid, I am not able to sell the pattern or kits myself. So, your only route to purchase this is through Jewellery Maker. If you’re not around on Friday, you will also be able to catch up and watch the show at any time on their YouTube channel. So, I will post a link to that as soon as it is available.
Thank You Jewellery Maker
Of course I want to say thank you to Jewellery Maker for asking me to do this project. However, this is a really special thank you. Some of you may remember, I made my debut on the channel back in May 2016. Then I disappeared!
Well, that was because the severe CFS/ME relapse that I’ve been blogging about all month, occurred just a couple of weeks after that debut show. In fact, I missed my second show, although I had made projects for it.
JMTV, you rock!
Now, it would have been very easy for JMTV to shrug their shoulders and forget about me. I haven’t been able to work for them in the way that other Guest Designers do. Neither have I been able to give them any idea when I will be back to doing shows.
But they have been so supportive. So, there has been no pushing me to do anything. No queries of ‘aren’t you better yet?’ or ‘when will you be back?’ I’ve managed to do some patterns behind the scenes this year. Then when the beaded Nativity set came up, they worked around what I needed.
Even to the extent that, yesterday, they sent a cameraman down here to me to film. They were keen for me to appear in order to introduce the kit. But I’m having trouble travelling at the moment. So, they worked around that to come up with a solution that suits everyone.
So, this is me saying a very loud, hopefully very public, thank you. If you have been following my blog posts, or if you know anything about CFS/ME or other ‘invisible illnesses’, you will know how hard it is to find support and understanding. So, whenever I find it, I want to make sure that everyone knows about it. I want everyone to know how much I appreciate this!
Why I Need Your Help Now
This brings me rather neatly onto a long overdue update. I also had some really good news yesterday.
Last year, after the relapse, I finally found a specialist who could help me. I reported on my blog about my mind-blowing discovery with a blood test that finally showed a physical problem. If you missed the details, you can read the blog here.
My good news yesterday – the results of a repeat of the blood test. So, the first test revealed that my Mitochondria were blocked. Mitochondria are the little batteries that power every single cell in the human body. So, if they are blocked, cells are starved of the energy they need to do their job. If you know the advert, then think ‘Zinc Bunny’ (me) versus ‘Duracell Bunny’ (healthy human).
After that first test, the treatment regime I started was designed to unblock my Mitochondria. 15 months on and I’ve made really good progress. So, I still have a blockage, but it’s significantly smaller now.
This precisely reflects how I feel: significant improvement, but not ‘well’ yet. So, yes, this is going to take many, many more months to get me back where I want to be. My journey continues…
What can you do?
For me, three things are significant about this test:
- It is proof of a physical problem, for all those who still wish to suggest CFS/ME is a psychological issue
- The repeat results I received yesterday seem to prove to me that the treatment is working. (I haven’t done anything else to clear my Mitochondria. I know they have been blocked for 15 years because at least 2 of the substances blocking them are things that I last came into contact with 15 years – and more – ago)
- It is criminal that this test exists, but isn’t being used to help everybody
So, that is why I’ve been fund-raising all month. The clinic treating me is trying to get their treatment formally tested in a clinical trial. This could pave the way to making it widely available.
My fundraiser ends the day before my Beaded Nativity Set goes live. (So, that’s just two days from now!) At the moment, I’ve raised almost 80% of my target. Wouldn’t it be great if I could reach that 100% and really do something to help others receive the treatment that is working for me?
If you can help support that, please click here and do what you can. I genuinely appreciate every single contribution that has been made – thank you!