Beading projects gallery showcases the work of people who have made their beading projects either directly from my patterns or by creating work that has been inspired by projects I have designed. I love receiving photos of the work that you have all created and I am immensely grateful for the support of all the people who come to my classes or buy my patterns, kits and books.
As you can imagine, the gallery is growing all the time, so I’ve tried to split it into a fairly sensible arrangement. I thought I would start by showing the beading projects that have resulted from my first two books, Beaded Cakes in Miniature and Sweet Treats.
I absolutely love all these designs, but it’s always especially pleasing to me to see when people have taken an idea I threw out there and adapted to make it their own, as in the case of Sanya’s fabulous ring. I’m hoping that I will get an updated photo from Sharon when her birthday cake has been finished! I should also say that Inbal and Amit are both younger beaders who have been learning their craft with Amy Kohn at a girl’s beading class in Israel.
Staying with the theme of my books, I have received photos of quite a lot of beading projects that have been made from my Christmas Beading books. I know that I love to make a new Christmas decoration for my tree or to decorate my house each year. Well, it seems that I’m not alone and my collection of beaded Christmas table settings, decorations and cards and gifts has been proving very popular. As with Sweet Treats, it’s very interesting for me to see which are your favourite beading projects to make.
One very special treat for me has been to see how Eveline Edwards has been developing my snowman pattern from the book, Beaded Christmas Decorations. Shortly after she has attended a snowman workshop she told me that she had the idea of making the pattern into a Kokeshi doll, but she was struggling to create a workable design, so wondered if I might help. That’s how my Kokeshi doll pattern came into being. Well, a few months later, at another workshop, Eveline brought in some new friends: a second Kokeshi doll in different colouring and three of the cutest little characters imaginable. She had adapted the snowman to create a penguin and two chicks: Mr and Mrs. She had been wondering how to make wings when she thought back to another workshop she had done with me: Wine O’clock necklace – the leaves for this project turned out to be perfect wings for her little characters. They all have adorable little faces and personalised hats and scarves and I was so thrilled to see them!
I have also received several images of the French beading projects you’ve been making from my Beaded Flowers and Wedding Bouquets book and the French beading patterns on the website. I particularly love Jackie’s Calla lily as it is just such a stunning colour. Jackie also wrote a blog about her experience in making this lily and I think she is fast becoming a French beading addict! I actually had the enormous privilege of seeing some of Bernice’s flowers coming together. She began making her wedding bouquet over a year before the wedding, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to see photos of the finished bouquet and buttonholes. Bernice is a very talented beader and these flowers are gorgeous.
I also enjoy the chance to talk to customers directly. I remember having a long conversation with Suzanne Walker from Crystal Phoenix as she was trying to decide whether or not to buy my French Beaded flowers book. Like a lot of people, she had a few questions about the merits of ebooks, but I’m glad I managed to persuade her. She wrote back to me with photos of her first flowers and high praise for the instructions and video demonstrations in the ebook. This would not of course be possible to include in a printed book, but they really are invaluable when learning new skills and trying new beading projects.
The other book that has inspired a lot of beading projects is Bead Embellished Cabochons. I have also been selling kits to go alongside the book so you don’t have to wait to buy supplies to get started. The first few kits I sent out were soon made up and I was thrilled to see the photos of the cabochons that resulted!
Finally, I have received a lot of photos of different beading projects made from the patterns and kits I have for sale on here. I particularly love receiving these photos as they show the different possibilities that the beading patterns offer. Whether it’s a different colour combination or a way of developing the pattern to create a whole new beading project, it’s fascinating to see.
The beading projects above were all based on spirals: my basic spiral pattern is perfect for beginners – I often use it as an introduction to bead weaving. Spiralling spirals necklace uses a combination of this basic spiral pattern and a Cellini spiral.
Rachel Clark contacted me to ask for some advice about a clasp to add to a necklace she had been making, working on designs from Diane Fitzgerald’s book, shaped beadwork. Rachel had seen the donut from my Sweet Treats book and was wondering if it could be adapted to make a clasp for her beading project. I advised that she might be better with a different pattern and pointed her in the direction of my Rings of Unity Necklace. It turns out this was just what her beading project needed and a couple of days later she sent me the lovely photo shown. I met Joanna Cobb when she contacted me to ask about private tuition. For her, jewellery making and beading was a hobby that she was just beginning and she wanted to learn some basic techniques. I spent two hours with her teaching her some basic jewellery making techniques and talking about tools and materials. A few days later she sent me a photo of her first set of jewellery. She certainly has a natural eye for colour and shape.
Julia Lees was a regular student of mine for a long time. She was already a talented crafter when she began learning beadwork with me and, as you can see, she took to the beading like a duck to water! What I love about Julia’s work is the way in which she develops projects, taking things like the Sunflower beaded bead to the next level by adding a stem and French beaded leaves. Julia liked my pattern for a floral peyote bangle, but she wasn’t a fan of bangles, so she adapted the pattern to add a simple clasp. Her birthday card and cake topper were personalised beading projects that made really special gifts. I also happen to know that her Ogalala bracelet ended up as a gift for her daughter.
The range of beading projects shown above includes projects made from kits (twisted herringbone bangle and lantern decorations) as well as beading projects from patterns: love heart earrings, Christmas star ornament and Herringbone heart pendants. The lovely Christmas card made by Helen Peebles is a sneak peek into an upcoming book of beaded cards that is currently in the planning stage. Merrin’s box was a labour of love (and sometimes hate!) that took many months to complete. Merrin was one of my students for a long time and she was never a fan of making jewellery, but she had great creativity and a wonderfully artistic eye. This beading project started life from one of my bracelet patterns, which created the sides of the box. Merrin then learnt some bead embroidery to stitch the top, adding in the seashells and developing a seashore or beach theme. As with all long beading projects, this went through many phases, from initial excitement at the idea to boredom and frustration as the project took so long, through to the final relief at finishing. I am incredibly proud of the effort that Merrin put into this beading project. I think it took her a while to appreciate her talent, but I do hope that by now she has realised what a beautiful object she has created. Hopefully it will become a family heirloom, as so many beading projects do.
As you will already have gathered, I love seeing how my beading patterns are adapted by the people that use them – it is a privilege to feel I have inspired someone else’s creativity too. I was thrilled when, less than a week after receiving the tutorial, Patricia sent me a photo of her first beaded tutu. I love the little hanger she has made – apparently from a paperclip – and she tells me that she has plans for lots more tutus in different colours and with some added crystals, so I can’t wait to see them!
In another lovely story of pattern adapting, a couple of weeks after my first TV show on the Craft Channel, which had featured my Dahlia beaded beads kit, I had a lovely email from a lady in South Africa. She had seen the show online and had wanted to purchase the kit, but at the time the Craft Channel only shipped to the UK, so she had contacted me direct. I was able to help her and arrange for her to buy a kit direct from me, but she was so keen to get started that she asked to also have the pattern sent on ahead so she could start practising the flowers with some beads from her own stash. I was very happy to help and, a couple of days later I had another lovely surprise in my inbox. This photo of the ring which Angie had made as her ‘practise run’. I think the flower makes a beautiful ring and hopefully by now she also has a bracelet to match it!