Did I say Spring beading? Oh, yes I did. I probably should be Spring cleaning if I’m honest, but I promise you Spring beading is a lot more fun!…and they sound almost the same, so I think we can pretend it’s the same thing.
Changing the clocks, the approach of Easter, celebrating our wonderful Mums, all mean Spring is here. For me, the change in the light brings an elevation in energy. It feels like a time to start doing things again after the long, dark days of winter. So, I like to celebrate that feeling in my beading and I’m going to show you how you can do the same.
What is Spring Beading?
It can be many things. Spring beading can refer to the type of project you are going to make. Maybe it’s something perfect for Easter, something floral or something for your Mum. I’m going to be sharing my most popular projects for all those occasions. So, you can find just the thing for you.
Maybe Spring beading is all about colour. If that’s the case for you, then we have the ultimate Pantone colour guide announced each year. This sets the tone for the season ahead. Personally, I still like to follow my instinct when it comes to colour. However, if you are making gifts for others or jewellery to sell, it’s a good idea to know what is on trend.
Then, there’s the cleaning bit. Maybe this is a good excuse to clear out a few odds and ends from your bead stash. If that sounds appealing, I have a couple of great ideas to help you there.
Pantone Spring 2017 Colours
When I saw the Pantone colours for Spring 2017, I almost danced with joy. This could be my colour palette exactly! It’s light, it’s bright and it’s full of variety. I would like to say this has been consciously reflected in my beading. Certainly I can see these colours in my Spring beading projects, but they also happen to be the colours with which I love working. So, maybe I shouldn’t give all the credit to Pantone!
From your point of view, if you are looking for new colour ideas, or if you struggle to pick colours, this palette can help. You have options for pairing different shades of the same colour (I can just see Niagara going with Lapis Blue). Or maybe you want to make a bit more of a statement with a strong contrast. Try the vibrant Pink Yarrow with Primrose Yellow for a real bang! Or, tone it down a little by pairing the Primrose with the lighter Pale Dogwood.
I found a little trick a few years back. I made a visit to my local hardware store and picked up a handful of their paint colour swatches. (You know, those little cards with the shaded colour blocks). When I got them home, I cut all the little blocks out individually and I now have a colour swatch guide so I can try some new combinations. Of course, the shades aren’t quite the same as the beads, but it’s a good start.
Project Number One
So, if this has set you thinking, then I have three ‘next steps’ for you. If you need a refresher on colour theory, take a look at these blogs. Then, I put together a handy free tool for experimenting with your beads. I used this in class to help people select some new colour combinations. As you will have seen from the blogs, the way in which bead colours ‘play’ against or with one another can be a little unpredictable. So, it’s always a good idea to try the actual beads together. This free guide will show you a fun way to do that and help you discover some really interesting combinations.
Last, but not least, I recommend some beaded beads. They are small, quick to make and let you try out a colour combination very easily. You can simply keep and enjoy your beads on their own, or eventually string them into colourful jewellery. They are also great for stash-busting, but more on that below!
Spring Themed Beading Projects
Spring is all about new life, rebirth in Nature and of course flowers. Now, floral beading projects are great at any time of year. If this is your thing, then you can find plenty on offer – just check this link for starters. So, I could give you pages and pages of flower projects, but I promised you just five projects, so I’m going to stick to my promise.
I will begin with one flower. For me, Daffodils really shout Spring. Last year, round where I live, we had such a mild winter that the Daffodils were all in flower at Christmas! That was crazy and, while it’s lovely to see their yellow, smiling faces at any time of year, I do prefer them to be in season. So, this year, I’ve been watching the bulbs in my garden come through much later and more gradually. I opened my curtains this morning to see three lovely miniature Daffodils smiling in at me. They have been promising to open for a few days and it seems that today is the day!
Project Number Two
No surprise, then that the flower I want to share is my Daffodil. It’s one of my most popular flower patterns and lots of people have already been buying Daffodil kits this year. So, that is project number two for you.
I know everyone has a preference for kit or pattern, so I have both on offer. The pattern is available here. It pairs beautifully with my other Spring flowers, as I discovered in my own arrangement!
If you are someone who prefers kits, then you’re not alone. My Daffodil brooch kit has been proving popular this Spring. It comes with the brooch backs, but you can of course just use the beads to make flowers for a vase. You get two colour variations in the kit, so over to you to get creative.
Project Number 3
Here in the UK we’ve just celebrated Mothering Sunday. I know it is still to come, in May, in other parts of the world. Anyway, my Mum is of course the best Mum in the world and she’s been such a support over the years. If you read my blog regularly, then you know I’ve had some tough months recently and I’ve been so lucky to have Mum to help me through.
At the start of the year, my beading Mojo disappeared altogether. To the extent that I don’t think I even touched a bead for the entire month of February! Things have started to pick up in March and I began to feel the desire to bead again. So, I went back to basics, took out my seed beads, thought about the season and my Easter basket was the first project to emerge.
As with many projects, whilst making this, I began to see how I could improve or adapt it. I also had it in mind to make something special for my Mum this year. So, my flower basket was born. I have only just shared that pattern on here. I’m dedicating it to Mum and I wanted her to see the real thing before the rest of the world!
So, it may be after Mother’s Day here, but remember, it’s never too late to spoil your Mum. Or anyone else for that matter. And what could be better than a basket of flowers that lasts for ever? The perfect Spring beading project!
Project Number 4
I’ve mentioned Easter a few times now. Any seasonal event is, for me, a good excuse for a beading project! Maybe you want to decorate your home for the occasion, or maybe you need a gift for someone. Either way, beading to a theme is a great idea.
So, having made my Easter basket, I found myself further inspired! In actual fact, I’ve been thinking about making an Easter chick for several years, but somehow the ideas have been lacking. Maybe it was the return of that beading Mojo, or maybe something else, but inspiration struck this year.
If you know my work, then you know that this isn’t the first Easter project I’ve done, but since I’m making myself pick just one, I want to suggest you give my little Easter chick a try this year. It’s the kind of project that will suit pretty much anyone. The bulk of it is Netting, which I always think is a great technique for beginners. I used Peyote for the hat and I’ve got free tutorials to take you through the basics there. So, really, don’t be shy! Give this one a go. You can personalise your chick in your colouring or make one for each of the special people in your life!
Spring Cleaning that Bead Stash
I hope my first four suggestions have given you plenty of variety. You have some bead-weaving and some French beading mixed in there. Hopefully they also use some of the beads in your existing stash, so that brings me neatly onto my last Spring Beading idea. We all have beads that have sat around for ages, just waiting for the perfect project. Well, how about you find some of those beads and think about where to use them?
The true stash-busting technique goes something like this… Instead of browsing through patterns drawling over the pretty projects, pick a bead type first. Then search for ‘projects using x beads’. This will help you narrow your field to the pretty projects that also help to clear those forgotten beads from your stash.
Now, I’m in the process of tagging all my patterns so that you will eventually be able to search them by bead type or by theme, as well as the current menu options of searching by technique or experience level. This may take me a while, but when I’m done, it will be super-easy for you to find the perfect pattern for you at any time. So, watch this space!
Project Number Five
Meantime, along with that idea, I have my last project for you. Many years back, I came up with a couple of really easy ideas to use up those oddments of seed beads that always get left behind in the tubes! Whatever your level, this is a fun project to try and the pattern includes two different variations.
Don’t forget, all my projects come with some suggestions for similar ideas – just make sure you scroll right to the bottom of the page each time!
So, I hope this has whetted your appetite and given you some food for thought. I have just one more treat in store to end…
How to Get Money Off Patterns, Kits and Books
At the moment, every order (even the free ones) gets a voucher for money off your next purchase – it could be 10% or 20%. Better than that, you and your friends can all benefit if you share this news, so you could get discounts on every order you place!
So, what are you waiting for? Get that Spring beading going and share this with all your beading buddies too. For more great ideas and offers, don’t forget to join my mailing list!