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A beading puzzle…

A beading puzzle, Katie Dean, Beadflowers

Now, I’m breaking one of my unspoken rules here… I don’t normally share my beadwork while it’s still in progress. But I have decided to make an exception and share a beading puzzle with you here.

Why? First it’s International Beading Week, so yes, I am beading along with everyone else out there who is celebrating beads at the moment.

Second, I usually save up the big reveal because I want to have a pattern ready when I show my work. But I’m not sure that I will be creating a pattern for this. Or will I? That’s entirely up to you. So, read on to find out why…

Puzzle beaded box, Katie Dean, Beadflowers

The background to a beading puzzle

Those of you who follow this blog regularly, may remember I hinted at this project at the end of last year. Originally, I planned to use Peyote stitch. But, as with all good plans, I found that in reality, Peyote was not the best technique for the concept. So, I put it all to one side for a little while.

Then, back in May, as I began to question my desire to continue beading, it felt like the right time to start this. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Just when I’m thinking about giving up beading, I start the biggest beading project I’ve done to date!

Well, I decided to do this one just for me. So, I had no intention of writing up the pattern. It’s fair to say that, 200+ hours of beading later, I’ve thoroughly immersed myself in CRAW. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed it. Usually with huge projects, the middle part gets a bit tedious. Phase 1 is exciting while I’m figuring out how things work and if the idea will work. Then phase 2 is just about beading. Phase 3 resurrects the excitement as I see it all coming together. But this has been a much more pleasant exploration. And I feel like it has in some way reflected my state of mind…figuring out a beading puzzle, very gently and gradually.

I don’t have a concrete answer as to my future in beading, still. But I do have plans in place which I want to see through. So, definitely, you’re not going to notice much of a change this year. Except, I don’t plan on publishing many new projects.

I need to take more time out for my health. I’ll explain more about that in the coming weeks.

Part of that resolution means I’m going to stop my old habit of just making and writing up, then finding I’d put all that work in just to sell 2 copies of the pattern. So, that’s why I’m now asking…

Puzzle beaded box, Katie Dean, Beadflowers

Do you want a pattern for this?

My feeling is that this is a project that people will like, but I don’t think many will want to attempt for themselves. If I’m right, then I don’t want to invest the time and energy in documenting what I’ve done. This will be a complex pattern to write up, so it will take a lot of time and hard work. I know I will resent it if I then sell just a couple of copies. That may sound selfish, but it’s also sound business sense. There’s no point in developing a project if it’s not going to earn enough income to cover its costs.

But, on the other hand, I don’t want to deprive you of experiencing the thrill of creating this.

So, let me give you a little more information about what this project entails. Then, you tell me…do you want the pattern?

The facts and figures

My little beading puzzle is made entirely in CRAW. If that’s a technique you don’t know, or something you’ve struggled with in the past, I do have a free online course, with video demonstrations, which you can use to learn the basics. You can find it here.

Now, this project uses advanced CRAW. But in fact, the basic technique doesn’t change. The only way in which CRAW becomes ‘advanced’ is this. As you build more complex structures, you’re going to find it trickier to get your needle into the structure. So, you need to be really comfortable with the basics, in order to allow you to find more creative thread paths to put each CRAW unit in place.

If I do end up writing up this pattern, you will also need to employ a lot of common sense and logic on your own. I’ve done the difficult bit and worked out some tips and tricks to make the process as easy as possible. But you will still need to figure out ways to overcome problems on your own.

You can probably also see, this is a huge project. You are going to be beading 26 box holders and 26 boxes to fit into them. I estimate this is going to have taken me over 300 hours to accomplish.

It has also taken over 200g of size 11 seed beads so far…and I’m not finished yet – I think the final tally will be between 300 and 400g. Plus, about 300+ yards of fireline. So, I’m not going to lie, this is a big undertaking. I’m regularly questioning my own sanity here…and I’m expecting most people will feel this just isn’t for them.

Learn CRAW, online beading course with Katie Dean, BeadflowersClick here to access this free online course

So, what do you think?

But, if you are someone who is still dying to make this, just leave your details below. I will only contact you if there is enough interest for me to write up the pattern. I’ve still got to finish my own project, so that’s not going to happen immediately. But I’m intrigued to see whether I’m right in thinking this will remain a one-off that I’ve loved creating!

And please let me reiterate…I am trying to get a realistic idea here. So, please DO NOT leave your name unless you are 100% committed to buying this pattern if it becomes available. I’m not sure on the pricing as yet, but it’s likely to be at least £10. I hope that gives you enough information to make a realistic decision. Thank you, as ever!

2 thoughts on “A beading puzzle…

  1. Katie, this is amazing. I can envision alternating doing it with other projects. I’ve never done CRAW but then I had never done circular or tubular peyote before the IBW box, never done French Beading before doin an 2 hibiscus flowers (which were an advanced pattern), and never done a lot of firsts which makes life so much more fun. I feel sad every time I think of you not doing more Beading. 😍

  2. Katie, my daughter in law has CFS/ME so I have seen how debilitating it makes her. She has just begun seeing a Holistic Dr & she can tell the supplements are beginning to help her a bit but she still has more down days than good. We know it will take time.
    I’m praying that you will be able to continue beading as there are so many that love & appreciate you!
    Blessings on your day, Mary

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