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The Craft Channel

French Beaded holly leaves
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Well, I am long overdue a blog post – I’m not quite sure how we got from July to October, but it has been quite a ride…not least with my latest adventure: a show on the Craft Channel! Before I get on to that, let’s backtrack a little and share what I have been up to over the last few months…

I have taught some fabulous classes at GJ Beads down in Cornwall back in September and before that at Missenden Abbey and Gerrards Cross Summer Schools. I met some lovely new people, had the chance to catch up with existing beading friends and generally had a great time! I’ve added a few photos of the projects we were making to the workshops gallery page if you want to pop over and take a look. I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who came along – I have lovely memories of all the workshops.

Sadly, it hasn’t all been plain sailing: with so much happening in the past few months, I’ve also had to contend with more ME relapses and small periods of ill health…lucky I enjoy a challenge!

Bead Magazine News

I’m going to keep you in suspense a little while longer before I talk about the craft channel…it’s the eve of the Big Bead Show and, looking back to this time last year, I was a bundle of nerves as I was Bead66_Coverabout to attend my first show as editor of Bead and Jewellery magazine…and also get my hands on my first edited copy of the magazine! Well, I don’t mind admitting that the past year has been a roller coaster – I love writing and I love beading, so this is pretty much my dream job. I’ve got to meet fabulous designers, got to know the shop owners from whom I’ve been buying beads as a customer for years, but I’ve also had to contend with the constant stress of trying to meet deadlines and the little hiccoughs that so often come along with this. Whoever said ‘your success in life is only as good as your plan B’ could easily have been talking about the publishing world…except sometimes it’s actually the plan C or D that comes to fruition in the end! Luckily I have had huge amounts of support from the rest of the magazine team, the designers and the shops…you know who you are…who have come to my rescue at the eleventh hour. So, here I am preparing for another Big Bead Show as editor and preparing to get my hands on the Winter Sparkle 2015 issue: my first anniversary issue. The front cover (sneaky peek above) looks fabulous and I’ve worked with some brilliant designers, so I hope everyone will enjoy this issue. Meantime, in typical editor fashion, I’ll soon be proofing the next issue and I’m already editing the December/January issue and collecting submissions for issue 69 that comes out in 2016! So there are lots more exciting projects and articles to come…

And finally…the Craft Channel!

So, as if all that wasn’t enough, in the past couple of weeks I’ve started working with the Craft Channel. For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, this is a TV channel celebrating all things craft and selling kits and materials to do your own crafting. I heard that they were looking for new people to get involved, so sent along a speculative email. I have for a while been thinking loosely about trying to get involved with one of the TV craft shows as it sounds and looks like a lot of fun, but I never thought it would actually happen! Anyway, much to my surprise, I received an email back a couple of days later asking me to contact them to discuss my beadwork. We set up a meeting where I thought I was just going to be taking along some samples and discussing what they needed. Then, five days before the meeting, they called to say that they would like me to take a screen test with a view to filming a show and asked me to put together some kits to bring along. I could hardly believe it!

So, Wednesday of last week, feeling a little nervous, I duly turned up at their studios in Acton, armed with kit samples and took the screen test. Less than an hour later I found myself in a real TV studio in front of cameras with a lovely presenter, Claire, as I demonstrated the techniques for my kits and talked about my beading story! The whole experience was enormous fun and the team at the Craft Channel really couldn’t have been more supportive and helpful. It has all been a bit of a whirlwind as I’ve ordered in supplies to make sure I have enough kits ready! Then yesterday I had word that my first show is scheduled to go out on Tuesday 20th October at 10am!! I can hardly believe it. I just hope that a few people will tune in to watch, that if they do, they will enjoy it – I’m always keen to inspire more people to bead! – and that the kits will sell so that the Craft Channel’s investment in me is justified! I’ve actually popped over to the Craft Channel website and found that the kits are already listed for sale, so I think that means I can give you a little preview of what will be appearing on my first show…

…it’s actually harder than you might think to dream up a series of kits that will work. Some of these you will have seen before, but I put them all together to start gently with everyone, so they all have easy techniques, but hopefully lovely results! Given the time of year, it seemed like a good idea to include some festive projects, so I’m launching my French beaded holly kit for the very first time. I also have a kit that makes about ten beaded snowflakes: I’ve been making these for myself for years now, but modified the desSuperquick_Christmas_Wreathign to improve it a couple of years ago. I’ve used them to hang on my Christmas tree and given them as gifts on ‘Keepsake cards’ for my friends. So I’m really hoping that everyone else will enjoy doing the same thing…or something different with them! Lastly, my super quick Christmas wreaths are so easy to make, but look really effective either on cards or as tree decorations, so I thought they would be lovely to kit up as well…very quick and simple to make!

It can’t all be about Christmas, so I was thinking about other projects that would be good to introduce. I thought something for the party season would be great, so I’ve kitted up my Peyote bangles. They’re fun and colourful and I designed them carefully so that the colouring is a brilliant way to learn tubular Peyote. It’gallerys fair to say that Peyote stitch is my go-to technique, still, so I thought I should get that in on my first show! Then I thought I’d go floral and develop the Peyote theme, plus I just love these beaded beads!

The kits are all going to be exclusive to the Craft Channel for the moment and, depending how this lot goes, I hope to be going back to do more shows with them, so if you’ve got any feedback for me, then do let me know! The Craft Channel is available on Freeview 254, Sky 261 and 660 and Freesat 402 and 808 here in the UK. You can also watch the shows on their website here.

So, I’m off to finish up preparing for the Big Bead Show tomorrow and then to see what happens on the Craft Channel next week! Happy beading everyone…

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