Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Love Knot by Jacqui Higgins

Jacqui gives us the lovely concept of a Love Knot worked in one of the most distinctive new beads, the ZoliDuo.  She's turned this love knot into a ring which I'm sure will be as fun to wear as to make.  What color will yours be? Marcia


10         ZoliDuo Beads  (Right)   Czech
2g.        11° seed beads   Miyuki
1g.        15° seed beads   Miyuki
1           ss29 Rose Montee    Swarovski 1088 in sew on setting (2 parallel holes)
8# Fireline Beading Thread
Size 11  Beading Needle

Step by Step Instructions:
Stitching the LOVE KNOT RING face:
  1. Thread your needle with approx. 36 inches of thread, add a stop bead and leave a 6 inch tail.  
Pass your needle through the left side holes of the rose montee setting, and string 2 zoliduo beads through the pointed end of the beads, and pass down through the right side holes of the rose montee setting. (Fig. 1)
Repeat this stitch to the opposite side of the rose montee setting, and exit the top hole of the rose montee setting where you began. (Fig. 1)

  1. Pass your needle through the adjacent zoliduo bead, and string 3 zoliduo beads through the pointed end of the beads.  
Pass through the 2 adjacent zoliduo beads added in Step 1, and repeat this step to the opposite side of the rose montee. (Fig. 2)

  1. Pass your needle through the pointed end of the 2 adjacent zoliduo beads, and string   1-11° seed bead.
Continue around the rose montee, passing through the pointed end of the zoliduo beads, adding 1-11° seed bead between each set of zoliduo beads added in Steps 1-2,
      for a total of 4-11° seed beads added. (Fig.3)  
      Exit between the second zoliduo bead added in Step 2. 

  1. Reverse direction, and pass through the top hole (round edge) of the zoliduo bead.  Working through the top holes of the zoliduo beads, string 1-11° seed bead, pass through the adjacent zoliduo bead.  Continue added 1-11° seed bead in this manner through all 10 zoliduo beads, for a total of 10-11° seed beads added. (Fig. 4) 

Exit the first  11° seed bead added in this Step, and the adjacent zoliduo bead and reverse direction.

Pass through the pointed end of the zoliduo bead, through to 1-11° seed bead added in Step 3.   String 8-15° seed beads, lay the beads over the 2 zoliduo beads, and pass through the 11° seed bead added in Step 4.  Continue to pass through the top hole of the adjacent zoliduo, 1-11°, (top hole) zoliduo, 1-11° , (top hole) zoliduo, and 1-11° seed bead.  Then pass down to 1-11° seed bead added in Step 3 between the zoliduo beads. (ref. Ring photo for detail)

  1. Repeat Step 5 one more time working in the same direction. When completed, reverse direction and repeat Step 5 twice to complete the Knot-Stitch embellishment.  

  1. Stitching the LOVE KNOT RING band:
Begin stitching one side of the ring band by setting up a 2-bead flat herringbone stitch for 5 rows, at 1 - 11° seed bead on both sides of 1 zoliduo bead added in Step 4.
(Fig. 5)

  1. Join each 2-bead split at row 5, and continue with a 4-bead flat herringbone stitch for the remaining stitches to determine your desired length of the band.  
Note when determining the length of your band, allow for the 5 rows of 2-bead flat herringbone stitch (Step 7) you will add to attach the band to the opposite side of the ring. (Fig. 6)
 For printable directions click here.

JLH Designs Jacqui Higgins

 A bit of history about the LOVE KNOT:
The term true lover’s knot, also called true love knot is used for many distinct knots.  The association of knots with symbolism of love, friendship and affection dates back to antiquity.
Knots in jewelry and their particular focus as a symbol of eternity and love are rare ancient concepts that span both the East and West.  We’re blessed with how prolific they are in mourning and sentimental items for the very nature of their symbolism, but their appearance in different permutations in cultures is ubiquitous and strangely correlating with concurrent meanings.
There are quite a few variations on the knot, one of the more popular being the Celtic knot, which is dated to around 450 CE, which is often referred to as the “mystic knot” or the “endless knot”.  In this, there is the allusion to birth and rebirth.  The expression “tying the knot” is thought to be where the couple had their hands bound in an endless knot as part of the wedding ritual.
Then there is the knot as a primary focus, which is very typical in rings and necklaces.  The knot is most often seen with the Celtic influences, but many second-half 19th century rings retained a knot motif, often seen as a twist, in various styles and materials.  Knots in necklaces were also popular from the 1860’s onwards, with the necklace itself twisting into a knot around the chest.  Chains were also tied into the concept of knots, used in bracelets, necklaces, links in fob chains and other items as well.
1 Wikipedia
2 Various sources
3 Various sources

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sabine Lippert shares her love of Beading!

I have the extremely good fortune to have many friends in the bead world and it's always fun to spend time with them.  I will always remember when I first began seeing the name Sabine Lippert.  Her designs were beautifully executed, with a strong design sense, wonderful coloration and oh man, she was so prolific.  I remember writing her and saying something close to 'Who the heck are you?'  I laugh at those early days and memories.  She of course continued to excel and in short order we met at her first Bead and Button.  She's crazy fun in person and we've continued our friendship ever since. For two beaders who live on opposite sides of the world we manage to see each other a couple of times a year, pretty amazing!  One of my great pleasures of the bead community is spending time with other beaders.  As Sabine will tell you below it's one of hers as well.  Marcia

Do you love beads?
Yes! Definitively yes!
Well…. this is only a piece of glass with a hole (or two or three). You could also say I love vases or windows, hey, windows are even bigger pieces of glass, so what is so special about beads?

I have to confess, that I have not a real good answer to this. All I can say is, that when it comes to beads, I cannot stop drooling about their colors, their shapes, their looks. When I open a drawer full of beads, my mind starts working, starts arranging them in this or that shape, stitch, order, number.
I can talk to someone and suddenly an idea pops up and my mind is gone with the wind… beading!
You don’t find beaders at every corner of the city, but once you find them, you do not hesitate to travel for hours to meet them.

When I first time came to Bead and Button show, the officer at the immigration asked me what the purpose of my visit was. I told him where I am going, he was looking at me like, "All the way over the ocean to meet some people who share your hobby?“

Well…. non beaders will never understand.
The first local meeting of beaders (this is now over 10 years ago) was a fun experience. I just learned how to do bead crochet. Now I saw all the other women, making a show and tell, bringing all their beaded beauties, I saw Peyote, Herringbone and RAW designs for the first time and was lost! At the end of the day, I could make a drawing of every single piece I saw, I could tell you who knew which technique, but I had no single personal information about the women.

Usually when you meet other people, the first thing is "What is your job, where do you live? Are you married? Kids?"

None of that, when you are with beaders. It is one of these places in the world, where the only thing that counts is your desire for beads.

11 years ago I started beading. I was frustrated in my daily job for many reasons. Often I came home in the evening, angry, sad and upset. I closed my door, dropped my bags and jacket and started beading. Within minutes my anger disappeared and I was in the middle of my rainbow unicorn fairy world of beads. It was so soothing and still is. When stress gets too overwhelming, I meditate with my beads. 

When I quit my daily job as a physician years ago to completely dive into the beading world, my former boss asked me "What on earth did you go to university for?"
I said  "It helps me to write nice instructions" but deep inside I just thought "You will never understand, so why bother to explain".

Do you remember the first Rivoli you bezeled? With neat Peyote stitch, do you remember being proud as a peacock? As a teacher I am in the position to see this facial expression in every workshop I make. And that is priceless!

Yes I love beads, I love beading, I love all the friends and friendships that beading brought in my life.
Sabine Lippert
Tulpenweg 56
53757 Sankt Augustin

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PEACE and National Beading Week

It's National Beading week!  A concept started three years ago by the Beadworkers Guild in England. They asked if I'd be willing to be an NBW Ambassador and of course I said yes!  Sharing more bead love out in the world.  This is what I wrote on their website in the way of introduction.

National Beading week! What could be better?
This is a wonderful initiative by The Beadworkers Guild. It showcases how the beads unite so many of us worldwide. The Guild first came to my attention when the lovely Heather Kingsley-Heath contacted me for an article. I've since had the pleasure of meeting many members both online and in person. The breadth of knowledge and creativity is deep and this idea to create a week long focus on beadwork is brilliant. I am happy to be a small part of this excellent endeavor!
Heather is of course one of our contributors here as well.  She recently gave us the magic chain to go along with her beady peeps  she released for National Beading Week.

I started this blog with the thought that the world needed more LOVE and thus were born the LOVE letters where I literally beaded LOVE.  So many of you joined in and it was wonderful to see all the beautiful and creative design variations.

I followed on with HOPE so between HOPE and LOVE we have the P and the E.  Since the world needs PEACE as well as love and hope I am releasing the letters A and C.  I've chosen to do that over on the National Beading Week website so we could all join in the fun and share one another's content.  Beaders worldwide are a generous group and you'll find lot's of free content and interesting projects in both places.  If you haven't visited there is a lot going on over there!

Click here for the A and the C! You'll also find a link to the P and E should you need them. and here for lot's of other patterns the members are sharing.  

And with PEACE on my mind I do want to share with you another endeavor happening over on my blog.  Mark and I began beading Peace signs with the thought of being able to raise money for Alzheimers research.  We are releasing a tutorial for the Peace sign as well as selling some finished peace signs.  The entire sale price of both the peace signs and the tutorial will be donated.  You can find out more here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sparkly Heart Earrings - by Teresa Meister

One can always count on Teresa to give us an interesting thread path while creating both pretty and solidly made beadwork.  These darling sparkly earrings will be a must do earring in many different colors.  I love an earring that can be considered bead neutral, in other words I can easily combine it with other bead work I may be wearing and it will compliment easily without competing.  I see a few pairs of these in my future!


1g seed beads size 15o 
[8] 3mm 5000 round crystals or substitute 3mm pearls for a less sparkly look
[4] 3mm 5328 bicone crystals
[2] 1¼ in. (3.18 cm) length of chain (or desired length) – approx. link size 3x3mm
pair of earring findings
6lb crystal Fireline
beading needle size 12


Two hearts folded over make an earring. The second heart will be folded over and attached to the first heart as it is woven. The hearts are crafted upside down to make it easier to control the dangle of the chain as it is incorporated into the beadwork. An individual heart is comprised of two loops, Loop 1 and Loop 2 and a point, called the Heart Point.

1. Loop 1. Thread a needle with approximately 36 in. (.91m) of thread or Fireline. Leaving a 6 in. (15.2 cm) tail, pick up (13) 15o seed beads. To form a ring of beads, sew back through the first seven 15os.

2. Pick up a 3mm round crystal. Tie the tail and working threads together using an overhand knot. With the working thread sew up through the next 15o. Place a needle on the tail thread and sew through the 3mm crystal. Using the tail thread, make a half-hitch knot. Weave in the tail and trim. Snug up Loop 1, so that the crystal sits snugly inside the loop. 

3. Pick up four 15os, and a piece of chain of the desired length. Sew through the three 15os in Loop 1 as shown. Sew back through the first four 15os strung at the start of this step. This forms two 3-bead stacks that sit side-by-side with a piece of chain positioned at the bottom between the two stacks.

4. Loop 2. Pick up ten 15os. Form a ring of beads by sewing through the uppermost 15o in the right-side 3-bead stack as shown.

5. Pick up a 3mm round crystal.  To position the crystal, count six 15os from the start position and sew through the three 15os labeled, 6, 5 and 4 as shown. Snug up Loop 2, so that the crystal sits snugly inside the loop.

6. Heart Point. Pick up (13) 15os. Connect the Heart Point to Loop 1 by sewing through the thread path as shown. At the end, the working thread is exiting the single 15o positioned at the top between the two 3-bead stacks.

7. Pick up three 15os. Skip the first three 15os labeled 1, 2 and 3 that are at the base of the Heart Point, and sew through the next three 15os. Skip under the next 15o and sew through the next two 15os as shown. Tip: After you sew through the last two 15os place the needle through the skipped bead and gently pull the bead away from the ring of beads. The skipped bead will “pop-out” and form the point of the heart as you snug up the thread.

8. Pick up a 3mm bicone crystal. To position the crystal sew directly across to the opposite side of the Heart Point and sew through the six 15os as shown.

9. Pick up three 15os. Sew through the thread path as shown.

10. We are ready to start the next heart. To start Loop 1, pick up two 15os. To attach the two 15os to the previous heart sew up through the 15o  labeled 1 on Loop 2 of the previous heart. Sew back through the first 15o  just strung as shown.

11. Pick up eleven 15os. To form Loop 1, sew through the 15o as shown.

12. Pick up a 3mm round crystal. To position the crystal, count to the bead labeled 6 and sew up through the bead labeled 6 as shown. Snug up Loop 1, so that the crystal sits snugly inside the loop.

13. No beads are picked up this step.  Turn the beadwork over to reposition the beadwork as shown. 

14. No beads are picked up this step. Fold over Loop 1 of the Second Heart so its sits atop the loop of the First Heart as shown.

15. Pick up four 15os. Sew through the same link of chain on the First Heart. Sew through the three 15os in Loop 1 of the Second Heart and sew back through the first four 15os strung at the start of this step. 

16. Repeat steps 4-9 to complete the Second Heart. Sew through sets of two 15os on both hearts as shown to complete the attachment of the hearts. Secure and trim the working thread. Attach an ear wire to the end link of the chain.

17. Repeat steps 1-16 to craft a second earring.

For a printable version of these earrings click here.

To see more of Teresa’s designs visit her website: teresameister.com

Monday, July 17, 2017

For the Love of Animals - Heidi Kummli

We are so fortunate this week to have Heidi share with us some of the techniques she uses to create her unique voice in bead artistry.  Her work is immediately recognizable as her work, yet she shares her techniques so that we may too create similar beauty.    I love how she creates such organic bead scapes with the always perfect touches of embellishment.  Thank you Heidi for sharing our process and your love for the planet and animals.  Marcia

Gorilla in the Mist 2017

The  Howlers 2017

The spiritual practice of shamanism teaches us we are all part of the great web of life. Everything is connected, and every action affects something, somewhere. Every thing has its role in the universe, whether it is an insect, animal, microorganism, rock or even human. Viewing the Earth from space shows that we are all one, we are the Earth. When you understand this, you will learn to honor all life on the planet and beyond.

I try to reflect this in my beadwork; I try to honor all of life and all species. I have always felt my work has a message to tell, a feeling to express. My love of animals is something I am very passionate about. Unfortunately animals can’t speak out about losing the land they call home, polluted water or global warming. They live in the moment, they have to adapt to what ever comes their way. Some species will vanish, and some species will adapt. The Earth gives every living thing what it needs to live upon her, water, air, sunlight, plant medicine, food and so much beauty. Without these valuable resources we will vanish, so please take a moment to think about that before you hop in your car to drive a block away, or water your lawns on a hot summer day, or spray deadly chemicals on a dandelion.

I want to share a simple project (it can be made as a pendant, brooch, or even a bracelet) that will allow you to honor an animal. First, take a moment to just be with yourself and think about an animal that best reflects you. Is it an animal that has always shown up in your life? Perhaps, an animal that you are attracted too? Maybe you have something in common with an animal. 

In this project we will be using a plastic animal that can be found at your local toy store. I like the Schleich animals. You can purchase them at some local stores (Michaels, Target), or online at http://www.happyhentoys.com. I feel they all have their own personality.  If you can find them at a store then you can pick the one that speaks to you. 

Once you have the animal you want to work with, you will be cutting the head off. It is best to use a vice to hold the animal while sawing. I feel a coping saw works best. If you cut the head off at an angle it gives the animal a more life like feel to it. After the head is off, use scissors to cut off any rough edges, then smooth out the back with sandpaper. You can use the left over animal and perhaps chop a paw of to use in your designs, or have fun with it by gluing another head onto the body and decorating it.

Suggested Supplies:
Animal head
Ultrasuede or bead embroidery foundation of choice 
2-part epoxy or E6000
Aleene's thick tacky glue
Various size seed beads
Old pieces of jewelry, stone cabochons, fur, sticks or stones you found on a walk. Whatever you have in your bead stash that might work with you center piece.

I like working with the size 9 Czech beads in gold iris and also size 15 in metallic gold. I don’t often use other colored seed beads in my work as I feel it distracts from the components I use. This is your piece, so please use what you want. Play with these pieces like a puzzle, positioning them around the head and seeing what looks good here and there.

Get Started:

I like to use ultra suede for my bead embroidery foundation. But use whatever material you prefer, make sure that it is a material that doesn’t unravel after cutting it, such as leather or felt. Cut a piece that will be big enough for your project to grow on. I use a non-permanent maker and mark centerlines horizontally and vertically to help with placement. You can also add sidelines to help keep your piece balanced. I use a 2-part epoxy to glue my components on. The lion I used is looking upward, this made her look like she was gazing at something. Play with the placement of the head to see how it changes the animal’s mood. After the glue has dried, use the backstitch to add a row or two of beads around your head. The backstitch is explained at the end of this blog.

After your rows of beads are in place, glue your next component in place. I like to add one component at a time, and snug them up to the row of beads. 

Use whatever beads you have available; in the above photo I added some two hole Rizo beads. I backstitched the bottom row next to the lion, and than added a larger bead in-between and along the outside, tacking the Rizo beads down.

Fur adds a wonderful texture and look to your work. When using fur always cut from the back using a utility knife. Also keep the direction of the fur in mind when cutting. Do you want the fur to hang down, up, or opposite? It can be tricky to use especially when you want both sides to be symmetrical. 

People often ask me if I feel good about using fur in my pieces. If I love animals how could I support using fur? I don’t kill animals for fur; I use fur that would otherwise be thrown away. I feel that if an animal is killed every part of it should be honored and used. Every time I use a piece of fur I thank the animals whose fur I am using. A small piece of fur goes along way, so it doesn’t take much. I use Aleene’s Thick Tacky Glue to glue the fur down. In some applications I also stitch the fur down, with Nymo size B thread. I have noticed that some thread pulls the fur through the foundation, making it hard to use. You will need to keep an eye on your thread to make sure it doesn’t tack the fur down. You can use your needle to pull the fur back up on top.

Once the fur was glued into place, I stitched a metal component between the fur. I didn’t use a stone or component that would be glued on top of the fur, because I felt it would be flopping around rather than firmly in place. By using a component that had holes I could stitch it down. If I wanted a stone I would have glued it to suede, beaded around it, trimmed it, then glued and stitched it into place. Next, I sometimes add additional beading or components, before trimming the foundation.

Many people are afraid to trim the foundation because they might cut a thread. Don't panic! You can always sew the beads back down. I trim my foundation even with the outside edge of the beadwork. You need enough foundation to work with when beading the edging.

Cut a backing for your piece to add some stiffness. Trace your work on a piece of cardboard (such as a cereal box). Cut the cardboard about 3mm smaller than your piece, so you don't have to bead through the cardboard. Glue the cardboard lining to the back of your foundation and beadwork using Aleene’s Thick Tacky Glue. Next, glue this to your suede backing and trim the excess suede. 

Edge your piece using the simple edging as described at the end of this blog. The edging holds the piece together by stitching the foundation and the backing together. If your piece is to be a pendant, attach a bail to the top. If you want a brooch, glue a pin back to the back. You may also want to add some fringe or a stone dangle. Maybe talk to the animal and see what they want to have hanging off of them. You can also add a gemstone on the back of your piece to bring you healing. 

Wear this with pride and gratitude, feel the power and love it brings you and all of life. May it remind you that we are only a small part of the whole, we can change the world, and we can make it a better place for all generations to enjoy. For the love of animals, try not to get pulled into the unconscious thought process of ego and greed. Take a moment in your day to realize how lucky we are to be able to experience this amazing planet and that it is our duty to care for all species.

Arctic Cuff a project for Bead and Button magazine June 2010

Stitch Guide.

Backstitch: Come up through the base where you want to begin the backstitch. String 4 beads; lay them against a cabochon, or line of beads, and pass down through the foundation next to the last bead added. Pass up through the base between the 2nd and 3rd beads just added, then pass through the last 2 beads. Repeat around the cabochon, or until the desired length. When you have completely encircled the cabochon, with your needle and thread go back through the whole row of beads to pull the beads nice and snug to the cab, this also helps to make the row nice and straight. Pass through the base next to the bead you are currently exiting.

Simple Edging: With the thread coming out the front and close to the edge, string 4 size 15 beads; pass up through the base, from back to front, about 2 beads width away. Pass up through the 4th bead. String 3 beads; pass up through the base about 2 bead's width away, and pass back up through the last bead (Photo 17). Repeat all around the edge. For the last bead, you may only string 1-2 beads, and then go down through the first bead added in this round, and out the back.