Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Leonard Cohen and a Fogbow, Inspiration comes from everywhere blog post by Jan Atherton

This week we are fortunate to look into someone's process from inspiration through planning and beginning.  Jan Atherton has shared with us her creative journey for her Bead Embroidery project.  Her project starts here but will continue on through the year when she'll be sharing progress as she goes.  I think it's delightful to see how other people work, don't you ?  Marcia DeCoster

When I first found out about the Bead Love project, I thought about what I wanted to make. I don’t often  design patterns, unless I’m working out something for my own use, that needs to be repeatable. I do love to make things using a variety of beading techniques, especially bead embroidery and freeform beadweaving. I decided that I would combine the two techniques, plus some thread embroidery to make a beaded panel, which then became 3 smaller panels at the sketchbook stage.


 The title for the piece comes from the song Anthem, written by Leonard Cohen:

 “Ring the bells that still can ring
   Forget your perfect offering
   There is a crack in everything
   That’s how the light gets in.”

Leonard had died at around the time the project started and his music was being played frequently. Recent events in both the UK and US had been playing in my mind. I’m still trying to process them, but I’m not sure how much I want to go into it here, it is complex, but the words resonated with me.

The other influence on the design was this photo of a fogbow, taken by Melvyn Nicholson. Fogbows are formed in a similar way to a rainbow, however, the water droplets are smaller and you don’t see the brighter colours. They appear as fog clears, giving way to brighter skies.:

Once I had a workable idea, I started to lay out the composition. I started with an 11”x14” piece of 14 count Aida as my base fabric.

I started to paint, working out the shape of the crack and the lighter fogbow sections.

The colours of the darker sections will be dark grey, blues, greens, purples and bronze. I want those sections to look like rocks and trees. Most of the painted areas will be covered, some by bead embroidery, some by thread embroidery and some by small pieces of freeform beadweaving, so what is there is really more of a guideline for me and doesn’t represent the final colours in those areas. 

This photo shows some of the small sections of bead embroidery that will we stitched to the piece.

The lighter blue fogbow sections will mostly be thread embroidery, using blackwork style embroidery, which will allow the underpainting to show through. The fogbow will be worked in cross stitch, with seed beads to highlight the fogbow and there will be some smaller beads here and there, in this area, which represent human rights and compassion.

This is just the very beginning of a piece that I will be working on throughout this year, in between other personal projects. I hope to be able to post 2-3 updates during the year, on this blog. Bead with love, with kindness and with hope…let the light shine through! - Jan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amor - by Anne Hesse

This week Anne Hesse is taking on us on a journey with her bead embroidered heart, AMOR. First off we see some beautiful examples with button or cab focals. Each focal is enhanced by the color choices and type of beads used. You can see in her samples that the template can have a left of right orientation. I suspect this will be a very fun project for many of you to try. Anne has given us a template and step by step instructions, so even if you've never tried your hand at bead embroidery this would be a very doable project. Have fun and if you're so inclined post your finished photos on Facebook so we can see your beautiful results. Marcia DeCoster

psssst.....We're making a change, I've decided to turn comments back on. It occurred to me that I would love you to have a way to interact with us here at lovebeadlove. My concern is of course being overwhelmed by the need to moderate and manage comments. So for the time being they are on and we welcome your feedback. As long as all stays positive we'll leave them on.

AMOR© By Anne Hesse

Welcome to love!  Who doesn’t love to love?  And what better symbol of love than the heart?  This pendant project will emphasis the essentials of bead embroidery, from gluing the button or cabochon, to bezeling, to back stitch and couching, to brick stitch, to design work, to finishing the project and to adding a bail and chain.   At any time during this project, please feel free to change up the design to something you may think might suit you more. I really encourage this and please know that the steps in this tutorial are just a suggestion of what you can do with this bead embroidered heart.   

Below are some examples of my bead embroidered hearts.

I recommend tracing your pattern piece onto a file folder or heavier paper to keep as your master copy.  It is so much easier to trace around a sturdier material.  You can re-use this many times and you may wish to make many more of these necklaces.

Trace your pattern onto your substrate material (Lacey’s, Friendly Felt, Ez Felt, or a moderately heavy pellon).  Leave about ½” all the way around the heart and then cut it out.  If you round the edges of the excess material, you will have less chance of catching your thread when you begin to stitch.
If your button has a metal shank you may cut it off.  If not, cut a small starlike shape where you will be placing it to glue down.  Do not cut out any pieces of substrate material.  Simply cut a small line vertically, then cut a horizontal line in the center of the vertical line.  It will look like a plus sign, +.  Then cut a short line diagonally from the 2:00 position to the 8:00 position and also one from the 10:00 position to the 4:00 position so you will have something that looks like this: *  The shank will push up through that area.  Using E-6000 glue, carefully spread it on the parts of the button that will touch the substrate material, being careful not to glop it on so thickly that it will smoosh through to the front of the substrate.  Be a little more heavy handed with gluing the shank so that all the little triangles of cut substrate material will adhere to the shank.  Press and hold in position for a few minutes, then set aside to dry for about 5-10 minutes.
Once the button is set, you have several choices on how to proceed.  You can outline the entire heart using short stacks.  Stacking is stitching up through the substrate, picking up a large bead and then a smaller bead, skipping the small bead and stitching back down through the larger bead and through the substrate.  This way, you have your boundary set all along the edge of the heart.
In this tutorial I show how I continued to work around the focal button first, before outlining the heart.  You can do it either way.  
You also have the choice of bezeling the button or stitching around the  button without bezeling.  If you are worried your glue may not hold, I recommend bezeling, although I have never had any trouble stitching short stacks around the button or simply backstitching beads around the button.  If you do this and your button feels loose later on, you can add more glue with a toothpick.
I chose to bezel around the button.  You can use either delicas or 11's to bezel.  Coming from back to front, pick up 4 beads, slide down to work surface and needle through to the back.  Needle back through to the front re-entering beads 3 and 4 and then pick up 4 more beads.  Slide these down to the work surface, needle through to the back,  come back to the front and re-enter through the last 5 beads.  Continue around in this manner, backstitching until you finish the row.  
It is imperative you pick up an even count of beads, so picked up 4 beads or 2 beads at a time will work.
As you get close to finishing this row, and it looks like you can’t manage an even number, just spread your beads a little more apart as you finish the row.

Even count peyote for the next row.  Exit a bead in row 1, pick up a bead, skip the next bead, go into the next bead. Repeat this mantra all the way around and when you get to the end of the row, step up through the last bead of the base row and into the first bead of this new row.If your button is high, you may need to even count peyote another row.  If so, do not forget to step up at the end.  Peyote your last row.  I changed color here to add a bit more dimension.  If your work is not tight enough around the button, add another row using size 15 seed beads.  

Weave your way back down through the beads and the substrate material and make a small knot on the backside.  Do NOT cut off your working thread.
Add your cup chain at this point.  Carefully lay your chain down surrounding your bezeled button, spacing the cups as evenly as you can.  If you need to, place needles or pins to hold in place.  
Bring your threaded needle from back to front and take two small stitches over the bar between each cup.  Once you have 2 or 3 cups sewn down, you can manage to space your chain a little easier.  Finish stitching down all the cups.  There will be some gaps which we will fill in later.
Add short stacks of O beads, stoppered by size 11 seed beads, all the way around the cup chain.

At this point, using the same size 11 beads used on the final row of bezeling,  pick up 2 beads and fill the spaces between each crystal cup all the way around the cup chain.   Do not worry if every teensy weensy space of substrate does not get covered.  In fact, if using black substrate, the bits that show add depth to the overall piece.
        Notice the two olive beads sewn between each cup


So far, everything is circular and I feel it is time to change the texture and direction of this pendant.  I am going to create flat diagonal lines created by using seed beads and bugle beads.  Coming from back to front pick up a size 11, a bugle, a different color 11, a bugle and an 11(same color as the first one picked up). Needle through to the back side.  Needle up to the front and weave through that line of beads again.  Needle down to the back and needle up right next to the first bead of that row.  Repeat the pattern as many times as you like.  Be careful not to bead beyond the outline.


Ok – now it is time for a little more height.  While this wasn’t my best use of the orange fire polish beads, I used them with a variegated green seed bead on top to make short stacks.  I used these to edge the bugle pattern and to create a kind of ending or stop point to this design extension.  At the same time, I was getting really close to the outline of the heart so as I finished the short stacks, I began to outline the entire heart edge.  I used short stacks of 8s and 11s for this outline.


Now, following the curve created by the bugles and the fire polish beads, add a row or two of tri beads, stoppered by size 11 seed beads.  You may need to turn the tri beads a little at the beginning of the row to fill the space.  Don’t worry about other little spaces being open at this point.  When you finish the project you will be able to go back in to fill these areas.

Now you have another choice.  Continue to create curved rows to your liking to fill the remaining space or begin to create diagonal or perpendicular rows of beads to fill the space.  Create a pattern – use different beads for each row and repeat the sequence for unity.  Don’t forget to back stitch.  Make your repeat sequences as wide or narrow as you like.
                           This sequence has 6 different rows.

                             Here is the second sequence added:

Maybe you want to change it up now – repeat an element you used earlier in the stitching?  Or – finish with the repeated sequence…or – make up something new all together?  Trust your instincts!

If any gaps are left, fill them now, but be careful not to over fill, as your piece could ripple with too many beads added.
Fill in beads in new design                    All filled in and trimmed     


When completely done, trim off the excess substrate material.  Trim closely but be very careful not to cut any threads on the backside.  It helps if you angle your scissors when cutting.
While I used E6000 glue to attach the cab, at this point I use Ultimate glue to spread thinly over the back of the pendant.  It gives a much smoother look on the back than using E6000.
If you were unable to remove the button shank and it is poking through the substrate material, add a second layer of substrate to cover the entire back side of your pendant.  Let dry and then trim evenly with the first layer. Glue directly to the ultrasuede and let dry.  Trim the ultra suede.  If your shank is not poking through too badly you can just glue the pendant directly to the ultra suede without adding a second layer of backing.  In either case of glueing, try to stay away from the edges as you will be sewing through them.
Brick stitch around the entire piece connecting the suede backing to the beadwork.


Decide how you want your pendant to hang and create a bail.  You can use size 11s or 8s to do this.  Use as many beads as necessary to allow your chain to glide through smoothly.
To make your bail, attach a new thread and come up through one of your edge brick stitches.  Add your beads and re-enter the brick stitch bead from which you exited.  Needle through all the beads once or twice more anchoring into the beadwork and then move over 2 brick stitch beads  from the first one – in other words, name your first brick stitch bead #1 and when finished with your loop, move to bead #3.  Repeat the process to add a second loop.  Needle through all those beads another time or two and then position your needle to come through bead #5 or the second bead past bead #3.  Repeat process to create a third loop.  Reinforce this loop several times.   NOTE: after you make the first loop, slide your chain through to be sure it fits.  Remove the chain and go on to make your next 2 loops.  When finished slide your chain through all 3 loops.
Using the large jump ring in your kit or a large colorful one if using your own, connect the two ends of your chain. If you prefer, you can add a clasp instead of using the jump ring.
Add however many fringes you like at the tip end of your heart.  An uneven number works best.  I chose 5 fringes.  Exiting the second edge bead from the tip on one side, randomly string beads that you used in making the pendant.  Skip the last bead added and needle back up through all the beads you added.  Move to the same bead on the opposite side of the heart and create a new fringe.  You should be able to weave through this area,  just under the embroidery to the other side, instead of weaving up and down through the edge beads.  However, be careful not to stitch through the ultra suede.  Generally, these two fringes look better if they are shorter than the next lower fringes.  Needle out of the next bead (the one adjacent to the lowest tip bead) and create another fringe.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Finally make your longest fringe at the base or lowest edge bead.  Be sure to vary the placement of the beads and the lengths of the fringes for a random look.

Find pretty buttons and make lots of these pendants – it is addicting!    I hope you have enjoyed this project and will experiment more with bead embroidery, a most forgiving technique.

And finally, in keeping with good ethics and supporting those of us who create original and hopefully inspiring designs, please honor copyright laws.  Feel free to make as many of these pendants as you like but PLEASE credit me as the designer and if friends ask you for the pattern, please direct them to lovebeadlove.blogspot.com

Czech glass button, fancy button, or cabochon of your      choice..no larger than 27mm
Size 8 and 11 seed beads, small amount of 15s
Delicas (small amount for bezeling)
Cup chain (no larger than 4mm cups)
A variety of bead types – your choice: 3mm pearls or druks, 3 and or 4mm fire polish, bricks, tri beads, two hole triangle beads, spacers, lentils, cubes, drops, …whatever you would like to include.
Substrate material – Lacey’s Stiff Stuff, EZ Felt, Friendly Felt or heavy pellon
Ultra suede for backing
E-6000 for glueing cab to substrate material
The Ultimate glue for glueing ultra suede
Beading Needles - size 10
Fireline – 6# or thread of choice
File folder or heavy paper to draw template of heart
Pencil or light colored color pencil for tracing
Optional: pinback if you want to make this a brooch

This weeks content by Anne Hesse

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Love by Adele Recklies with help from her friends!

From our members to you......

May you always know LOVE!

With love in the air, this week's post will feature a collection of hearts as our valentine gift to you.  Some hearts are free tutorials, some are patterns you can buy, some are projects for upcoming classes or blog posts, and some are are just a pretty photo....because you know....love!

Valentine Heart charms by  Heather Kingsley-Heath

Tiny love tokens to make and share. These cute little Valentine Heart charms take just a sprinkling of delica beads worked in Square Stitch, add sparkle with metallics and a jump ring and clasp to finish. They look sweet as bracelet charms, group a few on a necklace chain or add them to gift tags for a pretty way to simply say 'you are loved’.

Heather has graciously shared a free pattern for these darling hearts.  

Tiny Heart Earrings by Martina Nagele

I’m wishing you a Happy Valentine! Maybe you are still searching for a little beaded present, quick and easy to make? Spread the love with these little beaded heart charms. They make lovely earring pendants or cell phone charms or scissor fobs or… 

Martina kindly shared a link to her Mothers Day Earring post for a free pattern


Intertwined Hearts tutorial by  Helena Tang-Lim

Definition of intertwine
verb  in·ter·twine \ in-tər-ˈtwīn \
To twist (things) together
To be or become very closely involved with each other.

Merriam Webster Dictionary
What is more apt than 2 hearts connected and entwined together for the person you love. Lives and hearts intertwined together. Over-lapping and attached together. Use them as a pendant, a handbag charm or key fob.
Make them the same colour. Make the hearts different colours. Make them in outrageous colours.

pattern available for purchase at Manek-Manek.com

Beautiful, reversible Heart Pendant by Edgar Lopez

This gorgeous stone heart surround will be coming to us as a future project by the very talented Edgar Lopez.

CRAW heart with embellishment by Eva Dobos

Such a sweet and pretty CRAW heart with the perfect little embellishment.  Presented by Eva Dobos (no pattern, just a lovely photo with lot's of romance!)

Sparkly Hearts Earrings by Teresa Meister

Quick to stitch, these sweet Sparkly Hearts Earrings are made of 15/0 seed beads and a mix of 3mm Swarovski crystals. Each topped with a looped 4mm earring post they gently swing and sway from a 1¼ in. (3.2 cm) length of delicate oval gold-filled chain. Look for my free Sparkly Hearts Earrings tutorial the week of July 23rd. Teresa Meister

Heart by Betty Stephan

The free tutorial for this little heart will be Betty’s contribution to the BeadLove blog in May.  Since it is made of two layers, it can hold a small piece of paper within- perhaps a name written on it of someone you want to hold in your heart.  Or a secret wish or prayer. Betty Stephan.

Wonky Heart #1 by Adele Rogers Recklies

With Valentine’s Day approaching and the Bead Love project on my mind, I recently returned to my experiments with dimensional bead crochet by making a heart.  My first heart is done with size 11̊ beads, cotton crochet thread, and a single crochet stitch.  Due to a quirk of  bead single crochet, the heart came out a bit wonky, but it would be fun to run with that wonkiness in the next experiment.  More hearts, here I come.

No pattern yet, but you can see more of my bead crochet at Bead Crochet Snakes

Sweetheart Solitaire Pendant by Nancy Dale

These hearts came about as a direct result of love - the love of beads and the love for others in need. They were originally designed for a challenge to benefit Beads of Courage, a project that financially helps children fighting cancer. I replaced this design with Forget Me Not flower buds in the end, and we auctioned those blooms off instead. I still loved the hearts idea, though, so these became a tutorial.

To purchase this pattern, visit Sweet Solitaire

Metal worked Hearts by Tracy Stanley

The two end hearts use a salt water etching technique and bits of a bead soup to embellish their edges.  Leather backing and a pin back make them a perfect accent for your lapel.
The middle heart includes a stamped word of your choice. This class will be taught at Bead and Button in June and in March at Creative Castle.     Tracy Stanley

Sweetheart Pendant by Gwen Fisher

Let me call you sweetheart. I’m in love with you… The Sweetheart Pendant is woven with beaded cubic right angle weave and its variations. In particular, the stitches included a few different kinds of beaded prisms. The beads include bicone beads and seed beads in several sizes. Because the design uses a limited number of different beads, we can stitch Sweetheart Pendants in two sizes. As a beaded bead, the Sweetheart Pendant has a hole through its center, plus many 1 mm holes, that you can string onto fine chain or cord through those tiny holes.

tutorial available for purchase at Sweetheart Pendant 

We hope you enjoy our selection of Heart themed pieces.

Next week Amor!  by Anne Hesse, adventures in a bead embroidered heart.

Content organized by Adele Recklies and Marcia DeCoster

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The E in Love - by Marcia DeCoster

Once again so many beautiful letters I just had to share them all with you!  Each one is so unique and the coloration and embellishments are wonderful.   We have garden themes, and little mice and owls, grapes, and stripes, so much imagination present.  I thank you all for participating.  It's been so fun.  I hope you continue to enjoy the love letters.

Once again, if we missed your E we apologize, we did our best to find them all!

Last weeks post gave a few ideas for using them but I've seen some really creative applications on Facebook posts.  Perhaps we'll post a few favorites in the weeks to come, so keep posting your finished love letters.  We'll also be putting together a video collage with the photos of all four of the love letters together, so stay tuned for that, it's a lot of LOVE!

Our first E belongs to Wendy Heitzman who volunteered to collect all your V's and then all your E''s and photo edited them to be a consistent size making it easy to collage them.  Thanks for all the help Wendy!  Wendy's colors were all beautiful, but I absolutely love this one with the grapes!

It's also worth a note that Becs Dean-Skinner has completed a bunch of letters.  In the collage below you can see the difference between in E done in Toho beads on the left and Miyuki on the right.  Thanks for that experiment Becs!

We have lot's of love planned for Tuesday so please come back and join us!

Content by Marcia DeCoster