Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For the Love of a Bead - Judith Bertoglio-Giffin

  • Judith's name is synonymous with beautiful bead crochet ropes.   I've admired them for as long as I can remember.  Below she talks to us about the love for her mother flowing into one of her many ropes.  She walks us through the making of her freeform 63" necklace using etched beads.  The photography is wonderful.  Have a look at the photo of the custom mix of etched 8's and you may just find yourself looking for some.   The light brilliantly captures the allure of this finish.  Marcia

  • When my Mother was quite ill, I hurriedly flew out to Tucson. I was in such a hurry that I didn't bring anything to keep my hands busy. I finally managed to buy a hank of Czech 11/0 seed beads, a spool of Gutermann Top Stitch thread and a crochet hook. I sat and crocheted beads. It was just calming.


    My Crayon Lariat started with the unsorted mix of colors and all I could think of was
  • Love running down the thread in a continuous flow. That image has stayed with me all these
  • years. In later years, this necklace became "Native Stripes" and can be found on Amazon.

  • In the Spring of 2014, I fell in love with a bead finish .... Perry Bookstein, (defunct
  • York Beads) imported these etched Farfalles. I couldn't wait to get my hands on as many as I could
  • afford. They looked like something from the depths of an archaeological dig. I just had to try and
  • crochet with them.

  • Oh, I cussed as these just weren't well-behaved beads. Being little barbells, they stuck
  • up, stuck out, got under the slip stitch and sat every which way in the rope. My hands quickly got
  • tired, but it was so worth it.

  • I so loved the colors and finish that I started collecting everything that came in from the Czech Republic in that finish.

  • In between life in general, I started a lariat for myself. Can you see the Love flowing down these etched 8/0 beads? It's taken me 3 years to finish and I got to wear it last week.

  • Do yourself a favor if you are bead crocheting a long rope. Only string about 36" of beads at a time. Just add in new beads and thread when you need to. It saves time and wear on the thread.

  • The main body of my necklace was done in a custom mix of etched 8/0's. 

  • Then I interspersed Knobby sections of other shaped, etched beads. It seemed that I had to wait forever for the 4mm etched fire polish beads.

  • These are some of the beads I used to accent the long rope of 8/0's.
  • The lentils and daggers didn't work for me in this necklace.

  • I didn't use a pattern as this was as freeform as bead crochet can get. I never knew what I was going to string and crochet next. New etched beads just begged to be tried.

  • You can make your own 63" necklace, as it's an excuse to go bead shopping.

  • It was well worth the 3 years it took to gather the beads, string and crochet this rich looking
  • necklace. I can loop it three times around my neck and feel the love of the beads snuggling up.

  • The focal beads are Basha Beads from Barbara Metzger. The necklace is 63 inches long and doesn't have a clasp.

  • For The Love Of a Bead is my journey with these beautiful etched beads and in memory of my mother who is no longer with us. Can you feel the love as each bead slides down the thread and
  • gets crocheted into the rope? I find bead crochet very soothing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beady Prompts - a source of inspiration from Nancy Dale

Bead Love member Nancy Dale has published a blog of beady prompts to jumpstart our imaginations when it comes to beading.  It's a brilliant idea as many of us experience beaders block from time to time and picking up on someone else's idea can help us to become unstuck.

Nancy started off January with some beaded florals, followed by February's stitch combinations. Flowers in general are not something I bead, but I did give it a go.  If you look up at our banner all the flowers were contributed by your members and there are some beauties there.  Stitch combinations are something I love and my Love Beads banner hanger used many different stitches over a wooden finial.  (And yes....I really do bead in that level of mess.)  Here I used peyote, herringbone and raw to cover the different shapes of the finial.

But March......March I love.  Beaded rocks.  Last summers trip down the West Coast landed us in Ventura California for a few days backed up to the ocean and a holey rock beach!  The motherlode of interesting rocks.  So beading one seemed like a natural....I started but, well, as happens I got distracted along the way.  Now with Nancy's bead prompt I am encouraged to see it through.

Here's one of Nancy's beaded rocks working from a lovely bead soup which Nancy is a master at.  I know I've had the conversation many times over the years and there are those of us who delight in a bead soup and those who shudder.   I'm a bead soup gal through and through and so is Nancy.

and look at this one.  This is a collaboration!  I have a LOT of bead soup and some months back I sent a large-ish bag off to Nancy.  This is what she beaded!  How wonderful is that?

I dug out my rock and it's beady beginnings.....not bead soup this time, but a series of components.  i can't wait to get back at it and have my very own beaded rock garden!  If you want to join along with Nancy's rock beading the blogpost can be found here.

I've added in some of Marianne Kasparian's wonderful raku pieces.

It's going to be interesting to see how this develops.  Thank you Nancy Dale for the nudge!

Content by Marcia DeCoster and Nancy Dale

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Love the Beads you Have! By Heather Collin

Who doesn't love to have a repertoire of beaded ropes?   Heather has given us one of cubic right angle weave that waxes and wanes through thick and thin.  The trick is in the count of ceiling and side beads, which takes us from small cubes to larger ones and back again.  

Given my short attention span, this is the perfect rope to change up the rhythm of the beading. Heather also shows us how to use the bigger squares to add a jump ring so we can add the baubles of our choice.  Perhaps you'll add a LOVE letter?  Have fun with this very fluid rope from Heather!  


Love the beads you have 
Heather Collin

It is almost impossible to find any quality beads in South Africa and when you do, you need a bank loan to pay the horrible prices and we only have a few beading stores left that actually carry Miyuki or Toho beads. I am fortunate to still have a large stash of Miyuki’s, due to huge online purchase I made back in 2010. Included in that purchase was a collection of Matsuno and Czech beads, which to date, I have ignored. But, to bead love, you need to be able to love the beads you have so, I have pulled them out and decided to start using them….so that I can hang on to my precious Miyuki's a while longer.

Flat CRAW Chain 
Inspired by Marcia’s love letters

You will need 30g size 11o beads for a 100cm long rope

Short Links

String 6 beads onto a span of stretched and conditioned thread; leave a decent tail to work away later, sew through all the beads again and exit the 1st bead strung. These are the floor beads.  Fig 1

Row 1
1st Wall (side)
String 3 beads (1 side/1 ceiling/1 side), sew through the floor bead  just exited and the next  2 beads along Fig 2
2nd  Wall(front)
String 3 beads, sew back down the side bead of the previous wall, the 2 floor beads just exited and the next  bead along Fig 3
3rd  Wall(side)
String 2 beads,  sew back down the side bead of the previous wall, through the floor bead just exited, the next 2 floor beads along and up the side bead of the first wall added. Fig 4
4th Wall(back)
String 2 beads, sew back down the side bead, through 2 floor beads, up the side bead and exit the ceiling bead of side 1 Fig 5
Sew through all the ceiling beads and exit the one to the right as shown - these beads will now be the floor beads for the next row Fig 6

Rows 2 - 7
Repeat the 1st row  6 more times Fig 7

Long Links

Row 8
1st Wall (side)
String 5 beads (2 side/1 ceiling/2 side), sew through the floor bead just exited and the next  2 beads along Fig 8
2nd  Wall(front)
String 4 beads, sew back down the 2 side beads of the previous wall, the 2 floor beads just exited and the next  bead along Fig 9
3rd  Wall(side)
String 3 beads, sew back down the 2 side beads of the previous wall, through the floor bead just exited, the next 2 floor beads along and up the 2 side beads of the first wall added. Fig 10
4th Wall(back)
String 2 beads, sew back down 2 side beads, through 2 floor beads, up 2 side beads and exit the ceiling bead of side 1 Fig11
Sew through all the ceiling beads exiting the one to the right. Fig 12

Rows 9 & 10
Repeat twice more  Fig 13

Repeat these 10 rows for as long as you desire. Attach a clasp to either end or, make it a continuous rope. The choice is yours.

Design Note
The centre link of the 3 large links, is perfect for adding a jump ring, to which you can attach charms or beaded letters. 

Project by Heather Collin

To print this project click here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bead Dolls...Bead Love....My Journey.... By Tracy Stanley

I have long admired these dolls beaded by the very talented mixed media artist Tracy Stanley.   You may identify her more with metal work and her most recent book Exploring Metal Jewelry, but she is also an accomplished bead weaver.  I am so excited that she is sharing not only beautiful photos of her work but has let us in on the process in enough detail that I can see many of us creating our own dolls.  I've bought my wooden form already!  Since this project will not be as quick as others we've presented, perhaps if you start you will photograph the process and share with us.  We've turned comments back on and you can post on facebook or send us an email.  Please enjoy Tracy's very generous post!  

Marcia DeCoster

The dolls I have created over the years have been my most special Bead Love.  Each has had it’s own special message that has played out by using a combination of beads, metals and found objects.... just to name a few.  Each doll starts with a simple wooden armature figure and each takes on a life of it’s own.

In 1997 my first doll grew out of my love of shells and the ocean.  I have always felt it was a place that I could breathe.  Using a combination of brick and peyote stitch, with branch fringe on the bottom edge of her dress. Coiled wire for the arms, legs and hair, topped off with a wire basket I made and filled with shells.  She was published in 500 Beaded Objects.

My next doll came from a period painful period in my life.  We had suffered the loss of a full term baby boy.  In my journey of healing, I worked with and lead a group that supported parents with loss.  I wished at that time that I could hold onto all of those broken hearts that hurt so much to give them comfort until the pain lessened and I could give them back.

This doll was created in 2000 and was published in 500 Beaded Objects.  The idea came from my inability to manage or keep to a schedule.  I am never sure where all the time goes….no matter how hard I try it seems to fly away from me!  Wings of textured copper and watches make up some of the unique components in this doll.

This is my most recent doll 2016. She was created out of a bead stash but together for a contest put on by Whim Beads.  Inspired by the colors a mix of bead embroidery, soutache and bead stitches are combined to make this summer garden doll.

As you can probably tell there isn’t a pattern to follow…you just need to follow your heart. 
The following will give you a general idea on how to get started and you can go from there.

You begin by deciding what your theme is going to be. This will help guide you to the colors and materials you may want to use.

Wooden armature doll.  You can find these at art stores or Ikea carries an inexpensive one.

Wooden base- the dolls come on a small base, but you may want to get something larger so it is more stable.  Craft stores sell wooden pieces in different sizes that you can glue the base to.

Spray paint- to paint the wooden doll and base. Color is up to you.  I often choose black.

A face- I have found a number of different ones on Etsy..Look for something approx. 2-1/4x2” or smaller.

Assorted beads- this is a great place to use lots of different sizes and shapes of beads.  There's no wrong or right to the ones you choose!

Thread and needles of your choice
Stiff bead backing- if you are going to embroider any part of your doll
Wire and metal-depending on your design.
Glue- hot glue gun and E6000
After you have chosen your theme and colors, paint your doll.  Make sure that you move the arms, legs and head around so you paint all of the showing surface.  You may decide to move these around and don't want any bare wood to show.

Decide what technique you want to use to clothe your doll.  I often start with the skirt.  I am going to use a bead backing and will be embroidering on it.  The backing can be cut into sections or used in one large piece.  Other options are using your favorite bead stitch to create your clothes.
After completing the skirt section, sew on to doll base.
Use your choice of techniques to create the top and sleeves.  These can also be stitched on or glued into place.

Depending on your skills you can use wire to embellish the legs and arms.  Even create components out of metal, such as the wings I made for “My How Time Flies”

Hair can be created by stringing beads or fringe and glued into place. Or as I did on many of mine- drill holes in the wood head and make coils and spirals out of wire that are inserted into the holes and glued into place.

After all is in place glue on the face.  If you are using E6000 make sure you lay your doll down and let the glue dry completely before standing back up.

After you have added all of the embellishments you desire, you can glue the small base on the doll stand to your larger piece to make it stable.  This can be done with a hot glue gun or E6000.
Finish the stand off with beads, fabric, paints.  What ever you desire to make it interesting and fun!

My advice is use as many beading, wire, metal techniques as you can. It will add such interesting color and texture to your piece.

I am starting my next doll as we speak.  I'll show you the process as she takes form.  Keep an eye out for updates!

Take your time with this process….enjoy the journey….love the results!  I hope you will create your own Bead Love Doll- Tracy Stanley