Snippets from a bead artist.


May's Beading Prompt

Helllooooooo lovely peoples!  Today's post may be slightly shorter than some of them, I have managed to slam my finger into a door today and typing is challenging, ha ha ha.  Regardless, last month's prompt brought forth some really beautiful ruffles, and it was a ton of fun for me to see them popping up in the group.  AND, even more folks have been trying their hands at beaded rocks, and whoa! they're gorgeous!  My husband grabbed some photos of my rock, so I can show that this is how mine came out.  I really enjoyed the ruffle at the top, and then I just HAD to add fringe.

And that's this months prompt!  Fringe!  I looooooooove fringe.  I do realize that there are many people who detest it, or at least detest making it, but for me it's always been a love affair.  All that swingy, delicious, seductive movement.   I could add 500 photos for inspiration, but I'm only going to share a few, and then a few tutorials I came up with that showcase some pretty fringes if you want to try your hand at making some yourself, and haven't before.

There are lots of kinds of fringe, you have so many choices you could make.  Long fringe, short fringe, ruffly fringe, leafy fringe, coral-fringe, twisted fringe...  One of the best places to start, if you haven't already, would be The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini.  They show their various kinds of fringe techniques really clearly, and Heidi has a special way of doing one of her methods that I hadn't heard of before.  (Nope, not telling - you'll have to get the book! You can grab one on Amazon here.)

 Both necklaces by Heidi Kummli 

Necklace by Sherry Serafini

Another wonderful set of resources would be Jamie Cloud Eakin's books on bead embroidery and working with cabochons.  She shows SO many different ways to fringe!  (Get Beading with Cabochons here, or Dimensional Bead Embroidery, or Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects here.)

Necklace by Jamie Cloud Eakin

Some of my favorite long fringed pieces that I have made include Dryad (oh how well I remember this bead soup and how MANY different kinds of beads I had to choose from), October's Goddess, and Reflections.  All of these feature bead soup 'mixed' fringe rather than symmetrical and 'counted' fringe.

But there are also cases of SHORT fringing that can look really good as well, on necklaces and bracelets as well as earrings.  Short fringes can be as short as stop stitches, really (a larger bead, a small bead, pass back through the larger bead while skipping over the smaller), or even just a bit longer.  Universe is one of those that combines some long with some short.  Climbing Roses and Spring Buds are almost all very short fringes coming off of either herringbone or CRAW.  My Ice necklace is all short fringe created very densely on top of a herringbone rope.

You can also use chain as fringe with your beaded pieces, something that Marcia DeCoster does magnificently.  Marcia's Beads In Motion book includes her Swing Dance Earrings, which use chain for glorious movement in a really innovative way.

Swing Dance Earrings by Marcia DeCoster

And these wonderful Bella earrings (I own a pair!!! Made by Marcia!!!):

You can find Marcia's beautiful Bella Earring Tutorial here, which shows how to make that superb draped fringe with chain.

Mortira VanPelt of Sage's Cupboard has a fabulous tutorial for leafy fringe cascading from a herringbone rope.  You can find that here.

Leaf Fringe Lariat by Mortira VanPelt

And Tracy Lorraine of Crystal Star Gems has this stunning tutorial on how to create a fringed bracelet here:
Fringe Bracelet by Tracy Lorraine

For a larger project, Lynn Davy of Nemeton has a tutorial for her wonderful Jungle Collar here, which combines fabulous fringing with her netting technique.

Lynn Davy, Jungle Collar

I hope you'll try fringing, if you haven't before.  Even if you do short, spiky fringe, it can really add a spark (and sparkle!) to your pieces.   I haven't QUITE decided if I'm working on another rock (with fringe of course) or a pendant or maybe a bracelet... hmmmmm.

Happy beading, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

(If you aren't a part of the Facebook group and would like to be, you can find us HERE.  Please be aware that I check each page before approving a member - if you have no bead weaving photos showing publicly, or if you are a member of over 100 groups already, you will most likely need to send me a private message to get approved.)


April's Beading Prompt

Hello and happiness, everyone!  I was thrilled that so many people enjoyed last month's prompt.  The FB group was really active, and many of the members went ahead and tried their hand at beading good ol' rocks with some really spectacular results, and there were also some really beautiful bezeled cabochons.  I thought that since there was so much lovely happening, I would share some here on the blog.   (Grab a cup of something you love to drink and scroll... and scroll... and scroll, lol!! It's a long post with a LOT of eye candy.)

Amy Blevins (in progress)

Audrey Gray

Judy Ball Reed

Barbara Pearson

Becs Dean-Skinner (in progress)

Caroline French

Caroline French

Christine Morabito

Christine Sincerbox

Dee Avril

Donna Louise Sanders

Donna Louise Sanders

Gabrielle Girgenti

Judy Ball Reed

Kate Larson

Kate Larson (in progress)

Mona Lane

Patti Parker 

Rebecca Kemp Brent 

Sarah Louise Gordon (ELEPHANT!!!!)

Tracey Lorraine

Wendy Heitzman

I think everyone deserves a huge round of applause - what a lot of gorgeous work!!  And here is mine, too - still in progress.

It needs some more coverage and then some embellishment... which brings me to this month's prompt!  RUFFLES.  Beady ruffles.  When the idea struck me to add some ruffles to my rock, it seemed like it would work as April's prompt as well as helping me finish the project. You would think there would be LOTS of ruffles out there in Planet Bead, but really, you'd be wrong, lol.  It took some digging to find ruffles, but I did come up with some you can try out, if you're of a mind to.

First off, there is a very nice basic (and free) tutorial by Mortira Vanpelt on the Inspirational Beading Blog for Ogalala stitch.  This was maybe the third stitch I learned, and it was a lot of fun.  You can add sooooooooo many different beads into this to come up with different looks!  You can find her tutorial HERE.

Then, if you're loving ruffles the way I love ruffles (only beaded ones, though - I look hideous in actual ruffles), you HAVE to love these wonderful tutorials by Shelley Nybakke of SturdyGirlDesigns on Etsy.  The first is called the Sparkling Waves Bracelet.

And then there is the EPIC Until I Can Breathe Again necklace...

And her Just Call Me Curvy necklace... 

If you'd like to make one of these delicious designs, you can find Shelley's shop HERE.

Another lovely ruffly design is this Atlantis bracelet by Hannah Rosner of HannahRachel on Etsy.  I can imagine this in so many different colors!  

If you'd like to try this out, the tutorial can be found HERE.  And, if you're going to be there, Hannah is also teaching a beautiful bracelet at Bead and Button called Royal Ruffles - photo below - and here is the LINK to her class if you want to sign up. )

Sabine Lippert also has a stunning bracelet full of ruffles, called Aattetur.  I LOVE this. 

You can find Sabine's tutorial for that gloriousness HERE.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has a beautiful ring in her book Modern Beaded Lace - and if you don't have the book, you SHOULD!  It's a staple for your beading library. 

And finally, the wonderful Beverly Herman of NoEasyBeads on Etsy has gifted our FB group with the pattern for her stunning Passion Flower Pendant.  It is incredibly kind of her, and this is a fabulous piece to bead up - especially if you're new to ruffles and want to see if they're for you.   If you're in the Facebook group, you can go to the Files section and you will find the PDF that Beverly has given us.  (You can also go to her Etsy shop and purchase this PDF if you would prefer to support her beady habits, or if you aren't a member of the group, HERE.)

Beverly was also kind enough to let me use a photo of a bracelet she made in a class with Gail Crosman Moore - this is called a Grapevine Cuff, and you can find Gail's tutorial on the Interweave site HERE.

That's actually a lot of ruffles to choose from!  But you can also just make your own ruffles, of course, or add some onto a rock... just because you can. I added some onto my Turtle Cove rocks along the bottom because I was hoping they would resemble waves.  I'm not sure what kind of thing they'll represent on my current rock, we'll have to see how it turns out.

Carol Wilcox Wells added some ruffles onto a decorative bottle in her Creative Bead Weaving book, too - another beaders' staple that I hope you have in your library.  :)  I hope some of these have inspired you, and that you have some fun ruffling!

Happy beading, see you all next month!