Sunday, 30 December 2012

Day Two

So here is day two of building my blue freeform necklace. I find this part of the process exciting but also frustrating because I always think it is quite ugly at first. I now know that it is when I am 100% happy with every inch of the piece that I need to stop working on it.

Friday, 28 December 2012

A Work in Progress

Here it is, my new blue freeform necklace on the beading board. So I thought I would share the process. However, it is important to note that freeform has no real set "rules", if it did it would be a pattern. 

  • As you can see I have three containers of bead soups. One was a container already filled with "scrap beads". As such, it is not quite the right blend but I don't mind picking through beads to get the look I want. I find bead picking therapeutic. I have up the top, right of the screen my main colour. I have a dark blend and a light blend. I want to transition from dark to bright to light blue in this piece. I have used a black base. I am aiming for a nice shadow with this piece and will add to the black base as necessary. I can subtract from the harsh black by adding more peyote over the top. I have also kept the silver lined beads separate as this is a colour that I will use to draw it all together and blend it along with the real bright blues that can be seen in the main colour.
  • First, I peyote a long strip of the base colour. This is the most annoying step. working with one colour is boring! I try to make it two to three inches longer than I want as it pulls up and the extra inches give me space to make a clasp. It is easy with freeform to add and takeaway rows but I like to drape the piece as I go to get a balanced shape. 
  • I then work the soups into sections and build with bridges and fringing (I rarely use fringing though) until I am happy with the shape, size, and thickness of the piece. A lot of people use thicker bases but I find them limiting. I'd much rather add as necessary than have to zip up sections.
  • Once all the soups are blocked in sections, I blend in the colours so that they do not appear....well...blocky!
  • That is all there really is. I prefer a simple clasp as I find anything too fancy takes away from the piece. I like a button or a bigger bead that can pull through a peyote toggle.

Thursday, 27 December 2012


I almost had forgotten how much fun freeform beadwork is. This was a challenge from my husband to go outside my colour comfort zone and to use up some old beads. I love the result and I am now hanging our for a new colour challenge!

I read something really disappointing on another blog about freeform beading the other day, the suggestion was to grab a heap of different size and colour beads and start beading. Colour placement, design, shape and wearability are just as important in freeform as in patterned work. The wrong colour can ruin a whole piece, the wrong shape can not only make a piece look ugly but render it unwearable. You need to be able to let go of pattern in freeform (to an extent) but not having design knowledge will result in pieces that won't work and make it impossible to create a signature style. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas Polymer Clay Goodies

Snowman decoration. The snowman was taken from pinterest but the link is gone and I cannot find the artist . I did change the picture to suit my needs. the picture was drawn with Sharpies onto white clay and heat set.

Stamped and coloured butterflies. I am not sure what these will be yet, pendants perhaps.

Hand drawn "Fragment" pendants.

Hand drawn "Fragment" Christmas tree decorations

Stamped with metal stamps and enhanced with alcohol ink. This will be a bag tag.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Some polyclay bangles

I am pretty small and these bracelets are a bit big but I love them and I think I have a friend in mind that might like them too.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

We're off to see the wizard

A bracelet I created using a Peruzi cab and two drop peyote for a Beading Forum dot com dot au challenge. It was to come up with a design that fits the Wizard of Oz theme chosen for the week. I immediately thought of this cab. It is somewhat freeform as the idea just evolved as I went along.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Two Posts in one day: Operation Share

Oh My Goodness....Two posts in a day! I have decided to add another element to Operation Promise and Operation De-Stash...Operation Share. I want to share the process (I was going to say my thoughts but that is scary) of design, the way that I do it. So most awesome designers I know have an equally awesome way of coming up with their designs, pictures, samples etc. I am impatient and indecisive, my designs start out in my head and rarely ever go to paper. In this process there are sometimes mistakes. In the picture on my last post, you can see the cross is wonky. I had a thought about how to fix this, if I wanted to fix it, and then asked the experts at Beading Forum Dot Com Dot Au I came to the conclusion to fix it. I cracked the extra bead I had put in the RAW (note to self: beads actually shatter!). I love to bounce ideas off others during the process and I love the uncertainty about how a piece may look that comes from being a "fly by the seat of my pants" designer.

As you can see from the picture below is that I may at times using graph paper (this one came from Fire Mountain Gems) so that I am able to see the size of a piece.

Operation De-stash and Operation Promise

As a criminologist I thought I should use some CJ terms to describe what I am currently doing (I knew I could find a way to mix beads and criminology some day!). I am embarking on a combined operation, Operation De-stash and Operation Promise. My objective is to make all those things I promised my friends (well they asked or admired something and I said, "I can make that") without having to purchase a copious amount of new materials. I need to sort my beads big time.

This is the first piece of the operation in progress: a rosary style necklace.

I am thinking of doing a tutorial for this. I have never tried a tutorial before because my style is a little ad lib but this is simple enough for those beginners that ask me questions about the hows and whats to get started. For now you can see some of the materials I use:

  • size 10-12 beading needles 
  • Nymo (I need to get my hands on O because the D is a little thick for some of my projects). 
  • Here, in the spirit of de-stashing I have used some size 9 Gutterman rocailles but I would like to try it with 11 Delecas as it is not as neat as I want it to be. 
  • I have a quick unpick there but this is not a regular thing (I put it away when I snagged the Nymo on it by accident). 
  • You can't see it here but I use Thread Heaven thread conditioner to prevent fraying.
  •  I also use a bead mat which you can pick up cheaply from bead suppliers, they help those slippery little suckers from rolling away. 
  • I like to transfer my beads to the little pallets as they keep neatly and   I can see colour combos but I usually don't store them long term here because they are a little fickle in whether they are going to have a really tight lid or a really loose one but while they are on the tray and not travelling, they are fine.
  •  I use a tray for portability because I have no space...waaaaahhhhh. 
So that is it for now but a proper tutorial may follow after a few test runs, if I don't get bored and move on hahahaha.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

So many ventures, so little time

So my whole big idea to do Toho Treasures and Design Quest never eventuated. I just don't seem to have time to create these days and when I do I rush things and they don't work out. If only there was a way to combine my love of criminology with my love of beading lol.