Monday, December 29, 2014

The ending of 2014

I have been thinking about 2014 - something I tend to do to complete one year and 
become ready for the next.

This year I achieved a goal I set some years before - travel and teach my designs in U.S.A.
I met and made new friendships with some lovely people.
I came home elated yet somewhat exhausted from all the preparation and travel and
wasn't sure I wanted to do it again in a hurry.

I asked myself what do I want to do now? and realised I didn't want to do a damn thing for awhile.
So I didn't !!

Having been a goal setter and on-the-go for so long I started to feel somewhat "lost". I needed to remember 
what I did before becoming besotted by beading and bring that back into my life and live the two together.
It has been six months since I came home and I am only now starting to think about what I want next.

So my conclusion for 2014 is - the successful ending of a journey in the first half
the re-acquaintance of my life "pre-beading" in the last half.

I now feel ready to set new goals and I believe it has started to show in my latest designs. 
So on that note I would like to share with you my last design for 2014 
I call the white "Rose of York"

One goal I have set for 2015 is to keep my blog posts going more regularly.
Happy New Year 
I hope it is a wonder-filled year for you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Making a Two sided Seed Bead Ring - like a donut

                                                                             Yesterday, another designer posted up on Facebook her preference for going from small seed beads to large beads when working a ring. I agreed with that except in the cases of making a bezel.
I happened to be wanting a two sided ring of beads for a new design idea. I did the small to large equation by doing 5 rows of 15s then on each side of the 15s, I did three rows of size 11s. I ended up with the image on the left. The centre is too large I think I did too many rows of 15s - it is buckling and not sitting correctly.
Rather than repeat this problem I strung 11s then did two rows of 11s, moved my thread into the inside and did 2 rows of 15s. I then added a third row of 15s and when completed I did NOT step up into the last added row. I remained where I was and did 1 row of 15s by "stitching-in-the-ditch".                      From the stitch in the ditch 15s I did one more row of 15s and 2 rows of 11s - see right side ring above.
I now have a perfect circle and by stitching-in-the-ditch the centre is perfectly round, rigid and firm.

I then did some extra peyote rows of size 8s, on each side of the ring. I then zipped the two sides together.                                 

On the left you have a side which is a little concave but certainly not a problem.

On the right you have the opposite side which is a little convex, also not a problem - in fact making it great for further embellishing.

I will be making my seed bead rings this way in future. I hope you can benefit from this little experiment.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Midnight Ripples

I have been writing tutorials again. Here you have my latest release called 
"Midnight Ripples"
Shades of an evening stroll along a lake's edge with rippling waters.

I wanted to make a necklace that did not have one of my usual large centrepieces and
also had a wide 'rope'. I thought to add a drop from the Swarovski rivoli but
then that would be making a big centrepiece again!!
So this design has been kept simple as I feel the 'rope' weave is the
bigger attraction.
 When you write a tutorial it is always good to add extra incentive for people to purchase so 
I have included the pattern for both the necklace and a bracelet.
If you want to see more, click on the image above and you will be taken to my 
tutorial Artfire store.
I hope you like them

Monday, August 18, 2014

I am officially a "Trendsetter"

I am pretty excited to announce I have joined the list of some really amazing International 
designers as a Starman Trendsetter.

Starman Trendsetters are manufacturers of CzechMates 2-Hole Beads, Fire Polish beads, seed beads
as well as Wholesalers of TOHO, Superduo, Rizo beads and more.
What happens now is, for the next twelve months, I will receive packages of all types of newly designed beads. I am to use these new beads in my creations and come up with
a free tutorial twice in the year.
How cool does that sound to receive items for free and to be required to sit and play with them!!
What more could any beader ask for ?? Is this bliss or what?  LOL

The downside of this is I CANNOT show anything created with the new beads until after the
actual, official release date. That is pretty hard for me to do as I usually am like a child jumping with excitement and anticipation to show what I just finished making….the feeling I have is very much a case of
"hey, look what I just did"

Oh well, the good has to sometimes have the bad with it but the bad is certainly one I can live with because the good sure outweighs the bad in this case.

Woo Hoo!!

I think I shall have to learn patience at this stage in my life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet "Angela"

I have been working for eight years to achieve some personally set goals in my jewellery designing/making journey and with my recent travel to USA, teaching in Orlando, Florida, along with visiting Bead & Button in Milwaukee - the biggest Bead Show in the world - the goals I set years ago have now been achieved.

For a long time pursuing these goals, my beading has had a deadline or a need to come up with a new design for teaching, for tutorial writing, for earning an income or for whatever reason. Always something needed to be done, to be written, a deadline to meet on time.

Last week, for the first time in a long time, I sat to bead for the sheer joy of being creative, no deadline, no other reason than just because I felt like it and wanted to bead.

Here is the result of my playing. 
I have a friend who said this looked 'angelic' when she saw it and suggested I call this 'Angela'.

A Swarovski rivoli, bezelled with Czech glass pearls, surrounded with Swarovski bicone crystals 
in Pacific Opal and Cyclamen Opal and edged with long briolette pale green drops 
with a light wash of gold. The rope is a cubic right angle weave with colour highlights on two sides and 
shell based pearls woven into the rope.
I hope you like it, I sure do.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Signature Collection

I wanted to share some of my 'signature collection' with you today - My Happy Brooches - so called because people who see them comment and say they make them feel Happy. 
What a nice thing to achieve and to do - make people feel Happy.

When my life is busy and I am needing a beading fix there is nothing I enjoy more than making a small project. These brooches (or pendants) mostly take 3-4 hours to make, enable me to enjoy a project and get it finished at the same time. 
They are great for experimenting with colour. You can see I experiment wildly and a lot with colour.

Below the large image is my first 'Happy Brooch' for which I recently released the tutorial.
If you wish click on the link below and it will take you to my Artfire Store.

Alongside is another of my playful early designs using four layers of colour.                       

This one is a dagger brooch and I love this colour

The other reason I love making these is I get to figure out how to use new beads.
On the left we have two hole bricks being used.
They sure do attract light in real life.

On the right is an example of a rivoli centre Happy Brooches.
Also successful.

Here we have my "Crystal Passion Flower" so named as a friend suggested it looked like a Passion Flower. This will go into my teaching portfolio and I hope bring me more classes.

My next on the left is my Cupchain brooch, using cupchain for the first time and the new two hole Piggy Beads.

On the right another very colourful Piggy bead design/experiment. 
I really enjoy working with new beads and lots of colours.

 Here we have totally new beads and my most recent pieces.

I found rubber 'O' rings and very colourful acrylic one hole lentils whilst at the Bead and Button Show. 
Using them this way I can also translate into using the glass versions.

All in all these 'Happy Brooches' have become my 'signature' pieces. I don't mind, it is a good way to be instantly recognisable. 

Monday, April 28, 2014


I have been really busy writing tutorials for classes I am going to be teaching in Orlando Florida in June. I have not had much chance to create new items, write new blog posts, or anything else for that matter.

I had to have a bit of a play with beads and sat down recently to design some earrings.

Here are three pair I have come up with and I am
very happy with how they have been received.

The pair on the left I call "Springtime on Park Avenue" and it is a free tutorial. Click on the image and you will be taken to the Bead Mavens blog where you can print out the tutorial for free.

The earrings on the right I call "Cathedral Windows" because of the way the hot pink shows
through the bead-weaving, reminding me of
windows of colour.

The tutorial for this one is in my Artfire store, click on the image and you will be taken to my tutorial shop.

The red and blue pair I call "Hanging Basket" because it reminds me of a hanging basket of red flowers. No tutorial for this one yet.

So with the limited time I have available I can only do small projects and the earrings have been fun to make and quick to write the pattern for.

Hope you like them

Friday, March 21, 2014

Inspiration - Where does it come from?

I have written a post on the Bead Mavens blog about Inspiration and where it comes from,
just click on the link below and you will be taken there

you may learn something for doing so.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thank you Facebook

Three days ago an article "Boys Who Bead" was released in an internet magazine called Beading Daily.

I was the first for their article and I am pretty thrilled about it and very grateful to Jennifer VanBenschoten for inviting me to share my story. Thank you Jen.

I have been receiving congratulations for two days from people all around the world and from so many I have not chatted to or knew.

I received emails from complete strangers telling me they had been watching and admiring my work and are so thrilled seeing a story about me, so thrilled I am now releasing tutorials. I have had fellow Australians post up the story about me and offer congratulations to one of 'their own'. All were wishing me well and good luck and well deserved.

I know there are the Facebook 'knockers' out there in the big, wide world but my art and my passion would be very isolated if Facebook didn't exist. Think about that !

Now I can sit in the comfort of my own home, doing something that I truly love, playing with lots of shiny little things and seeing if I can make them into something wearable, something beautiful, something that somebody might get a little bit of pleasure making. I call that channelling JOY and how nice is that I ask???

I have Facebook to share that passion with and friendships that have developed because of that common 'playing ground', and believe me there are lots who gravitate to that playground.

From the sharing of my passion my world has grown enormously and mid year I will  be travelling off to USA to meet people I have known on line for years and I am pretty thrilled about that.

Also through sharing my passion I am invited to teach my designs in Orlando, Florida in June and I am pretty thrilled about that too.

This Blogpost started out being a story to share my gratitude to Beading Daily but has turned into more a post to say thank you to Facebook, because none of it would have happened if it wasn't for me having a playing ground to share my passion on. So THANK YOU FACEBOOK

If you would like to read the article click on the picture and it will take you there.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Marcia DeCoster Presents……

Yesterday I received 5 copies of a book released by Lark Publishing called "Marcia DeCoster Presents" - Interviews with 30 Beaders on Inspiration and Technique

Why did I get five copies??  Because I am one of the 30 Featured Artists - pages 16 to 19.

Some of the jewellery I had featured were created in 2012 specifically for Marcia's book and not shown before.

Here are a couple of the items

"Madames Favourite"
to the right.

"Sputnik", directly below and my "Venetian Mirrors" bracelet.

I am in amazing company with all these wonderful beading artists, here are a few examples of who is also included -
Marsha Weist-Hines, Miriam Shimon, Kerrie Slade, Melissa Ingram, Beki Haley, Betty Stephan, Sian Nolan, Helena Tang Lim, Edgar Lopez and twenty more.

It is a lovely edition to have in your collection so check it out
It is great reading and a way to see what inspires other artists and how they design. Well worth a look.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The rebirth of an oldie but a goldie

In 2010 I joined the Bead Society of Victoria. This is the main and only beading organisation in Australia. The BSV run competitions for its members four times a year and I decided to enter a design in one of their competitions next time they run one. In September 2010 they set a challenge asking for submissions for a bugle bead design. The entries had to be 70% bugle beads.

The bracelet on your left was my entry into their competition and the image on the right, of the Chrysler building in New York City, was my inspiration. This is a classic piece of Art Deco architecture.                      I won the competition and I received a 'First Time Entrant' award as well.     
I certainly was a happy boy, never having won much in my life before. I have shown this image here on my blog and on my Facebook before and I often receive a lot of comments.

It is almost four years later and my design has come to the attention of a lot of people on Facebook and again I've been asked to write the tutorial. I hadn't intended writing this into a tutorial but recently the requests became very strong and I thought I would be crazy not especially when so many ask for it. 

                                                                            I felt it needed a remake and made a little more sparkly.
Here is the the new version with a Swarovski Marquise Fancy stone as the centrepiece and as the sparkle. I also added a little extra colour and highlights into the design. The tutorial was released on Friday and it has been received with a lot of interest and comment. I think it is nice when your designs are so well received and requested. I guess that is what keeps me doing what I love to do.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Another Year Passes

Well 2013 has passed by and we are now into 2014. I hope your New Year's celebrations were fun and may 2014 bring you good health, much joy, and whatever else you desire.

I have been pondering the year passed and was thinking what does 2013 mean to me? How will I remember 2013?

My one reply to those questions is - I conquered any resistance I had to writing tutorials.

I had been learning the program to illustrate my designs for quite some time. I felt frustrated not having enough skills - talk about impatient! - I get really cranky when I have a learning challenge and my poor teacher wore my cranky-pants voice a fair few times. I found writing took me away from beading and it was too much like 'work'. I didn't want to write and yet I was continually being asked for tutorials.

In late August I finally released a tutorial for my Tapestry design and it was received really well. Now earning some dollars from illustrating my designs seemed to change my attitude to writing. Funny about that eh??
In late November I released two Christmas decoration tutorials and they 'shot through the roof' with sales and one of them has become my best selling item so far. So more ornaments will follow in time.
For the 25th of December, I had my first sale giving 25% off all my tutorials and at the same time I released my thirteenth tutorial "Isabella". Not having had any experience with having a Sale I was absolutely amazed at the response. My regular followers were always there to support me and lots of  new customers were ordering 5, 6 or 7 tutorials at a time. I actually worked hard on Christmas day sending out all my orders. Talk about Santa being kind to me.

Yesterday I released my fourteenth tutorial,  the first for 2014,  for my newest design "Annabella". The tutorial has illustrations for three variations. To the left is one version.

I am very pleased with this design, it is so very pretty in person. Sometimes I have personal favourites when I design this piece is one of them.

So, 2013 will always be seen as the year I started illustrating and writing my designs.  What is in store for 2014? I am still pondering that one.