This bracelet popped out of nowhere during a creative slump. I wasn’t intending to make anything in particular, I just needed to start something. A lot of tinkering around with different beads eventually lead to this design, that I absolutely love. It’s the first design in which I’ve used Rose Montees and I couldn’t be happier.
Living in New Zealand, I’m constantly exposed to Pacific Island culture and design. The motif created by the layout of beads is reminiscent of the flower images often found on traditional Polynesian Tapa cloths. I’d like to say that that was the inspiration behind this bracelet, but the truth is, I didn’t see the Polynesian motif in the design until a friend made the Pacific connection when I was looking for a name for the pattern (Thanks Hayley!).
Of course, there is a tutorial for this bracelet, which you can find, with a materials list, here.
It’s been an entire year since I first began writing this tutorial. I would sit and stare at it for a long time, but for some reason I just couldn’t make it work. I’m not a natural at illustrating. I had to teach myself to use the software, and if I’m honest, I still don’t know what I’m doing. But I always get there in the end, and I’m very proud of my results with this tutorial.
I struggled with one particular logistical problem, then suddenly, a few weeks ago, the solution popped into my head. Since then it’s been all go, beading, writing, refining, testing…. But now, it’s finally ready.
Provoquant features a beautiful 30mm Swarovski Pear stone, two 16mm Rivoli and a whole lot of CRAW. CRAW is a marvelous stitch, it has a robust structure while remaining lightweight on the wearer. If you have not learned CRAW yet, I have a free tutorial available here. This tutorial is also attached to the Provoquant tutorial, which is available in my Etsy store now, I hope you enjoy it!
Back in March I released the first of my beginner tutorial packages, the Spiral Stitch package. Now I can announce that the second of the series is officially available, the Peyote Stitch package. This package is aimed at complete novices, to moderately experienced beaders who would like extra practice.
Start with basic or even-count peyote, then learn how to add symmetry to your designs with odd-count peyote, create a double sided pendant while you learn how to stitch a flat triangle and follow a chart. A blank printable chart is included so that you may design and colour your own pendant too!
It’s Easter! And what better excuse for a sale. Not that I need an excuse for a sale, but Easter makes for a handy facade. The real reason for the sale is that I may have had a wee crash in my car.
By ‘may have’ I mean I definitely did, and by ‘wee crash’ I mean I t-boned a small truck because I’m an idiot. So now I have two pay the insurance excess for two vehicles. No one was hurt, so that’s great, but I’ve now used up my entire chocolate and ice-cream fund for the year, and that’s the real tragedy here. Think of the children!!
So hop on over to my Etsy store, fill your shopping cart and use the coupon code “EASTER” to receive 20% of everything – that’s jewellery and tutorials.
I haven’t blogged since January, but I have been doing a little bit of beading in amongst the chaos of my life. Starting with a beautiful Heliotrope rivoli, bezelled with gold and peacock seed beads and Swarovski bicones. I stitched a delicate chain of gold seed beads in Right Angle Weave, double-woven for a more uniform look, to create a gorgeous necklace.
It’s been a negligently long time since my last post, but I haven’t forgotten about you, dear readers. I’m pleased to see that you haven’t forgotten about me either. My blog has been getting plenty of views in my absence, and my Facebook page has just reached 1000 likers! How exciting. Of course, such a milestone requires a celebration. Right now, I have a competition on Facebook to win my One-of-a-kind Clara necklace (pictured below). Not your thing? How about three tutorials of your choice from my store, instead? Head to Facebook and like my page, and the post containing the instructions and you’re in to win. Share the post too, if you’re so inclined, it’s not necessary to win, but it’s good Karma.
In other news, everyone is talking about Hubble Stitch! If you haven’t tried it, do it now. Right now. Drop everything and go for it. It’s so addictive and versatile. It was designed by Melanie de Miguel, who has this beautiful book detailing the technique and it’s many uses. Her biggest convert is the lovely Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, who also has a number of tutorials featuring The Hubble in her store Jewelry Tales. I made my own version of her Mermaid Bracelet. I didn’t have the 2mm crystals that her pattern called for, but I substituted 11/0 seed beads and it worked fine. Of course, the instructions were beautifully written and illustrated, as Cynthia’s work always is.
Mermaid Bracelet, Designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, beaded by Jenny Sangster
I’m certain most, if not all of you, have heard about the announcement of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork III (AND the Pattern Book AND the colouring book) and I’m sure, you’re all just as excited as I am. It’s an incredible labour of love for Kate and her amazing team, the editors, the translators, the illustrators and of course the beaders. Seeing all the beautiful work that the online community has been churning out spurred me in to action. It was time for Jenny to try a Zig-Wing.
Of course, I’m a tinkerer, so I couldn’t just reproduce the original Zig-Wing without making my own changes.
The Zig-Wing Sun-baked Starfish
Then I got an idea to make a tiny Zig-Wing, which lead me to this.
The sweet little Zig-Wing Flat Flower Pendant
And then things got out of control.
The Zig-Wing Pixie Hat, or the Zig-Wing Tea Cosy…
…perhaps the Zig-Wing Alien Egg Nursery Pod
The possibilities for the Zig-Wing and friends are truly endless.
Many moons ago I purchased, with good intention, a piece of Nicole’s Bead-backing along with a square of dark blue ultrasuede. Having spent countless hours sitting enchanted at the amazing examples of bead embroidery on my computer screen, I decided to give it a crack. But before I started, I became distracted with a gazillion other shiny projects and my plans were forgotten.
Not so long ago, I found those two enticing pieces of fabric, and so put thread to needle. With out any clear planning of what I was making, I sketched a design on the bead-backing, bezeled on a cabochon, completely ignored my design and made a thing. It was pretty rough in places, and a poorly placed pearl came loose, but as I progressed, my stitches improved.
In my next piece, I was confident enough to use a pretty copper Swarovski Cosmic crystal. I only use my crystals if I’m confident, because wasting crystals is an unforgivable sin. With the addition of some turquoise, orange, dark brown, and copper, I turned it into a super awesome unique necklace.
Lately there seems to have been a rash of beaders suffering hand injuries or surgeries, it’s all a bit tragic. I, myself have been no exception. With the prick of a small, insignificant rose thorn, my beading has been greatly stifled. Two weeks and a course of antibiotics later, and it has again flared up and is causing me grief. I’ve now started my second course of antibiotics, and am hoping that they’ll do the trick. By the time evening rolls around (my traditional bead therapy time) my thumb has little range of movement left. Bit by bit, I am managing to add to my first ever bead embroidery… broach?… pendant?… whatzit? Something.
In the meantime, I’ve been awestruck by the incredible talent participating in this years Battle of the Beadsmith. Every year this competition gets better and better. Anyone can thread a bead, but the vision, and the execution of these pieces is astounding. I am not even close to having seen them all, but of what I have seen, these are amongst my favourites.
Those of you who follow my personal blog, Unplanned Detour, will be aware of my recent changes; for the sake of those of you who do not, I’ll fill you in. I got a job! Well, two jobs: cleaning, and gardening. It’s hard physical work for my unaccustomed body, but it’s satisfying all the same. Even bigger news, I’ve bought a house! I move in next weekend, and I can’t wait. I’m probably going to be dirt poor, for the next 30 years, but I’ll figure it out. If you want to help me pay my lawyer fees, head over to my Etsy store and go nuts.
Somehow, in amongst all the madness, I managed to complete my new Bitza Bangle. Returning to some of the CGB techniques I’ve grown to love so much, this one features a nice little winged miniskirt and a scalloped edge. The skirt repeats the diamond pattern of the bangle beneath, so it’s a subtle detail which I love to run my fingers over. I’d love to make a tutorial for this one too, if only I can find the time and focus. Tutorials take a bit more cognitive power than beading, I’m not sure I have much cognitive power to spend at the moment.