Tag Archives: pearls

Pacific Montee

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.



Learn and Master RAW

Right-Angle Weave can be a tricky stitch to get the hang of, but it’s worth learning. For me the secret is in the ‘double stitch’. Traditionally, each unit receives one and a half passes with the needle, but by adding an extra pass to each stitch, you create a stronger, tidier end product. I was hoping to link to a blog post that I saw many moons ago by Patrick Duggan, in which he showed the difference between two swatches of beadwork, one with the extra pass, and one without, however I can’t seem to locate it. If any one knows the article, please post a link in the comments.

Learn all you need to know about Right-Angle Weave beginner package with these four projects in one tutorial. Start with basic RAW, then learn to embellish your work with seed beads, try different beads for different effects then learn the often-forgotten Triangle Weave variation. Also see my Spiral Stitch package, and my Peyote Stitch package.


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All of us have pre-conceived notions of how things should be. We stick to these ideas as if they’re indisputable, and we rationalise the irrational just so we can hold on to our self-imposed limitations. Whether it’s a firm belief that pizza slices should be taken from the box in a clockwise direction, that a toilet roll should be hung with the length to the back (or front!), or an adherance to a facist movement; we all do it to some degree. Changing these mindsets takes effort, as breaking from your internal ‘rules’ feels wrong.

I restrict myself by loathing exposed thread in my beadwork. A little exposed thread is unavoidable, but in most cases it can be concealed in little nooks and crannies so that it’s not so noticeable.

But there’s nothing really wrong with it, there is some amazing artwork out there with plenty of exposed thread. I just can’t seem to let myself do the same thing. Because of this weird little mental decree, I have never made anything from brick stitch – one of the most basic fundamental stitches in bead weaving. Well, I did make a pair of earrings once, but I hated them. So I’m on a personal mission: To free myself from the shackles of surreptitious string and bring everything out into the open.

To prepare for my trip out of my comfort zone, I have made two thread-happy pearl bracelets. I can’t deny that they look great when worn, but if I look for too long all I can see is filament, mocking me, with it’s bright whiteness. After much inner turmoil I forced myself to put them in the store. Tonight I have a date with brick stitch.

Unwavering Beauty

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For artists, there is a joy in bending things to our will. Taking the inanimate and using it to create forms from our imaginations. That is the beauty I see in things such as wire, thread and beads – it’s their malleability.

But Image 01what happens when you’re faced with a material that’s not so yielding?

Memory wire is a supple coil of tempered steel that stretches out like a toy slinky, and snaps back in place when released. It is unyielding. Intractable. But what it does, it does well. All it needs is a bit of creative embellishing.

Memory wire is light-weight, comfortable to wear and gorgeous when dressed up. The beauty of memory wire is that one size fits all, it simply conforms to any object it is coiled around. Another bonus is that a memory wire bracelet or necklace will stay on securely without the need for a clasp, the strength of the coils is enough to hold it in place. My memory wire bracelets are available for sale, and can be viewed in my Facebook Sale album. Other colours can be made on request.