Sunday, October 28, 2012

2013 Bead & Button Show Classes

Next June I'll be teaching again at the 2013 Bead & Button Show! I'm tentatively scheduled to teach six classes from Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 9. The show jury accepted three of my new class proposals, and I'll also be teaching three sessions that I taught last year.

Of the new pieces, first up is the Raindrop Flower necklace, which features the new Raindrop Flower focal and two different kinds of Double Bubble Jacks beaded beads. The Raindrop Flower focal also works very well on its own as a solo pendant:
Next up is the Sparkling Compass Set, which makes a beaded bead, and this bracelet and matching earrings:
This class is appropriate for all levels of beaders, who will learn how to make the four-pointed Sparkling Compass element in the first part of the class. Each student can then choose which part of the set to work on in the rest of the class. Beginning students can finish a second element for the earrings, while advanced students may want to tackle the matching beaded bead:
All students in this class will take home the beads and instructions on how to complete the set.

I'm most excited about this design, the Cosmic Nocturne Pendant. This hollow, self-supporting design features the new two-hole Twin seed beads, but works equally well with SuperDuo beads, and includes a layer of Swarovski crystals for an inner sparkle. This pendant is the result of several exhaustive experiments with twin beads in self-supporting designs, which resulted in nine different prototypes. I'm really happy with the final pendant:
Finally, I'll be teaching two sessions of the Tila Garden Pendant, and one of the Ice Queen Necklace:
The 2013 Bead & Button Show will take place in Milwaukee, WI from May 29-June 10, and class registration will begin online on January 8. Last year was my first year at a Bead & Button Show, and I'll tell you that it's a whole lot of fun to attend whether you take a class or not. I'd love to see you there!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Online Class Registration Ends Tomorrow for the BABE! Bead Show!

Online registration for the BABE! bead show ends tomorrow. You can still register for classes on-site, but many classes are close to selling out, so online registration is the best way to reserve your spot in your favorite class. Here are the four classes that I'll be teaching:
Tila Garden Pendant, Saturday, November 3, 9AM-1PM

Ice Queen Necklace, Saturday, November 3, 2PM-6PM

Rivoli Kaleidoscope Pendant, Sunday, November 4, 9AM-1PM

Cubed Tilas Necklace, Sunday, November 4, 2PM-6PM

Click here for additional information about the BABE! bead show.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beadwork's Beaded Bead Contest

Today's the day to enter Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest! While I can't enter, I wove at least one of each of these beautiful beaded beads, and I blogged about all of them here, here, here, here, and here. Here are just a couple of them:

Entries will be accepted at this link between now and 4 PM MDT on Friday, October 26. Online voting will take place between October 26 and November 5. Best of luck to everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Tila Garden Pendant for BABE! Show

The online registration deadline for the BABE! Show ends a week from tomorrow! Have you registered for your classes yet?

I worked up an additional colorway for the Tila Garden Pendant as a kit option especially for this show. I like how it gives this pendant the aura of a classic garden with a white picket fence:
I tried this colorway a few times before and I wasn't as happy with the results. My first version used a clear core bead which detracts from the drop beads:
My next version used nearly-lime peanut beads, but color-lined clear drop seed beads. The drop seed beads in this version don't have enough color to compete with the peanut beads.
My latest version ditches the clear color-lined drop beads, and uses a more subtle shade of peanut bead. It would probably work well with the lime peanuts too.
You can find more information about the BABE! Show here, including information about class registration and a list of over 150 vendors who will be exhibiting at the show. You can still register for classes on-site, but many classes are close to selling out, so register online before October 27 to reserve your spot in your favorite class.

Next week is also the week to enter Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest! I can't enter, but since I love beaded beads so much, I wove a matching set of each of the five beaded beads in this series. I blogged about all of them herehereherehere, and here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peanut Gallery Berry Necklace

You know how I love to match beaded beads to lampwork beads? Well a few years ago while shopping at a BABE! Show I fell in love with a set of seven gorgeous handmade lampwork beads in delicious berry colors of purples and pinks. They were created by Toni Lutman of Wild Woods Arts Glass, and these particular beads only scratch the surface of her impressive talent with glass.
It was tricky to create beaded beads in the right shade to match them, but I settled on a set of Peanut Gallery beaded beads with bright purple seed beads, salmon peanut beads, and a luminous blue-teal shade of drop bead. They don't have quite as much purple as I'd usually prefer, but they still match the berry tones of the lampwork beads.
I finished this piece with additional dark purple Czech glass fire polish beads and Japanese seed beads. Usually I'd consider listing a piece like this in my Etsy shop, but this time I'm keeping this one for myself :). If you'd like to make your own Peanut Gallery beaded beads, please visit my website for the pattern.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bead Society Meeting Tomorrow Night

I'm busy putting the finishing touches on my talk for the Bead Society of Northern California's meeting tomorrow night. The talk is currently at 65 slides full of beaded bead eye candy. I hope it's not too long, but several talented bead artists graciously consented to letting me use images of their work in my talk, and I just found so many gorgeous beaded beads to talk about. I've organized the talk by the different polyhedra that are common in geometric beaded beads, and I'll show several examples of each one. 

Some of them are a little difficult to classify though, like this Circle Starburst beaded bead. Is it a dodecahedron, or an icosahedron? Or perhaps it's a little of both? What do you think?
I'm also bringing class samples for my classes at the BABE! Show at the beginning of next month. BABE! was one of the first bead shows that I attended when I started beadweaving nearly six years ago, so I'm really excited about the chance to teach there. 
The meeting is tomorrow night, October 16 at 7:30 PM, following a social half-hour of coffee and tea starting at 7:00 PM. BSNC meetings take place at the Courtyard Marriott in Emeryville, just over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, and are free for members ($5 for nonmembers). The Bead Society of Northern California meets on the third Tuesday of every month (except for December). More information about membership and events can be found on their website.

Friday, October 12, 2012

New Pattern: Peanut Gallery Beaded Bead

My newest beaded bead pattern, the Peanut Gallery beaded bead, is now available at Bead
I designed this all-seed bead beaded bead nearly two years ago to feature the unique shape of the peanut seed bead. At the time, I wove five of them for Marcie's Margie and Me color challenge, and featured them in this mosaic-inspired bracelet:
Since creating this bracelet, I experimented with adding drop-shaped seed beads to this beaded bead, which results in a different overall effect:
This beaded bead can be woven with drops, magatamas, or round seed beads on each of its faces, and I address these variations in the pattern. I think that round seed beads showcase the peanut beads the best, but I just love the tactile combination of peanuts and drops.
This beaded bead has no round core bead yet it is still extremely sturdy. The seed beads on the inside of the structure usually remain hidden once the beaded bead is complete. But depending on the choice of colors used, they sometimes peak out from behind the peanut beads.

The Peanut Gallery beaded bead is available exclusively at What's your favorite shaped seed bead?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beaded Beads and Lampwork Beads, Finale!

I completed my necklace featuring Venetian glass beads and beaded beads!
I strung the original two Venetian beads, additional Venetian glass beads, and the seven beaded beads all in between size 6° seed beads, 11° seed beads, and 7 by 4 mm Czech fire polish roundelles. I debated whether to add additional Czech glass beads to this piece, but I wanted to prominently feature the Venetian beads and beaded beads, so I stuck with using the other beads as accents. A vermeil clasp finishes the necklace.
You can see the evolution of this piece in the other blog posts in this series here, here, and here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Kits: Microphyte Beaded Bead

New kits are now available for the Microphyte Beaded Bead. The first is in dark purple bicones with bright silver drops for extra contrast between the sharp crystals and bubbly seed beads:
The next is in harvest colors, just in time for the fall season. It matches the Harvest Queen color scheme of the Ice Queen Necklace:
Both kits are available at, and include a needle, plenty of thread, and all the beads needed to make the finished beaded bead.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beaded Beads and Lampwork Beads, Part 3

I continued to work on my blue and copper necklace with beaded beads and lampwork beads. I made a thinner version of the original Dewdrop beaded bead by using a smaller core bead, and 4-fold instead of 6-fold symmetry around it. I also made some minor adjustments in the seed bead overlay:
I did the same with the streamlined version:
Now that I think about it, I think that these thinner versions would also make excellent matching earrings...
With just a few more beaded beads, I now have a complete set, all ready to string into the necklace:
Stay tuned next week for the finale of this project! For the previous posts in this series, please click here and here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dewdrop Bracelets

Over the past few days I wove a Dewdrop bracelet in the Lavender Fields color palette. I really love these blue-green matte metallic tila beads.
Here's a shot with a view of the custom toggle clasp. I like how it turned out, but it has an unusual thread path that's not very intuitive. I spend over a third of the bracelet pattern describing how to make the clasp! I think it would also make a nice charm, but I haven't explored that possibility as of yet.
Just like the Dewdrop beaded bead, the bracelet can also have its drop beads substituted with round seed beads. Here it is with this substitution in Pandora Sapphire:
The Dewdrop pattern contains instructions for both designs, and each Dewdrop kit contains enough materials to make a total of either five Dewdrop beaded beads, or one Dewdrop beaded bead and one Dewdrop bracelet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bead Society of Northern California Meeting

In a couple of weeks I'll be giving a talk at the October meeting of the Bead Society of Northern California. I was a member of the BSNC when I lived in the Bay Area, and I always appreciated how they invited a diverse group of speakers over the course of a year. I'll be talking about geometric beaded beads from the perspective of mathematics and science.
For this talk, I wanted to start with a basic lesson on three-dimensional geometry and how it relates to beadwork. While the cube is an easily recognized structure, I sometimes hesitate to use terms such as "polyhedra" or even "dodecahedron" in discussions about beaded beads because these terms sound so mathy, even though they are just descriptions for the basic structures that underlie the beaded bead designs that are so popular today.
The advantage of applying these principles to beadwork is that it opens up a new range of possible design ideas. A cube beaded bead can be scaled up to the size of a pendant by weaving it with the symmetry of a dodecahedron. A dodecahedron woven with lentil-shaped beads takes advantage of duality to look more like an icosahedron. Chirality can give a design a right-handed or left-handed twist. It's my hope that everyone who attends this meeting will feel more comfortable with these ideas by the end of the talk.
Finally, I'll relate several of these geometric principles to structures found in nature. From the tiny viruses to the stars in the cosmos, the natural world offers a plethora of inspiration for the beadwork community. For example, the Microphyte beaded bead gets its name from a group of microscopic plants that have an incredible range of diversity.
The meeting is on October 16 at 7:30 PM, following a social half-hour of coffee and tea starting at 7:00 PM. BSNC meetings take place at the Courtyard Marriott in Emeryville, just over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco, and are free for members ($5 for nonmembers).
The Bead Society of Northern California meets on the third Tuesday of every month (except for December). More information about membership and events can be found on their website.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Beaded Beads and Lampwork Beads

I made some progress on my new piece featuring Dewdrop beaded beads and Venetian lampwork beads. For the next beaded bead in this piece, I replaced the drop-shaped seed beads with the same cobalt blue color of round seed beads:
The resulting beaded bead (left) is shorter than the original (right), but it also shows more sapphire blue than cobalt blue. It's interesting how a substitution in bead shape can also alter the color scheme of the entire beaded bead.
It still matches the original lampwork bead though.

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Kaleidoscopes for BABE! Show

The Bay Area Bead Extravaganza or BABE! show is next month. Have you registered for your classes yet? I'm busy putting together kits in additional color schemes for these classes. One is this purple Rivoli Kaleidoscope pendant, which looks kind of like a passionflower:

Another is this green, blue, and purple Rivoli Kaleidoscope. It's an analogous scheme right out of Color Theory 101, set firmly in the cool half of the color wheel.
I'll be including a sterling silver chain in the kits for this class, which I haven't provided in previous kits for this project.

The BABE! Show runs from November 2-4 in Oakland, CA. More information about class registration, along with general information about the show can be found here.
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