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August-September Challenge Theme: Spots & Stripes

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:09 PM

When I bought these beautiful enamelled beads by Laura Sparling, I knew immediately that I wanted to create a piece where the lampwork would "disappear" and become one with any other beads I might use. As is often the case, realising this idea took a lot of time and effort. It was several months (perhaps even a year) before I spotted these vibrant sea bamboo beads at a fair. The colour is almost identical. A true red, not too warm or cool. I've added a few Swarovski crystals mainly because I'm incapable of creating jewellery without them but also because I wanted to explore colour as a block, playing with the contrast between opaque and transparent. Whoever said stringing was simple?

July - August Challenge Theme: "I do" beading

Posted on September 17, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I studied 'Fashion and Textiles' Design at Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design (where I met my husband who was taking the graphics course) then worked as a Knitwear designer full-time, while illustrating for fashion magazines as a freelancer. I then changed career ( after almost 20 years) and took a course in garden design at Capel Manor, while working for the (very elite!!!) Chelsea Gardener in London for 6 years. I was then recruited to work for a furniture company, where I designed their 'inhouse' furniture and sourced new suppliers. After about 6 years, and a house move to Brighton from London, I opened my own shop selling contemporary furniture mixed with retro lighting and selected pieces of furniture, as well as homeware and jewellery. This led me to making my own jewellery to sell, and the rest is history......

Huge rent increases forced me to give up the sop, which coincided with our decision to live (for the time being) in France (in the Mayenne region).

I have recently become enamoured with bead embroidery and seem to be spending every available hour pursuing this technique...

June - July Challenge Theme: Reinvention

Posted on August 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM

I really enjoyed making this piece for the challenge as I love to take pieces that I no longer wear and make them into something new. My original piece was rather plain and simple, with the donut attached to a strung necklace made from seed beads and crystals. I absolutely loved the pendant when I bought it, and still do, but I don't think my design did it justice at all.


Since making the old necklace my beading skills have evolved and I've learnt how to do bead embroidery, so I thought this would be a new way to display the donut. I glued it to some Lacy's Stiff Stuff then beaded around it using a type of backstitch. After attaching the Ultrasuede backing I added the edge beads in colours to match the glass and made a peyote bail at the top.


But then there was the problem of the hole and how to fill it! I tried using a large faceted bead but all the beads I had were either too small or too big to fit but then I hit on the idea of using seed beads to make a little anemone garden. I can almost imagine them disappearing back into the hole as you go to touch them! Finally a length of suede thonging to suspend the pendant finishes it off. It's a whopper of a pendant at over 2" in diameter but I've worn it quite a few times since making it.


I'm useless at blogging but...

Posted on April 15, 2010 at 2:16 AM

I can just about manage twitter!  :wink:

So if you want to keep track of whats going on in the UK Beaders community please

Follow UKBeaders on Twitter

and as a bonus you can always see our latest tweets in the sidebar of the main UK Beaders site (down on the right).

I will still use this blog to archive our challenge winners, and when there's any other interesting info that's needs more space than a tweet I will link back to here (if it's not already on our forum).

Challenge theme: Jolly Holly

Posted on January 14, 2010 at 10:21 PM


Challenge theme: Five Alive

Posted on December 13, 2009 at 6:37 PM


The inspiration for this piece came from a necklacedesigned by Cindy Cohn and featured in a recent Bead & Buttonspecial. I loved the way she had reversed the direction of the cellinispiral midway and just had to have a go at it. I decided to do it in myfavourite shades of black and grey, adding a lava stone focal bead andthreading it onto lengths of suede thonging and chain. I really enjoyusing monochrome colour schemes and playing around with differentshades and textures so I had a lot of fun making this piece. Thischallenge called for five different elements and the five I chose touse were: glass seed beads, lava stone focal, nylon beading thread,metal chain and suede thonging. You can see more of my work on mywebsite at

Challenge theme: Harvest Festival

Posted on November 10, 2009 at 11:13 PM

I'm a Swedish beader, living on the peninsula of Bjäre in the Northwestern corner of Skåne, the Southern most province in Sweden. Thanks to all the info and shops I found online, I started beading in spring 2005 and I'm totally hooked, a real beadoholic. And constantly interested in trying new beads, materials and techniques. The rowanberry bracelet above is an example of that, inspired by Melody MacDuffee's graceful, filigree-like twisted wire jewellery. My personal style, though diverse, tends to lean towards the romantic with inspiration from nature and old fairy tales or mythology. Two great sources of constant inspiration. Again, my bracelet is a good example not only of how nature inspires me, but how I keep associate my jewellery with natural features. It was not intended to look like clusters of rowanberries, but when I saw the bracelet forming in my hands I soon realised it looked just like the branches of all those trees I'd been watching since late August, when the berries really were more orange than red. This obsession has also led to me becoming a dedicated blogger and since July 2008 I blog about everything related to beads and jewellery making on Manekis Pärlblogg ("Maneki's Bead Blog"). Maneki is the alias most beaders in Sweden knows me as, it's only on UKBF I was boring enough not to come up with a username other than my real name. Blogging is almost a part-time job at times so nowadays I spend more time blogging about beads -- and chatting about beads on forums -- than I actually bead myself. But it doesn't bother me -- as long as my days keep revolving around beads in one way or other, I'm happy! URL to Manekis Pärlblogg: Information about the blog in English:

Challenge theme: Golden Glow

Posted on October 16, 2009 at 8:07 AM

I started beading within the last year, andhaving been complimented on my pieces decided to turn it into a homebusiness so I could stay as a Stay-at-home-mum. I have excellentdressmaking skills so am pleased to be able to offer a whole-outfitservice.

I live in the Beautiful Rivelin Valley in Sheffield with my Husbandand two young sons, so I am often inspired by the creativity of natureand my surroundings.  I love to work with glass, silver, silk, wool andjersey as they are such tactile materials!

This tiara design was something I developed on a tiara making course, and I wanted to create a twisty, vine and ivy type feel

My business also resells Handmade bags and beautiful Jewelleryboxes through fairs and home parties, but the main focus of my craft isin Jewellery making and Dressmaking.

I have Jewellery available to buy on my website, but for all other aspects of mybusiness, including hosting a jewellery party, please contact methrough my website.

Challenge theme: I See Goodness

Posted on September 14, 2009 at 8:51 PM



Thank you so much for voting for me I am sooooo pleased and completely surprised. I have very rarely shown my jewellery to people and never entered anything before so I am over the moon. Thank you. I have recently been making jewellery like this to sell to make money for my graduation holiday next year. I am 22 currently in my third year at university. I always make jewellery for my friends as presents and have tried to encourage them to have a go with different results. They often ask me to make something in colours they like and I have made us all friendship bracelets. I started jewellery making about 3 years ago after I did a

beginners course in Nottingham. I have a rather large bead collection but don't make things as often as I should. I am attracted to seed bead projects but I tend to get stressed with them and don't always finish them which is really naughty. I have a pile of half finished projects and some are soooo near to completion I really should do them. I'm sure I will one day. I managed to find another bead shop near me today which is excellent but bad for the poor card as it kind of got melted oopsie!

happy beading everyone thank you

Challenge theme: Ravishing Reds

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM

I began silversmithing in 2005 - two years later, our local college stopped doing courses, and I was stuck for a creative pursuit. I started lampworking after a trip to Venice, and about one year in, began to specialise of sculptural glass beads. I love making roses and butterflies, but I never say no to a challenge, and these lips seemed to fit the 'Ravishing Reds' challenge title.


I still make jewellery, often combining silversmithing and wire work with my own beads. I'm lucky to have had a few tutorials in magazines, which has been a rewarding experience. I teach glass bead making, too - both beginners and special 'sculptural' lessons for more advanced bead makers - in my studio north of Sheffield.


You can find my beads, jewellery and more information about teaching at and my bridal range, including tiaras, cake toppers and bridal jewellery, at

Challenge Theme: Earring Extravaganza

Posted on July 23, 2009 at 6:33 PM


My name is Liz and I was really surprised to win this challenge as Ialso won the March/April challenge! You can read more about me in thatpost so I thought I would write a little something about my winningearrings instead.I love making earrings, so I had to make something for the EarringExtravaganza didn't I?! I wanted to create something bold and unusualand came up with the idea of making a beaded tube supported with wire.At the last minute I decided to make some beaded beads for the centreand I chose the name Apollo because to me they look space-agey.A slightly different version of these earrings, without the centrebeads, is going to be published as a project in a future issue of Beadmagazine, which I'm very excited about!Liz

Challenge theme: Flower Power

Posted on June 22, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Unfortunately it is my very sad duty to tell you that Gill was killed in a road traffic accident last Sunday (14/06/09), whilst on holiday in Germany. Sadly she did not know that she had been voted our artist of the month but I would like to take the opportunity to share with you what she said about this creation that she entered into the challenge under the theme Flower Power.

A couple of years ago we had a very, very wet summer (which you might just remember!) and quite a bit of flooding in the area. Having just bought Diane Fitzgerald’s Beaded Garden book and lost so many plants in the garden because of the rain, I decided to bead my flowers instead of growing them that year. The base is netting and the flowers are made from various techniques including peyote, brick stitch and herringbone with Russian leaves. It sat unfinished for quite a while until the perfect answer for a fastener came along in the form of the dragonfly button.Its title simply had to be One Wet Summer - may there not be any need to make another version!

I hope like me you can keep in your hearts a memory of Gill, and how her words show than in a time of loss she found brightness and happiness in beading.

Challenge Theme: Charming Creations

Posted on May 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Hi, I'm Liz and myCottage Garden bracelet was the result of working my way through "TheBeader's Floral" by Jill Devon and Liz Thornton, a beautiful book onbeadwoven flowers. As usual I didn't have a plan when I started, justthat I wanted to learn how to create these wonderful flowers. When I'dfinished them I decided that I would make them into a charm braceletand enter it into the challenge. I think it has to be the mostcolourful piece I've ever made! I love working with monochromaticpalettes, black white and grey being one of my favourites at themoment, but it was great to go wild with colour for a change. Sincewinning the June/July 2008 challenge I've been beading more than ever,have had a project published in Bead with another two in future issuesand I'm starting to create my own tutorials. I'm well and truly beadaddicted!

Challenge theme: For the love of chocolate

Posted on April 15, 2009 at 1:59 PM


I began making jewellery about 18 months ago.When I was 14 I had my ears pierced but had problems wearing earrings.I put up with sore ears for the next 10 years or so and then juststopped wearing them altogether. Many (many, many) moons later I wentinto Bead Monster in Otley where I discovered that I could actually buycomponents to make my own clip earrings . This was great because mostclip earrings to buy on the high street tend to be big, fat, oldfashioned button looking affairs. I found I enjoyed making earrings,made too many for myself and began to make other items too. I had astall at the Xmas Fayre at my children's school which went well and Ihave continued to make jewellery since.The local college provided a cheap costume jewellery course which has introduced me to a whole range of different techniques.My big dilemma now is that I don't feel that I have a style of my own.I look at the work of lots of people on here and they have a clearlydefinable style. I tend to have a go at alsorts - jack of all tradesand master of none - I enjoy the variety but sometimes I think my workis a bit of a jumble of styles. I'm currently having a go at peyotespiral which seems loads easier (so far) than flat peyote.On the plus side I have sold some work to a local gift shop and havedone a few children's parties. After lots of hiccups with our PC I amfinally working on my Mr Site website - look out for other great thing about beading is that I can do things with mydaughter Grace Hug . Together we made our fun entry for the competitionwhich we weren't expecting to win but we had a pleasant afternoonmaking it. Grace likes to make jewellery with her friends and enjoysmatching items to her outfits. So far she has had a go at stringing andloomwork but would also like to have a go at beadweaving.What do I like best about beading? Hmmm ..... all those yummy beads and the sense of satisfaction from other peoples comments!



Challenge theme: A Novel Idea

Posted on March 11, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Carrie Potter

Inspired by "Falling Leaves" by Adeline Yen Mah

I started threading beads about 20 months ago, after seeing photos of beautiful work by an internet friend....and fatally, some beading sites! I was amazed at what could be achieved and also by the variety of beads and beading supplies that were available - many years previously I had threaded up a few beads now and then but there wasn't much choice in the shops. Needless to say I very quickly built up a stash of beads - generally bought with no idea of their future use.....that hasn't changed.
It wasn't long before I came across a whole community of talented people making wonderful things out of polymer clay - I couldn't wait to have a go!
I am flitting from seed beads to fimo; stringing one day, trying wire wrapping another....what an amazing, horizonless, and exciting world!!
I want to give a big thank you to KK for running this lovely forum, and to all the members for their constant help, encouragement and inspiration, and above all for voting for my "Falling Leaves" necklace - thank you, one and all!

Challenge theme: Clearly worth Celebrating

Posted on February 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

princess pink


I started beading and jewellery making about 5 years ago when I got bored one summer. I've always been fairly arty but never found one thing to keep me interested, I kinda flitted from one craft to the next, that is until I found jewellery making!
I really enjoy making pieces for people to wear and I feel like I have my own style. I'm a bit of a magpie and love sparkly things, so All That Sparkles seemed like the perfect name for my company.
I do a lot of bridal jewellery and have branched into special occasion and everyday jewellery. However, in the last 6 months I have started making my own lampwork beads, and in the last week have finally set up my very own glass studio. I'm still new at making beads but hopefully my beads will feature in my jewellery before long.
On a personal note, this isn't my full time job. In fact I'm a medical student and am about 2 years off qualifying as a doctor. It's been my dream to be a doctor since I was a child and I have been in post-high school education for 6 years now as I have done a previous degree. The jewellery making really helps me to relax and unwind, as well as help pay the tuition fees for my course!
I hope you like my work and I hope you feel inspired by what I create.

Challenge theme: Decorative Doodads

Posted on January 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM


I've always lived in the North East of England, located minutes away from the countryside and have always found nature an inspiration.  The colours, texture and form, even in my back garden, has always been a focus for various projects I've worked on.  Not least, making jewellery.

I started making things at an early age from colourful scraps of fabric or from buttons that my Mum  kept as she was always making something, so I watched and learnt various crafts -  knitting, sewing, making clothes for my cuddly toys and embroidery.  It wasn't until I started embroidery and cross stitching in my teens, that my fascination for colours and nature became more obvious.  I embroidered various pieces and over a period of time, had an extensive collection of threads of all the colours you could image.
I also dabbled in watercolour and oil painting, usually flowers or abstract pictures again the colour combinations a continual surprise.  I still haven't grasped the use of acrylics, but when I have some free time, I might get around to it!
I then discovered the joy of beading.  I was shopping for some jewellery to go with a particular outfit and couldn't find what I wanted.  I ended up in a small bead shop and bought a handful of beads, a clasp and some wire in the colours I wanted.  That was it, I was hooked.  I went on to make jewellery for my family and friends and once I'd exhausted this, as I still wanted to make jewellery, I found an outlet in the form of the Darlington Craft Fair twice a month, which I thoroughly enjoy attending.  Thermals are definitely needed this time of year along with a flask full of hot tea.
I designed and developed my website, Ciel Creations, through which I now sell my jewellery on-line as well as attending other local craft fairs.
But what an experience this has been over the last 3 years I've certainly had lots of fun!
I now spend many a happy hour beading on an evening, trying out different colour and texture combinations - using gemstones, glass, lampwork, pearls, swarovski crystals and sterling silver, until something catches my eye.
I also find the continual creations on this forum a source of inspiration and an hour can easily pass whilst browsing and commenting on posts.  I'm also amazed at the  beautiful glass beads created by various lampwork artists and find them very, very tempting.  Sometimes too tempting and I just have to have some!
You can see my jewellery at: which is regularly updated to add all my latest creations.

Challenge theme: Time to bead

Posted on December 16, 2008 at 2:19 PM


Although you all know me as Carmie on the forum, my real name is Valentina (Val) Moon . Born in Poona, India, I moved to the north east of England when I was 4. After leaving school, I studied for a degree in Fashion and Textiles at Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design, where I met my future husband Ken (who was studying for a degree in Graphics). After finishing our courses, we then married and moved to London, where I worked as a knitwear designer and illustrator, winning 2 Courtaulds awards for hand knitting design.
Gardening and anything related to plants was (and still is!) my great passion, so after 20 years in the fashion industry I changed direction completely - I started work at a garden centre and took a 3 year course in garden design. This led to my working for The Chelsea Gardener in London for several years, during which time I won a silver medal at Hampton Court Garden Exhibition for a garden which I designed and built with the aid of every friend I could ?persuade? to help. My work began to involve designing garden ornament and furniture in metal and this eventually led to a position with a furniture retailer, designing and sourcing furniture for their 9 shops.
Ken, Carmie and I moved to Brighton about 11 years ago and opened our own shop - Plan B, selling contemporary Italian furniture alongside retro lighting (which Ken sourced and repaired) and jewellery (which at that time I bought in).
During quiet spells in the shop, I began to make my own designs for soft furnishings, quilts and jewellery which I then sold in the shop. Sadly, due to ridiculous rent increases, I had to close the shop (after 6 years) in July 2007, and since then I have concentrated on making jewellery which I now sell on my website.
My work is often inspired by my love of flowers and plants and I enjoy using all sorts of materials - acrylics, Swarovski crystals, metals, semi-precious stones, freshwater and faux pearls, glass beads wire and leather to name but a few. I have recently started modelling flowers, mermaids and fairies in polymer clay and incorporating these in my pieces. Although some of the components are bought in, I design and make each piece of jewellery myself.
We are moving to France at the beginning of January 2009 and hope to continue creating new designs which I will sell on my website, while running beading courses in France. You can view my work on my website Gallery at or


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