Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How I Nearly Killed My Creativity by Mandi Ainsworth

So what I thought I was going to write about is not at all what wants to come out. I wanted to give you a happy pattern for making a beaded LOVE pen and call it a day, but its time to dig into something deeper (LOVE pen instructions still included). I would like to share with you about how I nearly annihilated my creativity with judgment, and what Bead Love means to me now. It's a long story, so I hope you're ok with the shorter version.

I was so excited the first time I got accepted to teach at the Bead & Button Show. I felt like I had finally made it. I was proud of my my website and podcast, I had a business coach to help me, and I was ready to make my dream of entrepreneurship a reality. I quit my part time job to get everything ready and to design new things to teach at future workshops. Only the money didn’t come, no new teaching opportunities, and I watched my friend, another new teacher sell out of her kits.

In that moment, I let judgment demons take over. I made what happened mean all these terrible things about me that weren’t true: my work sucks, I don’t design stuff people like, it’s too easy, I’m a bad teacher, nobody likes me, what’s wrong with me, why can’t I make this business work…despite all the evidence to the contrary including the evaluations from the wonderful ladies in my classes.

I returned home, got a new part time job, and carried on. I was really excited about super duos and their potential, and ended up with my Ratan bangle, a class which sold out twice at the next Bead & Button show. It was fun, but the judgment demons were still there, and in full force. Despite the outward success, I was in debt, I hated my job, and I was unable to make a living from my passion. That last part hurt so bad I started resenting my gift. 

I quit beading and decided to explore some other things and business ideas. I didn’t touch beads for about a year, and when I redid my office, I considered giving away or selling them all.

I was working with my mentor on a couple things, and after one particular session, I felt the urge to get my hands on some beads. I finished Sherry Serafini’s Monster necklace in one night, and it was so joyful to play with beads again I wondered why I ever stopped!! THAT. That joyful feeling of creating something with your hands, having no judgments or expectations about it being a class or to sell, THAT is what Bead Love is to me. Not that it can’t be a class or something later, it’s that creation for creation’s sake is the joy and the number one priority without any expectations or judgments on it.

A year later I have a full time job and I’m discovering how I’d like to weave beads into my life along with other adventures. I have a couple designs scheduled for future publications, and I started selling finished pieces again. One form of beading that I have always loved that is kind of a black sheep is freeform peyote. I love having no rules, and here’s my work in progress piece. The working title is “the key to creativity is no judgment."

It is my hope that this story contributes to you in some way. If you’d like to make your own beaded LOVE pen, instructions, blank graphs, and the entire alphabet can be downloaded here: Beaded Pens Ebook.

Monday, May 15, 2017

SweetArt Gifts - Jayashree Paramesh

What could possibly be sweeter or invoke love more than a box of chocolates?  What a wonderful gift Jayashree has given us this week.  It would appear that she had great fun with the varieties here, using her embellishment skills to invoke the idea of several different kinds of chocolates.  Wouldn't this be a fun coffee table project with each set into their own little paper cups?  I'm pretty sure you're favorite craft store or kitchen store candy making section would be a good source for some display items. Enjoy!  Marcia

Weaving magic one bead at a time
SweetArt Gifts
How about showing your love for beads and chocolate? That has to be the winning combination! The perfect blend of aroma, taste, texture and looks makes eating chocolate a pleasurable experience that stimulates the ‘feel good’ centers of the brain. Beaded chocolates don’t have the aroma and taste but you could make up for that by nibbling on chocolate while beading these. Beaded with peyote stitch, these fun components are addictive. Use your imagination to embellish with suitable beads from your stash. Connect them to make a sweet bracelet or stitch them on to a purse. Make a pendant or a pair of earrings. Whatever you decide to do, it will be a conversation starter for sure! 

Original Design by  
Jayashree Paramesh

Jayashree Paramesh
1 tbsp size 10 delica chocolate brown #DBM 0715 A
1 tbsp size 10 delica opaque cream #DBM 0732
1 tsp size 11 delica any chocolate brown color C
1 tsp size 11 delica any white chocolate color D
An assortment of other beads for embellishment 
  Coffee bean Czech glass beads in a couple of colors  
  Some small citrine nuggets for toffee
  Round garnet for blackberry
  Red Miyuki drop beads for cherry
  Carnelian for orange peel
  Piggy bead for sea salt caramel

Size 12 or 13 beading needles
Suitable thread like One G
Thread burner

1. Rows 1 and 2: On 2 ½ ft length of thread, string 24A. Go back through the 1st bead strung in a circle and make a ring. Go through all the beads once more and exit from the 2nd bead strung.

 2. Row 3: Pick up 1A, skip one bead on the ring and go through the next bead, thus making the 1st peyote stitch. Pick up another A and peyote stitch. Now, pick up 2A and peyote stitch. This is the 1st herringbone pair. Repeat this pattern and finish the round. Step up.

3. Row 4: Pick up 1B and peyote. Pick up another B and peyote. Peyote again with 1B, this time splitting the pair of As from previous round. In this way, continue and finish the round. Step up. 

4. Row 5: Peyote all around with B. Step up.

5. Row 6: Peyote once with 1A. Next, pick up 2A and peyote. Peyote 3 more times with 1A. Next, peyote with 2A. In this way, continue to peyote with 1A 3 times and then with 2A at the corners. Finish the round and step up.

6. Row 7: Peyote with A. At the corners, peyote with 1A, splitting the pairs from previous round as explained in Step 3. Finish the round. Weave through and exit from A in Row 1 as shown. 

8. Peyote one stitch with superduo. Add another superduo, skip A at the corner, go through the next A in Row 1. Continue to peyote on all sides.  Peyote for a total of 8 stitches. Step up. 

9. Make a U turn and go through the top hole of superduo. Go through all the top holes of superduos. Reinforce so that the beads are close together. Square stitch a 4mm garnet or any other berry colored bead. 

10. Weave through and exit from Row 7.  


11.  Peyote with 1C in every stitch and finish the round. Secure threads and trim. 

Make variations based on this pattern by using only A or B or both, changing the embellishments according to ‘taste’ or flavor. 
Connect all components using peyote or right angle weave stitch for a sweet bracelet. 
 Tip: If you would like to use size 11 delicas instead of size 10 delicas, then start with 40 beads. Follow the same steps but for a total of 40 beads at the start. You will need to build at least 12 rows for a good sized chocolate component. 

Original Design by  
Jayashree Paramesh

For more photos, please visit Nchantme page on facebook. Terms and Agreements: This design is available free for you to enjoy. If you plan to bead and sell copies of this design, it would be cool to mention my name as the designer.  

For a printable version click here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Betty Stephan - Heart pendant

Betty  Stephan's work always has grand detail and she's even managed to pack it into this darling heart shaped pendant that she created.  I love that's she's given us lot's of sample variety as well as wonderful suggestions for using the hearts 'Wouldn't it be nice to open an envelope and a little heart drops out?'  That visual certainly makes me smile and makes me want to tuck them into unexpected places.  I also think with her suggestion of adding a bail, it would make a perfect and sweet grand daughter necklace.  It's hard to pick a favorite, but I think the cream colored one with the brown and red edge is calling me, or maybe the purple one, or.....?  Show us your hearts, we love to see what you do!  Marcia

This cute heart can be used in lots of ways.  You can add a bail and make a pendant or a lobster clasp and use it as a charm.  Or stitch 2 hearts together and seal a tiny memento inside!  

They would be nice to enclose with a wedding card, get well card or sympathy card.

Or just stitch up one of these hearts and mail it to anyone that needs to know that someone cares about them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to open up an envelope and a little heart drops out? 

Sometimes it feels like we have little control over what happens in the world, but here is your chance to make a difference- one heart at a time. 


Just a few notes before you begin:

I have used the 2 color Super Duo Duets to frame the heart.  However, you can substitute regular Super Duos as the second color.  I liked the effect of the Duets and the two opposite colors joined into one bead harmonizes with our theme of “Love”. Also the two hearts joined as one. Maybe a little corny- but there you have it! 

If you do use the Duets, I refer to the blue side in the diagram as the dark side and the green is the light side.  That does not mean that you need to face the dark side of your Duet the same way that I do, it is just a label to differentiate between the two sides.  You just need to make sure they are all facing the same way if you want it to look like the sample. Pay attention to this in the diagrams.

Also, remember that whenever using beads with two or more holes, check that BOTH holes are open before working them into your piece.  I know it is a pain to do this, but believe me it is a lot more of a pain if you get half way through your piece and find that one of the holes is clogged up on the next Duo (don’t ask me how I know this LOL!)!

Lastly, single thread is fine to use for this project.

Note: the green star in each diagram is where you will begin that step.  The red arrow is where you end.

1.  Pick up (1) Duet A, (1) 15° C, (1) Duet A, (1) 15° C (dark side facing out).  Leave a tail about 1’ long if you want to add a crystal or a dangle later.   Tie a knot so your work looks like the first illustration.

Continue through the Duet, 15°, Duet.  Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the Duet just exited, 15°, Duet. 

Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the just exited Duet.

You are adding a 15° C at the outside of the holes on each Duet so that you can get to the other hole of the Duet without going across the outside where your thread will show.

Wondering why half of this illustration is gray instead of color?  It’s not because the printer ran out of ink.  From here on out, that gray part means that you added those beads already.  The pretty colored beads are ones you are adding in this step.

2.  Go across the Duet A and out the top hole.  

Pick up (1)15° C and go back through the same hole of the Duet.

Pick up (1) Duet A, (1) Duo B, (1) Duet A (remember- have the dark side facing out).

Go through the top hole of the Duet A added in step 1.

Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through (2) Duets. 

Go across the Duet and sew out through the other hole. Keep the tension tight so your thread doesn’t show.  If you need to tighten up any row, go back and repeat the thread path.

3.  Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the hole of the Duet.

Pick up (1) Duet A, (1) Duo B, go through the empty hole of the Duo B.  

Pick up (1) Duo B, (1) Duet A, go through the top hole of the Duet A from the last row.  

Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through (2) Duets.

Go across the Duet and out through the other hole.

4.  *Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the Duet.

Pick up (1) Duet A, (1) Duo B, go through the empty hole of the Duo in the previous row.

Pick up (1) Duo B, go through the empty hole of the Duo in previous row. 

Pick up (1) Duo B, (1) Duet A, go through the empty hole of the Duet in the previous row.

Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the hole of the Duet and continue through the next Duet.  Go across the Duet and out through the other hole. *

Continue in this fashion, repeating from * to * (above) for 2 more rows, but adding one more Duo each row between the Duos added from the previous row.  Your last row will have (5) Duo B.  
5.  Pick up (1) 15° C, go back through the hole of the Duet A.

Pick up (1) Duet A, go through the empty hole of the Duo in the previous row. 

Pick up (1) Duo, go through the next Duo.  

*Pick up (1) Duet with the dark side facing the center, go through the next Duo. *  Repeat from * to * one time.

Pick up (1) Duo, go through the next Duo.  

Pick up (1) Duet, go through the next Duet.

Do that thing with the 15° C on the edge- you should have the hang of it by now!

Go through the (2) Duets, across the 2nd Duet and out through the other hole.

6.  Add a 15°, go back through the Duet. 

* Pick up (1) Duet with the dark side facing up (all of these top Duets will have the dark side facing up), add a 15° and go back through the Duet keeping your tension tight.  You can repeat the thread path to tighten if you feel you need to. 

Go across the Duet and out through the other hole.  

Pick up another Duet A and (1) 15° C.  Go down through the (2) Duets you just added and continue through the Duo below in the direction of the arrow in the diagram (the one that is standing up). This will be sort of wonky but will straighten up in the next step.  Make sure you pull your thread tight enough so the beads are right up against each other.  

7.  Pick up (1) Duet A, go up through the empty hole of the top Duet from the last step.  Pick up a 15° and go back down through the (2) Duets. 

Go across the Duet and up through the other hole.  Pick up (1) 15° C and go down through the same hole.

Go through the Duet below (the one in the center on the right) with your needle facing toward the other center Duet.

Pick up (1) 15° C, go through the next center Duet. * 

Repeat from * to * in step 6 and 7 on the other side. 

Add a 15 at the outside of the last Duet.  Tie off your thread, but see the note below before you weave in the tail and trim.

You could stop right here and add a bail to have a cute pendant or charm.  Or you can make another following steps 1-7 (don’t cut the threads at the end of the second one though) and follow the directions in the step 8 to attach them together. 

You can vary the colors on the two hearts to make a reversible pendant that will look very different depending on which side you decide to wear facing out.   It also gives you a little space to insert a tiny photo, note or keepsake remembrance of someone that you want to hold within your heart.

8.  After you have made the second heart, hold them together back to back so the 15° C’s on the outside of both hearts are lined up. You will be connecting them by sewing 15° D’s and crystal E’s between the 15°C ‘s on each of the hearts.

Sew through your work until you are exiting a15° C.  

*Pick up (1) 15°D and sew through the corresponding 15° C on the other heart.  Pick up (1) crystal E and sew through the corresponding 15° C on the first heart. *

Continue around the heart- repeating from * to *, going back and forth between hearts until you have connected all the 15° C’s on the 2 hearts.  

Remember, if you want to enclose something inside the heart, do it now before the whole outside is sewn together!

9.  You can quit now if you want and just tie off your threads and weave in the tails.  But if you want to add a bail for a pendant or a clip for a charm, keep going!

Work your way through the edge embellishment to the top center of the heart, maybe 1-2 embellishment beads to either side of center.  Pick up (8) 15° D (more or less if you want) and thread them through your O ring, bail or whatever you are using.   Sew through the bead on the other side of the center top.  You will probably want to reinforce this a couple of times to make it nice and strong.

If you want to add a dangle to the bottom, add your needle to the tail thread and you are all set to do it! 

And you have finished- pretty easy and fast- right? Don’t let me limit you- join them to make a bracelet, necklace or a whole dress if you want!!  Add embellishments!  And remember...LOVE!

I end each tute with a poem
and it seems that wherever I roam
I meet many fine folk
and they all love a joke.
Cuz smiles make us all feel at home.

Beading can bridge the gap
‘tween people all over the map.
Spread love far and near-
try to be of good cheer.

NEVER be that troll in the app!

For a printable version click here.

If you would like to see what other kits and tutorials Betty has available, you can find them here:
Or join me on Facebook to see the latest kits as they are released:


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A beautifully encased and encrusted heart from Edgar Lopez

Edgars work has a rich opulence to it that I first noticed back in 2011 while preparing Marcia DeCoster Presents.  I asked him to be included in the book and fortunately for me, he agreed.  I must say I love every sparkly thing he creates!  I was fortunate enough to meet him in person while he and I both happened to be in New York City at the same time.  We are very fortunate that he is sharing with us one of several hearts that he has created!  Enjoy making this beautiful pendant!  Marcia

- #8 seed beads (code: 8SB).
- #11 seed beads (color A, code: 11SBA). 
- #11 seed beads (color B, code: 11SBB). 
- #11 seed beads (color C, code: 11SBC). 
- #11 seed beads (color D, code: 11SBD). 
- #15 seed beads (color A code: 15SBA). 
- #15 seed beads (color B code: 15SBB). 
- 4 mm bicone Swarovski (44 crystals) color A code. : 4SCA. 
- 4 mm bicone Swarovski (37 crystals) color B code. : 4SCB. 
- 3 mm bicone Swarovski (14 crystals) code. : 3SC 
- 2 or 2.5 mm round or rondelle crystals (40 crystals) code: 2RC. 
- 20 x 30 mm oval rivoli. 
- Chain

Step 1 Take two 11SBA (#11 seed bead color A) + one 3SC (3 mm Swarovski crystal) + two 11SBA + one 3SC, make a circle and a knot, come out in one of the crystals.

 Step 2

Add two 11SBA + one 3SC + two 11SBA and pass back through the same crystal, but in the opposite side.

Repeat step 2 one more time, but using 4scb, then repeat the same process 3 more times, but this time adding just one 11sba in the inside and two in the out side, then two more times using 4sca, adding one 11sba in the inside and 3 in the outside, then 3 more times adding one 11sba in the inside and 2 in the outside, then to complete one side repeat same process but this time adding one 4sba + one 11sba + one 4sca + one 11sba. To make the other side repeat the whole process, but in reverse. Then attach both sides passing through one side to the other with one 11sba in the inside and one 11sba + one 3sc + one 11sba in the outside.

Step 3 Create a second piece using Step 1 and 2.

Step 4 To attach both hearts you have to come out in one of the crystals and add on 11SBA and pass through the other crystal that matches in the other heart, inside and outside.  Repeat along the entire length of the heart.

Step 5  Once you attach the hearts, add 2 mm crystals (making an X with the crystal and seed beads) in the circles of seed beads on the outside edge of the heart.

Step 6 Travel to the inside of the heart, come out in one of the seed beads in the groups of two down side add one 11SBB and pass through the next group of two seed beads in the front, repeat this process all around of the heart.

Step 7 Come out in the 11SBB placed down in the center of the inside of the heart, add one 8SB and pass through the next 11SBB, repeat this process 3 more times until you have placed four 8SB.

Add one 11SBA pass through the next 11SBB, then add one 15SBA and pass through the next 11SBB, repeat adding the 15SBA until you have placed 8, To place the last 15SBA will be from the last 11SBB and passing through the crystal. Then repeat the same process but inverse

Step 8  Then make 2 times peyote stitch using 11/0 seed beads en in the bottom and 15/0 in the top (in the curve). Make an arc of seven 15/0 seed beads in the 4sba on the top (in the center of the heart).

Step 9 Travel to the other side of the piece and repeat step 6

Step 10 Make a netting stitch using three 11sbb + one 11sba + three 11sbb, skip one 11sbb and pass through the other. Place your stone inside the heart.

Step 11 Repeat the netting stitch 2 more times first, going to the point of the arc in the previous netting (11sba), add one 11sbb + one 11sba + one 11sbb and pass through the other point in the next arc of the netting, repeat all around. Then for the next round of netting travel to the point of the last netting add two 11sbb + one 11sba + two 11sba, skip one of the point of the previous round of netting and pass through the next

Step 12 Fill the netting with the 4 mm crystals, come out in the 11sbb in the bottom of the netting add one 15sb + one 4sca + 15sb and pass through the other 11sbb in front, in the first round of the netting, in the second repeat the same process but using 4scb.

Then in the third round repeat the same process but this time using two 15sb before and after the 4sca.

Step 13 Come out in the 15SB before the crystal, add seven 15SBA and pass through the 15SBA after the crystal, repeat all around.

Step 14  Go to the top (4th seed bead) of the arc of seven 15sb, add one 15sb + one 2rc + one 15sb and pass through the top of the next arc, repeat all around.

Step 15 Come out in the point of the arc in the upside of the hear (4th seed bead) add one 15SBA + one 4SCB + two 15SBA and pass through the 2RC down in the front.

 Add two 15SBA and pass back through the 4SCB

Add one 15SBA and pass through the 15SBA that we start with but in the opposite hole.

Your piece looks like this now in this face of the heart.

Many thanks to Cindy Holsclaw who pitched in yesterday to fix the google docs issue I was having.  We now have a printable version if you click here.

To see more of Edgar's amazing work visit him at Mylovelybeads