Beadwork

The ancestors on my mom’s side of the family were Scottish and Cherokee. Some of the Cherokee ways must have rubbed off on me because I have always enjoyed beading. Any kind of beads – acrylics, glass, gemstones, bone, wood, metal, clay, lampwork, seed beads – you name it, I’ve probably used it.

Cellini Spiral focal bead with glass pearls and garnet cubes

When I first started working with beads, the internet wasn’t around and there was little information available in the way of instruction. My grandmother was an avid crafter and spent many hours working with beads, crocheting, knitting, sewing, etc. Whenever I needed help, I turned to her. She passed away years ago but her house is full of needlework, tatting, stockings, dolls and homemade decorations that she made over the years. Several of my childhood projects are still displayed in the curio cabinet and on the fireplace mantel.

Wirework – Cotton Candy jade, czech glass leaves and flowers, glass fringe beads

Instead of starting out easy by making simple stretch bracelets, we used seed beads – looms weren’t allowed until I had learned to work each stitch by hand. Grandma said, “Once you learn to work with seed beads, all other types of beads will be a snap.” She was right.

Russian Spiral – The necklace and slider are made of #11 and #15 seed beads. The slider dangles have Swarovski crystals added and the clasp is a gold rose.

Under my grandmother’s instruction, I learned the different techniques involved in beading and how to chart designs. We made headbands, bracelets, necklaces, belts, barrettes, pins, amulet bags, dreamcatchers and sewed beads onto moccasins, dresser scarves, shawls, skirts and doilies.

Renaissance Bracelet – Blue Cat’s Eye and Glass Pearls – Contest Finalist – Click on the photo to see this piece on Fire Mountain Gems website

Beading has always been a good way for me to relax, or occupy my time when I get bored. I also enjoy crochet, needlepoint and painting. Thanks to Tim Myers, Candlewicking Mystery series, I recently discovered candlemaking. I’m already thinking about how to add beads to my candles…

Amethyst Swarovski crystal, glass pearls and seed beads

Below are a couple more examples of my work and some of the patterns I have created. The jewelry was sold on consignment. The patterns were worked up and given as gifts. Currently, I am working on an amulet bag with a carousel horse and two 3-D pieces.

Swarovski Watch Band

Celtic Necklace in Fancy Jasper

Beaded Cabochons (before adding bails)

Peyote Stitch – Drawstring Bag – Design created from image insert

Peyote Stitch – Handbag – Inukshuk

Peyote Stitch – Flatwork/Framed – Design based on a metal pendant

Loom – Amulet – based on a quilt (Smokey Mountain Stars) designed by Bonnie Hunter (Irmo, SC) of Quiltville Custom Quilting.

Peyote Stitch – Amulet – Based on a painting

Brick Stitch – Flat/Framed – Original design

Peyote Stitch - Doctor Who Scarf Bracelet - Made for my daughter (i-l).

Peyote Stitch – Doctor Who Scarf Bracelet – Made for my daughter (i-l).

Peyote Stitch - Doctor Who Scarf Bracelet - This is part of the pattern, I will leave it up to your imagination to complete it.

Peyote Stitch – Doctor Who Scarf Bracelet – This is part of the pattern, I will leave it up to your imagination to complete it.


One Response to “Beadwork”

  1. Gulp!

    Such talent … such patience … I must scrape my jaw off the bench!

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