Friday 16 October 2015

New Chilli bead!

Hello everyone!

I'm here with news of the new Chilli™ bead which has recently been launched by the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads brand. Once again I was fortunate enough to be involved in creating some promotional pieces using the new beads and so I spent a couple of happy weeks turning them this way and that and having a whole lot of fun with them. The Chilli measures 4 x 11 mm and is a narrow elongated bead with a flat edge and two holes which you can see in the picture below.

I've worked with a lot of shaped beads in the last few years and one of the things I particularly liked about the Chilli bead is that it works well with either the convex or concave side uppermost, or even on its side. Modern beads come in such a wonderful range of colours and finishes that it's nice to be able to admire them from every angle and so for the first piece I made I captured an upturned Chilli between pairs of Chilli beads on their side and then added a cluster of them in the centre with the curved side on top. I used a base of black Ultrasuede and a liberal sprinkling of chrome seed beads to complement the lovely mottled black and silver finish of colour number 23980/15481 and then turned it into a brooch.

I liked the way this piece turned out and so I made another very similar piece using Chilli beads in colour number 23980/86800 which has a really nice speckled finish. Again I used black Ultrasuede as a backing, but this time with slightly smaller black seed beads and a burst of shiny silver seed beads in the centre for a touch of drama. Rather than a brooch I turned this one into a pendant by creating a hanging loop of seed beads and threading a length of black satin ribbon through it.

For the next piece I used silver Chilli beads (colour number 00030/27000) with shiny silver seed beads and black Twin beads to make some star-shaped components. Because the Chilli beads have two holes they mix perfectly with the other two-holed beads and so Chillies and Twins are a match made in heaven. I attached the individual components together using jump rings and some more Twin beads as connectors and then whipped up a pair of matching earrings to complete the set.


As much as I love the classic black and silver combination, I wanted to introduce a little more colour and femininity into my final design and so I decided to make a romantic flower bracelet. For this one I used some beautiful transparent purple Chilli beads (00030/15781) and a lovely transparent pale blue (00030/14464) and mixed them with silver seed beads. I popped an 8 mm crystal AB fire polished bead into the centre of each one and attached the completed flowers to a simple herringbone rope.

There is a Flickr album full of stunning photos of Chilli bead pieces made by other designers which you can scroll through for inspiration and you can also see the full range of colours and finishes available in this album. Preciosa has four free Chilli bead projects available to download from their website and some stores around the world already have the new beads in stock too so you can get started right away. Don't forget that Preciosa is always happy to see your designs using their beads, so be sure to show them your Chilli bead creations via their Facebook page.

See you next time!


Friday 2 October 2015

Safari Rings!

Hello everyone!

Although I love the freedom of being a one woman freelancer, I often find it frustrating that there is nobody to share the workload and help out with the boring stuff (like doing accounts, taking photos and updating websites) leaving me free to bead all day, every day. This means I don't get as much time as I'd like to work with all the wonderful beads available out there and I have to be a bit careful about what work I take on, however I am still happy to be a design team member for Many Hands Marketplace - Kazuri West as helping to promote the work of the Samunnat and Kazuri ladies is very important to me. So I am glad to report that Bead and Button magazine has recently published my 'Safari Ring' project in the October 2015 issue of the magazine. And look - and there's even a tiny thumbnail picture of the project on the cover!

This is a very simple project designed purely to show off those fabulous animal print Kazuri buttons  - just one netted ring band (either narrow or wide) made with Preciosa Ornela seed beads and a variety of interchangeable buttons that you can snap on and off to suit your outfit or your mood. Perhaps one day you feel a little bit cheeky cheetah, another day could be an elephant kind of day (and we all have those!) or maybe it's a roaring lion type of day - make a ring in a couple of hours and go on your own personal safari!

I was pleased to read that in her editor's note, the editor of Bead and Button wrote "For a piece that is pure fun, try Kerrie Slade's adorable "Snappy safari ring", consisting of an easy netted ring with interchangeable snap-on animal print buttons. Love it!" as that is exactly what this project is all about. It's not technically challenging, it won't win any prizes and it doesn't take a week to make but hopefully it will inspire you to take a look at the lovely hand crafted Kazuri animal print buttons and perhaps purchase a few to help to support the disadvantaged ladies who make them.

See you next time!


Friday 28 August 2015

5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair - show update!

Hello everyone!

So a couple of weeks ago I was writing a blog post about the build up to the 5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair in Germany and now here we are the other side of it. I spent nearly 4 months preparing for the show (creating designs, writing patterns, making samples, practicing etc.) and to say I was nervous beforehand would be an immense understatement - right up until an hour before the show started I was seriously considering quite literally running away because I doubted my own ability to put on a convincing performance. But with the support of my husband Simon, the Preciosa Ornela team, the show organisers and some wonderful beading friends, everything ran smoothly and I would imagine that visitors to the show had no idea how I very nearly wasn't sitting there showing them how to make Pipflinks, Candles, Ripple Crown Pins and Kumihimo bracelets! Of course I know I can bead, I can write patterns and I can teach, but it was the unknown factor of doing public demonstrations at a large fair for a huge company that scared me, but of course I was worrying unnecessarily and now, looking back, I would even go so far as to say I enjoyed it and that I wouldn't hesitate to do it again! You can read my more formal review of the show over on the Bead and Button blog, but this is a simple personal post, showing a selection of pictures that tell the story of when Kerrie Slade went to the 5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair.

Me with some of the fantastic Preciosa Ornela team, just before the show opened.

Talking to the wonderful Olga Vinnere Pettersson from Sweden minutes before the doors opened. Olga has an aura of calm and tranquillity about her and she kindly passed some on to me - along with some lovely Swedish chocolate!

This giant poster of my 'Pipflinks' design never failed to make me smile and remind me of just why I was there. I love how Preciosa kept my made-up word for the name of the project!

This is how much of my time was spent, sat at the Preciosa stand doing demos of my four projects alongside their very talented in-house designer Helena Chmelikova. In this shot I am chatting to the great Francesca Walton and her lovely friend Suzanne.

Of course sitting at the back of the booth gets boring, so I would often go to the front and talk to beading friends and visitors - here I am chatting to Gerlinde Lenz about her new beading book.

Day one finished with an excellent barbecue. Simon and I sat with the Preciosa team and the US designer Adele Rogers Recklies and her husband - a really lovely evening!

Day two held more of the same but the fair was much busier and went in a whirl of demos and mini workshops for me. Here I am showing a couple of ladies how to do Kumihimo.

I met lots of wonderful beading ladies during the fair and this is an example of just one of the many photos that were taken of us all. Take a look at Nadya's amazing necklace (far right).

Sunday was the third day of the fair and I think you can see from this photo (taken by the talented Sandra Scholte) that by now I had relaxed into it and was enjoying myself!

Towards the end of the show Freddie Ott (the creative director of Perlen Poesie magazine) took this picture of me wearing 'Garden Party' the necklace that made the cover of the current issue. I had no idea this was going to happen so it was lucky I happened to be wearing a matching top that day!

If you had given me a crystal ball before the show and let me glimpse this picture, I would not have believed my eyes! At the end of the fair I joined in with the fashion show and paraded on the catwalk wearing my necklace. Note to self - if you can do that, you can do ANYTHING!

At the end of the three day event, me and Simon on our hotel balcony sharing a little toast.

So there you have it - three days in twelve pictures! Despite all my apprehensions this turned out to be a really fantastic experience for me. So if you ever find yourself in this situation and think 'Should I? Could I?' please, just say 'YES!'

See you next time!


Saturday 15 August 2015

5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair!

Hello everyone!

I've only just realised that although I have mentioned the 5th BEADERS BEST Bead Art Fair in a couple of recent entries, I haven't actually written a proper blog post about it and yet the fun starts in Hamburg just next week! The show is organised by the editors of Perlen Poesie magazine and I was lucky enough to teach some workshops at the first fair back in 2011. I had a great time there and met lots of beady people from around the world who had all flocked to the new fair in northern Germany. Of course the event has grown since then and moved to a larger venue too and so I am really looking forward to attending again and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Things are different for me too this time around as instead of teaching workshops in a private classroom, I will be doing free demos at the Preciosa Ornela stand.

On all three days of the fair I will be demonstrating four of my recent Preciosa projects: Kumihimo Pips, Pipflinks, Decorative Candle and Ripple Crown Pins and there will also be a display of some of my work together with the winning entries of Preciosa's recent "Flower Party" contest. There's no need to book, it is all quite informal and relaxed so people will be able to drop in and watch for a few minutes, or stay for a while and have a chat with me and the Preciosa team or even sit with us and have a go at one of the projects. There will also be free leaflets available for each project and I believe that Preciosa will have some little beady gifts for visitors too.

Of course there will be all sorts of other exciting things happening at the fair as well including a wide variety of workshops from well known international teachers, fun contests and even a fashion show along with a huge range of beads, books, beading materials and finished work being on offer. You can find full details including a list of exhibitors and a floor plan on this page of the Perlen Poesie website. It promises to be a great event and I hope you can join the Flower Party - you will be able to find me at stand A5 so be sure to come and say hello!

While at the show I am also hoping to spend some time wandering around taking pictures and chatting to exhibitors, teachers and visitors, as soon after I get back from Hamburg I will be writing a report on the show for the Bead and Button magazine blog (as well as for my own blog) so watch out for that in a couple of weeks time.

See you next time!


Monday 27 July 2015

Kazuri Kritters and Creative Beading!

Hello everyone!

National Beading Week has arrived and so it's been a busy few days with more demonstrations of my designs lined up at The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd tomorrow, but I had to drop in and share some other news with you. Firstly, I've just received my copy of the August 2015 issue of Bead and Button magazine which has a picture of my Kazuri Kritters in the 'Your Work' section on page 17. You may remember that I made these pins in November of last year as part of my work as a design team member for Many Hands Marketplace - Kazuri West and you can see the original post and the stories I wrote for each animal here. The pins were originally going to be published as a project in Bead and Button, but it was later discovered that they are not as simple as they perhaps look and so they are not really suitable for a project. However, as my original intention was to help promote the work of the Kazuri ladies I still needed to find some way to do that and so a wonderful collaboration took place - Preciosa's excellent photographer took some pictures of the pins for me (because really, my photography is not so great!) and the editor of Bead and Button magazine agreed to publish the picture and some links in the 'Your Work' section. I'm sorry that I cannot provide you with a tutorial for these pins, but I do hope that you love these charming handmade animal shaped buttons as much as I do and that perhaps you may give some of them a new home.

The other piece of news is that I have also received a copy of the new Kalmbach publication Creative Beading Volume 10: The best projects from a year of Bead and Button magazine. I have several of these lovely hardback annuals on my shelf now and I am delighted to have had four of my projects selected for this issue. Flowercup Cascade which is the Kumihimo project I wrote for Yorkbeads is on page 194 and my Preciosa projects Flamenco Pellets, Twinflower Lariat and Organic Twist can be found on pages 74, 120 and 213 respectively.

That's all the news for now so I'll get back to preparing for my demos. Don't forget, I'll be at The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd tomorrow but I will also be at the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg doing demonstrations at the Preciosa stand from August 21st to 23rd - I hope you can join the "Flower Party"!

See you next time!


Thursday 2 July 2015

National Beading Week!

Hello everyone!

There's an exciting new event taking place here in the UK this year - the first ever National Beading Week! The event is sponsored by The Beadworkers Guild and takes place from 25th July to 2nd August 2015 and is intended to be a huge celebration of all things beady and to help spread the word about the wonderful world of beads. Even though I have many beading friends around the world who all know what I am talking about if I slip names like Delicas, Pips and Fireline into the conversation, I still get lots of blank looks when 'other' people ask me what I do, so National Beading Week seems like an excellent way of introducing people to BEADS! There are all sorts of exciting things planned up and down the country, from workshops to contests and even some bead bombing! You can find out what's going on where if you click on the menu at the top of this page. I am delighted to be involved in National Beading Week and so I will be doing demonstrations of four of my projects using Preciosa traditional Czech beads (as shown below) at The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd. I'll also be taking part in an informal Question and Answer session where you'll have the opportunity to bring along a beading project, have a cup of tea and a biscuit and chat to other beaders - I'm not saying I will know the answer to all your questions, but it promises to be a fun event!

So if you are in the area during National Beading Week, you will be able to find me doing demonstrations of the above projects at The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd on Saturday 25th July from 10.00am until 11.00am and from 11.30am until 12.30pm and again on Tuesday 28th July from 10.00am until 11.00am and from 11.30am until 12.30pm. The Question and Answer session will be on Saturday 25th July from 2.00pm until 5.00pm. There's no need to book any of these, simply turn up and stay for as long as you want or drift in and out, but I will be demonstrating the projects, showing finished and part made samples and passing on some of my 'top tips'. I will also have some free leaflets of the projects with me which you can take away and the bead shop will have the beads and some kits available to purchase. There are already some of the samples on display in the shop (as seen below) so feel free to pop in any time to take a closer look at them.

Come and join in the fun at the bead shop - and don't forget to spread the word about National Beading Week!

See you next time!


Saturday 13 June 2015

Garden Party!

Hello everyone!

I've been pretty quiet on the blogging front lately but, as usual, there has been a lot of unseen activity going on. Some time last year the editors of the German beading magazine Perlen Poesie asked if I would be interested in having a project and an artist profile article in their magazine and as I have followed and enjoyed this magazine since its inception in 2009, I was quick to say 'yes please!' I already had some experience of working with the people at PP as my 'English Rose' necklace project was published in issue 8, I taught my 'Popper Flowers' project at the first Bead Art Fair in Hamburg (organised by Perlen Poesie) in 2011 and I was also one of the judges for their 2013 IBA contest so I knew that working with Perlen Poesie was likely to be a smooth and enjoyable process and I wasn't disappointed. I'm very fond of maximising opportunities and so I decided to involve Preciosa Ornela in this project too and I chose to use pastel coloured Preciosa Traditional Czech Beads to create a lush flowery necklace which I thought would be suitable for the summer issue of an international Bead Art Magazine. You can see the result, 'Garden Party', in the picture below.

The instructions for the necklace are on page 92 of the magazine but as it's made up of individual flowers and leaves it would be very easy to adapt it to a bracelet or even a pendant or earrings if flowery collars aren't your thing. If you would like a copy of Perlen Poesie magazine you can order it direct from their website (in German or English), or if you are in the US you can purchase the English language version from here or ask if your local bead store carries it or can obtain it for you. If you are in the UK, then The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd stocks the English language version. You can also find an 11 page profile article about me and my work which starts on page 10 of this issue and I have to say that I am VERY pleased with the way this turned out. Freddie and Andrea Ott flew to the UK to interview me as they wanted to see me in my 'natural habitat' and as you can see from the photo below, that is just what they got! The picture below shows me in my favourite beading spot, chatting to Andrea and working on my trusty beading tray that Mum painted for me and lined with a piece of her old velvet curtain. You may notice that the tray is now held together with yellow sticky tape but I will always treasure it and I'm quite happy that my 'warts and all' tray now appears in an exclusive magazine - how fortunate that the sticky tape matches the daffodils on the window sill!

The duo spent a couple of hours at our house with Andrea asking me lots of questions and recording my answers while Freddie took numerous pictures of both me and my work. Then we all headed off to one of my favourite places, the village of Edwinstowe to meet Robin Hood and Maid Marian before having a lovely fish and chip lunch and a leisurely stroll around Sherwood Forest. Next it was back home to decide which pieces of my work they would take to Germany with them for more detailed photography work - I have rather a lot of beadwork so Andrea found it hard to decide which pieces to take and Freddie's case left here bulging at the seams! It might seem a bit unusual for the editors of a magazine to go to these lengths but this is where that level of dedication and enthusiasm pays off because although they already knew about me, this time they got to know the real me, enabling them to write an accurate article. Once back in Germany, Freddie and Andrea took some staged shots of my work and of course I can't give too much away but I would like to show you this one - the way they have Podger, Flash and Crusty set up in a garden of tasty looking flowers with absolutely no input from me lets me know that I made an excellent choice in working with Perlen Poesie magazine again.

So after months of behind the scenes work the magazine is now out and you can buy it, you can read the article (as well as several others such as an interesting article on the history of simulated pearls) and you can make the 'Garden Party' necklace along with lots of other beautiful beadwork projects. For me, this is not the end of my work with Perlen Poesie as I will be at the 2015 Beaders Best Bead Art Fair in Hamburg and I will be giving more details about that in a future blog post. In the meantime, if you are in the area and you would like to see 'Garden Party' in the flesh, she is currently on display at The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd so feel free to drop in and have a look and perhaps buy yourself some beads while you are there.

See you next time!


Sunday 3 May 2015

Ripple Crown Pins!

Hello everyone!

I notice it's been nearly two months since my last blog post and I am wondering where that time went. I guess it went in a frantic whirl of meeting various deadlines for magazine and book projects (all to be published later this year or early next), followed by visiting family for a couple of weeks and then coming home to find my trusty 8 year old PC had virtually died. My computer is sort of limping along at the moment but this is the last blog post I will ever write using it. I am very attached to this desktop as I bought it in 2007, just before I turned my beading hobby into a business, so every pattern I have ever created, every diagram I have ever drawn and every blog post I have written have all been done on this computer. After doing a lot of research, I have decided to jump ship this time and I have invested in a shiny new iMac which is sitting waiting patiently in its box, ready to take over from Old Faithful.

So because of technological interruptions I am a bit late in letting you know that the latest issue of Digital Beading Magazine is out now, packed with 178 pages of projects and inspiration. Although I don't have a project in this one, there are a couple of adverts in there that use my work - the newest one being the Ripple Crown Pins that I showed you in my last blog post. I can also tell you that the instructions for these little pins will be available from the Preciosa Ornela website in the coming months.

I am actually very sad to announce that issue 15 is the last ever issue of Digital Beading Magazine as Kelly (the editor) is moving on to an exciting new chapter in her life. I have been on the design team of DBM since the first issue back in December 2012 with 14 projects and an artist's profile published during that time. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Kelly and I would like to publicly thank her for all the support and opportunities she gave me (one of my favourite is pictured below) and I wish her and her family all the very best for the future. I hope you have enjoyed reading DBM as much as I enjoyed designing for it and don't forget that you can still purchase the current issue and back issues via this page of the website.

That's all for this time but I do have some exciting news bubbling under the surface, so I will be back with details of that within the next few weeks.

See you next time!


Thursday 5 March 2015


Hello everyone!

A few days ago Preciosa Ornela released their brand new Ripple™ bead onto the market and I'm happy to say that I had the good fortune to be involved in making some sample pieces using this interesting new bead, so let me tell you a bit about them. The Ripple is a circular pressed glass bead with a 12 mm diameter and it has a wavy curve to it - hence the name. It comes in a wide range of the most beautiful vacuum coated colours in both shiny and matte finishes and I have to say that although not necessarily ideal for the usual beadweaving stitches, I fell in love with this new bead. Because these beads have a much larger surface than most beads I usually work with, you really get the full impact of the colour and what with the pleasant S-shaped curve of the side view, it's hard not to be drawn to them. Like many larger pressed beads, they really want to take centre stage, but they do mix well with a few seed beads - here is what I did with my Ripple beads:

It's difficult for me to stay away from a seed bead, and so for my 'Ripples on the Surface' bracelet I firstly made a narrow strip of herringbone using bright silver seed beads and then I decorated it with glittering Ripples in glorious California Green. For the finishing touch and to bring out the other colours in the Ripples, I tied it with a length of pink ribbon.

For the next experiment I chose California Silver and California Graphite Ripples (in both shiny and matte) and using more silver seed beads I made lots and lots of little stems and loops for them. Then I threaded them all on to a sterling silver screw end bangle so that they were very tightly packed. This encouraged the Ripples to bunch up and show off their lovely surfaces which you can see in 'Clustered Ripples' shown above.

Still liking the options that little seed bead loops gave me, I went on to make more using California Silver Ripples and black seed beads. These Ripples are silver on one side and gold on the other and so I made sure I threaded them all the same way round to create 'Reversible Ripples' which (as the name suggests) can be worn with the silver facing the front or the gold.

I really like the side view of the Ripple beads and so I wanted to find a way to display that lovely curve as well as the finish on the flat side. After a bit of experimentation I found a way to stabilise a circle of Ripples and then nestled them in to a bed of seed beads to make a sparkly little crown shaped brooch. I enjoyed making these so much that I actually made a set of three 'Ripple Crown Pins' using California Blue, California Graphite and California Night Ripple beads.

As time was running out but there were still Ripples to use and colours to show, I finished off with a simple strung bracelet which I've named 'Ripples and Pearls'. I chose the matte version of the California Green Ripple bead which has a lovely pink and gold finish to it and I mixed them with some creamy 4 mm glass pearls to make a slinky 3-strand bracelet using a fabulous silver clasp from A Grain Of Sand.

So there you have the results of my Ripple experiments, but there are many more ways to use these delightful new beads and if you take a look at Preciosa's Flickr album you can see some really wonderful work by the other designers.

See you next time!