Wednesday 24 August 2011

Home from Hamburg!

Do you remember me telling you that I was going to Germany to teach my Popper Flower project?  Well, after over a year of planning and preparation it is all over but what a fantastic time we all had!  Teachers and exhibitors travelled from all over the world to attend the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg and although now it seems to have gone in the blink of an eye, when I close my eyes I can see a slideshow of beaming beader's faces, breathtaking beadwork and an incredible array of unusual beads and supplies for sale.

My two classes went very well and although everyone knew at the outset that the project would not be finished in class, everyone went away with a couple of perfect leaves and petals, confident in the knowledge that they would be able to finish their Popper Flowers at home.  I am ashamed to admit that I do not speak German (although I did manage to do a little bit of counting in German in class!) but I had two wonderful translators working with me and helping me whenever there was a problem - thank you Nicole and Barbara!

When I wasn't teaching, I was either at my stand or else I left it in the capable hands of my husband Simon while I wandered around the hall putting faces to names and chatting with old friends (such as the beautiful and talented Olga Vinnere Pettersson) and meeting new ones.

And even when the fair was over, the lessons didn't stop! The next picture shows my good friend Zoya Gutina showing myself and Anja Schlotmann how to add Soutache to beadwork, after breakfast at our hotel.

The evenings meant even more socializing and it was wonderful to be welcomed into the 'family' of people who regularly travel all over the world attending bead shows.  Everyone was so friendly and it was great to be able to soak up the atmosphere and learn from their experiences.

We stayed on for an extra day so that we could explore a little of Hamburg and we spent the afternoon sitting in the sunshine at a riverside cafe, drinking tea and eating Apfelkuchen and reflecting on what an amazing experience this turned out to be.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg, my advice would be to grab it with both hands!

Wednesday 27 July 2011

The Tale of Ms. Bougainvillea Bouquet!

Did I ever tell you the tale of Ms. Bougainvillea Bouquet?  She's had a long and interesting journey and I was reminded of that today when I received my copy of Creative Beading Volume 6.

I created the first version of this necklace back in 2009 after a trip to Spain.  I have always loved seeing these vivid clusters of colour on my travels and they had been on my 'to do' list for some time.  When I came across these little Czech pressed glass flowers, I thought that they would make perfect centres for the bright pink bracts.  I was pleased with the end result, but as I created that design I had no idea of what a special piece it would turn out to be for me.  That first necklace sold pretty quickly and now lives in America, but the design had already been accepted for publication by Bead & Button magazine and so I had to create another identical one.  I posted the finished piece and the instructions off to America and the project was duly published in April 2010.

It seems that (like her sister) Ms. Bougainvillea Bouquet Mark II also wanted to live in America though.  Bead & Button magazine returned the necklace to me after publication, but she wasn't delivered and unbeknown to me she spent some weeks sat miserably at my local sorting office before being returned to the Bead & Button offices.

Instead of trying to send her home again, it was decided that she would be auctioned at the 2011 Bead & Button show to help raise funds for breast cancer research.  As my Mum has had breast cancer twice and as Ms. B. is pink, it seemed like this was meant to be.  That same month Ms. B. also graced the cover of Bead & Button Favorites magazine.

Today I received my copy of Creative Beading Volume 6 and found her on page 180.  I think that is the end of her story and I am hopeful that she is happy in her new home and that she is bringing pleasure to those around her.

I have no idea how much she raised or where she ended up, but I am certainly very glad that I was able to give life to the spirited Ms. Bougainvillea Bouquet.  Thank you!

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Popper Flowers!

It sort of feels like I blinked and missed the last year, because one minute the Bead Art Fair in Hamburg was a whole year away with plenty of time to prepare for my workshops and now it is only 10 weeks away!  So it's time for me to get busy busy and write the instructions for my classes, draw diagrams, take pictures, bead samples, send out invoices, make kits and so on and so on - have you any idea just how much work goes into preparing to teach a 3 hour beadwork class?  I know I didn't have a clue until I stumbled into this game and became caught up in the whirl of it all.  Not that I'm complaining, I'm really looking forward to my trip to Germany and mingling at the fair and meeting my students and the other teachers who are travelling from far and wide to attend what promises to be a huge and exciting event.

The fair is on the 20th and 21st of August and there are still a few places available on my Popper Flower workshops so if you would like to attend one of my classes, complete this on-line form You can read more about the project on this earlier blog entry.

Popper Flowers.  Pop a flower on.  Pop a flower off.  Change them to suit your mood!

Friday 27 May 2011

Another new pattern!

Just a quick post today to let you know that I have added another pattern to my website.  The new Spine Flower pattern is now available to purchase from this page of my website.  The actual project is to make a pendant or brooch but this little flower has lots of other potential too.  It works well as a single flower but it would be easy to make several and attach them to each other to make a bracelet or necklace - they would also fit in well with other finished beadwork and I can imagine several of them nestling amongst some lovely beaded foliage for an elaborate collar.

As you can see, you can alter the look of these flowers by changing the colours - from softly feminine pinks to more vivid colours which really makes the spines 'pop', or you might like to leave out the stripes and make your flower in a single colour which changes the look again.  Whatever you decide to do, have fun with your Spine Flowers and don't forget to send me a picture!

Bye for now!

Kerrie ♥

Monday 16 May 2011

The pattern shop is filling up!

It's been a busy year (and it's about to get busier for the next few months!) but I've managed to find time to add two more patterns to my website.  Both of these have actually been published in magazines already, but  after receiving requests from people asking me to make the patterns available from my website, I have completely rewritten them and added lots of new diagrams and photos.  The first pattern is Daisy Chain (originally published in Bead magazine) and as the pictures below show, you can make your little daisies into a variety of finished pieces - from a complex looking necklace or bracelet to a simpler pendant or pair of earrings.  All of these finished pieces are surprisingly simple to make and full details are included in the tutorial.

The second pattern is for my English Rose necklace (originally published in Perlen Poesie magazine) and is bit more advanced than Daisy Chain, but again, there are lots of diagrams and photos to help you create the finished piece.  The project is to make the necklace shown and the idea is that you make several 'roses' as they are interchangeable, but it would be easy to adapt it to make a bracelet (to save you making several feet of beaded rope!) or you could just make the 'rose' and turn it into a pendant or a brooch.

So the pattern shop is gradually filling up and there are now seven patterns to choose from.  I will be adding one more in the next few weeks and then I really MUST start preparing for my workshop in Hamburg as it is coming around frighteningly fast!  Bye for now!

Monday 9 May 2011

Old favourites!

I received a lovely surprise in the post today - a copy of 'Favorite Bead Stitches' from Interweave (the publishers of Beadwork magazine).  I knew that I was fortunate enough to have two projects included in this 'collector's edition' but I wasn't sure exactly when it was out and I also wasn't prepared for it being just so GOOD!  There are 41 projects in this 148 page magazine and as I flicked through it I was struck by what a really great collection this is, it's brimming with exciting and innovative projects and although I'm sure I have all the magazines that these projects appeared in, it was wonderful to see them side-by-side - page after page of inspirational designs.

My projects Periwinkle Choker and Frosted Flower Necklace were originally published in Beadwork magazine in 2008 and 2009 and so although it was nice to see them bob to the surface again I wondered whether I might be slightly embarrassed as I have learnt so much since then - but actually, although they are quite simple, I smiled when I saw them and it reminded me that things don't always have to be complicated to make pretty and wearable beadwork.

When I first started sending projects to magazines in 2008 I didn't really have a plan (I'm not sure I actually have one now!) and so it came as another nice surprise when I had a little count up this evening and found that this new magazine actually makes my 30th publication!

Bye for now!
Kerrie ♥

Saturday 30 April 2011

Wedding Fever!

There seems to be a wonderful happy atmosphere here in the UK at the moment.  After an unusually cold and snowy winter, spring has arrived and now we seem to have been rewarded by endless sunny days of perfect blue sky, trees wearing fresh green leaves, woodlands filled with the scent and colour of bluebells, lanes lined with cowslips, gardens bursting with lilac and laburnum, birds singing their little hearts out and butterflies dancing from flower to flower.  We have two holiday weekends in a row, people are hosting barbecues, neighbours are catching up, children are laughing and 'most' people are smiling - it feels like we have come out of hibernation.  And then there was 'the' wedding yesterday.  We watched The Royal Wedding on a big screen in our local town centre, sat in the market square surrounded by cheering families waving flags and beaming broadly and it felt good.  Talking of weddings ...

(Photo courtesy of Make Jewellery magazine)

... E-Beads recently asked me to design a wedding themed project (using materials from them) to appear in a special wedding issue of Make Jewellery magazine and with perfect timing, this issue of the magazine was published yesterday.

My 'Lace Flowers' use brick, peyote, netting and ladder stitch and (as usual) can be worn in a number of ways.  I used Swarovski cream crystal pearls, tiny seed beads and organza ribbon to create a set for the bride of a choker which can also be worn as a headband, a wrist corsage which doubles up as an anklet (think beach weddings!), a hair comb and a ring - all of these can be made using just the one flower design.

I also made a couple of extra pieces in gold and burgundy to show how easy it is to make jewellery to match the bridesmaids outfits as well as the bride.

Wherever you are in the world and whatever season it is, I hope you enjoyed the spectacle of  'the' wedding and that the romance of the occasion filled you with beady inspiration!

Bye for now!