Welcome to ChrisBeads!

A Blog about Bead addiction, crochet, knitting and life in general.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blooming rainbow

The photos show the front and back of the same bead - this time I tried rainbow colours and it was a very interesting exercise. The bead has been gifted to my sister for Christmas and I think she liked it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sand Fiber's Blooming Bead obsession.

Ever since I purchased the "Blooming Beads" tutorial from Carol Dean Sharpe at Sand Fiber's etsy shop, I have been making beads. They are truly lovely and easy to make, although the large one takes a long time and many, many tiny little beads. Thanks Carol Dean for a terrific tute.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NIght Market

Just in case you are wondering, had to cancel out of the Night Market. Unavoidable circumstances meant we just couldn't get our act together in time. Maybe next time. Hope everyone who went along had a great time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kingston Night Art Market
Just in time for Christmas!
The Kingston Night Art Market is on this Saturday at the Kingston Arts Centre, Moorabbin. The market will have everything from paintings, photography, fashion, stationery, jewellery and more.
Come along and enjoy some food and wine while you shop and be entertained by local young contemporary folk band ‘The Weathermen’!
Saturday 4 December from 4pm til 10pm at Kingston Arts Centre, 979 Nepean Hwy Moorabbin
Free Entry, Cash Sales Only

Chrisbeads will be exhibiting at the Kingston Night Market.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bead Society of Victoria Showcase 2010

These are my entries in the 2010 BSV Showcase. The standard of entries gets higher and higher every year and the Elly Feldman Award goes to some amazing entries. Guess I need to try harder next year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

TWO prizes in the Bead Challenge.

Guess I did something right with this year's Bead Challenge Beads. My necklace received a second prize in the popular vote section and Highly Commended in the Judge's vote. This is my best result ever in a bead competition so I am very excited. See previous post for photos.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

BSV Bead Challenge 2010

Now for the big reveal! This is my entry in the Bead Society of Victoria Bead Challenge 2011. I started off not really being inspired by this set of challenge beads, but by the time I finished, feel that this piece is one of my favourites.

Just waiting now for the votes to be counted and the winner announced.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Melbourne Bead Expo

The Melbourne Bead Expo starts on Friday. Hope you have saved your money for the best weekend of bead buying all year. There are still classes available, too, so check them out at www.beadsociety.com.au.
This is my Saturday afternoon class. Look forward to seeing everyone there - don't forget to say hello.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clearly Chosen Creative Challenge No. 1

Voting is now open for the Clearly Chosen Swarovski and Handmades Creative Challenge No. 1.

There are quite a few wonderful entries to drool over and vote on. Please take the time to visit and vote.

This is my entry for CCC1. It is entitled “Water Sprite”. An embellished herringbone rope in size 11/0 beads has been woven with some of the challenge beads then swirled with size 15/0s. The pendant is in the shape of the ancient alchemy symbol for water, which is a circle above the point of a triangle. The peyote stitch circle and triangle have been embellished with the challenge beads. The pink beads were discarded as they did not harmonise with the final colour scheme. To me the whole necklace has the feel of flowing water and the pearls and bicones are glistening droplets.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Domino Knitting

I recently had a splurge at the Book Depository and purchased two books by Vivian Hoxbro - Domino Knitting and Shadow Knitting.
Originally, I saw the Shadow Knitting book in the waiting room of the radiotherapy dept of Peter MacCallum hospital. It was tempting to just whisk it into my bag, but I refrained. It looked like such fun, I just had to have a copy myself.
When I was buying Shadow Knitting I came across Domino Knitting and thought that since the AUD is at such a good rate I couldn't miss out.
The Domino Knitting book is well set out and easy to follow and after making a few of the squares, I decided to challenge myself with the Potholder No. 4. This is the result.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Now we have two beautiful grandsons. Make the most of your children, they stay small for such a short time and then they are off to school and mostly out of our lives, engrossed in their own (as it should be).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marcia DeCoster Classes

This is Marcia DeCoster's Romantica necklace. She is teaching this workshop at the Melbourne Bead Expo on 12th November and I am excited to be attending the class. There are still just a few places left in some of the classes. More information can be found at www.MelbourneBeadExpo.com.au.

Several of my beading forum friends are attending the class too and we are hoping to catch up for dinner that night. Looks like being great fun.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BSV Melbourne Bead Expo

The Melbourne Bead Expo is only a month away and the excitement at the Bead Society meeting yesterday was high as members brought in their finished Bead Challenge 2010 entries. There were also many entries for the Showcase 2010 Members' Exhibition and I am glad to say I did manage to get some items finished for each of the sections.
The last month has been challenging to say the least and it was difficult getting everying up to standard. Even though the items which got finished were not exactly what I had planned to enter, I am still pleased with what I did. Photographs will have to wait until the judging is over, but from the sneak peaks I got at some of the other members' work, there is going to be stiff competition.

Friday, September 24, 2010

BSV New Facebook Page

The Bead Society of Victoria has a new facebook page! You don't need to be a member to "Like" the page. We are hoping for lots of "Likes". Check out the link here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There are some untrustworthy people out there...

An oddly worded email request via my madeit store left me feeling suspicious. The sender claimed to want to make a big purchase and wanted my paypal details and home address so that he could "have his agent pick up the goods" as he is an "oceanographer at sea at present". He seemed very reluctant to actually make the purchase properly through my madeit store.

After putting the question to one of the forums I belong to, it became obvious it was some sort of scam. Googling the wording of the email lead to a series of other people who had been sent the same sort of thing, purporting to want to buy all sorts of things such as cars, jewellery etc. So watch out everyone!

One of the items that the scammer claimed he wanted to buy:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Embroiderers Guild Exhibition

"Jubilation" is the title of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria's 50th Birthday Exhibition. Today I visited with a friend from interstate and we were blown away by the amazing detail of some of the embroideries. Gold work, hardanger, crewel, felting, patch working - there is plenty of eye candy if you can get there to see it. The Exhibition finishes on 26th September.

This year's Open Challenge theme was "50". Some of the embroideries had 50 flowers, or 50 buttons, or 50 stitches. Mine is a 50 symbol, surrounded by 50 Swarovski crystals.

This necklace is another piece which I have entered into the Exhibition. It is part of my series of Triangle works.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My first Treasury

Having read somewhere that treasuries were easier to grab nowadays, I thought I would have a go. This is the result! Etsy Dusters all in red and black. Hope you enjoy it.

Did you know...

To those of us who bead, the news that the etsy shops with the most sales are all sellers of beads and findings will come as no surprise! The fact that the top seller overall has more than 94,000 sales did in fact surprise though! This information comes courtesy of craftcount which I found whilst browsing through some very interesting beading blogs earlier today.

With my feeble effort of 46 etsy sales, I am now feeling thoroughly intimidated! I guess the fact that I am pretty weak in the area of social marketing doesn't really help.

My latest upload is instructions for a great sparkling ring and earring set in the Dust Team theme colours for the month of red and black.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lisa, you are so right!

Lisa from Alterity Button Jewelry commented on my previous post and she is quite right. I found working in another medium (crochet) filled the creativity gap over the past few weeks.

Strangely enough on Saturday I was able to bead again. I decided just to start on something which was easy and in a stitch which was totally familiar. It worked out well and helped me to go on and finish another piece of work which has been hanging around for some time.

By the end of Saturday, there were three pieces for the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria Exhibition "Jubilation", as well as a Challenge piece for the "Fifty" Challenge. All ready just in time for the deadline on Sunday. I hope this means that I will be able to complete some work for the Bead Society Exhibition deadline in October.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beader's Block

With just five days to go to the deadline for the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria annual Exhibition "Jubilation", I am still suffering from beader's block. Nothing I do seems to satisfy me and there are fewer and fewer hours in which to accomplish anything remarkable.

I have sorted my beads a number of times, looked at the focals, thumbed through some gorgeous books searching for inspiration. So far, nothing seems right. A couple of partly finished items have received a short work over, but there is a reason they were put aside - things were not going smoothly.

I will keep trying but it is not looking good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Designer Quest Winner

Amy from Amya Beads has chosen the winner of the Designer Quest No. 20. The well deserved award went to Trish with her gorgeous micro macrame take on the Quest beads. See the link here: Trish's entry. Trish used the alternate colour beads (pink/brown combination) in her creation.

Recognition award went to Elizabeth, who used wire work to create her necklace.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Designer Quest

It's posting time for the Beading Forum Designer Quest and so far there are a diverse group of creations which have been loaded onto the thread. It always amazes me to see how different the creations from one pack of beads can be. This time the beads were from Amya Beads in Melbourne (see picture) and Amy has set herself a difficult task to pick a winner.

This is my attempt: Lady Victoria's collar. It is quite a stretch from my usual seed beads, but is still bead woven - stitch used was double needle right angle weave.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How many UFOs can one person have?

Lately I have had a problem with finishing projects which I have started. There has been quite a lot going on in my life and what with having to write up some tutorials, prepare for a couple of exhibitions as well as family stuff it has been pretty disorganised around here. Many ideas have been percolating through the brain cells necessitating a few scribbled drawings and then maybe a bit of beading to get started. Then off I go again on a completely different tack. That project goes into a bag and waits for further inspiration. MMmmm no the pink with the peanut beads didn't work. Start again.

So far I am up to six UFOs sitting looking at me and although I think I know where they are going, I can't seem to work up the enthusiasm to finish. I guess the deadline for some of them, which is fast approaching, may provide the catalyst!

No more crocheting for a while! Get to work girl. At least the blue version got finished.

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Sari Silk madness!

Decided the sari silk collar I made a few weeks ago needed some extra bling. Gave it a loopy lacy ruff. I really like it and hope someone else does too.

Made another flower choker as well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Feeling Snowed Under?

This winter is very wet and cold here in Australia. We have been spoiled over the past ten years or so and have mostly forgotten what a dreary wet winter is like. Recently I read that there is a recognised "illness" brought on by the grey, short days of winter and some folks suffer dreadfully until the days start to get longer again.
That's how I have felt this winter - gloomy and drear. Trying to cheer myself up with lots of sparklies and colour in my beading and crocheting though. Have also decided to use up some of my stash which has accumulated over the past 30 years. My favourite project at present is the neckwarmer and how many variations can be produced.
These are the latest.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blogging is harder than it looks.

Working on an interesting blog is much harder than it looks. I am finding it tricky coming up with stuff that is not just mememememe. Some of the blogs that I like to follow are very informative and interesting, such as Dax Designs and Jewellery Tales.

Such clever ladies. Their blogs are never boring and their work is spectacular. Take a look and drool!

Why didn't I think of that...

In the mean time, I keep crocheting:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sari silk accessories.

Still crocheting with the Sari Silk. Thanks Kay's Artycles! The items have been selling well on madeit.com.au. I think I have a fan! Must do some more listings soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New colour scheme.

Decided to try one of the new designer templates. Not sure if it is good or not. It is certainly bright. What do you think?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Madeit at last!

Over the weekend I had my first THREE sales on the madeit website. So exciting! It has been a couple of months since I first set it up and with no sales during that time it had become a little bit frustrating. etsy has become a bit stagnant so I am thrilled to see madeit is doing something at last.

Two of the items which I made from Kay's beautiful sari silk. I can't believe how different each piece made from the same hank looks. Bought myself a new draped cardigan to celebrate and have allowed myself one of the flower brooches to wear with it. It looks great, I think.

In honour of the sales and to match with the sari silk, I have changed the design of my blog. Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wonderful Sari Silk

Thanks to my friend Kay, of Kays Artycles, I have just listed a couple of crocheted cuffs made with her wonderful spun sari silk. When she showed me the hanks of thread, I just fell in love. Didn't really know what I would make with it and for a time it has just been sitting there looking at me.
Last weekend I took out the crochet hook and firstly made a flower brooch which looked stunning pinned to daughter's black scarf.

Then I made a couple of different styles of bracelet cuffs, one with a kaleidoscope of mixed beads strewn over it and the other with a pearl flower motif.

Since I have been having a bit of a creative black hole lately, it is pleasing to find that I haven't completely lost it.
The pieces have now been loaded to my madeit store.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beautiful Bracelets.

Excellent class today, four students with four gorgeous bracelets. Amazing how different each one looks - just different colours.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thanks to these droppers.

Thought it was time to say thanks to the top droppers to my blogspot. I do appreciate you dropping in, sometimes on a daily basis. Whilst I try to return drops, sometimes life gets in the way. Happy days and happy dropping to you all.

My gypsygoods
Moonangelnay on Etsy
Goal For The Green
A Rose By Name
Ruth's Creations
Man Over Board
Gay Arab Guy
Three Fates Design - Beaded Jewelry
Blogs With Wings
Meka Candles & Scents

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two very different family get togethers....

Over the past three days, I have attended two very different family events. Friday's one, a celebration of the life of my Aunt Janice, was very sad as Jan had left us very suddenly on Mother's Day. She suffered a stroke and passed away within a few hours. Her whole family were shocked and saddened, and they came from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to celebrate her life and mourn her passing. Jan was the beloved wife of my Dad's youngest brother and as one of the younger of that generation, it was quite difficult to comprehend that she had been the first to leave us. Many of my cousins and their children live interstate and it left me musing how unfortunate it was for us to be meeting for the first time for years in such a sad way.

In total contrast was a gathering of family from the "other side" today. We gathered to celebrate the 90th year of life of my Mother in Law, Nancy. Despite her expectations to the contrary, she made it to her Birthday party and thoroughly enjoyed seeing her children, grand children and great grand children getting together to make her day a very happy one. Whilst her living siblings live interstate and could not attend, two of their children were able to come along and there was much exclaiming over the two sets of twins in the great grandchildren, one set of girls who are now 11 months old, and a set of boys who are just five weeks old.

Such a contrast between the two gatherings and I was happy to have been instrumental in organising Nancy's party. How much better to get the family together to celebrate this happy event, than to have been getting together for a funeral.

It brings home very strongly that it is important to show our loved ones how much we love them whilst we can. We just never know what is around the next corner.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Madeit Shop now open

This is the latest addition to my Madeit store. Decided to give Madeit a go because it is an Australian site and maybe the problem with my etsy store is that people are not keen to go outside their geographical zone to buy. Whilst I don't seem to have a problem selling instructions, made up items are slower on etsy. Will see what happens with Madeit.
I have resolved to try posting more frequently. Hopefully at least once a week. Just need to retrieve my photos from the old hard drive and then it will be easier.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Single Needle Right Angle Weave - so many people think this is such a scary stitch! Last week I started a new class teaching the "charming beads" - individual beaded beads which fit nicely onto the Pandora style bracelets. Two of my students caught on immediately and were finished one of the larger beads by the end of the two hour class. The other two were having difficulty getting the concept of RAW. It certainly requires a lot more concentration than other stitches, but once the concept is grasped, there are so many wonderful things to be done with it.
I just completed a class myself with the Beadcats - Virginia Blakelock and Carol Perrenoud from the USA. We did some double needle RAW, which Virgina prefers. For flat work such as bracelets and necklaces, I tend to agree. But for beaded beads, nothing beats SNRAW. I really appreciated being able to take a class with these two wonderful beaders. It was great fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Sale

It's a strange thing, but each time I almost give up on etsy sales, I find I have made another one. Whilst I am never going to make my fortune this way, somehow I keep listing. I guess if I don't list, there is no way to make a sale.... any port in a storm.
This is the item I have sold this week.

Funnily enough, I had a stall on the weekend and sold one of these neckwarmers at the stall as well. It is one of my best sellers, even though it is a very simple design.
It can be worn in a couple of different ways, and looks good in many different colours.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Our doggie is doing much better.

After a very worrying few weeks, I am happy to say that our little doggie is now recovering after his very traumatic operation. He is starting to sit up and give cheek, demanding to be on knees and taken for walks. My DH takes him around the block on his regular walk and he can go right around off lead without bumping into anything much at all. He knows where all the trees are and seems to be enjoying it just as much as ever. I think you will agree, the lack of eyes doesn't look to bad either.
He is so much happier now that the bucket collar doesn't need to be over his head. Apparently the cone shape emphasises noises, so I think that may have been a bit too much for him.
The vet has been wonderful - we have had a number of return visits (included in the operation costs thank goodness) and all the girls in the surgery come out to see how our little fellow is going. They all think he is very cute.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don't you just love Computers!

Disaster struck my computer on Thursday when something crashed Outlook and I lost all my email contacts and history in one fell swoop. Whilst I haven't really lost any of the important stuff (I hope) it has been a very frustrating exercise. The computer has gone off to hospital in the hope of retrieving some of the information, although I am not confident. In the mean time I have to share with significant other and when he is not around, I rush in here to catch up on various blogs and check emails via the web. Hopefully the computer is back very soon with a new bigger hard drive and better speed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spiral Rope

Tomorrow I will be teaching a spiral rope class and have been working furiously to complete my class notes. Due to the hassles of life over the past couple of weeks (see previous posts) I have sadly neglected my beading.
Spiral rope is a terrific stitch - so easy for the beginner, but a few simple variations can give totally different looks from the same few beads. Different sizes and different colours make for some unique looks. I have had a lot of fun with these.