Welcome to ChrisBeads!

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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Melbourne Bead Expo

November is over and I still haven't posted anything about the Melbourne Bead Expo which took place over the second weekend in November. It was the usual fantastic weekend of beads, beads and more beads. Set up on Thursday was interesting. It was my responsibility this year to display all of the entries (nearly 60)in the BSV Showcase contest. I'm not sure why someone didn't tell me about the need for wearing knee protectors! Crawling around on the floor running the power cables from stand to stand was not my favourite activity. Thanks to Kerrie, we managed to get the set up organised and then I spent some time working out which pieces went together and which didn't. Meanwhile, others were setting up the "Inspired by" pieces and the "Want it, Take it" section. We also had a Featured Artist this year, the amazing Regina Krawets from New South Wales.
This is one of her wonderful necklaces, "Rafu-Sen". After seeing all of the items in her display cabinet, it was obvious why she had been chosen as Featured Artist! The Bead Challenge, set up at the opposite end of the foyer from the Showcase, was another highlight of the Bead Expo. Another 60-odd pieces, all using the same package of beads and all different! It was quite astonishing to see the variety of techniques and designs which were entered. The winning entries (including one from Regina K.) can be seen here: Bead Challenge Winners and the link to pictures of all entries is here. Make sure you check them all out.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Somehow I got carried away with the Beading Daily and Beadwork magazine Beaded Bead competition, and managed to finish ten beads - two of each style from the last five issues of Beadwork. Then the beads wanted to be strung and so became a necklace called "Purple Hues". Each bead is totally different from the others. They have been worked in different colours, using different sizes, but keeping the same tones. I am quite please with the way it turned out.
Voting is taking place over the next few days at the Beaded Bead Contest page but you need to belong to the Beading Daily community in order to vote. Interesting to see that there are at least two other Australian entries out of the 40 in total. Good luck everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Retro Daisies by Janice Chatham

Today is the big reveal for Project 6 at Beading Babes, Bringing Beaders Together. There were three other projects, but I have only completed the Retro Daisies.
Started the Josephine's Collar, but got very bogged down and it is now in my UFOs tray for the time being. You can find photos of all of the Beading Babes gorgeous projects at Beading Babes Project 6 album.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What a week for etsy sales! I think it must be the best week yet, with five sales since last Wednesday. Not sure just what has caused the interest, but it is very pleasing, with some of my favourite designs heading off to the USA. Just when I think I need to redo the whole shop, this happens and I get a fresh burst of enthusiasm. Snake is off to New York, whilst Froggy has his sights set on Oregon.
It was greatly needed as a mystery bout of what I think was migraine but without the thudding head, reduced my beading capabilities severely over the weekend. With nausea and increased sensitivity to light I couldn't read, compute or bead and spent the whole day snoozing - something unheard of usually. Today I tried to make the Gwen Fisher Cluster Beaded bead from BeadWork magazine in different colours - I had made it once already. The brain freeze was still in operation though and whilst I could understand the basic shape, the lacy overlay just wasn't working out. After a quick nanna nap, I returned to the bead mat to a light bulb moment when I realised what I had done wrong. Out with the scissors and lets start again! This time I hope for a better result.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gorgeous Rondelles

I found some more gorgeous coloured rondelles at Kays Artycles recently. They are just perfect for the Byzantine Bracelet project which I will be teaching at the Melbourne Bead Expo in November.
There are so many different options for this bracelet. I blogged about some of them earlier, but here is another one using a different type of bead:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This is the original bracelet inspired by the colours of the rondelles purchased from Beadglass at the Melbourne Bead Expo a couple of years ago. The subtle colours are just fantastic.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Byzantine Bauble Bracelet

Back when I was making Cynthia Rutledge's Honeycomb bracelet (Bead & Button magazine, April 2011)I fell in love with a whole swag of different coloured rondelles and managed to purchase quite a few strands of them. Well, one can only wear just so many Honeycomb bracelets, so there came a day when I had to think of another use for the rondelles. The Byzantine Bauble Bracelet was the result of playing around with a couple of strands of beautiful beads purchased from Beadglass (Sydney) at the Melbourne Bead Expo a few years ago. After receiving quite a few compliments on the bracelet, I submitted it to the Bead Society of Victoria Workshop Committee for consideration as a workshop for the Melbourne Bead Expo 2012 and am pleased to say it was accepted. The workshop is scheduled for the afternoon class on Sunday 11th November 2012 (1.30 to 4.30 p.m.) You can see all the classes being held on the Bead Expo weeekend by following the link. If you have a large stash of rondelles, this may be just the class you need to give you some different perspective on the rondelle shape.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bobbly earrings.

This week's effort - earrings which will soon be on their way to my friends' shop, Opendrawer. Prue and Robyn have a beautiful gallery and shop containing many surprising and elegant gift ideas all hand made in Australia. If you are close by, drop in and say hello and tell them Chrisbeads sent you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

BSV Featured Bead Artist

The Bead Society of Victoria are searching for a "Featured Bead Artist" for the Melbourne Bead Expo in November. Applications are due in by 31st July, 2012. What a fantastic opportunity for someone! I really hope some of my blogger and facebook friends have entered. There are so many wonderfully creative people out there and this opportunity is too good to miss. There are more details on the BSV website for anyone in Australia who may be interested in applying.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lady Charis Necklace

Craftsy seems to be an interesting place to promote tutorials and I have seen some of my facebook friends have also taken the opportunity to list on this website. Over the next few weeks I expect to put a few more up on the site, but todate have only listed the "Regatta Bracelet" which has appeared here before (see earlier in the year), and the Lady Charis necklace which is one of my favourites. It comprises a fairly simple brick stitch medallion in various sizes, which is then strung with complementary beads into a choker. I have taught this class a couple of times and never fail to be amazed by the beautiful necklaces produced by the students who generally use their own choices of colour and spacing in putting the necklace together.
It can also be adapted to make a bracelet.
Here is the link to the tutorial, Lady Charis Necklace

Bead Project

"Bead Project" hosted by Rachel Nelson-Smith has been an interesting exercise. Project one was to make something with two different stitches in two different colours. I enjoyed it although my samples did have their origins in some projects I had worked on previously.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stretchy Sparkles Bracelet

The evolution of a bracelet tutorial can be fraught with unpickings! Last year I was asked to put together a tute for a stretchy bracelet which was made from size 5/0 Miyuki triangles - one of my favourite bead shapes. It was combined with some other triangle type beads which had a metallic stripe. One of my friendly suppliers, Kay from Kays Artycles undertook to source the metallic triangle beads, which I had bought some years ago. The original supplier had no more stock and after a few days' searching Kay advised that she had found some. Unfortunately when they were received they were 6mm and not 4mm so there were a few difficult decisions about constructing the bracelet with them. My first try was interesting, but not comfortable.
It was reminiscent of some sort of spiral and seemed to want to fold in the middle. After considering the bracelets for a while, there was a light bulb moment where I realised that two-drop peyote would probably work so I set out to make it happen.
This was definitely a much better and more wearable bracelet and I am quite pleased that samples made have been snapped onto the wrists of my daughter and daughter-in-law who are very pleased with their new bling.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Beading Babes

I can't really believe it is almost a month since my last blog post - although I have done two today. I discovered two great new groups for beaders on Facebook and have been madly making a project for each of them. They have been good creative excercises and I enjoyed them. The first group- Beading Babes - Bringing Beaders together - had a project based on two designs by Helena Tang-Lim. One featured in Bead and Button Magazine June 2012 and I doubt I would have got around to doing it if it wasn't for this group project. Fortunately, everything I needed was in my stash so I was able to make a necklace and earrings fairly quickly. Looking forward to doing more in the future. Here is my interpretation of "Echoes of Nefertiti".
Images of my interpretation of projects from Sabine Lippert's book "Beaded Fantasies". I really enjoyed making them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beaded Fantasies by Sabine Lippert

This book is terrific. I have had it a couple of weeks now and have made three of the projects, which is unusual for me. More often, I get a new book, flick through and then put it aside, thinking "maybe I'll make something later", but later rarely comes. This time, I was inspired to try some of the projects immediately, if not sooner! I have followed Sabine's progress both through facebook and on her blog "Try to be Better". Her style is very interesting and the book became a "must have" so that I made sure I was on the pre-selling list and got it very quickly. I will put some photos up later, but in the mean time, if you want to see some great eye candy, check out the link to her blog.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Posted a couple of larger photos in answer to Halinka's request to be able to see more detail of the stitches. The semi circles are Cubic RAW and the back of the cab is RAW.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Designer Quest 24 - Australian Beading Forum

The beautiful autumn toned beads supplied by Australian Beading Forum sponsor, Cranberry, tempted me to get involved in making a piece for the Designer Quest 24 which started back in March. I thought I would be able to make something whilst on holiday but unfortunately, the muse did not go to Tasmania with me. Once I returned home I spent some time mulling over what to do with the beads. I did manage to get the focal bead bezelled while I was away, and it was a matter of "what else". Eventually, inspiration hit, keeping me awake one night with visions of beads flashing through my brain. The results are here and I think it has worked out OK. Now for the judging. There are some very beautiful entries so I don't think I've got much chance of winning, but it has been an enjoyable competition and seeing the wide variety of entries is amazing. No two entries are exactly the same. How do we do it. Now I just need some inspiration for the BSV 2012 Bead Challenge!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back from Holidays

We have been back from our holidays for just over three weeks and things have been frantically busy. Heaps of washing and cleaning of the car and van, plus baby sitting, dentists appointments and other sorting out of the piled up domestic dramas which accrued while we were away. I have also been busy editing the June issue of the BSV Connect magazine and finishing off my Designer Quest Challenge piece. I took the DQ beads away with me in the hope of being able to work on them while we were away, but this didn't happen. The muse had left me and I mainly did some knitting as I could do this in the car more easily.
I decided to try and finish this UFO which had been hanging around for way too long - so long I can't even remember when I started it. But now it is finished and Ian seems very happy with it so that's great. There is enough yarn to make our grandson a smaller version, which I have 3/4 finished as well. Thankfully, I did finish my DQ piece today and posting takes place next week, so after that I will be able to reveal it here. I am pleased with the way it has come together.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A few posts ago, I showed you the bezelled cab which resulted from teaching a class at the BSV January Bead Retreat. At the time, I was trying to decide how best to hang the cab. Previously I had made a spiral rope for the first one which I really liked, but it didn't seem to suit the black and aqua version. After much staring at the cab and thinking about what would work, I decided to go for a lacy style and used the right angle weave Romantica chain from the class I did with Marcia DeCoster a few years ago. Keeping it in the same colours (same beads)and making a clasp inspired by both Marcia's medallions and Mikki Ferrugiaro's snap clasp tutorial, I think I have managed to complement the cab fairly well.

Friday, February 24, 2012


A series of earrings which I have made over the past few weeks. Simple to make and get lots of comments when I wear mine. See more at my madeit shop.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Australian Beading Magazine

Thrilled to see that my project Green Leafy Necklace has appeared in vol 6 No 1 of Australian Beading magazine. Kits are available in various colours at my etsy store Chrisbeads, so if you like the necklace, pop over and purchase a kit so that you can get started. I was pleased to see fellow BSV member and polymer clay artist, Dani Rapinett's "Leather Look Clay Cuff" also appears in this edition. I have taken several classes with Dani and she is a wonderful clay artist and a very patient teacher. Check out her store at The Whimsical Bead for all your claying supplies. Apologies for the lack of photos and possible trouble linking from this post. Blogspot seems to be experiencing a spot of bother. Hopefully I will be able to sort this out soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My beady friend Nifty has started a blog at niftycreations1.blogspot.com, and I am inviting those of you who read my blog to take a look at Nifty's. She is making some wonderful beaded goodies and you can see some of them in her Nifty's Creations page at Facebook. Great work Nifty. Good luck with the blog.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Busy Editing the Connect Newsletter

Time for me to edit the Bead Society of Victoria newsletter for the March Quarter. So much has been happening - we have a very full report of the Bead Expo back in November 2011 and some other great articles. Pity you have to be a member to get one!
You can see some of the wonderful designs entered into the Bead Challenge 2011 on the BSV website by going to the Challenge page and following the links for the 2011 competitors.
I can't really put anyone else's design up on my blog and I am ashamed to say my entry was pretty ordinary this year. Having had such a busy year, with Daughter's engagement and forthcoming wedding, plus a long holiday for us and four issues of Connect, I was lucky to finish anything. My Bead Challenge was therefore a very simple strung necklace using some extra gorgeous glass czech beads from Cranberry.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ceramic Cabochons

Today was my class at the Bead Society of Victoria's annual Bead Retreat. It was a fun day although I was a bit challenged by having made a couple of typos in my instructions. It's not really easy to write instructions with enough clarity for all students to follow them without reference to the teacher. That's why they attend classes no doubt! I have done a bit of editing now though and hopefully the instructions are now "clear as mud" to everyone. Here is the finished result. The black one is the one I did today and the orange one is the sample. Thanks to Natalie at Peruzi for the wonderful ceramic cabs.