Bead It Forward 2016

By | January 21, 2016

Every January, the Indiana Bead Society spends the monthly meeting working on squares for the Bead It Forward project.  Beaders all over the world make little 1.5″ by 1.5″ beaded squares which are then assembled into quilts and other items, then auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer research.   It’s a great way to use your beading superpowers for good.

This year’s theme is Space. There are lots of great patterns available on the Bead It Forward site.  And Amy, the woman in charge, has even provided a page of little blank peyote graphs that are all the perfect size for the project.  That was all the invitation I needed. I couldn’t believe that none of the great sci-fi genres were being represented.  So I dusted off my favorite colored pencils and got to work.   I came up with 6 patterns.  If you make one, send me a picture, I would love to see how these work up.   So far I have only had a chance to start beading one of them.   I will post more pictures as I make progress.   But for now, here are the patterns.   Make a few and send them in to Amy at Bead it Forward.  The squares are due by March 1, 2016.  The guidelines and application form can be found here.

These are all single drop peyote patterns, you can either start from the bottom left or the top right corner.   I think these would all make fun pendants too.  Just add a few more solid rows at the top, fold over and zip into a bail.   I might have to make myself a Gorn necklace…

Classic Trek Square Gorn Square Lego Spaceman Square Retro Rocket Square Robot 1 Square Robot 2 Square

Ornament Swap Blog Hop!

By | December 20, 2015

Christmas-Tree-2015In November I received an e-mail from the lovely Karen Williams of Baubilicious looking for people to participate in a handmade ornament swap.    It sounded like too much fun to pass up, so I signed up.  Karen paired me up with Lori.  We swapped a few e-mails back and forth discussing our styles and color preferences, then we both got to work.

I actually ended up making two ornaments because I was having so much fun. The first one took almost no time at all because I dug through my beaded bead box and found a bead in the perfect colors.   I had been making earrings, so I had lots of little odds and ends of beads laying about.   I coiled up the bottom of a piece of wire and loaded it up with beads.    Ornament-Swap-Dangle-1 After that one I was still itching to bead, so I busted out the Superduos.   I started in the center and just kept adding beads until I liked it.   I might need to make one of these for myself.   Ornament-Swap-Super-Duo-1 As you can see from the photos, in addition to the ornaments I whipped up a few embellished hangers.

When Lori’s package arrived, I was super excited.   I opened it right away and forgot to take a picture of the lovely packaging.   Oops.

I was amused to find that we were both thinking along the exact same lines.   The ornament Lori made for me was quite similar in style to the one I made for her.    Ornament-Swap-Lori-1 Ornament-Swap-Lori-2I love the colors and the long drop style.    It is perfect for my hodge podge tree of special ornaments.    In addition to the perfect ornament, Lori also sent me some lovely Canadian treats.  I’m looking forward to digging into those soon.   I just wish it would get back to appropriate December temperatures rather than this 70 degree business.    Ornament-Swap-SwagI’m so glad I decided to participate in this little swap.   It was a wonderful way to spread some good cheer in this crazy world.   Please stop by and check out everyone’s blog to see what the other beaders have made.


Karen Williams and Carrie Johnson

JJ Jacobs and Tanya Goodwin

Francie Broadie and Lori Finney

Liz Hart and Becky Clay


I will leave you with this photo of my lovely assistant modelling another ornament I made recently.   Happy Holidays everyone! Arya-with-Hat


Whee! A tutorial.

By | July 26, 2014

In celebration of nearly finishing my Bead and Button Show applications to teach next year, I am posting my first tutorial.

These Super Speedy Starburst Earrings are really fun.  You can whip out a pair in about a half an hour.  Perfect for gifts, or if you don’t have the right earrings for your new outfit. Florette-EarringsSuper Speedy Starburst Earrings

Supplies: 14 Super Duos or Twins

2 4mm Fire Polish Beads

1g size 15 Seed Beads

Nymo D or 6lb Fireline

Size 12 needle

2 Earwires


  1. Wax a 1.5 yard length of thread. Bring the needle to the center of the thread. Tie the two tails together in an overhand knot. Trim the tails close to the knot and melt the thread with the lighter.
  2. Pick up 7 Super Duos. Bring the beads close to the knot, split the two threads apart and bring the needle between them. Make a U-turn, then pass back through the last Super Duo Strung.
  3. Bring the needle through the outside hole of the Super Duo. Pick up 3 size 15 beads and pass through the next Super Duo on the ring continuing to use the outside holes. Continue adding beads in this manner until you have 15’s in between each Super Duo.
  4. Bring the needle out of the first 15 in one of the sets of 3. Pick up 3 15’s and pass through the third 15 in that same set.   This will create a picot. Pass the needle through the Super Duo and the first 15 in the next set.
  5. Continue adding picots until you have completed the circle.
  6. Bring the needle up through the last picot so that it is exiting the center bead of the picot. Pick up 1 Fire Polish, 8 size 15’s. Pass back through the Fire Polish, and through the center picot bead from the opposite side. Reinforce this loop one more time.
  7. Tie a few half hitches, then add the ear wire to the loop.   Make one more.

Francie Broadie

Send me pictures if you make a pair.  I would love to see your color combos.    Enjoy!


Hello Again

By | July 2, 2014

Is anyone still there besides spammers selling knock off purses and sunglasses?     Just in case, I thought I would fill you in on the latest bead news.

I just returned from a trip to Cleveland to shoot an episode of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.     It was a great experience.   Everyone on the staff was kind and helpful. The taping part went well.  I am looking forward to seeing how it turned out.   New episodes will begin in January.  I’m going to guess that my episode won’t air until sometime in February, given where it falls in the series.   I will be sure to keep you posted.

Next up, I will be teaching at Bead Fest in Philadelphia in August.   The show runs from August 20-24, 2014.    Here is a link to all of my classes.  I am offering 5 different classes. They are all great for the intermediate beader who wants to add to their repetoire.  Slip and Slide duoThe Slip and Slide Bracelet is a great update on an old fashioned camp craft.

naughts and crosses flatThe Naughts and Crosses Bracelet is a sleek and sparkly number.  It’s  good introduction to playing with two holed beads.  Luminous Luna Earring1These Luminous Luna Earrings are show stoppers!  And the best part is that each of the components can be used separately if the whole combo is just too much for you.  Three pairs of earrings in one!Basic Beaded Cab duo Learn the basics of beading around a cabochon, and some simple bead embroidery.   It’s a skill that all beaders should have.    broadie,f_linking rings bracelet1And since it was so popular last year, I’m bringing back my Linking Rings bracelet.    Three different kinds of herringbone links and a cute little peyote toggle.  It’s a lot of visual bang for your buck.

I hope that you will be able to join me for one or more of these classes.   It’s a fun show, with lots of other great classes too.   Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.    There will be multiple color choices for each of the kits.   Plus I will have some other fun kits for sale as well.




Busy Bee

By | September 20, 2013

Many beady things have happened since I have last posted… Bead and Button, Sievers, teaching at Bead Fest, and a workshop with Kim Stathis.    Many crazy non beady things have happened too.  Needless to say, it’s been a very busy summer.

Technically the Bead and Button Show happened before my last post, but let’s start there.    I signed up for 4 classes, but one was cancelled.  All of my classes were great this year.   I took a class on punching aluminum cans, a class with the lovely Cindy Holsclaw from Bead Origami, and a class from Heather Kingsley Heath.  My apologies to the aluminum lady, whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

Let’s start with the aluminum.   We punched and layered soda cans and came up with these.    I really like the way they turned out.   The large flower will be a pin or pendant, and the smaller flowers will be earrings.   I haven’t figured out what to do with the bird tags.  I was going to make earrings, but they are way too big.  The small flowers are about the size of quarters.    The big one is about 2 inches across.  I can definitely see making more of these in my future.   But I really didn’t need a reason to walk down the scrapbooking aisle at Michaels…

On to the beadweaving, Cindy’s class was next.   I have finished the necklace, and worn it several times, but so far I have not managed to get a picture, so you will have to enjoy this in progress shot from class.The construction of these beads was genius.  I got one of each done in class.   And that is one of Cindy’s teeny tiny origami cranes.   I’ll try to post a picture of the finished necklace next week.

Next up was Heather’s Acantha Necklace.   I love this piece.   It, too, is finished, and again, I have no photo, so here are two in progress shots from the hotel room, so please excuse the crappy lighting.

This piece is a lariat style necklace.  The two spike drops go on the bottom of the silversilk cord.    Again, this was a very clever construction.    My brain does not think dimensionally very well.   It always amazes me when people construct things like these.

I will leave you with a few photos of my shopping haul.   Things were a bit subdued this year due to a minor glitch in the plan, but fear not, I made up for it in Philly.

This is the whole shebang.  And next is a close up of just the lucite bits. I love those crazy spiky drops.   I don’t know what I am going to do with them, but I had to have them.

I will save my other beady adventures for another post next week.   In the mean time, I’m firing up the kiln, getting ready for fall shows and special orders.



Fish Are Friends Blog Hop Reveal

By | July 13, 2013

Hello Everyone,

Please excuse my long absence.  Life got a little nutty there for a while.   It’s still a little nutty, but mostly manageable.    In the mean time, I have been busy behind the scenes beading away.

I was thrilled to be picked for Karen Williams Fancy Fish Design Team.  I got to test out her fabulous Fancy Fish pattern.  It is chock full of great pictures and instructions, as well as lots of info on right angle weave and details like how thread color can alter bead color, something that people don’t necessarily consider.    So, on to the pictures, my first fish sort of dictated the direction I ended up going.A long time ago, I helped paint a mural with these wonderful purple/pink and orange fish and I have been enamored with them ever since.     It was a bit of a challenge to find the core beads around here, so I went with what I had in my stash.   Since my core bead was a bit stubbier than the bead requested in the pattern, I found that the side fins in size 11 beads were a bit overwhelming, so I used a little artistic license and switched to 15’s.

Fish number two is totally unrelated to fish number 1.    My dad needed a birthday present and they were heading off to the boat for a few weeks, so it was high time the boat got a new mascot.    I hear that this little guy is now hanging over the chart table.  I did have fun playing with stripes on this one.  I found some larger, pointier beads for the base on this one.   I had to add a few extra rows before decreasing, but that was about it.

For the next fish I used another of the long pointy beads for the base.    I ended up going with the fancier tail on this one.    It’s very full.  And I also made the fancier side fins.   I also had to add extra rows on this one.

My final fish was another with the stubby core bead.  I went with a smaller tail.   I had a few shaping issues with this guy, due to my core bead, not the instructions.  So I ended up tweaking the shaping on this one which gave me a more bulbous fish.   Next up was figuring out what to do with them.

I bought the orange and hot pink faceted beads last winter thinking of summer.   I didn’t have a plan for them at the time.   Who knew they were just waiting for this moment.    They matched the fish perfectly.    I made some free form netting leafy pieces, and added some leafy fringe.  Finally I attached the fish and voila, a fun summery necklace.

The close up is a bit wonky.   The light was failing, and my basement is still a disaster area, so the light box was unavailable.   Here’s a final pic with a flash, which I don’t normally like, but this one made the beads glow.

If you want your own Fancy Fish Tutorial, go here to buy it.   It’s well worth the money.

And now, go check out what everyone else did with the tutorial.   I can’t wait to see.

Without further ado – here’s the Official Fish Friends list:

 Francie Broadie – FAB Custom Jewelry
 Shirley Moore – Beads and Bread
Bobbie Rafferty – Beadsong Jewelry
Tanya Goodwin – A Work in Progress
Cynthia Machata – Antiquity Travelers
Kathy Jo – KJ’s Beadacious Beads
Therese Frank – Therese’s Treasures
Nancy Sopp – AlaskanNancy 
Alison Oman
Dolores Dwight 
Amy Severino – Amybeads
Eleanor Pigman – Eleanor Pigman
Hostess: Karen Williams – Baublicious

Upcoming Classes

By | May 28, 2013

I will be teaching two classes in Frankfort, IN at the Frankfort Library on June 15.   The Tila Circle Cuff will be the morning class.  Class starts at 10.     The class fee is $20 per student and the kit fee is $15.   There will be multiple color choices available. This class is suitable for an intermediate beader.

The afternoon class will start at 1:30.   We will be making the Shimmering Silver Bracelet.   This one uses multiple forms of peyote stitch and some fiddly assembly.   This class is also suitable for intermediate beaders. The class fee is $20 per student and the kit fee is $40.  This kit includes several sterling silver parts and permanent galvanized seed beads.   This kit will only be available in silver.

To sign up, either let me know you are coming, or contact Flo Caddell at the library. Here’s the phone number:765-654-8746

And as a reminder, I will be teaching in Philadelphia at Bead Fest in August.    I’m teaching three classes there.   And there is still room in each of my classes. Here’s a link to the post on the classes I am teaching.

I am also teaching for a private event on the 14th.   If you are interested in private lessons for a group or a special event, let me know and I would be happy to come up with a project for you.

Blowing The Bead Budget

By | March 6, 2013

Today has been spent staring at the computer trying to decipher bead numbers and colors.   I have placed 4 different orders in hopes of having all of the right stuff to assemble kits next week.   I like assembling kits, but ordering all the bits is tedious.    And it’s so hard to judge color through screens and catalog pages.  I just cross my fingers and hope they all go together when they arrive.

The first round of parts arrived yesterday. Sadly most of those sparkly Swarovskis are not for me…

In the mean time, I have been a beaded bead making fool.   18 beaded beads in 3 days is pretty good all things considered.    I am absolutely loving these little guys.   I threw a few extra superduos on one of my bead orders for experimental purposes.   Here’s the top down version of the first set of beads made.  And here is the side view.

I made some small twin bead beaded beads to accompany these beads. Then I made a set in raspberry and gold.  I think I might like these even better.

I am toying with how I plan to string these.   I think they will be necklaces.   The first set has been threaded onto a lovely teal silk cord.  I am thinking it needs some chain too.   I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.    I need to make another set, I’m not sure what color combo to play with next.   I think these beads would be cool stacked up in a pendant too.   So many ideas, so little time…


Circles and Triangles and Beads Oh My!

By | March 1, 2013

After yesterdays triangles, I did manage to figure out triangle stitch in rows rather than in medallions.  I even managed to add a clasp instead of letting it languish half finished! Here’s the close up, pre-clasp.

And here’s the finished item.   Please pardon the crummy photo, the sun has gone down already.    I think my brain is catching on.   I think I would like to try it again with smaller bugles, and perhaps a few more rows across.   I’ll keep you posted.

On to the circles.   This is a design I have been playing with for a bit.   Here are three bracelets awaiting clasps.  I think a trip to the fabric store is in order because I apparently have no buttons in the stash for any of these color combos.   Hard to believe…

I am particularly enamored with the middle color combo.   That frosted red tila is a tricky bead to put with other beads.   It can look really dull and boring paired with the wrong color.

Here’s the next color combo on the bead mat.  I can’t wait to see how this one is going to turn out.

I think this design has lots of potential for different pieces.   I have already made earrings.   I am pondering beaded beads and perhaps some layered bracelets with rivolis in the center…

And in other news, I can’t stop making yo yos.    Here’s the latest batch.

I think I have enough to play with now.    Experiments will commence next week…

Hearts on the Brain

By | February 28, 2013

I have been making lots of hearts lately. I love the Swarovski crystal puffy heart.  I have made tons of those. And every time, I still need to find my instructions. Oy.  But I have found a new heart to make.   Here’s the most recent bunch. These are triangle weave.   I found a free tutorial here.  This tutorial is just for the flat version.   I figured out how to make it dimensional on my own.  It just occurred to me that I should make these with a different color on the back so that they could be reversible.  Why didn’t I think of that three days ago?    I haven’t done a ton of triangle weave.    I did make Laura Shea’s  rainbow heart bracelet at Bead and Button a few years ago.That’s the front

That’s the back.

She had a lot of really beautiful stuff made with triangle weave.   It makes sense to me with big beads, but the minute I try to switch to seed beads, I can’t seem to see the pattern.   I guess I need some more practice.    It’s just about the only stitch I can’t seem to get the hang of. Here’s a bracelet we did at a Bead Society meeting about a million years ago.   I have made a ton of these. This one I didn’t have quite enough beads to make it long enough, so I had to improvise.

Next up  I might try my friend Jan’s triangle weave bracelet made with bugles.    That should be easier to see…