Monthly Archives: November 2012

I couldn’t resist trying a couple of patterns from Jean Power’s new book. First I tried the tulip – not a whole lariat, just one tulip, but I added some dangly stamens in the centre and a hanging loop – I will use it as a Christmas decoration.

Also for use as a Christmas decoration (but I need to add a loop to hang it from), a “Star of stars” from the same book – I’ve seen lots of pictures of these stars and always wanted to learn the secret of how to make them!

My pre-ordered copy of Jean Power’s new book (see arrived yesterday – it is a mine of information, and has some beautiful patterns. I’m sure it will provide inspiration for lots of new designs when I get time to try out some of the ideas in it!

I’m trying to be disciplined and finish off some UFOs first, as well as writing up the patterns for a couple of my designs. I have taught two of my designs to small classes of local beaders, and one to a bigger group that meet monthly, so I am gradually building up a library of patterns. It is very time consuming, particularly drawing diagrams to show the thread path through the beads, and I find I have to remake each piece as I write up the instructions and draw the diagrams. At present I am writing up a design for a choker – one of my earliest designs which uses a sort of cross between chevron chain and netting – for a small class group, as well as the black and white rivoli star for a friend.

Once those are done I hope to have some new work to show.

Edited to add: Sorry the picture wasn’t there – It should be now!


I first learned how to make Russian leaves from the instructions in Linda Gettings’ “Collecting Leaves” project in “Bead and Button” issue 82 (Dec 2007). Her open centred variation of the traditional pattern has inspired me to make many designs, the first of which was an arrangement of three leaves with tiny flowers used as a focal for a necklace.This was one of my earliest designs, and was much admired, so I made a couple more for a friend and a relative – improving the design by adding a beaded toggle and loop clasp. The original shown here has languished in a box for the last couple of years waiting to be remade, as I used a thread which has frayed (it was before I discovered KO thread, but the ones I made for others were made with KO and are still going strong!). I remade it for myself in matte amethyst AB, which goes well with a couple of outfits I wear frequently.

For one of the ones I gave away, I made matching earrings similar to the ones shown here, but the same colour as the original necklace.

Having made the three leaf focals for the necklaces, I wanted to make a flower with 6 or 8 petals, each one like a Russian leaf – but I didn’t want to make them separately, then sew them together, so I spent hours and hours trying to work out how create joined Russian leaves to make the flower. Even when I worked that out, I had a problem working out what to put in the centre. So the star and flower patterns shown in earlier posts are the result of months of trying things out, failing and trying again. At some point I realised that the star or flower could become a butterfly by changing the relative sizes of the “petals”, and that led to the butterfly cuff.