Thursday, July 17, 2014

Brisbane Beaders Workshop 2nd August 2014 - Butterfly Kisses Earrings with Melissa Ingram

Note: The colour ways Olivine (non special effect) and Crystal Cathedral (special effect) are represented in the image.
Butterfly Kisses earrings have been designed for the Brisbane Beaders first workshop.  The project is suitable for Beginners and Intermediate Beaders.
The Butterfly Kisses design will assist you to understand the importance of tension within a project and expose the novice to Czech SuperDuo's & O Beads.
The workshop will include a lecture that discusses the types of beading threads available on the market, beading needles, understanding bead sizing, discuss the basic beading stitches plus a demonstration of peyote stitch. Lecture notes will be available.
The Limited Edition Butterfly Kisses earring kit ranges in price from $45 (non Special Effect Briolettes) to $55 (Special Effect Briolettes). Swarovski special effect (SE) briolettes were sourced internationally to offer 6 exciting colour ways to choose from. The kit consists of a variety of premium components:

  • 1 pair Quality Gold filled pierced earring findings.
  • 2x Swarovski Crystal Briolette Pendants - Olivine (non-SE), Crystal Sahara (SE), Crystal Cathedral (SE), Aquamarine Golden Sahara (SE), Aquamarine Green Sphinx (SE)and Olivine Sphinx (SE).
  • 4 x Swarovski Crystal Pearls
  • Seed beads in sizes 15 (24Kt gold plate, 11 and 6. (Permanent Galvanised metallic seed beads only) 
  • Czech SuperDuoTM beads & O BeadsTM
  • Miyuki Delicas size 11
  • A printed colour pattern and tutorial. (A digital copy is available on request).

Beading Mats, Beading Thread (Fireline 6lb), Microcrystalline Wax and Needles (sizes 12 & 15) will be available for sale on the day of the workshop. Payments can be made by cash or Eftpos at the workshop. Sales are open from 9am to 9.25am. The Workshop commences sharply at 9.30am.
The fee for the workshop is $50 per person.
Payment for the Workshop and Kit must be made prior to the workshop via direct deposit or Paypal. This will secure your place at workshop.
There is plenty of free parking on site.  Tea and Coffee will be provided. 
Please note there is a minimum of 10 people required for the Workshop to go ahead as scheduled; there is a maximum of 18 persons able to attend the workshop. This allows enough attention for those who require extra coaching.
Butterfly Kisses Earring Workshop with Melissa Ingram details:
Where: Unit 16/27 South Pine Road, Brendale
When:  2nd August 2014
Time:  Sales from 9.00am to 9.25am. Workshop 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Contact Melissa Ingram at to register your place at the Workshop.

Our website address


Monday, July 7, 2014

Creating 'Athena' .. Battle of the Beadsmith 2014

Battle of the Beadsmith 2014 was not the smooth design ride that the inaugural BOTB12 was for me. I knew without hesitation what I needed to do for that contest. Arabesque Armour reached the Top 5 which was an incredible achievement owing to the level of talent within the group.  BOTB14, not so easy, not so easy at all.

My initial inspiration for the BOTB14 was an infinity knot as a focal, I had no clue other than that! I did know I wanted the clasp to be bead embroidered. I achieved the infinity knot that was in my minds eye .. but once I started arranging the jewels and adding embellishment to the knot .. it began to look less and less of a battle worthy design.  It got shelved.  Below are three of the many design shuffles.

New plan.... 
I knew what the colorway was going to be .. turquoise and peridot softened with creamy pearls.  Textually I had to include my new love Shibori silk ribbon. I wanted the design to be beadwoven with the inclusion of bead embroidery.  After many trials I was able to create a bezel using CRAW for all of my navette shapped stones. It was nice and tight and gave me a good surface for embellishment. I wanted to use rose gold as my metallic highlight.  I bought a few hundred rose gold bicones from my local bead store .. I added them to the design.  Then I noticed that the rose gold coating was breaking off in tiny flakes on the bicones, leaving ugly black flea bites in their place.  I knew the problem would only get worse and this would compromise my design.  5 hours later every single bicone was removed from my design. Will I use 4mm rose gold bicones again no.

Whilst I was working on the main part of the neckpiece I was also working on the bead embroidered clasp. This is the only part of the design that I knew for certain from the beginning of the project.  The Shibori ribbon was supplied by (Lisa Kan) and the Arashi ribbon (Deborah Weaver).  I used Czech size 15 seed beads to outline my floral design. The clasp joins the neckpiece via snaps attached to the underside of the motif.  These attach with the other half of the snaps to the Shibori ribbon straps.

The bead embroidered clasp 'under construction'
After six weeks of expediting elements from the US, lots of worrying, lots of sketching of my thoughts, undoing and redoing parts of the design... it was finished.  I had booked my model and photograhphy session even before completing the design.  This gave me an absolute deadline and allowed the photographer time to edit the photos and allow for any reshoots. 

Deciding which colour Shibori to use for the necklace strap.  
Why call the piece Athena .. The Goddess Athena from ancient Greek mythology was the custodian of War (although she did not condone it, she was the Goddess of Inspiration and Weaving.  All symbols that in part define the Battle of the Beadsmith.

One of the many designs for the necklace strap that were not used.
These are a selection of photos from the Photo shoot, May 2014. Photography credits Frank Hurrell of Imago Photography.  Athena managed to move onto the next round, Round 2. I wish all Battler's much success.

The bead woven clasp