Wednesday 18 July 2012

Brit Pack Beaders

As I teach beading on almost a weekly basis, including a number of classes for beginners, I often get asked how long I've been beading for, or what got me started in beading. If you click on the 'about me' tab above, you'll see that I've been playing with beads since I was a wee girl back in the 80s - introduced by my embroiderer Grandma, who had me stitching beads (some of which I still have tucked away in precious little tubs) onto curtain offcuts to make book covers. Like my Mum, who is rarely seen at home without a pair of knitting needles in her hands, I have a slight obsessive-compulsive need to be doing and creating, and after having tried a few other things growing up (a little embroidery, knitting, cross stitch) I settled on bead weaving as my creative outlet of choice. Bead weaving soon developed into beading of all varieties - wire work, stringing, bead embroidery, a little silver clay, knotting. I started teaching at my local bead shop, and submitted some designs to beading magazines - I've loved every minute of the journey, and beads do - literally! - bring me a wee bit of joy every single day. I know that anyone reading this who isn't a beader or creative soul may not quite understand and quite possibly think I sound a little strange, but if you're reading this, you are probably like minded, or will at least understand where i'm coming from.

One of the best and most fortuitous parts of this part of my life, was signing up to Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party back in 2010. I had started this very blog the year before, but hadn't really written much, or found many followers. I was very much a blurker, and still felt a little uncomfortable with the whole blogging thing - whoever would want to read my ramblings anyway?! That all changed with my first BSBP - via the wonders of the internet, I made new beading friends, found followers, started to find my blogging voice, felt more confident in commenting on others' was the start of something that has become a really wonderful part of my life. I have friends all over the world, particularly in America and Canada, but Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Finland....I love all of my international connections! I also discovered art beads but that's a whole other story for another post, another day...

But one of the most lovely things about the internet side of the bead world is making friends closer to home. Lesley Watt of Thea came up with the idea of bringing together a group of British beaders - the Brit Pack Beaders she has named us - and we are going to bring you a bi-monthly challenge blog hop. 

Here's Lesley's description of her brain child:

'For each challenge, one person will choose a theme based on anything they like - could be music, literature, film, visual images anything at all that inspires that person. Each of us is then allocated one of five design items - clasps, focal beads, accent beads, decorative embellishments and stringing material, and must send each team member a different one of those items that has some relevance to the theme. Ultimately, we will all end up with a different bead soup created by 5 different people with which to create a piece of jewellery inspired by the theme. 
As well as choosing the theme I have sent all the pack members a slightly different clasp, Rebecca {that's me!} is providing the focals, Claire the embellishments, Bo the accent beads and Jo the stringing materials. For the next challenge we will rotate so that we get to send different items.'

And here is the inspiration that Lesley selected for us all...
Tangle, by Carolyn Saxon - check out her etsy shop here

from l to r: Lesley, me, Claire, Jo and Bo

Sounds good, eh? I can't wait to get started! So pop back next week to see the ingredients that we've each been sending out....

And until then, check out the other talented British ladies' blogs and see what they have to say about being involved :-)


lynsey said...

Oooh as a fellow Brit beader I will be following with interest

Malin de Koning said...

This is just plain blimmin fantastic! The Brit Pack Beaders. I loooooove it. Great name. Great concept by Lesley. You are the coolest bunch of people also. These bi-monthly hops will be something I will be so much looking forward to check out. I think the world will be turning their eyes to Britain next week, and not because of the Olympics ... no no. There are other fantastic and way more exciting things going on. :-) Superb logo also. And what a beautiful inspiration you have this month.

Lesley said...

Thanks for agreeing to play Rebecca - I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone's creations.

Jenni said...

I agree with Malin..brilliant idea..and look forward to seeing wht you very talented lot will hav to show! Can't wit.

Jenni said...

Can't wait!

Shai Williams said...

That sounds like so much fun! Hmmm...I wonder if I could something like that started here in the states.


Hi ... I shall enjoy seeing all the creations of you Brit Pack Beaders . Your jewellery is really lovely. Many thanks to Lesley for choosing to use my "Tangle" photo for inspiration. I can't wait to see what you all come up with

Very best wishes
Carolyn Saxby


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