Earlier this year I hit a wall beading-wise. No new ideas, a loss of direction, an all-round beading malaise. I tried crocheting my way out of it and am now the proud owner of a blanket-sized Granny Square.
Next cure up knitting... Think of any gadget I might own and each of them now has a woolly cover, because no iPhone should be allowed out without a coat. Especially not during a Scottish summer.
But still I need to bead!
At last I spotted the obvious solution leaping up and down in front of my face, waving its arms and screaming to get my attention; take some lessons from the experts. D'oh! Everyday, thanks to the OTTBS blog and group on Facebook and the internet in general, I am surrounded by stunning examples of other people's inspiration and skill. Stop being intimidated, start being inspired young lady I told myself (yes young. I can still be creative with words, it's my blog).
So that, dear reader is what I am going to do. The Zoe Bangles of an earlier post were just the beginning. I've already explored Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies, a glorious book with some truly original designs. I am especially enamoured of her bezelling chatons technique and now have the most sparkliest of bracelets to prove it. It goes well with jeans. Because jeans are all I wear.
I've been given the chance to test drive a lovely tutorial by my equally lovely friend Mary Marshall and will soon be the proud owner of a fascinating spiral, netted bangle, which will also look good with jeans. Picture to follow, I promise. I think filled netting may very well be the way forward but it's too soon to be certain, there is more exploring to be done first.
My shelf is half full of beading books, unopened and neglected. I almost, mistakenly, bought a second copy of one title because until now owning a book has been more important than using it. A line of books, sitting on the shelf, getting dusty (though in fairness everything in my flat is dusty).
Here is my beading reading list for the next few months:
Shaped Beadwork: Diane Fitzgerald
Beaded Opulence: Marcia DeCoster
The Beaded Floral: Jill Devon and Liz Thornton
Contemporary Geometric Beadwork: Jean Power and Kate McKinnon.
If all that studying doesn't make me a better beader I will only have myself to blame (I might actually have to turn to tatting. I already have the shuttle).
Oh yes, and I promise never to describe myself as 'self-taught' again.