Thursday 31 March 2011

March Moodboard - And The Winner is...

Thanks to everyone who joined in with our moodboard this month, it was a really pretty colour scheme but a bit of a challenge I think. First of all lets have a recap of the mosaic I posted at the beginning of the month...

Spiral Maze, Macro of this Large White, T 53, Rhubarb and Custard.

And now for the eye candy...






Since Sarah and myself are excluded from the draw it was between three beaders this month. I asked my lovely assistant/Mum to pick a name from the hat and the winner is...

...Maria! Congratulations Maria, I'll be in touch with you about your prize shortly :) Thanks again to everyone who joined in and thanks also to everyone who takes the time to visit and follow our blog. Don't forget to check back tomorrow when I'll be posting a brand new moodboard for April!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Magazine Review - Bead Magazine Issue 29 (Apr/May)

This week I thought I would review the latest issue of Bead Magazine, this issue has 15 projects including polymer clay, stringing, seed bead work and wire work.

The 1st thing I do when I get a new beading magazine is make a beeline for the Fire Mountain Gems advert and the one in this issue is certainly inspirational! It is a stunning seed bead necklace by Oleksandra Sydorenko. Turning to the contents page, there are lots of colourful pictures of the projects which give a definite springtime feel! Of the projects my favourites are; Unfolding of the Implicate Order, which is a fabulous statement necklace featuring beaded beads (Please be aware though, that this article is on how to finish the necklace and does not include instructions for the beaded beads, these can be found in issue 28 or downloaded from and the Fringed Cabochon Garden which is a lovely, earthy necklace with lots of leafy fringing.

Other features I like in this magazine are the Readers Challenge and Gallery, Bead Soup and the features on beaders. It's always nice to see what other people have been working on (one of the reasons why we all read blogs, I guess) and Bead Magazine does devote quite a lot of space to featuring the work of it's readers, which I really like about it.

As a devoted seed beader, I would prefer it if every single project in every single magazine was beadweaving! I do, however, think that Bead gives a good range of techniques and offers a good choice to all types of jewellery makers who would like to try something new. In particular, there is a wire ring in this issue which I think would be great for someone new to wire working. As I said earlier the main reason I like this magazine is the opportunity to see whats going on in the UK beady world but I also really like the format. The layout is good, it's easy to read and the colours are always eye-catching and bright.

Happy Beading!


Saturday 26 March 2011

Free Pattern - Double Negative Brick Stitch Earrings.

Hey gang, hope you have all been enjoying the beautiful sunshine we have had this week! I'm not sure that this pattern is very seasonal but it is striking! I am a big fan of black and white, maybe with a touch of red and I hope you like this double negative brick stitch earring pattern.

Happy beading!

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Carol's Pearl Ladder Ring

We have a new team member here at OTTBS! Welcome to Carol aka Bead Queen, we are glad you joined us!

Wednesday is supposed to be a review, but when I saw that Carol had made this gorgeous version of the Pearl Ladder Ring that I posted on Saturday, I just had to share this instead!

This is the first time we have had a finished project made from the OTTBS tutorials, so it is pretty exciting!

Happy Beading!


Monday 21 March 2011

March Moodboard

Two gorgeous pieces to share with you today! First is a gorgeous cuff from Sarah...

And a beautiful bracelet from Carol...

If you'd like to join in with us please see this post for details.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Pearl Ladder Ring Tutorial

Quite often I have very small amounts of beads left over from larger projects and I am sure you do too. I hate to throw them away but it's also a nuisance to have almost empty bead tubes cluttering up your bead stash. If you are anything like me, you really don't have the extra space. So I came up with this little project which uses ladder stitch to turn those little bits and bobs into a ring that works up quickly and easily and would make a great last minute gift.

You will need a few gramms of size 11 seed beads, 6mm focal beads ( I used 3 x swarovski pearls) and fireline or wildfire.

1. Thread your needle with approx 1.5 metres of thread, pick up 6 size 11 beads and go back up the first 3 you add, snug up the last 3 beads you added next to them and go down through them.

2. Pick up 3 seed beads, go back though the last 3 beads added in step 1 and then back down through the 3 beads added in this step.

3. Repeat step 2 until your ladder strip is the required length for your finger.

4. Join the 2 ends of the strip by going up through the first 3 beads in your strip and back down the last 3 beads of the strip. Repeat this step to reinforce the join.

5. Weave in ends, tying several half hitch knots as you do so.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for a second strip, but weave in only the shorter tail thread, leaving a long thread to add the centre beads.
7. With your needle & thread exiting a set of seed beads in strip 2, pick up 4 seed beads and go up through a set of 3 seed beads in strip 1 pulling fairly tight to join the strips together. *Go up through the next set of 3 seed beads, pick up 4 seed beads and go up through the next set of 3 seed beads in strip 2. Repeat from * one more time for a total of 3 sets of 4 seed beads. Exiting with your thread in the centre, pick up 1 size 6mm bead and go up through strip, repeat this pattern of 3 sets of 4 seed beads, 1 set of 6mm bead as required, ending with 3 sets of 4 seed beads. My ring is as follows 3 sets of seed beads, 1 set 6mm, 3 sets of seed beads, 1 set 6mm, 3 sets of seed beads, 1 set 6mm, 3 sets of seed beads.

8. Weave in tail, using several half hitch knots as you do so.
I hope you enjoy this quick little project, don't forget to add pics to the OTTBS Flickr group if you make one. We would love to see them!
Happy beading!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Drum Roll Please!

And the winner of the Birthday Giveaway is............................................

Bead Queen!

Congratulations Carol! Please let me know your address and I will get your prizes in the post!

And winner of the secret bonus prize for blogging about the giveaway is.....

Mrs Cake!

Again, please let me know your addy and I will pop your surprise in the post!

Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway.

Here's to another great year!

Happy beading!


Wednesday 9 March 2011

Happy Birthday to Us!!! Giveaway.

Wow, a whole year, I can't quite believe it! We have had some great posts and challenges and I'd like to thank Clair and Liz especially for introducing and continuing the fabulous moodboard challenges!

You have already seen the prizes in the sneaky peaks but here is a recap,

Marcia DeCosters Beaded Opulence

Sterling Silver Rose Garden Earrings

12mm swarovski rivoli

Miyuki delica beads and some gorgeous ceramic focal beads

A pair of vintaj brass charms

To be in with a chance to win this lovely pack of prizes, all you need to do is comment on this post before 7.00pm GMT next Wednesday 16th March 2011. I will randomly draw one winner at 8.00pm Wednesday 16th March and the winner will be announced here that evening.
We'd love it if you could share news of the giveaway with your readers on your own blogs, if you do please include a link in your comment on this post and you will be entered into a draw for a secret bonus prize! As above I will randomly draw one winner at 8.00pm on Wednesday 16th March and the winner will be announced here that evening.
As this is a birthday celebration, I think it is only fair that the giveaway is open to all team members of OTTBS as well as readers.
Happy Beading!

Tuesday 8 March 2011

March Moodboard

Here's my piece for the March Moodboard. I've chosen soft shades of olive greens, a little cream and barely-there pink.

If you'd like to join in with this month's moodboard please click here to see our inspirational mosaic and for details on how to take part.

Monday 7 March 2011

Giveaway Prize - Sneaky Peak 5

Today's sneaky peak prize is these cute lock and key charms from Vintaj. Only 2 days to go! Happy beading!


Saturday 5 March 2011

Giveaway Prize - Sneaky Peak 4.

We had a lovely day out in Cardiff today and I got to go to Crystals and Ice. It's a fab shop packed with lovely beady goodies. I was a bit spoilt for choice, but I love rivoli's so I picked up this gorgeous 12mm aqua beauty just for you. I think it will blend beautifully with the beads from sneaky peak 2!
Happy beading!


Friday 4 March 2011

Giveaway Prize - Sneaky Peak 3

Even though I bead and make jewellery myself, I love to wear pieces made by other beaders, so today's sneaky peak prize is a pair of my signature circular peyote earrings in the Rose Garden colourway inspired by the pink, green and creams of this months moodboard challenge. The circles are 1 inch and finished with sterling silver earwires.

Rumour has it that the husbeast is planning a trip to Cardiff tomorrow, which means a visit to Crystals and Ice, my local bead shop, I may just have to pick up a little something for the giveaway!

Happy beading!


Thursday 3 March 2011

Giveaway Prize - Sneaky Peak 2

Well we had a book yesterday, so it's definitely time for some beads! The next part of the giveaway is these gorgeous aqua beads, 3 tubes of miyuki delica's, 3 ceramic ovals and 2 ceramic daisy beads Hope you are getting excited for next Wednesday's giveaway!

Happy beading,


Wednesday 2 March 2011

We are almost 1 years old! Giveaway Announcement.

Believe it or not, next week marks the 1st anniversary of Operation Tackle That Bead Stash! When I first started the blog, I would never have guessed that we be holding challenges and getting so many beautiful entries or that I would be posting my own free patterns!

Here are some of my favourite pictures posted over the last year,

Liz's first Wear It or Frog it piece, such simple elegance, I love it,

My 1st ever tutorial, simple but you have to start somewhere,

A delicious photo of gorgeous teal beads by Clair,

Liz's 2nd Goal project, The colours are so fresh and pretty,

And now a drumroll please.....
I am happy to announce that next Wednesday I will be posting details of our 1st ever giveaway! The rules will be posted then along with a full list of prizes that I will be gathering from my stash and the giveaway will be open for one week with the winner being announced the following Wednesday. I will posting some sneaky peaks of the prizes throughout the week and the 1st one is pictured below!

Happy beading!

Tuesday 1 March 2011

March Moodboard

Welcome to the March Moodboard! A huge thanks to everyone who joined in with us last month, we had an amazing response :) This month we have a pretty spring colour combination for you - pink, cream and green. As always there are lots of different textures and patterns in the mosaic for you to take your inspiration from as well as the colours themselves...

You can email your photographs to me at or alternatively you can add them to our Flickr group pool. The deadline for entries is March 31st and as usual a prize will be awarded at random to one of our lucky entrants!

Up for grabs this month is a kit to make one of my Fairground Attraction pendants, including beads, thonging, findings and full colour instructions, in the winner's choice of colours...

We're looking forward to seeing what you create - enjoy the challenge, happy beading and don't forget...tackle that bead stash!