Saturday 27 October 2012

Beading It Forward

Hey stash busters!

I hope you are all having fun with your beads and busy busting that stash! Today we have a special post from OTTBS Facebook Group Member Janine on the groups' joint effort for Bead It Forward, thank you Janine!

"While looking for inspiration on a small scale for a project, I stumbled on a picture of a Bead-It-Forward square. I had no idea what it was so I looked it up and was lead to Bead and Button's blog (see link on the sidebar) about the ongoing project. I was excited to participate and posted in the OTTBS Facebook group. I had only been a member of this group for about 5 1/2 months at that point and hoped I might get a couple people to join in. That was August 23 and within 2 hours, much to my shock and joy, not only did I have 32 other members willing to participate with me, but I had made contact with Jane Danley Cruz, an Associate Editor with Bead & Button Magazine, who was willing to allow any squares donated by our group to be kept together in quilts. By the next morning, I was spearheading the project that would inspire our group to, up to this date, create over 70 squares!

Artist Jeanette Shanigan was the driving force behind this amazing project until 2011, when she handed it over to Bead and Button magazine. Last year, 2011/2012, they had 900+ squares sent in and to date have donated over $19,000 from the proceeds of these amazing quilts, shadow boxes and various other applications made with these tiny little pieces of art. The theme for the 2012/2013 project is "Flowers: Stitching to find a bloomin' cure". The OTTBS group's squares are varied but all beautiful. Some abstract and some literal. Some subdued in color and others wildly vibrant. Not only do they reflect the variety of the personalities in our group but, in their own way, pay tribute to the men & women who have beaten breast cancer, each one important and special in their own way.

These squares have brought us together as a group and united us in a common cause. It is my hope that in the next 3 months before our group's personal deadline of January 15, 2013, that we can do another 70 squares at least."

Not only has Janine organised the groups efforts but she also beaded the four beautiful squares shown above and kindly let me share them here. If you would like to see the other squares beaded by OTTBS Facebookers, the link to the group is on the top right of the page. Even if you aren't a member of our group, you can still join in, see the Bead & Button website for details.

Happy beading!


Monday 8 October 2012

The Art & Elegance Of Beadweaving {Bead, Book & Bounce}

Gosh! In all the excitement of making changes to the blog layout and look, I completely forgot to tell you about the latest Bead, Book & Bounce. So, without further ado, I can happily reveal that over the next two months we'll be working with The Art & Elegance Of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox.

I'll be encouraging you all to dust off this classic and join the growing numbers of participants who are sharing the projects they've made, along with some thoughts about each book.

And, If You're Interested -

Be inspired by this Lark Crafts Interview With Carol Wilcox Wells or visit the School Of Beadwork, where Carol - and fellow beader Melanie Potter - have created a website full of articles, kits and tutorials.

Don't Forget - 

We're still working on patterns from Little Bead Boxes. We'll be revealing our finished projects on the 6th November!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Beaded Garden: The Reveal {Bead, Book & Bounce}

For our newest feature - Bead, Book & Bounce - we chose some of the most popular beading books - and one by one - we're challenging our readers to dust off the books on their shelves. Over the last few months, everyone has been busy beading pieces inspired by the projects in Diane Fitzgerald's The Beaded Garden

The time has now come for us to share our projects inspired by the tutorials, techniques or inspirational pieces included in The Beaded Garden. You can share your own projects with us using the Mr Linky. 
  • Please link directly to your The Beaded Garden blog post, so that we can find it easily. 
  • Please leave a comment here when you link up your project. 
  • Please try to visit the blogs of other participants when you can. We all love a bit of love!

Monday 1 October 2012

The October Challenge

Welcome to the October challenge! This month we have something just a little bit different for you - a freestyle challenge - with a beautiful photograph for your inspiration.

A freestyle challenge means that you can create whatever you like, providing it has some connection to the photograph. Maybe you'll be inspired by the colours, shapes, materials, or other elements. If you click on the photograph you can see the larger version, there really is a lot to be inspired by!

The twist for this month is Hearts. The twist is entirely optional but if you choose to use the twist then you'll receive two entries into the draw!

How do I enter?
There are two ways...
1. Email your photograph to Liz at
2. Or add them to our Flickr group pool.

Choose whichever way is easiest for you, you don't have to do both. In either case, please mention that it's for the October Challenge so that we know that it's your entry and also let us know what you used from the photo as your inspiration. We're happy for you to post your photos on our Facebook group as well but please make sure that you've also submitted as above. Entries that have not been emailed or added to the Flickr pool will not be accepted.

What can I make?
Anything as long as it involves beads! Any technique is accepted, from beadweaving and stringing to wire work and bead embroidery. Lampworkers and polymer clay artists are also welcome to submit beads they've made. I'm sorry but any entries that do not include beads in some form or another will not be accepted. Your entry must be made especially for the challenge, please do not submit something that was made before October 1st 2012.

Does it have to be my own design?
No. We're happy for you to make something using a pattern from a book, magazine or tutorial but if you do please let us know the designer's name so that we can give full credit.

When is the deadline for entries?
The deadline is 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday the 31st of October.

Can I enter more than once?
You can make as many pieces as you like using the photograph as inspiration. All entries will be shown here on the blog but you will only be entered into the draw once (or twice if you've used the twist).

I'm not in the UK, can I still join in?
Yes of course! We welcome submissions from around the world so don't worry if you're not in the UK. Our sponsors have agreed to post prizes overseas so you can still enter and be eligible for the prize!

Any other questions?
If you have any questions about the challenge please feel free to email Liz at

The Prize
This month our sponsor is Rachel from RB Beads and she's offering a fabulous £20 worth of size 11 Delicas or seed beads to one lucky entrant!

The winner will be drawn by Liz after 6pm on Wednesday the 31st of October, using the random list generator at and announced later on the same evening.

Good luck everyone and happy beading!