Wednesday, March 21, 2018


The week continues the bevel idea from last week. I wanted a rich, graphic look so I went to my friends TARDIS and Kandi, as you've seen here before.

I love it! 

There is a beautiful richness to the red and blue together that gives it a real 'textile' feel to me.

Since the past few weeks have been about evolving ideas, I have a bonus square this week. I wondered how this would look with the red and blue 'radiant' stripes crossing the black and white bevels. I have played a bit with this before, in search of a plaid effect, and it worked pretty well:
But with the red and blue split up they lose their velvety richness. Even where they are stacked in the outside band they fail to blend as in the other square because of the white or black stripes. The red and blue seem to separate themselves into parallel stripes. However, I'm really happy with the way the black and white sections look. 

So maybe I will take this one back to the drawing board to try and take advantage of that effect--or to defeat it! 

We got 3+ feet of snow here at Tahoe last week...I know not everybody is energized by the prospect of more winter, so I'll suggest some hot color combos to substitute for red and blue in this one in case you're needing to bead up some sunshine!

How about:
724  Gojira and 798 Blue Dog, a beautiful rich green blend (see square 13 ExCatly).
791 Kandi and 795 Testy for a hot hot orangey red (used at the center of square 32 Bead Soup).
1202 Electrical Banana and 262 Absinthe (also in ExCatly).

I might even try three colors instead of two. I was hoping the blue and red 'radiant' stripes would be more directional against the bevels in my square, but it looks great with them more as fields of blended color. Three color blends are a real favorite of mine, I think of them as beaded tweeds. 

I'm surprised as I look back at the blog that I haven't used more of them here. Now that gives me an idea...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


This week's project was a great example of how these patterns tend to evolve for me. Last week I made the square with a sort of weathered-paint effect and wondered how that would look in metallic and neutrals. I had envisaged some sort of ancient/gilt/mirage effect.

It didn't quite turn out that way:
I mean, it's close, but there is much more contrast in my matte translucent neutrals than I wanted. It disrupts the overall effect. Partly I believe that's because the lighter one, 1286 Rear Window, has a matte iridescent coating that makes it reflect more light. I think I might have anticipated that, but you never know until you try. That's one of the fun/frustrating things about this blog project. Every square I make leaves me with a new set of questions. What if I just used one of these grays? What about the two metallic colors? I tried here using the darker one, 254 Bitchin Camaro, on the inner edges of the frames, and the lighter, 1852 Taint, on the outer, hoping for some dimension. The contrast in the grays is so distracting, though, that you really can't see that I even used two different beads there. 

And, really, for two beads you might grab when you want to use 'silver', they are very clearly different:

DB254 Bitchin' Camaro, DB1852 Taint

Now, I regularly have to get onto myself for being obsessed with subtle differences in the beads and how to use them, but LOOK at that! 

I have long favored Taint for its warmer tone, nearly gold, and what I feel is a richer look. But you can feel that rough texture when using it. Camaro on the other hand is super smooth, and true to that core it can look actually black in a composition. Useful to know! Wish I could find the pastel-color square I used it in wanting silver. It absolutely made a black stripe in it. 

So I was thinking about how to really show off that difference in a square and achieve the visual depth I had tried for in the sample. This is what I came up with:

Pretty cool! It definitely shows that difference. By the way, I used gray thread here, Hana's Pebble, to avoid having black or white affect the look too much.

To further illustrate the thought process here, even as I worked I questioned my choices:  I put the darker metallic with the lighter translucent and vice versa. Should I have used dark with dark, light with light? We may never find out, as I feel like that's too subtle a difference to justify a whole new post about, and these big squares really take some time. So it may be a while before I find out.--possibly a nice mate for a pair of earrings.

Meanwhile I started thinking about those sweet bevels and what striking geometry they make. And that will inspire next week's square!

Basic Warped Square threadpath pattern, as always, is HERE. Pattern uses size 11 Delica beads.

(Regular visitors will notice I didn't edge this one in size 15 rocailles, as is my habit and vast preference. I just couldn't decide what color to use!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


It was my intention to try another Pendleton square this week, but I was distracted by another idea.  I thought about how to disrupt the regularity of the beading weave, trying to create a sort of blurred but recognizable pattern. Like an old texture showing through weathered paint.

I really wanted more vibration in this design; I thought the green would show up stronger blended with my blues and give the colored sections a more graphic effect. I used Very Peri with Gojira, but think I should have gone with Blue Dog for my blue. Anyway, I do feel that the overall effect worked pretty well. There's a nice rhythm to the framing but it's just irregular enough to soften that brickwork of the peyote stitch.  The effectiveness of this 'blurring' made me think about mirages and how this would look using neutrals and metallic for a shimmery blur. So that will be next week, wish me luck!

This pattern would be another good candidate for Bead Soup usage. Use black or any color for the 'frames' and go for it! I have made the pattern showing just the black 'frame' beads to make that easier. And, I confess, because trying to chart the colored rows was seriously crazy-making! You can see here and there in the photo where there's a solid side of color, a couple in dark blue show up quite well. If you like that effect you can add a few rows like that too.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


LOL this one is sliding in in just the nick of time! I was out of town for a week, then Morgan and I spent his birthday weekend at the coast. No complaints from me, but things are at rather loose ends.

Luckily, Clio was here to help:

I love our range of grays in the palette and I'm always trying to think of ways to create gradients that flow. I had the idea this morning of drawing out the layers of color by extending the corner pairs from one color to the next. I think it's quite effective, especially at the center. I used conventional stripes as a frame. I'd like to see how it would look to complete the gradient from light to dark and back.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Here's another that I went ahead and made into earrings; I'm not even close to through with the idea of these blanket stripes yet!

While the Blanket Stripe was directly inspired by my Pendleton wool bead bag, this one I just made up.So while it's not quite the real thing, I think it catches the spirit of those lovely textiles really well, hence the name: Pendletonian!
Clio seems really inspired by the blankets too. Inspired to take a nap!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

34 ❤💙💚💛💜

Too Sweet!            Be Mine
           You're Cute
Text Me

Having some fun this week with Valentine's Day.

I hope you'll find that heart pattern useful; it will work with any peyote stitch, not just a square. You'll notice the hearts look kind of stretched out on the pattern. I had drawn them on my square graph paper in a way that I thought would work, but nope! I went back and reworked it and here's the result.

A photo really can't do justice to the beautiful effect of the clear beads with that pink thread. I used Sakura from Hana, and it's perfectly effervescent!

A reminder that these squares are all designed with Miyuki Delica beads in size 11. For basic Warped Square instructions, click here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


I'm always going on about the textile aspect of this work--it's beadweaving, right?

So this week I decided to take my inspiration from a textile that's quite close to me--my bead bag!
A local gal uses Pendleton fabrics to make cute zipper pouches, and when I saw this one I didn't even try to resist. I've since learned that the pattern is called Tamiami, after the Tamiami Trail in Florida, which I regret to say I hadn't heard of. See the whole blanket and learn more HERE. It's really worth a look; I had assumed this was a border, but the wonderful stripes cover the entire blanket. It's swoon-worthy!

I'm really pleased and excited to see how the triangles turned out. This opens up many possibilities for MORE STRIPES!
As always, you can find the basic Warped Square pattern at the BeadBlogShop; I am using size 11 Delica beads, and continue to work from my palette of 36 colors. I'll be glad to send you the list or put together a kit for anyone who is interested.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


This week I've done something a little different.

We went to Los Angeles over the weekend for a concert, and I thought with all that beading time I would come up with something spectacular. Well, we left late on Friday and it was too dark as we headed south, we arrived at 1am and Clio decided she had had enough sleep so what were we doing trying to sleep ourselves? MEOWMEOWMEOW!!

By the time we were headed north again on Sunday I was feeling pretty brain dead. I pulled out this center that I had started and struggled to find a direction. I loved the blend of Very Peri and Blue Dog, but couldn't find my black beads to continue the edging I had started, blah blah complain whine...then I noticed my tube of bead soup from the last couple of months.

In case you're not familiar with the term, Bead Soup is what you get when you don't bother to sort out your tray after working. They get scooped into a tube and create a nice blend:

I liked the result so much I decided to make a second square for earrings. I'm posting them for sale on my website Here.

Instead of a pattern this week, I am going to offer a recipe:


Two colors, try tone-on-tone or high contrast (see last week's square).
Color numbers below refer to Miyuki Delica beads unless otherwise noted.

Other combinations to try are:
798 Blue Dog + 724 Gojira
651 Yellow Sun + 1202 Electrical Banana
010 Adam-12 (shiny black) or 310 Gravity (matte black) + 749 Cat Burglar
262 Absinthe + Electrical Banana
262 Absinthe + 375 Superfund
...the list goes on!
If you have trouble choosing, you can narrow it down to colors already found in your Soup.

I chose to line my fields of color with the most intense colors in the mix, Kandi and Tardis, and black, rather than two lines of black.

I used alternating rounds of:
798 Blue Dog + 760  Very Peri
791 Kandi + 795 Testy
for six rounds.

Edged with one round each:
010 Adam-12

Then nine rounds of Bead Soup. Mine contains a fairly consistent set of colors, from the Prime and Phoenix colorways mostly. There are a couple of odd silver-lined and metallic beads in there too.

Finished with one round each:
791  Kandi
010 Adam-12

And an edging of:
15-190  Mercury

You can always find basic instructions for making a Warped Square HERE.

And Clio?
She hopped into the car on Sunday without a mew, fell into a deep sleep for the entire trip and woke up early Monday morning in order not to miss her usual nap:

Feet up and everything!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


C'est chic!

I didn't expect it, but this week's stripes reminded me of the classic Mariniere, the French sailor's top, Done to perfection here by Petit Bateau. While searching for photos I found myself in serious shopping jeopardy:
I have a passion of long standing for that intense blue+red combination!
I don't think I could have made a better companion square if I had tried. Maybe I should go order one of those shirts...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Yes, more stripes!

The 'Primer' kit remains my favorite for stripes, not least because it includes Peep Show, and this pattern really shows off that crystal clear bead.

I really enjoy the way the stripes flow off the edge in this square, and wondered what the stripes would do if several squares were joined. Luckily that's fairly easy to mock up in Illustrator:
This would make some spectacular Space Bacon! I felt like the stripes described a pair of whirling paths, like dancers, so I named this one Pas de Deux.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018



As much as I really love grays with black (I am wearing 7 articles of gray and black clothing as we speak), I felt like the photos were looking a little sad. This week's stripe makes fine use of most of the Phoenix colorway, still available in the shop:
I had a lot of options here. I might have continued the center section stripe out to the tips, which would have made the black and cream stripes stand out more, or done different stripes at the tips rather than carrying them across, or done the tips solid, get the picture! I'm very pleased with this square. I sketched out the basic idea quite a few weeks ago and it was fun to finally get to work it. More like this in my future, I think.

It will make spectacular Space Bacon, I think, joined along the edges. Any and all of these stripes will be really exciting as joined pieces.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Happy New Year!

I'm so excited to be continuing with stripes. They are truly my favorite motif in this beadwork.

Today's square is basically a 'bacon'-style stripe with facing corners flooding off into a diagonal. The fun thing about this is that it creates an optical illusion, not only of the continuity of the center band's stripes, but of stripes running down, forward, and then down again, as though it were a folded piece of paper, or shadows running over and down a stair step.

There's an oddity to it because it's bound within the edges of the square, and because of the way the stripes go across the grain.  Overall I'm really pleased with this one and plan to do another with some color.

If you choose to make this square with your own colors, I do have some suggestions.
Using a tone-on-tone effect, at least for two of the colors, is a good idea as it helps to blend the stripe along the sections where it is broken by the stitch, making it look more continuous. And I deliberately chose three colors here because it enabled me to get the proportions I wanted with the colors lining up a certain way. The black stripe running through the center of the square and taking just one step diagonally is important to the illusion. So keep that stripe in particular mind as you choose your colors.

Have fun with this one, I sure did!