Learning Bead Weaving


Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from March 2015.


I’ve decided I’m going back to basics with beading.  I still have to learn the various stitches to make proper beadwork pictures and things.  Starting with Peyote stitch.

According to this website I’ve been learning from, the term comes from Native American cultures.  There are three types to learn on that page.  Flat Even Count, Flat Odd Count and Circular Flat.  So I started at the beginning.

Made a stop bead.  Easy.

And the instructions for figuring out Flat Even Count were pretty simple.  I got that quite quickly.  As you can see with my yarn and pony beads version:

2015-03-02 12.44.09

What I couldn’t figure out from the instructions on that site was the finishing off. So I went to YouTube. (I love YouTube.) At which point I realised that it was essentially a case of weaving in the thread until it was secure.

So, Flat Even mastered. To move on to Flat Odd, or to make something in Flat Even?

I went for making something in Flat Even – I decided a nice cuff in purples would be good. So off I went. I realised with a bit of a “duh” moment that it’s called Flat EVEN because the number of beads in your initial row is an even number.

I also realised whilst working that it’s better to pull your thread taut after every bead, or every few beads, rather than at the end of a row. Especially if you’re doing a long row. The thread won’t pull through otherwise.

And once I’d finished my few rows, I realised that when weaving your thread through to secure it, you shouldn’t pull too tight because it’ll warp the shape of your piece.

I DID have a nice straight line to make a cuff. Now I have a wave.

2015-03-02 12.44.33

Oh well, that’s what learning is all about 🙂

Next question – do I work on improving my Flat Even skills, including learning to follow a pattern, or do I move on?

Well, I think that question is fairly obvious.  I needed to follow a pattern.  A quick google search lead me to this website, which had a nice diagonally striped pattern to do.


I figured out the pattern reading quite quickly, but I wasn’t entirely happy with my results.

2015-03-09 15.13.10

I decided it must be the pony beads, and that I was ready to work with the seed beads you generally use for what I have learned is called “bead weaving”. I dug out my seed beads, and some thread stuff that goes through them. And I just kinda got in a mess. The beads wouldn’t line up right.

2015-03-09 15.13.26

So I figured maybe I’d gone too small. Maybe it’d word a bit better with a 4mm bead?

2015-03-09 15.12.58


So I went back to pony beads for a bit. I’d found this picture online a while ago…


…and I decided I was going to have a go at the one on the bottom left. The local bead store runs a contest that doesn’t seem to get a lot of entrants and the theme for the next one is “easter egg”.

I pinpointed the base rows and threaded them up…

2015-03-09 15.12.46

…and then realised that I didn’t actually know how to shape. Right, so I’ll square it off. Give it a background. Simple. I just needed some pattern paper. Fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to draw one out, I did a google image search and came up with this.

2015-03-08 21.26.58

Which I uploaded to the doodle app on my iPad and drew a crude pattern on.

2015-03-08 21.30.53

And off I went. Complete with a tip I found for keeping the base steady, I managed to get half of it done before I got tired and went to bed.

2015-03-08 22.18.11

It looks pretty good for a beginner piece 🙂

Before my next session I did a bit more research into it, looking for tips and advice and things. I discovered a few things. For my first attempt at doing it properly, I picked up some wide eyed beading needles. They’re very odd.

2015-03-15 21.39.09

(I have no idea what happened to my camera between these sessions)

I planned to experiment once I’d finished my egg. Which I did in the next session.

2015-03-15 20.56.54

It looked a wee bit wonky, but I hoped that once I took it off the bottom needle it would even out a bit.

2015-03-15 20.59.18

Still a little bit wonky, but for my first piece I’m still chuffed. But I am determined that I will not always be doing bead weaving with pony beads. So… on to the big odd needles.

I got out my seed beeds, thread some wirey stuff through one of the big needles, and had at it. I failed.

2015-03-15 21.38.09

There were a couple of problems. The wirey stuff kept sliding out of the needle, and I couldn’t control it much. I decided to resort to my old favourite. Embroidery floss. Not recommended for beading projects usually I don’t think, but it’s something I can manipulate. So I threaded a big odd needle, and got started.

I had real trouble with the second row. The beads wouldn’t stay in the right configuration. I wished the knitting needle I’d used for the egg piece would fit in my seed beads, before I recalled that the big odd needles would fit. So I threaded one of those through the bottom layer of beads to help stabilise, and I got started again.

Next problem, things weren’t staying still! So I got out the cellotape.

2015-03-15 21.39.17

It’s hard to see the cellotape there, but I’ve taped the needle down. At first I just did each end of the needle, but I was still finding the piece sliding around. So I added more tape, right on the sides of the piece, to keep it still.

I worked a few more rows, and found that I was finding it easier. I have the technique down. I KNOW what I’m doing. I’m just struggling to do it with such small beads – although the needle really does help. Especially since it’s so bendy.

I know though, that the way to get better at something is to practice. You can see at the top of the piece in that last picture that it looks a bit better. Practice practice practice.

My tension needs work. The stitch is very loose. But I assume that will come with more practice, just like it did with knitting and crochet. Practice practice practice.

As is typical for me, I found this difficult and put it aside to work on something else for a while… and then completely forgot about it.  I don’t know where it is now. I’ll have to dig it out, or restart it, and have another go.  If I haven’t posted about it in a month or two, chase me up.

The First Mini Alien

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from July 2010.


I wanted to do a mystery knit, but when I did a search everything was Mystery Shawl or Mystery Scarf. That wasn’t enough mystery for me. I didn’t want to have a clue what I was making. So I got my friend Cayden to find and feed me a proper mystery knit. I ended up with this cute little guy…

The pen is to show how small he is. It was only 16 rows. I had Cayden feed it to me in a few rows a day, so it took a few days, but you could easily make dozens in an evening. The original pattern can be found here.

So what do you think? Isn’t he just the cutest little beastie ever?

Since then I’ve made a total of 270 of these guys.  So far.


Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from August 2013.


A group here in Basingstoke started collecting blanket squares so that they could coat the market square at the top of town. I made this adorable square – that was very me, so I’d recognise it:

When the squares went up, I was expecting to have to search for hours to find my little patch, but then, as I walked down the little path from the bus stop to the square, I saw this!

There I am! I tried to get pictures of the whole event, but it was market day, and everything was blocked. But they did a really good job. Several lamp posts, all the trees, a few benches. All covered in a patchwork of brightly coloured knitted and crocheted squares.

I really should have gone back another day to get pictures, and if I hadn’t found mine right away I probably would have done. But here are some other pictures I found online.

(From The Daily Basingstoke Facebook page.)

(From this blog.)

And here are a load of pictures from the people that ran the event 🙂  You can actually see my little square (justabout) in one of those.

My First Art Show

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from May 2015.


Some of the different neighbourhoods in Basingstoke hold yearly festivals, and the one most local to me decided to add a “county fair” style competition to their festival this year.

There were categories for photography, art and baking. I was really interested in the baking but don’t have reliable kitchen facilities at the moment, so maybe next year. But I did decide that I was going to enter a piece of art.

I was very, very nervous when I dropped it off to the organizers. Entering a competition like this was as nerve-wracking as my first craft fair. I was taking something that I had created, something I put my time and effort and soul into, and asking strangers to judge me!


On the day of the festival I popped in to the competition tent to see if I won anything.

There weren’t a lot of entries in any of the contests, but it was a smallish show. There were three entries in the Over 16s Art Contest. Here is 1st place:

2015-05-17 12.28.42

It’s pretty impressive. I like it.

Here’s 2nd place:

2015-05-17 12.28.45

What the hell?!

a) it’s ugly

b) if the definition of “art” is going to be that wide, next year I’m entering half a dead cow

I may not have taken the loss very well. I don’t take rejection very well anyway. I will try again next year though. I haven’t decided about the dead cow yet.

Hama Hogwarts

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from May 2015.


In my last Hama post I showed you a Hogwarts crest that I wanted to make.

It took a lot of time!

2015-05-18 10.53.06

And a lot of masking tape… I didn’t want to risk having too many boards at once, so I did a maximum of two at a time.

2015-05-18 11.47.10

But it was a fun project to do. Maybe because Hogwarts means so much to me.

2015-05-18 16.01.46

And it was so exciting seeing it come together.

2015-05-18 16.48.06

Once all the beads were in place, it stayed like that for a few days because I was too scared to iron it.

2015-05-18 17.26.49

Ironing it could ruin it. And I’d never ironed anything so big before. It was bloody terrifying. But eventually the fact that it was back to front convinced me to do it.

Ironing took absolutely ages! I wanted the back to be very very ironed, so that it was secure. And when I flipped it over to peel the tape off, Ravenclaw gave me a bit of trouble. But here it is in all it’s finished glory.

2015-05-21 15.14.55

And I am so so so happy with it!

New Craft Supplies

Arty Advent is over, so I can go back to writing about all the other crafts I do now.  Don’t expect the art to disappear though.  There’ll definitely be more of that.

Last week I showed you all the new art supplies I got for Christmas, but it wasn’t just art stuff I got.  I got lots of new craft supplies too.  Again, forgive the terrible pictures.

I got some origami stuff.

2018-12-25 16.53.332018-12-25 18.00.26

I got some yarn.

2018-12-25 17.49.15

I got some thread crafts and tools.

I got some fabric, and a book of things to sew.

2018-12-25 17.53.53

I got some mosaic kits.

2018-12-25 17.55.18

I got a diamond painting kit.

2018-12-25 18.01.54

I got a rock painting kit, which I suppose should have gone in the art supplies blog.

2018-12-25 17.22.19

I got a Makerly box, which had a quilling kit in it.

2018-12-25 17.22.01

2018-12-25 17.19.58

I got some beads.

2018-12-25 17.59.51

I got some buttons.

2018-12-25 17.59.18

And I got some very cute and snazzy little crocodile scissors.

You’ll probably be seeing some of these kits making an appearance on the blog later, once I’ve attempted to use them.

It’s A New Year…

Happy New Year everyone!

New Year isn’t as big a thing for me as Christmas is, but I do like to acknowledge it.  2018 was a pretty rough year for me.  Many, many bad things happened, but there were highlights too.

I got an adorable nephew in February, I made a whole new set of friends playing Dungeons & Dragons, I made a selection of new friends on the internet, and my art skills developed magnificently.

I have a lot of hopes for 2019.  Mostly I’d like my depression to stablise a little bit, if not get a lot better.  I’d like the store to expand, and I have some plans for that.  And I want my art to get even better and better.  One of my plans for that is my challenge.

I like to set myself a challenge or two every year.  In the past I’ve tried 52 New Things, make 200 crochet items, watched a movie every week.. things like that.  In fact, I’ve written about them before, when I belatedly set myself a challenge for this year.

For 2019 I want to draw 100 somethings, which I’ve also written about.  I couldn’t decide what to draw and asked the internet to vote for me and choose between fairies, witches, dragons and robots.

It was close. There were 20 votes in total. And with six of those votes, the winner is….

That one doesn’t count for the 100 though, because I drew it last week.  I also drew one each of all the others, because I wasn’t sure what was going to win…

Witches got four votes.

Dragons got five votes.

And fairies got five votes.

As I said, it was close. I’ll definitely be drawing more witches and dragons and fairies, but I’m looking forward to drawing 100 robots.

I have set myself a second challenge for 2019 – to read at least one book a week – but that’s not so crafty.