Last weekend, 25 beaders plus a couple of partners and a pal came together at our usual haunt, Gartmore House, to spend two days worshipping at the alter of the beading deity, Jean Power! We had people travelling from across the UK and even one intrepid beader who joined us from Canada, and, as always, the weekend was full of laughter, cake and shiny delicious beads. Jean created two brand new patterns for us.
The Quadrat Box (all because Mairi really wanted to make a box ;)
Despite making two sides during the class, my colours were not making my heart sing, so I am going to start all over again. It's a bit like forcing yourself to finish a book you're not really enjoying: life is too short! I will get it done. I feel it's my duty as retreat organiser to prove that it's perfectly possible to complete things we start in class, so with dogged, tenacious grit and optimism, I shall persevere! (and enjoy doing it).
The other piece is the oh so clever, Silma Necklace with interchangable chaton and bicone bling buttons (my official name) and a cunning twisted brick stitch rope.
I've yet to make the rope... I'm still a little bitter about it being brick stitch. "Come on!", my brain cries, "beads are made to be stitched through and yet you make me stitch through the thread?! Insane!" But, it is so very clever and holds its shape so well... it might actually get made when I'm off on a rare holiday next week.
Here's some examples of the teeny tiny bits our wonderful group achieved:
Mrs Magooty also organised an extra free workshop with the amazing photographer, Julie Howden (on instagram: juliehowden) exploring macro photography and how to set up the right shot to capture your beadwork in all it's sparkly glory.
I got particularly obsessed with my macro phone camera lens which I admit, I've owned for a couple of years and never properly played with. It's a revelation!
Here are some of the Silma pieces from the Sunday class taken with the macro lens. The detail is incredible, right?
Now check out what they look like when zoomed in:
Apart from loving the detail and thinking how much easier it will be to write patterns with this level of focus, my other thought is CHECK THE STATE OF THOSE GALVINISED 15s! No wonder their colour fades over time. They look like hammered metal in comparison to the beautifully smooth silver lined ones. Fascinating! I shall be experimenting further... for example I want to see if the AB coating looks as rough... watch this space...
In other news, we launched the 12th annual bead retreat in April 2020 today. Hurray! There's still spaces in all classes, so do get booking. All info is here.