Beadwork has happened!


Completed a while ago, but not yet posted, is this shallow, wide-rimmed bowl for a challenge/competition for Whimbeads. I purchased the kit of beads sight unseen (but themed by season), and created beadwork that incorporated at least half of the kit beads. I did use just over half the beads, and only the kit beads to create this.Heller_Dulcey_2

It’s brick stitch, self-supporting, 5″ in diameter, and 1″ deep.


I didn’t win anything, but I’m satisfied with my finished piece.

Alphabet false starts

I wanted to bead some letters for a possible project, and here are my first attempts. Here’s my false starts, from left to right:


Because I like to make things difficult, I started with trying to make a curve for a cursive “A” using brick stitch. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s certainly not easy! If I want someone to be able to read it, I need to do something else. Next, was embroidering a single line of beads onto Ultrasuede for an “A.” Too floppy. Final attempt, a double lined block letter “A.” Not as fancy, but THIS can be read.

A beaded 2013 Christmas


I made a collection of these ornaments/pendants for Christmas gifts this year. I made a couple other colors as well, but these are the ones that played together nicely. You may recognize them as Ecuadorian leaf stitch; these ornaments are smaller versions of the Hojas pendant designed by Smadar Grossman, published in Bead and Button February 2009. Her pendant is round and has six repeats to make the design. I reduced it to four repeats to make this smaller, diamond-shaped pendant. It’s lovely in either incarnation!

I enjoyed revisiting the Ecuadorian leaf stitch. My first exposure to it was in a now-closed Duluth, MN bead store, the Bead Palette. Kelly Lightner had some bracelets made with this stitch on display – this was before the stitch was published in any national magazine. I sent her $5 and a SASE (remember them?) to get the pattern in 200o or 2001. I’ve made this basic bracelet in size 10 triangles for a chunky design, or size 13 charlottes for a delicate look. I enjoy this circular variation from Smadar as well. Thanks, ladies!

Beer necklace, ready for beer…

This Thursday, November 14th, the American Craft Council Library Salon is going to be hosting Fulton Brewing Company and Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts in “An Evening of Craft Brewing and Glassmaking.” Members of Fulton will be telling their craft beer story, and what goes into making an excellent craft beer and the future of the industry. Artists from Foci will talk about the history of glass drinkware production, and will also be making some extraordinary examples of classic drinking glasses for the evening.

I work for the American Craft Council Library, which is in the Grain Belt Brewery building, where Grain Belt beer was brewed into the 1970s (it’s now brewed by August Schell). This was the perfect occasion to break out my Grain Belt bottlecap bead, and make a beer necklace!


The wirework is all made with 18 gauge brass wire, probably considered at least half hard. In other words, I worked to make these links. The seed bead work is done with 15s and charlottes in brick stitch. Worn, it is a lightly messy tiered collection of necklaces, capped off by the Grain Belt bottlecap bead.

If you’re coming to the Salon, you will be able to vote on your favorite Foci glass, and drink a sample of Fulton’s beer. I’ll be wearing this necklace, so please introduce yourself!