How I fell into the world of beads


In January 2014 I had a random idea. I had been looking for different ways to use my butterfly paintings and I came up with this:

Purple ball earrings

And I love these earrings, they go with a lot of things. I have since created more, but at the time I was distracted with another idea.


Which all eventually became like this…

1709 Cobalt blush

And sold like hotcakes. I only have a couple left for sale in my shop. And despite all good intentions, I haven’t yet made any more.

Because then I was distracted by this…

KJ polysquid

This squid (made for my eldest daughter for fun) is made out of this extremely versatile medium called polymer clay. Oh, I so love this stuff and I spent a few months educating myself on all its properties and spending piles of money acquiring it and the tools it requires (yes, I have a pasta machine to squish this stuff).

Despite this squid looking rather random regarding this post, my experiments in polymer clay also produced, amongst others, this…


Which sold shortly after I posted it to Instagram (didn’t even make it to my shop).

As you can see in the above photo, I had also acquired some wirework skills and that sprung a sudden interest in Chainmaille. This happened…

Rose gold and iron pearls

Along with this…

1728 rose quartz stars 1

And I now have a series of pieces in my ‘Wired and Inspired’ collection with some still available.

By this time it was around June last year and I was distracted back to web design as I had a couple of jobs come in, a new computer, and a pile of other work to do, so the jewellery was packed away.

In November, a friend of mine had a birthday. This friend is heavily into crystals and crystal healing. That day was a rare free day, so I dashed down to the bead shop and found myself some of her birthstone, topaz, along with some other real mineral goodies, and came up with this…

Carrie's necklace

It was my first time working with anything of real mineral type and because it had been so long since I had played with my jewellery, that little effort had two effects.

Firstly, it made me realise I had an interest from my childhood that I hadn’t explored as an adult – rocks and minerals. Since then I have read up and explored some of the rocky outcrops in South Australia and am still playing in this field as it is so much fun to learn new stuff. I have even started a rock collection! And I’m exploring some of the more common rocks to see what I can do with them art-wise (I’m never far from art, I always end up there, no matter what I’m doing).

And secondly, I returned to my wirework and chainmaille and started exploring the technique further. I had Christmas off this year and this happened…


These are currently sitting on my desk awaiting photography and uploading to my shop. I’ve been so busy with graphic and web design for the last couple of months that I haven’t had a chance to put them up for sale.

But it doesn’t stop there.

I traditionally try to make as much as I can from scratch, hence where I started on all this making paper and polymer clay beads, but the mineral aspect of the above led me to purchasing beads…and yeah, I have an addiction as I have mentioned before, and yeah, I’ve purchased lots of beads. In fact my sister and I have just completed a bead shop crawl of Adelaide (a subject for another post I have planned).

That led me to exploring different types of beads.

Then I rediscovered seed beads…

Seed beads

…and first time discovered professional level seed beads…


And that finally leads me to what I have in progress on my desk at the moment…

Bead weaving

These are Delicas, Japanese seed beads, used for bead weaving. They slide together so beautifully. I have yet to explore this fully as the graphic and web design side of my business has been taking up all my time of late, but there are so many possibilities.

So this is how I fell into the world of beads. I’ve gone from one type of beading to another, acquiring new skills as I’ve gone and that has just opened more and more possibilities for me to create.

It is all a step away from my painting experiments, but it is still art as I design the final pieces. I’m very much a ‘learn the technique’ and do my own stuff with it kinda girl.

But what has been sitting on my easel during all this? Well, you’ll just need to wait a couple of days for the letter ‘D’ 😀

Best wishes,

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3 responses to “How I fell into the world of beads”

  1. Love the bead work Liz! Well, you had me at the book earrings but then I saw the rest. 🙂

    They are all lovely. I’ve always wanted to learn bead wiring, and now I want to all the more. Is it really as complicated as it looks?

    Looking forward to D!

  2. Hi, Freya.

    As with all things arty and crafty it is much easier with the right tools and materials. My sister bought a book on wire jewellery and that opened it all up for me. Then I pulled a heap of books in through the library network across the state and got reading and experimenting. I’ve always been good at teaching myself and bit by bit I got it going.

    Have a go. Grab some artistic wire, several different pairs of pliers and a pair of cutters and you are off and running.

    Thank you for reading and D has now been posted 😀

    Best wishes,

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