Hubble Stitch is here!

Let's Hubble by Melanie de Miguel

I just arrived back from an intensive 4 days at the Great British Bead Show, which was one of the most exciting for me. Not only was I teaching 3 fun but challenging workshops and catching up with dear old beady friends, but I was also launching Let’s Hubble! my new book. Hubble is a brand new beadwork stitch and my philosophy on beading is that the more stitches and techniques we have under our belts, the better we can attack a project and tailor it to perfection! I’ve now been Hubbling for about 2 years; I absolutely love working this stitch and have so much more to look into and develop. Since returning from the GBBS, I’m delighted to say that I’ve had an amazing amount of wonderful feedback about Hubble stitch from beadworkers and I’m looking forward to seeing images of everyone’s Hubble projects on my Hubble Stitch page on Facebook.

Let's Hubble book launch at the Great British Bead Show

Let’s Hubble book launch at the Great British Bead Show

The book is Half Canadian bound so it’s user-friendly, and lies open where you leave it – great for craftworkers; it’s packed with tips, all presented in a fun and friendly style, to help you feel as if you’re in a creative and dynamic beading workshop. You will soon be incorporating this wonderfully lacy and extraordinarily adaptable stitch into your beading world. To help you learn and practise Hubble, the book contains 12 beautiful projects including a variety of glamorous bracelets and cuffs, gorgeous earrings, a spectacular vortex necklace for spectacles, Hubble ropes, a sparkly crystal scarf ring and finally the Solar Flare – a lovely little versatile beaded element using lots of Hubble techniques combined. Let’s Hubble! is currently available on Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones and all good beadwork suppliers.

 

 

Posted in Beadwork Techniques, Blog, Great British Bead Show, Hubble Stitch, The Beadworkers Guild, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LET’S HUBBLE! has arrived!!!!

LET'S HUBBLE - try out the brand new beadwork stitch by Melanie de Miguel

IT’S ARRIVED!!!!!!

I’ve just taken delvery of the first copies of my book, LET’S HUBBLE! Excited doesn’t even come close! I’m so pleased with how it looks, and I want to thank Sue Richardson and her colleagues at SRA Ltd for doing a fantastic job. They really helped to make things run smoothly.

 

 

So I’m guessing that soon the pre-orders will be winging their way and that there could soon be some Hubble pieces appearing. Please feel free to share images of your Hubble stitched beadwork on my Hubble Stitch Facebook page. I will have copies for sale at the Bead Bazaar at the Great British Bead Show in Daventry on Sunday 10th May.  I’ll also have them with me in my classrooms on the 7th, 8th and 9th, during workshop breaks only.

 

 

Posted in Beadwork Shows, Blog, Great British Bead Show, Hubble Stitch, The Beadworkers Guild, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Enchanted Lake – Great Escapes weekend

For me, a Great Escapes weekend is a bit like Christmas. I really look forward to it and enjoy all the preparation – organising my stash and supplies for everyone, and then it’s arrived, and it’s all over in a flash! Knowing that I was even more determined to enjoy every minute of it this time, and I wasn’t disappointed. This weekend workshop was at Barnett Hill in Guildford, set within the most wonderful gardens and woodland, all bursting forth with buds and foliage. We all arrived for an introductory tea at 4pm and already the temptations began with the chef’s delicious, homemade cakes and biscuits.

The Enchanted Lake - Great Escapes weekend workshop

The Enchanted Lake – Great Escapes weekend workshop

The Enchanted Lake - Great Escapes

The Enchanted Lake – Great Escapes weekend workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a break to unpack and set up the teaching room for The Enchanted Lake workshop, we had a beading session and the laughter began. It didn’t stop all weekend and it’s surprising how much beadwork we actually achieved! I loved seeing everyone’s gorgeous choices of colour – and this project really pushed some thinking buttons when it came to colour. True to the project, there was lots of sparkly magic going on – the colours of the beadwork even managed to confer different moods on the “Lakes”. We had Woodland Elves, Narnia, Arctic Solitude, Maypole Magic, something rather Dark Apollo and Deep Forest. Can you guess which is which?

The Enchanted Lake - Great Escapes

The Enchanted Lake – Great Escapes weekend workshop

Being in good company all weekend (it’s a bit like a lovely family reunion), eating excellent quality food and getting to do lots of beading just can’t be beat! I can’t wait the go back in October to teach the Introduction to Hubble Stitch weekend – the Autumn colours will abound!

Posted in Blog, Hubble Stitch, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bead Magazine

Cover of Bead Magazine Issue 60 - Feb/Mar 2015

Cover of Bead Magazine Issue 60

I’d completely forgotten an interview I did with Katie Dean for Bead Magazine, until she emailed me this evening to say that the magazine has hit the shelves. So if you want to work on some rather deeeelish projects or even get a bit of insight as to why I’m a complete bead maniac, then grab a copy.

Posted in Bead Magazine, Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hubble Stitch – the brand new beadwork stitch!

A beautiful cabochon that I captured with Hubble Stitch using 24K gold-coated Czech Charlottes

A gorgeous cabochon that begged to be Hubbled!

So 2015 has arrived and I met my deadline to get the finished text of my book on Hubble Stitch in the hands of my publisher – which is soooooo exciting! Hooray!!!!!

It’s been around 2 years since I first realised I had a brand new stitch and the idea has been simmering away at the back of my mind. My family and friends have urged me to write, particularly Sue Richardson (crumbs Sooz, how many years have you been trying to get me to write?); the more I thought about it, the more I found new ways to manipulate the stitch and my passion for it grew and grew, so it just had to be done! I took the bull by the horns and started writing in October.

The Spex Vortex whirls and twirls - it's made using basic Hubble with varying bead sizes.

Spex Vortex – made using basic Hubble with varying bead sizes.

There will be 12 projects to provide you with opportunities to practise the different forms of Hubble Stitch covered in the Chapters. I have written it so as to guide you step by step from basic Hubble, through 2-Drop, 3-Drop, Horizontal Spaced Out Hubble (HorSO), three forms of Vertical Spaced Out Hubble (VerSO), Hubble-in-the-Round and finally to Inverted Hubble. It’s such an incredibly versatile stitch and there’s so much more that can be done with it, but I’ll be covering that in Book 2!!!

 

 

 

 

These 2 basic Hubble ropes are so quick and easy to work. They differ in where I chose to change colour.

Hubble ropes – tubular form of Hubble-in-the-Round.

I had invaluable help from my dear, beady friends Sandra Fox, Erika Simons, Jean Phillips, Nitty Chamcheon and Gwenda Fairbairn, all of whom sat with me diligently testing my Hubble designs. I was overjoyed when they came back to me with some gorgeous samples of their own, many of which have been used in the book. Thank you girls from the bottom of my heart.
Michael Wicks is a really seasoned craftwork photographer (he does the photography for the Beadworkers Guild) and he took some stunning shots for the book.

 

 

The Enchanted Forest cuff - combination of 2-Drop and basic HorSO Hubble stitches.

The Enchanted Forest – worked in basic HorSO and 2-Drop Hubble.

As a special introduction to the stitch, I’ve put together a workshop to give you a real taste of Hubble and have a go at creating some of the fabulous textiles it produces – you’ll see how über-addictive it really is. I’ll be teaching it for the very first time at Stitchncraft on 10th October, and spending an entire weekend Hubbling at Great Escapes in Guildford – I simply cannot wait!!!!

For now, I know I’ll have layouts to deal with and editing etc. but I’ve also got plenty of new Hubble designs all charging around in my head trying to escape onto my Bead-On-It-Board (which thankfully no longer smells of sesame prawn!).

Solar Flares can be used individually or gathered for bracelets and necklaces.

Solar Flares – incorporating Inverted Hubble Stitch, amongst other forms!

 

I honestly can’t remember the last time I used another beadwork technique – I’ve got Hubble Stitch fever and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s the link to my Hubble Stitch FB page, for updates and images. I’ll also be encouraging beadworkers to share pics of their Hubble beadwork there.

Posted in Blog, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Tsarina’s Jewels – Great Escapes weekend

I am really a very lucky girl. Having just got back from a lengthy holiday break, just the two of us, sailing the seven seas (well mostly a bit of the Atlantic), I’ve returned to reality, but also to one of my favourite times of year. September and October are not only ablaze with glorious, changing colours, but also my workshops diary is chocabloc and I just love teaching!

Captain and crew (that's me)

Captain and crew (that’s me). Sailing off the coast of northern France.

Sunrise, sailing out of St Malo

Sunrise, sailing out of St Malo. Just beautiful. Time for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Great Escapes weekend is also something to really look forward to as we not only have lots of fun beadwise, but also socially. There’s something about spending time in a workshop room with a group of like-minded people that helps to forge lovely friendships. Also stunning surroundings, terrific nosh and a beautiful venue help considerably! Hence, I’m in anticipation of a fab weekend teaching the Tsarina’s Jewels; I’ve brought together the Tsarina Reversible Lariat and Tatiana Bracelet and Earrings for a challenging bead-in at Barnett Hill in Guildford, 17-19th October.

I’ll be bringing kits, beads and plenty of salty sea dog tales – Arrrrrr!

Posted in Beading Kits, Blog, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Video Tutorial – Techniques: Right Angle Weave (RAW)

Right Angle Weave (abbreviated to RAW) is a superb stitch to get to know and add to your beading artillery. It is so useful for structural pieces as well as being decorative. I love to use RAW when working on pieces inspired by molecular structures. In this video I demonstrate  basic, linear RAW using 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals, because their shape causes them to sit perfectly together, illustrating the stitch beautifully. When you have practised RAW a little using bicones, give it a go with some size 8 seed beads and then progress on to size 11s. Work a long strip as a bracelet and think about all the attachment points along the strip for embellishments e.g. fringes, loops, drop beads and dagger beads.

In this video I’m wearing:

Isabella necklace in the Aqua colour way (kits sold out in Aqua colour but available in Dorado, Topaz, Peridot and Bermuda Blue) http://beadschool.co.uk/product-category/kits-2
The Isabella design is also available as a workshop.

Crystal Finger Candy Ring.

Emilie bracelet: Made with Swarovski bicone crystals and Miyuki seed beads. Pattern available: http://beadschool.co.uk/product/emilie-bracelet

Link to Beadschool website: http://beadschool.co.uk

Find me on Facebook: Beadschool Mel – https://www.facebook.com/beadschool.mel

Materials used:
Size 12 needle – Stitchncraft
Swarovski 4mm bicone crystals – Stitchncraft
Fireline 4lb – Stitchncraft

Posted in Beadwork Techniques, Blog, Right Angle Weave, Video Tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USA and the Bead & Button Show 2014

Beady girls out at Applebees!

Beady girls out at Applebees!

Phew, what a whirlwind time it’s been; my feet hardly touched the ground! I can’t believe I’m actually back home now, the days just flew by. I had a great time at the B&B, with lots of new students in my classes and some old friends too. Of course I met up with the darling Pittsburgh Sissies, but didn’t manage to spend nearly enough time catching up with them. I must admit to spending some money on b-e-a-d-s (shhhhhh) on the first evening – well they were just THERE and I couldn’t wait.

 

 

 

 

Decorated building in Milwaukee

Interesting fresco I spotted on a building in Milwaukee, as we arrived at the B&B Show.

I was somewhat jet-lagged but fought through, and the heightened adrenalin  levels helped on the Meet the Teachers evening! One of my regrets is that I didn’t have time that evening to get round to chat with many of the other teachers, but it was incredibly busy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bloomin' Beads, Etc. girls.

The Bloomin’ Beads, Etc. girls.

On Sunday the 8th, after a last, quick whiz around the market place, my friend, Vicki, drove us to Columbus, Ohio. The drive took almost 8 hours, so hats off to her for sticking with it; I owe her my extreme gratitude for all her help over the course of the B&B show and for putting me up at her house (or maybe that should be putting up with me)! Over the next two days I taught two workshops at Bloomin’ Beads, Etc. and had a really lovely time. I confess I was treated like a queen and taken out to dinner – where I proceeded to run through my repertoire of Monty Python sketches. I can’t have been all that bad, because we went out to dinner again the next night! Many thanks to Gail Bloom, who owns Bloomin’ Beads, Etc. for inviting me to teach there, and to the rest of the staff for their help throughout the 2 days; I look forward to our next time together.

 

 

 

I flew to New York on the 11th, threw my stuff into the room and whizzed down to CJS Sales warehouse. Unfortunately my flights were dreadfully delayed so it was quite late in the day when I got there, I was also ravenously hungry, so I couldn’t stay for long. However, I managed to get in a quick visit the next day and made some delicious discoveries. Again I was on the hunt for flat back cabochons and I wasn’t disappointed. Carl and David were there and, as always, very kind and hospitable.

I taught two workshops at York Beads, during which time I got to know more of the staff there. They are a wonderful mix of people from the philosophical to the completely bead-crazy, all of them warm and welcoming. I was completely blown away on the 13th, when they all came marching up the stairs to the mezzanine room where I was teaching, singing Happy Birthday to me and bringing a mouth-watering New York cheesecake with them. Their thoughtfulness meant so much to me and I won’t forget my time there!

That evening my friend Adele Rogers Recklies met me at the shop and we went to the Metropolitan museum together – well we valiantly worked our way there in the monsoon, both arriving like drowned rats. Despite Adele’s brolly, my dress was plastered to me and I made a pool wherever I stood. Nevertheless, it was most enjoyable as we worked our way around the Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibition, which was quite astounding, and on through the Mediaeval, Byzantine and Egyptian galleries. Superb.

My final day in New York was spent with some members of the Bead Society of Greater New York; I was teaching my Lorenzo bracelet. There was a lot of laughing going on as well as beading, and I was delighted to see that some of the students were using their own bead colour choices. I always love to see that, because everyone always seems to choose colours that I hadn’t dreamt of combining – so I’m looking forward to seeing those finished pieces!

 

Posted in Bead & Button Show, Beadwork Shows, Blog, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Great Escapes and the Beading Challenge

Apologies for not writing this up yet, but I have been focused on preparing for the Bead & Button Show.

Mel, Sandra and Helga judging the Challenge for the Beadworkers Guild

The judges hard at work!

I really missed seeing lots of my old friends at this year’s Beadworkers Guild beading festival. All I managed was a few surprised hugs on a flying visit to Daventry on Friday 9th May. I did, however, spent a fabulous day locked away in the Challenge Room with Sandra and Helga, judging members’ beautiful beadwork entries. We were in such a privileged position, being able to handle and try on wearable pieces, and marvel at the sheer scope of the creativity, colour choices. We also enjoyed reading about the inspirations that led to each and every one of them. It really was a devil of a task that took all day, with Jane Marie, bless her, popping in and out with refreshments, keeping us hydrated! The girls were great company and good sports, because I asked them if they’d be willing to start an hour earlier than normal, as I had to dash off as soon as we finished judging, and be teaching at Great Escapes for the weekend – we started at 8 and I think I left around 5!

I can’t really complain about missing out on anything though, because my weekend in the Cotswolds with the Great Escapes students was nothing less than spectacular. Jane Dickinson runs the weekends and had chosen the most beautiful venue – the Cotswold Conference Centre on the Farncombe Estate – it was just breathtaking. As I drove into the estate, there were pheasant birds ambling along the verges, and woods and fields as far as the eye could see. I could look out of my bedroom window and watch little calves gambolling around their mothers, just a few feet away from me. AND we were so high in the hills that we had an amazing view of the Welsh Black Mountains. I can’t wait to go back. Apart from that, the girls on the course were such fun and we were constantly laughing. There’s a real bonding process that happens between us on these weekends; they become so much more than just a long workshop.

I have to say that I’ve made some lifelong friends through my teaching and being part of the Beading community, and for that I’m truly grateful.

Posted in Beading Kits, Blog, The Beadworkers Guild, Workshops | Leave a comment

Workshops at York Beads, New York

I could never have dreamed I’d be teaching in New York, let alone two workshops! I have Perry Bookstein of York Beads to thank for having faith in me and booking two classes:

12th June: Tsarina Reversible Lariat
Tsarina Reversible Lariat
So many of the special-finish rivolis have beautiful reverse sides that it’s a crime if they’re covered with beadwork, but this lariat is the perfect way to show off beautiful double-sided rivolis. There will be two kits available – the Crystal Sahara version is both autumnal and warm, whilst the Bermuda Blue lariat is deep and magical. Wear it long in elegant style around your neck, draped around your waist or Bohemian style – many times around your wrist.

13th June: Tatiana Bracelet
Tatiana Bracelet
A gorgeous, dangly bracelet full of filigree, fancy and freedom! (How many alliterations can you get into a description of a bracelet?). Why filigree? Well the connectors between the rivoli units are made with size 15 Czech Charlottes and look like tiny triplets of leaves, with an adorable little crystal guarding them. Why fancy? Because it is! And freedom, because the beading is a light touch – you can see the pretty edges of the rivolis and those adorable spikes haven’t been Peyote-ed to death! You can actually see much more than just the spike tips. I wear my Tatiana Bracelets a lot, and love the free movement and swing of the spikes against my hand.

And finally…. one of the most fun things for me will be spending my birthday in New York – BEADING!!!!!! So come and join me!

Posted in Beading Kits, Blog, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments