I'm finally able to show you the collection I was busy working on back in March using Preciosa Ornela's brand new bead shape - the Pip™ pressed bead. And so it is time for another big reveal of finished pieces, an advert, a free pattern and even a video!
Once again, Preciosa asked a number of designers to create pieces using this exciting new bead shape and you can see the full gallery of available bead colours and finishes and all of our completed work here. Just like the Pellet™ and the Thorn™ this new 5x7 mm bead had this previously hard-core seed beader scratching her head and wondering what to do with them at first. Of course I knew that a company like Preciosa wouldn't introduce a new bead shape if it hadn't already been tested and found to have great potential - and I soon unlocked that potential and fell in love with the Pips. As is my way, I decided to start off simple and so I used the Pip beads to make a Kumihimo bracelet. I discovered that these beads actually work so well with braiding that I went on to make another 7 of these bracelets in different colours and designs. Preciosa seemed to like the Kumihimo idea too as they used one of my bracelets in their latest advert.
They also asked me to write the tutorial for the Kumihimo bracelet! This threw me into a slight panic as I only learnt the basics of this ancient Japanese art last year but I got on with it and you can now download the free pattern for a basic single coloured braid here. Preciosa also decided to create a video using my instructions and I think this really helps you to understand how to create the simple but effective bracelets shown below - I wish I had been able to watch a video like this when I was learning how to braid!
When I was all Kumihimo'd out I started experimenting with how easy it would be to use this petal shaped bead to make beaded flowers and I am happy to give the Pip bead a big tick on this front too. Just six beads connected into a circle gives you a simple flower which you can use alone or to decorate other finished beadwork. I scattered brilliant blue Pip flowers on a silver netted base to create my next piece.
After that I tried out an eight-petalled flower using some gorgeous vacuum coated Pips and again, this worked well with the help of some matching aqua seed beads and a glass pearl. I made five little flowers and connected them with short lengths of chain to create this little bracelet.
As it was all bracelets so far, I decided to try a ring next and so I mixed the Pips with some Solo beads to make a densely clustered flower on a metal sieve base.
I find these sieve findings really useful in certain situations and so I used another one to create a brooch. This time I attached the silver Pip beads to the sieve to form the flower and then I used four of the deep blue Pips to make a little butterfly which is visiting the flower. This is my favourite of all the pieces as Mum was very very fond of blue butterflies and every time I see one it makes me think of her and smile, so this piece is for her.
And finally I rounded off my beady experiments by making a little sculptural Pip Posy tied with green organza ribbon. After all, it wouldn't be me if there wasn't a little ribbon involved somewhere - now would it?
I hope you enjoy looking at the results of my Pip bead research and that you might feel inspired to try some experiments of your own. And don't forget that if you would like to make the Kumihimo bracelet, you can download the free instructions here and watch the video here. The tutorials for a couple of the designs shown above will also be published in future issues of magazines, so be sure to complete the 'Follow by Email' box at the top of my blog if you want to be kept informed of all new designs and patterns.
See you next time!