Friday, December 20, 2013

Update on Latest Beaded Rope

My last post "More on Beaded Ropes I showed you a CRAW (cubic right angle weave) rope I was working on. I tried to make a loop drop and then continue with a strap on each side for a necklace. In spite of Heather Collin's wonderful video tutorial I simply could not get the join right to join the two ends of the rope together. The video is very clear, and in my head I could see it perfectly. . .until I sat with beads and thread in hand, then I got lost.
 After taking it out at least half dozen times I went on with the straps, but it just wasn't right, so I started over. I used a different color scheme, keeping the cranberry lined drops and changing the yellow to white.  I also changed the green pearls for ruby red faceted fire polished beads, and the gold lined olivine were replaced with galvanized gold.  I thought the rope between the join needed to be a little longer because the yellow rope looked a little crimped.  This time I started with a 3 row rope of gold beads for the connector and worked the ropes off the side of it.  So far I'm very pleased with it.  It's not nearly as unique as Heather Collin's creations, but sometimes I just like to have fun with a stitch to see where it leads me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

More on Beaded Ropes

I had shared some thoughts on beaded ropes in my post What Else Can You Do With a Beaded Rope some time ago. I've been mentally processing this for nearly a year now and have finally come up with some ideas that came together.
On the right is a 4 bead herringbone rope with twin bead inserts bangle.  It turned out mostly OK but still not too much to my liking.

I mentioned to Heather Collin that CRAW seemed to have a lot of thread showing.  She said yes it does, but it helps to use thread that is close to the same color of your beads.  It's so versatile and she makes such unique designs with it I decided to try again.  On the top left is a practice piece that I started with Delica beads, but I wasn't thrilled with the look.  I also wanted to change up the design a little, so I started over with round Tohos.  I like the look of the rope with these much better.

As for color I discovered that the change in the drop color also enhanced the project because the cranberry lined crystal drops give the piece a littl more bling, but don't overwhelm.  In looking over the colors I discovered that quite by coincedence I've used colors that closely resemble Pantone's colors for Spring 2014.  The green pearls are too dark to replace hemlock, but the beads BelloModo calls peach cobbler closely resembles Freesia, and the cranberry lined crystal drops are close to Radiant Orchid.  So far I'm very pleased with the progress and hope to have more of the design to show you soon. (or maybe next year the way my blogging has been going).

Heather has created two more videos about working CRAW and they also gave me a lot of ideas about makeing designs with ropes.
How to Work an Extra Row off an Existing Rope

How to Work Shapes

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Authentic Pondo and Gingham Bracelet

I've been telling you about authentic pondo and even showing you some pictures of the start I made on this bracelet for some time now. The bracelet took very little time to make, but getting the tutorial illustrated took some doing. Finally it's finished!

I had fun making this bracelet.  I adore the ease of authentic pondo as opposed to the Pondo/African circle stitch that is so very popular now.  It doesn't look exactly the same, but it makes a beautiful, flexible fabric that is very comfortable to wear.

The tutorial for this design is now available in all three of my catalogs for your convenience.  I know the shopping carts are different and some have their favorites.


The Bead Coop


Now back to seeing what I can do with ropes.  I'm not as inventive as Heather Collins, but I'm working on it.
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday

Don't forget your favorite bead pattern designer on Small Business Saturday!!
BeadPatternsBoutique is having a 30%off sale Saturday November 30 through Monday December 2. Buy that pattern you've had your eye on and make a beautiful present for someone on your list, or give a pattern as a gift.

Just use code "small" at checkout.

AND. . .

The Hunt is on!! Find the Snowflakes before they melt away. Find all 4, make a list and e-mail it to to qualify for your Bingo Card. But hurry, they melt fast!  They'll disappear in just 3 days.

And while you are hunting, don't forget you can save 30% on everything at the Boutique from now thru Monday. Just use code "small" at checkout and watch your total melt.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Authentic Pondo Progress

I've been working pretty steadily on the authentic pondo stitch bracelet I told you about in my last post. Whereas authentic pondo was usually attached to a cord of some type on the leading edge, I attached mine to a herringbone or ndebele rope. As I worked the last row I attached it to another identical rope. I'm finished now with the main body of the bracelet and the length of time it took me had nothing to do with the stitch. It works up much more quickly than the modified pondo that I've designed with before, but I can't sit still for very long at a time, so I find beading of any stitch goes slowly.

As I mentioned before I do love the semetry of the two size beads with the smaller beads nestled in the exact center of each row, but the stitch is tedious.

I took Susan Mandel's advise and worked the pondo part with a double thread and waxed it to help keep the beads in place. If you don't have trouble with tension, you could probably work this with a single thread, but I'd still advise waxing it or using thread heaven to keep the beads from slipping.

Now I just have to decide on a clasp and take some better pictures and finish the pattern.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Authentic Pondo Stitch

I've been playing around and creating a few items with Pondo or African Circle stitch.  It was a complicated stitch and I found it difficult to understand the few diagrams that I'd seen, but finally someone posted an understandable tutorial and I learned the stitch.

I created a couple of designs, Pondo Ripple shown here on the left and Delft Blue Tile on the right.

It is a complicated and time consuming stitch requiring a round-about thread path and weaving back to the start of each row, but it is a very sturdy fabric and I love it's semmetry.  It is worked with two sizes of beads, with the smaller bead sitting snugly in the center of the row between each square of 4 larger beads.

Then someone posted a link to Susan Mandel's blog and I discovered that this beautiful, semmetric, complex weave isn't the authentic stitch used by the Mpondo people in Africa.  The stitch they use is more straightforward, usually attached to a cord or beaded rope as it is worked, and is worked with a double strand of waxed thread to hold it in place and make it every bit as sturdy as the stitch I had just learned, but it is less semmetrical.  The accent beads between each square of 4 beads don't snuggle into the center of the row, they ride between the top beads of each square.  The authentic stitch is woven with all the same size beads.
Here is a picture of what I've done so far on a bracelet.  Even with the time it took to make the 7 inch herringbone rope, this swatch has taken less time than just making a couple of seven inch rows of the modified Pondo stitch.

Another difference is that the authentic Pondo stitch is always worked horizontally.

Be sure to check out Susan's blog for more details of the difference between the authentic stitch and the modified stitch and how the stitch came to be modified.

Visit bead doodler's Craftsy Pattern Store »

Visit bead doodler's Craftsy Pattern Store »

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beady Bling Bingo is Back!!

If you're not already a member of the BeadPatternsBoutique forum join now and come play Beady Bling Bingo.

Beady Bling Bingo is back at Bead Patterns Boutique!
Come one, come all and join the hunt for graphics and qualify for a bingo card! To celebrate the Halloween season, I have hidden 4 orange “Trick ‘r Treat” graphics among the beautiful jewelry photos at . They are numbered 1-4.
For those of you that have not played before, look to the "More Images" links below the thumbnails of the photos at These graphics are not hidden inside of pictures. They are full sized photos themselves! Here is an example of what you are looking for:

Once you have found the graphics, write down the pattern name & the number on the graphic and send it to  or use the "Contact Us" form on the Boutique to report your findings. Be sure to put "Bingo Hunt" in your subject line for emails. Your bingo card will be attached to the reply email.

Now, here's the catch: You only have three days to find all the Graphics!  You must have the locations in to us no later than 11:59pm on 10/3/2013 Eastern US time. Don't miss your chance to play, Beady Bling Bingo!  Numbers will begin being posted on10/5/2013. My normal response time is very quick during regular business hours. If you do not receive your card, please check your spam folder and alternate emails. If it's not there, write me. The net limbo monster may have eaten your submission.

Numbers will be added to our SHOP BLOG each day in the early morning hours. To access the bingo board, go to and click on the "SHOP BLOG" button.

Should you get bingo, you must declare BINGO in our Forum group prior to the next days’ numbers being called. Once a BINGO is verified, there will be no further numbers posted on this board until the next game.
Not yet a member of the Forum Group?  Click this link to join.

Make sure to stop by the Beady Bling Prize Donations folder in our group albums to look over the prizes that are available. The first verified bingo gets to choose their prize from this folder. Should there be other bingos at the same time, they will each receive a $5 off gift certificate good on any purchase at within 7 days of their win.

Feel free to post questions about the game here in our forum, but please make sure if you are sending in your findings they get sent to

Have fun and good luck to all!

Beth “Bouncing Wolf” Rudy
& The BPB Design Team

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New RAW Idea Teaser

I'm working on something very different for me.  I've created quite a few elegant RAW designs, but I've never made flat RAW with seed beads and worked designs in it with color.  I need to get permission from another designer who doesn't make patterns to share the finished product since it was her idea, but here's my first design.  It was supposed to be basket weave, but it's so narrow that I don't know if that's an apt name for it.  I have some other designs in my head, but getting the beads to configure themselves to the design in RAW is quite different from designing with brick or peyote stitch.  The great thing about creating the RAW flat weave is that it's so much easier to embellish than brick or peyote because the open weave is easier to maneuver a needle, so you can create a design on each end and leave the center a solid color to be embellished if you want to.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pondo or African Circle Stitch

Oh my goodness I don't know where the last 7 months have gone.  I never did figure out anything unique to do with a beaded rope although I did create a few different types.
Then I finally found a tutorial for Pondo or African circle stitch that made sense to me and I was hooked on that for a while. The possibilities for designs are endless in the simple stitch and then there are all sorts of modifications you can make.  To the right you see my "Pondo Ripples" design worked in patriotic red, white and blue.  You can find the pattern for this at BeadPatternsBoutique

Next I made a design that reminded me of a floral ceramic tile.  The original was shades of green, gold and purple, but it was a little busy.  I've always been a fan of the beautiful blue delft tile made popular by the Dutch in the 1800's so I set about changing the colors to shades of blue with white accents.  This design is a little more complex and I've found making the pattern very tedious because I'm illustrating each of 5 squares in each of 6 rows for a single repeat.  I hope to have it finished and published soon.

I've also written a tutorial for Basic Pondo. You'll find it here: or you can click on the "My Stitch Tutorials" tab at the top of the page and follow the link.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What Else Can You Do With a Beaded Rope

For some time now I've been fascinated with Heather Collins' designs using Cubic Right Angle Weave. She even has a Youtube video showing how to work single needle CRAW, which made it very easy to learn.  I already knew how to work two needle CRAW, but it was a time consuming process frought with tangles and it severely tried my patience. I started makeing some CRAW ropes, intending to see What Else Can You Do With a Beaded Rope? but I discovered that without some kind of embellishment the CRAW showed a LOT of thread which, for me was not acceptable.

Then I remembered a Youtube video that I'd seen showing how to work Chenille Stitch by Sara Spoltore.  It looked like it would work up as fast as CRAW, so I reviewed it then set out to create a Chenille Stitch rope. It is very supple.  Flexible enough to do some inventive things with, but there's one problem.  It starts with a ladder stitch in the first color.  This might be OK if you're going to make it into a necklace or bracelet.  Just finish off with a similar stitch and add a clasp and all will be well, but it was too rigid to work with  my What Else Can You Do With A Beaded Rope project.  

Time to rethink. The start of the Chenille stitch is similar to Herringbone or Ndebele start and I remembered Jennifer VanBenschoten had written an article for Beading Daily about the Traditional start for flat Herringbone .  I went back and reviewed that, made a few adjustments and came up with a borderless start for my Chenille Stitch!  Now it's time to get busy and see What Else. . .  Yellow and purple are going to be very "warming" to work with.  It's cold here and I'm sooo ready for spring.


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