Kelly Angeley and I have a lot in common: we both love beads, yoga, and the Blues. Ever since I first laid eyes on some of Kelly's magnificent bead embroidery
, I've been a fan of her work. Today, I'm thrilled to have been able to get a sneak peek at her new book, Explorations in Beadweaving
, and even happier to be able to introduce her to you as our guest blogger today on Beading Daily
! Read on to find out why Kelly is such a fan of bead embroidery, and see what you can learn about fearless beading!
have to admit that I am completely fascinated by and seriously addicted to bead
embroidery. I have a weakness for color and texture, which are both
sufficiently abundant in this technique.
I think another reason for my fascination is my background in oil
painting. Using seed beads in embroidery reminds me a lot of creating
paintings, only without any paint. As an added bonus, it's much less messy and
unless you use smelly glue, it's a lot less toxic!
Another one of the reasons I love bead
embroidery is because of the freedom it provides. There really are no rules
with this technique, which for someone like me, this is fantastic because I'm
not a real fan of following rules when it comes to my art work. Depending on
the vision that I have for a particular piece, I can either go a more
symmetrical route or for a more spontaneous look I can deviate from the
symmetry and let my imagination run wild. I can even change my mind halfway
through a piece and take it in another direction with the results still ending
in a visually pleasing piece.
This approach often scares the heck out of
many of my students. If freeform (the dreaded "f" word) is not your bag, fear not! A more systematic and symmetrical approach
can always be taken. With the number of stitches and embellishments available
to this particular beading technique, the piece will still be a successful
design and visually interesting.
go-to stitch in bead embroidery is backstitching. But I use peyote stitch to
capture and bezel almost all cabochons a larger stones. I also use a variety of
fringing and picot techniques to add texture. I neatly sew and finish the edges
of my pieces using a modified brick stitch technique.
The most common question I receive
regarding bead embroidery is, "Where do you start?" For me, the common
denominator in every piece I do is beginning with a focal point. The focal
point is always my muse and inspiration. I generally pick out one large stone
or cabochon that I want to showcase in the piece. Since this piece is the star
of the show, I then find other cabochons, larger beads, sequins or sew-ons that
complement the focal. Next, I pick out way more tubes of seed beads colors than
I will ever use in one piece. Basically I audition them to see if they will
work in the piece. I choose colors that will match the focal as well as beads
in complimentary shades that will really make the piece pop visually. I like to
work in an assortment of sizes and shapes of seed beads to add an additional
element of variety in my designs.
Before committing to a design, I arrange
the stones on my beading foundation and move them around. Once I know where I want the main focal piece
placed I will glue only that one piece down. I then trace around the other
larger pieces to map out where I had them arranged without yet gluing them down.
I never like to commit to more than one larger piece at a time because my
vision often changes during the creating process.
My greatest piece of advice for those
of you wanting to test your hand at bead embroidery is to let go of your fear.
Getting past the fear is the most challenging part. The rest is just time,
patience and most importantly, fun. Let go and trust your voice and I promise
you will have fun.
What makes Kelly's style of beadwork so special? I think it's the way she captures her philosophy about life and tells her own story with the beads, making each stitch a word or a phrase in a magnificent narrative.
If you're eager to explore more of Kelly's techniques for capturing the moment in your bead embroidery, there's no better place to start than with a copy of her new book, Explorations in Beadweaving
. Each of the 19 beading projects included in this book is the perfect balance of instruction and inspiration. Take a good look at how Kelly has used a whole array of beads and found objects to capture the moment and create exquisite, playful beadwork, and you'll be inspired to dig through your stash and do the same!
For a very limited time, when you pre-order your print edition of Explorations in Beadwork, you'll get the eBook as an instant digital download, so you can start exploring your own stories using Kelly's techniques and advice right away!
Pre-order your copy of Explorations in Beadweaving and tap into some of Kelly's wisdom and advice to find your way with your beads! Or if you prefer a digital eBook to a print copy, you can download your copy of Explorations in Beadweaving onto your favorite desktop or laptop computer and be reading and beading in just minutes.
Have you created a special piece of beadwork that held significant meaning for you? Have you ever felt as though you were transported to a deeply meditative state while working on a piece of beadwork? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your experiences with us, or better yet, take a picture of your meaningful masterpiece and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery!
Stay tuned for details about Kelly's LIVE webinar coming later in July!
Angeley lives, teaches beading classes and works out of her home studio
in Florence, OR. Kelly holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from
Western Washington University, where she began her artistic career as a
painter, however, a healthy obsession with beadwork has caused Kelly to
put down her paintbrush. What once started out as a hobby has become a
serious profession for Kelly. She sells her beadwork in galleries and
boutiques along the west coast of the United States and has exhibited
her work in national beadwork exhibitions.She has taught at the Bead
& Button Show, Puget Sound Bead Festival and the Bellingham Bead
Festival, as well as teaching up and down the west coast at various bead
stores. Kelly's work has been featured in several books and magazines. Her hobbies include playing guitar and collecting, you guessed it, beads.You can see more of her work at her website, Kelly Angeley Beadologie, and check out her Etsy shop, Beadologie, for the coolest beads, supplies, and beading kits!