Hey bead friends! I’m finally back to announce the publication of my whole collection of Jolly Holly – which was an exploration of various methods for making filigree-style French Beading components. Each filigree design uses a different combination of French Beading techniques. And, it’s finally available!
I was trying my best to get this collection out at the beginning of December, to allow for more time to make some before Christmas. Unfortunately, I ended up getting Covid. I was down and out for about a week, but it took weeks afterwards to recover well enough to record videos and work regularly. My voice has been in and out and unreliable. My lungs were struggling and even talking for too long left me breathless. Going up and down stairs was worse. My energy level took a while to recover as well, so I was wearing out quickly. It got better a little bit at a time, and I’m finally normal enough now (still can’t sing, though, which I miss). But I did manage to record videos for the full collection in the last couple weeks, while my throat and lungs were still sketchy. I had to record with cough drops in my mouth, while sucking down honey lemon tea, and only in short bursts. Then I had to wait a couple days between recording sessions to record again to avoid strain on my throat. I pushed through because I’d worked so hard on these designs, and I would have been super bummed to not be able to publish them before Christmas. So, I’m later than I planned, but… we’re gonna launch this anyways.
Here are the four Jolly Holly designs I was able to create. If you saw my last blog post, then you’ve already seen two of them.
The PDF version can be purchased from my main Shop page, or from my Etsy shop. The Video Class + PDF can be purchased from the Video Classes page. Purchasing the video class will require an account on my website, otherwise I don’t have a way to make sure you can get back into the class whenever you want.
Upcoming Intermediate Techniques Video Series
I mentioned before that I’ve been working on a video series for my YouTube channel. This series is going to focus on Intermediate Techniques. I’ve still got a few videos to record, since Covid threw me off schedule. But I’m still hoping I can launch that one sometime in January. This will be techniques only. I’ve been teaching most of the Intermediate techniques via PDF on my website for years. You can find those tutorials in the Learn section of my website under the “Intermediate” section, though I will be adding in another technique that I haven’t taught yet. I’m just adding the video demonstrations and a full length packet with this series launch.
Eventually I will publish a book similar to my “Learn French Beading: Beginner Course” book with practice flowers – but introducing Intermediate Techniques and flowers. But, since I’m a little ways off from the book (because Spring Collection is taking five-ever), and since so many of my designs already published use Intermediate techniques… I figured I could go ahead and do the technique videos. So, if you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel so you won’t miss any of those videos.
New Studio Addition
I was recently able to upgrade my bead storage drawers. I like having my beads in bottles in shallow drawers. It’s very space efficient, and I can readily see everything I have at a glance without having to dig through bags in deeper drawers and boxes. Beads are also really easy to put back in place, knowing I can find them easily again later. I use square-shaped bottles so they don’t roll around inside the drawers, and are more space efficient. It’s the perfect system for someone as lazy as I am about cleaning and organizing. I used to have lots of those sterilite 3-drawer units (the ones with 14″ wide drawers) to hold all my beads. And they worked great for years, and likely would have continued to work well if my stash hadn’t expanded. Those drawers aren’t really made to be stacked super high, especially when loaded with heavy beads. I would still recommend them for those who don’t plan to ever grow a sizeable stash. Or if you could build some type of frame around 1 or 2 drawer units so they aren’t all stacked together. I think that would make them more stable? They’re fairly inexpensive compared to other drawer units, and usually pretty easy to find.
Here’s the most recent photo I could find of my old drawer system:
And here are my new drawers. I specifically planned out the exact placement of the different drawer depths for the way I arrange my colors. The shorter ones are for tubes, boxes, and bags. The deeper ones are for bottles. Some colors needed more shallow drawers and some colors needed more deep drawers, but each color needed both sizes. So, it looks chaotic since all the short drawers aren’t clustered together, but it’s a well planned chaos. I made an excel sheet to graph it all out (*pretend there’s nerd face emoji here*).
This drawer unit is super sturdy. The framing is 3/4 inch thick wood. Even the backing is the thick wood. The drawers, while plastic, are stiffer than the ones I was using, so I think they’ll hold up to the weight of the beads better. I was able to fit more beads and still take up less floor space this way. I have more drawers, so was able to include beads that were in a different area of my studio (like my size 15/0, 8/0, and bugle beads). Those had been in more drawer units on my bookshelves, so moving those into the big unit freed up more shelf space. So I could move my books out of the closet and onto the book shelf, and put some of the old drawer units in my closet for other supplies.
I purchased this unit from Best Craft Organizer. Eventually I’d like to get another smaller unit for my “other beads” (that’s what I call anything other than seed beads… druks, pearls, crystals, etc). I don’t use those often in my work, so I don’t have as much of those. But, I’m pretty sure a smaller unit would enable me to consolidate not just the rest of my beads, but other supplies like wire and floral tape as well. That would free up even more space in my studio, which is always a good thing. But I’ll have to save up for that. They aren’t exactly cheap.
That’s all I can share for now. Happy beading, everyone!
– Lauren Harpster