Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Amazingly Inspirational Jean Power

Jean Power is one of my most favourite beadwork artists - possibly number one.  I love her use of geometry and the fact that her patterns are so easy to follow and cheap as chips to boot!  For a long time I just drooled whenever I saw any of her pieces in magazines and then I found her website.  Oh my!  So much to choose from and so many colour ways to bead these wonderful objects.

I decided to start slowly and ordered her Rainbow Skulls pattern first and I made one each for my cousin and her daughter as phone dangles:
How cute are they?!  I made these in all sorts of colours for practically everyone I knew.  I have one on my Sony eReader in opaque turquoise and black and whenever anyone new sees it they pretty much always ask if I can make one for them.  They make fantastic stocking fillers and little presents.

After finding the way Jean sets out her patterns to be so unbelievably simple and thoroughly easy to follow I decided to take the plunge and bought her Geometric Series Set - an absolute steal at only £24!  Again, these patterns were so easy to follow that I started by making the Geometric 3-4-1 Triangle bracelet:
As soon as I'd finished this one I went straight ahead and started another!  It felt really Mary Quant-esque to me so I made it up in contrasting black and white.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the finished piece any more as I made it as a gift for a friend but here it is in progress:
Then I thought I'd try my hand at the Geometric Stars necklace...  Oh my goodness!  For a collar that looks so difficult, the pattern is an absolute dream!  Again, I'm an idiot because I forgot to take a picture of it before it became a Christmas present for a very dear friend but my Mum beaded it as well.  Where hers is red and silver, mine was only silver:
I tried it in delica beads and was amazed with just how sturdy these stars can be, and so pretty that I think they look fabulous simply strung:
Close up of the star in seed beads:
Finally, and most recently, I saw the beautiful Miriam Bangle and thought it was absolutely gorgeous.  A while back I had made my Nanna a plain peyote rope necklace in silver with a line of red beads spiralling round it and thought I would see if I could make a version of this to go with it as a Christmas present this year.  I bought myself a couple of Swarovski rivolis, some memory wire and (most importantly!) some remote control helicopter fuel line to keep the tube in shape.
As you can see, I wasn't quite so confident on the rounds to start the spiral from the rivoli so I started it where the rivoli joins the tube.
It was soooooo boring doing the peyote rope, and tweeted Jean to tell her (follow her on Twitter - @jeanpower) and she definitely kept my chin up with her encouragement. It took a while to finish (mainly because I kept drinking red wine rather than beading) but finish it I did and here it is!
Nanna loved it, and that made me very happy!

In all, if you bead, I urge you to visit Jean's website and spent some time drooling over her work, read her blog and see all the pretties that she makes then order some of her patterns - they may look difficult but if you know the basics in peyote, you're already onto a winner!  I know that me and my credit card are waiting with bated breath, ready to order when she releases her faux cro instructions!


  1. Hey there, Just came across your blog. Your beadwork is absolutely perfect and spot on. I admire your just do it attitude tackling all those patterns. Can't wait to see what you do next.

    1. Hi Debbie, thank you for your lovely comment! I must admit that many of my beaded items get thrown when I lose my temper but didn't do that with any of Jean's patterns because they're so easy to follow!
      Hope you don't mind but have started following you too because your beadwork is absolutely beautiful.
      Cate x

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words!
    I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your work, so seeing things you have made using my instructions is a real treat

    Thank you

    1. Blimey! No, thank you for commenting on my blog, my goodness you've made my day! I really enjoy following your instructions and they are a treat for me.

      Thank you