Friday, 28 August 2009

Fabulous Friday... The Interview ~ Talking Beads

This Friday's Fabulous crafter is Jean from Talking Beads...

How did you get started in your particular craft and how long have you been doing it?
I booked to go to a craft retreat in Devon 8 years ago and I was taught how to make a single spiral bracelet, I then taught it to two of my two friends and that is how we started Three Jays Beading. Last year Three Jays ran out of steam and so Janice and I started Talking Beads. My husband came up with the name as ‘that it all you two ever talk about’ . Talking Beads is seed beading and large feature beads, pearls and crystals.

Are there any negative aspects to doing your craft and if there are how do you work around them?
No negatives really, except the cost! We are devils at going out for a few beads to finish off an idea but before we know it the bill can be nearly £100 between two of us. The other side is the inspiration. Sometimes we sit in front of our respective beads boxes (yes, plural) and nothing works. I can make and unpick beads all day and not make anything worth keeping. Other days the beads almost jump together onto the mat and arrange themselves. So, the negatives are always turned into positives. Luckily we both have day jobs and husbands to pay the bills.

What tips would you give to anyone thinking of starting your craft?
Go slowly and listen to advice. We rushed in and bought everything in StitchnCraft because we thought we needed it. For seed beading you really do only need either one of our kits (plug-shameless) which will include all of the materials you need, or go online for a free pattern and then just go and buy the ingredients list from the pattern. Join a beading group to learn new stitches and tricks of the trade. Buy as few books as you can in the first year. The best one we found was the Bead Workers Guild Bracelet Book. After a short while you will know if you like it or not. By the way, we always tell our pupils that the first inch is the worst, in any stitch. Seed beading is VERY fiddly and until you have the first inch or so it is hard to get the tension right as you have nothing to hold onto. Main advice is buy little and go to a group. The large crimping beads we also use, the advice is the same, go to a class and buy for a project. Otherwise it is costly and you buy a lot of beads you do not need.

How did you find Misi?
Emma sent me an email, I was so excited, I don’t know how she found me. I have picked up a lot of useful advice from girls on the forums and bought some lovely items.

What is your favourite item in your own Misi shop?
This Red Coral... Janice, who is the other half of Talking Beads, made this and I think it is fabulous. If it is not sold by the beginning of Dec it may have to go off to Australia for my daughter’s mother-in-law. It is just her sort of thing. (if it does sell, we have another stunner for her, so feel free to buy it!)

What is your favourite shop on Misi (besides your own)?
Can I have two, Hennie and Little Scruffs. I have one of Jean’s bears, his name is Tomas and I want to cry whenever I look at him, he is so sweet. He is really for my grandaughter Alice, but as she is too little now he is living with me. Hennie has made an elephant for Alice and written a story to go with it.

Random Facts about you:

What is your favourite colour? Red

What is your favourite food? Can it be cake, most sorts

What is your favourite season? Spring, we live in Wiltshire and so the parks and gardens around here and the hedgerows are wonderful in the spring.

What is your favourite time of day? Morning, early. People you meet before 9 am are so much happier than the ones you meet after 9am

What is your favourite website (besides Misi)? Google News ( I only have enough room in my head for headlines!) and Emma Ralph ( I love her beads so much I can not bear to make them into jewellery, they are just GORGEOUS)

What is your favourite TV programme? At the moment, Dragons Den

Thank you for chatting with us Jean. Please visit Talking Beads and see some more of her gorgeous creations.

Categories: , ,


  1. ooh! Thank you very much. I sound quite sensible!!

  2. great interview and super jewellery
    well done helen and talking beads

  3. A great interview Jean and Helen,
    Thanks for the mention, Jean.

  4. Really nice read, Jean is a lovely person, and I love reading what she is up to on her blog. The red necklace is beautifulx