Welcome to Beaded Heron the blog. My love affair with beads goes back a few decades when I played around a little bit making porcupine earrings and did some minor loom work,  but life got busy and it wasn't until the millennium while making a beautiful leather hat and decided I needed to decorate it with beads, that the real addiction was born.

Since that fateful time, you would most likely see me with a bead project on a tray on my lap if you were to catch me sitting, and most recently, you will find me at my torch making beads to go with my seed beading if you were to come for a visit. I hope that as you browse Beaded Heron some of my work will bring a smile.  You can also follow me on FACEBOOK:  Come "LIKE my page, and watch for fun giveaways and shop announcements!




Embroidered Crazy Lace Agate pendant necklace & Kumihimo cord.

I started out looking for a smashing piece of Turquoise for the cabachon, but when I noticed I had the blue crazy lace agate stones on hand I decided to proceed with the plan to make a fun bead embroidered pendant, and weave a Kumihimo cord to hang it on.  I added some beadwork for the fun of it at the ends. 

I originally planned a black cord until I ran across the beautiful exact matching capri blue satin floss and decided to use it instead. I like the results..

Here is a closer look at the pendant, which consists of two crazy lace agate beads, embroidered and then backed with ultrasuede.


The ends of the cords are covered and secured with beaded end tubes and I finished the closure with vintage brass chain and clasp.  Sterling or gold filled/vermiel may be substituted for the vintage brass upon request for cost of materials. 



I am enjoing making the kumihimo cords so I will be making more of them in the coming weeks/months.  Some will be beaded and some will be other assorted fibers.


Thanks for stopping by and having a look!





The Princess Wears Beads

Meet Princess Paris.  My funny Standard Poodle is beautiful and she knows it, she is adept at the role of Princess more than any dog I have ever seen, yet she is sugary sweet.  Paris is damn near perfect,  and for all the above listed reasons I decided she needs to have a beaded lead.  From a safety standpoint, not just any dog should be on the end of a beaded lead.  A dog that pulls, tugs or who's lead needs tension should not be on the end of one for sure.  I just wanted to clairify that fact, should anyone reading this post consider making their own dog a lead out of beads..



Here are a couple of close up images.  The beadwork was 76 inches long before making the handle and built in slip collar, and it is still plenty long for a leisurely walk.

Fun little beaded morning glory slider

I was glad to get that out of my system.  It had been in the back of my mind for some years to make a beaded leash and my almost perfect girl deserves to have this. 

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to love up the fur kids. 





Great Northern Classic Rodeo

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend I went where I always go on that day every year, the Great Northern Classic Rodeo in Superior Wi.   I had a great time as always.  Here is a preview.  If you like Rodeo pictures check out my album on Facebook, I made it public so everyone can see it. 




I hope your weekend is going great!  I made a fun Kumihimo bracelet length but will be waiting to attach the ends after a stop at the bead store for findings, then I will post pictures.   Mostly, I am awaiting the cooler weather that is pretty much on our doorstep so I can go back to melting glass.   It has been a long hot Summer and sitting in front of a hot torch and kiln is the last thng one wants to do at those times! 


Have a great day, Stephanie


Good Morning Glories!

The morning glory necklace is finally finished!  It was a ton of work but the outcome was worth it.



Left view



Right view


The five dotted spacers act as a counterweight, so the necklace will hang properly and not twist.


The challenges to put it all together so that it would lay properly were many, but in the end, worth the work.  Thank you for stopping by!



Morning Glory Necklace WIP

I have been working on this necklace for the last week or so, off and on as time permits.  I have long pictured an elaborate beaded/lampwork/flowers necklace, but just the thought of undertaking such a task is daunting, at best. 

I recently took a Kumihimo class at Superior Beads taught by Sandy Marden Lokken, hoping to get a handle on my Japanese marudai loom once I played with the disk.  Kumihimo is an ancient art of braiding, and for us beadaholics, we can add beads.  A history and examples of the art of Kumihimo:  http://www.englisch.kumihimo.de/html/history.html

In the original design in my head, I pictured a thin viking knitted vine with my handmade glass lampwork leaves and the beaded flowers but I decided after making the viking knit, that I would play a little with kumihimo cord braiding and weave in the leaves, which turned out pretty fun.


Here are some pictures of the work so far, from it's inception:


I was not sure which color flower I liked best so I made a few different combinations and let the idea simmer for a bit and I also took the flowers around and asked for opinions, as I liked them all.  I was partial to the white ones.


Fun Kumihimo disk working on beaded braid.  The braid is made with very strong cord, 8 strands, so this is a very sturdy foundation for embellishing.  I found the disk much easier to work with than the marudai.  I will take a picture of my marudai and post it with a WIP update, as I will likely offer it for sale in the coming days. 


I spent a hot afternoon hovering over my torch to make the beautiful glass leaves,  and I also made a slim viking knit chain that I decided not to use.  At this point I was still deciding on the flower colors but I have decided on the darker colors on the far left. 

I wasn't thrilled with the viking knit chain for a vine so I tried idea #2 and made a kumihimo braid adding leaves as I went along. I made it longer than necessary, so the end with the spaces that was extra is no longer there. 

This afternoon after making the kumihimo vine, I  made a couple more beaded morning glory's.  I then played with the vine and flowers a little bit by wiring them to the beaded braid so I could see how it might lay, and if the progress was going to how I had the piece pictured so far.  I am happy to report it looks almost exactly how I pictured it.  Of course, I am far from finished and it is all only temporarily attached.

A few more morning glory flowers and I will be able to start assembling!  Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by and have a great week!




It's Springtime in the Penokees!

It has been weeks since I have even logged in here, let alone even thought of anything worthy to say.  I have been busy doing way too many things but none of them really noteworthy.  Such is Spring in the far north where it is more of a horrific experience at times rather than a joyful one, because of the weather and cold relentless east winds off lake Superior.  For a long while I have been meaning to come here and post my Springtime in the Penokees beaded cuff, but the thing that was missing was an actual picture of the cuff in the Penokee's in Spring. 

This is a bracelet with a story.  It is a map, starting with Copper Falls State Park in the Penokee Hills in far Northwestern Wisconsin, not far from the shores of Lake Superior. 

Springtime in the Penokee's

In far northwestern Wisconsin near the shores of Lake Superior we are in a fight for our lives and the lives of future generations. The threat of unsafe mining practices looms large.

Decapitating the Penokee Mountain Range by using the proposed mining practice would result in sulfuric acid as a by-product in an area rich with rivers, lakes, and bogs. Downstream, the nearby Bad River Reservation would be directly affected as the Tribe stands to lose their main food staple Manoomin, which is the wild rice that grows in our northern lakes, except where mining by products have caused wild rice dead zones. The Reservation lands would turn into a toxic cesspool.

 Eventually, this all flows into the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior, also known as Gitchee Gummi, named by the Ojibwe meaning shining blue sea, or "big water".   The green jewel near the top of the cuff in the last image represents Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands archipelago, which includes 22 islands and is located in far northwestern Wisconsin, off the Bayfield Peninsula. Twenty-one of these islands, and a 12-mile segment along the shore of Wisconsin's north coast, comprise the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

This is not just northwestern Wisconsin's fight, but it is a world fight! We are only using this space, it belongs to our grandchildren and their grandchildren.


Bracelet map:  A butterfly flutters above, in nice clean air, of course. The Falls represents Copper Falls State Park flowing in to the sparkling Bad River, while seagulls fly above.  I used vintage rhinestones to not only represent how the water sparkles like diamonds in the sun, the waters are more precious than any diamonds. All of the landmarks in this piece are represented by beautiful vintage jewels.


As we move downstream from Copper Falls, the sparkling Bad River continues towards the Bad River Reservation on it's way to lake Superior.


The enameled copper focal bead which represents Mother Earth, as well as the two enameled copper flower tubes were made by Duluth Mn artist Sarah Lukkonen of C-Koop beads. 


I don't know for sure which is my favorite part, Copper Falls, or the bald eagle flying over Bad River Reservation. The Reservation is depicted by the green vintage crystal jewel.


The blue rhinestone jewel  on the bottom represents the many area freshwater lakes.  This is where Manoomin grows, represented by three tube beads sewn in above the lake.   On the top of the bracelet, the green jewel represents Madeline Island, off the coast of Bayfield, the sapphire large jewel to the left and slightly below it.


The back of the cuff.  It is mounted on a brass cuff blank, which is lined with ultrasuede.


This piece took me approximately 70 hours to construct.  While working on it, I truly did shed blood sweat and tears.   Blood from many needle pricks, sweat during feverish beading episodes, while feeling driven to do this piece, and many tears, over what this piece represents went into that time. That we even have to have this argument over the shady practices of some lawmakers and Gtac mining company who did everything they could to change our strict environmental laws to their advantage and get the legislation through to make this mine happen is insane. 


I leave you with a map of the area, should you wish to see it.  Copper Falls is approximately in the middle, by the pine tree, and you can follow the Bad River to the Reservation and then into Lake Superior.

A map of the area...


This is the music I listed to while working on this piece:



Thanks for stopping by and having a look!  Hope to be back soon with some other new things, and I have more pictures of the Penokees and Michigan U.P., but for now, this will have to do. 




2012 Apostle Islands Sled Dog Races

I had a great time this weekend at the Apostle Island Sled Dog Races.  It was wonderful to spend a warm sunny day in the woods.  Most of the pictures are in the "here and There" section of this site, a section I have not used much in the last year. Maybe I will revive that section as well, as long as I am at this!

Here is a link to more pictures.  http://beadedheron.squarespace.com/here-there-journal/2012/2/6/2012-apostle-islands-sled-dog-races.html

Have a wonderful Monday everyone! 



Orange Morning Glory Bracelet

It must have something to do with 40 degrees & sunny at the end of January and the beginning of February, but suddenly I found myself turning back to an old standard with a new twist.  Usually this time of year I am making pieces that remind me of a tropical island vacation and white sand and azure waters, while the temps are the coldest of the year outside my door.  Not this year, I am salivating my garden all of a sudden.  Yesterday I had to resist the urge to throw poppy seeds in the small flower garden that borders my dog kennel next to the house.  The few scant inches of snow that fell last week is melting fast.  In places where I ran my snowblower in desperation to cover my water pipe where it leaves the pumphouse building so my water won't freeze when it does turn cold, is melting fast and the snowblower trails are now bare ground.  If we are indeed getting ripped off totally this Winter season, then let's just cut to the chase and bring on Spring already.  This, coming from someone who views Spring as their least favorite season.  We are having March weather. Pure craziness.

The morning glory flowers are a pattern from a class I took about 10 years ago, and the fun leaf stitch design is bead artist Kelly Lightner's interpretation of the beautiful beadwork done by the women of Saraguro Ecuador. I learned this stitch from Kelly about a dozen years ago and revisited it today for this bracelet, then I embellished it with amethyst and Swarovski crystals before finishing it off with a vintage Czech glass button.

pretty beaded morning glory

embellished leaf stitch bracelet band



Vintage Czech glass button closure

 Well that was fun, not sure what my next piece will be but today I need to bathe and fluff my poodle.  The nice weather does have the advantage of dogs getting to go outside and roughhouse but the truth is,  melting snow and longer poodle hair are not a good combination!  

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!



PS..bracelet is listed for sale on my website!  http://beadedheron.kjwebdesign.com/view.php?View=176


Galaxy Cuff Bracelet

I finally finished the cuff, after close to 50 hours of work.  I am happy with the way it turned out and am planning to start the next one today already.  One good thing about January, is it is a great time to hibernate with beads.  Busier times of year it is hard for me to pick up a seed bead project, as there is so much else going on the beading days are few and far between.  Also, in Summer I don't have to run the wood stove and burn wood just to play around with melting glass. 

Here it is in all it's glory!

Galaxy Cuff


Freshwater pearls, vintage rhinestones, swarovski crystals and a beaded mirror moon


Brass cuff foundation lined with ultrasuede

I am raring and ready to go on the next one, so stay tuned and stay warm!  Thanks for stopping by!



Galaxy cuff work in progress.

I hope to finish the beaded part of this cuff today.  Photographing this piece is hard work, for the beads are metallic lined under clear glass, so there are many colors in them.  I am totally addicted to bead embroidery all of a sudden, and this is a good thing.  It has been many years since I felt passionate about a beading project to the point I don't want to stop to do anything else.  Alas, today is fluff my Standard Poodle day but I can also use the trip to stop at the fabric store for ultrasuede for lining the cuffs. 

This Galaxy is 2 1/4 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches long which is the measurement of the cuff.  I need to bead to the edges of the ink drawn lines yet.



Vintage rhinestone comets and shooting stars, freshwater pearl planets and a mirrored moon.


Cute little Swarovski pearl spaceship


Mirrored moon, enameled copper planet, vintage rhinestones, freshwater pearls and lots of beads!

Just plain fun.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!  My beads are calling...