Sunday, August 7, 2016


I don't know if parents have favorite kids, but I can tell you that designers have favorite projects. It is time again to submit classes for the next bead and Button Show, which is usually the time for me to come up with all sorts of new class offerings in general for next year.
To see what is new, click here.
You will see that I have added four new class projects. There is more in the making. There always is, things just take time.
My favorite, the one that took the most thinking, planning and love is called Japonica. It was quite the process to create this design.
It all started with a previous project called Sunrise and Sunset Shores. A friend of mine, Laurey Gilbert, who is a maker of gorgeous bead embroidered art introduced me to Jo Anne St James' polymer clay landscape cabochons. Jo Anne has an Etsy store, and I just picked two of my favorites to create that first design. It was an instant success. It has become my most popular class for 2016. Many of you Dearest Beady Readers have actually taken that class from me this year. Thank you all!
At the time of designing that piece, Jo Anne, who is a fellow painter and a dreamer of magic herself, offered to make me some special, exclusive cabs, just for my work. I knew I would take her up on her offer one day. Then the day came. The way this usually happens is that I get an idea in my head that just doesn't go away, sticks around and keeps coming back. This idea was about Japanese design and aesthetics in general. 
Simplicity and tranquility were things on my mind, something I wanted to portray with a piece of jewelry.
So I started talking to Jo Anne about creating me a cabochon that looks like Japanese watercolor paintings. Sort of like this.

Jo Anne thought this would be a great challenge, and she made magic happen. She was so thorough and inventive. She invented a whole new process to make me cabs that were just right. We had ongoing skype conversations, and she showed me her samples and thinking process. I wanted the cabs in two colors, one a foggy, muted silvery and stormy blue, and one very much like that in feel but in pink.
Let me show you Jo Anne's process:
She put so much effort and love and care into making them just right. I squealed when my order arrived. It looked like this:

It was everything I could wish for, now I just had to find a way to make the design worthy of the focals.
Besides the watercolor pictures, my other inspiration included pagodas.
( pagoda image by
The challenge was to incorporate architectural elements of the pagoda shape into a bracelet. And keep it in line with my idea of tranquility and simplicity. I wanted to carry the not quite stormy, not quite silver feel of that blue throughout the project. And  to have straight lines contrasting with points. 
Here is what came of my efforts, so far only in blue, but the pink colorway will happen soon enough too. I will start teaching this project next year, so there is time for that.

I hope that this design will be as popular next year as it's predecessor was this year. Thank you Jo Anne for making it happen! For those of you dear beaders who like Jo Anne's work, please visit her Etsy site here.


  1. You have superb empathy for the beautiful cab and do it more than justice. Perfect shape!!!

  2. Brilliant! Jo Anne's cabs are so inspiring, contagious, even. This is beautiful, Kinga.

  3. I absolutely love this (and your Dark Side of the Moon)... and hope I have the opportunity to take both of these classes soon! Bravo! You never cease to amaze!

  4. This cabs are amazing, I checked her etsy shop - beautiful projects! I like pagoda shape in your bracelet.

  5. You nailed it GF...I can only hope to take the class someday or buy the kit when classes aren't available any longer. I love your style @Kinga. Keep up the inspiration!!


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