Freeform is the star!

I may have mentioned my love of Freeform Peyote stitch in the past, but this time I’m dedicating my entire post to the subject. I drooled over it for years, then made one or two aborted attempts before getting a little “kick start” from Karen Williams‘ “Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading” book. I made a bracelet fairly quickly, and then turned around and beaded the little pendant in the same colours. Do you think that I like turquoise and acid green?

Was it merely a phase? It’s obvious that I wasn’t ready to abandon either my Intuitive Bead Embroidery or my mixed media play, so freeform had to take a back seat. It just wasn’t time! But wait!! Someone gifted me a few wooden beads. What’s that, my muse said? Could they possibly be transformed into beaded beads? Oh yes, and freeform would be their name!! After making the first three beads I developed a workshop, and then proceeded to addict a few other people to the process. Was it fate?

Months passed with nothing freeform to show, except for a few more beaded beads. Was that the end of its run? Was I bored with the process? Or did all that problem solving cause my brain to hurt? I worked on a few bead embroidered dolls, but then inspiration struck! I had a starfish shaped doll form in my stash (purchased several years ago, from Aryd’ell who runs the Beaded Art Doll group on Facebook) that needed to be embellished. Would this doll lend itself to freeform? Well let me tell you, that was one cranky little starfish!!! It’s a combination of peyote, freeform peyote, intuitive bead embroidery and freeform netting. I confess that I often considered abandoning the project. The doll told me that she didn’t want to be fully beaded, so I allowed her batik skin to show in several areas. She was a constant exercise in problem solving, and her beaded personality did not fully show until the very end (so I gave her a star). At times I was bored with the colour scheme, stumped by the process, and just wanted the beading to end. Certainly not my usual way of working! Was it a growth phase, or just something I needed to work through? I do like the doll though, but I’m still not in love with the colour scheme. So what’s next, you say? I’ve been dreaming about embellished, freeform peyote rings… I guess that might be it! Stay tuned!!

Don’t ever be afraid to try something new! Follow through on the process, even if it seems much too difficult. Stretching is good, and your star will always shine in the end!


  1. Thanks and I hear you Gail! I don't abandon all that many beading projects. Too stubborn, I guess! However, I do confess to having more than a few abandoned quilting UFO's. As for colour, I do believe in exploring all of the options, even if some of them make me uncomfortable.

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