New Year, New Challenges

Can you believe it’s 2013 already? It’s a brand new year and I’m ready for some new challenges.  This year, I’ve decided to focus on expanding my skills and dedicating more time to my art. I plan to concentrate on learning and perfecting new techniques, trying new mediums and mastering more than just the basics of beadwork.

With this is mind I’ve signed up for the OTTBS Pendant Challenge and the Earrings Challenge – making one pendant and one pair of earrings for every week of the year. I’ve also committed to Robin Atkins’ 2013 Bead Journal Project which promises to be an interesting journey, as the 65 participants from 14 countries create a visual bead journal for every month of the year. Aside from beading around a few cabochons I’m very new to bead embroidery, so I’m viewing my participation in this project as a challenge and an opportunity to learn something new.

I recently finished my first beaded goddess art doll – my first attempt at bead embroidery. ‘Mother and Baby’ celebrates the birth of my sister’s daughter – Miekayla Carolyn Allen on 27th December.

‘Mother and Baby’ Beaded Goddess Art Doll – Front

I chose a monochromatic red based colour scheme which is my sister’s favourite colour. I included garnet coloured seed beads as garnet is the birthstone for those born under the star sign of Capricorn.

Mother and Baby’ Beaded Goddess Art Doll – Back

Mother and Baby’ Beaded Goddess Art Doll – Close Up

‘Mother and Baby’ is completely hand-made. I designed the goddess doll pattern and hand-sewed it together. I made the mother and baby faces using a Sculpey mold and polymer clay which I then painted. Finally, I bead embroidered the entire doll (front and back) using seed beads (size 11 and size 15 Miyuki), Czech crystals, Czech firepolished beads, and a Czech pressed glass heart which is raised and is surrounded by a peyote stitch bezel.



  1. Such a beautiful piece to celebrate a wonderful event. Congrats on the arrival of your niece.
    Best of luck and wishes for your many challenges too!

  2. Congrats on the arrival of your new niece, I look forward to seeing your beaded pieces each month. Like you this year I too am concentrating on improving my skills, especially in the world of bead embroidery.

    1. Thanks Teena – my niece is going to be spoilt rotten! Look forward to seeing more of your work this year too! x

  3. Hard to believe this is your first bead embroidery project, Tracy! You bead like a master… and it’s not easy to bead on a 3-dimensional form like this. BRAVO! The way you have chosen to depict “Mother and Baby” is charming and touching. I’m totally looking forward to seeing what else you do during the year ahead. Welcome to the BJP!

    1. Coming from THE master of bead embroidery, this is a wonderful compliment thank you Robin. It wasn’t easy beading on a 3-dimensional doll, especially keeping the stitches lying flat…but I’m giving myself 12 opportunities throughout 2013 to keep improving!

  4. This is gorgeous! I can’t believe it’s your first one!

    1. Thanks Kathy. Yes, my first one, but definitely not my last – I really enjoyed making her.

  5. She is beautiful!!!!

  6. Tracy, it’s beautiful. Congrats on becoming a new Aunt. I came here because of your post on BJP 2013. I too post on my own blog, but please do add a little message on the BJP 2013 blog to give us all a heads up so that we can come here and see your monthly piece.

    1. Thanks Linda, I’m very excited about becoming an aunt…my niece is going to be spoilt rotten! And, yes I’ll include my pieces on the group blog.

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