What a to do!

Well, things have really been happening here – and not all to the good.  We recently had to change our car, which meant a new tow bar for towing the caravan (obvious?).  We are going to France for a few weeks soon but decided to have a Hudson Bay Start (dry run, sort of) to check everything worked OK.  We’d already established that the lights on both car and caravan were in synch, so we packed the caravan, hitched up to the car and started off – but got no further than that.  The electrics on the car just went!  No lights, no dashboard stuff – nothing.  So there we were in the middle of the road and unable to move either caravan or car.

Did I fall apart?  Just a little.  I phoned the tow bar people who eventually sent the boss out to have a look.  It turned out they had connected the tow bar electrics to a fuse in the car that couldn’t take it and blew as soon as the engine started.  New fuse duly fitted and off we went only to sit in a motorway queue that took 2 hours to cover 10 miles.  Happy summertime motoring.  Eventually got to the site and had a good rest.

Come going home time, hitching up the caravan caused another problem – the jockey wheel on the front of the caravan came apart in hubbie Mac’s hands – literally!  Luckily it’s not needed to tow the caravan so we hot wheeled it back up the M6 to the caravan dealers who put it all back together again in a minute flat!  #feeling foolish!

But better all that happening before our trip to France, which is going to be a challenge for me, never having driven on the wrong side of the road before – at least, not intentionally!  Hey ho.  What will be …….

Back in the saddle!

Well, these last few weeks have been a roller coaster of things happening – good and bad.  The good news is that Life now is as back to normal as it can be and I can concentrate on all things Jacobeadery (and Beadability) now.

I was really excited to see The Jacobeadery advert in the Beadworkers Guild Journal this month – brought it home that the biz is real and not just in my head!  We’re now ‘out there’ and live – scary!

I’ve been working on the wire edge ribbon brooch and, although the first and second versions were not totally up to scratch I’m going to include the second version in the kit.  A different beaded centre is going to be shown as an alternative to the bud centre – no photos of the beaded centre as yet!

Wire edge ribbon brooch

Another project I’m working on is a box with my first major embroidery piece Daphne on the lid.  That’s still in drawing format and I have yet to cut any materials yet.


I’ve also got an advent calendar lined up for getting ready this week – hopefully it will be ready for Haydock Bead Fair on 1st October even if we do go to France.    Will post details as and when ready!

But for now, it’s back to repacking all the Basic Kits into A5 bags – they look much more professional than the bigger A4 ones used to date.

And for my next project …..

I’ve decided to use some of the wire edged ribbon I have and make a beaded ribbon brooch.  My first attempt was this

ribbon flower 1

Which wasn’t quite the effect I wanted.  The leaves were too big and had to be folded under, and the whole thing was not right.  So I’m now going for a different colour ribbon and beads.

ribbon flower 2

I’ll let you know how I get on.


I’ve decided to sell up!

But not for about 10 years yet.

So after making that decision I realised I had to get the business in order and systemise it.  I have long been an ardent fan of Michael Gerber and his E Myth series of books and have even attempted to put his advice into practice.  Without success however.  This time I will succeed and when the time comes to sell the biz, The Jacobeadery will be known as the McDonalds of bead embroidery!

So far I’ve made copious notes, highlighted paragraphs in books and written a couple of blogs on my new website (not yet live) about the progress I shall be making.  I have decided to blog about systemising my business because, as a right brain creative, I realise that not all other right brainers can organise.  I am lucky in that I am a multipotentialite which some people might call a Jackie-of-all-trades but I argue that I am a master of some – or at least as much as I wish to be a master!  I hope to help/inspire other right brainers even if it’s only one.

More on this soon

Baby Steps!

We’ve been to the Bead Workers Guild Bazaar at Daventry and had a wonderful time.  Met old friends and made new ones – with I hope some possibilities of future co-operation between The Jacobeadery and others.  Time will tell.

We’re off to Wetherby this weekend so most of our boxes have been piled up in the front room since Daventry – no point putting them away when they’ve got to come back out again all too soon.  And I daresay they’ll be put back again in the front room as we’re off to Nantwich two weeks after Wetherby – what a busy life it is at the moment.

But then, there’s a lull between Nantwich and our next bead fair which will probably be late autumn – Why?  Because we’re aiming to be away for the whole of September taking our new caravan round France and Spain catching up with friends and relatives who live out there.  Really looking forward to that.  But before then I have plans to design items for a book I have in mind.  It’s still in the note-taking/possibilities stages but once I think of something, unless I realise it’s a total no-goer then it will happen.  More of that in later posts.

Well, nearly there

It’s been a long hard slog over the winter but we’re nearly there – I have been busy writing/designing/beading and can now see the end-of-the-tunnel-light!  And what have I been up to?

Writing a bead embroidery course which I shall be launching at Beads Up North bead fair on April 23rd at Haydock Racecourse.  It consists of 5 modules and teaches over 30 different bead embroidery stitches.  At the end of the 5 month course (a module is sent out every month) each student will have made 5 projects, learned all those embroidery stitches, have researched and gathered information about beads etc., – in other words, will have more than enough knowledge and skills to go on to design their own bead embroidery items.  And I’m not talking about necklaces and bracelets either.  Useful everyday items that have bead embroidery or crazy patchwork bead embroidery on them.

And students won’t have to pay everything up front – 5 payments – 1 per month.  How good is that?

There will be a dedicated website for this course – Beadability.co.uk but for the time being it is being sold under the banner of The Jacobeadery.

For more information please contact me at manda@beadability.co.uk – or see you at Haydock on 23rd April.

P.S.  We are also going to other fairs too so don’t worry if you can’t make Haydock – Daventry, Wetherby, Nantwich ……..

In the pipeline

Well the bead fair season has drawn to a close and plans/bookings are being made for 2017.  I am hoping to attend more events this coming year as we shall be using them in order to have little mini holidays in our new caravan – woo hoo!  I have earmarked five shows between April and June which I hope to be attending with some new designs and kits, as well as full kits this time.  I am in the process of designing a Wedding Collection which will be available from April 2017.

And more really BIG news is a new side to The Jacobeadery.  This is still very much in the planning stages so I won’t divulge much more except to say that I hope to launch at the Haydock Beads UpNorth bead fair 23rd April.

So I’m busy cutting, sewing and embroidering – haven’t got time for Christmas.  Just as well I’ve got last year’s table settings to use.

Napkin and cutlery pocket

Open for Business!

Yay!  Machines working, templates arriving and all things going well.  So we’re open for selling/teaching etc.  Just got to get product quantities in the shop and we’re be good to go!  Such a long time happening but we’re here now and it’s great.

Now, apart from making all the items on the WIP list I must buckle down and do some proper marketing.  I’m lined up to do the bead fair in Leeds in September but I think working on the blog in the meantime is probably the best way forward.

Like Nina Simone sang ,  ‘… and I’m feeling good!’


Bead Embroidery with a Jacobean Twist