Triple Treat by Hazel Blomkamp
29th March 2019
Most of you know Hazel for her intricate animals and her exquisite modern take on Jacobean crewel embroidery. But in amongst her amazing creations, you might not have realised what a master she is at beadwork. This little project will undoubtedly fix that.
Hazel Blomkamp is one of our very favourite people, partly because of her wicked sense of humour, but also because of her ability to meld together different techniques to come up with an embroidery style completely her own. When we asked what drew her to beadwork, she told us that it had always fascinated her, even as a child.
Triple Treat – Blue Flower Brooch
Initially Hazel tried to teach herself from books but hadn’t had much luck. One time she was in Johannesburg and saw a beautiful display of beadwork in a shop window which had been set up to advertise a class. She found out who the teacher was and, upon returning to her home town, persuaded him to come to her.
‘The teacher was Manie Kriel, a pharmacist by day as well as a bobbin lace maker. After being taught by Manie I embarked on this wonderful journey and he and I have since become firm friends.’
Triple Treat – Pink Flower Brooch
Manie taught Hazel the most important thing about beadwork – ‘how to hold the darn thing while working on it!’ He also imparted a whole host of other tips that never appeared in the books, allowing Hazel to perfect the technique and start designing her own beaded creations.
We asked her about the flowers, and she told us that she had admired stumpwork flowers but didn’t like the fact they were so delicate that they had to be put under glass. She wanted to create something three dimensional but robust enough to attach to a bag or a hat. And her bead flowers were born.
Triple Treat – Red Flower Brooch
‘I started with simple 5-petal flowers and leaves (as in this project), worked them out in various sizes and then went on to specific flowers like daffodils, arums, poinsettias, daisies, etc. All of that experimenting landed up embellishing what I call my ‘stupid hat’. A rust coloured, suede bush hat that I still have somewhere…’
Wouldn’t we love to see that one!
Triple Treat – Pink Flower Brooch
Making these brooches may seem daunting at first, but Hazel suggests that while working, hold the flower over your index finger with the thread between your other fingers on the same hand. This helps you to keep it under control and allows you to get the tension extremely tight, something that is really important.
Hazel’s diagrams are very clear and once you’ve mastered the first flower, you’ll be thrilled at how they just make sense.
If you fall in love with these tiny objects of beauty and perfection, a little bird has told us that Hazel has got another book idea in the works, covering all of her bead techniques. But she’s a busy lady (we certainly don’t let her rest on her laurels here at Inspirations!), so you’ll need to be patient. In the meantime, enjoy the comments you will inevitably receive when you go out wearing these beaded flower brooches. We bet you won’t be able to stop at creating just one.
Make Your Own Triple Treat
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Triple Treat by Hazel Blomkamp is three sparkling brooches created with three-dimensional beaded flowers and leaves.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kits
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch Kits for Triple Treat includes everything you need to re-create one of these stunning brooches: Antique brooch, pre-made insert, fabric (unprinted), beading threads, beads and needles.