I opened up Facebook one day and happened to scroll through one of the beading groups I belong to. I could not believe the beautiful beaded purse Linda Mull had just posted. I continue to be awed and inspired by the work that my readers create.
Linda specializes in making kaleidocycle patterns. You can look up the definition of a kaleidocycle on Wikipedia here. But to really understand it, watch this little video:
I will let Linda tell her story, if you want to try your hand at one of these amazing creations, Linda's Etsy shop is at the bottom of this post. She has patterns for making a kaleidocycle and she will make custom patterns.
I started beading when I was a little girl. My mother is a seamstress and I remember using her supplies to make jewelry. I loved playing with her sequins and buttons. Once I got older I started making friendship bracelets and graduated to the big plastic beads found at most craft stores. Growing up I always loved crafts and playing with my moms glue gun. Fast forward a few years and I tried my hand at some loom work. It always ends up that at first I try something simple then dive head first into a big complex project. With my loom I first made a bracelet then I made a 40+ inch beaded scarf for a good friend of mine.
I’ve always dabbled in making jewelry for myself, buying chains and charms at craft stores to make necklaces or sifting through a thrift store for beads and parts I could repurpose. I began serious jewelry making when my daughter, Evelynn, was born. I found myself at home with a newborn and no job. I needed something to keep me sane. So I turned to beads. At first I was creating just to create with no intention of selling. My mom called it my “Love Work”, work you do for the love of doing it. After the encouragement of my husband, I began to list some items for sale. My business started as an Instagram account, @lactatingbuddha. I began with making Malas, then necklaces, and bracelets. I was thrilled that someone would want to buy something I made. In a few short months my business was growing and I opened my own Etsy store, Linda’s Love Work.
In September of 2020 I was itching to try something new. I decided to try my hand at peyote stitch again because it was something that I never felt very confident in. I found a pattern for a triangle made with peyote stich and eventually came across the instructions from Contemporary Geometric Beadwork on how to construct a beaded kaleidocycle. That is how I found my new project! I drafted the patterns by hand with colored pencils. A kaleidocycle consists of four different faces with each face made up from 6 triangles. I wanted a lot of detail with my patterns so my kaleidocycle ended up being 5 x 6 inches. After sharing my finished project on my Instagram account I received requests to make custom kaleidocycles.
After making three kaleidocycles I wished there was a way that I would be able to see the beadwork on a regular basis. A kalediocycle isn’t something that you typically carry around with you. That’s when I had the idea to try to make a purse. I wanted the two sides of the purse to blend well together so I picked four bead colors that would be the primary colors used on each side. I constructed the triangles for the faces of the purse in the same way I would for the faces of the kaleidocycle. Once that was done I zipped the triangles together and used peyote stitch to build the sides of the purse. Now I sell the patterns I create in my Etsy store and I take requests for custom kaleidocycles and beaded purses.
This is a purse she made from a Kaleidocycle pattern.
I have began trying my hand at bead embroidery lately. My first design was the Chakra Girl. It’s an 8 x 11 piece that is completely covered in beads. I filled the girl with the colors of the 7 chakras. This project took two months to complete. It was definitely a labor of love. In the early weeks of beading this I accidentally spilled coffee on it! Since that project I have embroidered a Hamsa Hand wall hanging and another wall hanging I call “Calm Girl”. Each of these are smaller and much easier to maneuver than an 8 x 11 piece of Pellon!
I sell my finished products through my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LindasLoveWork