Wearable Art with Seed Beads

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Laurel Earrings - Free Pattern and Video

To express my gratitude for all of my beading friends, I’ve produced this free pattern and video for a new beading design called Laurel Earrings. Check out the free pattern here and the video on YouTube below!





This 40 minute video takes you step-by-step through the process of creating these Laurel Earrings. 


Check out my other in-depth video classes in the “Shop” section of this site.


My newest winning headdress design

Adaptation is my most recent award-winning headdress. Winner of the Museum of Beadwork’s 2021 Wings & Stings Contest Accessories Category, this headdress is made with seed beads, Swarovski crystal, silk fabric, ribbon, nonwoven stitching base, and LED lights and wiring. 

See all the Wings & Stings Challenge entries at the Museum of Beadwork Website.

Read my Artist Statement for this piece below.

Artist Statment

The butterfly is a conspicuous example of adaptation in its various and distinctive stages of life. From the egg that lays hidden from predators on matching color leaves, to the caterpillar that blends with its botanical food source, to the chrysalis that resembles a part of the plant where it rests, to the boisterous butterfly whose colors signal to its predators that it is not safe to eat. At each stage of life, the butterfly is perfectly suited to the place where it lives, each mode a form honed by the slow process of natural selection.
Even more strikingly, butterflies and other insects also possess the quality of phenotypic plasticity, which allows them to adapt very quickly to various conditions, instead of waiting for generations of reproduction for evolution to concoct better versions of themselves. This inherent flexibility allows an individual to adjust to its own environment in order to survive and thrive.
In times of drastic change, we may look to nature as an example of how to overcome. By changing our habits, the way we look, and paying careful attention to our choices, we too can mold ourselves into a form that best suits our living circumstances. The key is to be flexible enough to allow oneself to change from within, rather than to try to impose change on the outside world.

Be the butterfly.

Daydream in a Fairy Glen

My tenth (or eleventh) mask is completed and named “Daydream in a Fairy Glen.” She has made her way to her home at EH. Ashley Co. Inc. in Rhode Island. She’ll be a permanent showpiece for the company to showcase Preciosa Crystal products.  I hope you like her!

Play Video

Dream of Flight

1st Place WINNER

2020 Swarovski Craft Contest

Dream of Flight, my most recent beaded mask, won first place in Swarovski’s 2020 Create Your Style craft contest. 



This elaborate, hand-sew beaded headdress took me an intense, marathon-style five days to stitch from start to finish, making the deadline for submission to the contest with only twenty minutes to spare.



Many of the Swarovski Spring/Summer 2021 launch articles appear in various fashions in the bead embroidery and hanging crystal fringe of this headdress.

Those new articles include dome round stones, dreamy iridescent blue and pink pearls, classic cut pendants in amethyst shimmer and aquamarine shimmer, cyclamen opal shimmer and pacific opal shimmer bicones and round beads, and the new rice pearls in dreamy iridescent pink.


photograph of Dream of Flight beaded mask by Melissa Grakowsky Shippee

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Melissa has the best beading kits out there! The directions are so easy to follow the kits are very organized, with individually bagged and labeled beads.

-Donna L., Texas

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