Diana Grygo

Diana Lynn Grygo aka. The Lone Beader

“So many beads, so little time..”

Over 15 years ago, I walked into a bead shop in Boston and was mesmerized by all of the seed beads. I immediately began reading every beading book I could find and tried many of the beading techniques I learned about. I felt I was drawn to bead embroidery immediately because it helped me stay in touch with my inner-child. Now, I love to create extremely dimensional beaded paintings by stitching glass seed beads to felt. My pieces are inspired by classic cars, dogs, and the places I travel.

My first bead embroidery projects featured birds. The idea for my first bead-painting came soon after I beaded a 6" x 9" panel depicting a flock of flamingos. I needed a way to display the finished piece, so I stitched the beaded panel to a canvas and painted in the extended environment using acrylic paints. It was a simple concept, but I really liked the result and I have been expanding on this concept ever since.

For most pieces, I usually work from a photo or a series of sketches. Using a paper template, I cut out many layers of felt shapes which are then stitched together. This felt foundation helps to create the relief aspect of my work. Tiny glass seed beads are then stitched onto the felt 2 or 3 at a time using a needle and thread.

Many times, I will layer beads on top of beads for a more dimensional effect. I also incorporate freeform peyote stitch and/or layered beaded fringe techniques to add texture. And, if I feel it still needs more ‘pop’, I will continue to stitch felt and/or a wire armature to the back of the beadwork to help it stand out even more. This process usually takes many hours.

Currently, I am working on a large beaded painting which is inspired by my travels to Russia. I have finished a beaded St. Basils Cathedral and a beaded Kremlin, but still have a ways to go.. You can follow the progress of my beadwork on my blog, Facebook, or Instagram.

When I am not working on large bead-paintings on canvas, I am usually working on a small beaded dog pins, framed pet portraits, or jewelry.

The idea for dog jewelry came about years ago when I had featured several beaded dogs in my larger pieces. A few of my blog readers noticed and I began to receive requests for custom beaded dog and cat pins, so I opened up an online shop. My latest items feature tiny beaded dog pendants which hang on a sterling silver chain.

In addition to finished pieces, I also offer bead embroidery patterns and beading kits. My work can be found on Etsy & Amazon Handmade.

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