Julie Ashford

Julie has been creating jewellery and decorative items with beads for over 35 years.

She is the owner and chief designer for the Spellbound Bead Co., she has created hundreds of beading kit designs, and published seven books of beadwork designs.

Based in the UK, the changing seasons bring many inspirations from flowers, insects and birds as well as the built environment. "Patterns are everywhere" she says, "from the seed heads on grasses to the tiled floors in a church. I am never without ideas for new projects and an excuse to sit with my beads."

Although some projects are personal indulgences, most of Julie’s designs are presented as beading kits and patterns for other people to make. "The most important thing is an exciting design but it must be presented in a clear format with precise diagrams and be easy to follow. I spend a huge amount of time drawing individual beads and arrows to show where the thread needs to be." This attention to detail has brought many beaders and crafters into a growing and loyal following for Julie’s designs. "It’s the greatest thrill to see someone proudly wearing a necklace they have made from a kit or to be shown photos of a gorgeous beaded Christmas display created from projects in one of the Festive Beading books. Beading brings so much pleasure."