Beautiful Beaded Collar Tutorial with Swarovski crystals

It took me about a second to realize that Helena Tang-Lim was from South East Asia. The giveaway was her shop name maneklady.  Manek means bead in Malay, which is the national language of  Malaysia, where I was born and where I spent my formative years.  Her website is simply called Manek-Manek which is the plural for bead.

Unlike myself, Singaporean Helena is not Peranakan - a descendant of long ago Chinese immigrants, some of whom married local Malay women.  Inspired by the beadwork of Peranakan women (nonya) she began her beading journey in 1995.

She said, "I came across an old pair of antique beaded shoes that are extremely popular with the Straits Chinese people of the then Malayan Peninsula. I was absolutely fascinated by the intricate details of individual hand beading using tiny size 13 charlottes (potong manek). I set myself the task to find out how this could be done." 

She made her first kasut manek (beaded shoe - see my past post on 100 years of South East Asian Embroidery). She added, "After shoes, there came little amulet bags in peyote weave, then knitted bags, then crocheted bags and accessories and ..." and beadwork became her passion.

Beautiful Beaded Cuff Tutorial with Swarovski crystals

Helena may not be Peranakan but she doesn't have to be one to be good in what she does.  She is now an international beadwork designer and instructor.  Her 2019 schedule shows her teaching several times in the US, on creative beading cruises and a crafting adventure tour in Ireland!

Beautiful Beaded necklace Tutorial with Swarovski crystals

Her designs are fabulous - it was very difficult to pick my favorites from her collection.  The pieces which incorporate Swarvoski crystals are particularly glamorous!

Beautiful Beaded Cuff Tutorial with Swarovski crystals

Beautiful Beaded Necklace Tutorial with Swarovski Crystals

Beautiful Beaded bracelet Tutorial

Beautiful Beaded Star Tutorial

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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