Thursday, 19 December 2013


I haven't been making many glass beads recently because of my neck and shoulder problems but I have just found a new chiropractor so I hope things are going to improve.

The day before yesterday I finally got round to doing a few hours torching and these are the results.

It took me over an hour to clean all these beads - there are over 100!
Most of them are destined to be made into jewellery but this shell lentil and matching spacers has been put for sale in my webstore.

This lentil has been decorated with frit and shards. The shards were made by Jolene Wolfe of Frit'n'chips.

Thanks for looking.



Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I've got a new website!

I've started work on a new website. Readers of my blog will know that I have been selling beads on Etsy for some time which is great but now that I am doing some craft fairs I want my buyers to be able to buy my jewellery online and I think that my own website will be the best way of doing it.

I know a couple of fellow artisans that have websites with Indiemade and as they offer a 30 days free trial I figured why not?

So, it is a work in progress but I am quite pleased with how it looks so far. I'd love your comments so please pop over, have a look and tell me what you think.

I have yet to transfer my domain name over so at the moment the website is on


During the quiet times at the recent craft fair I did, I had a chance to make some new jewellery pieces which I have added to my new store. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed making them. Click on each picture to be taken to the item for sale.

I've also been playing with a new camera that I treated myself to but that is for another post.

Thanks for looking.



Monday, 9 December 2013

Nine Days of Christmas Fair and my stand.

I've just finished doing a successful 9 day Christmas fair at The New Rembrandt Gallery in Newport.

I helped out by designing the posters.

Here is a picture of my stand

I made the garland myself (I used to be a florist) using some flowers that I bought to make my wedding bouquet some years ago that have been sitting in a box in the loft. I got married in Las Vegas so didn't need them in the end.

I found some gorgeous ceramic busts on Wightbay for a bargain £20 for a pair and I think they compliment my stand perfectly.

I picked up the corner units on Wightbay too. It was a mahogany coloured wotnot that cost me £7. I did some research on the internet and found out how to distress them to match the 3 way mirror that I picked up in an antiques fair years ago.

It came apart easily as it all screws together so I reconfigured it to make two separate units.

I sanded them down and then painted the edges with some gold paint that I had in the garage.


I then used some Vaseline and rubbed it on the edges. Then I gave them a couple of coats of white emulsion. Once it was dry I used some sandpaper and lightly rubbed of some of the paint to reveal the gold below. I then used some varnish to make the white more creamy.

I think they turned out really well, don't you?

I was really pleased with the fair. I wasn't expecting it to be massively busy and it wasn't but I did really well. Some pieces went which I was sad to see go, but glad that they had gone to a good home.

Here are some of the pieces that have been re-homed.

You may remember this necklace from the Bead Soup Blog Party.


Thanks for looking.



Tuesday, 26 November 2013

I'm back!

I know I know, I have been absent for quite a while, with good reason I might add. I have been busy selling my t-shirt printing business and it finally completed on Thursday. I am now free to concentrate on by beading and jewellery business more.

I haven't been idle though. Here are the items that I have added to my Etsy store over the last few days.

Autumn is well and truly here on the Isle of Wight and I have been inspired to make lots of little leaves using one of the tools I bought from Karen Leonardo when I was at The Gathering in Rochester earlier this year. These are already proving popular.

These leaves are smaller and made using Double Helix silver rich glass which is a lovely gold colour with a pinky/purply sheen.

I also have a couple of pairs of leaf headpins that would make great earrings. I haven't quite mastered the art of matching pairs yet so these are quite rare.
Still inspired by autumnal colours I made this necklace using Double Helix silver rich glass.

My patinated bracelet bars have proved very popular and I have just relisted some new ones this evening.

and finally I have a pretty set in lilac, periwinkle and black which has some beads decorated with enamels.
If you click on any of the pictures you will be taken to the item for sale in my Etsy store.

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Earring Challenge Reveal 17 - Weeks 35 & 36/52

I'm actually organised for once and have my earrings made and photographed for this reveal.

The year is marching on and here we are at weeks 35 and 36, it's turned very autumny here on the Isle of Wight and I think this is reflected in my earring makes these last two weeks.

Wk 35

 Two weeks ago I went on a day trip with my friend Teresa Hully of Bo Hulley Beads to visit to Smitten Beads in Bristol, I buy a lot of my findings from Claire and belong to a group on Facebook where we all share and comment on our jewellery makes with beads from Smitten.

There were some guest artisan bead makers there and I was taken with these gorgeous leaf beads from Pippa of Pips who is a polymer clay artist. You would never guess they were polymer would you?

Anyway I was inpsired to make these matching lampwork beads using Dh Helix silver glass and although you can't really see very well in the picture they have a lovely irridescent depth to them.

I'm pleased to say that Pippa really liked them too!

Wk 36

You can definately see the autumn colours coming through in this pair.

I made a similar pair to this earlier on in the year and I liked them so much I decided to make another pair. I think I picked up these little swallows when I was at The Gathering, aren't they cute? They go perfectly with the Double Helix rings and antique brass findings.

Don't forget to check out the other AJE Earring Challenge entrants.

Thanks for looking


Monday, 9 September 2013

Earring Challenge Reveal 16 - Weeks 33 & 34/52

I know I know, I'm a little late again! Still haven't finished my Gathering blog either but things have been a little bit busy with me, I accepted an offer on my business and was looking forward to a day when I could concentrate more on my glass, unfortunately things didn't work out quite as I had planned and the buyers dropped out. So it's back to square one.


Week 33

This weeks pair of earrings were made with some of my own lampwork discs which have been made using Double Helix silver rich glass. I teamed them together with some antique brass findings.

Week 34/52

and finally a pair of my own lampwork floral hearts, crystals and sterling silver.

Many thanks for looking.

Don't forget to check out the other entries.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Earring Challenge Reveal 15- Weeks 31 & 32/52

So I still appear to be a little bit behind with my blog posts but better late than never eh!

Wk 31/52

It was a lovely surprise to me because when I looked these earrings were picked out for the AJE reveal. Thanks Kristi x

I've had these gorgeous headpins for ages which were made by the talented Teresa of Bo Hulley Beads and were included in one of the monthly packs from The Curious Bead Shop. It took me ages to work out what to do with them and finally had a brainwave with these hoops and some peanut beads and a couple of matching lampwork spacers made by myself.

Wk 32/52

One of the things I have been doing since I got back from the states is to play at making discs. I have an Electric Mandrel Spinner and I found out from my friend Debbie of Debbies Treasures that she makes all of her beads using her EMS. I really admired the necklaces that she wore which had these discs as one of the components and with her guidance I finally mastered the technique. Thanks Debbie!

Debbie also sells some fun and funky findings. Go check it out!

Don't forget to check out the other AJE Earring Challenge participants.

Thanks for looking.


Earring Challenge Reveal 13- Weeks 29 & 30/52

Now I could have sworn that I had done this blog post but I can't find it so I musn't have done! I know my memory isn't as good as it used to be but I didn't think it was that bad! I also seem to have missed the week 13 reveal and put 14 in it's place. So the numbers are a bit screwy. Anyway.....

Wk 29/52

Not much in the way of my lampwork beads just some little spacers but I bought an inspiration kit from Smitten Beads and I thought this colour was a good match.

Wk 30/52

and they seemed to go well with these beads too.

Don't forget to check out the other AJE Earring Challenge participants. Unfortunately I am too late to enter.

Thanks for looking.


Friday, 23 August 2013

Trip to The Gathering, Rochester, New York 2013 - Part 7

I apologise the delay in my posts, been a busy bunny.

The mini workshop tonight was 'Easy Metal Etching, Embossing and Colouring' by Lisa Liddy.

Debbie and Torri were on the workshop with me. It's strange how we had chosen mostly the same workshops even though we didn't know each other then.

I was really keen to do this workshop as I had just started experimenting with Vintaj patinas at home and had never done any etching or used the Vintaj Embossing machine although had seen it being used in online videos.

Usually with the workshop the teacher does a demonstation and then we have a go. That didn't happen this time. She talked us through how she does etching at home and showed us how to sit the metal in the etching fluid

Then she told us about a different method of etching which was much more suitable to a classroom setting but that she had taken the tutorial (with permission) from someone else. I'm not going to tell you what we learned as that wouldn't be fair. But here's a couple of pics of the peice I etched.

The next step was applying the patina to the piece we etched but again she didn't show us what to do but talked us through it so we were never quite sure if we were doing the right thing or not.
We could use the embossing machine which she did show us how to use but unfortunately the copper I brought with me was too thick.

We were all struggling to get a good coverage with the patinas, even with 4 coats I wasn't happy and I told Lisa that I had been playing with Vintaj patinas and in my opinion the coverage was a lot better with those.
I have to say I was really hacked off. I had been hoping to learn a lot on this course and instead I had learnt more myself at home.
I gave all the materials pack to my friend Debbie and just kept the metal because I can re-patina this at home. To be fair Lisa did refuse to take the materials fee of $65 as I wasn't happy.
I know that Debbie and Tori and Patrice who was sitting on my other side weren't very pleased with their results either (especially as Lisa was wearing a patinated necklace that looked far better that our attempts) but they didn't want to make a fuss. (I've sinced been told that Lisa's patina's are transparent and Vintajs patina's are opaque which would count for the difference)
Still we live and learn and move on to OPEN TORCH!
Open torch is where anyone can get to have a play on the torch of their dreams or watch talented lampworkers doing their stuff.
I didn't have a play but was happy to watch and then head off to bed with more exciting things to look forward too tomorrow.
Next post coming soon.
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Trip to The Gathering, Rochester, New York 2013 - Part 6

Today was to be a day of! Yes today the 'Commercial and Technical Vendors' were open which meant I got to drool over lots of tools, glass and goodies. Sadly there was not a huge amount of glass to drool over, which is probably just as well as I doubt I would have to able to take that much back with me. Frantz is usually at The Gathering but apparently I was told he was not well and so not able to come this year.

So after my early morning swim and breakfast with Debbie we headed to the Convention Centre.

This is the full list of Vendors

Arrow Springs
Beads of Courage
Bethlehem Burners
CG Beads
Chase Designs
Double Helix
Jennifer Fahnestock Glass
Leonardo Lampwork Tools
Metal Me This
Paragon Kilns
Retro Glass Tools
Saki Silver
Soft Flex Company
Visions in Stained Glass
Wale Apparatus

I had been told my Debbie and Tory that the first place to head for would be the Double Helix stand, of which there would be a queue for the latest test batches which Double Helix create to make new products.

For those of you that don't know Double Helix is the main supplier for silver rich glasses, these are the glasses that produce the lovely mettallic and pretty shimmering colours in our beads. Unfortunately due to the high silver content they are also very expensive, so this was my opportunity to get some of the glass slightly cheaper as obviously buying it in the UK means it has been imported and has costs involved which makes it more expensive.

I joined the queue and decided which glass I would like to buy by looking at the sample beads that they had of each colour. I soon had a few bundles of glass in my hand which looked pretty plain and innocent but had the promise to do wonderful things when played with in the flame.

Next up I headed over to Arrow Springs. Debbie had been raving about their mandrels as I had been moaning about the quality of some of the big hole mandrels that I had bought in the UK. So Debbie showed me which ones she had been using and they looked great. I picked up a big handful of various sizes. Greg also makes some excellent graphite tools which I had seen being used by JC Herrell and Holly Cooper so I chose a couple of those to buy.

He also had some Bella Donna glass and frit for sale and it's not something that I had seen in the UK before so I looked at it with interest. Hayley Tsang had reccomended Teal-licious so I bought some of that to try.

There was also a gorgeous selection of crackle dichro. I was lucky enough to get dibs on some of this before they opened as I spotted it all layed out when I was doing my glass with Donna and Greg was quite happy for me to take select what I wanted.

CG Beadrollers were also present. It was nice to meet Donna who I had pre-purchased a big hole bead roller from before I left the UK and added a barrell roller whilst I was there.

Ami from Zoozii's was looking lovely with a cute little vintage hat on. Zoozii's mostly make brass presses had I already had one of their shell presses with the horizontal hole but I had a request from customers for ones with a verticle hole so I purchased one of those and a star press. I have a friend who has this press and it looks like a tricky one to use but I thought It would be nice to make star fish to go with my shells.

I bought a few of the great selection of tools from Leonardo Lampwork Tools and it was nice to get to see the selection in person as it is hard to gauge sizes when buying online.

I bought some jewellery supplies from Visions in Stained Glass and some gorgeous findings from Saki Silver.

Beads of Courage had a stand and I was pleased to see that Jolene Wolfe a UK beadmaker had her 'Beep Beep' beads there as she has taken part in creating a collection of tutorials for making beads for Beads of Courage.

At 4.00pm there was a First-time Attendee Orientation. Here was the place to get all the information for 'newbies'. Angie Rainy the president of the ISGB introduced herself and then Kendra Bruno went through the itinerary for the entire Gathering and answered any questions. This went on for an hour and then we were expected to go and meet our regional representatives but I had arranged to meet Debbie and Torri in the lobby to go for dinner at Dinosaur BBQ and then we had a mini workshop at 7.00pm so I didn't have time to stay.

Mini workshop 'Easy Metal Etching, Embossing and Colouring' by Lisa Liddy. coming up next.

Thanks for looking.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Trip to The Gathering, Rochester, New York 2013 - Part 5

Holly Cooper class day 2.

Ok, so today was a progression on what we had learned yesterday with a simpler version of this bead being next up.

It was very tricky doing spirals in both directions and to have to fill a specific space.

This one is my attempt

Then came the big one......

I think this is probably Holly's signature bead, with the bird on. She demonstrated a simpler version before lunch and then after a trip to the chukkie wagon it was our turn.

I have to say I don't think my interpretation came out too bad and I really enjoyed my class with Holly.

I had another workshop booked this evening and there wasn't much time between each class so I popped out to Subway and got a chicken salad, had a quick chat with my husband on Oovoo (similar to Skype) and headed back. I have to say I was extremely tired at this point.

My mini workshop was with Jodie Mcdougall. The description of the class was: Sirius System Pendant; learn to make murrini cabouchons using the Sirius Jewellery Component System.

This is Jodie

The class was masssively oversubscribed which meant that there weren't enough torches for everyone to use. Debbie and Tori were both on the class with me and weren't impressed by this. To be honest were a bit dissapointed in what was being shown us so that we decided after we had watched the demonstations we were not going to torch but go back to our rooms for a rest.

The first official day of THE GATHERING coming next.

Thanks for looking.

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