Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Unexpected surprises.

Have you ever done a search for your own business name and had a look to see what comes up?

I was looking for a photo on my tablet of some beads I had made but didn't have them saved on there so I thought I would have a look on Google Earthshinebeads to see if I could see them. Of course a lot of my own images came up but I was surprised to see some designs that I hadn't come across before (or at least didn't remember seeing them).

There was this picture of a necklace made with one of my toggle clasps that I haven't seen before.

Unfortunately the link doesn't work anymore so I don't know who made it without looking up who bought the clasp. It's rather scrummy, I must make some more like that.

Then I came across this blog post by Claire Lockwood of Something to do with your hands.

She made this pair of earrings and this bracelet with some of my butterfly wing beads that she bought at the Smitten Beads Open House earlier on this year.

I had no idea of this blog post on Art Bead Scene again by Claire Lockwood of Something to do with your hands.

She made this necklace with one of my headpins. It's the pink one on the copper squibble bead (???) at the centre of the necklace. I had a go at making these once and then didn't make any more - perhaps I should.

Another blog post this time from Monique of A Half-baked Notion.

I did a draw for this little chicken and Monique won it. I was a little upset to see that his beak is missing. It travelled a long way so I guess it came off in the post :-(

I hope you enjoyed this little selection.

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Spotlight on my blog - Beads and Beyond Magazine

You may remember a while back I had a tutorial published in Beads and Beyond Magazine. (See blog post here: http://earth-shinedesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/published.html).

I was delighted when I was contacted a while ago to see if I would like my blog featured. Of course I jumped at the chance! Then promptly forgot to buy my copy in December when it came out. I scoured the shops but no luck so I ordered one online and it came yesterday, only I didn't realise what it was until I opened it this morning. Happy days!

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Selling in Facebook Groups

Very recently I have been selling on a couple of Facebook Groups. These are groups that have been set up specifically for lampworkers to sell their beads. The two that I have been selling on are Lampwork Beads For Sale and Lampwork Bead Market

They seem to attract mainly buyers from America and has opened up a whole new market for me. They seem to go nuts over my lampwork headpins!

Here are a few sets that I have sold over the last week.

Phew, there was more than I thought there was!

I hope you enjoyed the eye candy. Some of these I can make more of so if you are interested you can email me at earth-shine@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks for looking.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Craft Event at The New Rembrandt Gallery

So this week I have been doing a craft event at The New Rembrandt Gallery in Newport here on the Isle of Wight. It's been a bit quiet but as I have an internet connection I have been able to catch up on some much needed work and have been sitting here making jewellery as well.

Here is a photo of my stand....

....isn't it funny how you don't notice things like the flower that had fallen off of one of the picture frames until you have posted the photo online!

On the left of my stand you can see the Snow Queen Necklace that I entered into the British Bead Awards. After I received my award I wrote to my local paper with all the details and told them that it would be on display at this event so they waited to publish it until last Friday. Here is a photo of the article.

It's always nice to be featured in a local paper.

Tomorrow is the last day that I will be at the Gallery so please pop by and have a look at the jewellery I have for sale. There are also 11 other crafters here ranging from Paper cuts to pictures on candles.

Thanks for looking.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Autumn inspiration - RHS Wisley

I know that Autumn is nearly over and we are venturing into Winter but when I went to RHS Wisley last week I took some photos of the flora and fauna. They were all taken with my phone so if the quality isn't that brilliant - please forgive me.

I was inspired to make these Autumn Leaves Earrings which are available for sale in my jewellery store for £14.95 http://www.earth-shine.co.uk/product/autumn-leaves-earrings.

Maybe these will give you a little bit of inspiration.

I've never seen fungus like this before!
This photo was taken inside one of the green houses. I loved the reflection  in the water but it was a shame you could see the frame of the green house as well.

and I really like this photo. I used to belong to a camera club and entered my photo's into competitions. I would have entered this one if I was still a member,

Thanks for looking.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Contemporary Christmas Craft Fair, Wisley

Following my trip to The Nederlands to the Sieraad International Jewellery Art Fair and to Winchester to the Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair (read my blog post here: http://earth-shinedesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/fact-finding-mission-sieraad-and-desire.html). I went to visit my Mum last week and we went to the Christmas Contemporary Craft Fair at RHS Wisley with a view to maybe having a stand in the future.

There were 150 stands selling all sorts of crafts, woodwork, wool, cheese and oils, glass, sculpture and more in 3 marquees that had been joined together. The standard of work was a very high quality and it was very busy. Here are a few of the stands.

It was fairly expensive to get in £9 or free to RHS members and £6 to friends of members but this did include entrance into Wisley as well.

The reason I chose this fair to visit is because of it's high standard and footfall and that my Mum lives not too far away so I wouldn't have to pay for accommodation. It's not cheap to do at around £1000 a stand for the 5 days so you would have to sell an awful lot of stock.

Unfortunately because there is such a high demand for stands at this event, Craft in Focus who organise it prioritise to stands that book all their events. Also their application forms came out last month so if I was to decided to do it I doubt whether it will be until 2016 now.

Comparing the jewellery fairs I went to with this craft fair this definitely seemed to be the busier show.

We popped into Wisley and had a look around, I took some photo's of these lovely autumnal columns which I found quite inspiring.

Thanks for looking.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Customers work 2014

So Janine of Esfera just posted a photo on my Facebook page and I've just come across all these photos of work customers have posted of jewellery that they have made using my work. I am sure I a lot of them I have never come across before as I have not commented on them and don't remember seeing them, so I must apologise to everyone I missed and hope I have caught up now.

So I thought I would put together a little album of the work to show here on my blog. Enjoy the eye candy.

Created with flickr slideshow.

If you have made any jewellery with my beads or headpins please let me know and I will add them to the slideshow.

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fact Finding Mission, Sieraad and Desire Jewellery Fairs.

So, I've just spend a lovely few days in The Nederlands. My journey turned out to be a very eventful one. The plan was to fly out of Southampton Airport to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam and then take the train to Tilburg. Southampton Airport is much easier for me to get too than Gatwick as I can go over on the Redjet and then take the bus and train to the Airport. If I go to Gatwick I usually have to take the car and then have the cost of taking it on the ferry and then parking.

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare and the plane left on time, but approx. 10 mins. into our journey they captain announced over the speaker that the plane had just been struck by lightning and we would have to turn round and go back to Southampton Airport to get it checked out. Back down on the tarmac, we waited in the plane until they announced that they had found a small hole and we would have to disembark and wait in the terminal for further details.

So we all trouped off the plane and had to go through passport control to get back into the airport. (A bit ridiculous I think seeing as we hadn't actually gone anywhere!) Anyway we sat and waited and after 45 mins. were told that the plane had been cancelled and we would have to go back out of the airport and queue up at the Flybe desk to find out our options. I quite expected to be going back home, there was a plane later on the same day but I couldn't imagine that there would be that much space and not everyone would fit on, as It turned out I was one of the lucky ones and I only had a couple of hours to wait until the next flight. Back through customs I went and thankfully the rest of my journey went without a hitch.

Anyway the reason for my journey to The Nederland was because back in July last year I attended 'The Gathering' in Houston Texas. For those of you who don't know what it is, It's a lampwork convention run by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB). I've been lucky enough to go for the last two years and have made some fantastic friends.

On the left is Debbie Weisbord Smith, who I met and the first Gathering I went to in Rochester New York and on the right is Monique Swinkels who I made friends with this year. She is a lampworker like me but has been working at the torch for about 8 years compared to my 3. Monique likes sculptural work and has a fascination with the body. She is very lucky in that she has the opportunity to work with other glass workers and gets to explore other mediums of glass like sandcasting.

This is one of her combined lampwork and sandcast pieces.

We spent a lovely couple of days in Monique's studio. Monique showed me some of her techniques at the torch and I had a play at engraving beads with a dremel and grinding with a lap grinder. Great fun!

This is me engraving beads with a dremel
It was lovely to spend time with Monique and to meet her family and see a little bit of The Nederlands.

On the Friday we took the train to Amsterdam and went to visit Sieraad International Jewellery Art Fair

It was held in this amazing building, I found this picture online of a previous show). This is a photo I took of the ceiling.

I wondered what the building was used for originally and with a bit of research I found out that it was a gasholder or Gashouder in Dutch.  The Gashouder was built in 1902 – at the time it was the largest in Europe. The gas was stored above the Gashouder in a steel tank that extended telescopically to a height of 40m. Nowadays it's used for all sorts of venue's like the art fair and concerts.

I didn't like to take any photos of the stands and jewellery in case the stallholders didn't like it  But it was very interesting seeing the standard of the jewellery on offer and the different mediums being used. As well as the usual gold and silver there was quite a bit of 3d printed jewellery and some resin jewellery among others.

I loved the resin jewellery by Carla Edwards who turned out to be from Edinburgh. She was actually the first stand we saw as we walked into the building and it was a lovely bright orange which really stood out. If I didn't only where my jewellery now I would have been tempted to buy a piece from her.

I couldn't find any photos of my favourite necklace but I loved her colour combinations.

There was some really wacky jewellery there too. This piece was by Silvia Beccaria from Italy  and I had trouble wondering what her target customers would be.

There were only 2 lampwork artists there. 1 was Davide Penso from Murano who I met when I took a class with him last year.

and the other was Perlamadredesign from Venice. As you can see one of their designs was very similar. I have since found out that Perlamadre was one of Davide's students and although understandable he is not very happy about it has accepted that this is what happens when you teach.

We found the fair very hard to go round, as it was in a circle. It was easy to go round the edge but once we had done that it was very hard to get lost and make sure all the stands had been seen.

I've never been a big fan of gold and silver jewellery and I found myself drawn to the stands with more colour and larger necklaces.

It was shocking how many stallholders were on their phones and tablets and ignoring potential customers. I even had one stallholder glare at me when I smiled at her!

I enjoyed looking at the displays and getting ideas for which ones worked and which ones didn't.

Once we had finished looking round I headed back to the airport and made my way home. However that wasn't the end of my trip. I stayed the night at a Premier Inn (very impressed) next to the airport and on Saturday I made my way by train to Winchester to the 'Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair'.

Back in the summer whilst at a craft show I was chatting to another stallholder and she suggested that I might look to having a stall at Desire so I thought it would be a good idea to go and have a look before I booked as it is very expensive to do. Also I thought it would be good to compare with the Amsterdam fair.

Desire have two jewellery fairs, 1 in Chelsea and 1 in Winchester which is held in the Guildhall.

It looks very grand from the outside but the inside is split into smallish rooms and the fair was in 2 of these which felt very cramped. All the stalls were in a shell scheme, the same as in Sieraad but they were all grey instead of mixed colours. The stall holders didn't have much space either. I would say that there were about the same number but it only took me around half and hour to visit them all. It was a bit easier though as they were up and down rows rather than all over the place.

Again most of the stalls were selling silver and gold jewellery. There was 1 resin, 1 polymer clay and 1 fused glass but no lampwork. I picked up a card from the Polymer clay stall as I loved the colours. The designer is Hadas Nussbaum and she makes all her beads using millefiori.

Again I was astonished to see so many stallholders on their phones. there was one stand with a man on his laptop and the lady sat next to him on her Ipad - unbelievable. I mean they are there to sell and if they don't engage with the customers how are they going to do that?

I wouldn't say that either show was buzzing with customers, just a steady trickle, even though it was a Saturday in Winchester.

I think it will be a long time before I am ready to have a stand at an event like this, if I ever have the sort of designs that will be suitable to sell here I don't know but it was an interesting fact finding mission.

Most of the photos used here have been found online, if anyone objects to me showing their work please contact me and I will remove them.

Thanks for looking.


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Junk Shop Finds

or in my case Charity Shop finds of which we have many on our little island and at least 7 (doing a quick count in my head) in my town of Shanklin.

I popped into the British Heart Foundation today and thought I would share with you what I bought.

First up I bought this necklace, look at all the lovely chain and that interesting arrangement of jump rings that all the beads are hanging off.

and look at these lovely chain connectors.

This necklace only cost me £1.99 and then there's this piece

Look at all those lovely sparkly black crystals and that wonderful tassle. A bargain at £1.49!

and finally

Lots of gorgeous antique gold chain and only £1.99 for this one.

I mostly buy pieces for the chain and only re-use the beads if they are good quality.

I have a large collection of chain sitting in a couple of glasses on my windowsill.

I sometimse get some great inspiration from charity shop finds for example I made this necklace for the Bead Soup Blog Party this year

The necklace that I bought was the basis for the design. I added the copper focal and my own glass leaf headpins to finish it off.

I love upcycling jewellery and was one of the reasons I chose the name of my business 'Earthshine'.

Incidentally the mannequin I used in the photos above was bought from a QS (Quality Seconds). it was £6.99 which I thought was a bargain. It was a bit dark to go with my display so I sprayed it with some enamel spray paint to lighten it up. I think it works quite well don't you?

Thanks for looking.


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