Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Art Bead Blog Scene February Challenge


I have had a pile of materials, beads, ribbon etc. on my work table for a while now but as I haven't got any craft shows booked I lacked the incentive to make any jewelery with them. Then I saw these fantastic beads by Carolyn Saxby which I just had to buy

and low and behold whilst visiting the Art Bead Scene Blog there was this photo as inspiration for the February Challenge.

It's called The Rose Garden by artist Paul Klee. Now I'm not big into art and artists so I had never come across this painting before but the colours WOW they spoke to me so much. They remind me of India, spices and sari silk yum! and they just happen to be all the colours I had on my work table.

This is the first piece I made

Last year I purchased 2 big bags of spiral wire cages cheap from the Smitten Beads open day.

I recently used some of the silver ones in this necklace I made for myself

This time I decided to use one of the brass ones, you can buy them from Smitten Beads here: http://smittenbeads.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=SND-05410ab

I took one of Carolyn beads and wrapped the wire cage around it, then wire wrapped the ends with purple enamel coated wire.

Then I took an etched purple lampwork bead that I made, added 2 wavy antique bronze bead caps and attached that underneath.

Below that I added one of my wire wrapped glass leaf headpins that had been made using silver glass that has been reduced to give it this lovely lustre.

I then found some antique bronze chain that was from a necklace that I purchase from a charity shop and re-purposed it.

Next up I wanted to introduce an element in the necklace to represent the rose in the painting and what could be better than one of my rosebud headpins that I had recently taught myself to make.

I took a Vintaj brass flower and painted that with purple patina, then I took a brass bead cap and painted that with green patina to make it look like leaves and fixed the glass rosebud to it.

Finally I threaded some silk ribbon that had been hand dyed by Sowzere Designs through some chain I got from Smitten Beads and attached a decorate lobster clasp to finish it off.

I love the look and the colours are just me. Worth showing twice don't you think?

The other piece I made was also a necklace and totally out of character for me.

A while back a friend of mine mentioned to me that she was going to try a product available in the States called Woolywire, I had a look at it and thought it was a nice product but I can't wear wool against my skin and then I had a brainwave and thought about making a similar product using hand dyed silk fibres and ribbon. It took me a while to work out how to attach the material to the wire but once I got that sussed I was well away.

I've called it Fibrewire and here is a picture of some that I have available for sale in my Etsy store

So I took a piece of the Fibrewire I had made using sari fibre and threaded some of Carolyns beads and my glass rings onto it. I wrapped it and bent it to shape. The great thing about Fibrewire is you can cut it and it won't come away from the wire.

Again I wanted to introduce a rose into the design and decided to have a go at making a glass one based on one of the ones in the painting.

Then I took a brass butterfly and painted it with pink patina and glued it onto the rose.

I thought it needed something to balance out the big rose so I found this ornate antique bronze bead in my stash and set about painting it with patina to give it some colour.

Finally I had some antique brass chain that I dismantled to use the large oval links and taking a selection of my glass discs I made the chain with some more links from another chain. Attached a heart lobster clasp and it was finished.

I'm really pleased with the way it has turned out although I am not sure who would wear it!

I would have liked to make some more pieces as I have lots more waiting to be made but I just ran out of time.

Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Shop Update Crashing Waves now live!

My latest shop update is now live! Crashing Waves is based on this Design Seeds palette

I have some brand new glass toggle clasps

I have to give credit to Kate from Floating Vintage Designs and Rebecca of Songbead for a couple of the toggle bar ideas.

New heapins

Etched glass rings

and of course beads

I've also added some mixed spacer bead collections


Deep Blue Sea

and beach pebbles

And finally my new product FIBREWIRE.

It is hand dyed silk yarn and ribbon that has been glue to copper wire. It can be bended, twisted, spiraled, wrapped and threaded through wire and can be cut without fraying. There is a similar product in the states called Woolywire so if you are looking for some ideas of what to do with it, pop it into Google.

I've made a couple of pieces of jewellery with it but haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.

I am happy to reserve items if it isn't for too long, just email me.

Thanks for looking.


Friday, 21 February 2014

New collection Crashing Waves Sunday 8pm

Here's a sneak preview of my first and new collection Crashing Waves inspired by this design seeds colour selection.


I fell in love with these yummy cool colours and we have been having a lot of crashing waves here on the Isle of Wight recently, although I wish the ocean was that colour here!

There will be brand new glass toggle clasps, etched rings, headpins, beads and a brand new product. What will it be?

Now I have the mammoth task of editing all the photos I took last night. I hope I can get them done in time as tomorrow I'm off to London to see the Dale Chihuly exhibition, Beyond the Object, at The Halcyon Gallery in New Bond Street and visit the Victoria and Albert museum with my Mum.

I've also got a few components left to make for my GBUK piece so it's nose to the grindstone.

Thanks for looking.


Winners of The Funky Chicken Giveaway!

Ooops! I have a confession to make. I forgot to do the draw for the Funky Chicken Giveaway on Monday night, slapped wrists. Time flies when you are having fun!

Anyway it is done now and here are the winners

Cheryl Roe
Monique (A Half Baked Notion)
Sharon Driscoll and
AC Beads

All winners have been contacted so if you see your name here make sure you check your messages.

Thanks for looking.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

February Issue of The Beading Glass

I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while, it's not because I haven't been doing anything, I have. I have been updating my Etsy store everyday, putting together a new collection that I'm hoping to release in a few days and also working a a hush hush project for the GBUK competition. That's Glass Beadmakers UK for those that don't know.

In the meantime I have an article published in this months The Beading Glass. With some ideas on how to use my headpins.


Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Customer's Work Featuring Leah Curtis, Rebecca Anderson and Ellen Adair.

I'm so lucky to have talented customers who buy my work and then turned them into beautiful creations. Sometimes I get to see what they make which is always a treat!

Here are some recent makes I thought I'd share with you.

These are all by Rebecca Anderson of Songbead. All of them have at least one of my glass rings in the design somewhere, can you spot them?




I think it's very clever the way she has turned my rings into toggle clasps, don't you?

Next up is Leah Curtis of Beady Eyed Bunny. I recently made some black rose headpins for her as a request as she had an idea for a gothic inspired bracelet.

This is what she created with them, definately gothic don't you think?

and lastly Ellen Adair from The Blue Starfish


An unusual way of using a pair of my headpins.


and I just love these Relic necklaces, so much so, I bought this one!


If you click on the photos you may be lucky enough to be taken to the link to buy these beauties.

Thanks for looking.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Just for me.

I made myself a necklace today. I made this batch of glass rings a few days ago,

they are made from a glass called Dark Multi and I am never quite sure what colour is going to come out but this batch were lovely purples and greens. I was going to put them for sale when I noticed how well they went with this new top I just bought from Whitestuff.

You can't quite see in the picture but there is a bit of brown in the dress so I picked out some brown rubber tubing like this.

Then I wanted something to separate the beads, I couldn't find any spacers in my stash that had a big enough hole to thread onto the tubing, I tried some bronze coloured annodised aluminium chainmail rings like these

but they just didn't look right.

Then I remembered that I bought a big bag of memory wire cages in a de-stash sale at the Smitten Beads open day I went to a while ago. They are meant to be used with a bead inside like this pendant.

I don't know how many there were in the bag, maybe 100 and they only cost a bargain £1.25.

They seemed destined to fit in between the rings. I then removed one end of a memory wire necklace

and threaded the thong onto it, replaced the end and voila, an instant necklace.

This is the finished necklace, I'm going to love wearing this.

Thanks for looking.


Monday, 3 February 2014


I promised to do a little giveaway when my Facebook page reached 400 likes which happened a little while ago but I was waiting for a friend to finish her giveaway before I did mine and the time has come for.......

I am giving away not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 prizes, 1 for each 100 likes on my Facebook page

So I noticed that they have Easter Eggs in the supermarket already and was thinking ahead when I made these chickens. I have to say that they were not an original idea of mine but were shown to me by Krysia Morris and I have been given her blessing to make them.

If anyone who is selected is not a jewellery maker I will turn the bead into a pendant like the green one shown with a little nest of eggs.

I first saw the nest of eggs idea made by Katie of Floating Vintage Designs and then later there was a tutorial posted by Rebecca of Songbead, I think they go just right with the chickens.

The boring stuff

TO ENTER please leave a comment on this blog post. You can have another entry by commenting on this link. Sharing is not conditional of entry but if you share these posts it will be much appreciated.

If you wish to share this on any other social media please leave a comment telling me where you have shared for an extra entry. 

That's it, I will do the draw 2 weeks from now, so that's Monday 17th February.

Thanks for looking.

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