Monday 30 November 2009

New design!

Hi there! Just a quick post to tell you about a new design of mine, now listed in my Folksy and Etsy shops. Hope you like them! Blue Moon, Purple Passion, Shimmering Mint, Hot Hyacinth and Pool of Gold.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Edinburgh Beaders

Hello again! So little time, so many blog entries - I don't know what's going on! I have decided to do an entry enthusing about some of my friends' beady goodness. Top picture is the VERY talented Emma Baird's wonderful lampwork beads. Emma (based at The Little Bead Shop in Edinburgh) came 2nd in the British Bead Awards - 2 Edinburgh winners, yay! - with her lovely piece, Shield of Light - but also had these beads short-listed and displayed at the Big Bead Show last month. I think they are absolutely breath-taking and can't believe they didn't come top of the show! I want them for my very own...

Next up is ANOTHER Edinburgh beader - Jane Lock - based at the other Edinburgh bead shop over on the other side of town. It's very near my Mum's house so I popped in when I was back home-home at the weekend and she showed me not only her gorgeous Laura McCabe Geo Floral Beaded Bead but this STUNNING bracelet of hers which is her own original design. It looks pretty cool in this picture I've pinched from her blog but honestly, you have to see the thing in real life! It's awesome! I've never seen anything quite like it - gorgeous!

Monday 23 November 2009

My prize and other stories!

My prize!
Originally uploaded by Songbead
Still at 'home home' in Edinburgh; I'm loving it. It's pouring with rain most of the time at the moment (as it is all over the country!) and when it's not bucketing, the wind is fair blowing a gale. But it still makes me glad to be at home! One of the reasons I'm back in the 'burgh is that I am teaching two classes at The Little Bead Shop in Bruntsfield tomorrow and Tuesday nights. I've blogged about the shop before but I'll just say again that it really is a fab place and if you get the chance, do pop in and say 'hi' to any of the lovely staff there! I'm teaching a spiral stitch bracelet tomorrow evening, complete with a lovely sparkling beaded clasp, and on Tuesday, a Herringbone circles bracelet that I designed over the summer. My only version of it has been living in The Little Bead Shop since June so I have no photos for you, you'll just have to wait until I finish version 2 (tomorrow's job!).

The other news I have to share with you is a not so small package that arrived for me a few days ago. A wee while ago I was one of the lucky winners on Dinky-Daisy's blog giveaway and on Thursday my lovely prize arrived! I have used my phone camera which is a little dodgy but you should be able to see the contents of my exciting parcel...a beautiful wee purse, which I was expecting, a brooch and two sweet little cards, which I wasn't! Thanks so much Debs! What a wonderful surprise to receive through the post. Go check out her gorgeous wares!

Saturday 21 November 2009

Locks, Keys and Keypers...

Over the last couple of months I have been a bit naughty and ordered a few little packages from America. I know lots of beaders will frown upon me for this but I just love the stuff you can get over in the States! It's not to say that we don't have lots of fantastic suppliers and artists here in the UK because we absolutely do, but there are also some pretty awesome ones over the pond and sometimes I just can't resist dipping my toe in! I am particularly into the wonderful work of Green Girl Studios at the moment...gorgeous.

Anyway, I am 'home home' at the moment - by that I mean the home in which I latterly grew up and where my Mum still lives, here in lovely Edinburgh. How I adore it here! I brought the bits and bobs I have been collecting recently and tonight piled them all together on my bed in my teenage room. And look what I discovered! I have strange obsession with keys and locks.

Now, I had noticed that keys are de rigeur amongst jewellery artists at the moment, but I hadn't quite realised how attracted I was to such things at the moment! I think their rise in popularity has something to do with the 'steampunk' movement in jewellery but personally this is not a style which particularly appeals to me per se. I think keys, locks, lockets and secrets are things that I have been drawn to from a young age and I don't think I'm alone on this one! I have been remembering back today to the 80s, back when I was just a wee young thing (honest!) and thinking of a toy that I used to covet - Keypers. Does anyone else remember these??

My friend Stephanie had an orange snail and I just LOVED it. My parents were not into 'trendy' or 'faddy' toys so I knew I would probably never have one but they really were such fun toys, with their keys and secret compartments! It must be the same appeal as lockable diaries, something else which I loved when I was a teenager in the 90s. So now I have to see what I will do with my small cache of locks and keys! And perhaps now that I'm all grown up, search out a Keyper all of my very own...

Friday 13 November 2009

Topaz Cuff

I've been working for a while on this cuff for my godmother, who's 60th birthday it is on Monday. Unfortunately I have a big audition in Manchester on the same day so I can't go home to join in the celebrations but this cuff will be travelling up to Edinburgh in my place over the weekend! As long as I finish it that is...I started it quite a while ago but ran out of the Swarovski margaritas I was using to shape the beadwork. Who would have thought it would be so hard to get some more in the same size and colour? I am a terrible impulse bead buyer; I hardly ever buy beads with a specific project in mind and I NEVER keep a note of where I have bought things or what their 'official' colour is. But I had thought that 10mm Swarovski margaritas wouldn't be so hard to buy again, and I knew they were light topaz ab. I scoured the internet for these beads, cursing myself for starting the cuff with them when I knew I didn't have enough to finish the piece, and just could not find a UK seller that had these!! Weird. I'm sure somebody somewhere in the UK must sell them. But I couldn't find them! So I had to get them sent from the USA. And then they took over 2 weeks to arrive before turning up this afternoon! Phew! So today I managed to complete the surface beadwork and tomorrow's job will be to attach the velcro and back it. Fingers crossed I get it finished in time for it's cross country journey on Sunday! Here's a finished cuff I did for my wee sister's birthday in the summer.

I love making these cuffs; they take a while but they are more achievable than my mammoth collar projects! Which I also love of course but they are more of a time commitment.

Monday 9 November 2009

Use the Muse!

Here is a sneak preview of my entry into Use the Muse III - an American beading contest run by talented bead artist Scarlett Lanson. All entrants purchase a kit which contains various elements but most importantly, a Muse which must be kept secret until the 'big reveal'. I emailed my entry - Autumn Jewels - this afternoon and am really pleased with my finished piece! It's quite a simple necklace but very often (and especially in beadwork) I think that simple works best. We are sometimes in danger of over egg-ing the pudding when working with beads and we can easily forget that less is often more. Hopefully in a few weeks I will have the complete piece to be able to show you...the Muse is beautiful and I can't wait to see all the other entries!! It's lovely to see what people create with the same ingredients.


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