Saturday 31 March 2012

Pre-concert earrings

I found myself about to go on stage without any jewellery....a crime, surely! So I got out my trusty travelling bead bag (see Art Bead Scene today) and made myself a pair.

Fallen Angel Brass and Nadin Art Glass, with amethyst tyres from Precious Sparkle Beads.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday 29 March 2012

Allegory Gallery: March UPDATED

I'm splitting up my Allegory Gallery post this month - I have a sweet pair of earrings to show you, but the photos haven't turned out well, so that will follow over the next few days. Until then, here is a bracelet I designed and made, using some cool shiny red beads from Andrew's gallery. I'm not even sure exactly what they are made of but they are very light, and hollow, so they make for some lovely lightweight and delicate jewellery. Paired with Sowzere hand dyed silk cord, an antique copper clasp from DaisyChainExtra and a simple clay round from Gaea, this is the perfect, easy-to-wear Spring bracelet.

And here are those earrings....

Vintage white glass beads from Allegory Gallery and rich red sari silk from PreciousSparkleBeads....hand forged copper ear wires.

I am part of a really exiting team of designers - the Allegory Gallery Design Team. Every month from February 2012 - January 2013, we all blog about pieces of jewellery we have designed using materials from Allegory Gallery. We are able to combine these materials with those from our own stashes, to create new designs every month. Andrew Thornton sent each member of the team an exciting package of goodies, from his new Gallery and Boutique in Legonier, Pennsylvania.  You can check them out on facebook too.

Please check out the other members of the Allegory Gallery Design Team's blogs and show them some love!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Art Bead Scene Tutorial

Check out my square knot tutorial today on Art Bead Scene

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday 24 March 2012

Look what the postie brought...

New beads.

Aren't they delicious? Thanks Bo!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Exciting News!

Just a quick post to let you know some exciting (for me!) news - I've been nominated for Beads and Beyond 2012 Readers' Favourite Designer! Needless to say, it's a huge honour and very humbling to have readers themselves vote for me, when there are so very many enormously talented designers out there. I have been lucky enough over the past year or so, to actually 'meet' some readers here on the blog, and it always (always!) makes my day/week/month when someone says they have enjoyed my designs as seen in the magazine. It is a huge privilege to be part of such a beautiful publication and Becky and Michelle (the lovely editors) make it a pleasure to design for Beads and Beyond. If you haven't ever picked up this magazine, I do strongly suggest you look out for it. The photography is lovely and there is a brilliant mix of silversmithing, stringing, bead weaving, polymer, lampwork....the list goes on. My very good friend Jo Tinley of DaisyChain Designs is also nominated for the same award as I am, and please do go and check out the other nominees, and cast your vote as you see fit. 

THANK YOU LOVELY READERS! We couldn't do it without you. 

AND PS, I am also the cover girl this month :-) Happy times!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Stronger than Death

This necklace was made after I learned of blogging friend Judy's untimely death, after she lost her all-too-short battle with cancer. I didn't know Judy very well, but she was very kind to me and gave me help and support when I began selling at craft fairs last year. I wanted to make something to commemorate her life and her generous and kind spirit. I posted about it here and was really touched by the feedback it received, and also really inspired and amazed by the reaction round the web by people similarly moved by the loss of sweet Judy. It really is an amazing community we have here. 

When I posted the other day, the photos were pretty poor and they were snapped at 11pm on my iPhone, with rubbish lighting! I took some more photos on Sunday in the late afternoon - still not perfect but you can see it clearly now I hope.

Stronger than Death
 with Simple Truth from Erin Prais-Hintz

 Mamacita Beadworks songbird and Gardanne glass egg - the circle of life

 Missficklemedia patinated links and simple handmade clasp by me

Strength link from Green Girl Studios

Thanks to Erin for featuring my necklace on her beautiful blog. Judy has touched so many lives and I am glad that we are all paying tribute to her in this way. Moobie Grace Designs is organising a blog hop and I can't wait to take part.

Friday 16 March 2012

Tree Wings Studio Giveaway

Rebekah, my friend from Tree Wings Studio makes the most exquisite little polymer beads - some of my favourite art beads around. I have often used her beads in my creations - check out these babies:

Look at the beautiful detail that goes in to every single one of Rebekah's beads! 

And you can win some. Rebekah is giving away three bead bundles on her blog. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Sunshine and rainbows - I've been after one of those hearts for ages!) Just hop over there before the 20th and leave a comment and you'll be in with a chance of winning some of these tiny works of art. 

Judy's Necklace

Yesterday, a very kind and lovely member of our community lost her battle with cancer. Judy wasn't somebody I knew well, but she had been extremely generous and kind to me when I began doing craft shows, and we emailed each other, her giving me advice and sending photos of her beautiful booth set up and such like. I so appreciated this. And today, I am so sad to learn of her death. My thoughts are with her family - I cannot imagine what they are going through. Love and compassion being sent over the waves.

So when my Simple Truth of the month from Erin arrived today, I felt I wanted to create something to mark today - to honour and remember and kind and generous soul who will be sorely missed by so many. I wanted to include as many friends along the way so there are many art beads featured, representing and indeed, physically, actually being some of the connections and friendships that I so value here in the art bead community.

Here is Stronger than Death:

The cycle of life is there with the egg and the songbird, and the strength link is there to remind me that you have to be strong to love. Or perhaps that you have to love to be strong. Or even just that love IS strong - stronger than even death.

 I haven't decided whether I will keep this for myself, or to sell it and give the profits to a cancer charity. It still needs a clasp but that can wait til the morning, as can the decision on what to do with this piece. Thank you Judy for sharing your wonderful spirit here. I know you will be so missed.

Wednesday 14 March 2012


Clasp and tiny poppy courtesy of

Tuesday 13 March 2012

la vie est belle

i always mean to enter the art bead scene monthly challenge and i never quite have enough time. so this month as the challenge features montmartre and i actually spent the last week of february staying in montmartre, i thought i really should get my act together and make something. 

using a cuff bead from one of this month's sponsors, captured moments, czech glass, and a scrap of sari silk left over from the bead soup party. all set in my current favourite findings range - fallen angel brass. {if you haven't checked out their gorgeous range, you really should!} i know i haven't quite got the perspective right in the top (full) photo but hopefully you can see from the other shots the lovely curve the bracelet bead has. it's funny that red, white and blue are such classic 'flag' colours - france, usa, australia, the uk; more i'm sure. i don't feel much personal affinity with it, (even though it's the colours of the union jack), as i feel so much more scottish than british, but i do absolutely love it as a colour combination. 

Monday 12 March 2012


anyone who has seen my jewellery will surely know that i am in love with colour. i adore it - it brings me such pleasure and happiness every day, and i find it is the inspiration for so much of my work. i played around with colour palettes, with colour flowing from one to another, and came up with these two bracelets last week. combining art beads, gemstones, glass and some colourful vintage lucite i picked up in paris (how lovely to be able to write that!), i made a these two colour flow bracelets. inspired by lorelei's lovely labelled photos, i thought i'd present these bracelets in the same way.

i think although the top bracelet's colours should make it my favourite, i like the lower bracelet even more. something about the range of colours; the shapes and sizes of beads, really pleases me. and of course, barbara's little birds always make me happy.

what inspires you every day?

Sunday 11 March 2012


And the winners are....

Heidi at MyBeadTherapy
Erika Nooteboorn

Congratulations ladies! I have emailed you all but if you haven't received my email for some reason, just email me, letting me know if you have pierced ears or not and with your address. Thanks for everyone's lovely comments. I am still slowly hopping around....I am determined to hit every blog but it's going to take me a while. Hold on there and I'll be round soon!

Wednesday 7 March 2012


i have fallen in love again with instagram recently. i love playing around with the same shot but with different filters put on. which one do you prefer?

copper clasp - daisychainextra
patinated blue link - missficklemedia
lampwork egg - gardannebeads
earthenware flower - capturedmoments
enamelled bead - gardannebeads
wooden nuggets
cotton cord

{pssst - looking for bead soup? click on the tab above!}

Monday 5 March 2012

What should I do with these??

Any inspired design ideas for these? I am experiencing a little beaders' withdrawal symptoms!

(Scroll down or click on the tab above for my Bead Soup Party post.)

Saturday 3 March 2012

Bead Soup Blog Hop V (plus a giveaway or two!)

Welcome to the fifth Bead Soup Blog Hop! I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. My partner was Queen Bead herself, Lori Anderson. She totally spoilt me with these two beautiful bead soups! I tried to use at least one of each of the beads; the only one that slipped through was the lovely sterling heart pendant on the right - I just couldn't get it to hang quite how I wanted....but at least one of everything else is featured.



Lori Necklace

To this pink and purple medley, I added some MissFickleMedia and MetamorphSupplies patinated rings, FallenAngelBrass Erte chain, a freshwater pearl and a Czech glass flower. It's big enough to slip over the head so the clasp (the beautiful silver rose) is used as a link. I really love this necklace and it's partner below....

Lori Bracelet's bracelet counterpart. I've added pearls, a Czech glass flower, more MFM and MS patinated links, a mother-of-pearl button (especially for Lori :-)) and best of all, a tiny Jade Scott 'belonging' drop which I've had for ages. It sits within one of the patinated links, hanging down from the clasp. 

When I posted about the soups I had received, a lot of the comments left said that they thought I would be more drawn to the blue/green/tribal set. Surprisingly, it was this soup that challenged me more than the pink and purples! I found the two pieces above just flowed - whereas, I found the vivid blues and greens actually pretty challenging. I think it was more the tribal elements - the shield pendant, the large dark wood rounded squares....So here's my tribal debut:

Tribal Necklace

 What do you think? I'm pretty pleased with how I've combined these elements and it's definitely a little different from the usual direction in which I would have gone in (which is a GOOD thing!) - I can see that, even if to you it looks like just another sari silk necklace! Stay tuned for the chance to win this tribal baby...

Now onto possibly my favourite piece...

Hearts and Butterflies (available in my etsy shop)
The stunning heart bracelet focal from Shaterra was easier for me. It is pretty big for a bracelet focal though, and it really cried out to be part of a cuff. So I decided a multi-strand piece, full of texture and movement was called for. I had recently placed a far too big order (you know the ones!) from Lima Beads, and picked up loads of these Czech glass flowers. Beautiful, eh? SO I used some of them, some Czech glass nuggets from YashmaCreations, and chain, charms and bead caps from FallenAngelBrass. Those green lampworks are made by Lori herself - aren't they the most beautiful shade? I was going to use the cultured pearls as a knotted strand but their holes were too teeny, so I added them in as dangles and more texture. This is so fun to wear - you can see on Etsy that I took a shot of it 'on' as well. I love jewellery that has colour, movement and texture! 


Of course, there had to be some earrings. In case you didn't know, I love earrings. Absolutely truly madly deeply. They are hands down my favourite jewellery to wear. You can win some of these, just keep on reading down to the end. The two top pairs are all mine though!

And last but not least, a bag charm. A very cute lampwork focal (did you make this, Lori?) which I combined with some cute MissFickleMedia patinated beads. Sweet, pretty and always useful. I have them on all my bag zips!
I'm planning on listing some of these in my etsy shop over the weekend, but until then please check out these giveaways:

I made so much with this soup batch I thought it was only right to share :-)

Just leave a comment here, make sure you have your email switched on (or leave me your email in the comment) so that I can get back to you. Bonus entries if you blog/facebook/tweet about it, leave me note of that in a separate comment please! I will draw the winners on Sunday 11th March, 12pm (ish).

As always, a massive, humungous thank you goes out to Lori Anderson, not only the brains and the mental force behind this fantastic event but also my own wonderful and generous partner. I can't wait to see what she has come up with with the soup I sent to her! THANK YOU LORI!!!

And here are the others taking part:

Hostess, Lori AndersonSpecial Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)


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