Sunday 29 April 2012

New necklace

A lampwork owl from Soul Silver,an enamelled flower cap from Gardanne Beads, an antique brass branch, and Czech glass.

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Thursday 26 April 2012

Some lovely post, and my 2nd vlog

I did my first vlog a while back and have meant to follow it up for a while. Had a couple of things I wanted to share with you and thought - why not? So here it is.....excuse the first bit being upside down, I haven't quite got the hang of this videoing thing yet....

I got cut off before the end because my phone ran out of space! Oops. What I was saying was, this particular bead isn't going to be turned into jewellery because I have a place where I put very special beads. I will share that with you some other's pretty awesome. The two ladies I talk about are here:

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Spring Clean Sale... my shop, from today until the end of April. 40% off selected pieces - prices already marked down. There's a few pieces been hanging around there for too long. Wouldn't you like to give them a home?? 





These will be on sale until the 1st May, when any remaining items will be taken out of the shop. Snaffle a bargain whilst you can!

Monday 23 April 2012

Colour and Photography

Some new pieces for le shop. 4 absolutely new, and one which I have just updated photos for. These are all taken on my iPhone, edited on the photoshop app. The demise of has led to some new experimentation! And I have fallen out of love with my camera. I think it has too many megapixels. That's my excuse anyway....
Firstly, a bracelet (of course, would you expect anything else from me?) - one of my bangles featured in my Wrapped, Stacked and Layered post from the weekend.

It features a butterfly charm, a enamelled round, a clay round, and a ancient relic word bead. As soon as this bead arrived, I knew it had to go on one of these bangles. Something about it said strength and solidity to me, so the blog hop on Saturday was the perfect excuse to turn it into a bangle. The earthy green shades seemed to go well and the black butterfly just the right touch of femininity. (Am I the only one who hears Take That when I look at it though? I am definitely a teen of the 90s...)
Next up, my updated shots:

I love this bracelet! I hope someone else will too...that wee distressed butterfly needs a home. I think the new shots show her off slightly better.

Now some personal favourite type of jewellery to wear. I know if I don't have earrings in that I must have left the house in a big hurry! These are simple and fun, I want to try and use materials such as sari silk in as many different ways as possible and little touches such as these I find quite pleasing somehow.
Now something a little different....

a necklace! Yes, you wouldn't think that I designed necklaces on a monthly basis for Beads and Beyond for the very few that hit my shops....but I do! I find them more challenging to design than bracelets or earrings, comparatively, but moreover, I find them extremely hard to photograph. But I was quite pleased how the shots of this one turned out. What do you think? Are they a little grainy or is my iPhone doing the job ok?
Lastly, a bracelet, in the colours of my recent Hot Air Balloon necklace. I'll try and find the link for that later.

I absolutely love this bead mix! Yellow chrysoprase, dyed jade, Czech glass, antique copper just looks very happy to me. The simple clasp is hand forged by me with a cute antique copper flower attached. Simple but just a little bead touch to lift it from the ordinary. It's part of my colour challenge year - pushing myself to combine colours in ways that are unexpected (to me at least!) but really work. And those diamente spacers - I never would have considered them usually but somehow the fun but slightly rustic bead selection called for them. A subtle hint of sparkle. All of these are available in my etsy shop now.
What have you been creating lately? What colours have you put together? And what photography challenges are you overcoming?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday 21 April 2012

O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair

For my Wrapped, Stacked and Layered post see here

A couple of people have asked to hear me singing....well, I should firstly say this is NOT me singing (!), but it is the piece I composed for my wedding a year and a half ago. It starts a few seconds in so you miss the first phrase, and as it's live, the second soprano entry isn't quite right.....but after that you can hear it fairly well! My wee Mum sings at the end, bless her cotton socks :-)
I keep thinking about doing more composing at the moment - the project I was working on down in London this week (performance on the 11th May in Manchester) has whetted my appetite for contemporary music theatre. I am scaling down my teaching work as of June - a scary thought but I think a necessary one for me to move forward in terms of my musical career and having time to devote to practice and hopefully composing. Watch this space....

Wrapped, Stacked and Layered

Today is the reveal.....

Here are my bangles, all created by me.

I've used art beads by

and all the bangles are made using Vintaj creative hoops.

Thanks so much to Tracy for hosting this event! 

Please check out all the other participants posts:

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Saturday 14 April 2012

Song-beading on the train

{look here for my Flap Your Wings auction}
...quite literally. I'm off down to London for a week of rehearsals of some musical theatre (think contemporary classical rather than broadway!) and am trying to stick some of the music in my head on the way down! I have real difficulties memorising music so it's always a particularly challenging part of the process. Here's a sweet bracelet I made a while back, posed on the music!

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Flap Your Wings

If you read my post here, then you will remember that last month Judy Glende lost her fight with cancer last month. Many of us in the beading community were very affected by her loss and wanted to do something as a tribute to her life and work. Tania of Moobie Grace Designs has organised a blog hop in order to do this. 

Life has somewhat run away with me over the past few weeks, and I really didn't want to rush this and come up with something that wasn't fitting, especially as I had already made this, inspired by Judy:

Using Erin's beautiful pendant....

...Anne's lampwork egg, D'Arcie's songbird, Gaea's clay round, Cindy's flower...

...and Cynthia's inspiring pewter link....

along with a clasp made by me plus a peach link from Shannon.

I am so pleased with how this piece came out, and you can read about this piece, Stronger than Death, came about here. I have decided to auction this piece off for Cancer Research. I feel that although this charity is UK based, research into cancer benefits us all, worldwide. I hope you will agree. I'm starting this off at £20/$30 (if no one wants the necklace, which I hope they will(!), I will donate at least £20 to CR). Open to bidders worldwide, I will cover postage including international.

Please visit Tania's blog for the list of other hoppers! I will list them here when I can :-)

Quick update - my bidding will close at 10am BST on Tuesday 17th April. Bidding currently stands at £33/$52.26.

The winner is Scotknit (my mum!) with £35. Thanks Mum, and to all the other bidders too!

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Some new gemstones from Precious Sparkle Beads in Perth.

I have a pretty good deal with Dawn Cotton Fuge who owns PSB - she stocks my jewellery in her lovely boutique, and when it sells, I get to pick some beads from her amazing selection. They get new and unusual stock frequently, so it's really worth checking the website out and getting on their mailing list. They also often have sales and promotions for their mailing listees so that's even more reason to sign up! This time I got labradorite, chalcedony, a bunch of sari silk and lapis lazuli. All stunning. The labradorite is particularly lovely, with tons of blue flash.

Thanks Dawn!

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Location:New gems

Saturday 7 April 2012

Gardanne Headpin Hop

When Lorelei announced another blog hop giveaway on the back of her Pinwheel hop, I was thrilled to read that she was opening this one up to readers beyond the US. Hurrah, I thought, typing my comment, not really thinking that this would mean I would get selected. Imagine how chuffed I was when I got an email a day or so later, saying I had been selected! Thanks Lorelei and :-)I am a big fan of Gardanne Beads, and I was excited to see which headpins I was sent from the pretty selection on offer. 

Hmmm, I thought to myself, I'll be happy with any of them, but those brown round ones on the right would definitely be the biggest challenge to me.....

Guess what turned up in the post a week later?! ;-)

And do you know what, I'm actually really glad that those were the ones that were sent. They definitely challenged me - not least because the headpins were glass at one end and ball ended at the other. So without cutting the ends off, nothing else was going onto the headpins. And I really liked those little copper ends to them as well, so I was keen to keep them there if possible. 

Here's what I came up with...

I was so determined not to make earrings....I started off making a bracelet, but these glassy lovelies just wanted to fulfil their earring destiny. However, I was still determined to think outside the box as much as I could, so I twisted the headpins into little tendrils, hanging down to the side of each glass disc. 

I recently order some beads from Pip, and thought that these polymer rounds looked great with the headpins; the detail picked out in them being the perfect shade of brown. As I am a little bit obsessed with Jo's poppies at the moment, I added a couple above the rounds, and topped these off with tiny copper bicones.{Don't forget, Jo's having a sale until the end of May! Coupon code ABS15} I am running remarkably low on ear wires, but these cool little hoops from Fallen Angel Brass were just the right size, and I decorated them as you can see, with a few copper rounds. 

So, I'm really pretty pleased all in all. Earrings, but unlike any earring I've ever designed before, these are just a little different. And although they could have been a little heavy, adding to the glass headpins with polymer kept them light and wearable. 

Can't wait to see what everyone else came up with! Hope over to Lorelei's blog for the list of others participating. Thanks Lorelei!


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