Friday 31 January 2014


Ball-chain - seriously, where have you been all my life?! Over the past month or so I have completely fallen in love with the stuff. I think it started when I treated myself to this necklace, from Kylie Parry ~

Of course, I've seen ball-chain used before many times, and even had some myself....but something about the combination of Kylie's beautiful ceramic bird and the antiqued copper chain just seemed very, very lovely to me....

I've started searching out ball-chain all over the place. Look at what came in the post yesterday from Big Bead, Little Bead ~

These two lovely brass chains are vintage, dating from the '50s or '60s. I adore it and it's lovely chunkiness! Trying to decide whether I want to patina it further to make it a little darker.....

Here's the 3.2mm Vintaj ball-chain I bought a few weeks ago - still larger than the chain in my KP necklace. 

Here they all are with some 'standard'-sized ball-chain (2.4mm), from Smitten Beads. Yep, I bought a lot of their ball-cain up well as the vintage/Vintaj brass chains, I have antique copper/silver finish. 

Daftie that I am, I forgot to buy ends when I bought the Vintaj stuff, so I had to order some separately. They arrived yesterday, so I can get going now. I don't have any ends for the huuuuge 7mm chain, so I need to work out ways of finishing the ends nicely....a little challenge for me. Expect to see this chain cropping up a lot in my designs over the next few months...

Another bunch of yumminess that arrived this week was this lovely pile of ribbon, from Linens by Sabine, thanks to a link from Lorelei Eurto. Thank you Lorelei! I can't wait to create something with these lovely, vintage-style natural fibre ribbons. I used to use ribbon in my work loads and over the past year or so, that has changed. I've lost my ribbon mojo....but I'm hoping to find it again, with the aid of these. I treated myself to Erin Siegel's  webinar (yes, that is a word!) on Fibre Findings and Finishing Techniques to help me get going again. I can totally recommend it, if you are looking for practical ways to incorporate fibres, ribbons and yarns into your jewellery. Erin's instructions are clear, and you can pause the video on any of the slides to see exactly what she's talking about. I know I'll be referring to it frequently. 

Watch this space to see ball-chain and ribbons in action in some Songbead jewellery soon!

New Jewellery!

New jewellery in my etsy shop! As you can see, I'm going for it with colour at the moment. I think I'm craving it at the moment - the weather is so dark, dingy, wet, dreich and horrible over here in Belfast at the moment! Bring on the Spring or at least a little sunshine. 

Colour Love

Purple Perch

Polka Love


I have been on quite bracelet roll this week so hopefully will have more pieces to share with you over the weekend. I've also got a mini bracelet tute to share tomorrow, with any luck, showing you how to incorporate my nest components from last week. Watch this space.

Saturday 25 January 2014

New Bo/Curious Kits!

New collaborative kits with ceramic wonder-woman, Bo Hulley - 8 unique kits. 
Tonight, 6pm GMT, over at The Curious Bead Shop! Be there!

Friday 24 January 2014

Win my Heart Headpins!

Do you want to be in with the chance of winning some of my lovely handmade Heart Headpins, just in time for Valentine's Day? If the answer is YES, then hop over to Art Bead Scene and leave a comment on my blog post! Today is my 'Inside the Studio' post, where you can get a glimpse inside my life now that I am working with beads full-time. 

If you can't wait for the winner's announcement to get your hands on some of these, then you can hop over to Curious and pick some up :-) 

In other news, MORE jewellery now added to my etsy shop. I will get around to updating my website soon, but right now it's quicker and easier to upload onto etsy.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

New beads - new bracelets

All over Facebook, it seems like people are going destash mad! Unfortunately a lot of the destashes go on in the middle of the night - or the middle of my night anyway! The evening in the US, even on the East Coast, is just too late for this tired soul :-)

However, I did manage to snag a bunch of loveliness from Barbara Bechtel of Pretty awesome, eh?

They came in the post today and I just had to get to work straight away. I was working out and about, as I am trying to do at least a couple of times a week to get myself out the house, and happily snapping away as I went about my work. Annoyingly, my phone died so I only have photos of two of the five pieces! I'll share the rest another time. 

Pretty pleased with these! It's nice when you get in the zone. 

Sunday 19 January 2014

Nest Tutorial

I read somewhere that you should never apologise for not having blogged in an age. So I won't......I think I was feeling a little burned out after my manic November and December and needed a pause. Sometimes blogging feels more intensive than simply posting on Facebook - more satisfying (for me at least) but a little more hard work! 

Either way, here I am, back in this - my - little corner of the inter-web and it's good to be back! I thought I'd kick things off with a quick tutorial for the new year. Bird's nests have been popular imagery of recent months and I thought I'd share how I make mine. If you've got any questions, then leave a message in the comments, and as long as your email is turned on, I'll get right back to you!

For this nest I've used:

.8mm copper wire
(If I was working with the smaller Robin's Egg beads (6mm rather than 8mm) I would move down to .6mm copper wire. 

My plan is to oxidise this once I have a bunch of them made up. 

 1. Cut at least 1.5m (just under 2 yards) of copper wire. Slide on 3 beads about 10cm along and make a ring by pulling the long tail of the wire round the beads. You will need to have the beads a bit spaced out so that they will bend round in a ring.

 2. Wrap the long tail of the wire around the beads a few times. I've done it 5 times here. Then bring the wire over itself to secure the 'nest' you're building. 

 3. You can see more clearly here the path of the wire. 

 4. Repeat this, binding the nest in-between each pair of beads. Then continue to wrap the wire around in a circle, building the nest. I did this a couple of times. (There should still be a longish wire tail, you just can't see it in this pic! You need it for the base in step 6.)

 5. Tuck the short tail into the nest if you haven't already, to keep it neat and tidy. 

 6. Turn your nest over and curl/coil the wire back on itself to make a little base for the nest (so the eggs don't fall out ;-) ). You can wrap the coils into the sides of the nest if needs be. Once you are happy with the look of the nest, tuck the wire tail in. You want to try and bury it in the nest so that you don't end up getting spiked by the wire when you're wearing it!

7. Here you go - a couple of nests, ready for oxidising! Later this week, I'm going to show you how to attach them in a piece of jewellery. 

Hope you enjoyed this little tute! Would you like to see more of them during the year? I'm thinking of maybe trying to do them about once every fortnight or so. What would you like to learn about?

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy 2014! FLASH Sale at The Curious Bead Shop

 Happy 2014 everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous night last night - whether you were snuggled up on the sofa or out partying the night away. 

Today and tomorrow only, I am having a FLASH sale at The Curious Bead Shop to welcome in the New Year. New year - new beginnings - and of course, new beads! I have some new beads on their way to the shop, but they won't be arriving for a few why not take this opportunity to stock up and grab a bargain whilst you are at it? 

Simply use coupon code HAPPY2014 at checkout and Etsy will take 14% off for you! 

Hoping 2014 is a happy, healthy and sparkly year for you all! Oh, and full of beads too ;-)

....And pssst! Today is the last day of my Welcome in the New Year sale over at Songbead. I still have quite a few beautiful, one-of-a-kind items there which you can take a huge 35% off until the end of today - just use coupon code ENDOF2013. Treat yourself and start the new year with something beautiful, unique and handmade! The coupon code also works over at my website too. I am thinking of closing the shop for a little while after this sale, to regroup and focus on new design work for the new year, so this *may* be your last chance to grab a Songbead original for a wee while.....


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