Thursday 27 February 2014

Andrew Thornton's Radiant Orchid Challenge

Welcome to Andrew Thornton's Radiant Orchid Challenge! This is the first one of these challenges that Andrew has run in a wee while and I was so glad that a bit of  insomnia meant that I managed to snag one of his hard-to-get-hold-of kits. 

Andrew's kit is based around Pantone's colour of the year for 2014, Radiant Orchid. 

Can I let you in on a little secret? I don't much like it.......

Yep, that's right. 

It's just not my sort of purple. Or my sort of pink. 

Don't get me wrong, I love purple. I even love pink! But I like deeper blue-purples, and I tend towards magentas or peach-pinks. Radiant Orchid for me, is a little sickly, and yet not quite saturated enough. I like the other colours in the actual orchid Pantone have included on their swatch, but not the Radiant Orchid shade itself. (By the way, as I type this, I'm hugely aware that my colour theory knowledge is very patchy, so apologies if I use 'shade', 'colour', 'saturation' etc in the wrong way. I hope you get the general gist nonetheless!)

So, you might be wondering why I snapped up a kit based around this colour! Well, firstly, I have 100% faith in Andrew Thornton and his artistry. I knew any kit from him would contain Good.Stuff. And I wasn't wrong. Here's a peek at what we were sent:

And the mystery component (which I love) ~

I also bought a destash kit from Andrew at the same time; as it toned nicely, I got muddled in my head which beads belonged to which.... so I've thrown some of these elements in with the Radiant Orchid kit itself. And there was a beautiful porcelain pendant made by Andrew itself which I'm sure you'll see popping up in other people's designs - I haven't used it yet, but it's a beaut, and do hop over to some of the other participants to see it in action.

But also, one of my main and continual inspirations is colour itself. And how they relate to each other. Several years back, when I started taking my design work more seriously, I gave myself a series of colour challenges - primarily to work with colours that I wasn't particularly drawn to, or even didn't really think I liked. I read a lot about colour, and use of colour in jewellery design, and one thing that stuck with me was something that colour guru Beverley Gilbert Ash wrote. I'm paraphrasing here, as it was some years ago, but the essence of what she wrote was this:

"You can work with any colour(s), in any combination, as long as you get the proportions and value right."

I remember feeling excited by this prospect along with not a little unsure that it was something I could pull off. But it's a thought that has remained with me and inspires me often.

And so what I have discovered for me is not that I dislike Radiant Orchid entirely. It's just that a little goes a long way! And that is definitely what you will see reflected in my designs today, without a doubt...

The first piece I created uses acrylic flowers stacked, vintage czech tile beads (to the right), and a single pop from the RO kit. What, you mean you can't see it? Yes, the light isn't right, and you can't quite see that it is in fact a purple crystal....hanging off the left of the branch. It balances nicely with the tile beads I think. I combined the warm topaz with a lovely ceramic pendant from Kylie Parry, and some elements from The Curious Bead Shop (new deerskin leather lace, which is super-soft and delicious, and a Vintaj branch). It was also my first time using E6000 glue....hmmm. Not sure what I think. I was a bit terrified by it's many 'toxic fumes' warnings!

Now my second piece, featuring more of the deerskin lace (which I'm a little bit in love with) and one of my Deco Rose clasps, along with a ceramic link from Scorched Earth

I knew straight away when the kit arrived, that I would have to use the tiny purple bells if I possibly could. They add just the right amount of movement and sound to a bracelet that I like. I kept the leather-lace tails nice and long too, as I do like that added texture and elegance that they add. 

Lastly, a pair of earrings. I am a super-huge fan of enamelled beads an elements - in fact, I've had my own kit for over a year now with good intentions of having a go myself. Ahem. It hasn't happened yet. Similar fears to those which the E6000 glue invoked......But I will before the year is out! 

I paired the enamelled beads with some gorgeous rustic glass facets, and simply slid them onto some of my heart headpins, and then formed the remainder of the headpins into the earwires themselves. Sweet, simple and easy to wear! 

So, even if you are not particularly drawn to Radiant Orchid, don't let it put you off. I am looking forward to finding other ways that I can incorporate it into my work this year. 

Massive thanks to Andrew for organising this challenge and blog hop. Now hop over and see the other participants! 

Rebecca Anderson <------- are="" font="" here="" you="">
Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Joanne Goldberg, Julie Katz, Irene Leniham, and Linda Starosciak 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Monday 24 February 2014

Shop Update tomorrow at Curious!

Tomorrow at 6pm GMT. See you there! 

Oh, and PS - check out the gorgeous super-soft leather lace I added today, plus some recycled leather cording! 

Saturday 22 February 2014

Hello from Co. Galway!

Hello! I'm currently holidaying in Co. Galway in the R. of Ireland and having a wonderful time. Here are a few snaps of my travels so far...

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Flash sale over at Curious!

It's FLASH sale time over at The Curious Bead Shop! Get over your Wednesday blues with some neeeeew beads, cord and findings with 15% off all orders, today only, with coupon code HUMPDAY. I've currently got new Vintaj, handmade findings - including new antiqued and sealed copper wire - and plenty of beautiful Czech glass of course. Hop over to take a look and treat yourself to some bead therapy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday 11 February 2014



Ceramic owls by Kylie Parry
Lampwork owl by Laura Sparling

Look how teeny tiny this wee man is!

Some owl jewellery from me ~

The two bracelets have sold but the necklace is still available over at Songbead on etsy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday 9 February 2014

30 Words

Holding my heart in your hands ~

You reached in, past skin, bone and sinew; past lifeblood, tissue and nerve-endings,

And now it beats ~ open, vulnerable and raw in your hands. 


The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...

Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).

Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.

Post it each Thursday.

Add your link to the InLinkz on Erin's 30 Word Thursday post. 
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.


Saturday 8 February 2014

Rings and Things

I think I'm right in saying that us bead-jewellery designers fall roughly into two categories. First bunch (what IS the collective noun for jewellery designers?) buy what they need when they need it, with a clear idea of (at least) what they think it will become when it reaches their hands 95% of the time. Second lot buy what they like when they feel like it/can afford it, and have not much of an idea what it will become when it reaches their hands 95% of the time. 

Can you guess which category I fall into?

Ok, if you didn't get that right then perhaps this is the first time you've read my blog. 

Hello. Pleased to meet you. My name is Rebecca and I am a messy, disorganised, scatty bead hoarder! (Yes, perhaps that's it - a *hoard* of jewellery designers.)

In the past two weeks, I have placed a couple of orders with Linda Newnham of Earthshine Beads. She makes beautiful lampwork glass beads, and has a lovely line of large-hole rings and daisies. I loved them, and I didn't let the fact that I had no idea what I would do with them when they arrived stop me from purchasing several lots. Perhaps you could say that I trust my own creativity...or perhaps you could say that I have no impulse control when it comes to beads. Ahem.

Anyway, it turned out fine. (Phew!) Inspiration struck last night in the form of hearts, birds and chain - and here you go. I'm remarkably happy with these!

Friday 7 February 2014


Silk cocoons. Or cacoons, as I insisted on posting ALL OVER Facebook even though my computer was shouting at me with a red dotted line that I.was.wrong.; such was my excitement at working with these eclectic, fun and textural components. 

I bought these with a rough idea of what I could potentially do with them. I know that I've only just scratched the surface with these two necklaces but I am pretty pleased with them both. 

These necklaces are both available here. 

Thursday 6 February 2014

Some necklaces

New jewellery over on etsy. I will get around to sorting out my website one of these days, honest....!

First up, this piece from just before Christmas. I absolutely adore this and the only thing stopping me from keeping it for myself is that I just don't wear necklaces. Like, ever. Occasionally a very long chain but really, nothing. I blame it on my short neck. It's available over at right now. (The necklace that is, not my short neck!)

Next up, this sweet and simple necklace. It's an ode to prettiness I think. Pearls, soft peach-pink, delicate lavender matte ceramics.....sweet, feminine and just a little bit different. 

Lastly, here's a piece I just got back from Jewelry Affaire, a *very* beautiful American periodical. I can't bring myself to call it a magazine, it's so much more than that word implies. 

Parisienne.....I would quite like to be wearing this in Paris, ambling along the banks of the Seinne, right now!

You can find these all over at 

Tuesday 4 February 2014

30 Words - Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers ~ 

I see it, fluttering 
far above me. 

In the 
cold, dark, dreich 
of the Winter, 
flies above, 

fragile yet ~

The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Post it each Thursday.
Add your link to the InLinkz on Erin's 30 Words Thursday post. 
(InLinkz code will be open for one week.)
Enjoy seeing what others have captured by visiting them and leaving a comment.

OK, so it's not Thursday, and I didn't take the picture. I found it online (here). But I'm joining in nonetheless. I hope you find a little winged hope here in the cold and dark winter that we are having (colder for some than others, I know!). 

Monday 3 February 2014

New copper items in Curious

Happy Monday! I hope today find's you ready for the week ahead. Phew - we made it through January! 

I'm stopping by to let you know that I've added a few new items to The Curious Bead Shop - some lovely hand-antiqued and sealed copper wire in four different gauges. 

There are 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.8mm and 1mm. These are roughly equivalent to 24g, 22g, 20g and 18g, in the AWG system - you can check out the exact comparisons here

I also added these sweet little Edison clasps - so called, because they reminded me and Helen of a light bulb! They are really cute, and great when you're looking for something special and handmade, but something simpler that one of my Deco Rose clasps

That's all for today folks! Have a great Monday!

Sunday 2 February 2014

Jewellery sale extended!

I never can quite get the hang of scheduling etsy's coupon codes, and I accidentally scheduled my sale to finish on Monday, rather than today. Rather than cancel the sale, I decided to simply extend it by an extra day - woohoo! And I've added a whole ton of new jewellery to the shop today, some of which has disappeared already. However, there is still plenty of lovely jewellery available for your perusal. 

Check out some of my new pieces ~

Hop over to Songbead before the coupon code really does expire! 

More New Jewellery!

Happy Sunday everyone! Here are some new lovely pieces over on etsy

Saturday 1 February 2014

FLASH sale at Songbead!

FLASH sale over at! Today (1st February) only - use coupon code FEB20 for 20% off all purchases. Get a scoot on - sale ends tonight! Here are some of the lovelies currently available in store ~



Mint Violet


Feathering the Nest

Nest Called Home

Cloud House

Cherry Blossom Flutter

Purple Perch



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