Friday, 28 November 2014

Curiously Smitten with Bo Hulley Beads

For the past few weeks, myself (and The Curious Bead Shop!), Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads and Bo Hulley Beads have been busying ourselves behind the scenes, creating something unique....a collaborative kit featuring a little bit from each of us. A Winter's Tale comes to you from Edinburgh, Bristol and the Isle of Wight! We think we have come together to make something pretty special, with a handmade ceramic pendant and bead from Bo, handwoven beads, pressed glass and faceted brass from The Curious Bead Shop and a beautiful selection of glass, ceramics, antiqued bronze and waxed linen from Smitten Beads. Hopefully the kit speaks for itself, but I wanted to say a little bit about what sparked the idea for it initially. 

Running your own small business can be wonderful, but it can also be challenging, and at times isolating. I wanted to come together with two other business women and artists and create something positive - something that says that as small businesses in the same, small world of jewellery-making, we can help, support and inspire not only our customers but each other as well. We don't have to compete - we can cheer each other on, and this kit represents that to me. Both Bo and Claire have been an enormous inspiration and support to me from the start, as well as mentors, and I am hugely grateful to call them friends. 

A Winter's Tale is a limited edition kit, with 10 kits available in each of our shops respectively -, and from tonight. 

We have also decided on making this kit into a bit of a challenge for you too (should you choose to accept!). If you feel like joining in, then make something using all or part of the kit, load a picture onto FB tagging each of our three shops when you do (or as many as FB allows - it can be tricksy!). Then on the 11th January, we will take a random draw from the entrants and one lucky beader will win a lovely prize with elements from Bo Hulley Beads, Smitten Beads and The Curious Bead Shop. You can share and tag your picture on Facebook at any time between now and the 11th January. Purchasing a kit does NOT sign you up to this but it's there as an extra incentive for you if you have the time (it is a fairly busy time of year....!). (And if you're not on FB and want to play along, then feel free to send over a picture to me to share for you.)

We hope you love A Winter's Tale and can't wait to see what you make! You can find it here at The Curious Bead Shop. BUT don't forget to check out Smitten Beads and Bo Hulley Beads too!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

FLASH sale at Curious today!

FLASH sale today (Wednesday 19th November) at 

Take 15% off all purchases (excluding CC subscriptions as these already represent a nice discount) with coupon code:



Monday, 17 November 2014

Art Bead Scene November Challenge

Hello there! You probably know about the other blog which I write for - Art Bead Scene. Each month we have a challenge, where we take a piece of artwork and invite our readers to design art bead-filled jewellery inspired by our challenge piece. 

Let me hand you over to our editor-in-chief, Heather Powers:

"The Art Bead Scene editors have risen again to take the monthly challenge. We are having so much fun playing along every month we've decided to make this a regular feature. Take some time this month to enter the challenge for a chance to win some amazing prizes. 

And don't forget beadmakers, we have a category for you too and you could win a month of advertising on the ABS."

Yep, you read that right - there are prizes too! 

This month (as Heather said), some of my co-editors and I carved out a little time to take the challenge ourselves. 

There is SO much going on in this picture....I can't really decide if I am drawn to this picture or not; the folliage and imagery here is so lush it feels like it is almost over-ripe and on the cusp of decaying. (Is that just me?) However, it is certainly very intriguing - a piece of art that really makes me question what I am seeing. First of all, it seems like the orchid is the central point, but somehow I kept coming back to the largest hummingbird to the right....his colouring specifically.
Feather components - Green Girl Studio

Next, a piece based around the painting as a whole. The colour scheme, the birds, the lush foliage....

I hope you will find the time to take the challenge too! And do take a minute to check out the other participating editors' blog posts too:

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Songbead Studs - now available, and with a special offer for blog readers too.

This is something I've been working on for a while Songbead Studs! I can't tell you how pleased I am with how these have turned out. Take a peek -

These fourteen designs are just the beginning. I think I've covered most bases - but what colours would you like to see? 

I'm particularly pleased with this little design of mine. I've only stitched it up in these colours - turquoise and antique bronze - but I can see it in other colours too. What do you think? 

These studs are mounted on sterling silver stud settings, and I also have plans to roll out some with 14k gold-filled settings too. Gold-filled is a really cost-effective way of wearing gold in your ears - it is a solid layer of gold, bonded to a base metal - a much thicker layer than a plating, so findings in this finish have the appearance and feel of real 14k gold. 

***This offer has now closed***

These stud earrings will be available in my etsy shop for £15 a pair. But for the month of November, I have a special offer available via my blog - £12.50 a pair, or - even better! - two pairs for £22, plus P+P (£2 uk, £3.50 Europe, £4 RoW). There are PayPal buttons below for you to purchase these studs - I had to make two as each button only allows up to 10 colour options, so if you don't see the colour you're after under the first button, it's sure to be there under the second. The studs will be made to order, and will be posted out in 5 working days from the point of payment. 

Postage is included in the price below, and if you buy more than one pair at once, I will refund the different via paypal. It would have been too complicated creating buttons to cater for all of the possible colour/metal combinations! But don't worry, refunds will be issued within 24 hours of purchase.

I'm so excited to be sharing these little pieces of me with the world. They feel like a real reflection of where I am creatively at the moment.They are ideal little gifts - perfect stocking fillers, and a sweet treat for yourself too. 

I hope lots of you will be unwrapping these under the tree this year!

Friday, 7 November 2014


It was an earrings kind of day about a week ago. Mainly because I had handed over a whole bunch of new earrings to one of my stockists, but still, every once in a while I get on a real earrings kick and I really enjoy it. Here are some of the spoils of my labour.....

You can find most of these lovelies in my etsy shop

Thursday, 6 November 2014

I'm here!

Wow. I honestly can't believe that my last blog post was the 22nd July....over three months away. Where did I go? I have missed this place - my own little spot in the universe. 

My mind has returned here over and over again, especially during the past month, but each time, the thought of doing a huge 'catch up' post has scared me away. So, I'm afraid, I have decided against a big catch up post - here's a very abbreviated version of what I've been up to over the past few months:

*Moved from N. Ireland to Scotland

*Did a 3.5 week craft fair

*Collapsed in a heap (repeat ad lib.)

*Tried to catch up with life whilst sorting out our new much smaller space


*...but kept (and am keeping on!) trying!

*Went to America for 2 weeks for a family wedding

*Got back to Scotland

*Had jet lag


....and somehow, I didn't find time for blogging amongst all of this dashing around the universe! 

Seriously though, I have had so many ideas for blog posts over the past few weeks, and I haven't worked on *any* of them for fear that I had to do a big, informative post, telling you where I've been. Well, enough, say I! I've caught you up, and I'm back in my space, and now I can blog again without fear. The last few months have felt a little like '1 step forward, 2 steps back', but I feel that I may now be at a '3 steps forward, 2 steps back' stage, which is at least moving in the right direction.

For today, here are some new pieces of jewellery in the shop. I have so much to share here, in my little corner - my internet diary, my web-log; my own small scratched out space in the universe. But I can't share everything at once, so for now - jewellery it is. Bracelets specifically.

Midnight Sun

Autumn Fayre

Sweet Tweet

Tuscan Dreams


Sweet readers, if you haven't entirely forgotten who I am, and fancy adorning your wrists with any of these, you can find them over at my etsy shop.


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