Sunday, 24 October 2010

Beads and Beyond

As promised some time ago, here are pics of my current Beads and Beyond project...I am so pleased with this one, one of my very favourite colour combinations!

The lampworks are by Jeanette - I love them, don't you? Encased and frosted red with cool retro polka dots. I think they go so well with all the Czech glass beads I've used from Bijoux Beads, Bead Bead and Precious Sparkle Beads. I was particularly pleased with the ring. I've wanted to make my own rings from scratch for quite a while now and finally with this project, I have managed it! Really simple - the type of thing that you think 'why didn't I think of that/manage to do that before???' Loads of possibilities with that one I think.

Harrogate Bead Fair

Yesterday was a good day! We went for a crafty day out in nearby Yorkshire - first to York (such a pretty place, if you're ever in this neck of the woods, do visit!) where we visited the Quilt Museum and Gallery. They had a exhibition on - Freedom to Stitch: The Emergence of the Embroiderer as Artist’ as well as quite a few of their permanent collection pieces. We both loved it (is that a sign of age, that Saturday morning is for travelling to a nearby obscure gallery??? I'm sure that wasn't what I was doing five years ago!) - and were astounded by the amazing amount of work which must have gone into each and every piece. The hours that were hanging on those walls! Beautiful and astonishing. 

We then made the short trip over to Harrogate to stop in at the Bead Fair happening this weekend. Sometimes with the bead fairs I've visited over the past few years (and there have been MANY...) it is easy to get a little tired of seeing the same vendors there over and over again - not that any of them aren't great but there's nothing like finding a new stall or two to peruse, is there??! Bead Fair overkill I guess!! But this Bead Fair was a little different, I guess perhaps because it's a two day event, it maybe attracts different folk. Anyway, I got to meet one of my online bead friends in 'real' life because Precious Sparkle Beads (one of my favourite shops as anyone regular readers will surely know!) have a stand at this show. SO fantastic to be able to see their beautiful beads in the 'flesh' and also to meet Dawn Cotton Fuge! She's lovely and it was great to be able to meet and chat with her. If you're ever in need of a gemstone or two then do hop over to their shop - all of their stock is simply stunning. Clearly, I spent far too much money at their table....Here's a selection of my new beads...

(I think these might be my favourites!)

Are you getting that I like Briolettes...??? Looking forward to creating some pretties with all of these lovelies. Hope you're all having a good weekend! I'm still seriously in need of some sleep.....zzzz

Saturday, 16 October 2010

MORE bracelets...

A couple of new bracelets...I really should stop only making bracelets! They just come so naturally to me - perhaps I'm just too lazy to go the whole hog and turn it into a necklace?! I think that my own personal challenge shall be to make sure the next picture I post up here is a necklace! You read it here - you can hold me to it!!

I love, love, love the combination of gemstones I've used here! Thanks Precious Sparkle Beads! I have used lots of Golden Rutile Quartz rondelles, Pyrite briolettes and Chrysoprase drop briolettes. Really simple design but I love how pretty the beads look just clustered together.

I am a big fan of Swarovski Margaritas - especially in Heliotrope, such a gorgeous set of colours in there! I think sometimes a lot of Swarovski can look a little OTT (I've definitely been guilty of this on occasion but then, sometimes only a lot of bling will do!) but I really like the combination here of crystal, turquoise rondelles and Vintaj brass chain - the materials seem to balance each other out.

So that's what I've achieved this week whilst being home, poorly on the coach with my duvet! I'm still sounding totally grotsville but feeling better in myself, just very frustrated (I've missed a whole week of my college course) with my gruff voice and rattly, wheezy chest! I hope you are escaping the lurgi and are all having a great weekend.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A surprise competition!

I'm in a competition! I was reading one of my regular blogs, Jo of Daisychain Designs, who posted that she was in a competition...and guess what, so am I! It's Bead and Beyond Magazine's Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and apparently us designers have been nominated by the readers - I'm so very touched! Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see both mine and Jo's names down there at the bottom. It's such an honour to be included in the list of nominees - very talented designers, every one. I'm going over there now to check out the readers' entries - it looks like there's some really stunning work there. The new issue of Beads and Beyond will be coming out soon and I have to say, I'm really excited about seeing my newest design - it's one of my favourites which I'm sure you'll understand when you see the colour scheme! In the meantime, here's the main project from my most recent article in the current issue, High Tea.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Folksy, em, Sunday!

I've missed SOOOO many Folksy Fridays, I thought that even though it's Sunday, I might as well get started again! This time the theme is.....

.....RED LIPSTICK. Or should I perhaps say Lipstick Red? Must have been the wedding photo that put the thought into my head!

These are all fab as far as I am concerned but I especially love the Sweetheart wall plaque - I love embroidery! My Grandma Anderson was a really keen embroiderer and I always wish I had learnt more from her when I was young and her eyesight still worked enough for her to sew; it's such a wonderful skill. Enjoy these reds!

I'm back!

Back with internet that is!! I've been hopping round all my favourite blogs, trying to leave comments at as many as I can - it's so great to be back online! And with lots of news to share with you. One of the most exciting things I have to tell you is that....I am a finalist once again in the British Bead Awards! I have known this for quite a while now but my lips had to be sealed until quite recently but I've had the all clear for telling folk :-) Not sure if I'm allowed to share the actual piece with you so I won't risk it but needless to say, whatever the outcome, I will share photos once the show is over on the 30th of October! It's a great honour to be selected once again and I can't wait to go and see all the other finalists' pieces which will be on display at The Big Bead Show at Sandown Park in Surrey - a bit of a trek for me from up here in Manchester but I was so disappointed to miss it last year, I decided I had to make it a priority.

I have so much I want to blog about that I have decided to be like Nicki (who's just opened a new Etsy shop - check it out!) and tell you what's coming up over the next few days here at my blog.

*** Photos of my current magazine pieces

*** Photos of my new Manchester Bead Shop classes

*** How my new college course is going and how it has given me man 'flu! (That'll be an exciting post for you then...!)

*** A giveaway to celebrate my blog having 100/101/102 followers!! Woo-hoo!! I can't believe it - thanks so much guys!!

*** More great giveaway success of my own!!

Now, I don't think a blog post is really complete without a picture so I am going to share a picture from the wedding of me and my gorgeous wee cousins, Nina and Lottie. They are the best! See you all soon.


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