Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sale time!

Woohoo! Just a wee reminder that I have a sale now on in my Etsy shop. Use coupon code CHRISTMASLOVE to take 40% off anything and everything in the shop. Sale is running until the 6th January, when the Christmas tree comes down :-)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Some beady awesomeness....

Some gorgeous beady goodness that's on it's way to me soon.....

Radiant Mind (seriously, aren't these the most amazingly interesting lampwork bead finishes you've ever seen? I've got another shot further down too, just astonishing that these are glass!)

Flame Crazy (pretty, shiny, fun, with a Christmas - New Year sale on - what's not to love? :-))

I Make Beads (loved these the first time I bought them, I will definitely be making some Valentine's goodies with these!)

Time and Materials (I have plans for these including some newly purchased Gilder's Paste...)

Bobbi This N That (aren't these just the most amazing and unusual shape?)

more Radiant Mind (fit...!)

ChelleV2 (thanks Malin!)

Tesoritrovati Trovati (I've had this little man in my Etsy cart for goodness knows how long, so I thought it only right that I finally purchase him!)

Miss Fickle Media (The holy Grail of artisan findings and metal work. Welcome back Miss Shannon!)

What's arrived/arriving soon with you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Love!

2011 has been a really fab year for me and my jewellery. I've started selling at local (and not so local) markets, I'm teaching more classes than ever for The Bead Shop, and opened my little Etsy shop. To say thank you to everyone who has bought from me, peeked in my shop, attended a class, read one of my magazine articles or just read my blog, I am having a little sale in my shops. Use coupon code 
to take some money off your purchase at'm not going to tell you how much, you'll have to hop over there and enter the code to find out :-) but I will tell you, it's more off than will happen again anytime soon! Thanks to you all. What a wonderful community we are part of; I am eternally grateful.

Merry Christmas!

One beady Christmas present! There's a wee blackbirdie to go with her. Beautiful! Hope you are all having a magical time.

Friday, 23 December 2011

New bangle...

Lampwork beads from, now available in my etsy shop at

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Abs Fifth Day of Christmas

If you read my ABS blog post about the Fifth Day of Christmas (see my previous post on songbeads for the link), then you might recognise these bangles and the finished results of the bead soups I pictured there. Lampworks by Moogin and PixieWillow.

And if you want to see someone else's bangle inspired by my project, go and check out my friend Malin's blog (on my blog roll to the rh side). She's made a stunning bangle!

Monday, 19 December 2011

My first Art Bead Scene post!

Check out my first ever post for Art Bead Scene! And learn how to make this bangle, ideal for whipping up as a last minute Christmas present.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Holiday ornament swap

The very wonderful Sally Russick of has organised an international holiday ornament swap! We had to use art beads in them, which i thought was a lovely touch. I hope she will do one again next year (and still let me play along :-)) because due to life and such other things, jen and my decorations haven't reached each other yet! Very soon I'm sure.... and we'll blog about them as soon as they do!

Until then, I thought I'd share some of the decorations that I'm offering on my stall at Altrincham's Vintage and Craft market today. (They are different from what I have sent Jen so there are no secrets being disclosed!)

I'm on my phone and so will add the list of other participants later, until then please hop over to to check out the other swapees :-)

Thanks Sally!

Friday, 16 December 2011

December 16th Earrings

*lots of photographing this morning as (for the first time in December, literally!) I was home during daylight hours
*lots of editing this afternoon
*lots of listing this evening
*one pair of earrings made in my pyjamas, as a 'treat' for getting all of the above done today!

Hope you had a productive December 16th too :-)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Artists Helping Artists Silent Auction

Several artists in the handmade art jewellery community have come together to help a fellow artist in need. Sometimes, you hit a bump in the road. Sometimes, the rug is pulled from under you. Sometimes, you need love and support from friends.

I am offering up this handcrafted necklace for silent auction, made in response to Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Color. It contains jade, amazonite, quartz, Czech glass and a beautiful handmade focal from Humblebeads. It is hand wired together using antique brass wire. 

Bids start at £20 or $30. I will accept bids in either currency - or Euros, for that matter! The auction closes on Sunday 11th. I will cover shipping, to anywhere in the world. And you might just find an extra special something in the package if you are the 
winning bidder.....

This artist's situation is particularly close to my heart. I hope between us we can raise enough money to make a difference. If this necklace isn't right for you, please do check out the other auctionees below for some more stunning handmade beads and jewellery. Thank you for giving. 

Please leave a comment along with with your bid.  If you are the winning bidder, you will receive an invoice after the close of the auction.  The auction closes at midnight EST Sunday evening.  There must be a way to contact you.  If you have email preferences turned off in your profile, please leave your email address as well.

Many other artists are auctioning items to help out!  Please visit these other artists listed below and place your bid today:

Rebecca Anderson - you are here!
Kerry Bogart

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Holiday Shop Hop 2011

So, I am taking part in a really awesome Holiday Shop Hop for the first weekend in December! The lovely Shelly of Mishel Designs has been kind enough to organise a group of us together to do a little holiday promotion. As part of this, I would like to offer hoppers 15% off anything in my Etsy shop between now and the 15th January! Coupon code HOLIDAYHOP11. I am hoping to load a few new items in there over the next day or so, so go and see if there are any holiday goodies you want to snatch up! 
Please check out the other participants below - some links are to blogs, some to shops, but all will lead you to pretty things, no doubt :-)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Holiday Hop 2011

Are you ready for this weekend? Shelly of Mishel Designs has been full of awesomeness and organised a blog and shop hop. It's a one stop list for all your holiday shopping! Check back tomorrow to see who's taking part and a special discount from yours truly.....

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Oak Leaf and Challenge of Color Challenges

You wait 2 weeks for a blog post, and then 2 (in 1!) come along at once! I signed up to two fab blog challenges, both with the same reveal date, so this post will tell you all about both. And for that reason, there will be a lot of photos and not so many words. Perhaps....I always say that and then I always end up writing way too much....

First up is Jo Tinley's Oak Leaf Challenge. I was so lucky to get into this challenge! Jo made 5 beautiful oak leaf clasps, each one hand crafted by her in rich, oxidised copper. I was the 5th and last person to sign up as Jo only accepted 5 people for this! I have bought quite a few clasps from Jo before and I adore them. Her work really is of the highest quality - do go and check out her website and her etsy shop. We've got quite a few things in common - we are both regular contributors to Beads and Beyond, we both have a love of lampwork beads (especially Moogin) and last but not least, we share the same birthday! How cool is that?

So, a little about the design process. As soon as I received the oak leaf clasp, I knew it would go just perfectly with a cute little hedgehog bead from TreeWingsStudio I had hoarded away. And he just has to go with wooden beads. But I was keen to not simply repeat my recent Art Bead Scene Challenge entry (although the two bracelets definitely have some elements in common) so I introduced a very non-woodland, but very complimentary, colour - cobalt blue. Copper and blue are such a satisfying combination! They really make each other 'ping'. 

Oak Leaf Clasp and oxidised copper wire - Jo Tinley
Hammered copper link - MissFickleMedia
Lampwork beads - OneSillyMoo
Polymer Hedgehog - TreeWingsStudio

What I really love about Jo's clasps is how seamless they look - you can't tell this leaf is a clasp unless you know.

Thanks so much Jo, for organising this fab challenge! I loved it. Here's the list of other people taking part:

Jo Tinley               Daisychain Designs
Melissa Meman                Art, Life, Love
Niky Sayers         SilverNikNats
Amber Boorman              Larksong Studio
Kimberley Roberts          Bahama Dawn
Rebecca Anderson          Songbeads

The next challenge was a very different one - another jewellery hop, but this time from the other side of the pond - Erin of Tesori Trovati's 2nd 'Challange of Color' Hop. I participated in her last one and really found it very inspiring - I love getting a 'brief', whether that be a colour palette, a theme, or a custom made clasp to work with :-)

Last year, I selected teal as my colour family to work with. As anyone who has ever visited my shop or my blog will testify, I can't get enough of the colour. I love every shade between blue and green and work with it on a weekly, if not daily basis. Half my wardrobe is turquoise. 

So, this year I decided to break out of my colour safety zone and try a colour which I like but don't use particularly often - pink. I almost picked yellow as my colour family, but couldn't quite do that to myself - one step too far (I rarely use yellow beads or ribbon, unless they are delicate citrine). 

Here is the wonderful palette that Erin selected to inspire me, from Jessica Colaluca's Design Seeds Blog.

Design Seeds really is an amazing blog and resource; I had a great time checking out other folks' palettes for some extra inspiration. Maybe one day when I have some extra time....

And here's what I made:

It's a medley of colour, and although I had beads in all the colours of the palette, I would never have thought to put them together. I'm glad I did :-)The beautiful polymer pendant is by Heather Powers of HumbleBeads.

Alongside this necklace, I made some simple but pretty (I think) earring, with which I am very pleased :-) I noticed how these gorgeous jade rounds slotted just perfectly into some of Jo Tinley's sterling teardrops, and thought with a little wire wrapping, they would work well. I have oxidised them but need to get hold of some wire wool to take the edge off them - oxidising is effective, but not when the silver is simply black!

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created. Here's Erin's list:

Norma Turvey ~ Teal ~ Color Crave
Stephani Gorman ~ Green ~ Dew Tones
Melissa Meman ~ Green ~ Fruit Star
12 Cece Cormier ~ Teal ~ Merino Teal
14 Alice Peterson ~ Blue ~ Island Play
15 Rose Noble ~ Gray ~ Autumn Stacked
18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
19 Mallory Hoffman ~ Purple ~ Petaled Dark
22 Emanda Johnson ~ Teal ~ Color Purl
23 Amy Severino ~ Orange ~ Winged Tones
24 Bobbie Rafferty ~ Teal ~ Lime Hues
25 Tanya Goodwin ~ Gray ~ Pecked Tones
26 Lisa Lodge ~ Blue ~ Nocturnal Tones
28 Linda Landig ~ Green ~ Cacti Dark
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
36 Shaiha Williams ~ Teal ~ Sushi Hues
37 Kay Thomerson ~ Purple ~ Autumn Spectrum
39 Cilla Watkins ~ Purple ~ Autumn Infused
40 Shirley Moore ~ Purple ~ Frozen Heather
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones
45 Maria Grimes ~ Red ~ Bright Bloom
47 Susan Kennedy ~ Pink ~ Zinnia Tones
52 Lizzie Zawinski ~ Green ~ Budding Hues
54 Dawn Doucette ~ Brown ~ Jarred Tones

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Art Bead Scene - Thank You!

A quick post with some exciting news....I am now part of the Art Bead Scene team! I almost fell off my seat on the bus when I read Heather Powers' email, asking me if I would be interested....she didn't have to ask twice.

I'm looking forward to taking the team international and looking all around the world (of course with a special look at UK artists, my being Scottish and living in England) for art bead inspiration.

It's a huge honour to be part of such an amazingly talented team and I hope I'll live up to the amazing standard that Heather has set for the blog. Thank you so much for thinking of me!

And on another note, here's a quick (international to me!) bracelet I made this evening.

pewter bird - mamacita beadworks (New York)
Hand dyed silk cord - ute bensen (German artist now based in Arizona)
Glass beads from the Czech republic
Vintaj brass from Illinois.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

New Cosy Christmas Gifts...and I heart macro

Well, hello! It's been a while....

This week and a half has been MANIC. I am quite glad it's over, truth be told, although it's been great. Both jewellery-wise and singing-wise, and it's not often that both of those boxes can be ticked :-) This past week has been spend in Leeds, working on three new mini-operas by Irish composer Ailis Ni Rain, at Opera North (eek!) with Sawn Off Opera. VERY intense schedule going from scratch to performance in 5 days, but we made it. I've yet to see the video recording....

And the weekend - in fact, the day! - directly before Sawn Off Opera (the name of Ailis' company) began, I had my much blogged about Handmade Show in Perth. Which was EXCELLENT! As I have mentioned previously, I have only just started dipping my toe into the world of craft shows, and all the  shows I have participated in have been small and local and somewhat hit or miss. The Handmade Show was by far the most expensive one I've participated in so far, and thankfully, also the busiest, most profitable and the most enjoyable! It was great and I met so many lovely people - both customers and other sellers! I have much to tell about this wonderful event (including thanking the lovely Dawn Cotton Fuge who organised it!) but that will have to wait for a later post when I have time to sit down and assemble my thoughts properly. 

Accompanying me to the fair was my Mum, who shared the stall with me. She doesn't make jewellery but is instead the most amazing knitter! Seriously envious of her needle skills....for some time now, I have sold her beautiful knitted accessories at my craft stalls and now I have decided to put a few of her knitted cuffs into my Etsy shop. 

Now, let me tell you - these cuffs are a serious BARGAIN. My Mum uses the most beautiful, high end yarns - silk, mohair, merino, alpaca, cashmere....and you can tell when wearing them. They are super cosy but brilliantly (as they are cuffs) leave your fingers free to be busy. These are perfect for me at a craft fair, or getting on a bus (searching for my fare!) or buying a cup of tea on the hoof...They are long enough to cover your pulse points and this, along with the high quality yarns, mean that they keep your hands lovely and warm. I've got a selection of colours available in le shop; each is a one off design and happily for me, they are all beaded designs! My Mum hand knits pretty seed beads into each cuff.  See if there is a pair you would like for yourself or for a loved one this Christmas - trust me, I have several pairs of these (my Mum comes up with new designs every year) and you won't be disappointed! Check these beauties out:

What are you waiting for? Go and check out my Mum's beautiful knits posthaste!

And as a postscript, here's my entry into Lori Waterstone's I heart macro series, which I has been scandalously lax about taking part in recently....

Check out Beads and Beyond next month for a full picture of this new design....I have fallen in love (again) with wrapping tiny gemstones onto wire, and can't get enough of it.....

studio waterstone


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