Sunday, 31 July 2011

Beading on the move

So, I'm travelling (via the very exclusive means of the megabus!) up to Glasgow today. I'm from Edinburgh originally but my best friend from school lives in Glasgow now, so I'm going to stay with her for a couple of nights before going through to the 'burgh on Tuesday. Wednesday is my little sister's 21st birthday (our mum must be having a fit - having two daughters aged 30 and now 21!) so I'm glad I'm able to spend the day with her. I'm a bit gutted that most of the presents I ordered her from Folksy and Etsy haven't arrived yet. Nothing to do with the sellers I think; no, it's the post that's let me down. Overworked and underpaid is our postal service....but still, annoying when you are waiting for things.

Anyway, I am lucky and have managed to snag one of the two forward facing, window, table seats on my coach. And of course, I have my beads with me...

Some earrings for my sister is what these will turn out to be. She's a purple girl. Watching a bit of White Collar on the iPad. So it's not too bad a journey, all things considered.

Hope you're all having a good weekend!
x x x
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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sneak peek

So this week has been all about the seed beads. I got an email last week, reminding me that tomorrow is the closing day for entries into the British Bead Awards. I've entered for the past two years and been lucky enough to have been short listed on both occasions (was even placed third in 2009) so I felt I really should make the effort to make something this year as well. Here's a sneak peek:

and if I don't get short listed, I will show you my finished creation. It's been a lovely week of beading for me, a really engrossing project that I have poured hours into now that school term has finished, and I'm chuffed to bits with the results. Whatever the outcome, I've got a piece of jewellery that I'm really thrilled with and at the end of the day, that's what matters :-) Good luck to any other entrants out there! x x x
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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Intent concentration with the seedies...

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More seed bead goodness

It's time for Studio Waterstone's "I Heart Macro" slash "I Heart Close Ups: Up Close Photography for Macro Makers and the Camerologically Challenged". I've been meaning to join in with this for a while, as my new camera has a totally awesome macro setting (up to 1cm away! So fab). 

I'm carrying on the seed bead work from yesterday. It's very theraputic.

Hop over to Studio Waterstone by clicking the button below to check out the other entries.

studio waterstone

It's been a seed bead day...

After finishing a long overdue seed bead project, I began a new one...I don't do a lot of this anymore (and I really should, because I love it) but today's been all about the wee ones.
X x x

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Saturday, 23 July 2011

A perfect start...

A perfect start to my summer holiday from school - a cup of earl grey with a square of Belgian chocolate. Genuinely Belgian, my partner brought it back from there on Wednesday. Yum. Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.
X x x
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Thursday, 21 July 2011

New items in les shops

Quite a few new items added to my Etsy and Folksy shops today - I spent the morning making a bunch of pretty rose hair grips, very satisfying. I won't bore you with individual links for this many items; instead, a fun collage from Picnik. Happy Thursday! x x x

Look what came in the post...

This lovely pair of pendants from Karen of, one of my favourite clay artists. Excited by their potential!

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Some lovely pendants from Earthenwood Studios (envelopes) and Mary Harding (red flower). So pretty! Not the best shot but some gorgeous pieces, I'm sure you'll agree.

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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Craft Fair Aftermath

So, after a VERY slow start, the third Magpies and I Altrincham Craft Fair turned out to be a success for me! And really, I can honestly say, no one was more surprised than me. We started at 11 and didn't sell anything til after 1pm. It's the third of these markets that I have participated in and whilst the first one went well, the second was a bit of a wa-wa-waaaa, if you know what I mean! And I was all prepared for today to be the same. Round about 1pm, I was seriously thinking of not signing up again - there had been loads of nice people coming round, taking cards, picking things up, but nobody buying. It's just hard to know what you are doing wrong in that situation....other people were selling this morning, just not us. But we noticed that people were picking up the couple of stamped pieces I had out, put a few more of these necklaces out and we had our first sale....and our second....and by our 3.30 finish, we'd sold eleven items. Including one of my resin rings I made this week :-) So, I'm no Lori Anderson by any means (this could NOT be my full-time job!) but I feel pretty pleased with how we've done today.

Here's how are stall was looking (before we were open to the public, I hasten to add - Helen doesn't usually look so grumpy!) You can see some bags that my sister-in-law made hanging on the sides, and some GORGEOUS silk and mohair cuffs that my Mum knitted. And yes, they are beaded too :-).  So, what do you all think of my display? I can't really afford to be buying any fancy accessories and props - I bought the three picture frames and Helen spray painted them for me and we fitted in the lace together, and the rocks and wood are salvaged from the shores of Whitby. I was pretty pleased with how it looked, I think it was the best so far, and the book you can see on the LH side was a portfolio with a wee statement about me, my jewellery and the materials I use. I'll maybe publish that here at some point so you guys can 'critique' it. 

And here's a quick collage of some of the things that sold. The blue hair clips were actually navy, but I don't have a shot of them....also, a stamped pendant saying 'We are stardust, we are golden', and a handwoven flower pendant in a shimmery, reddish copper sold too. Plus one of the small copper rings I made this week - with a sweet green butterfly inside.  Putting these items all here I see a theme of turquoise and roses.....but maybe that's just because that's what I like to work with! I thought about everybody's brilliant advice for this time, and did my best to stand up a lot (a but tricky as we're on a slope and it's quite uncomfortable to stand for long periods!) and greet and chat to people. Man, I find that HARD. I know it perhaps seems odd for one who blogs and loves to read and comment on other blogs, but I'm actually quite a shy and insular person in 'real' life....and especially when it comes to selling my jewellery! But I swallowed at least some of my shyness and chatted.

[n.b. this is extra hard for me because I actually often don't really like it when people chat to me on their stalls. I feel under pressure and often walk away because I feel under pressure.....perhaps it's a Scottish/British thing - I know sales and customer service is a very different matter in the USA....something I find interesting and will perhaps blog about another time]

So there you go. I'd love any further advice from anyone who goes to or sells at such events, and any critique on my set up (don't be too harsh!) will be much appreciated! Hope you are all having a great weekend and escaping the torrential rain we've had :-)

x x x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

last chance to enter!! Ex Post Facto Jewelry: Finally! A Give Away!

Ex Post Facto Jewelry: Finally! A Give Away!: "Oh me, oh my. Yesterday I went to our quarterly bead and gem show. Having missed the past two, I went absolutely hog wild and spent twice my..."

This morning...

Couldn't resist posting a quick update (see previous 2 posts) as I'm totally chuffed with the results! [a blog is like a diary, right? I can post it if I find it interesting...?!]

Pretty pleased with how these have turned out. I've used the tape sealing method with all of these and it seems to have worked with all but the little green one, which has bled a little. Anyone got any experience of taping up things to resin? Do they last? I hope so! I've got some sealant too so may have a go with that, dabbing round the sides, or even sealing the whole piece with it. We'll see. The main thing I need to work on is my circle's pretty rubbish...

Happy Saturday! X

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Friday, 15 July 2011

More resin!

I've totally got the bug...

I recently bought some bezel rings from Miss Lorelei and have been pondering what exactly I shall do with them....

Here they are, full of not yet set diamond glaze. I tried out putting a bit of tape around a few of them to start off with, thinking that the pointy edging would mean the glaze would leak out. NOT a good just meant that the resin leaked down the side, between the rings and the tape. I pulled it off, cleaned them up and refilled them. Pretty hopeful they'll work out well - we'll see tomorrow!

And here are the results of yesterday:

Colours are brighter in real life, the light is fading in our kitchen. I found a box of origami paper, stashed away, and used it in about half of these. The red, blue and the butterflies are all from the set. Love the little postage stamp butterflies!

I think that is my favourite bezel setting from Vintaj that I've used so far. I think I have enough resin examples for my class tomorrow by now :-)

Hope you all have a good weekend ahead of you! I've got my beading class tomorrow, then Altrincham craft fair on Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Some resin work

So, I'm very excited that on Saturday, I'll be teaching The Bead Shop, Manchester's first Vintaj class. They have recently started stocking Vintaj stock (much to my absolute delight, as you can imagine!) but as it's not so well established over here as a brand, being American and all, I'm running a workshop in some of the many, many wonderful things you can do with Vintaj findings. Some of you may remember my recent obsession with stamping (still love it but not compelled to make several stamped pendants/earrings a day anymore - phew! It was getting expensive!). I started (tentatively) resining back in November after getting a free sample of diamond glaze at the Big Bead Show. I've dabbled on and off since then -and yes, I know it's not 'proper' resin! I'm lazy and like that I don't have to mix it. It's also perfect for a class - or as perfect as resin can get in such circumstances. Everyone will get a box to take pieces home as they certainly won't be fully set, but they'll be set enough for transportation. I'm really excited about this class but a little nervous too - it's a new class, it's workshop style which is a new angle for me, and it's in The Bead Shop's new workshop, which I haven't even visited yet! Keep your fingers crossed for me. I absolutely love teaching though, so of course, mostly I'm just looking forward to it :-)

Here are tonight's efforts:

A close up on some of my faves:

Still experimenting with the old iPhone 4 camera, can't get much closer than that at the moment!

And here's me, looking tired but happy! And check out our kitchen wallpaper. Much awesomeness, no?

My nose looks awfully weird here but I hope that's just the phone....I totally hate photos of myself so I'm going to try and take more, and force/encourage myself to look at my face more! And be less vain. Not quite ready for the full length shots yet though.....

Hope you are all having a healthy and happy Thursday.

Ps anyone going to see Harry Potter tomorrow??

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Wednesday, 13 July 2011


Here's my tip of a table....

And a close up on some goodies.

Porcelain from c-urchin, polymer Rose from elise canning and lampwork polka dotties from Moogin. Photos taken on my new iPhone 4. VERY exciting. I've been waiting on it a while! The camera seems loads better than my old GS, so I'm hoping this will mean I can blog on the go more. X x x

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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Muffin Tin Update

Thought I would share some updated, better light pictures with you of some of my Muffin Tin Jewellery. Here's the spec if you missed it, and my original post. Yucky light and therefore photos, I'm sure you'll agree! So I thought I'd snap some better ones.

Click to enlarge and see individual pieces more clearly. Most are available in my Folksy and Etsy shops *now*. 

I've been playing around with Picnik as some of you will recognise. I've rounded the corners of the photos within the collage off, and also added a '60s' finish - it fades the colour slightly giving it an aged, nostalgic feel and rounds the corners of the collage itself. I think it's my favourite photo finish there at the moment. 

Hope you're all having a great weekend!
x x x

Friday, 1 July 2011

Hello! Second post of the day.....ok, that's because I cheated and scheduled my Folksy Friday post below - please check out all the polka dot goodness below

However, I received an extremely exciting package in the post today and just had to share it with you all immediately.....

What's in here....?

....this little birdie has come all the way from Australia to see me....

Look at the stash she brought me. 

Thanks so much Jenni!

I think these are my favourites.

They are *absolutely stunning*. And my colours to a T. 

Jenni has made all the lampwork herself....thanks so much for sharing your amazing art with me Jenni!

x x x

Folksy Friday

Haven't done one of these in a while so thought it was time I shared some of my recent finds from Folksy with you. I took inspiration from these new earrings, Vintage Spots. Beads by Laura, earrings by me :-)

Not surprisingly, polka dots are a very popular tag on Folksy! So retro and cute, and as Lisa recently commented on this blog, happy. I think we all need a bit of retro, crafty happiness every once in a while - heck, how about every day! So I've featured seven super artists and their wonderful polka dottish wares. 

Hope you have a great Friday! x x x


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