Saturday, 25 August 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party VI Reveal

Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party VI, 3rd Reveal....yup, it's all got a wee bit complicated by now! The wonderful, awesome and impeccable Lori Anderson has gathered us all together, fearlessly rounding up an horrendous number of beaders into three reveals over the past few weeks. I thrilled to be a part of it, yet again.

My partner is Jacqueline - a Swiss lampwork artist. Her business is CreARTelier. When I found out I was partnered up with someone of such talent I felt a little over-awed (not for the first time - remember Sabrina and Patsy?) but I (hopefully!) rose to the challenge and relished the opportunity to work with some absolutely amazing beads....

Jacqueline sent me 2 focals, some beautiful gemstone and lampwork spacers and filler 'soup' beads and a bag of silver toned components, including a lovely toggle.  I hope you can see the simply astonishing work that has gone into both of these focals. The mind simply boggles at the imagination, dedication and sheer bloody talent that goes into composing such pieces. I've shown your the organic focal from both sides - even the back is incredible!

And so, without further ado, here's my creations....

I kept it simple with these bold focals. I know that you could probably make very cool, very decorative pieces with them but for me, it was all about chain and simplicity. Bold shapes and strong colours, in the heart piece at least. Over sized pearls and lemon faceted Czech glass in the bracelet, echoing those sweet flowers on the front of the focal. And a lot of Fallen Angel Brass in both. I love working with their findings!

I'm now off to check out what Jacqueline created....

Here's the whole hopping list:

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier (my partner)
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads (you are here)
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Monday, 20 August 2012

How do you follow blogs?

I have a lot of blogs that I officially Follow on Google Friend Connect. I bet a lot of you do too! I do dip in to most of these from time to time - some I read every once in a while, some I read most posts, and some I don't miss a single word! The ones which scroll along the side of my blog tend to be the ones I read most often - I use that rather than Google Reader or anything like that, it's just more convenient for me personally. I also like that I can put in typepad and wordpress blogs there too, or ones embedded into websites, it's not selective like GFC is. 

I also have a few blogs which I follow by email, which I really like doing. The only problem is that you can't comment on the email version....and I quite often forget to visit the post later and comment there. So I miss out on that bit sometimes, which is silly, as they are mostly my favourite blogs which pop up in my inbox. But I do love getting my blog mails, they are definitely happy emails. By the way, if you want to follow my blog by email, you can see the button to fill in your email address to the right there. Once you've filled it in, you'll get an email to activate your subscription - click on that and then you are signed up! Easy peasy.

As it's not a fun blog post without a picture, I thought I'd share some earrings I made on the drive up to Edinburgh (I've just arrived back at my Mum's an hour ago). You can't really see the quality of the gemstones but they are smoking hot, I promise. All from Precious Sparkle Beads - where I will be visiting for the first time, can you believe it, on Wednesday. I've been an online customer for years and I am so excited about it! 

rustic painterly rondelles - Beads by Earth Tones
golden rutile quartz


wooden teeth

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Last evening of Pitiful Partying!

Last evening of the cross-blog Pity Party for those of us who can't make Bead Fest! Thanks to Heather 'Humblebead' Powers for organising this fun weekend. Have you played along? Heather has organised a bunch of challenges and I have busted my stash and gone on an inspiration adventure, and will be taking a class of one this coming week (a craft fair got in the way today - what can I say?).

A few last minute additions to my shop to tempt you to take advantage of the sale. I have decided this is to be my last of if you want to grab a bargain, I recommend you do so now! I will be taking down the coupon code (PITYPARTY) at 10am tomorrow morning, BST. Go on, take a peek....;-)

Stormy Weather

White Picket Fence

Beach Flowers

Sale - from now til 10am BST Monday 20th August
Where - my etsy shop
Coupon code - PITYPARTY

See you there! x x x

Friday, 17 August 2012

Bead Fest Pity Party!

Here in the UK, we have some really lovely
bead shows. The Big Bead Show, forthcoming in Surrey (more exciting news about that one coming up soon...), The Scottish Bead Show, happening this very Sunday (SO very gutted I can't be there), Beads up North, my most local one. Awesome as these all are, they are all on a smaller scale compared with some of the AMAZING slunding shows that happen over in America. It is a small dream of mine to visit one of them some day.
Bead Fest is happening this weekend and some of my beady friends and I are having a (pity)party because we can't go to Bead Fest (one day I will be there!). Giveaways, promotions and special sales in our shops. Check out Heather's blog for full details - who is taking part and what are they offering. The sale runs through til Sunday. In my etsy shop, use coupon code PITYPARTY to take 20% off anything and everything. I also may have some other exciting things up my sleeve this watch this space!

my etsy shop my shop is pretty full just now so why not snatch a bargain? .
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Naming your jewellery

***If you are looking for my Brit Pack Beaders Reveal, then check out the post below.***

A few new pieces of jewellery I have listed in my shops recently. My Mum (Scotknit) left a comment saying she would like me to give titles to my pieces. Do you name your pieces? I always used to on Etsy, but then I found out how important the listings titles are in terms of search value. I must admit, it's something I always find challenging - it's hard to find that sweet spot between prosaic and cheesy. But I agree, I like seeing what other people call their pieces, it does add another layer of artistry to the jewellery somehow.

By the way, there's still a chance to win a £14 voucher (plus free postage) for either of my shops. Hop over to my Studio Saturday at ArtBeadScene and leave a comment answering the questions I pose in my post today or tomorrow for a chance to win. There are quite a few items priced at £14 so if you win you could either get a completely free piece of jewellery from me, or put it towards something of greater value.



Edinburgh Sings
Printer's Drawer

Family Colours


Peach Melba

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Brit Pack Beaders Reveal

So, it's the post you've all been waiting for - the Brit Pack Beaders Inaugural Reveal! If you are wondering who exactly the Brit Pack Beaders are, check out my post here for full details but as a quick reminder, here we all are:

From left to right, Lesley Watt, me, Claire Braunbarth, Jo Tinley and the camera-shy (Little) Bo Hulley

Jo is not able to take part this time around as she is off globe trotting for the summer, but she very kindly sent us all our stringing materials anyway. 

And without further ado, here are my finished pieces.

N.B. My pictures are NOT GOOD. It's been dark and rainy here today - you know, because it's MID AUGUST in Manchester. So if the weather improves tomorrow and our puppy guest will allow, I am going to try and get some more pictures. 

These challenges are just so brilliant - working to a brief, or to a specific inspiration point can really push you in new directions. I would never have worked with this colour scheme off my own bat, and the large patinated ring from MissFickleMedia was something I've had for ages and just never quite figured out what to do with. I love them (that's why I bought them after all!) but couldn't quite figure out what best to do with them. Hence my sending them out for this - I knew if I had to use it, I would! And I am so glad I did - it formed the perfect porthole, or net mouth, for this pendant.

 I had recently been sent a small bag of bead samples (don't you just love that?) with an order of czech glass, all in goldy-greeny-olively glimmering shades and I mixed these in with the lovely little bead soup which Bo had sent. The colours worked perfectly together! I love that Bo had included some pearls in her mix - perfect for the seascape, beachy theme.

Do you see the cool gold/turquoise fabric bead off to one side?
Well, that is actually made by Carolyn Saxby, who took our inspiration picture

I've had a set for a while - and again, couldn't quite figure out what to do with them. But I just knew I wanted to fit one into this project if I possibly could. 

When I finished the necklace, I knew it would be my central creation for this challenge, and I realised I had totally missed out Jo's stringing materials so far. So I took a small piece of silk ribbon and tied it next to carolyn's bead. A little added texture and movement, which I find very pleasing. 

The earrings use the two awesome wrapped rings that Claire sent (love these!), my left over ceramic beads from Bo, and the shell charms, also from Claire. I don't often make asymmetric earrings but I quite like these. What do you think? Do they work for you?

I had really hoped to add a third to the mix today, but after having a slight disaster with an upcoming magazine project, I ended up with a lot more to achieve today that initially planned, and that idea sadly went out the window. I still have some gorgeous bits and pieces from Claire and Jo, one of my focals, and a smattering from Bo, which I WILL turn into something lovely on the same theme.

Thank you to Lesley for organising this first round of the Brit Pack Beaders. It's my turn to organise next so watch this space for our October challenge.

Please check out the other Brit Packers here:

Jo (not playing this time but still blogging about her Antipodean expolits!)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Some jewellery, new and not so new...

*stop over at Art Bead Scenefor my studio saturday post!*
After a full day oof beading teaching, I have spent the early evening photographing some new - and some not so new - jewellery for listing on etsy and folksy later. Some made this week, some last month, and one bracelet that just never got listed, from last year (can you guess which one?). Hope you are all having a great weekend, and enjoying bead soup hopping - check it out here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The post

....or the mail. Whatever you call it, whichever side of the pond you're at. I love it. I've never got over my childish adoration of birthdays, and when you do beading, there's always the possibility of a little brown, yellow or white package of happiness awaiting you when you get home from work. Particularly exciting is when you retun from a few days or weeks away, seeing what packages and postal slips will be sitting piled up, ready for your return. Yesterday night we returned from a few days in my hometown of Edinburgh, and came back to 2 parcel slips, 2 parcels and then again today, 2 more packages arrived! So I thought I'd share some of these goodies with you today. Some fun rings and chain from my elements, 

some awesome round rabbit pieces destashed from Shannon of for my sweet daughter,

 and perhaps best of all, a little ceramic business card holder from GinPins. 

Love the sweet bird and flower at the front! I can't wait til my next fair so I can try it out.

What landed on your doormat recently?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Brit Pack Beaders - the materials

i am officially a VBB (Very Bad Blogger). I had a date with the Brit Pack Beaders two weeks ago and I missed it. *hides head*. i had a slight mishap with some of the materials i was sent *head now buried in sand* 

but such are the lovely Brit Pack Beaders, that they not only forgave me but sent me replacement materials! how wonderful is this community that i am part of? 

in case you've forgotten, the Brit Pack Beaders are a small band of beaders from all over the British Isles, who are joining together for a bimonthly challenge - the brainchild of the gossiping goddess herself, lesley watt. you can read all about it here

so, here are the lovely materials i have to work with for our inaugural challenge:

the whole caboodle

from mastermind, jewellery artist and bronze clay guru Lesley Watt - the high heid yin and in charge of clasps.

selected by your truly. i'm in charge of focal beads. 

from the lovely Jo Tinley - she can't join us this time as she's off in New Zealand (it's a hard life for some) but wanted to be a part of our first challenge anyway. she is in charge of stringing materials.

from the amazingly awesome and bead artist extraordinnaire Bo Hulley. Bo is in charge of spacers beads and the like.

from the lovely and talented Claire - she's the high heid yin at Smitten Beads. DO go and check it out - it is an amazing wonderful of beautiful beads!

and here's the picture we're all working from

chosen by Lesley, photograph by Carolyn Saxby. isn't it awesome? it'll be a real challenge for me - not a selection colours i would think to put together, but that's the beauty of these things. can't wait to get started!

our initial reveal date has now been pushed back a little to the 15th august. so tune in then for our first ever Brit Pack Blog Hop!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

some new jewellery

a few new pieces for my etsy shop - some i have already blogged about but i thought i'd show you them in a different setting. much as i try different photography set ups at home, i am never as pleased as i am with the photos i take at a local pub, which has the most awesome washed out, grey-grainy tables and a big open space. but i know that as the nights close in (not yet, please!) the weather will do me no favours in terms of photography so the sooner i perfect the indoor studio the better. one new addition is the purchase of some heavy linen fabric in off-white. i do like it - think it has great potential, and certainly shows colour very well. i thought i might buy some similar fabric, but in a more grey shade of oatmeal - not too dark, but not cream like the one i've used below. any thoughts? I am always open to photography input...!


Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Finally Friday

I love Shannon's weekly challenges. I love knowing that if I have a bit of spare time on a Thursday, or more likely, if I don't have any spare time but am looking for an excuse for procrastination, there's a fun and inspiring challenge I can take part in. Last time I took part, I made this:

which was the beginning of a month-long play with the colour yellow, now my best friend. 

This week, Shannon's palette was definitely out of the norm for me.
None are colours that I am uncomfortable with, but I'd never have thought to put them together in this way. Which is of course, part of the challenge for me. 

Here's what I came up with:

awesome sunflower pendant - kylie parry
minty green ceramic flower links - captured moments
sweet polymer owl bead - beads by earthtones
antique copper daisy clasp - daisychain extra

It's a very happy piece, I think - from the glowing sunflower, the happy daisy links and clasp, and the sweet little chubby owl. And I am so pleased with how the colours work together! One reason why I absolutely adore Design-Seeds. 

 What often happens when I work with one design-seeds palette, I want to go on and work with another. So I had a look through one of the books that I own (you can download selections of palettes so that you can have them on hand on your computer/ipad/iphone/wherever you download it to. You can even buy hard copy versions but they are understandably a lot more expensive than a pdf.). 

I picked another one that was again, not colours I would typically work with together and came up with this:

'Another necklace!' I hear regular readers cry. Yes; I decided I wanted to challenge myself with form as well as colour. 

dogweed pendant - humblebeads
ceramic bead flower caps - chellev2
rustic bronze flower clasp - theatoo

Tune into For My Sweet Daughter for next week's challenge. Absolutely gorgeous....I must try and find a bit more procrastination time next week ;-)



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