Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy Hogmanay from Songbead

An old picture, but one of my favourites. This pic is three Christmas' ago now, and my sweet wee Maisie girl is no longer with us. But she's still here, looking in wonder at our Christmas tree, and she makes me smile. 

Happy, happy New Year. I hope you all have wonderful Hogmanay plans for tonight. Health, sparkles happiness for 2014 for all. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

End of Year Sale at Songbead

Hello all! I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and are set for 2014. I am nicely fed and watered, and have enjoyed being home in Belfast and being visited by family and - soon! - friends also. I'm having a little break from craft fairs until the summer to work on new collections and take Songbead to new places…..and so I thought perhaps a little New Year/Spring Clean over at www.songbead.etsy.com

Between now and the 1st, you can take a huuuuuuge 35% off all items (even made-to-order!) using coupon code ENDOF2013. Not sure how to use coupon codes? Message me and I will help you out!

Have a Happy Hogmanay and a wonderful 2014 when it comes. I hope the year will hold exciting and beautiful things for us all.

Please note, coupon codes are not valid on custom or reserved orders Many thanks for your understanding!

Friday, 29 November 2013

New pieces on Etsy in time for today's sale...

Some new pieces I added to my etsy shop this morning. You've got to grab the good light whilst you can at this time of year! And the shop was looking a little bereft of earrings too. I've remedied that a little! You can take 20% off all of this jewellery, today only, by using coupon code HOHOHO at checkout. It's also valid at my website, where there are some completely different lovelies up for grabs too! Follow the links….

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Black Friday Sales at Songbead and Curious!

Here's the deal - Black Friday (29th November) I am running sales in all my shops. 

Use coupon code HOHOHO to take 20% off all jewellery orders TOMORROW ONLY!

I'll also be hosting a few FLASH promotions over the weekend, so look out for them too. Any sale/promotion orders will be shipped out on Tuesday so I can combine/refund any excess shipping. 

Here are some of the new lovelies that I've just loaded into the shop, ready for tomorrow:

 Stackables! Singles and Doubles

Ooh! Single Stackable - pretty :-) 

Well, it's my 1st Birthday! Or it was back on the 22nd. Woohoo! 

To celebrate, I'm offering all my lovely customers a huge 15% off all orders (only exceptions are Curiosity Club subscriptions) from Friday all the way through til the end of Monday. I'm also going to be having a giveaway at some point over on Facebook over the weekend - so make sure you tune in there over too! 

And if you want to take advantage of BOTH my sales, then just send me a convo and I will be happy to refund any excess shipping. 

See you there! 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Holmfirth Art Market - today and tomorrow!

Tonight, Saturday 23rd November - Holmfirth Indoor Market - 8pm - 10pm. 
Tomorrow, Sunday 24th November - Homfirth Indoor Market - 10am - 4pm. 

£2 entry on the door (children under 14 free). Includes raffle entry!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Lori Anderson - thank you for being fabulous!

So, Lori Anderson. Where do we start? 

Firstly, she has a very excellent name, of course. The Anderson Clan's motto is Stand Sure - and really, that couldn't be more appropriate for someone as steadfast and reliable as Lori. 

I can't quite remember how and why I came across Lori's blog, Pretty Things. But I do remember two things - firstly, the first Bead Soup blog hop which I took part in (the 2nd that Lori had run), but even before that, I remember the first time Lori ever commented on my blog. 

It seems like a little thing, but I was just really getting going with blogging. I was just at that stage where I had left the land of blurking, and had started to comment on the blogs I was reading. But still at that stage where I felt a *little* like I was blogging to no one and nobody! I got the odd comment, and I was hugely excited whenever I did. (Does that feeling ever quite go away though? I am always hugely thrilled whenever anyone takes the time to not only read my blog, but also to comment. Still, 4 years on.) I even looked back through to see if I could find the post - here it is. About someone who is still one of my very favourite bead artists, to this day. 

Then one day, I got two comments on a post - one from Lori and another from her good friend and equally talented jewellery artist, Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio. I had had comments from people I liked and admired before, but there was something extra special about both ladies taking the time to comment on the same post. 

From then on, Lori has been a continual part of my beading and blogging life. The first Bead Soup blog hop completely changed my blogging - and therefore jewellery making - life. I found myself part of a large - and getting larger - online community of bead and jewellery enthusiasts, all over the world. Since then, I have taken part in all of Lori's Official Bead Soup Blog Hops, along with a few smaller hops that she has organised. I was also lucky enough to send a bead soup over to Lori, to be used in her book, Bead Soup. (You can see the soup which I sent in the 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon - Soup in the Butterfly Garden, which Lori designed with herself!) I've been Lori's partner for a Bead Soup swap - and wow! to the beads she sent me. Not just one, but two soups….including some of her gorgeous handmade lampwork beads. 

I hit the jackpot there! I have been introduced to new bead and jewellery artists and made friends all over the world. Not all through the Blog Hops directly, but I know for certain that many, many of them are as a result of this wonderful thing that Lori has created. 

Alongside Lori's powerhouse Bead Soup achievements, I also hold her in great, great esteem for her huge generosity of spirit and her ability to always be there when people need her. She takes the time to comment, to listen, to offer help and support. She has her own challenges, but that never stops her from reaching out to people and being one of those people, you always know you could turn to with a query or for advice and encouragement. I know that without meeting Lori, this jewellery journey that I have been on over the past few years would have been significantly different, and the poorer for it. 

Thank you Lori! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

New bracelets for Edinburgh

A peek at a couple of new pieces for the stand tomorrow:

Winged Things


Tomorrow's fair is at the Scottish Arts Club, at 24 Rutland Square, Edinburgh. If you are in the area, why not stop by? Lots of lovely handmade goodies to get your Christmas shopping started!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Scottish Arts Club Craft Fair this Saturday!

It's the first time I will have been involved in an event run by this prestigious organisation and I am excited! The old Georgian house in the New Town of Edinburgh which is home for the organisation, looks very beautiful from the pictures I have seen on their website

Here are a few of the lovelies that will be for sale at the weekend (and if you are not local then I have added web links to these in my shops so you can snag them anyway :-)): 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Handmade Show, Sunday 3rd!

Wow! Yes, my first show of the season is this Sunday, 3rd November. Can't quite believe it's come around so quickly! If you are in the Perthshire area, or fancy a trip to the very lovely Perth Concert Hall for a spot of handmade shopping, then I'd love to see you there :-) I will be next to the super-talented Aileen Clarke, and Soul Silver Glass and Swallow Glass Studio will also be exhibiting. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

New jewellery at songbead.com

So, this week I launched my new website! Pretty pleased with how it's looking and the feedback I'm getting is good :-) Requests to see my face (maybe...) and also to see necklaces 'on'. I hear you - I know how much easier it is to decide on a necklace when you see it hanging. It's something I've struggled with in terms of photography, but it's going to be shifted up my list of priorities in terms of stuff to get sorted, so that you can see that aspect of my necklaces as well. Same goes with earrings too - I want to find an easier way to show them hanging. It's always a bit of a leap of faith to buy something you're going to wear online, so I want to make sure my customers have as much information as possible from the photos I provide them with!

Here are a few pieces that you can snag in my shop. Remember to use coupon code LAUNCHPARTY20 at checkout to take 20% off all orders through til the 29th October!

Want to get a wee bonus for your order? Sign up to my new newsletter here too to get an extra coupon code in your inbox. 

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Songbead Website Launch!

Yes, you read that right - I finally have a proper website for Songbead! I have been working on it for the past week or so, tweaking and fiddling away, learning the ropes of how to run such a thing, photographing, editing, loading, writing.......and finally, I am ready to go LIVE. 

I'm very excited about this new spot on the interweb for Songbead (me!). I have a web store there, you can read a little about me, direct links to my etsy shop and my blog....I am working on a Songbead Events page that will be popping up soon....There will be glitches, I'm sure, and little things I want to change or fiddle around with, but for now I am pretty pleased overall!

To celebrate, I'm having a launch party to celebrate! I have a special coupon code for you to use on any of my jewellery at www.songbead.com. Simply enter LAUNCHPARTY20 at checkout and my website will take 20% off your jewellery for you! Happy shopping :-) 

I'd love for you to take a look and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Necklace and a Newsletter

Yep, this post is pretty much about what it says on the tin! 

This week has not been as productive work-wise as I'd hoped, as I've been laid up with a nasty bug. However, I have tried to be busy, in between coughing and spluttering, it's just that my general pace has been slower. I've been working away at quite a lot of new pieces (preparing for something new that's in the pipeline - all will be revealed soon.....!), as well as a new Beads and Beyond project and a few commissions that I've fallen behind with due to the hectic past few months. Trying to catch up, as well as forging ahead! Especially as I'm off on holiday, basically as of tomorrow, and won't be back at home in Belfast until the 29th! (Never fear - I'll be taking a travelling kit along with me. As always....;-))

Anyway, back to the title of this post....here's the necklace I wanted to share with you today. I've entitled it Fire-Berries, and I wanted to talk a little bit about it and why. 

I recently got a new order through from one of my favourite art bead suppliers, Green Girl Studio, including this pretty pewter bird pendant. In it's beak it holds a berry, and as soon I saw it, an image - a memory - came into my mind. 
Some of my favourite books - both as a child, and still now, as an adult - are The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I'm not religious, so they don't have that particular resonance for me, but the stories - the stories! And the imagery, the wonderful characters and the landscapes and countries and worlds that he draws are just wonderful. I have them all on audiobook, read by an incredible and much-missed British actor, Michael Hordern, with the most beautiful, atmospheric music written and played by harpist Marissa Robles. I got as a gift on cassette when I was about 5, bought them again on cassette when I was about 18 as my first lot had well and truly died, replaced them on cd about 5 years ago, and then over the past year, I've been downloading them so I can listen to them on my phone. They really are THAT good - at least to me, who's been living with them in this particular version, for almost 30 years now. 
Anyway, BACK to the necklace.....as soon as I picked up the pendant, I knew that this particular bird was holding Fire-berries, which are in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Here's the extract from the book where the berries are mentioned:

“Aren’t you a star any longer?” asked Lucy.

“I am a star at rest, my daughter,” answered Ramandu. “When I set for the last time, decrepit and old beyond all that you can reckon, I was carried to this island. I am not so old now as I was then. Every morning a bird brings me a fire-berry from the valleys in the Sun, and each fire-berry takes away a little of my age. And when I have become as young as the child that was born yesterday, then I shall take my rising again (for we are at earth’s eastern rim) and once more tread the great dance.”
“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of."
(And of course, in my audiobook version, this is accompanied by the most beautiful, haunting music, which I can near enough hear in my mind whilst reading these words.) 
For me, those berries were what I saw when I picked up this pendant. 

I had a stash of these wonderfully vibrant encased orange lampwork beads from Juli Cannon, and a wonderful etched lampwork disc from Helen Chalmers. Once I had them it all came together very naturally - knotted etched glass on one side, lampwork and pressed glass on the other. Another lovely touch to this is that the reverse of the pendant holds some of my favourite words from one of my favourite poets; Emily Dickinson:
"Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul - "
You can read the full poem here

A very literary necklace! At least to me. It doesn't need to be for the wearer. That's the beauty of hidden words in jewellery. You know they're there if you want/need them to be. If you're more into pictorial imagery then you can forget the words.  
On to the second part of this blog post....I have, at long last, started a mailing list! Not much to say about this really, other than I would, of course, love you to sign up. I'm aiming for roughly one a month, with perhaps the odd extra one thrown in for good luck if I have extra special news to share, secret sales, new collections etc. You can sign up here:

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And if you do, there will be a very special Songbead offer popping into your mailbox shortly afterwards.....if that's not temptation for you then there will extra exciting news and another special offer in my first newsletter! I'd love to keep you in the loop with what's going on with Songbead. Hope you'll want to join me! 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Autumn Leaves

A spot of colour inspiration for you, from outside our backyard.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Coffee Shop Creativity

Wednesday was a super-productive day for me. I work best when in a busy but not chaotic environment  - a 'mix of calm and commotion', as it is described at Coffitivity. It's a fun (if a little silly) website that plays background sound from a coffee shop - it's true what it says though! That kind of burble does foster creativity - for me, at any rate. Not knowing anyone apart from my partner here in Belfast, I have been spending a lot of time by myself in our house. Not bad - we have a lovely house, even if it is still a little (a lot!) empty for my liking....but I have missed getting out and about. So on Wednesday afternoon, I took myself off to my new favourite coffee shop, Common Grounds, and drank tea and ate cake (only one small piece, I promise!) and.....made jewellery. I had a select palette with me, as you'll see, and everything just flowed. It really was a fantastic afternoon! I'm thrilled with all the pieces I made. Perhaps you'll see something you'll like - take a peek :-)


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