Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas Art, Craft and Design Fair this weekend

Coming up this weekend! Loads of amazing artisans will be there with a gorgeous selection of handmade goods. Do Christmas the right way - support handmade and shop local. At The Assembly Rooms on George Street (Edinburgh)

Here are a few of the pieces I'll have on my stand (unless they are snagged from my Etsy shop first...!):


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A couple of the new pieces in the shop...

I had a bit of a photography session this morning - still quite a bit more to go under the lens, but the mission has begun! I am going to be sharing them here with you this week - and there will be more to come as the week goes on and I get back to the camera. Still time to snag your perfect Songbead piece in time for the festivities! 

You can also shop with me in person this coming weekend at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh with 3d2d - always a really great event - and in fact, I have a couple of tickets to give away! If you'd like to be in with the chance of winning them, then leave a comment below. I'll perhaps do something more official over on my Facebook page tomorrow or Wednesday but I'll make sure to put any blog comments into the hat too :-)


I couldn't come up with a title for this piece for ages - it contains so much of what I love about making jewellery; artisan-made beads, pearls, pressed glass, so much colour in so many of my favourite saturated vintage-inspired the end, I had to follow my colour love and go with my whimsically made up word 'Berriful' because those berry tones are really speaking to me, especially at this time of year! Perfect with a pop of turquoise. I've combined an artisan-made turquoise ceramic house with two of my own handwoven glass beads in contrasting purples with some gorgeous dyed freshwater pearls in rich and juicy burgundy (dare I say marsala?!) and beautifully rustic pressed glass chunks. I also used my 'end of day' process to create a short extender chain - a pile of beads left over from many hours of bead-weaving - to create a colourful backdrop for the larger beads.

Night Vision
I'll let you in on a secret - these are so-called because someone on Facebook said they looked like peas and carrots. Not quite what I had in mind when I created them but I can totally see what she means...! Gorgeous handmade ceramic drops in a vibrant yet rustic orange hang from a pair of my handwoven glass rounds in a pale celadon-sage green. The ceramic drops seem to have been top-dipped in burnished gold - elegant and slightly decadent whilst still bohemian and earthy. bronze floral caps separate the ceramic and glass elements and the earrings hang from my own hand-formed oxidised sterling silver earwires, perfect for sensitive ears.

There are several more new pieces which hit the shop yesterday so do hop over and take a peek!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Stacked Earrings Challenge - Chapter 5

Hello! Goodness me, it's been a while since the previous chapter of this stacked earrings adventure but we are back again, with Heidi's bead selection. 

This exchange is the brain-child of Swedish jewellery designer-maker, Malin de Koning, who invited Heidi Post, Leah Curtis and Claire Lockwood and myself to join her. Here's the lowdown in Malin's own words:

"The idea is that I give each of us the same set of beads. Beads that I believe would be nice to use in earrings. Nothing exclusive, and no art beads. Just a group of different beads that I myself believe can be used in fun and interesting ways in earrings in a stacked style.

 I am longing to see how we all use the same things but in different ways. I am thinking we could all make at least one pair of earrings, but hopefully more. And that we are free to add our own extra beads and/or other components, if we at least use three (3) of the beads from my set in each design."

Since Malin began this challenge back in January 2015, we've taken it in turns to send out little curations of beads, and all turning them into our own creations. It's been so fascinating seeing not only what people have in their stash, but what they choose - how they curate these little bead collections. I freely admit that my selection (last time) was more about assembling an interesting grouping of beads, rather than gathering together items for specific designs. I kind of think this adds something to the design process though - not least the fact that we all start nearer the same point when turning to the bead collection. I wonder if the other designers did the same? 

Anyway, back to this round of the challenge. Here's Heidi's lovely curation (picture courtesy of Malin):

It's interesting looking at this collection here again, whole. You'll see below but I've stuck with a fairly muted, soothing colour-scheme in my creations - and I'm interested to note that, despite there being a fair quantity of coral/orange in Heidi's wee group, I've not used any of it - despite it often being a 'go-to' colour for me when designing. Instead, I've stuck to a tonal palette ranging from mint greens to cool blues to warm purples - nothing too contrasting, nothing too clashing. Fairly unusual for me, but I'm pleased with what I created! See if you agree...

Anyway, here's what I came up with:


First of all, these long, elegant drops. I've used the peacock-silver biwa pearl discs and the moon-blue faceted rondelles here, connected with some gorgeous fancy chain in a co-ordinating gunmetal dark silver. You may think that those are the only one of Heidi's beads that I have used here - but no! You see those little handwoven rondelle beads? Inside are some of the little wooden discs - top left of the bead collection picture. When I saw them in Heidi's selection, I couldn't resist seeing if I could bead around them - and yes I could. Which leads me onto these studs...

Not technically stacked earrings, but I wanted to share them here as they came from Heidi's beads - each stud contains one of her tiny natural wood discs and I love them! They are about 10mm across in width when fully beaded. If anyone knows a source for these discs, message me - I'd love to make more. 

In the Fires

Next, a pair in soothing pale violet - almost like cape amethyst - and minty green. I was so pleased to find these Scorched Earth droppers in my stash - how perfectly do the colours go here? Both pairs of discs and the tiny flower caps are from Heidi. I just adore Petra's glazing work here - the way both base colours have so many other colours flashing in them. 


These earrings are the cute shorties of the bunch. More of the pretty mind green spacers from Heidi, little wooden plum-purple cogs and some beautiful transparent glass rounds with deepest aubergine swirls throughout - topped off with some of my tiny handwoven rounds in dark pewter. I like the flashes of copper wire here and how they contrast with my hand-formed oxidised silver earwires.


Lastly, these long elegant chaps. Glass rounds and violet gemstone chips from Heidi - and beautiful long porcelain drops from Round Rabbit. I love how the graffiti-style decoration on the rounds is echoed in Nancy's glazing. I purchased these drops in a  'grab bag' from Round Rabbit and I admit when I saw them, I knew I would struggle to use them in their gorgeous earthy olive-brownness - a lovely evocative colour, but not one I work with often. However, I started with the two upper beads and then just knew that I had to hunt down these drops to go with them as the perfect earthy foil to Heidi's beads' bright and bold colourfulness.

And so that's it for this challenge - we've come full circle, each one of us having sent out a grouping of beads now. Who knows if we'll go round again....I've so enjoyed each of these challenges - and whilst we've taken our time with each round, that's been nice - no pressure to create things to deadline that we may or may not be satisfied with. I hope you've enjoyed following along with us! 

Now hop over to my friends' blogs to see what they created with exactly the same materials:


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