Thursday, 31 March 2011

Floral Urges

Following a challenge set by the lovelyTan over on the Bead Buddies forum: 'The Urge...' I've been making some more of these flower necklaces.  They're great fun to make and I can get one finished in a little over an hour.  They are quite popular with my family, friends and customers too. :0)

Each one has a 14mm rivoli centre, bezelled and embellished with delicas, and a 50cm hand dyed silk string from SowZerE Designs.  I'm having so much fun matching beads to the colours in the silks. :0D  I may have to order some more rivolis though!

Away from the flowers I made another Diva's bracelet for my SIL:

Oh, and I've just ordered Sherry Serafini's new book.  I can't wait for it to get here!  I've got her first one somewhere (if only I could find it) so I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. :0)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Play day :0)

Yesterday I had the house to myself for 7 whole hours!  I got on with the laundry - even braving the rats from next-door-but-one to hang it out on the line to dry, sorted out some tax stuff that needed attention, then sat down with my newly acquired moulds and Premo Sculpey polymer clay.  I made loads of flowers for the craft shop I work in, then these ones:

They measure just under an inch in diameter and have flat backs so are perfect for bead embroidery, which is what I intend to use them for.  I've put some of them up for swaps on the Bead Buddies forum and the rest I shall keep for myself.  I might see about putting a hole in some next time I make them so they can be used as pendants. 

This afternoon I think I shall make some more - I've still got a couple of the new moulds to try out yet! :0)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Non-Beady Catch-Up

No beads at all this week! My time has been taken up by other fun stuff. :0) On Tuesday night I went to Nottingham to see The Script in concert and, boy were they fab! There's not a song of theirs that I don't absolutely love and it was amazing to see them all sung live!

My only complaint is that they weren't on stage nearly long enough!  Their support act was an Irish guy called Ryan Sheridan who was pretty good, so watch out for him, then The Script were on stage for about an hour and a half.  I really didn't want it to end!  Afterwards we almost got locked in the arena :0/, then we went to a bar for a drink with the others that had gone with us.  When we went back to the car park they were just closing the shutters and we would have had the car locked in if we'd arrived any later!  They left them open just long enough for us to get back to the car and directed us to the last remaining exit that was open.
On Thursday night we travelled to Liverpool to watch the football match with Braga.  Unfortunately, it was a goalless draw which meant that we lost 1-0 on aggregate. :0(  It was also freezing cold!

This is the team before kick-off.  Actually, I lied, I did get some beading done - in the car on the way up. :0D  No piccies yet though.

Last night was spent watching the rugby - Well done England, shame you couldn't make it the Grand Slam!  Today I've been doing some Spring cleaning and now I'm going to finish watching Dancing on Ice and then it'll be time for the MotoGP.  Sporty week, this week! :0)

Sunday, 13 March 2011


I've had a really busy week but have still managed to find time to make up some of the kits I bought last week.  Firstly, the Diva's Bracelet from Oak Tree Crafts:

I chose the gunmetal/blue teal colourway and I really like how it's turned out.  It's based on a simple spiral stitch and I made it on Sunday night and wore it to work on Monday. :0)  I've also bought a few more clasps so I can make it again.

Next, the Cordoba Bracelet from Spellbound Beads, again in the teal colourway. 

This one I made really early in the morning (5:30am start) and had it finished before breakfast!  It's a lovely kit and works up really quickly.  Might make some different colours of this too. 

Oh, and how do you like my new photography prop?  I bought the hand mirror on Friday from TKMax for £8 and I love it!

Finally, the Grape Vyne Bracelet from Oak Tree Crafts again, just the instructions for this one so I had to choose my own beads:

Unfortunately, I made it a bit too big for me so this is going to become a swap over on the Bead Buddies forum.  Looks like I'll have to make more of this too although I think I prefer the version I made for my SIL in return for her cutting my hair on Friday.  I don't have any pics of it but I joined each tile diagonally corner to corner instead of straight on as they are in the pic.

Off now to finish watching Dancing on Ice and play with some beads. :0)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

What a Fabulous Day!

The sun's been shining, I've seen definite signs of Spring - lambs in the fields, crocus' and snowdrops in the grass verges and all is right with the world!

So, are you ready to see what I bought at Harrogate?  Ok then, here goes.

From Designer Cabochons:

I have to say the photos just do not do these pieces justice!  Especially the ammonite.  It is full of green and purple sparkly bits in it's chambers.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Not sure what I'll do with any of them just yet but I will show you when I decide.

From Spellbound Beads:

A beautiful needlecase kit and a gorgeous bracelet kit.

Then I bought lots of sz 15 seeds, some sz 10 triangles and some gorgeous purple velvet Swarovski crystals to go with a pendant I bought in October:

Finally, another bracelet kit (which is already half finished) along with some extra clasps so I can make some more, and instructions for another bracelet.

I didn't manage to find the 4mm and 6mm gemstone rounds but I'm really pleased with my haul! :0)

The second fabulous part of the day was listening to and watching the football match between Liverpool and Manchester United which finished 3-1 to Liverpool.  Couldn't have gone any better!  I only wish I could have been at Anfield to see it live.

A couple more pics before I go.  Firstly the double sided bracelet I told you about yesterday:

It's made with crazy lace agate rounds and gold and bronze seeds.  Finally, yet another bead embroidered badge pendant:

So that's it, and now I'm off to do some more beading! ;0)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

12(ish) Hours and Counting...

... till I'll be at the bead fair at Harrogate! :0D  I can't wait!

So, what am I going for, you may ask?  No idea!  I usually go in and head straight for the Designer Cabochons stand (not hard, they're right next to the door) and spend half an hour or so trying to decide which of their absolutely gorgeous cabs need to come home with me.  I used to limit myself to just one but the last couple of times I've bought three back.  Not that I've made anything out of most of the dozen or so that I now own.  Just two, I think, and these are they:

The first one is a beautiful piece of fossil coral and the second is a gorgeous titanium drusy cabochon.  I've made bezels for each one using delica beads and finished them both with spiral ropes. 

I wonder what sort I'll bring back tomorrow?

Next stop is usually Spellbound Beads stand where I have a good old drool over their newest kits, usually coming away with one or two.  After that I do a quick tour round the first room, then onto the second before doubling back to check out anything that's caught my eye.  I also take a list of anything I particularly want to find - although there's not much on it this time - mainly size 15 seed beads and tiny flowers/leaves for a bit of variety in my badge necklaces.  I do want to find some nice 4mm and 6mm round gemstones though.  I made a bracelet at work this morning, in preparation for the demonstration, using crazy lace agate - this one though is double sided and is different to the one in last night's post.  I haven't taken any pics of it yet but I promise I will do.  I'm actually rather pleased with it as I wasn't sure if it would work out right, but it did.  Yay!

I had some inspiration drop through my door this morning in the form of the Fire Mountain Gems catalogue.  I spent ages staring at some of the pieces that are featured in it.  There is a fabulously detailed beaded globe by Dagny Sellorin that is 2ft in diameter along with a cockerel by Salli Weigert Rathburn and a parrot by Paula K Singer.  All of them are totally stunning and must have taken sooooo long to complete but the design that really captured my attention is that of a flamenco dancer in the most exquisite beaded dress in reds and oranges by Nancy Hall Selma.  I so want to have a go at something like that and will be on the lookout tomorrow for anything suitable.

I'll let you know what I find. :0)

Friday, 4 March 2011


After being nominated for a Stylish Blogger Award the other day by Nicola at Smitten Kitten (thank you, Nicola!), I have been thinking about what to write in my post.

Firstly, the rules:
Step 1 - Make a post linking back to the person who gave you the award!
Step 2 - Share 7 random things about yourself
Step 3 - Award 15 recently discovered bloggers with this award
Step 4 - Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won the award

Step 1 is done, so now for Step 2.  Seven random things about myself.  Hmmmm.

1.  I've been making jewellery in some form or another for over half my life - ever since I was about 14 when I started making earrings for my schoolfriends.  I also made jewellery as part of my GCSE Art exam, for which I got a B.
2.  I think I'm addicted to bead embroidery.  I find it incredibly relaxing stitching beads to fabric and have been making lots of bead embroidered pendants lately (but you probably already know that).
3.  I'm currently organising a Bead Retreat in Derbyshire in May this year for myself and 14 or so beady friends.  I also did it last year and we had a ball!  I hope this year's will be just as much fun!!!  More to come on that later.
4.  I'm a perfectionist.  I like everything to be in order, neat and tidy - not that you'd think that if you took a look at my house.  I have a husband and son, what more can I say...
5.  I suffer from panic attacks.  Thankfully they're much less common now than they were a few years ago.  I rub lavender gel onto my pulse points every morning before I leave the house and whenever I feel an attack coming on.  It helps, really it does.
6.  I don't drink tea, coffee or fizzy drinks.  I drink mainly cherry flavoured water - and the odd glass of wine.
7.  I've given up salt.  Well, at least, I've given up adding it to my meals.  I noticed I was getting heartburn every time I ate and finally realised that it was the excess salt that was causing it.  I have to say, I've not really noticed much difference in the taste of my food - except for chips!  Chips need salt!

Will that do? ;0)
Step 3, the blogroll, in no particular order:

1.  Turtle and friends are sooooo cute.  I love reading all about their latest adventures.
2.  A great beady blog with fabulous patterns.
3.  Another beady blog.  This time with lots of lovely lampies. :0)
4.  Lots and lots of gorgeous downloadable papercraft stuff.
5.  What would you swap for 1p?  And where will it end?
6.  Another beady blog full of lampies.
7.  If you're a fan of miniature bears you'll love Jean's blog!
8.  All things fabric/sewing related.
9.  Jewellery, glass, beads...
10.  Beady chat.
11.  She's not updated her blog for a little while but Daisy's sculptures
are amazing!
12.  Gorgeous lampwork beads and jewellery by Sabine.
13.  I just love Lesley's writing style
14.  Lots of jewellery related chat from Jean.
15.  Fabulous glassy blog by Helen.  Mmmmm, beads.

So there you go.  Hopefully there'll be some blogs in my list that you won't have heard of.  I've tried not to repeat them from other lists but I'm sure I will have done somewhere along the line.

Onto other news.  It's demonstration day tomorrow and this afternoon I've written a tute for this bracelet:

It's based on one I saw on the net and is really simple to make.  Hopefully the girls at work will love it.  I'm off to make some variations now so I can show them all just how versatile it is.