Monday, 15 February 2010

More soup anyone?

First of all, Happy Valentines for yesterday! I hope you've had a lovely day. We spent the day with friends round at their new home - lovely chat, lovely food and lovely friends!

Well, so much for being back on Thursday! It took me three days to go round all the Bead Soup party blogs - but it was so worth it! The necklace above was designed by Lynne with the beads and silver I sent her. I love how she's used chainmaille with the leaves - I never would have thought of doing that, and I guess that that is what the Bead Soup party was all about!

The variety of styles, colours and types of jewellery that I saw was really inspiring. My head is buzzing with all the ideas I have floating around in my head! Not that there will be any copying going on (I hate that, especially as a UK based "designer" has copied one of my recent designs and passed it off as her own on flickr and her blog without even bothering to change even the name apart from swop the two words in the name around, but anyway.....). It's that seeing all the different styles and how everyone has risen so fantastically to the challenge has helped me to remember that there are more materials than silver wire and sheet and semi-precious stones. I've spent quite a bit of time over the last year building up collections of made-to-order jewellery for Notonthehighstreet and galleries, and I think that the Bead Soup has been just what I needed to get me back into being more creative with one-off pieces. So, look out for more of a mix of materials and metals along with the silver and semi-precious beads!

Anyway, as I worked my way through the list of Bead Soup blogs (I started from the bottom, just to be different)! I started saving pictures of my favourites to show you here. Then I realised that I had over 20 pictures of Bead Soup saved!! So, below, in no particular order, is just a small selection of my favourites.....

1. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
2. Kerry, Kabs Creative Concepts
3. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
4. Regina, Regina's Writings
5. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
6. Leslie, Bei Mondi
7. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
8. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
9. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Party time!

The day of the Bead Soup Party has finally arrived!

For those of you who haven't picked up the hints from previous posts, I signed up to a Bead Soup Party swop organised by Lori at Pretty Things in January. Over 80 people signed up and swopped beads and clasps with their partners, and today is the day when we can finally show what we made!

A quick reminder - my partner is Lynne at Island Girl's Insights. This is what I sent her

and this is what she sent me - my favourite is still that beautiful big hollow bead!

And this is what I've made!

My first thought when I signed up for the party was that I'd make a really big piece (I suppose showing off what I could do!), but when Lynne's beads arrived I just couldn't do it. Everything I put the beads with took the focus off the beads, and I didn't like that, so in the end I focused on what my favourite beads reminded me off and went from there. The beautiful turquoise and etched ivory beads remind me so much of a hot summer beach (just what I need right now instead of this constant greyness!), so I decided to make something for me for once that I could wear on holiday.

I made a forged head pin and bail for the focal bead and strung it on a double length of brown leather. The ivory beads are tied on to the leather, as is the clasp that Lynne made me. The focal bead can be taken off the leather and put on a chain as well - I wanted to have a choice of how to wear it. The part that took the longest was actually forging the bail and head pin to get it tapered smoothly and shaped how I wanted it to be without risking damage to the bead while I was hammering. I hope that you like it Lynne!

Now, for oodles of eye-candy, go and visit as many of the other 84 blogs as you can, and then go back to see more tomorrow to feast your eyes on some truly amazing and beautiful designs. I'm keeping this post short as I'm off to do the same, and I'll be back to share some of my favourites tomorrow! Remember though that in the UK we are at least 5 hours ahead of the US party-goers, so they may not have had a chance to post what they've made yet, so remember to go back again later today!

The Bead Soup Party People are:

1. Lori, Pretty Things
2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas...You Are Here
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kabs Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading >From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Janeen 365
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Chas, One Woman's Haven
74. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
75. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
76. Maire, Maire Dodd
77. Janet, Singing Woods
78. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
79. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
80. Joann, Jo's Jewels
81. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
82. Mel, Kookie Designs
83. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
84. Dale, Flights of Fancy
85. Dee, Runako Designs

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - wiggledot bead

Isn't this bead perfectly named? This is, of course, a Laura Sparling bead - you can tell because everything is perfectly in it's place and it's just plain gorgeous!

This is the bead that Laura has written her latest tutorial on, and you can find it here, together with her other lampwork tutorials on her blog. Every time I see one of Laura's tutorials I can't help but think that it would be really fun to try my hand at lampworking, but I need to free up some more time (somehow! anyone invented that cloning machine yet?!) first as I just know that I'd have to keep on at it until I could make decent beads. You see, I know what lampwork beads should look like, afterall, I've designed jewellery with beads by Laura, Mindy Macgregor and Isabelle Anderson, so there's no way I'd be satisfied with any old beads!

Beads and Beyond have a lampwork treat this month. Laura's blog is the first "Blog of the Month" on the Spotlight review page, and Mindy has written a tutorial on her delicate glowing Japanese Bloom beads. Oh, and as well as the Spotlight (which I've just taken over the writing of - I get sent books and beads and kits to review, great fun!!) I've got a project in there too. It's a shorter, 2 page project this time, and unusually for me there's no soldering or hammering! Have a look out for the Wired Wings butterfly pendants on page 28 - again, I forgot to take a photo before I sent the pendants off!

Bead Soup Teaser!

Just a quick post as I've got orders to complete today, a class to prepare for, a magazine project to write, gallery stock to work on.....oh and some cuddles from B too I hope!

My beads from Lynne for the Bead Soup have arrived! I was starting to get a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to get them in time to post my makings when everyone else does on 10th February (tomorrow!!), but thankfully they were waiting for me at the sorting office on Friday morning when I went in there waving my little red card. Lynne has been so generous - there are enough lampwork beads to make at least three necklaces! I have to confess that I have a favourite, I know you're not supposed to, but I couldn't help myself. Have a look at this gorgeous hollow bead! It told me that it had to be the perfect pendant on a long piece of leather, so I've done what I was told (apart from the leather - need to find where I've hidden that)*. But you'll have to wait and see what else I make though!

Lynne has been busy with the parcel of goodies I sent her - and she's posted a teaser here!

*what do you mean, you didn't know that beads talked? You must be new around here!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - Pom Pom Hearts

I've just found the perfect project to do with B after school tomorrow, and as the jewellery tutorial I was going to post today still needs a little bit more tweeking I thought I'd share it with you. B has been playing with my stash of yarn (no, not the hand dyed skeins, don't worry!) and I promised him that I'd teach him how to make pom-poms, so considering Valentine's is just over a week away I thought this would be perfect.

If you click on the picture you will find the instructions on the zakka life blog which is full of lovely crafty ideas, including more Valentine's ideas. I'll come back and post our heart pom-poms tomorrow!

Look what they made!

I thought it was about time that I showed you what some of my private tuition students have made this month. I've had three people come and see me for tuiton this month, and my tuition is becoming more and more popular. If you're interested in booking then you may like to know that the next dates I have available are in the middle of March, and April is looking fairly busy too. And there are only 3 reduced price/introductory offer places left for Keum Boo tuition - see here for details.

Anyway, the photos!

Starting at top left, photos 1 and 2 were made by Carolyn during her Keum Boo tuition. She's visited me for a couple of workshops before, and so already had some experience of soldering and working with silver. The teardrop shaped pendant was a present for a friend, and it's the logo for the UK Association for Milk Banking, of which Carolyn is the vice chair.
Photo 3 is the bangle that Paula made in her half day tuition - she hadn't made any jewellery before and was rightly pleased with what she'd made!
Photo 4 is one of the pieces that Lucy made during her day. Lucy already makes and sells her own jewellery and wanted to add silversmithing techniques to her repertoire. We managed to cover a lot, starting with a bangle, making chains, head pins, clasps and, obviously, this gorgeous leaf pendant. I love the natural 'twist' she put into the shape.

By the way, I'm really pleased with myself for putting together that photo collage as it's taken me ages to find out how to do it!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Happy February!

Well, apparently I've not been alone in the January blues! Thank you for the comments on Saturday's post - and if you haven't already paid Mel's blog a visit go and have a read of her blessings too. I think this is officially the first time that I've written a blog post that has inspired someone else to write one too. My funk more or less disappeared after writing my 'blessings' post, so if you're having the blues it's worth writing your blessing down too!

Something else that has helped get me out of my funk has been finishing a couple of projects, both knitted and jewellery. The jewellery ones need photographing properly, but the knitting ones I can show you now......

This is the November sweater that I showed you the start of here. I'm really pleased with it - fun to knit, very little sewing up to do, very comfy! Nicky took the photo for me while we were out having pudding and a drink this evening - thank you Nicky, having a evening out with you chased away the last of the funk! The colour is actually much bluer than you can see here - pub lighting is not the best for photos, no matter how much I play with the white balance on the camera!

And this is a cuddly top that I've knitted for my baby niece, Chloe. It's made using a chunky yarn (that I already had in my stash - bonus!) so it was quick to knit up. The original pattern used either buttons or ribbon at the sides, but I liked the idea of 4-ply cotton french knitted into a ribbon as a contrast to the texture of the brown yarn. If you like the pattern follow this link to Ravelry and look in my finished projects and you'll find the pattern there - my name on there is daisyjewellery. And if you knit or crochet and haven't joined Ravelry yet, why on earth not?!


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