Friday, 30 September 2011

New designs - and 10% discount this weekend!

Well, the challenge was met - there are now just over 100 fans on my business facebook page so as a thank you there is now a 10% discount on all Daisychain jewellery and jewellery making supplies from now until midnight on Sunday for Facebook fans. Just place an order as normal and let me know that you've liked my facebook page - if you use paypal I'll refund the 10% discount through that, and for cheque or bank transfer payments I'll email you the total due so you can send that through.

I've uploaded a couple of new designs this evening - a couple of sweet pendant designs. The Ruby Red teardop has a 5mm facted deep red ruby bead hanging in the middle of the curved teardrop. There are only 3 of these available as I only have 3 rubies of this size!

My favourite though is the Simply Wood pendant. I bought these wooden beads in Barcelona a few years ago. I used a few of them a while back in a bracelet for a present and had saved the rest for this design that I've had sketched out in my book for ages. I've cut out a silver daisy, hammered it so that it catches the light, domed it so that it has a bit more depth to it and riveted it with a simple silver wire rivet off centre on the bead. The chain runs through the bead, and I've added a 2" extension to the chain so that the pendant can be worn at different lengths according to the neckline of what you are wearing. I've got about 20 of these beads so it'll be a limited run, and I've got two other shapes of beads to rivet daisies to as well - but that will be a job for next week!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Poppies and Silk - and a facebook discount!

Here it is! I am really pleased with how this necklace turned out, and so glad that Janna got me interested in using silk ribbons in my designs! A silver chain would have drowned out the poppies in Mindy's stunning cabochon - and put the price up a lot too! The double strand of silk is definitely best - thank you to everyone who commented last night! Poppies and Silk is now available on my website.

By the way, I realised tonight that I have somehow managed to get to 98 people liking my Daisychain Designs facebook page. Not bad considering I never really promote it! If I get to 100 people before the end of tomorrow (Friday) then there will be a 10% discount on all Daisychain jewellery on my website and Daisychain Extra clasps and findings over the weekend for everyone who "likes" my facebook page.

So if you're trying to get organised for the holidays, fancy treating yourself or have had some of my clasps on your wishlist, you know what to do!

I've been featured!

I've been following Rebecca Anderson's Introducing.... series of blog posts, and loving finding out more about some of my favourite jewellery designers and meeting some new (to me) people too. I felt really honoured when Rebecca asked me to take part, and her post this week is on me! Answering her questions was a lot of fun, and made me think more about why I do what I do, and how much I enjoy it. Doing the interview also made me finally take an up to date photo for my profile avatar and to send into Beads and Beyond. The one they've been printing in there was taken when I was pregnant with Ben almost exactly six years ago!

Thank you Rebecca! You can find the interview here!

And thank you for the comments on my poppy necklace dilemma below - I'm going to go with the two strand option. That was the consenus at the school gate this morning too! I'll get it finished today and post some final pictures.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

BTW - and some help needed please!

Do you remember this gorgeous poppy cabochon from Mindy Macgregor? I wanted quite a simple setting for it with a nice clasp and not too much (if any) silver in the necklace section and so made a plain bezel setting and one of my poppy clasps. It had to be a poppy clasp! After all, they were inspired by Mindy's poppy beads! I sent them off for hallmarking at the end of last week. They're not over the legal 7.78g limit but I wanted my hallmark on them as the cabochon is such a unique piece. Anyway, I set the poppy this evening and then got out the silk ribbons that the postie brought me on Monday and chose a soft navy to go with it. I decided that a silver chain would be too much shine and distract from the poppies, and that a brighter coloured silk would be too much too.

My dilemma is this..... I had planned that I would use the silk double but now I'm not sure. Does it make the necklace too thick, too heavy,too much of a distraction from the poppies?

But does using it single look too little?

I can't make my mind up! I try one way and like that best, until I try the other way! T says it doesn't realy matter as when I actually finish it and put it on the website or on my stall at a craft fair people will only see what I decided to make, not the two options. Please ignore the ribbon hanging down from the cab in the first set of pictures - I had to put it somewhere and obviously didn't want to cut it! I had hoped to show you a photo of each option being worn, but it's too late for the light to be good enough for that.

So, what do you think? Any input would be much appreciated!

On a different topic, my college evening classes started last night. My first evening teaching since having Jamie and being ill. I was a bit nervous before the first students arrived, but it went great and it was so good being back and getting back to normal - whatever normal is! It was great to see so many of my students from before Christmas back again, and to meet some new people to introduce to the addiction that is jewellery making.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Flowers bracelet

copyright Sabine Lippert
One of my favourite jobs for Beads and Beyond is searching out beautiful blogs to review for the monthly spotlight pages. I try to find blogs with inspirational photos, and if there are tutorials or the blogger also teaches then so much the better, but my aim is to find blogs that will inspire the readers. I also make sure that I write about blogs with a mix of jewellery, not just silver and wirework! The blog I reviewed in the September issue was Sabine Lippert's Try to be better - her beadwork is absolutely beautiful. Her blog is full of pictures of her work in progress, and her website is full of amazing tutorials, some of them free like the flowers bracelet pictured above. So, as I'm spending my work time today preparing for tonight's evening classes, Tutorial Tuesday this week is on Sabine's beautiful work. You can find the flowers bracelet here - scroll down the page a bit and you'll see it there. Have fun!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Look what the postie brought!

Yummy silk ribbons in all colours of the rainbow from Marsha Neal on etsy - this is Janna's influence! I loved working with the silk she sent me in her bead soup and just had to have some more!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

a new self-imposed rule

There has been absolutely no time for blogging  this week - all my internet time has been spent on a virtual tour of the world on the Bead Soup party! I'm about halfway through the blogs taking part, and there have been some really beautiful pieces of jewellery made, a lot of people meeting the challenge of using materials and supplies that are completely different from anything they usually use. I think it's going to tak me another couple of weeks to get through everyone though! I'm trying to leave a comment on everyone's blog - afterall, if they've gone to the trouble of taking part and posting beautiful pictures of what they've made, the least I can do is comment!

Apart from the blog hop, orders, preparing for college evening classes starting again next week and the usual family stuff I've been trying to have a bit of a declutter. I hate how easily the house gets messy with four of us now in the house. I sorted out my knitting and crochet projects and yarn stash yesterday and I've realised three things:

  1. I have lots of lovely yarn but still need more (different) yarn to be able to knit all the projects I've got in mind. I've got enough DK, for example, for a couple of projects but not in the colours I need for a friend's Christmas gloves, and I haven't got enough 4ply for my niece's Christmas dress.
  2. I have too many projects on the go and (this might just be my "baby's teething and I've got a cold"-brain speaking) I can't keep track at the moment. I know exactly why I have so many projects on the go - there's a simple baby blanket for in the car when T's driving us somewhere, a jumper for me that just needs the capped sleeves finishing and blocking, a chunky sleeve-less jumper pictured above for me that I realised that I didn't have enough yarn for despite having the correct gauge and the exact number of balls of recommended yarn, but that's not really a problem as I decided halfway through the second side that I didn't like the pattern in this colour anyway, and my Victorian wrap that I started when we were on holiday two years ago that only comes out to play when I'm not concentrating on anything else. The book was right when it said that this one's a challenge!
  3. I really really want to start teaching myself Tunisian crochet NOW! The goodies below arrived from Purple Linda yesterday. I had thought that the book would have projects in them that I wouldn't really be interested in and it would be the lace stitch patterns and the DVD that would be useful for teaching myself, but I've actually added a couple of the projects to my project list.
  4. I really need a better way of organising my needles, especially my lovely knitpro interchangables.

I know that's four things, but as I said, Jamie's teething, okay?!

So, my solutions then
  1. Well, this one seems easy - go and buy some more yarn in the thicknesses and colours that I need. However, I also need to avoid spending money on yarn that looks lovely but for which I haven't got an immediate project in mind! I think I may have to take cash and leave the card at home.....
  2. I'm going to try and stick to three projects at a time, as there are three pockets in the lovely bag that has become my knitting bag. Ummm....this one may be a bit harder! I'm cheating slightly on this one as I'm going to frog the chunky sleeveless top so that I can use the yarn for something else, so if I do that and finish the two projects that are nearly done I'll be okay.
  3. Once I've finished the two projects that are nearly done I can start teaching myself Tunisian crochet (look, two solutions in one!)
  4. I've been looking at the needle rolls on etsy for ages and thinking that I could make one myself but, I have to face it, sewing is not my strong point so I think it's time I added one to my Christmas list. My family will probably be relieved as my list usually says something like "an plug in clothes airer so I don't use the tumble dryer" and "some garden tools"!
Right, that's me organised then! How about you?!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Bead Soup Party Time!

Welcome to the Southampton stop on the Bead Soup Party blog hop! I hope you're having a great time visiting lots of lovely new blogs and feasting your eyes on beautiful jewellery. This has definitely been the best party yet - and I'm writing this before I've even seen what everyone else has made as I'm writing this on Friday evening and scheduling it to post early Saturday morning ready for any early birds. Lori has been an amazing hostess keeping us all organised and on track and motivated, and Janna, my bead soup party, has become a lovely new friend - thank you both of you!

Anyway......the jewellery! For those of you who may not have seen it yet, these are the ingredients that Janna sent me

glass beads, shells, sea urchin spines, silver, silk and an amazing epoxy clay sea urchin pendant that she made just for me - just beautiful, and definitely not what I usually work with - but then a challenge is a challenge is a challenge as Janna says!

As much as I loved the sea urchin pendant as soon as I saw it, it did cause me trouble at first as it is so much bigger than anything I usually work with. I just couldn't get it to work for me as a pendant with one bail at the top. I knew that I wanted to keep whatever I made, and large pendants hanging from necklace to form a Y shaped necklace just don't suit me unless the chain is really long and the pendant forms part of a cluster, and that didn't work for this piece. So........after a lot of thought and "can I really do this?" "will Janna mind?" questionning....... I cut the bail off so that I could set the pendant as a cabochon in a silver bezel and have two bails on it. I thought long and hard about emailing Janna to check whether she minded me doing this but I decided in the end not to as a) cutting the wire bail off didn't touch the sea urchin itself and b) I didn't want her to guess what I was doing! Janna, I really hope that you like what I've done!

I knew that I wanted to use the silk, some of the glass beads as they matched the bead Janna had used on the clasp, and also some faceted smoky quartz to add some sparkle as a contrast to the rest of the ingredients. I also knew that I needed something else larger but not too heavy as the pendant/cabochon was so large. My eyes fell on a pair of these earrings sitting on my workdesk and inspiration struck!

So, these are the ingredients I used......

And this is what I made! I really hope you like it, Janna especially, because I LOVE IT! Everything balances out, and there's a bit of sparkle and colour without distracting from the sea urchin, and it is so comfortable to wear.

But that's not all! As soon as I saw the button that Janna had used to decorate the parcel she sent me I knew I wanted to make something with it, and I actually made this a couple of weeks ago. I've set a silver tube rivet through the middle, threaded silver wire through it to form a bail, and hung it with the two silver charms that Janna sent me from a string of dusky yellow seed beads.

Thank you for reading all of this - assuming that you made it to the bottom of the post! Please do go and see what my partner Janna and our hostess Lori have made, and visit as many other blogs in the party as you can - you are guaranteed to find beautiful jewellery on your virtual trip around the world! I think this party will be going on for a few weeks!

These are the partner pairs.

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel






131. Maria Grimes and Wendy Blum



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