Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Beads for Busy Gals Book Club

Currently I'm reading Blood, Bones and Butter to keep up with this month's book club challenge organised by Elizabeth Auld of Beads for Busy Gals blog.

You can see more about this months book club challenge here

I read along with last month's challenge too and really enjoyed the story. It wasn't something I would normally choose and that's the great thing, a bit like making jewellery with beads that someone else has chosen for you. It's the whole "out of your comfort zone" thing and to be honest, I can't put it down!

I've always wanted to be part of a book club, can't wait for next month!

Monday, 28 March 2011


I am really into the whole concept of upcycling - it's like breathing new life into an old piece of jewellery so it can be loved again. Ok, a bit romantic but you get the idea!

I found this old ballerina brooch amongst a bowl of jewellery in a charity shop and brought it home with the intention of giving it a new lease of life. I chose it because it was very similar to a brooch that I remember my mum wearing when I was little. It held great sentimental value because it was given to her by a friend when she was at university. One day she looked down at her coat and realised that it had fallen off, a sad day!

Back to the present day, I took my find home with me and cleaned it and voila! The detail is fabulous, her face is beautiful.

I have made a chain with clear Czech glass crystals on one side and some larger crystals on the other side. The clasp is magnetic and the rhinestones in it match the ballerina's skirt.

The pin of the brooch feeds through a strong split ring so it can be detached and worn on it's own if preferred. Just in time for Mothers Day!

By the way, for all those who wondered, the hairband in the post below passed the acid test with flying colours!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Treasures found and a tiara!

I arrived home to more parcels today - have I said before how much I love getting post which doesn't relate to bills!?!

I received my "treasure" from Erin Prais-Hintz of tesori trovati jewelry. Erin makes gorgeous pieces and her truth pendants are fabulous. You can see more of Erin's work here

This is what I received

I love it, thank you Erin xx

Tonight I've been making a hairband for my daughter. A bit of background, we recently went shopping and whilst looking at the jewellery in Monsoon - inspiration for me and ideas for dressing up as a princess for her, she spotted some of their new bridal range and I promised to make some similar pieces for her so we could leave the shop! I guess i should explain that she is 7 years old! After scouring EBay for a suitably bling brooch, this is my version of their pearl strung tiara.

The acid test will be the comments from her friends in school tomorrow...obviously!

I wish I could make someone feel like a princess every day....

Monday, 21 March 2011

New Year Resolution - Update

I've been making jewellery for a long time, since I was in school in fact. Back then, it was friendship bracelets in colourful cottons and patterns. The whole scope of jewellery making has changed so much thanks to the Internet, now you can order any kind of bead you like from anywhere in the world...amazing!

I've concentrated so much on trying to build a career over the last few years and to be honest, I'm just about there. But ever more lately I feel myself almost yearning for time to make jewellery. My dream to live in a tiny cottage by the sea with my daughter, making a living from designing and selling my jewellery takes up a large part of my thinking time. So, at New Year, at my favourite place by the sea, I lit a magic lantern on the beach and let it float up high into the sky while making my resolution to spend more time in my dreams.

What have I done so far?

1. Launched this blog
2. Entered two challenges and one competition
3. Made more jewellery in 11 weeks than I did in the whole of last year
4. Arranged to take an introductory class in making glass beads
5. Ordered my first art beads!
6. Chatted to lots of new friends all over the world who all love jewellery and design as much as I do

Hooray for dreams!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

March Art Bead Scene Challenge unveiled

The sari ribbon I was waiting for to finish my necklace arrived in the post today. The ribbon is beautiful with orange, purple and gold threads which really complement the crystals I've hand wrapped into the design.

The inspiration for this necklace is in the post here.

I've used paprika orange links and beads together with a lotus pod leaf metal and resin pendant from Shannon LeVart of missficklemedia. Her etsy shop is here.

I've also used a lamp work bead hand made by Ray Skene of Celtic Glass, click here to see his website.

So here goes...

I'll be able to upload these once I can work out Flickr!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New beads - the stragglers!

I'm so pleased to receive parcels when I get home from a long day at the office, it really cheers me up! Today, I came home to these gorgeous mermaid tail pendants from Gaea.

I know exactly what I'm going to make with these!

My second parcel contained a Pay It Forward from Lori Anderson of Pretty Things, you can read more about this here. The card and kind thoughts I received from Lori have definitely had the desired effect...

Thank you Lori!

The third thing to make me smile when I got home is my beautiful Star Magnolia tree which is starting to flower and brighten up my garden.


For those of you waiting with bated breath to see my attempt at March Art Bead Scene challenge, I'm almost there, just waiting for one last ingredient to arrive! So for now, I'm off to drool over my gorgeous mermaid tail pendants and plan my own version of Pay It Forward.

Happy Tuesday everyone x

Saturday, 12 March 2011

New beads!

This week has not been good, my family and I have been struck down with sickness after a celebration meal at a nearby hotel. It's taken a good three days to recover and still not feeling 100%. Then, this morning, two parcels arrived to put a smile on my face for the first time this week!

I ordered the following from Shannon Le Vart at missficklemedia you can see her site here

Even more lovely in real life, I ordered these with the March Art Bead Scene challenge in mind.

I also received a treasure bag with mixed handmade pendants and beads from Gaea, you can see her shop here. These are absolutely stunning and my pictures do not do justice to the colours.

Thank you, lovely ladies, I can't wait to get started!


Monday, 7 March 2011

Amethyst sunshine

I'm trying to make sure that I make something new every day. Here are some earrings I made tonight, they are hand wrapped with lilac swarovski crystals and connected to sterling silver ear wires.

Simply gorgeous!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Little Gem

Here's a quick bracelet I've put together using kiwi jasper as the focal bead together with aquamarine buttons, ceramic shapes, a rose opal flower bead, some swarovski crystals and silver charms, brushed sterling silver spacers and a cute floral toggle clasp.

A lot of different components for such a small item, enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Art Bead Scene March Challenge

I'm really tempted to have a go at this month's Art Bead Scene challenge - the colours are way outside of my comfort zone but I love the tropical palette and I like this painting by Gauguin. 

Challenge Color Palette

Blog Challenge
 On March 31st we will host a blog tour of everyone who blogs about their challenge entry! To participate, blog about your challenge piece and leave a link in the comments below. Your link must be posted here by March 30th to be included in the blog tour. There will be a bonus prize for those who enter in the blog tour and a prizes for our readers!

The Prizes:
Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on April 1st.

You can read more about the painting, the rules for the challenge and the prizes on Art Bead Scene Blog.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Angela Smith Bespoke Handmade Jewellery

I got home today to find these fabulous earrings in my letterbox!

Angela was having a giveaway on her blog and I was lucky enough to win! I'm so pleased with these earrings, they are sparkly and beautiful and I can't wait to wear them.

Angela has been making bespoke handcrafted jewellery for 16 years, she specialises in wedding jewellery and also runs jewellery classes. You can see her blog here

Thank you Angela for such a beautiful gift and brightening up my day!