Sunday, 13 May 2018

Reflections on 2017 - part 2 - Battle of the BeadSmith

Transparency was my Battle of the BeadSmith Design for 2017.  I hope I get the opportunity to participate this summer.  The design was inspired by the bubble glass focals created by Iris Houghton and the wrought iron designs my dad, Keith,  created for our family home.  The design evolved as it was stitched and the colourway changed very early into the process. 

Vicky Roberts admired the design at the Big Bead Show in October 2017.  She suggested a cuff using the same technique - and this design is featured in issue 86 of BEAD magazine (pages 61-7).  At the time of the conversation we were stood next to Blueberri beads .  I have several of the handmade ceramic beads created by Caroline Dewison - and I was drawn to the ammonite cab for this design.  


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Happy New Year - reflecting back on 2017 (part 1)

Last year saw me publish 5 designs and one article in BEAD & jewellery magazine.

Two Hearts Connect! was first published in issue 76.  The Soutache design was inspired by the romantic notion that two hearts connect but the individual personalities are retained.  The Sea Sediment Jasper hearts were sourced from Silver Orchid Beads as a bead fair special.   The use of picasso seed beads with pansy/brown soutache cords gives a rustic and wearable design.

Iridescence of a Peacock was first published in issue 77.  The tutorial for peacock pendant outlines step by step how I created one of the components in the tail feathers of the Battle of the BeadSmith 2016 design.  I love how this design combines peyote with RAW, CRAW and St.  Petersburg stitches.

Shibori Butterfly was first published in issue 78.  The Shibori Butterfly was featured on a handbag I designed for the Stitchncraft Butterfly Challenge (summer  2016).  Issue 79 saw me write about the silver clay workshop I did at The Big Bead Show.  I created 3 sweet doves using wall paper to texture.

Duo to Tango was first published in issue 81.  This design combines Tango beads, True 2s and DiamonDuos.  I enjoyed designing this as the orientation of the two holes in Tango beads can make them a challenge to work with.  After lots of experimentation arrived at this intermediate right angle weave design.  Honeycomb Jewel Star was first published in issue 82.  As soon as these faceted beads were released on the market - they said Christmas to me and the bauble cover was designed.  This cute star component would work well as festive earrings too. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Happy New Year! JAN2017 discount code in Etsy Shop

The start of a New Year is a point of reflection!

Two resolutions for the start of this year - a better work life balance and to start a graded exercise programme.

Last year saw me write several articles for Bead & Jewellery Magazine - over the year these will be gradually added to my Etsy shop.   The school holidays saw me add a few new designs.

As a welcome to the new year JAN2017 code will give a 20% discount in my Etsy shop until the end of the month!

Post Bead Retreat saw the reveal of Battle of the BeadSmith 2016 design - Iridescence of a Peacock.

A trip to London with the senior maths team gave the opportunity to attend  an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum - ‘Bejewelled Treasures - The Al Thani Collection’. The above design was inspired by a stunning hair clip.  The design made it to round 2 and more images can be found here!

I have similar plans for this year - the maths team have again made it through to the final in London.  I will be accompanying them on the trip early February - will be checking out the The Winton Gallery  but have yet to work out what to see at the Victoria & Albert.......

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Trinity Beads

Since the advent of 2 hole beads in 2012 I have gradually added every new shape to my stash.  Some get used straight away - some sit there for a while and will talk to me at a later date!

The trinity beads were purchased for the OTTBS March 2016 challenge - I have very little gold in my stash. They come in two sizes 6mm and 8mm......I discovered quickly that they can be used interchangeably with the 8mm beads adding more depth to a design.  An evening of playing with Trinity beads resulted in a few different ways they could be used - offering different things to a design when they are placed horizontally or vertically. So what do 3 hole beads offer over 2 hole beads?  Personally more scope for working and designing in 3 dimensions.

I have listed my first quick and easy design using Trinity Beads in my Etsy shop Art Deco Hex Trinity Bezel

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Mixing it up!

It has been a while since my last blog.......and it does seem a little too late to be writing about New Years Resolutions!  The theme for the year is mixing it up, experimenting and enjoying the creative process.  I have started this year working on a few designs for publications.

I have made a few additions to my Etsy shop that fit with this theme!  Helenium Flower was a bead embroidery design entered in to Nicole's Bead Backing competition.  It is my go to  beading foundation - no need to reach for the Sharpie pens and wait for the ink to dry.  I started experimenting with tulip petal beads last summer to create a tulip inspired design.  However in this design I have used them in the opposite orientation - giving a ruffled organic feel.  The design is completed with a twist of Shibori ribbon.

The Argyle Bangle was first published in 'Quick and Easy Beadwork, 2015'.  I love the variety of Argyle Patterns, and given my surname, it is quite apt that this was my first published design in print.  I had a custom request for this tutorial - so I am offering the bangle design initially at a discounted price.  I developed a series of designs in Spring 2014 around this theme - so there is more to come!

Memories of the Beach was my first design in 'Bead & Jewellery', issue 64, July 2015.  I love collecting sea glass and shells on family outings to the beach.  The texture of shells provides a contrast to glass tumbled and shaped by the sea.  This is a great project for starting to work with wire.  The gauge used is easy to manipulate and the organic nature of the design lends itself to flaws.  

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Braiding, bead weaving & bead embroidery projects in print!

This month has seen four of my projects published - reflecting the range of mediums that appeal to me as a jewellery designer.  Spring 2015 saw me make an early start to two beaded ornament designs for an Interweave Publication - 'Sparkling Beaded Bauble' (page 9) and 'Angels we have heard on high' (page 26).  Not surprisingly I have only just hit the ornament phase and currently developing a new design for 2015.

This month also saw the publication of 'Double Spiral Farfalle Braid' in Issue 67 of Bead & Jewellery Magazine - page 74 to 78.  I originally developed the design in Spring 2014 - but hard drive failure meant that the design was shelved.  The theme of mixing it up brought this design to mind and the project was braided again, rewritten and completed in my summer break.

October saw me complete an accessible project for the Bead Direct Calendar.  The kit for the 'Tumbling Pine Cone' design will be available at the end of December.

Final craft fair of the season is this Saturday at Durham Town Hall.  My work can be purchased via my Folksy shop or tutorials via my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Time to hibernate?

It has been a while since I blogged.......partly as I've been working on a secret project for Beads Direct.  Autumn brings out a mix of feelings!  The warm glow with the beauty of the rich hue of colours as the season changes from summer to winter.  The short days with dark nights does make you feel like hibernating.  I am still playing with Pip beads and the October school holiday saw me write up a new quirky design Hedgehog & Hoglet with Pips!

First Christmas Shopping event is this Saturday

My scheduled list of events is pinned on my facebook page