Wednesday, 27 August 2014

500 likes giveaway!

Winners announced! Sue Robinson and Lisa Doyle 

Update: The giveaway is now over and the winners have been announced. Thank you ALL for your tremendous support and kind words!

The time has almost come...I owe a big thank you to all of you for your support and interest in my work.

My Facebook page is at 490 likes, and when it reaches the big 5-0-0, I'll be having a giveaway! How does that sound?

The winner will be drawn at random from my followers on Facebook, customers in my shop, and anyone who leaves a comment here. As soon as we reach 500, I'll draw a name and contact the winner.

You don't have to like my page to enter the giveaway. It's just to celebrate a little milestone I didn't quite expect to see!

To enter, simply leave a comment here. If you're already following my work on Facebook or a customer on Etsy, you're name is in the hat.

Shares are appreciated, of course! If you'd like to share the giveaway, please leave an extra comment telling me you've done so, and I'll give you another entry.

Winner will receive £15 of my handmade polymer clay beads ~ these will be made especially for the winner. Open to international entries.

(Substitute of a handmade pair of earrings for the winner, if you'd prefer.)

Thank you!

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Ever Expanding Blog Hop

I was invited by the lovely Clair of Obstinate Pursuit to join in this blog hop. It's an ever-expanding blog hop where we answer a few questions and then ask a few fellow bloggers to do the same on their blogs. I hope you'll enjoy learning a bit more about my passion - handmade jewellery and beads - and about my fellow bloggers, Marcia Dunne, Laney Mead, and Suhana Hart.

What Am I Working On?

That's a big question! Right now, I have a queue of custom orders for beads on the go. That's something I'm very grateful for. My little world of handmade beads has grown and grown since I opened my shop on Etsy and began sharing my beads with the world. I really didn't expect things to grow so quickly, and it's a joy to be able to share my beads and jewellery with people around the globe.

Here's a photo of some beads I just finished today.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?
Are these all going to be tough questions? I think the obvious answer is that we who make art beads and jewellery are all individual. We have our own styles, methods and techniques; we use our hands in different ways, our tools are varied. No one can be exactly alike! I love that. 
I enjoy honing my skills and seeing improvement in the techniques I use. Like most people, I love to try a variety of methods, too. I often combine metalwork, fibers, and a mix of all sorts of beads in my jewellery. That doesn't  really make me different from all the other talented bead and jewellery artists out there, but we each have our own ways of expressing and making what we do.

Why Do I Create What I Do?
Simply, because it makes me happy. It makes me even happier to know that I can do something that makes me happy! Sometimes it's a challenge to keep up with orders, to try to get a piece just right for someone or just to push my own envelope, but it's worth it. There is great satisfaction in creating something. I have always wanted to go a step further; to get down to the roots of something and build it up from the most basic materials. That's why I started making my own beads. To be able to take a raw material and sculpt it into something, paint, and finish it all by hand is very satisfying.

It's much the same feeling for my jewellery. I love mixing unique beads and materials to create a finished piece that is cohesive and pleasing to the eye.

How Does Your Creative Process Work?

For my jewellery, it all starts with the beads. I see a bead that inspires me and I begin to build a picture or feeling in my mind. Then, I begin to tie in other materials and beads to build upon the picture until it feels complete. I guess it's like painting with beads (except I'm an awful painter!). Sometimes it's much more organic and I get a feel for what beads go together by their shape, colour or texture. It's finished when it feels right!

Now to introduce my fellow bloggers and a group of very talented artists who share in my passion for beads. First is the lovely Laney Mead.

Laney Mead is a talented lampwork artists in the UK. I first came across her work on a forum or two and just loved her quirky character beads. She also does 'grown up' beads which are absolutely stunning. Her flowers are among my favourites! But what really does it for me are her super cute bumble bees.

Next up is a jewellery artist I have admired since I first saw her work - Marcia Dunne of The Alternative Foundry. I am a big fan of tribal jewellery and Marica really hits the nail on the head there. Now, she's even moving into the world of bridal jewellery after creating a collection for her daughter's wedding.

And last but definitely not least is Suhana Hart of Buttoned Up Beads. Suhana has a real gift for colour and design. The flow and composition of her designs is just beautiful. Suhana is a great example of an artist who puts her special touch on each and every piece.

I hope you'll visit them all next week to find out what they have to say about their work!

Friday, 9 May 2014

BSBP8 Reveal!

The long awaited reveal has finally arrived. Are you excited? I am! 

My partner this year was Caroline Dewison from BlueberriBeads. I consider myself very lucky! Caroline is a wonderful ceramic bead artist in the UK. I have always been fond of her adorable birds and urchin beads, but I didn't tell Caroline that. That's exactly what she sent me! Well, birds, urchins, one of her new house beads, more ceramics, and a whole bowl full of extra beads.

Here's a little reminder of the oh-so Springy purple and green soup I received.

The bronze clasp is by another talented UK artist, Lesley from Thea Elements. I've never used one of Lesley's clasps before, but they are definitely one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of designing with.

So, knowing I had to use the clasp, I excitedly moved on to my first piece. How could I resist doing yet another sea themed bracelet? 


In the bracelet, I used the clasp Caroline sent me, her ceramic urchin bead, chunky fluorite and citrine gemstones, a sand dollar charm, and agate and citrine as charms between the chunkier beads. All of the extra beads were from my stash, I'm glad to say!

I wire wrapped all the beads in solid brass and torch fired my own ball ended headpins to use wtih the faceted agate beads I added.

Here's another picture of that sweet urchin bead Caroline made.


My second piece ended up being in a very different colour palette. I just love the zesty little chartreuse Czech glass drops Caroline added to her soup. And what goes better with green than purple? I stacked them on copper wire and added a pair of beautiful lampwork 'butterfly wings' by Earthshine Beads. Decorative copper earwires, et voila, Spring earrings!

I'm not usually a pastel-loving kind of person, but for Caroline's birds I made an exception. The soft lavender tones of her bird bead really won me over. I ended up using a mix of cream and pastel purple and green for this bracelet with just a hint of blue.

It's a variation on a series of bird bracelets I've done recently. Caroline's bird sits above a nest of agate eggs and Czech glass blossoms. I used the Golem lentil she sent me and some more beads from my own stash. The speckled, egg-like creamy ceramic beads are by Thea Elements. The ceramic daisy clasp and purple rounds are by Tan Grey.

And now for the finale...I chose to use Caroline's large, purple bird as my focal bead. The purple beads Caroline included in her soup were just perfect for each other. I immediately made the bird into a "stacked" pendant with its own nest (purple eggs included!) and one of those adorable butterflies dangling below. I added the leaf for an extra woodland-feel.

I had a bit of trouble deciding what to string the pendant on. I wanted something simple but different at the same time. I played around with silks and copper chains, but decided on using some recycled leather and wooden beads from my stash.

I used the leather to weave the wooden circles together for a collar style at the front of the necklace. I thought the necklace looked great sitting just below the neck, so I kept the overall length fairly short.

I wire wrapped Caroline's dimpled ceramic beads at each end of the wooden beads to frame the focal area. To finish it off, I made a brass clasp and wire wrapped it those teeny-tiny purple Czech glass beads.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed seeing what I created. I have to thank Caroline for being such a great swap partner and for sending me this fantastic soup to work with. Of course, a huge thank you to Lori Anderson for pairing us and for hosting this wonderful blog hop!

You can check out what the rest of the participants made at this link.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

AJE Component of the Month - April Reveal!

I'm one of the lucky participants for this month's Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month challenge. Each of us received a beautiful, handmade clasp by Lesley Watt to use. Here's a recap of all the clasps...

I received the shell clasp right in the center of the photo above. It's a beautiful sandy color with a wash of sea-tones in greeny-blues. If you've been following my work recently, you'll know I've had a bit of an obsession with sea themes and bracelets.

So, what did I make? I bet you can't guess...

I'll admit this was a bit tricky for me. The soft colors of the sea shell Lesley made were beautifully subtle, but a bit of a challenge for me to pair with beads I already have in my stash. I immediately chose the fluorite gems for their soft colors and the sea themed lampwork tab focal by Kitzbitz Art Glass.

I used the hook clasp that Lesley included as the clasp on my bracelet and moved the shell to a more prominent place on the bracelet. I've actually used it as a connector.

I added some lampwork by Meital Plotnik in sunset colors and more of those subtle sea-tones to pick up on the colors in the shell.

I added a couple of amazonite coins and some starfish charms to finish it off. Et voila! A beachy bracelet with a touch of color from the sunset.

Thanks again to Lesley and the AJE team!

Johana Nunez
Leah Curtis
Perri Jackson

AJE Team
 Lesley Watt
Keirsten GIles
Caroline Dewison
Rebekah Payne
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jen Cameron
Diana Ptaszynski
Kristen Stevens
Francesca Watson
Melissa Meman
Linda Landig
Sue Kennedy

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Drum roll...

The guessing game giveaway has now ended. There were a lot more comments than I expected on this little giveaway! Thank you all for joining in.

Now, it's time to let you know who won. I think she must have a 6th sense because she made the very first comment and guessed exactly the right number! The winner iiisss...

Rebecca Anderson!

Congrats, Rebecca! I wil contact you with the 15% coupon code and details. 

PS. there were exactly 51 beads in the photo - 11 bunnies and 40 birds.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Good Post Day

In more ways than one! I've had a lot of lovely handmade beads come to the door this week. Want to see? Prepare for bead eye candy!

Clockwise from left: Polymer clay beauties I won from Art Bead Scene's birthday giveaway by Something to do with Your Hands, bumble bees by Izzybeads, double paddle beads by Earthshine Beads, a collection of lampwork I got on eBay (madasaboxoffrogs), and a ceramic elephant focal from Bo Hulley Beads.

They are all gorgeous *swoon*, but I am quickly finding myself addicted to the paddle beads by Earthshine Beads. They're the perfect size and a fun shape. I can see lots of potential in these.

Now, go forth and buy some beads! They're so worth it. :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Guessing Game Giveaway!

It seems like all I blog about is giveaways! But when I was taking photos of my recent beads, I couldn't resist using them for a quick game. All you have to do is guess how many beads you think are in this little basket. Easy!

The prize is a 15% off coupon to use in my Etsy shop.

Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment with your guess.
Extra entry for sharing this post on your Facebook, blog, or wherever you like! Come back and guess again.
Deadline is Sunday the 13th of April.

The closest guess wins. Simple! Here's a little hint...somewhere between 1 and 72. Good luck! :)

Monday, 31 March 2014

Winner announced!

Here we go! I promised one of you lovely people a bracelet I made using supplies from Jewellery Quarter. Thank you all for taking the time to comment on and share my giveaway! Now, on to the winner...

I applied a number to each comment (plus you folks who had trouble commenting!) and used a random number generator to choose. Our winner is...


Congratulations, Sandra! Your Spring bracelet will be flying to you soon.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

From one giveaway to another...

I have been jumping up and down all week waiting for this day! Last week, I won a giveaway Anne from Jewellery Quarter hosted to celebrate her 1000th sale. She gave away $100 worth of items from her shop on Etsy. Anne even let me choose what I wanted!

I couldn't quite picture what $100 worth of beads looked like. But now I can!

There are brass and copper coloured stampings, Czech glass, flowers, decorative clasps, sari silk, gemstones galore...apatite, fluorite, quartz, and a few types of agate. Wow! I can't get over how much stuff there is. I was so inspired, I whipped up a bracelet from this stash.

And that brings us to my giveaway! I'm going to give this bracelet away to one lucky winner. All the materials I used came from Anne's shop (except a few Vintaj headpins). The bracelet is perfect for Spring! I curved the brass coloured bird, so it fits nicely on the wrist, and used sari silk to make up the rest of the bracelet. The clasp is one of the lovely floral textured ones I got from Anne and a few of her Czech glass flowers. 

Here's how to enter:

Comment on this blog post telling me you'd like to win!

Share this post on Facebook, your blog, etc. Comment again 
letting me know what you did.

Deadline is Mach 31st

That's all you have to do! I will number all your comments and choose the winner using a random number generator. 

 Happy Spring!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A quick introduction...

I am so excited about this year's BSBP! I've been paired with the lovely and talented Caroline from BlueberriBeads! How exciting is that? I'm really looking forward to this swap, as I love her clay beads so much.

After chatting to Caroline, I came up with a soup that I hope she'll enjoy using. Well, I can't show you it yet because she hasn't seen it! But I will share a gratuitous blurred teaser pic. Here it is...

Ta da! Yeah, I'm not giving much away...I even wanted the colour to be a surprise. Sorry, Caroline!

The real purpose is to give a little shout out for my lovely partner and head you in the direction of her blog and shop! I'm sure most of you are already familiar with Caroline's beautiful beads, but just in case, please check out her blog and shop, BlueberriBeads. You'll love it!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

ABS February challenge

For February, the Art Bead Scene has chosen a beautiful painting by Paul Klee called "The Rose Garden". The painting is brimming with vibrant shades of purple, red, and orange. You can see the original painting here.

I chose to make my own art beads for this challenge.

To reflect the cubism in the painting, I made some faceted round beads from polymer clay. I painted each bead with gradients of ruby red, peach, orange, and dashes of purple.

I was going to make a pair of my Rustic Rose beads to use in the earrings, but I decided on something a bit more abstract. I made a pair of faceted cylinder beads with swirls on the face of the beads to represent the swirled roses in the paintings. The sides and back of the beads are faceted and painted in shades of dark purple, red, lilac, and dashes of white.

I combined the beads with organic swirls of copper wire work and tiny seed beads in pinks and orange hues. I patinated the copper with LOS for a bolder contrast against the bright colors.

I hope you like them! You can check out the other entries on the ABS Flickr pool.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Feb. 2014 issue of The Beading Glass

It's here! Your monthly dose of inspiration from The Beading Glass...

This month I interviewed some inspiring artists from the USA, UK, and France. And, of course, there are galleries packed with handmade beads and jewelry. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, 14 February 2014

And the winner is...

It's time! I promised I would draw the winner of my wire wrapped pendant, and here she is. But first, a reminder photo...

Brass wire wrapped pendant with lampwpork by Laney Mead

And now, the winner...drum roll, please...


Shaiha, you should have an email now about your prize. Congrats!

Thank you all for entering and commenting!

New beads and jewelry and a sale!

This week has turned out to be very productive on the creative side of things. Maybe it's all this awful weather keeping us cooped up...

Whatever it is, I'm glad it's kicked my beading mojo into gear! I've made a handful of new bracelets using gemstones, art beads, and a few of my other favorites. Want to see? ( on my sale at the end!)

First up is one of my favorite bracelets: Treasure in the Rockpool. I love sea themes, and the gorgeous lampwork beads by Meital Plotnik were perfect for the job. I added rustic Czech glass, crystals, brass charms, and gemstones.

Next, in striking contrast, is Long Lost Love. This, of course, was made with Valentine's Day in mind. I used lampwork beads by UK artists, Keeley Kenyon and Brinkbeads. More Czech glass and vintage glass flower charms add to the mix. And check out those little textured heart charms I made. Aren't they cute?

Last but not least of the bracelets, another turquoise and brown combo. I love, love this bracelet. It's called My Home in the Meadow and has handmade beads by Elukka (the house), Ciel Creations, and Earthshine Beads (those yummy caramel lampwork). I made the wire wrapped nest with aquamarine gems to play off the colors on that sweet little blue bird and wrapped Czech glass flowers and leaves into it. Like the other bracelets, this one has a mix of little charms and gemstones dangling from between the larger beads.

 Now, let's talk beads. I've been a bit busy with custom orders on the bead front recently, but I did manage to squeeze in some time for new listings in my shop. More Rustic Roses, including a new bud shape, painted faceted beads, and more...


And this deliciously rustic set - faux bone/ivory nugget wheels. The smooth, chunky shapes feel great in the hand.

And they're all on SALE! Everything in my Etsy shop is on sale this weekend. The sale ends Sunday night, so be sure to have a peek. There are lots more photos and more items I didn't show you here. Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Colours make me happy...

Or at least that's what Barney the dinosaur told me as a kid, but let's not talk about him. :)

I've been playing with colour in my beads recently. Well, today, actually. I have a love/fear relationship with colour. Is it too much? Gosh, that looks crazy. Ooh, rainbows! I love colour, but sometimes I shy away from going over the top. I usually decide on a nice mix of colour with a rustic influence. Not too much; not too little.

But every now and then you just have to go for it! So I did. Here are my recent vibrant beads and a few of my favourite colourful jewelry pieces from my shop. Hopefully they'll brighten up the day a bit from this dull weather we're having!

And there you have it. A nice dose of colour. I'm working on a bracelet that will be made from lampwork art beads and guess what? It'll be a rainbow! And, in contrast, I have a Gothic styled bracelet and a couple earthy designs to share with you soon. I just can't make my mind up!

Monday, 13 January 2014


Wouldn't you love a bit of Spring? I felt like making a wirework piece, so I dug through my stash and made a little practice pendant. And it could be yours!

I used a beautiful little cabochon by Laney Mead and wrapped it in swirls of pure brass wire. The cab has a warm, burgundy background with lime leaves and a pretty little blue and yellow blossom. There's a sweet little bubble at the center of the flower that sparkles just right in the sunshine.

And I'm giving it away! all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.

International entries welcomed!

You can enter until January 31st.

There's no need to share this on your blog, Facebook, etc., but if you want to spread the word and a little bit of Spring, then thank you!