Saturday, 27 August 2011


I took a class for this one as I just felt like learning something in a congenial atmosphere. The tutor was the same girl who had been wearing the crystal heart necklace. The class was great fun and the balls proved to be surprisingly easy to do once the pattern 'clicked' in my head and I could 'see' how it formed. I'm quite a visual learner and definitely prefer being shown.

I also got a little carried away. I made the silver and dark purple one at the class as it matched my top that day and the rest I made at home over that weekend. The best one is the little multicoloured one in the middle which was made with beads I got free in a magazine. I'd love to find these beads again can't seem to find them at all. I thought they were supposed to be Preciosa crystal, but they are proving elusive.

The lilac one to the right has a pink bead captured in the centre. I am not sure about the two pink and lilac ones, they are a bit too colourful and 'twee'. I think they might be 'recycled' to another project. The bright pink one will have twin once I make it and I will use it for the cut ends of the curtain cords. I thought they would be good as the beads themselves are rubberised acrylic and I thought even if the cats use them like a swingball game there won't be any damage - unless I catch them at it, of course...!

Pink Heart

Ever since I saw one of the staff in one of my local bead shops wearing an amazing Swarovski crystal heart in fuchsia AB I was totally captivated. I just had to learn how to do it. So I trawled the web and finally, after some fruitless searching, I realised the pattern was for a 'Puffy 3D Crystal Heart'. The best pattern was on a French website as the diagram of how to right angle weave it was the clearest. Dont be impressed, my French is poorly recalled schoolgirl French, but I can read pictures as well as the next person and didnt need to be reliant on any linguistic talent.

The first attempt was a disaster. I used dark red 3 or 4mm bicones with illusion nylon and nearly went blind! I was unused to the pattern, the beads were both dark and miniscule and I couldnt see the illusion thread. I was on a hiding to nothing. I abandoned the first attempt and did the sensible thing. I used a 6mm round pearl and bright pink tigertail and hey presto I made my first puffy heart. I now keep this one proudly on one of my work bags. It is not perfect as the tension is not quite perfect but I achieved it. I've since made others both in crystal and pearl and I think they are something I'll return too as they make a lovely pendant or feature.


Welcome to my new blog. This is my space to record my creative adventures in jewellery making.

I took up jewellery making at Easter last year. I hadnt intended to, and didnt have any interest in it. However, as a favour to a colleague, I popped into a little bead shop which had opened locally so that I could report back to her on what they had. From that very moment I was hooked. The wonderful staff there showed me the basics. No expensive class or fuss; they just taught me crimping and let me buy the basics and the beads I wanted. I have never looked back and absolutely adore learning new skills and techniques.

I don't sell my jewellery as the demand to produce identical items to a timescale and profit margin would take the pleasure out of it for me. As it is only for me I can make exactly what I want, when I want and am not limited to what beads I choose to use. I can simply go with what takes my fancy. If something doesn't work or doesn't suit me then I chop it up and make something I like better. This is not to say that I would never set it up as a business but right now it is purely a relaxing hobby, something that can be picked up and put down as I fancy.

Although I do not sell the pieces I make I do occasionally make gifts for friends. This is a pleasure for me as I enjoy trying to make something that is ideal for that person, or says something personal to them at a time when they need it.

From learning the basics I have rapidly expanded my skills and find a real sense of achievement in learning a new technique, either by being shown, or by working it out by looking at something and replicating it. However, I am a complete dilettante and once I've mastered something I immidiately want to do something else, or do it differently. This is why I wanted to keep a beading blog. As I move on, it is easy to forget the thrill of achievement of finishing a piece, or to recall the lessons learned. So what better way than to keep a blog as a rolling record of what I've made?