Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Green Goldstone

I absolutely love green and blue goldstone. I think they work so well with lots of things and look absolutely superb. I'd have to say they are one of my favourite beads. Everytime I think I've kicked my addiction they present themselves as the ideal choice for something I am making. This was a necklace and bracelet set for a friend, and obviously if I rate it, then it is only fair that my friends receive the best.

The Green goldstone beads are partnered with Miyuki rocailles and gold toned magnetic clasps.

Day trip to Manchester

Two lovely pieces for two lovely friends. The first set is made with freshwater pearl drops, Swarovski bicones and heart and gold Miyuki roacailles. The second is orange crystals, deep orange Swarovski' bicones,Miyuki rocailles and a lovely pendant I picked up on a trip to the brilliant bead shop in Afflecks Palace in Manchester last year. All of the clasps are magnetic.

That trip to Afflecks makes always makes me smile. Between lots of commitments and problems last summer I couldn't go on holiday. Usually I have a high old time in the summer as I spin my birthday out to last for the whole month with lots of treats. I was feeling the NEED to get away so decided that it might just be feasible to liberate a single day, but not night, for myself. So the big question was how could I make this feel like a treat and not exhaust myself driving a huge distance to get somewhere inside of my 16hr 'window' of time? A train journey somewhere seemed like a good idea till I realised a bank loan would be needed for the ticket. So then I looked at other options and settled on a bus trip to Manchester to visit the bead shop - far enough away, a purpose to the trip, a decent turn around time to enable me to have a wander and the cost was reasonable - result! My friends made me laugh as they clearly thought I'd lost the plot planning a crazy long bus trip ostensibly just to buy beads. They are used to my flights of fancy so took in their stride, after expressing their opinions on my sanity!

So, on the day I trundled off to the bus station for a rather inauspicious start to my day of indulgence. I lost the ticket I'd printed out at home but luckily had the email confirmation on my phone, the bus, well actually coach, broke down and didn't look like going anywhere for 45mins, the heating was broken and I ended up on the roasting hot side AND it started pouring with rain 15 mins into the journey! I could have whinged but this was my big day out so I got the earphones in, the magazine out and made the best of it, and it turned out great. 

The weather in Manchester was so scorching hot that everyone was in vest tops, the bead shop was full of lovely things and I was like a demented magpie bagging up goodies and popping them in my basket. Once I'd left Afflecks I had a stroll round the shops and into the Arndale centre for a bit more retail therapy and a leisurely late lunch/early dinner in the sushi bar before the return trip. I had a great time.

These necklaces were made for two very special people from beads I'd bought on this trip so they are remind me of both the recipients and of a very lovely day of me time during a pretty difficult time.

Key Rings

Some simple keyrings. The pink one is a simple Right Angle Weave with double link chainmaille in pink coloured copper wire made for a friend.

The one below was made for a friend and contains lots of charms or items which are special or unique to her and her job. The links are made with coloured aluminium wire rings

The last one is a mirror with AB crystals , heart and an empty 'wish box' for the person to place a special wish in.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bead Haul

This was a recent raid of one of the local bead shops for new goodies. As you can see lots of shiny beads and lots of possibilities. Red decided he fancied a look and surprisingly he is actually quite innocent here as he only had a tentative little paw of the beads and didnt try to drag them off. I can't blame him for touching them as that is exactly what I was up to myself.

I haven't yet used anything from this lot yet but have lots more ideas than time.

Is that satin....No, actually it is Sat On

I really want to get into seed bead work. It took me hours to make the white luster Tila and pink rocailles bracelet using a pattern tutorial on the web but just as I finished it, Magic came up to the table and promptly sat on it.
Sadly, she probably did the best thing for it. I'd got a bit carried away and as it turned out I'd made it far too big and it just falls off my wrist of its own accord. I thought my biggest issue was having to adapt the catch to a magnetic style one and completely missed the fact it was getting longer by the second! Still it was a learning piece and the first time I'd used Tila beads. I may try to alter it but not right now.

You can just see it under her little haunch!

Bead Thief

All jewellery making needs precision, a steady hand and, in this house, the ability to rescue stolen goods from small fur thieves.

I was making beaded dodecahedrons with macrame lengths to act as curtain pull extenders. The original needed cut firstly to protect the cats from hanging themselves and also
to make the cord easier to reach given the high ceilings. The pink one was made earlier and the lilac one completed what I needed. They are made with rubber coated beads so that they dont clatter against the wall or window in case the cats start using them as a pet sized Swingball.

 Right angle weave shouldn't need to be rescued each time you tighten the tension of it.
 After some stern telling off Red settled down and put on a face of utter innocence. Don't be fooled though he was just plotting his next move.
This was him playing gently while I worked out where I had gone wrong. You can see that the ball shape is lopsided. Just after this Red grabbed the pink ball and ran off with me yelling "Bring that BACK..". Yeah, as if that was going to happen. I'd to go and chase him to retrieve it.

Mother's Day gifts

I haven't blogged much recently and much less have I been jewellery making over the last year or so as things have been very busy and involved. However, having finally downloaded some pics of the jewellery I have made recently from my phone I'm just updating what I have managed so far it is time to update.

These items were made for my Mother's birthday and Mother's day. She loves jewellery and particularly loves items which are easy to put on and take off.

 Above: This is a simple woven heart in pink and green cats eye beads on an elasticated necklace.
This is an elasticated string of mirrorised cubes, silver crystals and silver lined miyuki delicas, the one below is a close up.

This is a strung lariat necklace with pink, green and white cats eye chips with blue cats eyes beads in between. This is a favourite set of my Mother's and she often teams the bracelet with others. I never knew I was a magpie sparkly person and was surprised when I got into jewellery making that I was so taken with crystals and pearls. However, if you look at my Mother's favourites then it is clear to see that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
This is a right angle weave bracelet in pink and purple cats eye beads on elastic.
This is an unusually coated oval red crystal and haematite necklace, bracelet and ring set with a close up below. The haematite includes small and larger drop hearts and seed beads. The necklace has a small but strong magnetic clasp for easy wearing. This set is a particlar favourite of my Mother's and she wears it often, especially the ring as it has small haematite hearts at the side of the crystal.

 It is hard to see the pendant but this is an articulated pave Teddy Bear with turquoise eyes on an elesticated seed bead 'chain'. Although it looks twisted it sits perfectly. The Teddy is now called Disco Ted after my Mother kept shaking him to see his legs and arms move!