Monday, 29 April 2013

Easter Rosaries 21-25

The next batch of rosaries

 Clear AB crystal rondelles with a white enamelled crucifix
 Blue AB crystal rondelles with a handmade seed bead crucifix and coloured jump rings
 Green AB crystal bicones with a ?magnesite crucifix

 Blue AB crystal rondelles with a silver and clear crystal crucifix
Cerise chinese knots with a glass crucifix

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Pearl cluster bracelet

Following on from the 40 rosaries I still have a bit of a thing for wrapped loops. This bracelet is also from the 'displaced beads found during the tidy up' collection. I adore these colours AND making them up saved me having to rethread or bag them up. I think this one might go to my Mother who also loves this type of colour combo.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Tribute to Bead Chic Glasgow

Bead Chic, formerly in Crow Road Glasgow, was the first bead shop I ever set foot in and from that moment on I was hooked as a jewellery maker. Caroline the owner, and Gina who used to work there, very generously gave me my first skills by teaching me at the counter, gave fabulous advice and helped me make my first project choices. To both of them I am eternally grateful.

So why this tribute? Well, I noticed that the shop had closed and didn't really know if this was temporary or permanent so I was very sad to see another business had taken over the shop. I was delighted after scouring around to find out that Bead Chic will continue online at present and that Caroline is looking for alternative premises. The quality of her stock has always been first class and I used to go there if I needed beads for an important piece as I knew their quality and advice was always spot on.

I loved going in to find out what new stock Caroline had brought in as she was always very in tune with the latest trends and made wonderful example pieces. These were so inspiring I just had to buy all the bits to try them myself, which I suppose was exactly the idea. Never once did I make it out without a lovely paper bag full of shiny wonders.  I once half-joked that I'd come and work for her on one of my week's annual leave if I could just come and make up jewellery. If she'd have said yes I'd have been in there like a shot.

Glasgow is seriously well supplied by bead shops as it has three other bead shops and I can do a sweep of all of them when I have a couple of hours free. I am keeping my fingers crossed and crossed again that this great little bead shop, which I hold in high esteem, finds a new venue and I can go and chat and be mesmerised by the gorgeous items again.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Red and Green Bracelet

These beads came free with a magazine and I just kept moving them from one place to another. So when I did a tidy up I decided to just make them into a bracelet . However, they've been the most infuriating collection of beads....not enough for a whole stretchy. a large hole which needed a seed bead to stop the ball pin slipping through, an odd mix of shades and balance of red to green. I had to redo them about 4 times to balance the colours and number of silver spacers. Although the triangle shape seems a bit odd it is actually quite comfortable as when you are typing the spacers allows your wrist to lie flat.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Easter Rosaries 16-20

This set takes us to halfway through the collection:

 Pink pearls with a pink enamelled crucifix
 Silver grey pearls with a clear crystal crucifix
 Rose quartz peanut beads, a rose quartz heart centre and a handmade pink pearl crucifix
Purple crystals with a purple crystal crucifix
Mid purple pearls, a lilac glass flower pater and two pink pearl aves and a lilac enamelled crucifix.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Easter Rosaries 11-15

The next set of rosaries

 Red pearls with a red crystal crucifix
 Faceted black crystal rondelles with a handmade seed bead crucifix. This is a very small and discreet little rosary.
 AB coated lilac colour change crystals with a pink crystal crucifix
Red crystals rondelles with a red magnesite crucifix captured in the centre. I havent seen this style of design before but really like it as it means a larger crucifix can be used which still looking in proportion.
 Lampwork shamrock lentils with a silver and crystal crucifix. This one feels really lovely in the hand as the lentils are very smooth and move freely.
Close up of the translucent shamrocks

Friday, 19 April 2013

Easter Rosaries 6-10

These are the next set of rosaries

AB coated crystal cubes with coloured jump ring links and an AB coated crystal crucifix.
 Lilac pearls with a silver and crystal crucifix
Purple bicone crystals with miyuki berry beads in between the links with a silver and crystal crucifix
Rice shaped haematite beads with an AB coated crystal crucifix
Pale pink crystals with a pink enamelled crucifix

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Fanny the Fairy

When I picked my Mother up recently to take her to my house for her birthday tea I realised I'd forgotten to pick up the cake. Normally we like the M&S ones so it is not usually a big hassle. After running through a couple of options she decided Colin the Caterpillar would be this year's cake.

Unfortunately, despite visiting a few of the local M&S stores Colin was proving to be elusive, maybe he'd become a butterfly, who knows..? So I decided to buy the Enchanted Garden cake which I normally have for my birthdays and refer to as the Sparkly Fairy Angel cake.

However when I got to the car I have no idea what possessed me but, as I opened the door to give her the cake to sit on her lap, I announced "They didn't have any Colin the Caterpillar, so you'll have to make do with Fanny the Fairy" before closing her door and going round to get in the drivers side. When I got in she was howling with laughter and we giggled all the way up the road. I can only put my renaming of the cake down to the very funny Irn-Bru advert Irn-Bru Baby ...or that when we were children my Mother often used to say "Bob's your uncle and Fanny's your aunt".

I'm obviously not a very good daughter as in addition to almost forgetting the cake I'd misplaced the pretty candles in holders we usually use but Mum was not keen for me to waste good cake eating time looking for them...hence the tee-light. Anyway, the cake went down a treat with a decent squirt of cream and Colin was not missed at all.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chainmaille in colour

I made these a couple of years ago and unearthed them as unfinished projects from my recent tidy up.

When I first saw chainmaille a couple of years ago as a jewellery technique I loved the idea of incorporating colour into it. I started off with Byzantine weave and a tutorial sheet from the web to make a short section in silver plate just to see if I could get the hang of it, and it seemed fairly straight forward once I 'clicked' into the pattern.

At the time chainmaille made with colour only seemed to come from real grassroots chainmaillers who made their own jump rings, which I didn't even know could be done! Then copper coated wire was fairly scarce and coloured jump rings weren't even available in bead shops but from browsing around I found the bountiful Bead Sisters website and was able to indulge my passion with lots of lovely colours. Some months later I was delighted to meet one of the Sister's at the Perth Bead Fair and get some great advice especially on ring sizes for different weaves as aspect ratios still make my eyeballs roll backwards.

This is my chainmaille collection and most are unfinished though I can't think why they've been languishing in a box for 2-3yrs! The pics are probably not too great either but to capture the colour I hung them on my work lamp. This straight edged lamp looks pretty stylish but was actually a bargain from Lidl and saved me burning the back of my hand on the halogen cone light I used to use.

 From left to right European 4-in-1, Byzantine, Byzantine with wire flowers, Byzantine, Shaggy Loops with Bells and Shaggy Loops with Miyuki Triangles.

Shaggy Loops with coloured bells. I had an idea I was going to go to a Bollywood dance class locally and made the top one for that as it tinkles beautifully but never got around to finishing this as an anklet or making it to the dance class. The second one was destined to be a bracelet.
 A bracelet length of Byzantine in which I was just playing with colour outside the silver.
 My first attempt at European 4-in-1 in my favourite pink and purple. This doesn't have a proper clasp on it and is awaiting a bit of judicious pruning to make it smaller as it can currently just be slipped on. I also think the aspect ratio is not great as it has a bit too much movement.

 This one I love because of the strong pink inside and the silver flowers. Unfortunately it is sized to fit a gorilla's wrist!  As you can see from the first picture it is as long as the Shaggy Loops anklet. I have no idea what possesses me when I am making bracelets for myself as I just seem to get so carried away. This one will be easily modified as the whole last section of weave can be removed and a jump ring will allow the clasp to attach.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Russian Spiral Variation

This is a necklace I made from a pattern in a magazine some time ago. I wear it often and find it goes with much of what I wear.

Originally it was being designed for the friend who eventually received the pearl and crystal necklace made from items bought on my Manchester trip . Unfortunately, I'd miscalculated the length of tigertail and it was going to end up too short. So, instead of the spiral being all the way around I threaded the ends with pearls and appropriated it for myself.

I'd made a bracelet before I did this necklace but the illusion thread made it too 'soggy' and it just wouldn't sit properly. Tigertail is too heavy for a smaller piece but with the 6mm pearls and 4x6mm crystal rondelles it worked really well as the necklace has some movement but retains its shape.

Materials: pale pink faux pearls, lilac crystal rondelles and miyuki seed beads.