June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted on this blog for a long time. I’m not going to run both side by side any more, but instead concentrate all my efforts on my other blog, The Magic Square Foundation. But I’ll still  be posting about all my jewellery making, along with my interests in fashion and culture.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to put The Magic Square Foundation on your blog roll!


It’s been a while…

December 4, 2011 § 20 Comments

The big reveal is here!

Here’s the finished ornament featuring a ceramic button from White Clover Kiln, seed  beeds, Czech glass and some leftover bits and pieces…

On our tree…with some shadows!

Peyote stitched button and seed bead stitched metal ring


Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the participating blogs for some more pretty ornaments 🙂


I haven’t posted on this jewellery blog since the Bead Soup swap months ago – but I have been very busy over on my other, fashion-related blog!

Anyway, to get me back into the swing of making and posting regularly, I’m taking part in the Art Bead Scene Holiday Ornament blog hop. Today I’m posting a little teaser of the ornament I’ve made using a gorgeous ceramic art bead:

It’s a bit of an unusual colour scheme for Christmas but the finished ornament looks great! The official ornament reveal and blog hop is December 6th, so be sure to come back then for the final piece and a list of all the participants.

Bead Soup: The Big Reveal!

September 17, 2011 § 85 Comments

Hello again!

I’ve had a lovely break and now, I’m ready to get back into jewellery making and blogging. What better place to start than with the big bead soup reveal?

Here’s what Ana sent me:

A beautiful concoction of blue, yellow, texture and cool beaded beads! I have to say straight away, though, that I didn’t use the clasp…I know, I know, that’s the whole point! But I was just stumped as to what I could do combining the clasp and the bigger beads, as I don’t tend to wear multistrand pieces. So my next post-Bead Soup challenge is to make something with that clasp!

Here’s what I did make:

First up was the satin cord dragonfly that Ana’s boyfriend made. As it was already attached to a metal ring, I thought this would be best as a key ring or bag charm. I paired it with some bright ceramic beads in the tones of the bead soup for a playful look.

Next were Ana’s beaded beads that combined different textures and colours. I wanted them to be the focus of the entire piece, and as they were quite  chunky, thought they suited a necklace best. I used yellow agate donuts and a combination of crystals, seed beads, and the blue glass beads in the soup alongside the beaded beads to create this fresh, zingy necklace. It has a great spring feel and I think that I’d wear it with a plain white or navy tshirt to set off the colour contrast.

This long, simple necklace was next, using some of the cane glass beads from the soup. I wanted to pick up on the yellow and blue colour theme but using this mustard cord, brass wire, and beads with a little more depth gives it less of a bright and more of a sophisticated edge. Very simple but highlights the beads and the different textures perfectly.

This bracelet was the final piece I pulled together from the soup (although I still do have loads of beads left!) After the bright and sophisticated pairings before, I went for something a little darker and more moody: a contrast of matt blacks and sparkling blues. The lucite flowers are wrapped using antique gold findings, and the toggle clasp is in the same colour. This piece really draws out the different bead surfaces – smooth, sparkling, rough, matt, and metallic – and it a little more interesting that a simple strung bracelet through the little explosions of flowers.

This bead soup was my first one ever, just like Ana. I really enjoyed it and found it challenging but in a productive way. I normally steer away from very vivid colours together but the yellow and blue really popped, and I found myself pushing my design skills to think of other colours that blue could be paired with without becoming just a ‘backdrop’. What I like most, however, is that I’ve now used beads in these designs that have travelled all the way across Europe, and when I wear them I will be thinking of Ana in Slovenia, and all the other bead soup partners across the world who must think the same!

I can’t wait to go through all the blogs to see everyone’s soups, although with over 300 to look at, it might take some time…Check out what Ana made with the bead soup I sent her over on her blog. PS It’s awesome.

A little break

August 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today would normally be the same time each month where I post the Bead Shops of Britain project. Unfortunately, due to some browser issues, I’m unable to upload any images to WordPress – and so can’t post the Bead Shop of Britain for this month just yet.

I handed in my dissertation yesterday, which was a big task as my MA took 2 years to complete part time…phew. So I’m going to have a little break for a while – not too long – to also coincide with waiting until we’ve got the new browser/stuff installed. And then – business as usual!

Until then, have fun (making jewellery of course)


Bead Soup Blog Party: Update!

August 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

I am getting some seriously wonderful parcels at the moment. There’s a few that will be arriving soon that I have yet to tell you about…but this one I can!

My bead soup arrived from my partner, Ana Krepel-Novak who lives in Slovenia. Ana’s blog is called Cat’s Pajamas, Dog’s Tuxedos, which I immediately loved. She makes her own beaded beads, so I’m glad Lori paired us up as we’ve got the tiny-beads-round-bigger-beads thing in common. She also makes her own clothes and does lots of cool DIY projects, and writes about fashion too.

Here’s the soup she sent me – when I opened the parcel I said ‘awesome’ to myself:

I love contrasting colours, for a start. I also like yellow but find it quite tricky to work with, so that’s great too! Ana also sent me a multi-strand clasp, the type I’ve seen but never used, so I’m looking forward to making some multi-stranded. She also sent me, as the focal, a very cute satin cord dragonfly that her boyfriend made on a ring. Plus there’s the beaded beads and the glass ones too, including some lovely cane glass beads.

What I like about this collection of beads is that it’s in colours I like, and textures I like, but would never have chosen myself. The aim of the Bead Soup Blog Party is to really try and stretch creatively by taking one someone else’s choices, and I think that’s exactly what Ana’s selection is going to make me do. You can see what I sent her over on her blog (and she’s written an amazingly nice post, including being lovely about a focal I made and referring to Joan from Mad Men…a gal after my own heart!)

The big reveal for all the Soupers is September 17th – so remember to come back and see what I made!

I’m having some blog issues at the moment with getting images up, so some of the posts might be a little late coming…but there’ll be there 🙂

Some simple earrings

August 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Remember I said that I’d made some great earrings for a gift for someone?

Well, here they are!

Made from Czech glass, agate rondelles, antique gold findings and those excellent long kidney earwires. I don’t think I will ever be able to get as beautiful photos as these ever again, by the way! The sunshine was just right, the colours sparkled, it all worked. These were for a lovely friend who kept mine and Him Indoors’ bikes for a few weeks (a month?) while we moved house. Thank you Squash, you rule!

These are some earring experiments using Czech glass again (alright, it’s an obsession. Sue me.) and these darling headpins from Beads Direct – copper, with tiny hearts on the end. You can also get stars, and different colours too. Love them!

Looking forward to tomorrow as I am off to a secret bead shop location to review the next in the series for Bead Shops of Britain. Oh how I love doing this project 🙂 Have a great weekend!

Oh it’s beautiful!

August 18, 2011 § Leave a comment


A short post to say: the other day in the mail I received a beautiful gift. I commented on Erin’s post about ‘What does live what you love mean to you?over on her fabulous blog and my comment got chosen to receive one of her limited edition pendants as featured on the front of Stringing magazine.

Oh my.

I have no idea what I’m going to make with it. All I know is it is wonderful. Thank you Erin for such a generous gift!

Also, I have already sent my beads off for the Bead Soup Blog Party, and my partner Ana has sent hers. I will be going a lengthy post about both soups and Ana when they arrive – more exciting beady beadness!