Bead Soup Blog Party

August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Oh! What’s that?

On the right hand side there? That purple box thing…what is it?

I’ll stop being an idiot now. I’m getting far too excited but it’s because I’ve just signed up for my very first Bead Soup Blog Party run by the incredibly talented and also incredibly foolhardy Lori Anderson. If you click on the button it will take you to her blog page all about the Bead Soup.

The Bead Soup Blog Party runs twice a year and involves the following:

Sign up between August 1 – 3: you must have a blog to participate.

August 5: Lori partners everyone up with another beading blogger (see what I mean about foolhardy?)

By August 17: you send out a collection of bead soup to your partner, which must include a focal bead, a interesting clasp, and some coordinating beads

You then photograph your beads that you receive, make something, and then everyone reveals their fantastic makes a month later on September 17 and you take about a week to tour round all the blogs. I’m very excited because, at last count, there are 150 participants from across the world! I’m looking forward to reading new bead blogs and interacting with some new beaders – in fact, I may have already started putting together my bead soup (because I’m like that).

If you’d like to take part you still have another 2 days to sign up, so get on it.


Purple and Copper, Pearls and Hearts

June 20, 2011 § 4 Comments

There’s quite the collection of freshwater pearls sitting in my bead stash. Since I discovered what beautiful colours, different sizes, shapes, and textures are available, I’ve been collecting them whenever I spot a string I like. I’m particularly drawn to irregular shapes, bold colours, and any with that fantastic pearl sheen.

However, pearls can also be a little tricky to incorporate into designs. They seem, sometimes, to only really work with other pearls, or on their own and very simply, or in traditional one-string jewellery. And that’s a bit dull for me! Here’s one of the ways I’ve incorporated pearls recently – in a richly-coloured bracelet using my recently-revisited-favourite colour, purple.

The bracelet has two strands: one beaded strand of copper spacers, purple freshwater pearls, bronzey-purple peanut beads and Indian glass beads. The second strand is a copper chain with peanut beads on extra links to form small charms. The key charm is recycled from a high-street charm necklace, and the lilac rectangle is Czech glass. The heart shaped toggle (which I think is wonderful) came from Kerrie Berrie Beads in Brighton (you may remember it from this post!)

I don’t have any purple clothes as, because of my colouring, it makes me look either jaundiced or about to keel over (lovely). Instead I teamed the bracelet with a taupe coloured skirt, similarly-shaded jersey top (not seen), tan coloured plaited leather belt, mushroom coloured bag, and this great purple and gold scarf tied to the strap, which picked up on the rich purple tones of the bracelet but still let it be the centre of attention.

The pearls add another fantastic texture into this bracelet’s mix, alongside the copper, etched glass, and shiny peanut beads. I’ve got some turquoise pearls in a similar size so I may well repeat this style but with a slight change of colours.

What do you think of the bracelet and the way the freshwater pearls are used? Do you like pearls at all? If so, what’s your favourite way to use them in jewellery designs?

Have a good Monday (is it Friday yet?!)

project ideas

March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

My bead group idea for a Mother’s Day present: my mum loves moonstone and opalescent stones, so here are moonstone rondelles from Herose Minerals (Ebay), royal blue freshwater pearls from work, a huge nugget of sea opal from Two Scoops, and 4mm Swarovski in royal blue and white with half AB coating. What’s it going to be? Not sure yet – but hope she likes it.

PS Trialling my new camera, which arrived today!

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