August 10, 2011 § 3 Comments
This week’s BTW has an extra W.
That extra W stands for WISH and it’s what I would love to be on my bead table this week! The bead table is looking a bit bare as everything has been put on hold for dreaded dissertation writing, so I thought I would take a little trip into dreamland…
I discovered the joys of online newsletters when I first started buying beads online: it’s a great way to get a heads up about discounts, cool projects, and all sorts of news about the ever-enthralling subject of beads. I signed up to the Beads Direct newsletter a while back and they haven’t disappointed in letting their customers know just how much they’ve got going on! They’re having a fabulously huge sale at the moment and I decided to feature some of my favourite pieces, mainly from the semi-precious selection. Think I must be having an autumnal moment because they’re all shades of cream, browns, and black!
Czech glass mix in dark brown (ok, so not in the sale but I liked it too much not to include it!)
Bowenite octagons (like tiny little landscapes)
Aren’t they just beautiful? I can imagine these strung up with some leather cords and antique gold chain, with some gold and brown beaded beads inbetween. So far the Summer Sale from Beads Direct has been taking up most of my time…I need to explore the rest of the website and have a look at everything else!
What’s on your bead table – and bead table wishlist – this week? Check out the rest of the BTWs over on the Flickr group.
PS I have some wonderful earrings waiting in the wings to show you, but as they’re a present I’ve got to wait until the receiver has got them before I show them to the world!
July 16, 2011 § 1 Comment
Just a small selection of Stuff I Love this Saturday, as I haven’t had much time to catch up on all the blog reading (there are so many!)
Turquoise glass and clay connector from Artisan Clay
Spiky lampworked glass ‘sea anemone’ beads by BatChen Designs
Beautiful pastel bracelet from For My Sweet Daughter for the Margie and Me Challenge
Rich and textured earrings from Kristi Bowman Design
Clasp by Melinda Orr that I am love with. The colours and textures are wonderful!
Ephydriad earrings by Fanciful Devices – bold and powerful.
Another thing I really love is represented by this picture:
I took this book out from our local library yesterday, expecting it to be fairly regular designs with maybe a few nice ones…and I was completely blown away! The designs are really modern and exciting, lots of interesting use of texture and scale, and the instructions are easy to follow. Turns out one of the authors is editorial director for Beadwork and Stringing magazines, the other a jewellery design and education co-ordinator for Soft Flex. So of course they’re going to be awesome!
The last thing I love this week is also represented by an image (of my own work!):
This piece has changed slightly from when you saw it as part of this week’s BTW. On Thursday I went to my first ever beading group in Skipton, North Yorkshire, which is about 30 minutes on the train from where I live. I was a bit nervous and arrived early, but all the group made me feel really welcome and were very enthusiastic about my work! They were all very adept at beadwork, working quickly and able to talk at the same time (which is quite hard when you’re concentrating and counting). It was good to hang out with people who understood my interest in the subject and also had enough technical knowledge to suggest new things I could do and ways to add to the piece. I will be embellishing this pendant/piece further in time for a handicrafts competition coming up very soon (next weekend!).
And very quickly, as they arrived this morning, UK beaders should check out Choosy Beads: fantastic beads, some lovely Czech glass, and best of all – I ordered yesterday lunch time and they arrived today! Woo! I’m off to Nottingham again today for another bead shop visit. Have a great weekend whatever you’re doing!
June 11, 2011 § 2 Comments
What I’m enjoying very much about this post is that, as I browse round the internet and the beady blogs I avidly read, I pick up on all these fantastic images, pieces, and ideas that often seem completely out of tune with each other. Then when I come to write the post, I see themes emerging! This week, it’s two complimentary colours: blue-greens and orangey-pinks.
Fantastic texture and colour in The Hare pendant by ktotten
Honey From the Bee’s Copper River earrings using vintage chain
Playful and bright enamelled and beaded ring from Fred Bean’s Nook
Amazingly blue Forget Me Not earrings from annabella1966 – wow
A shot of Something Sublime’s beautiful hoop and dangle earrings that you can learn how to make in her course
Singing Cat Studio’s detailed and regally-rich polymer clay pendant
Gaea’s combination of a Jade Scott boat pendant and silk ribbons. Very very envious!
Warm beadwoven pendant from La Bella Joya, whose Monday Musings post got me thinking
Jen Judd Rocks! at both jewellery and mixed media weaving, as you can see here -inspiring colours
So I’ve been thinking of the moody blues and passionate pinks this week! This weekend I’ve got a lot of university study to catch up on, but will also be going to a local sewing cafe and hopefully doing a bit of beading inspired by some of the colours and textures above. Have a great weekend and hope you enjoyed this week’s Stuff I Love!
May 20, 2011 § 3 Comments
I’m quite excited because this weekend I am going to Brighton to visit my boyfriend who is currently living down there. Because of different events and things, he’s been visiting Leeds for the past month or so – this time it’s my turn!
Brighton is a really cool place: lots of fun shops, a wonderful dinky jewellery quarter, great restaurants and this amazing ice-cream parlour. It’s also got a pebble beach (rather than sand, which I really dislike) and a pier with daft rides on and slot machines. The old Brighton Pier burnt down years ago and all that’s left, in the middle of the sea, is the iron skeleton. It’s quite eerie when you walk along the beach at night to hear the crashing waves and see this huge black creature standing silent out there. Brighton is also the setting of one of my favourite books, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene.
Brighton is also – and this is why I am quite excited – the home of three bead shops! They’re all very different and have lots of great products, and every time I go down there I take a few hours out of seeing my boyfriend to browse round. Which I’m sure he doesn’t mind.
Visiting these new bead shops sparked an idea of mine. Every time I go to a new town or city, I always check to see what bead, jewellery, craft or fabric shops are there before I go. This is normal, right? Anyway, I love checking in to see what they’ve got, chat to the staff members and pick up some unusual pieces. This ‘habit’ has inspired me to start a new feature on my blog. Presenting…
The Bead Shops of Britain tour! There’s already a few sites with listings of the different shops and website addresses, but personally there’s nothing like seeing some customer pictures and getting the inside scoop on a shop before you go. Each shop I go to, I’ll take photos, highlight some of their best products and things about the shop I like, and try and get some information about the shop itself from the staff. Sounds like a good idea, right? Plus it means I get to go to bead shops on purpose now. Another purpose I mean, not just to buy beads!
I’ll be featuring a shop monthly on the blog: the first one will be next Monday, 23rd May.