Bead Table Wednesday: BTWW 10/8

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!

Mystic agate faceted round beads

Magnesite free-form slabs in inky black

Czech glass mix in dark brown (ok, so not in the sale but I liked it too much not to include it!)

Crazy lace agate pendant

Bowenite octagons (like tiny little landscapes)

Frosted tortoiseshell glass bead mix

Bowenite faceted nuggets

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!

Saturday’s Stuff I Love

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!

Saturday’s Stuff I Love

June 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve had a pretty good week so far – I completed my ABS Challenge entry and my Operation Tackle that Bead Stash entry, as well as a bracelet for myself, and also for the Margie and Me Challenge (I’ll be showing that next week). I also found out (for definite) that I have a new house and will be moving a week today! Very excited about that and will be blogging about the set-up of my NEW crafting and jewellery space as I go along (don’t tell my boyfriend, he thinks that room’s going to be an office…mwahahaha).

This week’s Stuff I Love is brought to you by…roundy-oval things, most with holes in, or holes attached. Intriguing!

Super summery sweetie lampwork discs from HMB Studios

Fantastic texture and colour on this embroidered brooch from Jezze Prints (whose whole shop is wonderful)

My newest favourite Etsy shop Outwest and some more summery lampwork discs

Another great Etsy shop, Stillpointworks, and these polymer clay connectors – like ancient jewels

Pajego Art House‘s springy sprigged ceramic connectors (that have already been sold! damn)

Yellow and black polymer clay beads from JivesJools – remind me of a very very closeup shot of pollen

Staci Louise’s collection of lilypad bezels whose texture and charm are just fantastic

Iridescent peacock links from MissFickleMedia – again, already sold! One day I will have some of MFM’s work…one day

A beautiful necklace made from stones from Jamberrysong

Probably one of my favourite pieces I’ve seen all week – Elisabeth at Beads for Busy Gals necklace made using lampwork beads and charms from Floridity

Have a great weekend and hope this has given you some inspiration – at least some roundy-oval-things-with-holes-in inspiration!

Saturday’s Stuff I Love

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!

a little trip … and a new feature

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.

shop love: White Clover Kiln

May 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve had a very tiring day after volunteering at a unit in our local market for an event I am helping to organise. So I was very happy to come home and find my handmade ceramic beads (and button) had arrived from White Clover Kiln!

Aren’t these ace? Love them! The button is a lot brighter in real life: it was named ‘Pistachio’ and it is just like pistachio icecream. Mary (the artist behind White Clover Kiln) has said she’s listing some new pieces over the next week or so. I’ve had a peek at her blog and they look awesome. Already got my eye on some for next time:

Thank you so much Mary for sending my items so promptly – looking forward to using them in some lovely jewellery (maybe just for me!).

shop love: Avedis Beads

April 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

A while ago I read a post on a fantastic jewellery blog I read, Beading by Malin de Koning, all about her love/lust of Czech glass beads. Although I’ve seen lots of Czech glass and the quality is beautiful, I always thought they were a bit boring. After I saw Malin’s post, the most interesting and unusual ones have been rattling around my mind, thinking about where I could get some from! Lots of UK suppliers have a basic range of firepolish beads (which I do like) but the best ones were on Etsy. There’s a fabulous selection of shops but the one I ordered from first (and with a huge number of beads!) was Avedis Beads, based in Sydney. Here’s just a few of the pieces I bought:

Pretty wonderful and unusual, right? I got the flower/bell shaped beads in several different interesting colourways: not a very floral person but thought they would look cute bunched together or as bead caps for some handmade polymer clay beads. My order should be arriving in a couple of weeks – hopefully sooner!

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