The last month has just flown by and I found myself with just one day of the month left in which to make my journal box for this March. I am getting ready to compete again in Battle of the BeadSmith and this has distracted me somewhat – I have been preparing and getting beads ready for weeks now 🙂
This month’s box is again made entirely from stash and is dedicated to my good friends who I have met through FB and our love of all things beady and shiny. I have found friends, new reasons to buy more beads, new shops, and had great support in times of personal need from friends and family in the past and this is my little way of thanking just some of them. Please don’t be offended if you are not mentioned, there are still 9 more months of the year to go.
I started with my focal which is a handmade cabochon created by my friend Gloria (also known as Queenie to her friends) and you can find more of her beadwork on http://www.etsy.com/shop/flagrantdesigns
The cab is a stunning mixed media piece of poly clay, metal, pigment powders and resin.
I also included some stunning metal flower beads in a vintage bronze colour, these reminded me of my good friend Hilary from http://www.knottingways.co.uk/
Hilary is a gentle soul and the flowers always remind me of her as I know she has an amazing garden and often spends time in her den working on new ideas for her website and customers whilst being able to look out at the fabulous garden she is in.
The overall purpleness of the piece is because I love purple, as do Catherine and Steph. Catherine is a great laugh, good mum and a total bead hoarder! Steph runs http://www.absolutebeads.co.uk/ and is always looking for something unique to add to her site for the customers she has.
The three leaves in the piece are for Dr Nicole Stanley, and are a nod to her designs which are often leafy, floral and usually elegant and stunning. Nicole works under https://beta.folksy.com/shops/HollybirdBeads
There is plenty of sparkle in the beads from swarovski bicones, rounds and also from some rulla beads – these are for the beaders in OTTBS who are as mad as they are amazing. The rulla beads a like little building blocks from which we all learn from each other within this group.
The purple bead soup is what was left from a custom mix by Nancy of NEDBeads on Etsy, and if you get a chance to get some bead soup from Nancy, you would not regret it at all – trust me. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NEDbeads
It has been a while since my last blog… sounds like I should be in a church doesn’t it?
I had been extra busy getting ready for the Big Bead Show at Sandown where I was selling my cabochons. I had a fantastic time and it was amazing to be the other side of the stand for a change. Friends new and old came along, as well as the Medway Beaders group I belong to. It was a very long day but was worthwhile so I will definitely be repeating it. I saw lots of familiar names, and now faces, in the Bead Show Awards and it was a thrill to realise I feel I “know” many of them through facebook and in person contact.
I hope to be at future bead shows and more news on that will follow once I have details confirmed.
I didn’t get too far along in the Battle of the BeadSmith 2013, but I haven’t let that get me down and I have signed up again for next year and had my place confirmed. I am desperately trying to come up with an idea, but it alludes me right now, but I have lots of time to think but again just the 2-3 months to bead the final piece.
I also had a stall at Spitalfields Market this month on a Saturday (pic below), mum came along to help me out again, as she did for the Sandown show, honestly it wouldn’t be the same without her by my side helping out, thanks Mum xxx. Although it was fun to peoplewatch the actual sales were slow and that made for a long day. I have to decide if I will go back in December, I think I will wait on the weather nearer the time to help with that decision. There were a lot of very similar, if not same, stalls there stocking the same things – mostly Chinese imports with bargain basement prices and for me with my handmade, time intensive, labour of love work it was not a fair battle.
I have been asked by the fabulous Katie Dean to review her new books, and so my next blog will be about those. I was fortunate enough to meet Katie in person at Sandown and to see her battle piece as well. Katie bought one of my cabochons and I am nervously waiting to see what she does with it… More on that can be found here on Katie’s blog. http://beadflowers.co.uk/2013/10/a-quick-update/
Hey, well it would appear that my resolution to blog more regularly was a little failed, lol. I promise to try harder.
I have been very busy though and working on lots of new jewellery designs and ideas. I am also currently working on workshop ideas for a local gallery and also am pleased to say that my local bead group – Medway Beaders – will be at the Kent Bead Fair in March which takes place at the Ashford International Hotel, as well as at The Big Bead Show in Sandown in April. We’re going to be exhibiting some of our finished jewellery items and also hopefully sharing some work in progess with people who are keen to know more.
I have been interested to see all the new types of beads that have been released onto the market recently – twins, superduos, spikes, gum drops, rizzo’s, rullas and probably a couple more I have missed or forgotten about. I have so far not given into temptation very much, I did get some spikes but have yet to finish the project I bought them for, so I will try to do that next week whilst on leave and blog about those. I did however give in last week and place an order for superduos – specifically to work on a tutorial – Helena – by Jennifer VanBenschoten. Jennifer is one of the contributors to Beading Daily and also has designs in the beading magazines frequently. Jennifer’s blog is here http://vanbeads.blogspot.co.uk/ and you can purchase the tutorial from her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/VanBeads
I very much enjoyed playing with the superduos I ordered, I love the Picasso colour of the ones I chose, and I paired them with matt gray seed beads and a deep red 3mm glass bead. The finished necklace is totally fabulous and I now need to go buy a new top to show it off 🙂
The tutorial was easy to follow using the written instructions, and the photos were also useful in working out which direction I should be going. It is a lengthy tutorial, but although the finished result looks very complex it wasn’t too hard to complete, thanks to the necklace being made up of several components and then brought together. I also asked a question about the beads in the tutorial as I was struggling to find 3mm druks in the UK, and Jennifer go back to me very quickly with suggestions on alternatives.
I think I may have to buy some more superduos and work on a pair of earrings to match. Below is a photo of my finished necklace.
Until next time, TTFN
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Tagged beadwork, Etsy, Helena, jennifer vanbenschoten, Kent Bead Fair, Medway Beaders, nucleus arts, review, seed beads, The Big Bead Show, Tutorial, workshops