Friday, August 17, 2007

Sun Blossom

After the success of Moon Blossom (previous) post, I thought a "Sun Blossom" would make the perfect present for my little sister. She's just developed a love of yellow, so it just made sense. :-)

Here's the result. Yellow is not one of my favourite colours for jewellery as it's difficult to wear for most people, so I didn't have very many yellow beads. A while back I bought the beautiful golden shell pendant and never quite knew what to do with it. I think I bought it just because it was so pretty. LOL Like with Moon Blossom I then added a feature bead (a golden, slightly crackly topaz) and three strings of chain to act as sun beams. The sun beams have 12 different beads on them for the 12 months, plus 12 Magatama beads. I've grouped the beads in threes: 3 vintage beads (all different), 3 Swarovski beads (light topaz, jonquil and lime) and 3 each of small citrine beads and little yellow daisies with clear round beads set in the centre. All is strung on bronze chain/findings to complement the gold/yellow.

Here is the pendant in detail (photo taken inside lying down).

And here's the pendant outside hanging from a lilac bush.

Here's the dangle that will hang down the nape of the neck. I've used citrine beads again, a beautiful stripy heart bead and a metal heart connector, plus some Magatamas.

This picture was taken outside on the said lilac bush so you could see how the beads will hang when the necklace is worn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Moon Blossom

A while back I bought this beautiful shimmery shell pendant. Whilst rummaging through my bead chest I looked at it again at the weekend (some beads have to mature in the bead chest before they are ready to be used in a design...) ;-) The time was right to do something special with it, so here it is:

Moon Blossom

The idea behind the necklace was that I wanted to do something moon-ish, but rather than take it too literally, I decided to take a 'Haiku' approach. I wanted it to look and feel like I felt about the moon, if that makes any sense at all? Well here it is anyway.

The centre piece is the shell pendant. I've then used a beautiful opaline glass drop and added moonbeams with chain. The opaline glass drop represents the effect the moon has on the sea, the moonbeams have three drops at the end representing the three phases of the moon and 12 round-ish beads to represent the 12 moons in a year. I've used dark chain, because I liked the contrast but also to represent the night.

The end of the chain has a little 'dangle' with 12 drops plus one large drop at the end.

I am very pleased with the necklace and I am not sure I can part with it yet. If I can part with it... it will be in my Etsy shop.

Black Daisy and Peach Blossom - Bracelets

My cold is finally gone and I had some leisure and energy to make some jewellery at the weekend. Here are the results:

Black Daisy
I recently bought some wonderful beads from EJR Beads. The lovely daisy beads in the bracelet below started the whole design. I could have gone with a white and gold theme but wanted something more interesting so I added topaz nuggets, hematite hearts, vintage faceted antique gold beads, and some Czech gunmetal beads to the design. To finish it off I used some wonderful gunmetal Magatama drops and some more Japanese seed beads (Toho and Miyuki). All is 'tied' together with the gunmetal chain and findings.

Here you can see all the wonderful beads in detail. The bracelet is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

Peach Blossom
This bracelet was inspired by the wonderful copper lined crystal cathedral beads. I added more copper lined beads and a few vintage peach copper coated faceted beads, frosted flowers, lots of Swarovski beads for extra glamour and Magatama and Miyuki drops for shimmer and texture. I love the contrast of the copper with the green/teal of the Swarovski and faceted green beads and the organic feel created by the Magatama/Miyuki beads.

The bracelet is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lariat or Spectacle Chain

Spectacle chains are great for Summer and Winter as they make sure you keep hold of your (sun) glasses whilst looking pretty at the same time.

However, lots of people have been asking for the spectacle chain designs as necklaces. Now I am giving you the choice. The designs below (except for two of them) are unfinished and can be either - a spectacle chain or a lariat.

They are now available in my Etsy shop (link on the right) today or tomorrow but you've seen them here first. To look at a finished spectacle chain check out the previous post.

All of the designs are made with a silky cord and an array of different beads.

Art Deco

A stylish Art Deco style design with beads in black, white, black and white, and silver, from frosted to glossy, from shiny to matte.

Redder than Red

A gorgeous, yummy design - berries red from the deep, dark red of a cranberry to a bright strawberry red, from metallic shiny to soft and translucent.

Pink Butterfly

A girlie pink design with beads in pale soft pinks to a bright pink, glittery Czech beads, soft shimmery shell butterflies and everything in between.

Purple Haze

A myriad of textures and different shades of purple make a stylish sophisticated design.

Sea Blue

Soft pale blues mixed with teals and turquoises make this a soft sea-themed design.

Annis' Spectacle Chain
This one is not for sale, it's for my friend Alison's daughter Annis. Hope she approves. :-) She does and it will go into the post to France today.

Treacle and Toffee Lariat
This lariat is finished and uses lots of different beads - from Japanese Miyuki cube beads to wood, to horn, to glass pearls, to shell butterflies, to an amber coloured glass heart, to Czech softly lustred to Indian feature beads.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Isn't that typical, I am off this week to look after my lovely son, but, of course, I've got a nasty cold, and then I had two commissions of my website as well. However, the commissions were far more fun than the cold.

The first one was for a little girl called Lola who loves foxes. I had to order the little fox specially for her as I'd already sold the other fox necklace I'd made. To keep things unique I've also used different beads and combined it with red an orange beads this time and the same very thin leather thong.

The little fox is so cute and I just love his little face. The beads are ceramic, glass and wood all combined.

The second commission was a green spectacle chain. Just as well that I only buy small quantities of my beads so I never get tempted or accidentally use the same beads again.

I've used lots of different beads here from Indian lampwork to catseye to Japanese Miyuki cubes and Toho seedbeads to frosted glass and beads decorated with golden lines. The shapes are all different, too, from large flat squares to rice shaped to fat or flat ovals, to small and large rounds to little flying saucers, to cubes and potato shaped beads. The different shapes, colours and textures add a great deal to the overall look and make it far more interesting than using the same type of bead throughout.

Swirly Scarf Mania

Rather than making jewellery I've had the crochet bug for the past few weeks. Ever since I saw the beautiful scarves Caroline makes (check out her blog Uniqart) I wanted to have a go, too.

I've made three and I am on number four at the moment, although that's a completely different design, that has given me a great deal of headaches, but with a little help from Caroline I think I've got it all worked out. Sort of. :-)

The first scarf I made is midnight deepest black and a spiral design which is much easier than it looks but great fun to do, especially since the finished result is so lovely. It almost looks like something alive.
Here is a detail shot of the lace edge I added.

And here's another detail shot. Sorry, I am just so proud of my first crochet scarf!

I liked the design so much that I treated myself to another version of it, but this time in a natural creamy colour. There is more lace on this one than the black one and the wool was also slightly thicker. Oh, both the black and the natural scarf are both made of 100 percent cotton. Lovely to crochet with and brilliant to wear.

Here's a more detailed shot showing the softness of the wool. Both scarves will work both in winter and summer. I like wearing them when I am cycling to work in the mornings.

Then I had to try the same design again, but look at the difference! Rather than just using one colour I've used lots of different shades of green and blue. And the cotton was really thin - something you'd normally use for lace or embroidery, however, I love the frothy look of my sea foam scarf. It'll look brilliant with all my black clothes and my denim jacket.

In the detail shot below the pattern and the colours can be seen more clearly.

Moth Love

Took this pictures a couple of nights ago. Thought they were fascinating:

It took me quite some time to take the pictures and the moths were staying perfectly still the whole time, despite the flash.I am not quite sure which one is the female and which one the male, but I thought it was so lovely how they 'become one' during the mating. You can hardly tell where one begins and the other ends. Also check out the detail on the feelers, they almost look like feathers or one of those combs with teeth on either side.

I'd love to know what kind of moth this is, I know more about butterflies.... and especially dragonflies, but they're so quick and I don't have the patience, so I look at other peoples pictures of them! I prefer mating moths for photos, at least they stay still! ;-)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Magpie Magic Special

Here's my Magpie Magic Special necklace. It's special because it will be the first item for sale in my MagpieMagic shop on Etsy. There will be more items soon, as I can get them uploaded. A detailed description of the necklace below can be found on Etsy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fimo, Magpies and Foxgloves

Been having fun today. I was off work and it seemed like a perfect day to get the Fimo out.

I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop and Ben suggested to make a special necklace for it - a Magpie Magic necklace. Like a real magpie I've been collecting bits and pieces for a couple of days now, some beads here, a charm there, special chain and everything that I thought might work. However, to pull it all together I wanted some feathers and so I made them.

Here's a picture of the beads I made today - the lot of them on the baking tray, fresh out of the oven.

Here are some of them - for the Magpie Magic necklace - in a close-up. I hope Toby won't mind that I nicked his idea for the round beads as I covered them in glitter, in just the way Penny explained it to me. Promise they won't all go together on a bracelet, but they're just so perfect for the Magpie Magic necklace...

And here are some more for the foxglove necklaces I made today. See further down.

Below are the finished necklaces:

This one is fuchsia with pink Czech faceted beads (not all of them as every single flower trumpet is different). Haven't quite decided if I can bear to part with this one.

Been wearing the black one ever since I finished it.
This one is a gorgeous bright red:

The final one is a deep burgundy red with glorious glittery bits - some were already in the Fimo, others I added to the inside of the flower trumpets.

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