Friday, 27 June 2008

Beady Butterflies!

It's blog time again and unfortunately I haven't really got anything new to show you. I've been busy working on orders for my poppy cufflinks and poppy pins and also working on some interesting projects that I can't really share with you at the moment - but all in good time! I spent a very fitful night last night, half awake and half asleep with lots of weird and wonderful dreams but also with lots of new beady ideas flitting into my mind. Anyway, the result this morning, rather than being tired, is that I feel filled with enthusiasm and can't wait to get cracking with some of these ideas - trouble is, I might need to give up sleep permanently to be able to fit them all in!

One of the 'under wraps' projects I mentioned above needed me to take a photo of one of the butterflies I used to make. So as I feel a blog isn't a blog without some pretty pictures and I have nothing new to show you, I thought I would dig some of them out. I started out by using a mixture of cross-stitch cottons, silks and a few beads and stitching them onto plastic canvas before carefully cutting them out. Gradually as I got more and more addicted to beads, I made them using all beads and both Mum and I have a collection of them 'flying' on various walls in our houses. In my lounge, I have a beautiful hand embroidered wall hanging from Nepal that depicts the Tree of Life, it has a selection of my beaded butterflies and moths 'flying' around it - I find the whole scene very magical and soothing. I know these butterflies are quite different from my work today, but I still love them and it would be great to hear what you think!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Dragonfly Dreams

I'm still busy making a variety of small flowers for earrings rather than concentrating on any large projects at the moment. Life seems to be quite hectic just lately, and so these little projects are still satisfyingly beady but quick enough to fit in around other commitments. I have been branching out with my colour schemes a little too - I'm still using a limited range of colours in each piece (well it just wouldn't be me otherwise would it!) but the colours I have been putting together are a little bit more experimental. I have just finished a pair of earrings I made for myself, I don't often wear my own jewellery despite my friends nagging me to do so, and the inspiration for the colours in these is a pretty top I have - it's a busy mix of teal, turquoise, coral, bright red and yellow green and I absolutely love it.

We are going to a live music concert tomorrow night at the Lowdham book festival to see Show of Hands and so I thought I would wear my favourite top and make myself some coral and teal earrings to go with it. The only beads I had that were a good match to the top were some tiny size 15 seed beads that I once ordered by mistake (I normally work with the slightly larger size 11 seed beads) and so I have been experimenting with petal shapes using the smaller size - a success I think, but my eyes definitely need a break now and my purse is quivering at the thought of me possibly wanting to build up a collection of size 15's! The photo above shows the raw materials and the photo below is of the finished pair of earrings.

It's been a busy week on Etsy this past week too. I was thrilled to find my work in five beautiful treasuries and I created my first treasury too - Dragonfly Dreams. As I understand it, you are not supposed to feature your own work in a treasury that you curate, it is more to acknowledge and promote other Etsy members, so I created my treasury around a dragonfly theme with a mixture of beadwoven pieces from the Etsy Beadweavers team (of which I am a member) and other delightful handmade items I found - a couple of which also use my new favourite coral and teal colour combination! I enjoyed searching through Etsy to find items to fit my theme and discovered lots of wonderful talent in the process and I'm looking forward to 'snagging' a spot for my next treasury which also has a fun theme!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Lucky me!

Well I have been very lucky this past week; firstly I discovered that Helen of the beautiful blog MilesToSew has kindly passed on an award to me - this is my first blog award and I am both flattered and excited by that ... thank you Helen!

It is the Sweet home blogger Award for sharing beauty, love and joy - how nice, couldn't we all do with more of those things in our everyday lives? So, in keeping with tradition, I am passing this award on to five other 'bloggers' - believe me this was a tough choice as there are so many beautiful blogs I have come across and I am sure, many I haven't yet discovered.

So, in no particular order, the five blogs I have chosen are;
  • Alison of BeaDangles Jewellery a good friend and an infrequent blogger - but when she does, it's worth waiting for, jewellery, photography and yummy recipes!
  • Michele of Hedgelands Glass another beautiful blog full of interesting and varied crafty skills - follow the link to Michele's website and take a look at her stained glass!
  • Chris of Kiamyka Gemstone Creations another multi-talented woman who also has a great way with words - her blog posts nearly always bring a tear to my eye!
  • Valerie of Luz Bijoux who creates the most beautiful beadwork and has a real eye for colour - I also absolutely love the fact that she calls me 'a fairy beader'.
  • Zoya of Gem and Beaded Jewelery a relatively new blogger, but a well known and talented artist who I am proud to call a friend.
I am sorry if I missed you out, as I say it was a difficult choice. These things can feel a bit like being the last to be picked for a school sports team (and I know all about that) but hopefully the above selection will provide my readers with some interesting links and will spread the word, the beauty, love and joy!
My next stroke of luck this week was split second timing when I was taking a photo of a foxglove in my garden. Well to be honest, I regard even having the foxglove as lucky, I didn't plant it, it just appeared in a prime space in the garden and has NINE very tall flower spikes on it. It's a real beauty and I count it as a gift from nature in return for creating my foxglove trio necklace. So, I thought I would take a picture of it in all its glory, spotted a bee hovering around one of the flowers and wondered if I could get it in the shot - as it turns out, I caught two (see bottom right of the photo) I'm sure I couldn't do that again if I tried!

My third piece of luck this week? My Poppy Cufflinks are currently appearing in another treasury - this time a wonderfully rich Treasury West entitled Le Rouge et le Noir created by Ileana of Enchanted Beads. Thank you Ileana!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

From hot to icy and back to warm!

It looks like it's 'blog day' again today - the sun is shining, the garden is full of flowers and I have some more flowery pictures to show you ... some natural and some beaded!

First of all; we went to Lea Gardens in Derbyshire at the weekend which is renowned for it's rhododendrons and azaleas. Some of them were past their best and others had been damaged by all the rain we've had recently, but there were still lots of bright and brilliant blooms everywhere and the woodland walk area was filled with the scent of the lily of the valley. It was a lovely day out, the weather was perfect and we spent quite some time sat in the sun at the seating area at the tea rooms which overlooks the whole valley, drinking coffee and eating yummy chocolate cake too. If you look closely at their website you may spot a picture of me at the tea rooms taken some years ago!

On the beading front, I have finished the blue flowers that were shown as a 'work in progress' on my last blog post and created my Frosted Flower Fall necklace. In contrast to the hot summery picture above, this is a winter themed necklace with three icy blue flowers worked in various sizes. They each have a frosted sterling silver bead centre and I have just hung them simply from a sterling chain and clasp. It is hanging from a bust beside me as I type and I must admit I am pleased with it - very simple but also quite elegant I think ... I'd love to know what you think, so please feel free to leave a comment!

Finally for today, I have discovered that my Copper Hibiscus lariat is in an Etsy treasury with the fun title of - Cockney Grasshopper - can you guess???? It's COPPER! It's a beautiful warm collection of wonderful coppery tones and blacks and mine is the only beadwoven piece ... and (oh dear) the most expensive!