From the monthly archives: September 2010
Geeky Etsy picks are, like my Tiny things, a theme on which I could do many, many Sunday Browsing posts. There is such a deep mine of items which  that I had to really rein myself in *G* Technically, maths and science are not a part of my geekiness (yes, there are other types) but they still give me a little geeky shiver of joy whenever I see handmade items with this theme.
A beautiful copper cuff byKarlaWheelerDesign is the first pick. Sadly, I’m not a very good geek when it comes to binary (I’m not personally a maths geek, but I appreciate it), so I’ve had to rely on the translation given, which is the utterly brilliant “I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.”
This is just so romantic; a ring that expresses love in binary code. Handcrafted in textured sterling silver, a pair of idlehandsdesigns’ rings would be fitting for a handmade, techie wedding:

Six mini-pi soaps from bubblegenius; you can put one in every bathroom and still have some spare (unless you have more than five bathrooms for some reason, you rich and/or bathroom obsessed person). Needless to say (though I’m saying it anyway) they’re vegan, and come in scents like key lime, and cherry:

Another math/physics piece which I’m ashamed to say I need an explanation to fully get. But the fact that it’s an artistic expression of Pi, both beautiful and symbolic, really makes it something I love. The fact that holmescraft’s has done lovely wire-wrapping in my favourite colours is a definite plus:

I’ve lost track of whether uncool is still cool, or if it’s gone right back around to being uncool again. Whatever; being ironic about liking something isn’t really my style *G* But I do love the sentiment behind this great little canvas by ShopGibberish:

Has anyone ever brought out a brand of razor and called it Occam’s Razor? ‘Cos I’d love that. Someone must have thought of it already, right?


Caned Flowers
FAQ on ContinuumDesigns Polymer Clay Beads*
1). How are the patterns on the beads done?

Most of the time, the flowers and motifs on my beads are from my handmade canes.

2). And canes are?

A cane is a length of polymer clay that has a pattern or image running through it, much like a stick of seaside rock. The pictures are made up of different polymer clay components that when assembled, produce a complete image. These canes are sliced very thinly, and placed onto a base bead.

3). Isn’t polymer clay just plastic?


4). Did you miss the subtext to that last question?

Nope. Fundamentally, polymer clay is a plastic material. But it’s also throughly, massively awesome. It can be painted, moulded, intricately arranged into canes/pictures, mixed with a plethora of other media. You can have endless colour palettes of your own design. It can be worked like ceramic clay, but has an essentially infinite ‘open working’ time – you can go away and come back to a piece a year later, and it won’t have suffered (unless your cat decided sitting on uncured clay would be the most comfortable thing in the world). It can mimic stone, wood, metal, fabric, all the while being simulatenously light and sturdy.

It’s brilliant fun for kids, and it has a world of possibilities for artists, sculptors and jewellery designers. It’s fun and it’s beautiful and it’s functional, and sometimes it’s all those things at the same time.

But yes, it’s also just plastic. If you don’t like it because of that, I can dig it; there’s lots of materials that I don’t like either, because they’re not vegan.

5). Does that mean polymer clay is vegan?

Short anwer is that yes, according to my e-mails with the manufacturers, Sculpey, Fimo and Kato clay don’t contain animal products or by-products, and aren’t tested on animals. Long answer, as all you vegans out there know, is that we can never be 100% sure because of reliance on information from suppliers. There’s a certain amount of trust needed, because unless one lives in a self-built house with nothing made by anyone else, no-one can be certain that a non-vegan element hasn’t snuck in.

Varnished Polymer Clay Beads

6). How are your beads finished?
All my beads are wet sanded thoroughly with a few different grades of sandpaper, and then buffed with a rough fabric. This gives a smooth sheen to the polymer clay. On certain types of beads, such as those with powders or surface decorations, I add a coat or two of polymer clay varnish to protect their designs, which also adds a high gloss shine.

*Oh, okay, I’ll confess; nobody has ever asked me these questions once, let alone frequently. But if named this section “Conversations I’ve had with hypothetical people in my brain,” you might think I’m weird. Glad I dodged *that* bullet*.

And hey, if you have a question about my beads, I love to answer it here. Just leave a comment or something like that *G*

Some jewellery designers meticulously plan out their pieces, whilst others go along where ever the beads and finding tell them to at the time. I’m the latter; I buy supplies because they’re pretty or different, or there’s something about them that I have to have, and I worry about what to do with them much much later (usually when my sickly bank statement limps through my letterbox at the end of the month)


The first part of the FHFTeam giveaway started yesterday here:

And this one ends on Friday 17th, so enter quickly *G* Here’s the prize:

 I have these beads/the pendant next to me, and can tell you that they’re gorgeous *G*


Tomorrow is the start of the Etsy Frit-Happens Forum Team Giveaway (wow, that’s a lot of capital letters), where you could win some really beautiful prizes. The full details will be posted tomorrow, so check the FHFTeam blog on Monday for the start, but here’s a sneak peek of the array of prizes,

Prizes from the FHFTeam

Anyway, in honour of this, this edition of Sunday browsing features offerings from the FHFTeam that are a little…unusual, whether they’re sculptural pieces, or just weirdly cool.

First is this from steampunkglass. Dude. It’s a Rocket Ship necklace. Not only beautifully coloured and very pretty, it’s also great for when you’re bored on the train; just fly it around in your hand going ‘Zoom!’, and pretending you’re the commander of a teeny starship. Awesome.

Beautiful deep red boro glass forms the basis for these stunning red lips earrings by flyingbead. The curve and colour of them reminds me very much of seaside rock candies – I think if I bought these, I wouldn’t be able to resist a sneaky lick, just to see if they taste as good as they look:

Another tribute to the kiln fairy feared and honoured by lampworkers. This one by HelenPetersBeads is adorable, but it looks like it wouldn’t do you or your glass any good to cross him:

Isn’t this bead by kibitz pretty? You’re probably wondering why I’ve included it in my quirkly glass edition. Well, I’m too embarassed to go into the details, but go read the description, and you’ll figure it out. Hopefully. Please don’t come back here for an explanation if you don’t *G* (Slightly mature).

This necklace by nemeton is officially the tenth ugliest one in the world (according to the judges at the Ugly Necklace Competition), and features the fugliest lampwork beads that could be found. I’m happy to report that the next year, nemeton managed to reach the dizzying heights of the number one Ugliest Necklace. If you look at her other work in the shop, you’ll be amazed that a single beader has the talent for both extreme fugliness, and delicate beauty.

I had to include this Lil Bit by bykeira. So much emotion and character is jammed into a tiny lampwork hamster that I have the urge to make him his own little home out of a matchbox; there’s no way I could push a headpin through him and string him up *G*

So I was reading through the Art Bead Scene blog, and looking at their Monthly Challenge picture, which is Persia by Geroge Barbier, and suddenly the next day I had these:

Only a very small aspect of the original inspiration is seen in these beads, but I was pretty pleased with the overall look of them, especially as I don’t usually plan out a specific design, and rarely manage to use actual art as a jumping off point (I am emphatically NOT knowledgeable about art *G*) I’m not entering the challenge because I don’t have other elements that I would need, but it’s been like my own mini-challenge!

In other bloggy news, the usual Sunday Browsing feature was lacking last week, because I didn’t have the time (or internet vouchers) to do any browsing – that’s right, it’s not just a conceit, I really do browse through Etsy on Sundays usually *G* It’ll be back this Sunday though.


And the winner of the polymer clay beads is: Number 19!

Which, counting down the list is: louise!

E-mail me your address and I’ll get the beads sent out right away :)

Thanks everyone for taking part – I loved reading all your favourite flowers, and it’s given me lots of inspiration for new flower canes to try :D


This is a bit of a fractured post :)

Firstly, the FHFTeam blog has a new article up on what to look for when buying lampwork beads, accompanied by a heap of pretty pictures. If you’ve never used lampwork beads in your jewellery before, go take a look; I promise it’s drool-worthy, and you might come away with a new addiction.

Secondly, the prize draw for a set of polymer clay beads is tomorrow, so if you haven’t entered yet, there’s only a little time left. I’m not sure whether I’ll use a random-number generator, or write numbers on little bits of paper and let an animal pick the winner. Hmmm.

Thirdly, if you’re a jewellery/jewelry maker or designer, there’s a little something coming up that you might want to get in; look out for it next week…:D

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