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Yep, I’m having a pre-Christmas sale on my beads It’s partly in the spirit of the holidays, partly as a preparation for the new year – many of the beads on both my Etsy store and main site will be taken down after the sale, so if there’s anything that’s caught your fancy, now would be a good time to take the plunge and buy *G*

So, how does the sale work? Just put the code FESTIVE in the coupon box at either site, and you’ll get 25% off the total :)


Have you heard of the FHFTeam on Etsy? It’s an awesome team comprising members of the Frit-Happens forum, and is designed to promote handmade glass art, glassy objects, beads, and jewellery in Europe. For the last year (give or take) I’ve been writing blog content and admin with other members here (the slightly weird Designs Ideas posts are mine *G*).

I’m pleased to announce a new feature that starts today, and which is written by Lynn Davy (you may have seen her name attached to many magazine tutorials). The purpose of the posts will be to help readers learn ways to use handmade lampwork, glass and components in their jewellery, and Lynn has done a fantastic job on the first post. So please go and have a look – the blog also has a handy set of glossaries, a guide to finding quality lampwork, and a whole heap of eye-candy!


I’m ashamed to say I love these beads (is that a British thing – being embarassed about liking one’s own work?) – I have a weakness for shimmery blue, so I really liked the way these turned out:

They’re in my shop and Etsy shop now :)


I’m one of those silly people who think that because they know about something, everyone else must have found out about it beforehand *rolls eyes*

To counter that, I’m doing a short post about the Frit-Happens Forum Team, a community-based Etsy team centered around glass artistry and jewellery that is handmade primarily in the UK (although some other countries are represented too). It’s a pretty great team, filled with lots of loveliness to look at including artisan lampwork beads, jewellery, and other glassy items, as well as silver findings perfect for finishing handmade jewellery.

So please check into Etsy and tap ‘fhfteam 2011′ into the search box, and I’m sure you’ll find a cornucopia of British prettiness *G*

(Although I’m a member, I’m not a glass-seller, so this post isn’t as biased as it seems :D )


There are three new polymer clay things to show today; I’ve been working on them for quite a while, trying to decide through experiments what the best process would be for them.

The first is polymer clay toggle clasps – if you look closely, you’ll see my Beads and Beyond competition entires both had my handmade polymer clay clasps on them.

Polymer Clay Necklace

I had to wait until the judging was over to show any of the other clasps, because I was paranoid (possibly a bit too much) that they would be recognized as being from the same person, and the entries were all supposed to be anonymous. But now that and Christmas have both passed, I can finally send them out into my Etsy shop.

Clasp  Clasp   

There are two types; one which has connections already attatched, in silver-plated or copper wire, and one which has holes for you to put your own choice of headpin through.

The second new things is buttons. I didn’t set out to make them, but since I’d alsready amassed quite a lot of tiny button-shaped pieces of polymer clay through my work, I thought I may as well take advantage and make buttons on purpose.

bb (2)

And third is what I would call a ‘collection’ if I dared. Okay, I *am* calling it a collection. It’s called the British Hedgerow Collection, because the pieces feature flowers, leaves and other ephemera that you see as you walk along British bridlepaths and footpaths. (Disclaimer; I cannot guarantee you will see these flowers in your own hedgerow; my hedgerow’s may be non-standard. And wow, that’s an odd thing to admit)

Morning Meadow  Sunday Wandering


Sometimes I cannot believe the amount of work photopgraphing and uploading can be. But it’s mostly done for the moment, so I can say with actual cheer – my shop has been re-vamped and there’s some new stock, with more being added over the week.

Here’s a peek at what’s in, and what will be in, ContinuumDesigns:

And because I’m not cool at all, and am one of those people who say ‘Yes, and it was really cheap too!” when someone compliments my dress, I am going to tell you what my beads are sitting on in those photos: it may look like a bit of rock, but it’s lino. Yup. Sorry if I’ve ruined the mystique for you all *G* But hey, there’s a tip for you – look out for scrap bits of lino - because they rock.

P.S. I’ll be sending out a super-secret discount coupon code to my mailing-list subscribers soon, so if you want to join, no’ws the time. Links on the sidebar :)


Here’s a look at some of the pendants I’ve been making lately (some of which have been put up in my Etsy shop, partly as a way to test out the new currency features, yay!); they’re a kind of donut/Jammie Dodger hybrid, featuring a circular cut-out that shows off the wire used to attach the pendant to other components. In using these myself, I’ve been threading little silver beads onto the wire after it’s passed through one hole, and then threading the remaining wire through the following hole; it just adds a little bit of variety to the pendants :)

In the third picture, you can see a variation on the pendant, which in my most whimsical moment, I saw as a magic pool of shimmering water surrounding by a host of millefiori flowers. I’ve had some good suggestions from other people about this glittering centre, and adding more contrast, so I’ll be doing a bit more experimenting on this before I give up *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*

Since it’s Bank Holiday Weekend here in the UK, I’m doing a Sunday Browsing edition in its honour. The buzzword? ‘Rain’ (You might have to be British to appreciate the connection)

I’m strangely drawn to gourd art. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the idea of making art from a vegetable that appeals to me. Regardless, the gourd on the left by TheLandofHonahLee is adorable in his resigned grumpiness:

MichelleProsek makes a lot of lovely glass pieces, but I was particularly taken with her ‘Rain’ series, where a handmade fused tile takes on another dimension with blown glass elements:

I imagine you have to have some pretty strong tools to make concrete into jewellery, but that’s DrCraze’s speciality. The silver grey inclusion in the raw material add to the ‘cloud’ texture and colouring in this really pretty pendant:

This necklace by lulubugjewelry immediately caught my eye with fabulous combination of bright blue beads enclosed within a fine silver raindrop; I love the way the blue twinkles inside the silver:
I confess, I’ve never heard of a rain chain before, but this one by TwistsOnWire is beautiful, and I can certainly imagine how lovely raindrops would look glistening on the copper and coils:

Anyone reading this knows by now that I love lampworking – whether it’s drooling over lampworked glass, or doing it myself (although that’s been given a rest for quite a while sadly). So today I’m sharing a selection of unusual beads and quirky lampworking ephemera I found while browsing Etsy (the task was made easier by searching through the ‘fhfteam 2010′ tagged listing – a team I joined which is devoted to glassy goodness ;) )

Violet – Sweet Glass Lady by OneHeartArt

I love lampwork goddess beads, but a part of me finds it a little disturbing that there’s a possible subtext behind a lot of them; the symbol of ‘woman’ reduced to her most stereotypically ‘female’ parts. Where are their heads, their hands, their faces, everything that makes them a person? Anyway, that’s a bit too thinky; my point was, this glass lady by OneHeartArt is interesting because she looks more like a person. Plus, on a more aesthetic level, the fabric effect on her coat is simply stunning:

Kiln Fairy Magnet by BruntiesBeads
Here’s an essential offering to the most fickle of creatures, the kiln fairy, made into a pretty magnet. Many lampworkers are plagued by her whims, always facing the chance that their beautifully coloured bead will be transformed into mud, or horribly cracked by the kiln fairy. Of course, the kiln fairy taketh away, but she also giveths; sometimes a bead will metamorphize into something one couldn’t have imagined:
Giggles by Pandanimal

Giggles. Brings to mind cuteness, joy, a hint of bubbly abandon? These unusual beads by Pandanimal encapsulate the idea of a ‘giggle’, as cheery and bright as they are. They were made during a ‘playday’ with glass, which means you can almost *see* the fun behind them:





Lisbeth The Schnauzer by suzoom
There’s something about the expressions in Suzoom’s animal beads that gives them an amazing sense of character; my personal favourite is this Schnauzer, but I also found a gorgeous orca, cute cats, and a roadrunner in her collection!
Vial Lavender Glass Bead  by LavenderBeads

If you’ve ever read a business article, you’ll know that finding a niche is one of the keys to success. Well, LavenderBeads on Etsy has found a niche, cornered it, captured it, and made it work for her! There’s a cornucopia of beautiful glass lavender flower in all stages of growth, some beads, some vials, like these pictured:

I could have kept going on this theme, but I’ll save some for another time *G*

And finally, if you haven’t entered my giveaway yet there’s still time!

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