Happy New Year everyone!
Oh. It’s already the third week in January you say?
Happy third week of 2013 everyone!
Let’s see if I can bring this blog up to date.
In December, I made a *lot* of stock for a craft fair stall in Retford, which my parents very kindly ran. A lot of lampwork jewellery was featured, which was petrifying since my comfort zone is polymer clay, so I was very pleased to find out that pieces actually sold. I realise this is common, nay, even expected at places where, you know, one offers goods for sale, yet nonethless it was very lovely news!
I also had a very limited amount of Chritsmas decorations in polymer clay for sale at Thorseby Art Gallery. They ran a commission-free space for artists to place their decorations for sale, so it’s not as though I got into a juried art show, but it still gave me a little thrill.
The latest of Beads and Beyond has a polymer clay tutorial by me in it, so if you’d like to see how bad I look in pictures, you can check out the Feb 2013 issue.
And now for a picspam of craft fair jewellery:
And here’s cat who has no idea who he is, what’s happening to him, or why he’s here: I call him Bemused Cat.
A few months ago, I signed up with Nina Designs, to be a blog partner: your name is put into a pool of bloggers, and you may get picked to get the chance to design with some of Nina Designs’ fabulous components. Since I can’t find them in the UK, but I’ve been drooling over them, I jumped at the chance when I was asked to participate in the latest round
On opening the (very exciting) parcel, I did a happy dance – lots of pretty bronze lovlies inside: a leafy pendant, beautiful little connectors, some delicate spacer beads, and some earrings findings (not used yet!). Then I had a moment of pause: they were warm, gold tones….and nothing in my stash matched that colour. But!
Mixed metal is one of my favourite styles, so I got out my antique copper findings, some deep amber lampwork beads, and the obligatory Czech glass, and got designing:
In centre is the Marquis focal pendant: very lightweight, yet sturdy enough to hang beads on
Hanging from the pendant are dangles with Czech glass and Nina Designs beads.
And on each side of the necklace are some ‘Bubble’ connectors which are probably my favourite components!
The materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.
I had to get in on the Art Bead Scene Challenge this month – the painting was stunning, and had a mass of green-gold tones, which I adore:
Plus, painted by a woman, featuring a woman (and not in the ‘woman as object’ pose that often permeates, well, everything) – it was the perfect painting to make me join in *G*.
|The greens are more olive really – I still suck at photos|
I have some gunmetal findings which I thought would echo the darker tones very well, and I brightened them up a little with some of my polymer clay beads made specifically for this challenge in lovely green and golds, with lighter leaf and vine motifs. The deep brown carved coconut flowers hint at the darkness within the orb, and I finished the necklace off with a polymer flower, again in muted green, which is a nod to the flower decorations on the central character’s hair.
For the last few weeks I’ve been making beads with mica powders and metal leaf…which means that running out of varnish to seal these surface decorations is a bad thing. (and the parcel containing the varnish getting lost so a replacement had to be sent was worse – I wanted to give the first pachage a good chance to turn up so I’ve been out of varnish about 3 weeks maybe)
I’ve finally got my hands on it now though, and so here’s a biggish eye-candy post. The beads are up for sale on http://www.continuumdesigns.co.uk/shop
And here are some random necklaces I made:
To be honest, I’ve been looking at all of these things for so long that I’m starting to feel very tired, and like I’m stagnating again. I don’t really like to use tutorials (I mean, I use techniques invented by others all the time of course, but I don’t like to have a tutorial in front of me), so I feel like I’m winging it a bit, and my work is not progressing. Another problem is I tend to like my work until I see it in macro (ban macro!) and I see how not-perfect everything is.
Any tips anyone?
There’s a new section in my shop – jewellery I don’t make jewellery that often, but I had enough supplies in that I’ve made some necklaces out of copper and my beads featuring wildflowers.
The reason for doing this is that I wanted to find a way to raise money for several animal welfare groups, and jewellery seemed a bit more accessible than bead sets.
I’ve set a base figure of approximately 90% of the purchase price being sent to the animal charities, although it will always be more than 90%; basically, the lowest amount I can afford will be deducted for packing and Paypal fees, and that will probably only amount to 6% of the purchase price, but I wanted a nice round number to write on the site
Here’s the direct link to the section: http://www.continuumdesigns.co.uk/shop/category.php?id_category=15
And here’s the charity I’ll be sending the money to this time: http://www.bramcote-rescue.co.uk (note: it’s not an official affiliation, simply a donation)
If you decide to buy a necklace for this cause, and would like the receipt from the donation forwarded to you afterwards, that can be arranged.
I’ll update the Facebook page whenever there’s new jewellery/items and a new charity, so please ‘like’ the page to keep track.
Also, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this post or the link with anyone who may be interested. Thank you!
Sometimes, you want to write something that you’re pretty sure is not a good idea. It might alienate people, or rub them the wrong way. Am I going to publish this post? I’m not sure – if you’re reading this now, then the answer was yes. If you don’t like this post, I’m truly sorry, because I don’t like to make people feel bad.
We all have aversions to words – sometimes we have a reason for it, sometimes we don’t know why.
There are several terms I have a dislike for; feminine is one, girly is another. I don’t feel comfortable with the connotations that these words confer, because they imply that the reality of ‘woman’ is synonymous with, for example, softness, daintiness, and as such, weakness. I’m very much of the ‘gender as a mask’ school of thought, and I don’t believe that we need to ascribe gender stereotypes onto neutral concepts. There is no reason at all that someone with xy chromosones couldn’t wear dangly earrings, except for the cultural baggage we all put onto sex and gender.
Short point I have two xx chromosones and breasts. I don’t need a ‘feminine’ necklace to make me a ‘proper woman’
Don’t leave me hanging here with this post though: if you agree, please share this (social media buttons are below). If you disagree, tell me why – I’m really interested and despite the evidence to the contrary, I’m not a judgey person
Freeee…it’s a good word. So good I put it in the title of new tutorial I made!
Yes, that *is* my long-winded way of saying that I’ve posted a copper wire jewellery (or jewelry) tutorial on my site. And that it’s free.
Bit of round up post (that’s right, whoopie pies get a whole post to themselves, everything else is shoved into one shared post. Priorities people!)
First news: I managed to get a tutorial into Beads and Beyond this month (June issue) which was lovely to see – I used lampwork beads by June of Beaujolais Beads to make a diamond motif bracelet. Here’s a variation, also using her beads:
Third item: Yeah, there is no third item. Oh wait, how about a plug for an awesome vegan cake service (there’ve been a few birthdays lately), Vegan Cakes Direct. I normally do my own baking, but sometimes it’s a treat to receive something pre-baked *G*
I’m no good at recognising stone/semi-precious beads (the only ones I have are amethyst chips from two years ago!), but whatever they are specifically, these creamy-tan nugget beads and green rounds are stunning; they feel lovely and weighty in the hand, and have beautiful subtle colour variations. Accompanying them are little brass fillegree beads (to the right) and some pretty green glass beads too, as well as a length of brass chain, a handmade brass clasp (seen in the centre of the brass spacer beads), and best of all, a stamped heart focal. Most of the materials are ones I haven’t worked with before, and to be honest, they’re awesome; I completely understand the attraction of Vintaj and Trinity now that I have brass in my hands (feel free to laugh at me if it’s not brass but something else – whatever it is, I love it) *G* Thanks Laurel
Most jewellery has metal components, usually mined from the earth in horrible conditions, but to cut down on the amount used, here are some alternatives.
| White and Green Hemp Necklace
with Glass Teardrop Pendant by NeicosKnots
Unwaxed cotton cord or hemp- Both materials feel lovely against the skin, and can make up a delicate or casual necklaces depending on how they’re used; both knotting and macrame can make the simple cords into something a lot fancier. Perhaps you could also use any scrap wire to wrap the ends and make a small closure or clasp. For a quick course in macrame go here
|Metallic Blue Necklace with Flower Pendant
Seed beads and thread can make a really pretty chain for a pendant. A simple strung necklace featuring metallic finish Delicas is versatile and delicate, and easy to make, whilst beadweaving, though more time consuming, can be used for a more elaborate effect.
One of a Kind Metal Pendant, Handcrafted
From Found Metals by twistedbeading
Old, unloved electrical cables can be mined for copper wire, so you get some cheap supplies while recycling (PLEASE make sure they’re not still connected to electrics, or in use, eek!). Plus, small pieces of wire from old jewellery and short pieces of scrap wire can be used for wiring up beads or charms; even if you’re ‘only’ using plated metals (metal is metal after all), snip the tops off previously-wired beads, collect ‘mistake’ pieces, and save them. At the very least, they can be used for practicing wirework skills, or making tiny wire charms like coils and scrolls.
|Piranha Lampwork Bead Set Blue Cobalt Black by helbels|
Lampwork Glass Beads Purple Sparkles
|‘Deep Cherry Red Transparent Lampwork
Small Disc Spacer Beads Set of 12 by JSavinaBeads
|Fantasy Fairy Jewelry – The Garden Fae
There’s a wide range of glass pearls out there in beautiful colours, which make great substitutes for those taken out of oysters. Swarovski Elements (TM, et cetera) in particular do high quality glass pearls; in a fit of paranoia about rumours of fish scales being used in the coating of some glass pearls, I e-mailed them about this, and they stated there are no animal by-products involved in theirs, so vegans can rest easy about them!
Amazing Cream Glass Pearl Hand Beaded Necklace
with Sterling Silver by metalclothnwood
| Cerulean sea necklace by
|Polymer Clay Cabochons Lemon Grass Faux
Dichroic Set of 3 by Polymerpretties
- with a little bit of polymer clay, and some mica-powders, you make your own pearl-esque beads, and you’ll be able to control the size, shape, colour, and texture of them to get a more organic feel. With a few more supplies, you can mimic the look of almost any material with polymer clay, including lots of non-vegan things, making them a lot animal friendlier. If you’re not polymer-clay inclined, have a browse on Etsy – there are lots of talented artists there who are open to commissions.
Giant Pink Faux Rock Pendant
|Faux River Stone Necklace
Precious Metal Clay (silver)
|Sorceress Fine Silver Earrings
in Chocolate Amethyst by CeeGeeJewellery
Making your own fine silver findings and beads from recycled cars? Because it’s maleable and pliant, you can mould elaborately curved toggle clasps, shape bead caps directly onto the beads for a perfect fit, and make lightweight hollow beads by connecting two curved circles together with silver clay paste.
I have to admit, I had reservations about what the ‘organic binders’ were, because this vague and oddly sinister description made me think of a distraught man yelling out ‘Organic Binders is people!!!!” (geek) but apparently the binders are plant-based. Phew.
|Frank-Fine Silver Owl Handmade Necklace
Pendant Sterling by abbielyn
|Christmas Confetti fine silver circle earrings|
- April 2013
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- bead soup
- jewellery making
- polymer clay
- squidging things
- squishing things
- Sunday Browsing