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This blog has had a little identity crisis for a few months – it’s technically a blog from Continuum Designs Beads, and yet sometimes I like to write about other topics completely different from jewellery. Ever since I moved my blog over to my site. I’ve felt wary of posting non-business related posts, but to be honest that’s meant a severe lack of updates here!

So here’s the deal – I will start posting about everything I love again, but I’ll make sure they’re tagged separately from the bead news. That way if there’s something you don’t agree with, or that you are bored by, you know to skip those entries :)

All that build-up now leads up to a lowly link-share – it’s adorable though, so I hope it’s worth it.

Written? Kitten! – a little online program that rewards you for writing. For everyone who needs motivation to finish a blog entry/article/college essay, this clever gadget will show you a kitten picture every time you complete a set number of words – who wouldn’t be motivated by that? :D

 

Summer’s here in the UK (again…we had a false alarm in the beginning of June) and suddenly the sunlight has fallen on all the joys of a sunny British July. Ice lollies, wildflowers, lemonade*, little black insects that hop a ride on you when you’re outside and then invade your house.

And best of all, strawberries. Little sweet ones. Like these – remember them?

Strawberries - charms

Well, because Summer is finally here, I’m going to celebrate with my first giveaway-blog-hop-design-team-apalooza post. Five entrants will be picked at random to receive four of my strawberry charms (the sizes you receive will be randomly picked) set with antique copper findings. For free, yay!

So what do you have to do to enter? I’m so glad you asked (because otherwise I’d be talking to myself). Here are the rules:

1). Leave a comment here by the 31st July 2012. (This giveaway is open to all readers, regardless of location)

 

2). Post a link to this post to your blog/FB/Twitter/Pinterest account for an extra entry (one extra entry per link posted). If you do this, make sure to come back here and comment with a link so I can add your entry!

 

3). If you’re picked, post a picture with a description of what you did with the charms, and reveal it on the 20th August 2012 with a link to this post and the other entrants.

 

In case you couldn’t tell, this is my first time organizing one of these, so it will be an experiment for all of us. Let’s see how it goes!

 

*I only recently found out that in America, lemonade is not fizzy and clear like our lemonade, but pale yellow and flat. I always wondered how so Americans managed to make lemonade in their own homes, and I guess that explains it!

 

Eeeeehehehehe….Another lampworking post. By the way, I really do giggle like that when I lampwork, because I loves it. Certain steps are becoming easier, and it’s really great feeling like I’m learning something again, doing research and practice, and seeing the improvements (however slight!)

newbie

From left to right –

Gaia encased in clear – I’m really pleased with this encasing because there’s no apparent bleeding of the core glass into the encasing layer. On the other hand, the core glass was meant to be a reactive glass, and instead it stayed a lovely but plain emerald green, and I also used Effetre 004 clear for the encasing; the scummiest clear known to the glass world!

Colbalt Transparent rolled in silver foil with a Pale Blue Transparent encasing – I love this effect, even though there’s less encasing, and more intermingling of the glass! The silver foil has also fumed a bit, I think, where the ‘encasing’ is shallower, but where it’s silvery, it’s lovely.

Colbalt Trans rolled in silver foil with clear encasing – same as above, but the encasing is better except for a few spots where the clear layer had gaps in it, and the base colour was drawn up through them. Quite cool appearance though; I know some people do this on purpose to get a more dramatic effect.

I’m not neglecting polymer clay though – I made a kaleidoscope cane a few days ago and produced these (and as you can see, I may be learning lampworking and kaleidoscope caning, but my photography skills are staying pretty level at the ‘what on earth is that in the picture?!’ stage):

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Abstract

Bezel Beads

And I’ve put them up at Continuum Designs

I’ve mostly stayed away from kaleidoscope (or mirror-image) canes because getting an aesthetically pleasing colour mix *and* mix of components has proved quite challenging. However, I was reading through Carol Simmons’ blog (a master of complex caning) and found an older post about experiments using only a monochromatic colour scheme. So I forgot about colour and stuck to tones of blue, with some white and black, and concentrated instead on putting together the canes – and it really helped, thank goodness.

 

Hahahahahawhee.

Ahem. Sorry, that’s the sound of me getting back into lampworking. Thanks to the lovely June of Beaujolais Beads I had my first play with the torch for around 6-8 months, as well as a go with some presses. It’s really strange but my first beads after the break weren’t absolutely hideous – you’d definitely recognize them as beads, albeit plain ones – but the session I did solo right after that I produced some strange undersea creatures, and wads of chewing gum on mandrels. After a few hours of cursing the torch I went back to it in the evening (it’s easier to see the flame) and finally made one or two beads that I’m pleased with (in the sense that at least they’re not hideous *G*). Why yes, I do have a picture:

And because I’m determined to take you on every step of my lampworking journey (STOP RUNNING AWAY) here is the undersea creature I made (totally on purpose of course):

 
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