Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Chandelier Set & Two Other Necklaces....

The above is a necklace and earring set using clear glass beads and silver wire. It has turned out spectacularly well - it looks amazing on, especially if you have a tan. The main beads are about an inch long, and they are very smooth and shiny and pick up the light beautifully. The silver wire just seems to make it shine even more, and the earrings compliment it nicely. Not bad for an experiment! The set is £22 + p&p
Still working my way through the new beads as you can see - the above is a necklace and bracelet set using yummy green glass teardrop beads, silver wire and clear glass seed beads. The necklace is slightly longer than a choker, and the beads hang attractively outwards. The green is very pure as the beads are smooth and shiny - we like shiny here!!
Necklace £15 + p&p Bracelet £5 + p&p
Finally a little number using orange and red glass angel fish - the idea is that they look like a little shoal milling about on their gold wire chain. Again this looks far better on than lying on a canvas - I shall have to invest in a display dummy one day! £15 + p&p SOLD

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Happy Horse & Blue Reef Necklace

As you can see, I am getting on with all the overdue projects and having a great time! The above is a painting I have wanted to do for quite a while - those of you who read the newspapers may have seen the photo this is from back in the Spring. I can't use it for any commercial purpose, but I did so want to paint this glorious big horse in the wonderful rearing pose - great practice if nothing else!
This necklace is crocheted with gorgeous cornflower blue wire, and I have used tiny white and pearlescent beads to start with, followed by some really sparkly crystal beads which look like droplets of water (unfortunately couldn't get them to sparkle for the camera!) and culminating in delicate little glass angel fish. My idea for this was that it should look like the tops of waves, with the little fish 'swimming' below. It has turned out very well, and looks far better in real life - the wire is so fine that it doesn't really show to it's best advantage in a photo. This one goes for £20 + p&p

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Blue Crochet Bag

Here is a crochet bag I finished last night. It is made in a paper yarn, which is a lot more robust than it sounds. It feels like J-Cloth before making up and crochets into a sturdy, soft yet firm finish. Similar bags I have made in the yarn have proved satisfyingly stretchy and very strong, able to put up with all sorts of punishment - and believe me I am very tough on my handbags!

Here is a close-up of the stitches used and the finish achieved. It is approximately 8 inches square. This one goes for £15 + p&p

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Latest Painting - Saluki

With all the free time I have now, I have been able to finish this at last. He is painted using watercolour and Derwent Drawing pencils, with a touch of acrylic for the highlights. It is so good to be able to get on with the painting again - it has been very frustrating not having the time or the energy over the past few weeks. Hopefully, especially if this darn rain carries on, I will be able to get a lot of work done during the next 6 weeks - excellent!

I found this in my garden today - how spectacular is that? If anyone can tell me what on earth it is, I'd be grateful. I planted a load of summer bulbs a couple of years ago and I think it was among them, but I cannot remember what I planted. Gardening is a very hit and miss affair for me - if there is a space I'll jam something in and if it grows it grows, if it doesn't then it makes room for something else. I had to restrain myself at the garden centre yesterday from buying a sad banana tree for half price - there is already a large banana plant on our patio and no room for any more. But it looked so dejected, and there were so many lonely looking plants in the bargain corner.........

Antique-look necklace, Tinsel Bracelet & Garden Flowers

I am getting to grips with the huge bag of beads I bought at the bead fair on Saturday - great fun! Some wire I ordered arrived yesterday and as usual they put in a brilliant 'freebie', some antique-look silver plated, so it looked just right to be matched with the
gorgeous Indian lampwork beads I got in a bargain bag, together with
a few clear seed beads. Very simple and it looks aged and like it has a
history! I also made a bracelet using a few bargain grey glass beads which
have a sort of tinsel inside - very pretty and unusual.

Necklace £16 + p&p
Bracelet £8 + p&p

And below just a few snaps of the flowers in my garden - it actually hasn't rained for over 24 hours and I could get out there with the camera. There is some real colour this year - at least the rain has made everything grow to it's full potential.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Noah's Ark Bag

I know it is raining, but honestly I bought this fabric before the floods started! This afternoon I finished the bag that has been cut out for a fortnight waiting to be sewn together. It is fairly voluminous with a circular base and gathered sides, yet when worn on the shoulder it falls into a narrow arc. It has a semi-circular pocket inside and closes with a pair of ties. Fully lined as well - makes a change for me to be so thorough! Not too sure what will happen to this - probably for the craft fair circuit. Anyone interested in buying it here - £10 + p&p

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Tree Frog & Fiery Beads

Computers being computers, the pictures here have been uploaded in chronological order rather than the order I wanted them in, and me being so computer-illiterate, I can't sort them out....
Anyway, the above is the second necklace I made yesterday, using the rather spectacular bright red Indian lampwork beads which have foil inside strung on navy blue wire with little orange glass beads inbetween. The darkness of the wire really sets off the vivid red/gold of the beads. £16 + p&p
Here is my favourite of the day, possibly of the month. Ever since seeing these wonderful little porcelain frog beads I have wanted to make a necklace like this, and since getting the perfect glass leaf beads yesterday, it finally came into being. The large leaf is about 4 centimetres long, and the frog is about 1.5 centimetres. I have hung them on green wire with tiny pink and green glass flowers and dark green leaves which hopefully look like a trailing vine winding up one side of the necklace. Actually on the chain are 3 AB coated green glass beads, just for a little interest before the chain becomes simply wire. £25 + p&p

As is always the way, there were only three of the large leaf beads at the fair yesterday in an oddments basket, so no matter how much I like them, there will only be three necklaces incorporating them unless I can find more somewhere. Oh well, at least they will be a rarity!

Rained all night - thinking the next project might be using a few cubits of Gopher wood and involve gathering pairs of animals.........

Bountiful Beautiful Beads!

Guess where I have just been! This is just a little taster of my purchases today at the Bead'n'Gem fair at Farnham Maltings. Most of the stalls were semi-precious stone beads which were too expensive for my pocket as well as not really being to my taste. But amongst the rest of the stalls I found lots of bargains which I know will get used. The big bag of Indian lampwork beads cost me £2! I just cannot wait to get started, especially now I have such a choice of glass leaves which are crying out for some toucans....

Just as well I have plenty to keep me occupied - the thunder is starting up once again, and we have been warned more torrential rain is on the way. Bob is home as his workplace is a foot under water from yesterday's deluge - all those expensive, beautiful vintage cars up to their knees in stinking brown water. If the water level gets any higher, they are really in trouble!

Friday, 20 July 2007

Last Day of Term...

Hooray, that's the end of the school year, six weeks of holiday! I managed to make it through the day without tears - hard to do when you are saying goodbye to children you have been with for three years. Four of them I have been with for five years as I used to teach at their pre-school. The one thing that nearly finished me off however, was reading the above card from a little girl I have known and taught since she was two. How can anyone not get misty when a seven year old writes that about you all by herself! I shall miss them all, some definitely more than others...

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

More Sea Glass + 3 More Days To Go.....

I spent half of yesterday making hand-made 'good luck' cards for the class I work in - 28 of them! It seemed a good idea when buying the materials in the shop but by the time I had completed 14 of them, plus forgotten one child and had to sit for twenty minutes listing them all and racking my brains to see who I had missed, it began to get tedious! Then I discovered I hadn't got enough card bases as one pack was missing one and I had picked up two packs with less than the others because they were pearlised - aaagh! Luckily I had some little card bases hidden away in my desk from something else and just managed to completed the 28.

I have also finished the teachers' presents - my daughter goes to special school so instead of one or two gifts, I have to come up with six!

So after all that, I could get down to making something a bit more interesting. I have received the wonderful toucan and tree-frog beads, but need to think a bit more about how to incorporate them into a necklace. Instead I used up my final large piece of sea glass and the last of the silver wire to make the above. It is very cool looking - temperature, not attitude - and I am very pleased with the shape of the main pendant and how it has just taken the wire perfectly. This will be £16 + p&p

And finally....three more days to go. Not that I will be free over the weekend as there is a bead fair on Saturday and we plan to hit the Artist and Illustrators's Show on Sunday, but at least they are fun things to do as opposed to work!

Monday, 16 July 2007

Black & Grey Set

Well, I finally had some time in which to get some creative work done yesterday. I spent the afternoon painting and it was so very good to be able to get back to it after so long. I am in the middle of a portrait of a saluki and it is coming along extremely well - sometimes a painting seems to have a life of it's own and you as an artist are just the conduit through which it flows on to the paper. This is one of those pictures - hopefully I should have it finished by the end of the week.

The above is a simple set consisting of a very long string of mixed black and grey wooden beads, pearls and grey seed beads on steel coloured wire, with a silver starfish pendant. The matching bracelet is two strands of the same beads and pearls. Very classy and quite effective worn over a simple shirt or top.

£20 the set, £15 for the necklace, £5 for the bracelet + p&p

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Friday, 13 July 2007

One more week to go....

Oh dear, oh dear, how am I going to last another week? Term does not finish until next Friday and I just can't wait - so many projects I want to get started/finished and I have been unable to get hardly anything done over the past couple of weeks due to the day job together with sheer exhaustion! For anybody not working in education, the end of the school year is a complete nightmare, getting one lot of children ready to move on to 'big' school, preparing for the new intake, dealing with tired and very irritable children (usually so well-behaved..) who seem intent on trying to kill each other for no reason at all, as well as the slew of social events - we are shuffling around at the moment looking hollow-eyed and keeping each other's spirits up by counting the days until the start of the summer holidays. (Six, that's how many, six - would you like to know the hours and minutes too?)

So I have not been very productive this week, although I did finish the above cardigan (at 7 a.m. yesterday morning) which has been a WIP for far too long. It is from a free pattern on the Knitty web site, and is a fantastically easy thing to make as it is knitted all in one piece, the only sewing is the under arm seams. The next knitted item is the lacy skating dress......bit worried about that to be honest!

I have also been churning out gifts for teachers - which I will not show here, but they consist of bracelets using beads chosen by my daughter so we are talking bright, sparkly with definite overtones of pink!!

And in the meantime, there are two paintings crying out to be finished and it is driving me nuts not having the time or the mental state (I'm TIRED) to get on with them. Maybe tomorrow!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Ridiculously Romantic!

Yesterday the first of my ordered novelty beads arrived in the post - a little bag full of china doves, tree frogs and glass elephants. The doves are so sweet and pretty I had to start straight away and spent the whole evening making the above. It consists of two china doves on a V shaped piece of gold wire with green glass seed beads, glass leaves and AB coated pink glass flowers, with a little pink heart dangling from the V. Above this are pink and lilac Fimo roses and more glass leaves and green seed beads. I had planned to go even crazier with the roses but had a bit of technical difficulty, so decided to keep it simpler before I broke something!

I am so pleased with the result and as I have four more doves, there will be some matching earrings and another necklace in the pipeline. £22 + p&p

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Bubblegum Pink!

I just couldn't resist getting this done - I had a couple of hours while watching the Chili Peppers on Live Earth (had to switch off James Blunt though - dull, dull, dull.....) and this was the end result. It is a mixture of large wooden beads, pink and cream glass sead beads, and two cute glass pink elephants, all on gold wire. Perfect for anyone who likes a tipple or two...
£15 + p&p

Future Projects...

I'm very excited by the things I have in the pipeline to make but very frustrated at not having the time to do them. I have just received some super little pairs of beads that I bought from E-bay, in the shapes of birds, fish, and even a couple of pink elephants! I can't wait to start making more kitsch pieces. I also bought a large piece of fabric with a Noah's Ark animal print which I want to make into nice roomy shoulder bags. The piece de resistance (!) are the porcelain beads I have just ordered in the shape of toucans and tree frogs - as you can imagine, my brain is just fizzing with ideas!

However, there is very little time to spare at the moment - the day job just keeps on interfering one way or another. The end of term and school year are a fortnight away and we are so busy getting various things sorted out for the children leaving, the new children starting in September, as well as a slew of farewell/'thank God it's over' parties! If that wasn't enough, I have committed myself to taking my daughter to see Shrek 3 today, going shopping for shoes tomorrow, the garden looks like a jungle after all that rain, not done any painting for ages, the list goes on....

Oh yes, and I've just received a new knitting project from Wear-Downey, which is a company I knit garments for and get paid for doing so. It is a lacy skating dress........hmmm, is that a new fashion or am I kitting out some figure-skater somewhere?

So it may be quiet here for a while..........

Thursday, 5 July 2007

More Sea Glass and a Variety of Purple Beads...

The above is a simple little necklace using a large piece of sea glass (not sure where this came from, it's been sitting in a pile of pretty pebbles at home for ages!) which I have wrapped with green wire (plus a little spiral) on a green wire chain with clear glass seed beads. I'm really pleased with the result and am already planning the next similar necklace for my last large piece of sea glass. What a good excuse for a trip to the seaside! £15 + p&p

This necklace is made with a mixture of purple and gold glass beads, vintage 'pearls', and a beautiful purple glass vintage button as a pendant, all hung on bronze wire. I'm trying to use up all the 'odd' beads in my collection to make room for more - there is a bead fair coming up at the end of the month and I need justification to buy lots of new beads! The necklace is very pretty and the touches of gold, together with the pearls, make it quite glamourous. £20 + p&p

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

All Sorts of Blue Beads

I haven't been making much jewellery the past few days - having a rest and knitting a cardigan instead. However, I was thinking yesterday about all the odd blue beads I have that don't match and how I could use them, and I came up with the above, which is every blue bead you could think of strung on dark blue wire, with a silver heart and a vintage button for good luck! It is very heavy, very opulent and makes a satisfying clinking noise as you walk (I love jewellery that makes a noise - don't ask me why!). So this is £20 + p&p SOLD - that didn't take long!