About Me

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I am a bit of a hippy at heart, although I am a bit to young to have been a flower child (I was a New Romantic as a teenager). I love the individuality and colourfulness of the arty, hippy style and like to express that love of colour in my jewellery and I seem to be increasingly drawn to nature as inspiration for my beadwork.

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Bit of Stashbusting.

Those of you who also follow Operation Tackle That Bead Stash will already know about our stashbusting beadalong. A few of us from the OTTBS Facebook group have set goals to finish a project by Christmas and just by chance, we have all chosen Laura McCabe projects.

I have had Laura's Embellished Beadweaving for a while but have not made anything yet, so I have chosen her April Showers Necklace. I am not a big fan of working with size 15's but so far it is going okay. Here is a photo of my progress so far.

I am using fewer colours than Laura suggests, I am kind of making up that part as I go along, next up I need to make the Pagoda embellishments before Friday so that I can update my progress over on OTTBS.

Happy Beading!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bubble Flower Earrings

Last weekend I made it my mission to bust my stash of Miyuki drop beads. These are one of my favourite types of beads, but I rarely use them for anything other than spiral ropes bracelets. I decided that it was time to rectify that and came up with this pretty textured flower earring design. They are so tactile. The tutorial is fairly easy t o follow, though I probably wouldn't recommend for an absolute beginner to beadwork as the work is pretty dense toward the end so someone new to beading may have difficulty with weaving in the ends.

Happy Beading!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Everybody's Starry Eyed

Or eared and wristed in this case. I have been have lots of fun with this little design that I first made as a gift for my manager in work. I have lots more ideas and the pattern may be available soon.

Happy beading!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Peacock Feather Earrings

One of my favourite inspirations is the peacock, the colours in their feathers are just so beautiful! I have made a few patterns over the years but have always wanted to design my own pattern and I have finally done it. These earrings use tubular peyote and herringbone. This is now my fourth pattern available in my Etsy shop, very exciting!

Happy beading!


Monday, 29 August 2011

Beaded Acorn Ring

Well sadly life got in the way of my 2 rings a week. A combination of a dental infection resulting in a minor op for me and my mother in law being hospitalised seriously curtailed both beading time and my mojo. Things started calming down a bit last week and I got the beaded ring bug back.

I came up with the acorn bead cap last year and have being trying to find other ways to use it. I wasn't sure if it would work in a ring, but I figured that there is only one way to find out! I really like it and it is wearable, I wore it all one day last week and I think it will hold up really well.

In other news, I am currently having a Bank Holiday Sale in my Etsy shop, use code BHAUG11 for 20% off all tutorials and jewellery from today through til Friday 2nd September.

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My Summer of Rings - Stags Head

I have decided to focus on making and blogging about rings for the summer. I love rings, they are fun and fairly quick to make, you can go as over the top as you want with them and I do wear them quite a lot. I am aiming to make at least two rings a week while trying some new techniques and pushing my skills set.

I am not going to worry too much about wearability, instead I'm just going to have fun!

Everywhere I look lately I seem to see the Stags Head, on cushions, in cross stitch etc, so why not in beads?

I drafted the silhouette for square stitch, it was good practise for increasing and decreasing, the ring band is in 2 drop peyote.

Happy Beading!


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Flower Flare Ring Tutorial

I know I'm not the only one who likes large statement rings! For a while I have been working on the flower flare design and it is finally ready and up on Etsy as a tutorial! The ring is 3 dimensional and comes in two versions, the larger version is not for the faint hearted!


Happy beading!


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Chrysanthemum Tutorial

I finally sat down to write another tutorial and this time it was for the Chrysanthemum Earrings. It is available on both my Etsy & Folksy stores, links below.

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/77071704/pdf-tutorial-chrysanthemum-earrings
Folksy: http://www.folksy.com/items/1951161-PDF-Tutorial-Chrysanthemum-Earrings-?shop=yes

Happy Beading!


Monday, 16 May 2011

Bead Embroidery Obsession!

After years of sticking my fingers in my ears and saying "la, la, la" whenever anyone mentioned bead embroidery, I have finally succumbed! And of course, I am completely obsessed. Some of my Facebook friends finally convinced me to have a go and I am so glad I did. It is really not as complicated as I thought it would be and so versatile. At the moment, I am still exploring circles, you probably already know that they are a favourite of mine.

Peacock Earrings

Purple Daisy Dot Hair Clip

Happy beading!


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Tackling the Bead Stash - My May Goal

Over on Operation Tackle That Bead Stash blog, Clair has introduced a new monthly feature to encourage us all to use up those beads that have been languishing in our stash's. I had a rummage and came across my little stash of Spellbound Bead kits and pulled out this one, which I bought at the Welsh Bead Fair about 18 months ago, so it really is about time I made it! I did start but square stitch is so slow, so I abandoned it.

My kit is in teals and brown's, perfect for the summer, so I am going to try and finish it this month. You can keep an eye on everyones goals etc in this post http://tacklethatbeadstash.blogspot.com/2011/05/bead-busting-monthly.html

Happy beading!


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Quick Project Idea - Teal Blossom Headband

I am growing out my hair at the moment and have been looking for ideas on how to dress it up a bit, particularly headbands. I wanted something right now though, so have been ransacking my craft supplies to come up with something that I could make myself. I found a length of black grosgrain ribbon and wondered how I could dress that up a little bit.

I eventually remembered that I had a spare teal blossom motif left over from when I was making up the kits and thought that would look pretty, so I gathered up some supplies. I used approx 42 inches of ribbon, a blossom motif, some size 11 seed beads and nymo beading thread.

I wanted my motif to be asymmetrical, so I measured 16 inches from one end of the ribbon and stitched on the motif using doubled nymo. I then back stitched on some seed beads for add emphasis.

And that was it, done! Easy peasy, now all I need to do is make sure I get my roots done before I take another close up of the barnet!

Happy Beading!


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Reflections Bracelet Tutorial on OTTBS

Hey gang,

Just in case you haven't seen it, I have posted a new free tutorial on the OTTBs blog today. I've had this beautiful Swarovski crystal ring for a couple of years and really wanted to use it. After a few false starts I decided simple was best and created this pretty bracelet.

Happy Beading!


Monday, 11 April 2011

Beading Kits for the Spring Blossom Pendant!

I am very excited to announce that I now have kits available for 2 different colourways of the Spring Blossom Pendant! I have been dreaming of selling my patterns and kits for years and it so exciting to finally have started down that path! http://www.folksy.com/items/1627265-Beading-Kit-Spring-Blossom-Pendant-Pink-and-Green-Colourway?shop=yes http://www.folksy.com/items/1627381-Beading-Kit-Spring-Blossom-Pendant-Teal-and-Turquoise-Colourway?shop=yes

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Happy beading!


Monday, 4 April 2011

Challenges aplenty.

I was listening to episode 1 of the Bead Circle podcast earlier today and Mandi was interviewing Nancy Zellers. One of the things they discussed was participating in beading challenges/competitions in order to grow as a beader. As a member of Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, I participate in a monthly colour challenge and I know how fun it can be to work with a palette that you may not choose yourself, I thought that I may spread my wings a bit in the next few months and try a few other challenges and as if by magic, 2 came up in my blog feed today, so I thought I would post about them and have a little look around the web for any others I could find.

Ottbs April Moodboard Colour Challenge http://tacklethatbeadstash.blogspot.com/2011/04/april-moodboard.html

Art Bead Scene's April Monthly Challenge http://artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2011/04/april-monthly-challenge.html

Andrew Thornton's Weekly Word http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/2011/04/weekly-word-reflect.html

Bead Maven's Bead Soup Mixer http://beadmavens.blogspot.com/2011/04/bead-mavens-bead-soup-mixer.html

Margie & Me Colour Challenge http://labellajoya.blogspot.com/2011/04/margie-and-me-hollywood-glamour-and.html

I think that is probably enough to choose from right now! I am particularly drawn to Andrew's weekly word challenge as I find it harder to bead to a theme than colours, so I think that will challenge me more, I'm not promising anything mind as I am not even halfway through my OTTBS April challenge yet!

Happy beading!


Sunday, 3 April 2011

New Beading Podcast

I knit as well as bead and I'm totally addicted to knitting podcasts. They are just the trick to get me through a mountain of ironing or to drown out the sounds of a busy office when I am trying to concentrate on some analysis work. I have always been a bit puzzled to why they haven't taken off quite so much in the beading world, I have even contemplated doing one myself but a) I don't have the time and b) I have a strong welsh accent and talk at the rate of knots so I may be unintelligible to anybody who lives more than 10 miles away from me! So I was really excited today when The Lone Beader tweeted about the Bead Circle podcast! It is pretty new, only on episode 2 which I have just listened to. I enjoyed it and hope there will be many more! Go check it out, http://beadcircle.com/

Friday, 25 March 2011

Total Cuteness!

I recently did a swap with Katie from Mad Brilliant Ideas on Folksy for this gorgeous munster. It's for my son's birthday and I can't wait to give it to him! The toy is gorgeous and the certificate is completely adorable! Go visit her here http://www.folksy.com/shops/MadBrilliantIdeas

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My First Pattern for Sale!

I am very excited to announce that after many years of wanting to design patterns for sale, I have just listed my 1st one on Etsy!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/70723662/pdf-beading-tutorial-spring-blossom I am sure it won't be my last! It was a lot of fun to design and write the pattern, although the technical issues drove me nuts!

Happy beading!


Monday, 21 March 2011

Speed beading in circles.

I have a craft fair on Saturday and I always like to have new stock to take, I left it a bit late for anything too elaborate so I decided to make some triple circles and use them as pendants instead of earrings. I am really loving these peyote circles at the moment. They allow me to play with colour and there seems to be an endless way to use them.

I made these 3 pendants this morning, my neck is still sore!

Happy Beading!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sweet Spring.

This months moodboard challenge on Operation Tackle that Bead Stash is lovely soft pink, cream and green, perfect for spring. With the weather gloriously sunny & crisp here in South Wales, it wasn't to hard to be inspired!

I always seem to have a lime green fetish at this time of year, so I dug out these matte ab 11's and used a cream opaque to soften the look. I love netted bracelet bases, they are so versatile and supple. With this one I added a picot fringe which ruffles the edges of the bracelet very prettily and made a little pink flower with some swarovski crystals.

In keeping with the start of a new season, I have started a new craft! I have become obsessed with embroidery after finding the Feeling Stitchy blog on Friday. I will blog about my progress later this week.

Happy beading!


Saturday, 19 March 2011

New Free Ring Tutorial On OTTBS

Today I spent some time writing up a tutorial for this simple ladder stitch ring that uses up those little bits and bobs left over from larger projects and posted it up on the Operation Tackle That Bead Stash blog.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Working on my photo's.

One of the things I have struggled with most since starting to sell my work is product photography, particularly lighting issues and staging. Last weekend was quite sunny so I thought I was on to a winner, however the photo's came out very harsh looking with a lot of shadows. After sulking a bit, I had a think about how I could improve them and I remembered
this excellent article by Blue Forest Jewellery http://blueforestjewellery.blogspot.com/2010/03/photography-tips-from-non-professional.html

My dining room has a big bay window which gets a lot of sun, I placed a piece of white card on the dining table and propped up another piece of card (I didn't have anything more transparent)vertically behind it to try and eliminate shadows. I set up a tall white coffee mug and hung a pair of earrings of it. The camera was set to macro and I turned the flash off and I snapped and snapped and snapped, lol.

The photo's came out quite dark but that was soon sorted out by adjusting the exposure in my photo editing software. I am quite happy with this pic and am actually hopeful that I may soon have consistently decent photo's!

Happy beading!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day to Me!

The husbeast and I aren't very romantic but today we did have the day together while the small one was in school and popped to Cardiff. We had lunch in Jamie Olivers which I have been really wanting to go to, the queues are usually huge but today we were lucky!

I also popped into Crystals and Ice and bought some lovely new seed beads! I do have quite a stash already but lately I have been making lots of patterned peyote cuffs and really wanted to expand my colour palette. I'm especially loving the zingy chartreuse green on the end, I always seem to buy that colour at this time of year, I think it reminds me of spring!


Saturday, 12 February 2011

A Teeny Tiny Chair!

I've been beading for quite a while and have often fancied trying sculptural 3d work, but always shied away from it as I was a bit intimidated! I mentioned wanting to try it on Facebook a couple of days ago and got egged on by my crafty friends! I thought it was best to start with something small and relatively simple. So here is my teeny, tiny chair made from Miyuki 11 seed beads and cylinder beads, using peyote and herringbone stitch.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Handmade Valentines - Free Brick Stitch Heart Pattern.

I'm not a terribly romantic person generally, hubby and I don't go a bundle on Valentine's Day, we usually just buy each other our favourite bar of chocolate (Bounty for him, Cadbury's Caramel for me) and cook a meal together. However, I have been influenced by the many heart projects that I have found on the internet recently, so this week's blog theme is Handmade Valentines.

To start us off, here is a free pattern for a brick stitch heart that I posted on Operation Tackle That Bead Stash yesterday. The heart is designed with delica's in mind but you can substitute Japanese 11's if you prefer. You can use it as a pendant, brooch or make a few and link them into a bracelet or a necklace.
Hope you like it!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In the mood for Purple & Gold.

The January moodboard challenge on OTTBS was purple and gold. Wonderful, I thought, no problem, I have loads of purple and gold seed beads in different sizes. I know, I thought, I'll make lots of lovely peyote circles, using gold for the outside beads and different purples on the inside and then I'll sew them all up and make a lovely necklace. Simple.

Well, it may not have escaped your notice that the piece above is not in fact a circular peyote necklace but a bracelet using netting and right angle weave. I sewed up one of the circles in the wrong colour order and because of the way I constructed it I couldn't rip it out without frogging the whole necklace! Grr!

I sulked for a week but finally bucked myself up and made this bracelet using metallic size 4mm firepolish beads and size 11 gold seed beads.