Saturday, 29 March 2008

Wet Weekend

The weekend is here at last, I don't even mind that the weather is so rubbish; even though it was only a four-day week at work it felt like a long one, lol. Last night I grabbed a couple of hours to do some making, but for the rest of the weekend I must be good, stay away from my beads and do lots of exam revision instead :( My other half has just bought a new Playstation3 (he's such a big kid) so he'll be indefinitely engrossed in motor racing and shoot-em ups, so at least he won't miss me too much if I've got my nose in my books!

So here are the things I've been made: I've had these labradorite pillow beads for a while, I got them as a free gift with one of my orders from Lima Beads in the US. Although it's pretty difficult to capture it on camera, they have lots of lovely aqua and blue flashes. I have been making lots and lots of bracelets lately, and as I had a longer strand of the labradorite I thought I should make a necklace with these. I've put them with onyx rounds, Karen Hill silver spacers and Swarovskis in Montana Blue - I really love this airforce blue colour.

The other piece I made yesterday was another bracelet, I've had this in progress for some time now, so thought it was time to finish it off. The large beads are Magic Agate, which I thought was a really unusual stone, with yellow, blue and white colouring, and holes that look like little geodes. I'd never heard of this stone before I bought these beads. I've mixed them with faceted citrine rondels, tiny blue goldstone beads which have a bit of sparkle to them, and my usual Swarovski crystals and Karen silver.

The last bracelet is another one I made some time ago, but I've only just got around to taking a picture of it today. It's a bit more delicate than my usual chunky beaded pieces. I've used two kinds of amethyst beads, Cape Amethyst faceted coins and some deeper purple rounds. The 'focal' bead is not very clear in this picture, but it's a Karen silver lentil with a floral pattern.

That's about all from me for now, I best get back to studying...

Monday, 24 March 2008

Happy Easter

Today I've got three new creations to show you which I've made with some of Caroline's beautiful beads. I've got several sets from her which I've had for some time now, waiting to be made into finished pieces, and have been waiting until I have just the right silver and gemstones to finish them off. The first piece is my 'Ghost in the Shell' bracelet made with 'ghost beads', the frit seems to hang in the glass like a ghostly after-image. I've also used what I think are chrysoprase beads (I've had them so long I can't remember what they are). The word chrysoprase is derived from Greek words meaning 'green leek' apparently. I had two beads over from the bracelet, so I made some earrings too.

It's been great to have a four-day weekend and good to finally get some time to spend with my beads (and its still not over yet :). It's been a pretty busy one all in all; I've been 'Auntie Ali' for the weekend, as we've got my other half's 8-year old son to stay. We try to have him come whenever there's a long weekend or school holiday so he can be here for more than just two days; he now lives in Ely which is quite a way away from us, so we can't have him as often as we would like. I have been supervising artistic creations with spirograph and glitter glue this morning ;0)

My day-job has been keeping me pretty busy the last couple of weeks, and I'm also taking an Open University management course which work has sponsored me to do. Up till now all the tutorials have been online, and all my assignments have been submitted electronically. The scary part is the final module is a real life 3-hour exam, which is exactly one month from today - I'm a terrible procrastinator when it comes to things I'd rather not be doing, but luckily I'm pretty good at working under pressure so when I have deadlines for work or whatever I tend to use the adrenaline rush to pull it all together at the last minute. In this case though I think I will need to do some serious revision in advance and not leave it all to the night before, lol.

The final piece I've got to show you today is a necklace, also made with a set of Caroline's beads, which I've had for months, lol. I love this peridot-green colour (not least coz peridot is my birthstone). Although I wouldn't usually wear clothes in this colour, I love it for accessories. These beads were originally going to be another bracelet, but on second thoughts I decided they should be a necklace instead - more scope to add more beads, lol. I've used some beautiful Canadian jade beads, glass pearls, Swarovski crystals, tiny peridot rondelles, rock crystal and sterling and (surprise, surprise!!) Karen silver ;) I've called this one 'Meliai', which in Greek (or possibly Roman) mythology is the name for the dryads of ash trees , on account of its greenness.

I think the rest of today will have to be devoted to serious revision - allowing of course for breaks for part two of 'The Colour of Magic' and 'Lost' which I missed last night to watch 'The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' - not that I'm a telly addict or anything! Hope you've all had a lovely Easter.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Taking the Plunge

I have been dithering over starting a blog for ages, I've never been very successful at keeping a diary, but I guess this this is a bit different. I'm inspired (and on occasion in awe of) the talented and creative people out there whose blogs I have been admiring from the sidelines, and have finally decided to join in and share my own creations with anyone who cares to stop by.

I've been making jewellery on-and-off since I was at school, but I hadn't really done much making for years, until a couple of years ago something made me dig out my stash of seed beads and Native American beadweaving design books. I started making jewellery again as gifts for friends and started getting a few orders for pieces from colleagues at work, and when I started hunting for beads on the internet to boost my supplies, I discovered lampwork glass and all the other beautiful beads and silver from all over the world that is now easily available to people like me. I haven't looked back since ;)

I decided to start posting today, as I've just finished off several bracelets I've in the pipeline for some time now, and took photos of this morning. The picture at the top is a bracelet using some of Caroline Hannon's pillow beads - which look like dragon skin (not that I've seen a real dragon!), Chinese turquoise and pyrite rondelles (I love the rondelles and wish all gemstone beads came in this shape). The central turquoise rondelle is a bead I bought from a lovely lady I met on her stall at a street market last week while I was on a freebie holiday in Spain.

The next one is Peruvian blue opal faceted nuggets, I love the way the stones have depth and inclusions. Not sure what to call this one yet.

The final piece is a bracelet made with Impression Jasper beads. I've called it 'Eau de Nil' for the really subtle blue-green colour of the stone. Apparently 'eau de nil' means 'water of the Nile', I've never been to Egypt but I'd be pretty surprised if the river is this colour today!

That's all from me for now, except to say thanks to those who have encouraged me to get started. Have a good day everyone ;0)