Saturday, 26 April 2008

Freedom!




At last I feel like my time is once again my own, the exam that I've been spending all my time studying for for the last month was on Thursday, and I think it went OK. I've got a couple of months to wait until I find out how I did, I feel like I'm 17 again waiting for my A-level results - I've even been dreaming about the management models I've been studying - I can't wait for my brain to shift down a gear!

For the most part I've been very good and haven't picked up my beads for the last couple of weeks, except for taking a little bit of time out last weekend to make this bracelet. I had four of these lovely Amazonite with Black Tourmaline beads left, and when I saw these freshwater pearls online I thought they would be the perfect accompaniment.

I can't wait to get back to some serious beading again, I took advantage of the fact that it was Payday yesterday (Caroline knows us so well...) and bought a couple of new sets of lampwork beads too. My beads from Caroline (faux boro - really lovely ;) arrived today - I'm really impressed with the turnaround time and the Royal Mail. I have a second set coming from Izzy next week too, my first from her in a while so I'm excited. Of course I still have a stash of little sets that I haven't done anything with just yet, although I have ideas... I'm waiting for some new wire and crimps to come, and then I can really get going.

Just today I've registered with Etsy and set up a shop. I haven't put anything in it yet, but I think this bracelet may be the first item. It seems like Etsy is a good opportunity to reach a wider audience so I've taken the lead of some of you guys who are there already. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll be back soon with more...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

April (Snow) Showers

Hasn't today been strange here in England? It feels more like the Christmas holidays than the end of Easter. It snowed here last night, and unlike others further south, in Birmingham we woke up to sunshine and the most gorgeous blue skies, with a thick blanket of white across everything. The picture above was taken from my kitchen window, the snow hides all the unsightly mess in my garden, I've been in my house for three years and have only managed a few pots, a not-very-successful arch and a garden shed so far...

It looks so magical when the snow clings to the tree branches. It was all gone by this afternoon, but it's snowing again now, so maybe we'll be treated to another winter wonderland in the morning. It's been such a beautiful day here, shame I had to spend most of it with head in books - I've got an online revision school going on this weekend, so have been hard at it - but keeping myself same with a bit of beading in between ;0)

I managed to sneak the time to make two bracelets last night and today, the first is quite a simple one, using Madagascar Leopardskin jasper beads, black agate and Swarovski crystals. My sister has been selling some of my jewellery for me at her hair salon in Orlando, and between us we have been working out what sells best. It seems that the things that sell first are pieces with more neutral or conservative colours, especially with black or brown beads. I love to experiment with colour combinations myself, and although the more flamboyant pieces sell eventually, I do try to make some pieces in more neutral or classic colour schemes, hopefully without losing my own style in the process.

This second bracelet is made with another set of Caroline's beautiful beads, which she called 'Sunset Pillows' I love the combination of colours that are in these, from opal white to topaz to deep amethyst. I've put them with some amethyst rounds and clusters of pearls, rainbow moonstone and Swarovski sparklies. I think pillow beads may be my favourite shape for lampwork beads :)

I'm off to do some more studying before calling it a day. It's 8.15 and the snow is coming thick and fast outside, so maybe we'll get snowed in an not be able to go to work in the morning - I can live in hope!