Friday, 13 June 2008

Peace Out!

Last weekend I had some of my jewellery on sale at the Leamington Peace Festival. A couple of fellow jewellery makers I met at a market I did just before Christmas invited me to share their stall 'Sent to Coventry' - an artists' collective. I They are lovely and I'm really pleased they asked me to join them for this event. As well as selling jewellery we had kids face painting on our pitch, and the girls got me joining in, which helped to swell my profits and was great fun. Having never done face painting before I think I picked it up pretty quickly - at least the kids went away with a smile (and lots of sparkly glitter, which is always good). I now feel like something of an expert - I must have painted at least 50 faces.
The girls had also agreed to run a kids workshop making bracelets with pipe-cleaners and beads, so I did a stint at that too. I sold a few pieces of jewellery, and gave out lots of cards, so there may be some follow-up from those. The weather held too, which was great - several people there told me how this time last year the park where it's held was distinctly waterlogged - I'm very glad the same scenario was not repeated this time around :o) I've been feeling totally knackered this week at work but it was definitely worth it.

Becasue of the festival I had a big push last week to make up some pieces that have been going round in my head for a while. The first two pictures are of bracelet and matching earrings made with another set of Caroline's beads, some glass pearls, glass discs and some swarovski crystal hearts and butterflies - very girlie ;0)

I had a couple of amazonite with pyrite / tourmaline inclusions left and decided to make one of them into this bracelet, the cubes are amazonite, the rondelles pyrite and the little pillows are labradorite (one of my fave stones). I just love the colours in this one - I've called it From Grey Skies to Blue :)

The last two pieces, a bracelet and a necklace both use some freshwater pearl nuggets. The bracelet focal bead is coffee bean jasper, which has some great markings. I've used vintage rose Swarovski crystals, garnet rondelles and African opals along with the pearls.

This necklace is freshwater pearls with blue goldstone rondelles and Thai silver. I like how this one has turned out, quite chunky :)

Finally, I just want to say thanks to Caroline of Crafted Gems for choosing me as one of five people to award the Sweet Home Blogger Award - I'm very honoured. I'll be passing this one on when I next post too :0)

Monday, 2 June 2008

Lovely Lampwork

I've finally got around to a new post, with some pictures of my latest creations. I've had a number of sets of lampwork beads at home waiting for the right 'accessories', particularly the dragonfly clasp, which I have had my eye on for ages but I have been waiting to justify an order (from Shiana - Karen Hill silver suppliers in Thailand). I have a new incentive to get busy making, as I have been offered some space on a stall at the Leamington Peace Festival, which is happening in a couple of weekends' time. This will be the first fair I'll have done since the very cold and not-very-busy-at-all Birmingham Flea Market I did just before Christmas, I'm hoping this will be a bit more lucrative and a lot warmer! I also realised I need to upgrade my packaging and display - to be honest it won't take much to improve on the current state of affairs, lol.
So today I've ordered a few display items which I'm hoping will do the job, and I've found a company that is apparently the only UK company that supplies only recycled gift and jewellery packaging - called The Tiny Box Company. I've gone for bright blue boxes :)

I've made three new bracelets over the last week, all using sets of Caroline Hannon's beads. The first one is my first attempt at using silver wire instead of beading wire - you can probably tell the inspiration for this comes from Jo at Gemheaven - I have long been admiring similar creations she has made and wanted to see if I could recreate the wire effects. This was also my first attempt at wire-wrapping briolettes - the hole was too small for my smallest gauge silver wire, so I had to get a bit creative with beadalon and crimps underneath the wrapping. I just love the colours in these beads (luna glass I think) when I first saw them they reminded me of sunsets in Spain when we were there earlier this year.

I've had this second set of beads for absolutely ages, and have been waiting for the clasp to arrive - this is one I think I'm going to keep (I purposely made the one above too small for my wrist so I am not tempted to keep it for myself - I can't justify keeping them all!). This bracelet is made with citrine rondelles and amazonite chips.

The last bracelet is another using Caroline's beads - very neutral and organic, but with a few specks of pale blue colour, which i think really pops out when the aquamarine rondelles are with them. The tiny creamy coloured beads are African opal, and I have used Picasso jasper rondelles as little charms, as the colouring is very much like the glass beads (without the blue).

I'm really on a roll at the moment, I have another bracelet and matching earrings in progress, pinks and purples and butterfly crystals, which I'm hoping to finish this week if I get some time - watch this space...