Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Autumn 2009

The last time I managed to update this blog it was mid-summer, and I was talking about my summer show and looking forward to starting a new job. It's now four months on, well and truly Autumn, and I'm thinking about Christmas already!


The new job is going well, and I'm not the new girl anymore, which is always a good feeling. There's lots of traveling at the moment, so less time than I'd like for jewellery-making, but I have had lots of time on the train thinking up new design ideas, and I've got a week off soon to try and realise some of them ;)



So in the absence of any brand new jewellery, here are a couple of pics of some earrings I made earlier ;) ~ alternate versions of my silver hoop and glass disc design, featuring lampwork glass by Caroline Cash of Crafted Gems and clusters of beautiful gemstones and pearls. I really enjoy making this design, so these may not be the last incarnation...

Sunday, 21 June 2009


So it's been a while... and I've been busy as usual. I'm moving to a new day job in 3 weeks time and so desperately trying to wrap everything up where I am at the moment. But I've still had time for jewellery and last weekend was the Leammington Peace Festival, where I had a stall along with the gals from an arts collective: Sent 2 Coventry, who I have started to do craft fairs & events with. Julia makes the most amazing jewellery from buttons, Beth recycles all sorts of things to make jewellery and accessories, Janice and Emma G are artists and Emma O is a soft sculptor and sells (among other things) amazing monsters made of fluffy fabric (the hats are courtesy of Emma ;).


The weather was fantastic and the atmosphere was brilliant,
and people were buying my jewellery, which was the icing on the cake for me ;)

I
think it's quite a challenge to get a stall looking enticing enough for people to come and buy, and each time I do a show I try to put into practice ideas or lessons learned from the last one. I've got a few new jewellery display bits and bobs, (bracelet bars and necklace busts), I just need to get my earring display right next time!


I sold a few lampwork and silver pieces (including my favourite 'Rainbow Sunset' bracelet) but I also I did really well with silver plated charm bracelets, which I can price a bit cheaper than the sterling silver jewellery. I don't have these for sale in my webshops, but I do take them out when I do shows. I have another event next Saturday, so I'm madly making more of them this week as my stock was seriously depleted last weekend - not that I'm complaining! Of course I've nearly spent all my takings on new beads already... so now I'm stalking my postman waiting for my new sparklies to arrive ;)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Wire Wrapping

I've been trying a bit more wire-wrapping lately, and these earrings were the catalyst for several other pairs I've made since. This is a design by one of my Plurk buddies, Lotta of Silverknuten who asked for volunteers to try out her tutorial. I jumped at the chance and here is the end result. I'm really pleased with how they turned out so now I need to scribble some designs of my own and get going. It should be interesting, seeing as I don't ususally work from a drawn design but just go with the flow. I think for this sort of design, though I need to work out where it's going before I start wrapping!
If you fancy having a go at these yourself, Lotta has the tutorial up for sale on her Etsy store here, but if wire-wrapping isn't your thing, she has the finished article in her shop too ;)

Friday, 15 May 2009

South Paw Studios: ETT Shop of the Week

















I know it's nearly the end of the week, but there's still time for me to get in a quick post about the Etsy Twitter Team shop of the week: South Paw Studios. I really love the jewellery in this week's shop, simple chic and elegant. The artist behind these lovely things is Katy Mims, a self-taught jewellery designer from Toledo, Ohio, in the US. I really like the way she combines her beads and silver, these two bracelets with freshawater pearls and Bali silver beads are great examples of her work.
Check out her shop if you like her style, Katy has a special offer running this week too: 15% off your TOTAL order plus free worldwide shipping. Enter code "EtsyTwitter" in Message to Seller and all discounts will be refunded promptly via Paypal!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

LOLCats...

Totally non-bead related (although I suppose string might be a tenuous link!) I just had to post this picture from the LOLCATS / I Can Has CheezBurger website. I laughed out loud ;) my cat Black Bat is a bit like this pair ~ my boyfriend and I have decided he's probably the philosopher rather than the dummy, LOL.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

A New Blue Treasury



I got lucky today and snagged a Treasury West on Etsy, so loaded it up with goodies made by some of the lovely ladies (at least I'm assuming they are all ladies, I could be wrong!) from the Etsy Twitter Team. All in shades of turquoise, aqua and teal blues. It's up until Tuesday evening, so please give it some love if you can!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Earrings & Things

To end the post-less spell I thought I'd pop in a quick post to show you some of my latest creations. I've been pretty busy lately with my non-jewellery work; I've been offered a new job which starts in July and so there's lots of finishing up to do in my present job to leave it in a fit state for a successor! I have also been working up to a 3-day craft fair, which happened last weekend (relatively successful and great fun ;) so not much time left for blogging.

As you can see I've been experimenting with wire-wrapping and oxidising, and I'm quite pleased with the results! I am going to try and get around to listing these new earrings on my shops in the next couple of days too ;)

I hope you are all having a good week so far.
Ali

Friday, 17 April 2009

L'Elephant Rose - Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week

Hi everyone, this is just a quickie post to do my bit for the Etsy Twitter Team shop of the week, L'Elephant Rose. I love the name of this shop, and the owner has some sweet items for sale too. The first pair of earrings caught my eye; I think they are pretty original, incorporating fabric, beads and chain. The second pair are just lovely colours, aqua and cream always does it for me ;)




I've got some new jewellery of my own I want to share soon, so more regular posts are planned ~ but then again I always say this and it doesn't always happen ~ still I'm going to try a bit harder ... so watch this space!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

New Jewellery & Awards


Hi everyone, it's a beautiful day here and I've got some time at last to catch up with things non-work ;)

I finished off a couple of new pieces last weekend ~ their titles are both names of songs by Tori Amos ~ can you tell what I was listening to on my iPod? Icicle, Icicle is a rock crystal focal with cluster of icy blue and silver gems and pearls and Yes, Anastasia is a necklace with a soft pink smooth rose quartz briolette on a chain of rose quartz and rustic crackle aquamarine rounds and some really cool shapped black blister pearls. I oxidised this one too. The third picture is still a work in progress. The bracelet has already gone back with my sister for sale in her Orlando hair salon, and I'm working on the earrings this weekend. I love the red fossil coral with the creamy pearls ;)


And despite being such a bad blogger I have been given two awards so now I must pass on the love ;)

Firstly thanks so much to Elaine of ChatElaine Jewellery, a fellow bead fanatic, who has passed on the 'Let's be Friends' award, and this is what it's all about:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

And so to pass this on to 8 other bloggers who (among others) have become my online friends over the last year or so since I've been blogging:

Brandi - Brandi-Girl
Caroline - Crafted Gems
Deb - Crysallis Creations
Janine - Cherished Trinkets
Jo - Gemheaven
Mandie - Jewellery Craft
Catherine - La Perle
Veryan - Beady Pool

Thanks ladies you all keep me smiling ;)

And last but not least I have another award, which I really should have blogged about long before now, received from Brandi
apparently for just being lovely ;) which I'm really very touched by.
And the rules for this award are...

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

So the 7 people I've chosen for this one are (no apologies if some of you have received this one already, but no obligation to pass it on ;)...

Sharon - Mana Moon Studios
Tina - So What's New Today?
Laura - Beads by Laura
Clare - Beads by Clare Scott
Izzy - Adventures in Glass
Elaine - ChatElaine Jewellery
Vicky - Swiss Side Jewellery

Well that's probably more than enough from me for one day, hope you are all having a great weekend ;)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

All of a Twitter ~ Shop of the Week

I can't quite believe I am managing two posts in one week, but I guess I must be on a roll! A couple of weeks ago I joined the Etsy Twitter Team, basically a group of Etsy sellers who use Twitter to communicate and promote their work. The Team has a 'Shop of the Week' feature ~ which the rest of the team commit to promote through their own blogs, Twitter and other online forums. I think it's a great way to to give each other a boost and to find some great new items too. This week's shop is Angel Kisses Jewelry ~ a family collective of Michelle, her mother Sherry and sister Annette.

Angel Kisses jewelry is all about making individual, one-of-a-kind pieces using gemstones and glass beads and semi-precious metals. I love the textures and colours of their creations, these here are a couple of my favourites.

Even better, this week Angel Kisses are donating 10% of all proceeds from sales to support HIV Positive women in Addis Kidan, Ethiopia, through the Good Samaritan Organization, with which Sherry is personally involved. She is due to travel to Ethiopia next week to visit the women who receive the support from this charity. Go check them out!





Sunday, 1 March 2009

Against a Dark Background

Once again it's been ages since I posted, but as the saying goes, better late than never! There always seems so much to do and not enough hours in the day to do them all. I've got lots to say, but I'll try to keep it short and sweet (for those of you whose blogger reader list is anything like mine !) Firstly 'hi' to all my new followers and thanks so much for taking an interest in my blog ;o)

Since my last post I've been investigating the forums online and thinking about promoting myself better online. I've signed up to Twitter (& Plurk too) and am now a member of the Etsy Twitter Team. If you are there too come and say hi!
I've also set up an Artfire account and am on the verge of listing there ~ I've not done much with my shops lately and need a real kickstart I think!

I've not been very prolific since Christmas jewellery-wise, but I've got lots of new ideas. Still I've finally managed to finish a couple of pieces, including these necklaces here. The first is one I made for myself with beads by Isabelle Anderson of
Flame & Glass, I just love her beads so much. The second is a necklace I need to list, featuring a gorgeous set of beads by Clare Scott. I've had these for ages but was waiting for the right blue beads to go with them. These Peruvian blue opals did it for me.

The last one is a necklace I've been making for ages and features beads by American lampwork artists JavaBead. They names these lovely boro beads 'Arabian Nights' so I have stuck with the theme and decided to call this necklace 'Sheherazade'. I've used amethysts, iolite, aquamarines and pink sapphires to bring out the colours in the glass.


And so for the post title... I decided recently that my photos needed a little perking up, and I discover it is much easier to get a good picture with a dark background! I paid my local garden centre a visit and came away with a black sandstone slab and a slice of slate, and I've made a little set up with these and some lovely slightly shiny deep grey paper I had in my stash... I know it's not the most original of ideas, but I hope it does more justice to the beads than my cream ground did before. 'Against a Dark Background' is also a great story by one of my favourite sci-fi authors, Iain M. Banks. I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing ;o)

I have more (including an award I need to acknowledge ~ thanks Brandi, I know I'm rubbish but I promise I haven't forgotten;). It probably deserves its own post, so I'll save it for next time.

Thursday, 15 January 2009


I started the New Year on a great note ~ with my first Etsy Treasury ;) It made the front page too, and although I missed seeing it there lucky for me Jo of Gemheaven was in the right place at the right time and captured a screen shot for me (** thanks Jo **). I haven't really made a proper list of new Year's resolutions for 2009, but I guess one of them would be to do more with 'All About the Beads' on-line and off and I guess Etsy is a good place to start (and making treasuries is fun too ;) I should try to keep up with my Blog a bit more too, but better not promise too much as I know what I'm like!

I don't have any new work of my own to show at the moment, I made a few commission pieces just before Christmas which I heard yesterday went down very well with their recipients (phew!), but I'm currently on somewhat enforced bead holiday. I had decided over Christmas that while I had a couple of weeks off work I would do some reorganisation at home and swap over our second & third bedrooms ~ the idea being to give my BF's son a larger room and more space for his toys and to play for when he comes to stay and to move my desk / jewellery workspace (and massage couch) into the smaller of the two rooms. It would also mean that I could finally get around to decorating the small room and lay a floor over the bare boards, which I've been trying to do for a while. I have a lovely pale aqua colour for the walls and had picked a laminate floor from Ikea, and was pretty excited about reinventing the space BUT when I came to lay the floor the Ikea boards were just not cutting it - the floor boards are just too uneven and the new floor doesn't click together properly as a result :( So I'm going with Plan B come payday, when I can afford to get some better quality boards from B&Q...

In the meantime, all my beads and tools are boxed up and waiting for the new room to be ready - I'm itching to get them out again and thinking it's probably time to go back to a tray in front of the telly until I can get my bench up and running, I just don't think I'll get away with bolting my anvil to the coffee table or hammering silver through Eastenders ;)

So in the absence of any new creations of my own, I've posted some pictures of the lovely things I bought on Etsy over Christmas with some money my lovely sister Kathryn put in my Paypal account as a pressie ;)


The first is a necklace made by Brandi of Catie's Blue ~ I loved it when she first posted a picture on Flickr, and so I treated myself. Just waiting for it to arrive, it should be here any day now :)









The second thing is another piece of jewellery, this time a bracelet made by Charlene Serdan in Canada. I just love what she does with beads and how she combines colours in her bracelets and necklaces - the hardest part was choosing my favourite one!


This one is something I couldn't resist getting for my sister ~ she's Ashley the Angora Sweater Rabbit, made by the lovely Felicia of Fluffy Flowers in Macon, Georgia. She has a great knack of making the cutest creatures with personalities ~ and all out of recycled sweaters. My other half can't understand why I would pay money for 'a piece of old jumper' which makes me laugh, but these are so sweet I just can't resist. (I have one of my own I bought last year: Thomas Tillerman~Pirate Sweater Cat!)

And the final picture is a print that I've bought from Courage My Love also in Canada. I spotted this one day on an Etsy treasury that made front page, so getting our work out there at the forefront definitely has it's payback. I love the image and the idea of this picture, and the colours will be perfect for my new workroom, the walls are a paler version of the middle teacup ;)