Friday, 26 September 2008

Knitting and Stitching shows

I've been moving house and been without broadband but hope to get blogging again soon. I'm just back from the knitting and stitching show in Birmingham where I was book signing on the Sew Good Book stand and running workshops. If you are going to any of the other K&S shows this year come along and say hello - or even better have a go at one of the workshops!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Bead Fair

What a fabulous day I had at the Perth Bead Fair. Maxine at Bead Crazy had a space for me to demonstrate on her stand and it worked out really well for both of us. I sold lots of books and demonstrated one of the necklaces from the book I'm working on at the moment using beads and materials from her shop. The most popular material I was using was the polyester chain - this new chunky chain is lightweight and available in a range of fabulous colours. It's £4.99 for a metre length - I recently bought Beadalon polyester chain for three times the price so it's a bit of a bargain!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

fireline braided bead thread

I've been making a tubular herringbone stitch necklace and decided to use Fireline braided bead thread instead of Nymo or Superlon for a change - mainly because it was smoke grey and suited the beads.  I have to say the fireline is a much better thread for bead stitching as even working with a 1.5m length it hasn't tangled or knotted once. the thread is also much easier to secure as it is not as slippy as Nymo.  I'm using size D for size 11 beads and bugles and am able to go through each bead several times. 

Monday, 4 August 2008


I've just had flyers designed for the bead fair at the end of August. I'm demonstrating on Bead Crazy's stand and will have my new book 'the Beader's Bible' on sale. Maxine, the owner of Bead Crazy has had a look through the book and thinks it's fantastic so I hope you will too! the book isn't actually published until November but you have the opportunity to buy it in advance at the Bead Fair and it will be signed! Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Scottish Bead Show

I was over in Perth yesterday at Bead Crazy a fab bead shop. Maxine the owner has collected together a fantastic range of beads and I bought lots for my next book. Everytime I go there are lots of new beads which is great. I'm going to be demonstrating at the Scottish Bead show at the end of August for Bead Crazy  as well as signing copies of my new book - the Beader's Bible so hope to see you there!

Monday, 21 July 2008

illusion necklaces

One of the challenges of writing books is that you are always stretching yourself and researching to make things you haven't done before. So I've been learning how to make an advanced illusion necklace and it seems that there is no 'correct' method. I've looped the thread through some beads but need glue to secure. I have used gel superglue for simple necklaces where I thought crimps were too invasive but found the beads didn't stay secure for a long time. Some research on forums this time came up with a trade version of superglue which has good reviews and people who've used the glue say it lasts for years and years. It's called Hot Stuff super 't' and the bottle has a yellow label. I'm please so far and surprised that the nozzle hasn't clogged  - a major problem with retail superglue. 

Friday, 18 July 2008

how time flies

it's incredible that 10 days have passed since I last wrote - I've been busy with a few cardmaking projects for the magazines but also managed  get the step photography done for the advances of my next book. I'm using a new photographer, Ally Stuart, as I've moved up to Scotland and it's easier well less travel! I found Ally when I was asked to find a photographer nearby for the step photography in the cardmaking magazines. If you look at Quick Cards and Cardmaking and Papercraft step pics you'll see my hands! It's quite an exhausting day as I have to 'make' other designers cards as well as my own but things usually go fairly smoothly.

Anyway back to the book - we've decided to follow up the Beader's Bible with a jewellery book - the projects are mainly necklaces and I think the theme of the book is really great. I'll let you know a bit more nearer publication...  Last week I spent a lot of  time on the internet looking for exciting beads and found some stunning huge resin beads from Kars. I've used two on a necklace I designed yesterday and will definitely be using more at a later stage.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

It's been a busy week or two as I've been sorting out a new kitchen and carpets for my mum's house but luckily that has all gone smoothly and I can get back to work! I'm currently working on a new beading book for David and Charles which focuses on necklace styles so I've spent most of today searching for beads and have found some gorgeous big resin beads on the Kars website. I thought their metal beads were also beautiful and have ordered lots of different styles. I find it quite difficult choosing beads online, it's hard to judge the size and colours and I usually end up buying more than I need, or else not enough and have to reorder but the advantage is the huge variety. I've got a good idea what I'm going to do for each necklace - it's just a case of collecting suitable beads and then playing about until the design comes together.

Monday, 30 June 2008

New website

My new website is up and running and I'm absolutely delighted. I've wanted a website for a long time - not just a front page but an interactive site where people can find out what work I've been doing, buy books and those who have my books can contact me if they have any queries or have problems sourcing materials for a particular project. It will also be a site where beaders and crafters can get information and a few tips as well.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

New website

My new website is on its way, keep watching this space for more information.