Thursday, 4 August 2011

Back to sunny!! Scotland

Back home and sorting out stuff from the holiday today - it's a bit of a shock with the rain today but will get  on with catching up with work. Dawn loves the crochet and knitted jewellery so I'm going to get started with other pieces ready for the autumn workshops. Will keep  you posted later this week.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Precious Sparkle Beads - workshops

I've been busy on holiday here in Illinois - I brought beads over from Precious Sparkle Beads and have been busy creating some projects for workshops in the Autumn. Dawn fancied some knitting and crochet and I think the semi-precious beads have worked really well. I'm back home in about a weeks time and then will get dates sorted out. Here are the projects - get in touch if you'd like to find out how to make them.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Fimo jewellery designer - Karyn Kozak

Went back to the Geneva Art fair yesterday and spotted this amazing Fimo jewellery designer: Her colours and the patterns she created were just amazing - I took some images of earrings on my phone but not too clear so this pic of a bracelet and necklace are from her website.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Nuno felt dress

spent the day at an amazing art fair in Geneva Illinois and spotted this fabulous dress. I think it is made by the nuno felting technique but I'd have to ask my friend Ellie what she thinks.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Beaded bag

Out and about today in a small town nearby - Geneva, Illinois. I spotted this gorgeous beaded bag in a small antique shop. just loved the simplicity of the pattern. I think I'll have to take my proper camera with me as the phone image isn't quite clear enough.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Hat party

they do things differently in the US so yesterday I'm making a hat for a hat party that my sister-in-law is hosting. I decided to make a paper hat from newspaper but Jackie gave me a charity hat and said I could do what I wanted! Paper flowers made from strips of newspaper, fringed and rolled then twisted strips wrapped in wire and shaped around a pencil. Finished off with some pipecleaners. This is actually me before the party starts - heaven forbid I have a drink of two!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Great jewellery designer

Visited a French market in Wheaton, Illinois and found a local jewellery designer called Seize the Bead. Her jewellery designs  were just fabulous and I'd love to have got a bit closer but have to be satisfied with this pic of her stall. Choice of beads, colour mixes and way she put the quite simple but stylish jewellery together was fabulous. I especially liked how she used a square filigree stamping and bent three corners in to enclose a Swarovski Rivoli Chaton.

Friday, 15 July 2011

crochet with semi precious beads

I'm on holiday near Chicago but brought some fab beads with me to try out some crocheting and knitting. Today I was using purple drop beads and tiny round orange beads from Precious Sparkle Beads I used a fine lilac wire - 30 swg and a 3.5mm crochet hook. I'm thinking 5 strands the same and then plaiting together.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bead Technique videos

I bought myself a video camera last week and am really looking forward to getting technique videos on my website. David and Charles my publisher has morphed into F&W media and so we're all trying to become more media savvy. I'm also hoping that some of the videos will go on the E-bead website too. .
I'll start working my way through the basic techniques in the Bead Jewellery Bible but if there is anything anyone would like demonstrated just contact me through the blog or my website:

I'm off to the States and the end of this week and so will try to keep updating the blog and hoping to find all sorts of goodies in the US to share.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

working for magazines

I've been really busy the last week and a half doing papercrafting projects for Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine and Quick Cards magazine. I find it hard doing the blog then because I feel it should all be top secret until the magazines come out but then days go by and I haven't written anything!

I'll need to find a way to incorporate what I'm doing every day into the blog.

Meanwhile I've also been cataloguing and photographing my mother's commemorative ware. She's got a huge collection and it's time to get it sold. I think this is the oldest piece a beautiful plate from Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Coffee and knitting

Met up with some friends for coffee, knitting and a chat - it's a bit of a luxury taking time out of the working week but there's always something to learn as we all bring some knitting. I'm knitting myself a cardigan and it's looking like I might actually finish this one and wear it!

Hostess was Ellie and she's still buzzing after a very successful East Neuk festival. Her new venue The Wash House is up and running with lots to see and fab things to buy. Check out her blog too - she's much better at it than me!

Christmas quilling

It may be scorchio outside but I'm in and creating quilled snowflakes for Quick Cards magazine for their first Christmas issue. I found that the quilling tool didn't make tight enough centres so I've trimmed the top off a sewing needle, stuck it into a cork and now getting much better results.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Beader's Bible on Kindle

The Beader's Bible is now available on Amazon Kindle - how cool is that?

It is so full of information about all sorts of beading techniques - not just jewellery. So if you've stacks of beads and don't know quite what to do with them this could be the book for you.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Perfect for proms

I was busy on my way back from London using some of the fab stones and settings from I used fine wire (0.315mm) to sew some navette stones and settings together with bicones to create a flower shape. this got tied to the pretty silver comb by wrapping wire around and over between the stones and then other stones and settings fastened in the same way. makes a really zingy hair setting for a party or prom but if you did it all clear or clear AB crystal it would look stunning for a bride.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

meeting the E-beads team

This is me with Annabel the owner of E-beads.

Just back from London Jewellery Week. It was a great day demonstrating for E-beads and using the fabulous Swarovski Crystals and settings available on their website:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

London Jewellery Week

I'm just getting ready to go down to London Jewellery Week. I'm demonstrating for E-Beads at Hatton Garden on Sunday. It's on from 11-5 and hope to see you there. I'm booksigning Crystal Jewellery Creations and showcasing my next book out in July.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Instant knitted cushions

doing my accounts today but thought you might like to see my weekend project:
I couldn't find cushions that were the right colour and fabric for my newly decorated bedroom but found a knitted throw - absolute bargain at under £8 from Dunelm Mill - then cut it up and sewed to make two cushion covers. I used the ribbed border as a feature flap so no need for buttons, zips or any tricky closures.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Penny Black cards

I'm busy today making some designs for Penny Black Inc. Shaida had asked me to become a designer for them and it's taken a while to clear my slate but now have a few designs made up ready for my introduction. I'm trying out a bit of gold leaf to highlight cards today. I got so inspired I even made a card for my sister-in-law for her birthday.
It's a quick technique - just draw lines and details with a quickie glue pen where you want the gold leaf to go then allow to dry till tacky (it'll change from blue to clear) Lay on the gold leaf and after a few minutes. dab with a stiff brush and sweep away the excess.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Innocent smoothie campaign

Knit Today magazine are supporting the Innocent Smoothie campaign and asked designers to come up with a new design to be featured in the magazine soon. Today I knitted a cute beret and hubby decided to call it Berry Beret for obvious reasons. the pattern will be in Knit Today magazine soon so look out for it!

I'll need to get an bottle of Innocent Smoothie for a better picture.