Tuesday 30 March 2010

Glass Bead Making Therapy

Sometimes you just need to take some time out. Undisturbed time out !

So Sunday saw me trotting off to my workshop to play with glass. I tend to get undisturbed peace in there due to a nasty burnt thumb once when someone popped in and made me jump ! Now, everyone steers clear when the torch is on.

I just needed to play, but without thinking too much about shapes and designs.

I had my iPod on my favourite toons playlist, a large glass of White Zinfandel, and a few rods of glass. What more could you possibly want?

(Note: It is probably not a hugely good idea to partake in alcohol whilst operating a propane & oxygen torch, so please do not follow by example) :)

I made these......

Some simple gravity frit beads, love the colour they ended up being.

and these......

A simple striking yellow glass with a Silvered Ivory stringer band.

and these.....

Inspired and taught to me by the fabulous Laura Sparling, she is an encasing genuis, and I love coming back to re-make these beads, they always look so cute.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Klimt & Complex Cane Beads

I went and bought a whole pile of different colour packs of Fimo, for another project..... but as usual got sidetracked and made cane beads instead :)
Kilmt cane is where you roll your Fimo into a sausage then cut it into slices, do this with a few colours and then lay the discs together to form a long coloured sausage, push this through a clay extruder and you get some fabulous coloured canes. You then bunch these all together and roll slowly to combine, then lay on your beads.

I made a pendant first then the matching beads.

Then I made a complex cane, like a kaleidoscope, using sausages of colour, wrapped in other colours, cut and re-wrapped to make many different canes, of varying shapes and sizes. I bundled it together, chopped it into 6 and bundled it all together again before wrapping it all in purple. I then reduced by rolling it into a sausage.

I made the pendant first using the larger slices of cane, then I reduced it further by rolling to make the beads. On reflection I think I reduced it too much for the beads, as the pattern has become a little too small to see. These beads I shaped into lentils.

I had two left over slices of cane from the pendant, so I just put a little hole in each to make earring charms.
And this is my left-over bead. All the left over bits of clay, mushed into one, swirled and shaped into a large lentil measuring around 35mm. I quite like it :)

Friday 26 March 2010

The Tie Project

I had this mad notion...... blame it on too much cheese, or wine...but it seemed a good idea at the time :)

The idea was to take a Tie and reproduce it in as many different ways as I could.

The tie I was initially after was one I spotted on David Dickinson, him of the antique fame, it was a patchwork of different patterns and colours - a riot of colours, and very interesting.

However I failed miserably to find one, so instead I trailed around the local charity shops and found some different ones.

I decided on this one in the end. A navy blue tie, with 6 stripes of different shades of green.


Ok, so the first project was to recreat it for a necklace - imagine his and hers for a posh party, this necklace strung over a little black dress would look so eyecatching :)

This was stitched in Peyote Stitch, using Delica beads, it was tricky to match the greens in the fabric exactly, so I tried to do it as close as I could. The actual tie measures around 7" long.

I then strung it onto some wire with some cat's eye glass tube beads alternated with Swarovski Crystals and Fire-Polished for a bit of sparkle :)


The next thing I had planned was a glass tie, to be used as a pendant. Only when I started cutting the glass I realised that the thinnest strips I could cut would make it way to large to wear, so it is now a wall hanging measuring approx 10" long.

Have you noticed the not so deliberate mistake? :(

Keep your eye out for the next instalments :)

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Another Patchwork Flutterby

I thought I would show you my second Patchwork Flutterby, if you missed the first here is a link :)

I have designed about 12 so far (only stitched two), this one though I decided to do in just two contrasting colours. The original was designed in black & white, but when I came to stitch it I picked Chocolate Cherry and Cream AB for a little sparkle.

It is around 5" across, so it really is a statement piece when worn.

The 'chain' is made up from gorgeous Pink Aventurine gemstone beads, teamed with some deep red AB coated Fire-Polished beads. The antenna is a eyepin, threaded through the top beads.

I really love doing these, they are so therapeutic, until you get tired and end up having to pull out 8 rows because of one wrong bead!! But that's another story :)

Tuesday 23 March 2010

A Dragon Bracelet by Donna Sanders

You may remember a couple of months ago I made Raphael the Delica Dragon.


Well, over on the Bead Buddies Forum I entered Raphael in the "Myth & Magic Challenge" as set by Donna Sanders.

I was chuffed when the entries were put in a poll, and Raphael won !!

But, if I was chuffed then, I am much much more chuffed now.....just look at my amazing prize, as made by Donna herself.

It is an amazing beadwork Dragon bracelet, using a variety of stitches, AMAZING ! I totally love it.

Check out her website.. http://www.delicatesparkles.com/ you can also fan her on Facebook "Delicate Sparkles"

Thanks Donna :)

Thursday 18 March 2010

Japanese Delica Dolly

Let me introduce you to Mizuki (Japanese meaning: - Beautiful / Moon)

This piece was originally thought up for the Bead Buddies Forum Japanese Challenge.

She is made in Miyuki Delica Cylinder beads, which are very uniformed and lay beautifully when stitched together, but they need patience and lots & lots of time. She took a good few hours to complete :)

If you would like to have a go and make her yourself, you can find the pattern in Bead Magazine - Issue 21, out this week.

I would be very interested in seeing how you get on if you decide to have a go. Email me your pictures to thebeadshed@gmail.com and I will show them in a blog, and send you a little gift :)

Monday 15 March 2010

Glass Beadmaking at Higham Hall.

This weekend was my first as Glass Beadmaking Tutor at Higham Hall College.

Of course, I was a little pensive, having not taught there before, but it was a blast !

I had four students, all of them lovely ladies, who I hope to keep in touch with, they made the weekend so much fun and filled with laughter, so if you are reading Ladies, I thank you :)

If you have never looked at the Higham Hall website, do have a peep, I can totally recommend doing a course, the food they serve is amazing - with everything hand-made and mouthwateringly yummy. In fact I have booked on one myself, Silver Clay Rings :)

But hey, it's not all about the food, so back to the bead talk. This is the brand new equipment, ordered in just for the course. All shiny and spangly :) (Well, it was!!)

The students, Gill & Lucie and Jackie & Veronica.

So, none of the students had ever melted glass before, but look at the stash of beauties they managed to produce!

By the end of the day two they were making a tree bead which pulled together all the techniques they had learned throughout the course - pulling stringers, twisties, shaping, pressing. I think you will agree they did really well.

The Ladies with their Tree Beads...

....and a closer view.

Can't wait until the next one :)

Thursday 11 March 2010

Shona & Stained Glass

Shona, my daughter, has decided to do a Stained Glass piece for her A-Level Applied Art.

Her big plans are eventually to do a big 3D Violin, but having never had even the most basic lesson, we thought a session in the shed might be in order.

So tonight we did just that. I have to say, it does make me ever so slightly envious how Shona can pick things up so easily, and always make something nice, I, on the other hand, often turn out a 'dog's dinner' for the first couple of attempts!

So here we are, a step-by-step photo blog into Shona's first attempts at stained glass.

First of all she took a rectangle of glass and just simply cut it into 4 pieces.

Then, using an inland grinder, she ground (grinded?) the edges to make them less sharp. At this point you are flicked with tiny chippings of glass which embed themselves in your clothing and hair.

Next it is time to add a sticky copper foil around all the edges of the glass, this gives the solder something to stick to.

When all the pieces are complete, you lay them back together in your chosen pattern and 'tack' them together with little bits of masking tape.

Next is the fun bit - melting the solder and filling in the gaps between the copper, smoothing it over to make it look nice.

Then you turn it over, do the other side, and finally the edges, taking care not to let the solder drip onto your hands (coz that really hurts !!!)

Then she added a cute wire curl, because she could :)

Tada ! The finished piece. Ready to stick into her work book as a sample.

Now....... to order a huge pile of brown glass for this Violin idea !!!

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Patchwork Flutterby

I have been busy designing a range of Peyote & Brick Stick Butterflies - which I have cunningly named "Patchwork Flutterbys" :)
I have designed about 8 to date, so thought it was about time I stitched one up to check it works. I have sent a second pattern off to someone who kind of volunteered, but didn't actually, but she got the job anyway - you know who you are CAROL BEAD QUEEN !!! ;)
This one is the purpley one, although they are designed for you to use up all your leftover delica beads from other projects, so you can make them any colour you would like.
The antenna are made from a head pin, simply threaded through the top beads, and then I added a sparkly crystal strap, with Czech and Swarovski Crystals.

It will take a very plain top, or a low cut top to show this off to it's full advantage, it's very colourful, and funky. Great fun to make, watch out for a few more soon......

(I plan to sell the patterns eventually, but give me a nudge if your impatient ;) )

Sunday 7 March 2010

Memory Beads

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I made some Memorium Pendants for my friend Kate, using the ashes of her beloved dog Sam.

(click on link below for more info)

Well, this week I have made some beads, encasing those ashes between layers of glass.

They look beautiful, and glittery, and full of life, just how you would want to remember a loved one.

These were made using a deep red base and a top layer of crystal clear for shine and magnification.
What a great way to remember......
Again, thank you Kate for trusting me to do this :)

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Duke Of Edinburgh Skills Training

For the past 12 weeks I have had two fab girls in for a Skills Training session for the Duke Of Edinburgh Awards. Lauren and Eleanor.



No idea why the hoods were up, must be a fashion thing :)

It was a 12 week course in Beading & Jewellery making. We covered basic beading, earrings, beadweaving stitches, polymer clay bead making, wire work, tiara making and glass work, including fused pendants and glass bead making.

Our last lesson was glass bead making, and both girls took to it like ducks to water, producing some fabulous beads which they then made into bracelets for themselves.
So, I would like to thank Lauren & Eleanor for attending and being so enthusiastic, and hope that the skills they have both learnt will prove useful to them in the years to come

And here are their finished beads from last night :)