Wednesday 28 July 2010

Variegated Peyote Bracelet

Time and time again I come across the statement "Oooo I would love to work with seed beads, but don't know where to start" (or similar), and it really really shouldn't be that daunting. Once you have made your first bracelet you will be addicted and ready to try new designs.

The beauty about working with seed beads, is that they are quite portable, you can put a few in a little tin, with some thread, a needle and small scissors and carry it in your handbag. (this might annoy your partners, parents, children, but who cares?)

I have even taken projects on Planes with me, you cannot take the scissors for obvious reasons, but 'Airline Safe' nail clippers (£2.99 from Boots in the Airport) cut thread beautifully.

Most beaders begin with Peyote Stitch, and continue to use it forever as it is so adaptable. It is really simple to learn, and once you have it you will be churning bracelets out in no time.

With this in mind I have developed a starter kit, with step-by-step, very easy to follow instructions with photos, and all materials needed (except scissors)

The nice bit is I have also added a little bit of design, the kits will come with 5 numbered bags of beads, you start with Bag 1 - working through to finish with Bag 5, this means you will end up with a prettily patterned variated strip with very little thought :)

Also included are the bead for the clasp, and instructions on how to add it, so you will finish up with a wearable piece that you can show off and be proud of. And the price is only going to be around £4.00 (plus p&p)

The sample one I have done is in lilac, through to purple. I have loads of other colour variations in mind though.

What do you think? A good idea?

Sunday 25 July 2010

Chevron Necklace

I have a little sketchpad by my bed, and often scribble ideas in it, or rip things out of magazines like the patterns on a dress, or an interesting neckline, to see if I can translate it into some jewellery.

One evening I had just driven 300 miles up the motorway, and spotting the Chevrons on the road around Birmingham, got it into my head to try and play around with the shape to make something. I sketched some Chevron designs in my pad when I got home.

So, this is the first attempt, three decreasing Chevrons. Made in Delica beads in Clear, Pale Blue and Iris Blue, sorry about the bad photo, I find that these colours are the worst to photograph.

Then I had to work out what kind of "chain" to put it on, nothing seemed to match the very straight design, in the end I did a play on the original Chevron and decreased and increased as necessary.

I don't like it at all (The chain part, not the pendant part), everyone who I have shown it to actually do seem to like it, but it's just not me. Whether it is because I generally prefer softer edges, rounds and swirls, and this is just a bit 'straight', I don't know.

But moving on, I have now taken the original design and adapted it into bracelets. So watch this space, hopefully I will be finished them very soon.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Earthy Twist

When my Mother-In-Law was visiting from Oxfordshire, she spotted a necklace I was making for my Mum, and as she was admiring it I offered to make her one too.

She chose her colours and I set to work.

I was a couple of inches in when I decided I didn't like it, it just didn't work for me. So I simply swapped a chocolate brown bead for a smokey grey one (the smallest bead you can see in the design) and it looked totally different.

I ended up doing a necklace, bracelet and earrings for her, adding a button as a fastening. I like buttons as fastenings, they are so easy to manage when taking the jewellery on and off.

Luckily she didn't mind the change at all, and loved it.
Result ! :)

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Stained Glass at School.

I was asked to go into my daughter Shona's 6th Form Art Class at school to let the students learn how to make some Stained Glass panels.

It was quite bizarre going back to the school that I left 26 years ago !

There was 6 students, the teacher and an assistant wanting to play :)

I bought some lovely packs of mixed glass, and the colours were bright and vivid, perfect for what we wanted to do.

The students drew a plan, and cut themselves some glass to match the patterns.

Then they used the grinder to take of the sharp edges, taking care to use safety goggles, hats and aprons, fact I think they enjoyed the "dressing up" part a little more than they should have :)

Next they stuck copper tape to all the edges,

then it was time to face the soldering iron.

They all did incredibly well, even the teacher, and some lovely pieces were produced.

I had a great time, it made a lovely change.

Friday 9 July 2010

Project Tins

Thought I would share this genius idea.

A Bead Buddies Forum friend Mary, suggested a cute little tin that came free with "Lady Products" to use as a project tin. What a fabulous idea I thought, but the tin looked a little too small for my projects.

After some searching about I came across these Tobacco Tins.

They turned out to be the perfect size for what I needed.

I cut up a bead mat to line the lid and the base.

The lid now makes a perfect little working area...

...and the tin can hold quite a lot of bits, including my thread scissors.

You could have a different little tin for all your various projects :)

Perfect for travelling and sneaking into your overnight bag ;)

If you want to buy your own little tin, here is the link where I bought mine from.

Friday 2 July 2010

Safari Cuff

This piece was invented for the Bead Buddies Forum "Africa" Challenge, which was set by Caroline Harvey.
The brief was...AFRICA - landscape, costume, flora and fauna, art, culture....anything inspired by Africa.

The first thought that came to my mind was "animal print". A peyote cuff with Delicas seemed to be the best option, so I sat down and fiddled with some colours and came up with this.

Tiger, Giraffe Aligator and Zebra prints.

Teamed with a big black wooden oval button for a clasp.