Monday 31 January 2011

Monday's Treasure Hunt - Apronqueen

I was trailing through Etsy, as you do, looking for a birthday gift for a friend, when I came across this fab shop called "Apronqueen".

This lady makes the most gorgeous aprons, in fabulous fabrics - vintage style.

I love this one !

She also does funky kitchen gloves too  :)

Check her Etsy shop here....

Wednesday 26 January 2011

"Sprite Flowers" and more.

On New Years Eve I jetted off on a little holiday to Marrakech in Morrocco.

Now, being a beader, I couldn't go without a stash of beads - just in case there was any spare time.

I took 5 bags of seed beads in Pink, Yellow, Pale Blue, Dark Iris Blue and an AB Dark Grey, a pack of needles and a reel of KO beading thread. Oh, and two strings of glass pearls.

I bought some Airline safe nail cutters at Boots the Chemist in the Airport (they cut thread beautifully and you can take them on the Plane!)

I took out the box at the Airport - it is such a boring place once you have done the Perfume sniffing and Book browsing - and had no idea what-so-ever on what to make !

So I made a flower..... and another.......and another.......and so it went on.  Once I had a few flowers I made a bracelet base for them.  Then a necklace chain......... and on it went  :)

For some really odd reason, every time I looked at them I thought "Sprite"!  so Sprite is now the name of the collection.

This first necklace is a dangle of three flowers on a herringbone rope with a peyote toggle for a clasp.

Next we have a twisted spiral staircase rope, again with a toggle clasp and a pendant slider with three flowers. 

This necklace has no flowers, but is made from the same beads, under the twisted grey part are sections of colours, which are hard to make out in the photo.  The twists are interspersed with cream glass pearl beads.

This simple pink flower is attatched to a simple herringbone rope.

This is a Cecile's Wheel pattern, which I have done before.  It's a lovely design and looks great in these colours.  My Mum took a fancy to this so it is now in her jewellery box.

Onto the bracelets, this is a shaggy twisted bracelet, it fastens with two bead dangles which push through a loop.

This one is quite similar, but a slightly different variation of bead numbers.

And this one is a peyote band richly adorned in lots of different flowers.

A ring !

And finally a few pairs of earrings.

I think I am ready to move onto something else now :)

Higham Hall - January 2011

Another great weekend at Higham Hall College teaching basic glass bead making.

I thought I would show you my regular room.  It is a 'compact' room, but I don't spend much time in it (except for sleeping) so it suits my needs.

 The bathroom could do with being a little bit bigger though  :)

It looks out onto a wonderful side garden of the Hall, and in the morning I can hear woodpeckers, lots of bird chorus and watch the bunny rabbits frollicking about on the grass.

I laid the glass out following the "Rainbow Rules" (R.O.Y.G.B.I.V) or as near as I could, looked very attractive I thought  :)

I was amazed when I picked up the class list - Sue, Sue, Susan and Heather - and of course me, another Sue.  Made for a confusing weekend.  Instead we called each other Mrs Bee, Mrs Ess, Mrs Double You, and Heather just got 'Heather'  :)

Here are the Ladies, working hard at the torches.

...and showing off their stash of glassy goodies.

Heather, Mrs Bee, Mrs Ess & Mrs Double You.
(Or Heather, Sue, Susan & Sue)

I just wanted to show you this, this is Bassenthwaite Lake where the College is situated, I took this on my drive home - beautiful isnt it?

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Monday's Treasure Hunt - Brian Kerr Photography

Today's Treasure Hunt is a day late, sorry about that, but yesterday was a little manic.

I would like to introduce you to Brian Kerr.  He is a photographer that lives in my home town of Carlisle, who produces the most amazingly gorgeous shots.  He certainly has an eye for a photo!

My Father is also a photographer, so I have grown up with pretty photos of our wonderful Cumbrian & Scottish Borders landscape, but Brian's photos are so moody and atmospheric I just had to share them with you.

You can find his website here...


Monday 17 January 2011

Monday's Treasure Hunt - Mark Dally

A few months ago I visited "The Biscuit Factory" in Newcastle, a fabulous art gallery with some amazing pieces in it.

I had Googled the gallery before I went and discovered Mark Dally Ceramics.  Having scooted through his website I fell in love with his clocks so was hoping that there would be some on show at the Gallery.

There was some Mark Dally pieces on display, but only one clock, I had had my eye on another style, so from the café within the gallery I quickly emailed him, luckily got a reply almost immediately, and decided to commision my own clock :)

This is my clock - she is called Queen of Curlies, she is the one on the right.

I also love his sculptures too - they would certainly make a great conversation piece.

And then there is the teapots !  How funky is this?

Well, go check him out for yourself.....

Friday 14 January 2011

A little bit twisty.

This week I grabbed a beady bargain.  Vickie Christian was offering some of her marvelous Lampwork Beads at a great sale price, and although I do make glass beads myself, these green ones just totally got my attention.  This in itself is very strange as I am so not a 'green person' - (green as in colour, I do try to be environmentally friendly :) ) but I am sure you will agree, they are very nice.

I pledged to put them to good use as soon as they arrived. I am really bad at squirrelling things away to use later and as a result have amassed a huge pile of beads and other interesting stuff that one day I might get around to using.

As it happened, the day they plopped through my letterbox I also got a delivery for the shop, two large boxes of Seed Beads.  After weighing them all out there are always a few odd ones spare, so I picked out some complimenting colours and set to work.

I did a spiral staircase stitch, two pieces, which I brought together through the large focal bead, then added the dangles for a bit of interest. I finished it with a beaded toggle and loop.

If you would like to have a go at Spiral Staircase yourself then here is my free tutorial.  Just play around with the sizes of the beads and the number of beads on the twist part to get different patterns.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Disaster in the kiln !

I am officially a muppet, yep, a bone-fida , slap my own head, stamp my feet in temper, muppet !!

What did I do?

Well, I spent a whole afternoon cutting glass, designing a couple of large wall-hangings, loads and loads of fused glass pieces for cabochons and pendants.  Filled my kiln up edge to edge, and went to bed quite excited about what I would find the next day.

What did I find? A whole load of cracked pieces, all because stupidly, I have picked up the wrong Millefiori and used it with incompatible glass. This means the glass seperates and cracks - in time the Millefiori will just fall away. It all has to go in the bin. 

You should be able to see what I mean from the piccies below.

What a shame, I really liked these ones too.

I am so annoyed with myself, for the lots and lots of wasted glass, for the wasted night in the kiln, for the wasted afternoon in the shed, and for being so dim for not checking.
Lesson learnt !

Monday 10 January 2011

Monday's Treasure Hunt - A Little Catty

I am going to start a Monday Blog, but with a difference. The items I will show you in my Monday Blog will be treasure that I have found and admired on my travels, that you can purchase on the good old internet for yourself.

My first "Treasure" to show you is this fabulous shop on Etsy, called "A Little Catty", this artist is called Alison O'Bryan and she makes the most incredibly cute Folk Art - Cats, Gnomes, Butterflies, Bears.

I think I feel a treat coming on, but I cannot decide between Fancy Pants the Gnome Folk Critter or Romeo the Sweetheart Lion.
So so cute.

You can find these to buy on Etsy (
And you can follow the artists own blog here (

Saturday 8 January 2011

Secret Santa 2010

Over on the Bead Buddies forum we do a Secret Santa every year.

Each person pays a set amount and gets the same pack of various beads. We are supposed to use as much of the pack as possible and we are not allowed to add anything except findings.

My Secret Santa turned out to be Aster Sadler, who does some fantastic things - check out her website.

I got a gorgeous ring, really beautiful and blingy..

Along with some cutie earrings..

and a fantastic cuff (although I wore it as a choker) of amazing beaded embroidery - how clever !

This is what I sent to my recipient.

A necklace with the ceramic bead as a focal pendant..

Some earrings...

and a bracelet made out of beaded flowers, (it took me ages to sort all the beads into piles to make them!!)