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Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Big Day

Ok, on an earlier post this week I explained that I had been offered a market stall every Saturday in Newton Abbot, the next town to ours. I wasn't very sure if I would have the insurance sorted in time but I managed it and come Saturday morning it was up bright and early to drive to the market and set up the stall. We had a few showers of rain but on the whole it was an ok day weather wise. I have discovered that the weather I have to worry about is the wind. I had an ok day, managed to cover all of my costs and make a little profit and the best bit is I had such an almighty buzz. It was better than a fair, people were not there to specifically look at handcrafted  items, this was just Joe Public, walking past and hopefully liking what they see. By the time I got home all I was fit for was a takeaway for tea, a very simple bracelet and an early night. I decided to make a bracelet to match the necklace from yesterday. It is called Yellow Peril also.

Jade is green isn't it

Well, I always thought so, until I bought some Lemon Jade from Beads Direct. It turns out you can get Jade in nearly any colour you can imagine, from green, to honey colours to lime, to lemon and even lavender. The beads I have used are Lemon Jade and are a lovely greeny yellow colour with white markings. The pendant is also Lemon Jade. The black beads are Lava Rock and I think they make a great contrast to the Lemon Jade beads. It is very simple stringing but I think it is very effective. I have called it Yellow Peril.

Cat's Eye

Thursday's make was one that was always going to take more time than yesterday's earrings. The main beads are miracle beads and they are coated with a special substance that gives them a 3D effect in artificial light. They are also 1/2 yellow and 1/2 green, so depending on which way you are looking at them will help you decide what you think is the predominent colour of the bracelet. At either side of each miracle bead is a pale green cat's eye bead. These are so called because one part of the bead is milky and is reminiscent of a cat's eye. Each set of 3 beads have been strung onto a head pin and a loop turned at the end. Each loop is then added onto each link of the chain. The chain is silver plated. Although I know that a make like this may take a bit longer I do enjoy doing these as the repition is quite calming and thereputic. I have called it Green Dream.

More Coiling

Well I enjoyed using the wire and coiling gizmo so much I decided to have another go again today. So Wednesday's make is a pair of earrings with simple blue wooden beads and this time silver coloured wire. The biggest issue for me this time was how was I going to attach the coil to the earring wire. So trying to work out how to finish off the coils with a neat finish was quite a challenge. I felt like my hands had swelled up like balloons and I had lost all the ability to move my fingers into the required positions. After a few attempts I got an end result that I was happy with, I managed to leave quite a neat circle top and bottom and put the ends of the wire neatly inside the coil. I then made loops in head pins and attached the beads to the earrings wires and jump rings. These are called Wood and Spiral earrings.

Wire I never

I got a new toy the other week and I was waiting for a chance to use it. I finally got the chance on Tuesday. It is called a Coiling Gizmo and makes beads and actual bracelets, necklaces and earrings out of wire. I did state right at the beginning of this blog that I wanted to try using wire and this is the next step in my journey. The blue wire is quite fantastic to feel and although I was  bit worried that it would feel rough, actually it feels really smooth and tactile. I even made the chain part all by myself out of different sized jump rings, this is called Chain Maille. Watch out for more like this I still have lots to learn. I have called it Blue Coiled bracelet.

More of the same vein

Well for Monday I decided to carry on in the same vein as Sunday. I had some more multi-coloured beads, square shaped this time and I threaded them onto green silk thread with silver saucer shaped beads. Once again I do believe that this bracelet will brighten up the dreariest day. I have called it Tooti Frooti.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Have to brighten up the day

Well, it's been a bit grey and dreary for what seems forever now and I needed to brighten up my life somehow. I can't afford a holiday to some sunshine state with a beautiful white beach and blue sky - okay slap me around the face I'm dreaming now - so for Sunday's make I decided to have a look through my beads and see if there was something suitable there. Well the upshot is that this is the brightest necklace I think I have ever made, and when you try it on your face really does light up. I have called it Over the Rainbow.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

An Exciting Time

No pictures today, I have made items but it has been raining so heavily here that it is too dark to take any decent photo's. Roll on the summer so I can take my camera outside and take decent pictures again. However I do have some news. Take a deep breath (drum roll) I have signed up to have a regular market stall in my local Market Town every Saturday. Starting this Saturday or next depends how quickly I can sort out the Insurance. I am really excited but also quite nervous, not quite sure why because it is no different to a stall at a fair. The only downside is that the market is outside. I could have put it off and waited until the weather gets better but it is Mother's Day in a couple of weeks time so it seems wrong to miss out. Also up until 6 months ago I was working as a Postie so you think I should be used to the weather. I think I have every thing that I need just require some customers. I shall keep you updated and let you know whether I manage to get going this Saturday or whether I have to wait another week.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Craft Juice Tuesday

I am joining in with others on the forum and each Tuesday I shall look through Craft Juice and decide which handmade item of gorgeousness I like on there this week. It means that I get a chance to showcase some other people's work and show all you lovely people what amazing things there are to but in this world. Some will be functional, some sentimental and some that will just make you go I want one of those. After much searching oohing and aahing for over an hour I have found a pair of earrings that I really like. They are quite quirky but still wearable. They are made by A Touch of Glass Jewelry and are for sale on Etsy.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

It's been a long day

Well up early this morning to pack the car for my sale. My daughter comes with me so that I have some help when setting up, as well as having my handmade items with me I also had my bought in items with me as this fair was classed as a Mini Market and not a hand crafted fair. That means so much more work to get everything out on display, managed it in the hour and a half that we were allowed before the doors opened. It's amazing how quickly the time flies. Anyway this was the first time that this particular market had ran and although we were not exactly overrun we did have a few people come in. Jem the organizer is hoping to run this market on a monthly basis so I shall stick with it for a few months and see if the customers start to come once the word gets round. I did make a couple of sales so it wasn't all bad. The worst part was the young girl of around 4 who wanted to touch everything on the stall, pick it up, put it down in the wrong place, this went on for about 5 minutes with Grandma being very nice and telling her not to touch but not actually stopping her. You just have to smile through gritted teeth and hope that eventually she will go away. If you have done a sale yourself then you will know exactly what I am talking about here. Anyway after she left I sorted out the table and breathed a sigh of relief. Only problem was about 1 hour later she was back again and we went through exactly the same routine except this time she had chocolate covered fingers. After what seemed like an eternity but was probably only a couple of minutes they finally left, I almost put the flags out. Here's hoping she is not a regular "customer". Anyway after we got home, it was time for the shopping, cleaning etc all those lovely jobs that I know every housewife loves doing. By the time I sat down to do my make for the day after putting some posts on the blog, it was definately a case of simple stringing. Too tired for anything else. I started with the resin pendant and the rest just followed, pink resin beads and black wood effect beads all on black leather effect thong. The finished result reminded me of something that would have been worn in the Sixties, so I have called it 60's Vibe.

Something Simple

Just simple stringing for Friday this week as I had to get myself ready for a sale on Saturday morning. The pendant was already set, it's a lovely light blue colour with some white stripes through it. So I got some oil slick effect seed beads, used the last of the fire polished beads left over from the Cha Cha Cha bracelet (see earlier post) and some irridescent flower beads that I had. After much playing with the beads I had them set out as I wanted and strung them onto the wire. Then it was a case of take a quick photo before tagging so that I could take to the fair with me on Saturday. I have called this necklace Blue Haze.

A Week of Firsts

This week is proving to be a week of firsts. Fimo, bookmarks and now Wire Wrapping. Now this is on a small scale, need to build up gradually. Actually when I first took the shell out I thought this was going to be a straight forward large shell on a cord and organza necklace. It wasn't until I looked at the shell closer that I discovered the six holes in the bottom. This caused me a problem what was I going to do, the shell was so large that I didn't want anything too long as I did not think they would suit. I tried just attaching some sort of drop beads with jump rings but they just didn't sit well. Anyway I took out my trusty books and magazines and sat for about 1/2 an hour looking through ideas and projects and the upshot was I decided to bite the bullet and try wire wrapping for the first time. Now what I have done is basic but I am quite happy with the finished result. I made a wrapped loop at one end of the bead, threaded the bead on and then made another wrapped loop at the other end, I then took the wire down one side of the bead wrapped it around the end and then took the wire down the other side of the bead and again wrapped it around the loop. And surprisingly it was not a difficult as I had convinced myself it would be, watch out for more examples, I shall definately be doing this again. Anyway enough waffle from me, here is the finished result. I have called it Shades of the Sea.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Playing with Fimo

I decided to bite the bullet and played with the fimo on Wednesday. Now on the craftsforum there are people that make some amazing creations with fimo, beads, cake toppers and skeletal forms that are turned into fairies and the like. I know that I couldn't hope to compete with these people but I had to give it a try. Think of being a 4 year old child again and playing with plastecine and you will know how much fun I had making these. One thing that I will say is that the one point that I have learned is not to try and work the clay while it is cold in the house, wait until the heating comes on and it becomes ten times more easier. Once shaped I baked them in the oven and then with much trepidation I drew on the face and other shapes with pen. Were they going to run, would they smudge. No I was ok, thank God. Finally I glued the brooch back onto them. Anyway here are the final creations, let me know what you think. First is the Moon, then the Stars and finally with all this moonlight your heart may just go ping.

A Good Book

Reading is another passion of mine. I cannot go to sleep at night without reading a few pages of the latest novel I am working my way through. I am not too fussy, nearly anything goes and the local library is kept busy by me. However up until now I have always just folded the corner of the page over (I know I can hear the gasps now) but I will not have to do that anymore. I have made three bookmarks that I made on Tuesday, purple, blue or red, take your pick. However I think I shall have to make some more as I have already decided to give one to my Mum for Mothers Day and keep one for myself. Anybody want to claim the third one.

Hearts and Flowers

Ok Ok I made up the part about the flowers but this week I decided to try some new ideas out. This is the rings that I made on Monday, simple but quite effective and guess what I managed to glue the buttons together, then glue to the ring shanks without glueing my fingers together (see previous post about the problems that I normally have with glue). I really like these and when I took them with me to the mini market that I was selling at today they also attracted a lot of attention. Let me know which colour you prefer.
I have called them Pink Button ring and Blue Button ring.

Cha Cha Cha

This is my first attempt at a cha cha cha bracelet. Believe me if you want to loose yourself for a couple of hours then this is the project to complete. You have to put all the beads onto head pins, cut them all to size then turn the ends into curved loops and all this before you actually fit them onto the bracelet. Having said that when there is nothing on the TV and the kids are upstairs in their rooms fighting the latest aliens or whatever there is nothing better than having that 2 hours peace to yourself. It almost becomes theraputic, it definately lulls you into another place, your own version of meditation. I am really happy with the finished result, hope that you like it too. I have called it (surprisingly) Cha Cha Cha. I used faceted fire polished glass beads and a silver plated bracelet.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Daisy Daisy, give me your answer do

Final make for this week. Once again I found some plastic flower shapes in my stash which I had forgotten about. I teamed these with some different styles of metal beads, amber coloured crystals and finally some white beads to tie in with the flower shapes. Once again I joined it all together with sections of chain. I have called it Metal Daisy Chain.

A quickie today

As we were going to the movie today's make had to be a quickie. I decided to make some earrings to match the pendant that I made yesterday. Nice and simple, just some black goldstone chips threaded onto some wire then attached to silver plated ear wires.

Thursdays make - chains and things

Tonight I found a Snowflake Obsidian cabochon that I had already set into a silver plated mount. Told you I would find lost beads etc when I started to tidy my craft area. I decided when I looked at the pendant that this was going to be a high metal content and less beads. I looked out a heavy chunky chain and tied the black of the cabochon with head pins strung with black goldstone chips. I have called it Winter Wonderland

I Heart You 2

On an earlier post I showed a bracelet that I had made out of red and white hearts. My son in exchange for a tidy bedroom asked me to make him a bracelet in the same style as I Heart You, but teenagers being teenagers he did not want the typical red and white colour theme. Could I get something a bit more trendy? Well his wish is my command, I was not too sure about the colours when I bought the beads but actually the finished result i really like. What do you think. I have called this I Heart You 2.

Before and after

This is more of a remake than a new make so I shall show you the before and after pictures and feel free to leave comments as to which one you prefer. I don't often make an item of jewellery just for me but this was one of those rare occasions. I had taken 3 large round beads and put silver plated patterned rectangles in between and threaded onto purple suede cord.

Unfortunately when it was hanging on my stand in the bedroom the middle bead somehow cracked right down the middle, (must have been a weak spot) and I was left with 2 beads and 2 rectangles and it just did not look right. I managed to get another bead to match but decided to change the design slightly. I took the rectangles out and just left in the beads. I made the purple suede cord shorter so that it sits further up the neck.

The other thing to notice is my new style of photographs. I used to take all of my photographs on a bust, however I have started to lay all my jewellery onto a large crstal that I have had in the house for ages and one day is just sort of shouted at me, and I have been using this as my prop ever since.

As I said let me know which necklace you prefer and also which style of photograph you prefer.

Buttons Galore

Sometimes I like to use other items to make my jewellery with. I have used some memory wire  - which keeps it's shape and wraps around the wrist - and threaded on bow shaped buttons with simple seed beads inbetween. Simple but effective, if you like large chunky jewellery. It's not your run of the mill bracelet but if you prefer your items a bit quirky then this is up your street. It is called Buttons and Bows.

Sunday 7th Feb make

I like making these rings, the shank is adjustable so one size fits all. As the spaces fill it does get harder to fit the beads on but perserverance pays and this is the finished result. The beads used are just a mixture of gold tone beads that I had in my stash. The chinese style lucky coin is one of many that I have but this is the first time I have used one in my designs. I have called it Show me the Money.

Catch Up

Well, I have finally sorted out the craft area, the living area has been moved around and I can spread out on the dining table and watch tv as I work. Utter bliss, not the tv but the fact I can spread out. I am normally perched on the sofa with a small tv table in front of me, trying hard not to drop everything.

Friday night we went to the Drive-in Movie. We went to see Grease and after a few technical mishaps we finally got going and I can highly reccomend this as a way to watch the movies. You can rustle and crunch to your hearts content, no-one to disturb and you can sing along as no-one can hear you. We settled down with hot chocolate, crisps and popcorn and a blanket each and do you know I had forgotten how good Grease is to watch. My daughter had never seen this film before (makes me feel old, i remember going to see it about 6 times as a teenager) and even she enjoyed it, so it is definately timeless. I shall definately be going to another one in the future if they decide to do this again.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

It has to get worse before it gets better

I have not actually got a craft room, I have only got a small corner of the main living area. However I have been steadily outgrowing this space, so today I finally started. First of all I went to the local supermarket and picked up some storage boxes, some practical and some pretty. I cleared out a couple of shelves on my display unit and started to put items into the storage containers in some sort of order. The idea being I can find what I am looking for instead of searching through everything to find what I am looking for right at the bottom. This is what I currently do and it's driving me mad. Anyway stopped for tonight but the job tomorrow is to try and sort my beads into colours. I have plenty of storage for my beads but they are not in any sort of order. My logic being that if I put all the reds together, all the blues etc then I may find what I am looking for quicker. The other good thing that will come out of this is I shall find beads that I had forgotten I had. Anyway while I was doing all this my hubby asks why don't I sit at the table and spread out when I am making jewellery. My answer I can't see the television from there. So the solution - while I am at work tomorrow he shall move the living area around so that I can see the television and sit at the table at the same time. I did say it had to get worse before it got better.
Meanwhile I have been making my new items this week but I have not been able to photograph them yet, getting home to late in the day. I shall do a mass post on Saturday or Sunday with a full weeks "one a day".
Finally, I did tell you that Friday night was movie night, well tomorrow is a first, my youngest and myself are going to a drive in movie to see Grease. I shall let you know what I think. 

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Touch of the Sea

You may have noticed that I live in Paignton, right on the seaside in Devon. Saturday was quite a lovely day and we went for a walk along the beach. Well it must have inspired me as these seagreen beads jumped out at me when I went through my bead stash. Apart from the bead stitching at the joining points of the necklace it was just a case of stringing tons of seed beads onto different strands of bead magic. By the end of the evening I think I was almost sitting on as many beads as were on one strand, they do tend to jump a bit. However I am really pleased with the finished result. I have called it Seagreen Necklace.

Movie NIght

Friday night is movie night in our house. We sit down with some nibbles and watch the latest movie of our choice. We all tend to take turns at picking which film we would like to choose, this week it was turn of my daughter Iona and she picked Bedtime Stories. Click here for more information on the film Now you need to know that I do not like Adam Sandler that much, I find his humour too childish but I did enjoy this film. Anyway because the film was on I needed something easy to do and this called for a simple stringing project. The fan pieces are made of haemetite and the round beads are magnetic and there are gold seed beads inbetween. I have called it Haemetite Fan.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Love is in the air

Thursday is another valentine's make. Had a bit more time today so made a charm style bracelet with different hearts and clear crystals. Love must definately be in the air, it's not like me to be so romantic. Maybe it is wishful thinking, however as I have been married for 19 years this year the likliehood of me getting a present is not very high at all.

Valentine reminder

Wednesday's make had to be really straightforward and easy. Didn't have lots of time as I was getting ready for the party that shall not be mentioned again. I picked up these hearts and made a really simple bracelet but sometimes simple is good. I have called this I Heart You.

Must be in a bracelet mood

Tuesday's make, must be in a bracelet mood this week. I made this while I was watching the television. Just simple stringng with a slight twist. The chain gives it an edgier look I think. Didn't need anything to fussy today, think my brain was on the jewellery party I was holding on the day after. I have called this Black Beauty.

Monday's make - good enough to eat

I picked up these gorgeous red manmade pearls at my local store, I was originally going to make a necklace with them but I started putting them onto wire loops and an idea sort of formed in my head. When that happens I have found it is best to go with the flow and make what is in my head at the time. I can always go back to the original idea at a later date. Anyway a good couple of hours later here is the finished result. I have called it Berry Red bracelet as that is what the finished result reminded me of, a bunch of berries.

Just a bit dissapointed

Well, I scrubbed and cleaned to within an inch of my life, made the food, and set up my jewellery as best as I could, 3 tables worth. And only one person turned up, not sure who was more embarressed her or me. However we made the best of it and had a good old chinwag. Sold her a couple of items and  really appreciated her coming. Unfortunately the end result is that I did not get any bookings for another party. Never mind, I have a fair set up for 20th February in Ashburton in Devon. Hopefully I will get some sales then. After my guest had gone I consoled myself with a large piece of cake, decided against opening a bottle of wine, couldn't console myself to much. I have added some pictures of my layout below for you.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

One harrassed jewellery maker

I am hosting my first jewellery party tonight. Hoping that I make a few sales but more importantly at least one party booking. Craft fairs seem to be few and far between nowadays so I thought that I should diversify, also if I continue to carry on the challenge of one a day I have to find some way of selling these lovely items apart from through the website. So far this morning I have finished photographing and tagging all my new stock, logging all in readiness for upload to website and gone to the supermarket for the essential supplies. Can't have a party without wine. My neice is a chef and specialises in pastry and sent me a couple of receipes to make but I have just not had the time to make them. Settled for shop bought items. Anyway I have had some lunch now, so ready to start again. Only got cleaning to do, sandwiches to make, jewellery to set up, kids to feed. Did I say only. Never mind hopefully it shall all be worth it. Will try and give you an update tomorrow on how it all goes. Time to get off here and start working again.