Brooches and Risque Photos

Newark Antiques Centre

Its been years since I visited the Newark Antiques Centre, located in the thriving busy bustling market town of Newark this centre has been trading for years. The building has many independent retailers inside, each with their own little cubby hole or booth to display their wares. The most exciting thing is that you never know what you might find.

I used to frequent to purchase vintage haberdashery material, so that I could recover chairs, seat covers, make cushions or practise upholstery on various ottomans that I had picked up from either Horncastle (a small market town with a disproportional number of junk and antique shops) or the local auction house, Golding & Young.

Upstairs I discovered a world of vintage photographs, threads, jars of buttons, bags of beads and glass cabinets full of vintage jewellery.

Vintage beaded necklace, and simulated pearl necklace from the 1950's
Vintage beaded necklace, and simulated pearl necklace from the 1950’s

Just look at these, a 1950’s pearl (simulated) necklace £2, yes £2 in its original box too  suspect. The black and green necklace in the next box is a mass of strung seed beads and I bet they wouldn’t have had a bead spinner in those days!

 

 

Moving on to another cabinet, I spotted these old beaded balls, or beady beads as the lovely Lynn Davy would call them, in fact these aren’t too dissimilar to some of her designs, which can be seen on Pinterest.

Vintage Beaded Beads
Vintage Beaded Beads

I am shocked that a bag of beaded beads are marked up at just £1, the time and effort that would have gone in to stitching these is outstanding – some look to be strung together, and tied about a wooden central bead, others look to be peyote stitch either way, someone took a great deal of care to create them .

 

Am guessing this was created on a loom, as it’s perfectly straight, and the pattern is quite intricate.

The colours are quite vibrant too, given the obvious age of the piece.

Beadwork Lariat
Beadwork Lariat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out those bears, the shot was taken from the upstairs looking down on the cubicle style sales pitches below. Paddington Bears in various outfits! There was even a Basil Brush tucked away in the corner of the display  BOOM BOOM :)

Bears
Paddington Bears

 

 

 

 

Beaded Geometric evening clutch bag
Beaded Geometric evening clutch bag

 

This evening bag, £7, seriously!! The beadwork is outstanding on it, probably not that old really, I personally don’t consider anything from the 1980’s vintage (after all I lived through the 80’s and I am NOT vintage :)) The geometric design appeals to my sense of order, I am not a mishmash kind of girl, the bag itself could be almost 1920’s in style, somehow I just can’t see the original owner dancing around her bag to Come On Eileen, or Love Shack!

Finally, I discovered a cabinet full of brooches, a sea of gems, poorly displayed but visual eye candy, obviously the other interesting thing was the “risqué” small pictures in the rear of the cabinet, somehow with all the freely available porn, the infamous page three pages to me they seem more “saucy” more “carry on” than a picture of a topless woman in a daily newspaper.

Brooches and Risque Photos
Brooches and Risque Photos

I guess it’s the knowledge that in those days these were risqué shots, designed for titillation, a gentleman’s afternoon delight to provoke sensual thoughts in your mind instead of the more modern-day, in your face openly vulgar bra-less images freely available on the net or on the top shelf of a newspaper shop shelf!

Lazee Daizee 1/2" tool

Viking Knit with a Lazee Daizee

So, I decided to try my hand at Viking Knit …. As you may of realised I love learning new things, and experimenting with different types of handmade jewellery using seed beads, chainmaille, gemstones, clay, cord etc etc I normally drift back to bead weaving as it is my favourite of all the different methods and styles I have attempted over the years, and more recently started to document via my blog.

My latest attempt at something new is Viking Knit, now I first saw some viking weave on a class I took maybe 6 years ago with the awesome Jean Power she occasionally takes classes in London, I took a chainmaille class with her, and the next class she was doing was going to be the viking weave. It looked spectacular, stunning but something I felt incapable of even attempting.

The reasons for that were quite set firmly in my mind, basically I am left handed, with a right handed mother – a mother who I might add can knit, crochet, sew skills she tried to teach me but failed to get me beyond a simple chain stitch on a crochet hook and I can kind of knit so long as I just keep going the same way wrapping the wool over the needle and moving the other needle in sequence …….I do own a scarf which is kind straight, kind of long, and only has a few holes (aka dropped stitches) despite my constant counting,  so the thoughts of knitting with wire which isn’t as fluffy as wool filled me with dread, all my mistakes would be visible, no where to hide hence those thoughts were parked for then next  years.

Fast forward to Jewellery Maker …. a few months ago I caught a glimpse of Lazee Daizee creator Stephanie Eddy & her husband doing a demonstration on tv (am sure its on YouTube JM channel), now what is a Lazee Daizee you might ask ?

Lazee Daizee 1/2" tool
Lazee Daizee 1/2″ tool

Well the crafty lady in question, from the US of A is called Stephanie Eddy she designed 2 sizes of what she branded the Lazee Laizee, in its most simplest form a stick of plastic with flat sides, a cone at one end and a detachable flower shape at the other end with loops in the “petals”. It also has a diagonal hole through the “stick”, which is the point at which you start knitting.

The point is, its simple, basically  you feed your wire through the stick, and secure with your thumb, then thread the other end of wire through a petal, forming a loop, then through the next petal, and the next holding each loop in place as you move on to the next. Once the first round is done, the process is exactly the same on the next row, and it really is that simple – I got it in less than a couple of minutes. Now, am not saying that I am suddenly an expert on the process, nor the neatest viking knitter but I definitely “got” the process without the implement being relegated back to my beading box of UFO’s (un-finished objects)

I am using the 1/2″ version, with 0.6mm wire.

 

So after using copious amounts of wire I pulled it off the lazee daizee and this was what I had weaved, I was a touch disappointed because it looks such a mess, not neat, not even, just a solid mass of uneven twisted knotted wire ….

part worked viking weave
part worked viking weave

 

 

I assume that the Stephanie Eddy obviously had similar issues to me as she also created as part of the range something called a conditioning cloth, and a draw plate.  I wasn’t impressed when I purchased the items but as I had seen them demonstrated on JM but  just see the effect they had on my uneven, higgledy piggly weave after a quick roll in the conditioning cloth, and roll through several holes of the draw plate.

 

through the draw plate
through the draw plate

 

 

 

 

 

See how much more even the weave has become, so on I went continuing   through the draw plate, starting at the thickest widest hole, moving down to the next smallest hole once the weave was sliding through easily.

 

See the change in the texture, and malleability of the wire after a roll in the conditioning cloth, and then several tugs through a draw plate – amazing :)

The wire & the lazee diazee + conditioning cloth, and draw plate are all available from Jewellery Maker – so if you are a bit of a wannabe knitter but end up with more holes than stitches maybe you should give the Lazee Daizee a go :)

Final first attempt at viking weave
Final first attempt at viking weave
Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys

Jewellery Class….

Well despite my slight apprehension I really really enjoyed teaching at Crafty Bettys last Saturday, it was a fabulous crafty atmosphere with customers popping in the shop taking a huge interest in the delights on our class table. It over ran slightly as we veered off and made earrings to match the illusion necklace & scalloped bracelet in pearls, the daisy weave bracelet was addictive, and a set of 3 interlocking glass bead stretchy bracelets seemed to be a hit. So, we made Christmas wreath, started a daisy chain bracelet, 3 stretchy strung bracelets, an illusion pearl necklace, a pair of pearl earrings, and a scalloped edge pearl bracelet all in just under 4 hours ….. then a few hours later I read this on Facebook ……

“Thank you to Crafty Betty and particularly Fiona who provided a fantastic jewellery course. I have been well and truly inspired and would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone interested in Jewellery Making.”

Its just so lovely to receive public feedback like this, really made me smile, and what more could a teacher / instructor ask for than to inspire others ? Still, days later makes me smile to read this :)

So we have another in the pipeline, and a Bridal Workshop / Wedding Fair  in March 2015 so busy busy busy. Am stocking up on pearls & wire as I type!

Check out the JM products on the table I used as well, and the JM tool kit, over the years I have used many sources for my threading materials and own countless tools but I will say I have found the wire, and tool kit exceptional from JM – and at a reasonable price. #jewellerymaker

The only thing we will have to differ on is that JM designers use the macrame board, and the necklace & bracelet boards I will always prefer a bead mat, or a bead it board, as I found the foam holds the beads, whereas the macrame board the pearls especially tend to just roll away on!

Anyway I am buzzing with excitement, planning my next workshops at the Bridal fair, and making my lovely sister some Christmas Party Jewellery ….. pics to follow later

Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys
Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys

 

 

daisy necklace
daisy necklace
Spider Themed Hair Fascinator

JM Hub!

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS #jewellerymaker #jmhub

PAGE 5 …….

 

Wow, well the uber amazing Pru  (JM Kumihimo Guest Designer) messaged me the other night to tell me that she had spotted my  spider tiara in the JM Hub magazine this month, well I didn’t believe it. After a quick check on-line I was stunned to see it, am quite chuffed actually :)

Am seriously not a fan of spiders, not in the slightest but these little guys have character I feel, so maybe if anyone is having a Halloween wedding on All Hallows Eve next year I would be more than happy to create something similar (with a twist of something new of course!)

 

Spider Themed Hair Fascinator
Spider Themed Hair Fascinator

 

 

Daisy Chain Bracelet

Introduction to Jewellery Making

In conjunction with Crafty Betty I am hosting a 3 hour workshop in Newark, in 2 weeks time, on the 15th November.

The idea is a simple introduction to jewellery making, we will be learning a beaded daisy chain, stringing glass beads to make a couple of bracelets, a nice pearl weaving technique, a woven christmas tree decoration that can be adapted to be a pair of earrings or pendant and a pearl illusion necklace, this means you will get to make, learn and then take home approx 5 items of jewellery, but most importantly you will take home the skills to make more!

More pictures to follow, but here is the same basic daisy chain pattern but with the insertion of a bugle beads in between sets of 3 flowers …. am going to test it out with some 2mm gems shortly too, that I have in Amethyst, from JM only 10CTs worth, but they are pretty – check out the code for when they are back in stock   GDGP30

I absolutely love the tiny 2mm 3mm and 4mm rounds that JM produce, as I can reproduce some of my bead weaving techniques in genuine gemstones instead of glass japanese seed beads, and given that I tend to only buy Miyuki or Toho precision cut beads not the cheaper chinese, or czech versions widely available but it does mean they are more expensive for a pot than a strand of 2mm Amethysts from JM! how unbelievable is that ??

 

anyway, if you fancy joining me do contact Michelle @ CraftyBetty in Newark  it will be fun!  and if you have any technique  requests I am more than happy to help you out

Slightly Different Daisy Chain
Slightly Different Daisy Chain
Daisy Chain Bracelet
Daisy Chain Bracelet

Hair combs

So instead of the spider theme I had going on a few weeks ago I decided to use up a strand of chips and nuggets in Clear Quartz last night, they were a product I purchased ages ago and did nothing with from JM

So this is the first step towards a little wedding collection that I am looking to launch next year ……. starting simple but have some amazing ideas bubbling in my brain just need the confidence (and time) to sit down and make them :)

 

Clear Quartz Nuggets and Chips Haircomb
Clear Quartz Nuggets and Chips Haircomb
Twisted Wire Spider, Smoky Quartz Ovals

Ghouls and Ghosts

Spider Hair comb
Amethyst, Smoky Quartz & Pearl Spiders

Half Term is approaching, some schools have already broken up, Crafty Betty in Newark are running some craft clubs in the mornings and only a couple of spaces remain so do contact Michelle if you want to hop along!

I have also stocked the shop with a couple of beginner bead work kits, more coming soon …. but the hair braids are available now

 

Beaded Hair Braids
Beaded Hair Braids

 

 

 

Halloween is fast approaching, or All Hallows evening to take its full name. Traditionally the night of trick or treat, scary costumes, carved pumpkins, haunted houses and exciting scary stories  are told. The origin is equally as exciting, given that the ancient pagans saw it as the end of the harvest, time to account for the stocks of supplies and prepare for the long winter ahead. The ancient Gaels believed the 31st Oct is the night where the boundaries between the world of the living, and the world of the dead blurred, and overlapped. Meaning that the dead could come back, and perform “tricks” on the living, such as damaging crops, and spreading sickness.

With this in mind, costumes and masks began to get worn to appease these playful spirits! Although I think these days there is less of the pagan ritualism and more of the supermarket commercial hype as the shelves are full of tubs of chocolates, haribos, ghoulish outfits, fake dismembered body parts dripping in blood and pumpkins!

The season vaguely reminds me of my Grandad, not for any reason other than the fact that I have snapshot in my mind of marrows, and there is a vague (ok very loose connection between the marrow and the pumpkin!) he would grow them in the garden, and Grandma would complain about them, am not entirely sure why, maybe he just grew them because he could but didn’t like them, or maybe he loved a marrow but she didn’t like preparing and  cooking them for him. Sadly my memory escapes me on that point but its still its happy memory to keep. What I have just realised rather sadly is that I don’t have a picture of my grandad on my macbook, but can rectify this …….watch this space :)

Am still in love with the halloween inspired fascinator! Amethyst, smoky quartz wire wrapped spiders creeping around the web of wire :)

 

 

Beaded Dream Catcher, in shades of Brown

Breaking News…..New Class in Newark

Breaking News!! Its rather exciting but I am running a Beaded Dreamcatcher Workshop at a local craft shop, Crafty Bettys in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Date – 15th November 2014

Time – 12 noon til 3pm

Cost –  £24.99

To Book – Email – michelle@craftybetty.co.uk

For more information – www.craftybetty.co.uk, or contact myself via this blog post / twitter / Facebook

 

Conveniently located in the centre of this delightful market town, with loads of fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, independent traders selling a variety of lovely items, plus your big hitters like Fat Face, Marks & Spencer, Next, WH Smith etc Newark has something to offer everyone.

So, the class size will be a maximum of 6, all materials are provided, and it will entirely suitable for beginners or a change for more experienced bead weavers or jewellery makers. don’t worry if you are nervous, this will be a fun workshop where hopefully we all learn a new skill, and make some new friends along the way.

The shop is located on the ground floor of the impressive Buttermarket, with car parks only a few minutes walk away.

The dreamcatcher uses a variety of seed beads, threads, bugle beads, feathers, and could be adapted to make a piece of jewellery, such as dinky earrings, or pendants for necklaces, once the basics are mastered the design ideas are only limited to your imagination! There will also be a selection of colours on offer, so don’t worry if you don’t fancy blue or brown! We have pink, red, and possibly green too!

As this is a basic introduction I am aiming to focus on techniques in basic bead weaving, if however you fancy a more advanced wirework, or genuine gemstone dreamcatcher do ask Michelle to organise another workshop, or if there are any other stitches you would like to learn such as Ladder weave, peyote, brick, netting again just ask Michelle as I am more than happy to share my skills.

I can also look at doing classes in Kumihimo, Macrame, Tiara, Fascinator’s, beaded corsage’s along with inexpensive but unique wedding jewellery.

So if you have an idea, get in touch … if you can doodle it, I can certainly have a go at making it for you or design a class to help you make it!

Beaded Dream Catcher, in shades of Brown
Beaded Dream Catcher, in shades of Brown
Beaded DreamCatcher, in Blue tones
Beaded DreamCatcher, in Blue tones