Inspired by the lovely JM designer Sheila Davies I have been busy working on this sari silk and gemstone collar piece, using a variety of sari silk ruffles & flowers meticulously sew in to place then decorated by a variety of gemstones from a bead scoop this collar piece is truly original.
It’s quite heavy so more of a winter piece of jewellery to wear than a summer collar, this means that the necklace needs to be durable and in keeping with the collar so I am considering kumihimo with sari silk ribbon intertwined with a length of chain.
For Christmas my lovely mummy got me a selection box, now these are I know, very common around the festive season but, my mummy didn’t get me a chocolate selection box she got me a Jewellery Maker Selection box, which she selected herself! #jewellerymaker
Well, we are well in to January now, traditionally quite a depressing month really. Its cold, wet, windy, foggy outside, the days are short and worst of all I am back at work with no days off to look forward too for literally months.
On the bright side, I did receive some amazing gem stones as gifts this Christmas from my amazing Mummy. (she is a home shopping addict)
Before I share my ever growing collection, I thought I would share my latest beading mat. On JMtv all of the guest designers seem to use a macrame board to work off, now I do love my macrame board but I find it virtually impossible to use the macrame board with small gems as they tend to roll off in all directions for me! I use a thin flexible foam mat, the issue with the foam mat is that it isn’t very sturdy nor very portable.
So to resolve my tiny problem I invested in a kindle / tablet case, a nice multi-coloured leather case, with a zip around 3 sides. Inside I fitted a bead mat, which means that I have a stable, none roll work surface to work off, and I don’t need to pack my designs away as the bead mat holds the gems & findings securely in place.
The great thing about this case is that my work is totally transportable, so I can take it out to the cafe @ Belton House whilst my children play, on train when having a day out, or simply to fold away projects at home waiting to be finished, but keeping all the component parts in one place.
The kindle case has elastic attached to each corner internally, so it has been easy to secure the foam beading mat inside the leather bound zip case.
What do you make a man? Especially a man who has everything, one who never wears jewellery as a Christmas present?
Well the answer is you don’t make them anything! but I was completely surprised when I was asked to make a pair of cufflinks because the new shirt, purchased for the formal night on the 10 night cruise required them.
Using some rose gold-plated findings (the toggle clasp ones, but obviously just using the bar portion) a few jump rings, a flower headed headpin and a couple of cubed black agate gemstones from Jewellery Maker and within 10mins they were completed.
Now, pre-Christmas I whipped up a pair of earrings for my Grans hairdresser, and rather excitingly they appeared on JM tv wall of fame on the TV! I do have a clip but sadly I can’t seem to post the link as the file is too large, so a picture will have to do instead.
So, I took a piece of silver plated chain from a JM findings pack, snipped it in to 6 pieces, attached a Amethyst from a JM bead scoop and a couple of silver plated earring findings and hey presto another quick 10 minute make.
Other makes include;
This bracelet was again whipped up using a bead scoop from JM, I have said it many times, the bead scoops of a mixture of gems stones are my absolute favourite buy at the moment, the sheer excitement of seeing what is in each bag, it so much fun! So for my friend in Canada I made a charm style bracelet, using 6 gems, of different cuts & colours but perfectly toned just by adding a few headpins, chain and clasp.
Using memory wire I threaded on some dagger gems similar to these on JM to again make a necklace in less than 30 minutes, the longest time was taken threading the gems on the wire!
So these are my other makes, hopefully they were well received!
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
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
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 🙂
And I absolutely detest them, I apologise to any spider lovers out there, but seriously some of those monsters are just ugly and HUGE, I swear they get bigger every year but still I have my trusty Henry to hand, always plugged in and ready for action – of course I leave the hose pointed upwards at all times:) (sometimes I have been know to cling film the end too just incase the huge ones climb out ……I am just terrified of the eight legged hairy freaks
My friend has been invited to a Gothic themed halloween style wedding reception, its not really her thing..so I have created her a spider infused hair piece, which she can flatten the wire woven the web over her hair if she wishes, or leave it up ……Just hope she likes it she is more at home in a pair of lycra running shorts and tee shirts than a little black dress!!
To create the comb, I took a pile of assorted wire, Silver in 1.00mm, 0.40mm and Blue coated 0.25mm, a comb, and a couple of bags of JM bead scoops, some bugle beads and a few seed beads. All of these products came from JM, with the exception of the bugle & seed beads, but are of course available in many other outlets. If you only wanted to get equipment from JM, the gemstone strands mostly have bugle beads separating the gems so you can utilise those and they sell the most wonderful 2mm gems strands which will work well too as legs.
I will say, the JM bead scoops are simply one of my most favourite things, I own a few, and usually can’t resist when I spot them on TV. They consist of a small bag of assorted gemstones in a colour theme, I used a purple pinks selection, and a black white selection to create the spiders. I picked out some larger shapes for the body of the arachnid and smaller ones for the heads.
To create a spider, I simply took a head pin, dropped on a large “body” gemstone, a small “head” gemstone and made a loop to secure, then I took 4 strands of wire whether it be the twisted wire, or the 0.25mm blue coloured wire and wrapped each strand in the centre of the beads to create the legs. I left some spiders with just wire legs, and added loops for the feet (do spiders have feet??) I was going for the daddy long legs version of the creepy crawlies. The couple created with hearts as the body I added bugle beads and seed beads to add some chunky funky legs to resemble those freaky small fat spiders you see climbing up the walls of your living room.
Each spider was attached to the web, which was just wire wrapped 1.00mm & 0.40mm wires, then attached to the comb. I couldn’t not add a few pearls, after all its for a wedding reception, but to blend the pearls I also added some black agate rounds, some smoky quartz ovals, and several other darker beads for that halloween twist.
I quite like the effect, when placed in the bubble wrap bag the spiders actually gave my mum a fright because they looked real! So I might make a couple more, but as tiaras this time with more a wedding theme, its definitely different to the traditional pearl tiara most brides wear.
I purchased these puffy coins from JM a while ago, actually as part of a kit with some Gold coloured 1.00mm wire, 0.80mm wire and a strand of crackled quartz rounds.
I wanted a quick make, so with my ring mandrel in hand I cut a length of wire, threaded on a single gemstone, and wrapped the wire around the mandrel a couple of times, then wrapped the excess around the base of the gemstone, and then each shank. All in all it took me about 10 mins and I love it!
Not the best picture, but a simply amazing strand of gems, so summery, light, sparkly, with 50 shades of pink!
These are another one of my favourite purchases, little squares of Amethyst, all varying in size, and varying in colour. Obviously they are all the traditional Amethyst colour, but the sheer awesomeness of these gems is that colour graduation. They range from virtually clear chunks of the Amethyst, to deep purple.
I kept the strand pretty much in the order it came to me from JM obviously it arrived on a temporary strand so I re-stranded using a multi wire strand of beading thread (this one was 19 strand by Beadsmith available from most good quality bead stores).
The graduations in the gems range from the smallest 3mm x 1mm up to a chunky 5mm x 2mm in the centre of the necklace. As this is a light toned summer piece, I matched the Amethyst with some pretty chain, and isn’t that toggle clasp beautiful, it isn’t small I can assure you, its a good couple centimetres in depth, and silver plated copper. The toggle clasp makes life easy when putting the necklace on, as there are no fiddly levers to get jiggly with or get stuck your hair (yes that has happened and it hurts!)
I actually own another strand exactly the same so am thinking bracelet and for the smaller squares at each end making a pair of earrings …how summery is that!
The finding pack was a JM special, and came with the bead scoop bundle my mum bought me a few weeks ago, it is lovely to work with, but more excitingly I have purchased my first ever Jewellery maker kit today, and dropped a mystery box in the order too, why? well I really liked the kit, it has Emeralds included I am unbelievabley excited about it. The mystery box is a gamble, but the great thing is, if I don’t like my surprise, I will return it (its easy to do i’m told but never actually felt the need previously!)
Last day of term from my beautiful little boy, so proud of him – he was desperate to give his class helper & teacher a present so after much rummaging around my left over stock from the weekend selected a couple of bracelets, both cubic right angle weave, and both with Amethyst’s running through but 2mm rounds to make them much more subtle. (fingers crossed they like them!)
I rarely do craft fairs, not because I don’t love them (because I do, there is a huge amount of talent out there) but I don’t do them because I find it difficult to part with my creations. Anyway over Christmas I decided to book this one event, after having a reasonable amount of success at the Christmas event I did in the local shopping centre. Learning from other stall holders, remembering the excitement of people genuinely loving your work and getting money I decided another event could be fun.
Obviously I had grand plans but as usual for me they never really got any further than the planning stage ….bunting, bracelets, tiaras, hair combs, necklaces and much more anyway I have more than enough stock and my aim with the stall is to share the love of creating a piece of jewellery so I have a number of beady kits which hopefully some little monkeys and families might like to try. Its billed as a family fun day, so I have focused on a number of children friendly bracelet style kits, loom bands and some real treats for the Mummy’s and Gran’s should they fancy something special.
My day job which I rarely mention apart from being a Chartered Accountant is running a roofing supply business, (Fab-Linc) we (I) manufacture flashings, gutters, sell tile effect metal roofing sheets, fixings and much more (yawn) but my point of mentioning this is that I am hand folding all my metal display stands to give my stall some height, here is an example of my creation.
I was also hoping that by manufacturing it in galvanised metal it reflects some of the natural light (on the day) back on to the the sparkly creations and really show the natural beauty of the gem stones. The picture isn’t the best in the world, its indoor, its a dark overcast day, but aren’t the Amethyst Square cut gems beautiful (no prizes for guessing where these came from!) all 55cts of them! I am two minds about those, I want to sell them at the weekend so I can invest in more stunning gemstones, buuuttttt I don’t want to sell them because I love love love them, the simplicity of the necklace, the way it drapes, the geometric cut of the Gems its summery, its pretty, its easy to wear, there is little it wouldn’t go with clothes wise, and don’t you think the clasp is amazing (again JM findings pack! a treat from my mum this is a similar pack available on the site – silver plated copper findings pack)
You may also notice the wire wrapped pearls on the tiara on the bottom stand, and the hair comb, these are unfortunately “fake” pearls but still pretty effective, they don’t have the natural lustre of genuine pearl, nor do they have the touch they are synthetic, they didn’t cost a million dollars but when my little girl spotted it, her eyes grew large, her jaw dropped, she was hyper-ventilating and bouncing across my solid wood 1930’s flooring in sheer joy and excitement as she burst out with I ♥LOVE♠ my new princess crown mummy ….. I NEED NEED NEED one for all my friends at nursery
Just one other quick note, I know many craft sellers sell as their main business, this isn’t my main business its a hobby, its a form of escapism, I love crafting, experiencing different mediums to work with, and sharing my experiences I also know full well that I don’t charge enough for my work but I just hope to sell enough for me to justify buying new gems, new kits, and that the customer feels they have paid a fair price for an item they love too.
So if you are in the area at the weekend, do pop over support the Air Ambulance Charity and say hello as I would love to meet you!