So, I vowed I wouldn’t go back to the world of craft fairs, but this time for a very tiny fee my friend was arranging a craft fair so I agreed to come along.
You may of read my previous rants about craft fairs, and in honestly this was exactly the same, but there were some key differences.
Firstly, the cost of me getting in was equivalent to a bottle of wine, and I donated a small agate necklace with sterling silver findings as a tumbola gift.
Secondly the other stall holders were friendly, all made the effort to socialise, and boost each others confidence.
Thirdly, whilst the Hotel probably wasn’t the best venue in the world for a craft fair, it was on a main road (2 minutes walk from my house), the room was spacious, it had air con (when the staff remembered to switch it on). It was marketed on social media, and had a board outside.
All in all, I actually enjoyed the fair, chatting to the people as they wandered in for a look, leaving their partners in the bar.
The table was there for me, and marked up so no confusion. I had a suitcase, battered, vintage but served a purpose. I up ended it, made a metal flashing for the inside and double sided sticky tape to hold up the craft kits.
I sold enough to cover my costs that day, no profit but that was to be expected, there was a steady stream of browsers, but overall it was an interesting experience!
A secret beadalong I hear you ask, what on earth is that ?
The super awesome amazing Jean Power in her capacity as a #NBW ambassador created the most amazing secret beading project, which over 4000 beaders worldwide are taking part in, for FREE!
The aim is to spread the love of beading, the instructions were clear, do some preliminary beading (if you want to) and then each day during National Beading Week the next step of instructions is emailed out.
So, am running a little behind but will still get them done this weekend (I hope) the fun of course is seeing what we are making.
In the beginning it could of been a ring, a bracelet, brooch, necklace it was a complete surprise. I also discovered that its quite tricky to select colour schemes for a project when you have no visual idea of the end piece so its been a bit a revelation in my creative mind. Afterall its tricky to pick colours at the best of time which I imagine is why kits are so hugely popular in the beading world, I tend to stick to a purple themed colour palette, so I was fairly confident that my colours regardless of the project would blend beautifully, I did however use real miniature cultured pearls in the first piece – since I discovered Jewellery Maker I avoid all fake & glass beads where possible, obviously I need to caveat that as delicas, seed beads are all glass beads and not gemstones but sadly its virtually impossible to create some of the intricate beaded designs with gemstones as they simply can’t be faceted, or made uniform enough to be used in intricate bead woven designs such as this bracelet I created
Now the piece is coming together, and I have seen (and printed out) the instructions for days 5 & 6 I realise that it will be a pendant, and I am guessing that we just thread the pendants on the beaded chain to complete the piece (unless there is a twist!) but regardless I am happy with the Greens, Gold and Purples I used.
I wandered in to the workshop room blurry eyed, clutching a paper cup of McDonalds tea to see what delights Sheila Davies had managed to grab for us. (Sheila I have met many times, she is so lovely if you do ever get the chance to go on a workshop with her, do it!)
Also on the experience was a lovely lady called Scarlett, (she had hair to match her name, lush flowing locks of scarlett wavy hair), I sat next to her. Opposite us, a mum & daughter team who had literally spent the past week at the studios, they had taken a few workshops and driven over from Hull on a mini break (now thats my kind of mini break if only I had the time (and the money)!)
Sheila, looking lovely as always gave us a selection of beady treats to chose from, I ended up with a lovely variety of shell pearls. Now I have to confess shell pearls don’t grab my imagination normally so I guess thats why the Sunday experience is such fun, the challenge is to create something in the 4 hours, with just the items provided, and these probably won’t be to your taste. The best part is, its free!
For some reason I suffered from a creative blank, my brain just didn’t want to function that morning, normally I am simply buzzing with inspiration, too many ideas that I never really know where to start! Sadly because of my creative block I wasn’t too impressed with the items I made, this necklace I do love though. It was designed with my mum in mind, she struggles to fasten necklaces up so this slips over her head with ease.
Its simple, elegant and took hardly any time at all to whip up! The sections of 3 pearls are faceted shell pearls, the singles are more a mulberry colour but with a smooth finish. The chain is silver plated, and the pearls are attached via headpins with the end snipped off & a simple loop in its place.
On air that morning was Carol, she was a fab fun presenter & host, really easy to talk too, on and off air, along with Fleur, the chainmaille expert. Going on air was more relaxed this time around, it wasn’t as scary because I had done it previously, I actually quite enjoyed the experience but just wish my brain had engaged that morning and I could of created something awesome 🙁
Mid Morning I met Rebecca (Beccy) she is truly lovely, unbelievably was wearing the most fabulous pair of shoes with gems hanging off them! The lovely Laura Binding was waiting in the wings to go on air in the afternoon, for DI show so let the Sunday Experience peeps touch her designs. They were stunning (as always for Laura) I also got the opportunity to show her my piece inspired by her (via photo I didn’t have the piece with me sadly) but still she showed a generous amount of appreciation in support of my amateur efforts 🙂
I am going to make more of an effort to purchase kits, and review them, this Laura Binding Bangle was a kit (I reviewed a couple of months ago) as I am always intrigued how far a kit will go, this kit I ran out of the lower thinner wire gauges (0.25mm & 0.4mm) but had plenty of the 0.8mm left on the reel. I barely touched the pearls, but used half a strand of the pyrites. I find watching, and pausing the videos back on youtube helps significantly too! Am getting an expert at that 🙂 but in the meantime, i am back on the bead weaving with my beloved seed beads …. watch this space its the Beadworkers Guild annual gathering this weekend @ Daventry who knows what I will create!
Woohoo I got on the Wall of Fame (again) fingers crossed for a win one day …..
With this quick make, inspired by the amazing Gemma Crow (JM Guest Designer) although mine is slightly different, this is the basis of my darling daughters easter bonnet (aka easter princess tiara) for the school competition.
I created it using 2 rose gold hair combs, a rose gold tiara band, copper wire (as it goes really well with the rose gold colour) and some shell pearls, 10mm in size, peach in colour so the entire hair piece is co-ordinated.
It appeared on the JM wall of fame Facebook page on the 23rd March 2015, it made me so smile 🙂
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.
It’s a tad cold outside, in the mornings the frost is on the rooftops of the car, the window ledges, the window panes everywhere. I do love the frost, it leave a sense of clean as everywhere you look is shiny sparkly and white, some mornings it can be like looking out of the window at little gems or even diamonds twinkling.
I look for inspiration for my jewellery making everywhere, and whilst walking to work this morning I noticed that as the morning progressed the sun came up, and what was a chilly frosty white glaze over the pavements was rapidly disappearing under my feet.
I noticed, that whilst the frost & ice was dissolving it was leaving behind the most amazing patterns in the pavement – the image you see is nothing special, just simply the pavement under my feet as I walked to work, the ice melted away leaving behind a damp imprint of what clearly had been ice crystals on the ground. It’s so Lawrence Llewlyn-Bowen isn’t it !
The design reminds me of a mug I have as designed by Lawrence, but also a Fern Leaf pattern, the intricate stems, and leaf designs created by nature. Every pattern completely different. Its something I am attempting to replicate in my next jewellery challenge.
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
Christmas is all about giving and receiving, but lets face it we don’t always receive everything we really wanted ….sometimes its worth taking out a little “insurance” and getting yourself a little pre-Christmas treat.
Well I did just that, and this was the result, I ended with a kit from Jewellery Maker, I got around 7 reels of wire in various autumnal colours (browns, oranges and gold) in various gauges, 0.25mm, 0.40mm, 0.60mm, 0.80mm, 1.00mm and 4 Cabochons. I can’t remember the exact price I paid but am certain it was under £20 delivered to my door 🙂
One of these Cabochons is Amber! Not strictly a gemstone in my humble opinion as Amber is clearly created from tree sap, over many many years, often with micro creatures embedded in the centre, still very pretty and quite small, I have yet to decide what to do with it, but I may have a play around with some Silver PMC (Precious Metal Clay) perhaps make a pendant or a ring for myself, and then with the other pieces of Jasper which are quite sizeable I may get my seed beads out and peyote stitch a nice band around the edges.
I know the concept of the kit is to wire wrap the cabochons, but I do feel that when I have a go at wire wrapping it always looks a touch messy, I do like neat & tidy, thats why beadweaving is my staple I find the stitches organised, structural, am not a fan of freeform peyote!
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.