…and new jewellery

Ach!  I’m having a spell of not being able to make anything.  Nothing looks right and I’m all out of ideas.  I could do without this as I have two markets coming up – one next Sunday and one the Sunday after that – and I really need to get some stock made.  I think this was why I ended up taking photos of buttons yesterday.  Lord, it’s frustrating.  I was doing okay until about Thursday-Friday.  Here’s what I have to show for a not terribly productive week, some featuring the buttons I wrote about yesterday.

vivid plush

 (lampwork beads – Cheeky Cherub Designs, Tobarias Beads, Allesperle, patina clasp – Earthshine Beads)

flwer button bracelet

 (beaded bead – Malin de Koning, polymer round – Shipwreck Dandy)

garnet and gold bracelet

 (ceramic drop – Scorched Earth, lampwork lentil – Helen Chalmers)

keyhole earrings



 (polymer poppy – Elise Canning)


long drop necklace

(polymer aster disc – Tree Wings Studio, greek key polymer disc – Happy Fish, ceramic bird – Scorched Earth)

rodeo bracelet

 (ceramic bracelet bar – Captured Moments, ceramic charms – Happy Fallout, lampwork bead – Cheeky Cherub Designs)

This bracelet nearly met the chop several times.  I don’t really do bracelet bars – they’re usually too big for me personally, so it’s hard for me to get an idea of how things will fit when I use them.  I’m not even sure that I like them particularly.  But I’ve kinda come round to liking this bracelet, so I think it will survive.  This one is also in risk of being taken apart.

yellow and indigo peanut bracelet

I really like the colour combination and the large flower cluster but, as a whole, I’m just not sure it works, really.  Any thoughts?  I was also quite happy with these earrings…

standing stone earrings

…but I wasn’t really happy with the wirework.  I took them apart, hoping to do it better and, of course, I can get them right.  So they’ve gone too!  So far today I’ve made two pairs of fairly underwhelming earrings, but the sun’s too bright for photographs.  What do you do when you can get anything made?  Any tips or tricks would be very much appreciated…


I do like buttons…

green fan buttons

…really rather a lot – and vintage buttons, especially.  I’m afraid this post will expose me as a bit of a button nerd.  This last week I had the opportunity to visit Jessie’s Button Box in Bath.  It’s button heaven in my book.  Jessie has been collecting buttons for lord knows how long.  She’s knows stacks about their history and has many tales of button production throughout the 20th century and earlier still.  Sadly, she’s been unwell for some time so on my last couple of visits she hasn’t been behind the counter.  But, there are still plenty of beautiful and unusual buttons to browse.  Here’s just some of the beauties I picked up last week.

new buttons

The majority of these are made of casein – a milk by-product (yes, odd) used for buttons from the late 1800s up until around the middle of the last century. I also got these wooden 1930s marvels, which must surely make good earrings?

pink wood buttons

These came home with me too.  I’m not sure what exactly they’re made of but they’re very unusual and look pretty old.  I think they’ll be great with some Scorched Earth-ness.

old buttons

Somehow, I’ve collected rather a lot of buttons.  If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re fond of beads.  I’m hoping this enthusiasm will extend to buttons and all their possibilities, because I thought I’d share some pics of some of my favourites, all of which I’ve found at Jessie’s.  These deco-y numbers need a good clean but aren’t they fab?

geo buttons

Then there’s these narrow Bakelite ones, which also say ‘earrings’ to me.

bakelite narrow buttons

I can’t decide whether these next ones are too big for earrings, but I’m rather reluctant to part with them.

wood triangle buttons

I did part with one of these big 1920s casein pieces  (it was the centre piece to a necklace), so I’ll probably end up hoarding this one indefinitely.

big 20s button

I’ve picked up quite a lot of bakelite from Jessie’s place.  There were six of these once.

red bakelite

Here’s one more lot before I leave you.

jonquil buttons

This is just a small selection from my collection.  Jessie’s Button Box is decidedly pre-www, so I’m afraid I can’t share a link.  But, if you’re in Bath, you can find it in the basement of the Bartlett Street Antiques Centre.  I’ve already started making some pieces with my new buttons.  I’ll be back to share some tomorrow.

New jewellery, new stockist, art bead scene (and discounts!), and 2x 200

So, I have several things to share with you today, along with a stack of new jewellery designs.  I’d got a bit behind with putting jewellery on Etsy, so I had a concerted listing session earlier this week.  However, subsequently, I took a number of pieces down because I had to take some stock to a new stockist.  My jewellery will now be available at Boho in Bath.  They have a smaller store in Frome (where I live) and they sell some really beautiful clothes, so if you happen to be in Bath – or Frome, I’d recommend a visit.  Here’s just a couple of the new pieces that will be available there:

soft pink saucers 2

 (ceramic links and discs – Scorched Earth, lampwork disc – Helen Chalmers)


(ceramic scottie pendant – Bo Hulley)

In some respects, it’s been a rotten week with me.  I’m not one to be sharing such things on a blog, but suffice it to say that making jewellery has been a really, very, very welcome distraction from things.  Another bright point came with being featured in an interview on Art Bead Scene.  It was suggested and compiled by the lovely Rebecca Anderson of Songbead, who also posted the piece on her blog (including an extra bit about great UK supply shops).  If you’re not interested in reading an interview with me, you may still be interested to hear that it featured some discount codes.  Use the code SONGBEADBLOG in either of my shops and you can get 20% off jewellery and 10% off beads.  I did stock up the bead shop a week or so ago; quite a few pieces have gone but there are still some new pieces to be had, such as these:

quickie for blog

I made several pairs of the patinated vintage cages because I was rather keen to use some myself.

caged birds 2

(polymer birds – Happy Fish, patina cages – Something to do Beads)

These are available in the Etsy shop (with, potentially – I hasten to remind you – 20% off!).  I seem to have had a bit of a birdy spree of late.

speckled 4

(ceramic birds – Blueberribeads)


(polymer bird – Something to do Beads, ceramic spike and charms – Scorched Earth)

Not the greatest photo, that one.  My camera has been having a few wobbly moments this week too.  My other wee bit of news is that I’ve passed both 200 sales in the bead shop and 200 likes (always sounds such an odd term) on Facebook.  Which really calls for some sort of giveaway.  I’m still giving some thought to what sort of giveaway it should be, but it’ll be happening soon.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the rest of the new designs.  Some can be found on Etsy, and some have gone to Boho, including this House at the end of the world necklace.  I ordered this strand of rough lapis a while ago. When it arrived I found the pieces were considerably larger than anticipated, but I’m quite pleased with this design.  Just need to find a use for the other dozen great rocks…

house at the end 1

 (ceramic house – Elukka, ceramic cog – Captured Moments)

bunny 1

(bunny bead – Jo Lucksted)

I have to show you this second image – look at the fabulous czech glass, two-hole ‘piggy’ beads.  They look like armadillo armour!  I’ll be having more of those, I reckon!

bunny 5 detail

lagoon rocks

cheery tubs 1

colour burst 1

 (lampwork bead – Moogin)

shipyard 4

(fibre beads – Carolyn Saxby, lampwork oil drums – Helen Chalmers, rusty iron charm and patina seahorse – Something to do Beads)

pale points

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earth)

bandir bracelet

(kitty bandit connector – Amanda Davie, lampwork beads – Danielsbeads, beaded bead – Malin de Koning)

That one isn’t actually available anywhere.  I started off making it and was so liking the combination of beads that I decided it would have to be mine – hence the diminutive, scrawny-wrists proportions.  And these were never going to be anybody’s but mine…

oil drum earrings

 (lampwork oil drums – Helen Chalmers, rusted vintage rings – Something to do Beads)

There have to be some treats.  Ta-ra for now.