Christmas come early… come late

Hello all. I hope you’ve had an at least tolerable Christmas…

xmas tree…and that your festive season has been full of good things,

photo-5 copy 3like fluffy pink elephants and stuff.

Last time I posted, some days before Christmas, I mentioned that I has amassed a pile of parcels full of good things like beads and glazes.

photo-5 copy 2

I also mentioned that I’d be back in a day or so to share this early xmas bounty. Well, I never got around to it so that’s what I’m doing today, some days after xmas.  I meant to take the pictures of the contents outside, on a white background, but it was cold and I was lazy – it may even have been raining – so I ended up taking them on my scruffy, stained work surface. Sorry about that. Anyway, on with the good things. I’m sure a fair number of you will recognise the red wrapping on that top package. A Petra parcel is always very welcome and this one contained those dinky Christmas trees at the top of this post.

PetraI’m loving those spiky ring things. Not entirely sure what I’ll do with them yet but you know how it is when you have to have something? Course you do!

A number of the parcels were things I ordered in Black Friday sales, like this little bundle from Earthbutter Beads.


The colours in those raku rounds are so subtle and beautiful; I had to order another two more sets just to ensure I had enough to bring myself to use some.  I did a similar thing with the earring pairs I got from Slate Studio.

slate studio

I knew I’d need to keep a pair of each for myself.  I love Sarah’s beads so I stocked up when she had her Black Friday sale. Ditto Tree Wings Studio.

tree wings

I can’t get over how teeny those little birds are!  More Black Friday purchases here, from Happy Fish Things.

happy fish

I got a few beads to keep this necklace company on its way over the Czech Republic.

happy fish necklace

I’d had my eye on it for ages and it had already been reduced quite a bit. I did try taking a pic of me wearing it. I won’t bother sharing that!

What else? I’d also stocked up on more Madeline Bunyan polar bears. I didn’t get around to using them this year but they’ll be ready for next Christmas!

m bunyan

I wish I’d got a better picture of these Numinosity goodies.


Also wish I’d managed to bag a few more of them whilst I was shopping. Finally, beads-wise, some lovely new designs from Blueberribeads.

blueberribeadsJust lovely!

Edit: I forgot to include these:


How??! The wonderful Moogin Mindy, of course.

Now for some really fascinating pictures.

glazes cromartie

Proper eye candy, hey? Wanna see more?

bath potters

I just can’t stop buying glazes…

photo-5 copy 4

In fact, I think I might just have to have a little browse to see if any online suppliers are  running end-of-year sales.  Speaking of the end of the year, let me leave you with the best of wishes for 2015.

New jewellery and post day goodness

Jeez!  Sorry, it’s been a while since I last pulled a post together. It’s just been a busy old time, with one thing and another.  So, this is going to be a bit of a bumper issue.  Inevitably, I’ve managed to build up a considerable back log of new designs, along with various other bits and pieces that I’ve been wanting to share.


(ceramic bands – Scorched Earth)

blue skies 1

 (ceramic lentil – Golem Studios, ceramic flowers links – Captured Moments)

Which means I had a crazy load of Etsy listing to do.

cardamon 1

I know you should drip feed listings into your shop and resist the temptation to list everything in one go.

(Awful blue photo alert!)

blue skies

(polymer daffodil – Elise Canning)

Well, I just wanted it all sorted and done, so I’ve ignored this advice and just listed all these new pieces in the shop. It’s never been so full!


(I really must get my head around ‘white balancing’, or whatever it’s called….)

rich and raw

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

the leaves

(lampwork beads – Bluhealer)

bird life

 (ceramic bird cage – Happy Fish Things, wirework nest – The Curious Bead Shop)

thankful for the day

Wrap drop rings

 (ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

twilight 1

 (ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

scored 1

(ceramic squares – Happy Fish Things)

paprika 1

 (ceramic rounds – Bo Hulley)

little like angels

(lampwork beads – Bluhealer)

Into the sun

(driftwood beads – Nature Scavenger)

Another country 1

from out of the valley 1

(enamel plates – 4ophelia)

The enamel plates in this last pair of earrings must have taken a big knock on their way here from Canada. A section of the enamel had broken off. Rather than sling it, I decided to try covering the break with a ‘spill’ of rusty patina.  I’m not sure if it’s all that successful. We’ll see. If they don’t go, I’ll just use the unbroken one in a necklace, I guess…

As you might imagine if you know me, I’ve had a few tasty post days since last time.  Look at these new goodies; they arrived some time ago now…

new goodies

(pinwheels – Jade Scott, tin pieces – Lorelei Eurto Hill, ceramic beads – Menagerie Studio)

I’ve been wanting some Basha beads for an age.


I also got some gorgeous Slate Studios sets the other day.  I had to get two, so I could bear to part with one.

new slate lovelies

One other thing I’ve been meaning to share. I was lucky enough to have my name pulled from the hat to take part in a ‘Spring Fever’ challenge run by Thea Elements, Blueberribeads and Smitten Beads.  Here’s what I have to work with…

spring fever pack1

Lucky me, hey? I’m going to leave you with a few more newish designs which I didn’t get round to sharing here before now. If you’ve seen them already, apologies!  I like to treat this blog as a record of the things I make and sell, etc; for me if no one else!

double bud bracelet

cherry buds 2

(polymer blossoms – Rejetta Sellers)

ring of roses 1

(lampwork bead – Ciel Creations)

vintage dahlia

(lampwork beads – Ciel Creations)


 (ceramic coin drops – Scorched Earth)

dark light

(ceramic coin drop – Scorched Earth)

bright heart

(ceramic heart – Scorched Earth, lampwork heart – Keeley Kenyon)

ocean drops

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

backgammon bracelet

That’s the lot.  I’ll be back soon – possibly tomorrow – with some Bead Soup business! One last bit of news – we have seen sun!!

Dex in the sun - for blog

oh dear, oh dear, oh beads….

Oh dear


I had a bit of a hectic few days over the weekend and the backend of last week. I had some bead custom orders to make and a magazine project to make and write up.  The trouble is, I get caught up in doing these things and then things just get out of hand.  This is the result – bead mayhem. I have all these beads that I’ve ordered recently that I’ve either not had chance to put away or that I’ve left out with a view to making something.  And there are these ‘exploded’ orders that I’ve pulled open for the vital elements that I needed and that have remained in their ransacked state.


Predictably, there’s a Scorched Earth bundle that I raided last week.


Aren’t these toggles amazing?!


So, the task for this afternoon will be sorting this lot out, putting some away, deciding what I need to leave out to use in the near future.  Before I do that, I thought I’d share some of these new goodies with you – knowing you’re likely to be one of those peculiar individuals who loves looking at beads.  I’ve had some fabulous post days recently, this morning included.  I’m loving this new Moogin colourway.


I think at least 2/3s of this little bundle will be staying with me!  Here’s some more gorgeous glass.  I had these in my cart for some time; I’m so glad I got them.  They’re from Rachel Art – this is my first order from her.


The colour mix is fabulous: bright red and citrus shades with grey – it really works.  I’m just trying to work out how I can use a number of them together so I can incorporate the full range of colours in whatever I make.  They were beautifully presented too.  Here’s some more yummy glass, from Earthshine Beads (which was also beautifully packaged) – plus an enamel leaf from C-Koop.


I’m sure these should be used together – again, I just can’t work out how… Perhaps I’ll mix in some of these.IMG_2356

I love deep red picasso finish glass so I’m finding this pile very pleasing. I’ll be struggling to separate them, but I guess it must be done. (Beads here from The Curious Bead Shop, Lima Beads and Smitten Beads).  These headpins would fit in this mix rather nicely, I think.


Mmmm – lovely goodness from Bo Hulley, of course.  More ceramics here, from Happy Fallout.IMG_2387

This is the *third* set of palimpsest beads that I’ve ordered and I’ve still barely touched the first.  I. just. love. them.  I have a similar problem with my Jubilee beads.  These will be joining my sprawling conurbation.


Another building here, from Blueberribeads, along with some sweet hearts.


And here’s another first order from a new-to-me maker, Margit Boehmer.


Kinda wish I’d got more now. I also have a couple of bundles of vintage wonder waiting to be used/filed.  This lot is from Bumbershoot Supplies.


Loving those vintage sequins; I’ve wanted some for a while.  Fabulous colours!  I’m also loving this little lot too, from Vintage Bead Cache.


I think that’s the lot!  Thankfully I’ve also just received a pile of bead boxes.

dex yawning

Dexy finds beads very boring indeed.  He’s waiting on a walk, right now.


Not impressed. So, I’d best get on and walk him before turning my attention back to this chaos.  Before I go, a question (assuming you’re still reading!): white czech glass starburst coin or blue ceramic star?


I’m thinking white czech glass….

AJE Component of the month Blog Hop

So, some weeks ago, I was one of a lucky little bunch of beaders who won a giveaway and received one of Lesley Watt‘s beautiful bronze pod beads.


Lovely, hey?  They were the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month this September. The one requirement was that we winners make something with one of them (tough, I know) and that we share what we made today.  I’d been admiring these beads for a while so I was very pleased to win one.  Here’s my pod:

pod necklace 1

Can you tell that I’ve used it in a necklace that’s particularly tricky to photograph?  Well, I have, see:

pod necklace 2 I decided some time ago that I wanted to make some sort of a lariat kinda thing but I only arrived at the design a few days ago.  I’ve added some Scorched Earth bead caps to echo the shape of the pod, and hung them from some of my verdigris patina chain.

pod necklace 4

Thankfully, it wears a lot better than it photographs!

A large thank you is owed to Lesley: thank you, Lesley! If you fancy getting one of these pods you can find them in Lesley’s shop, Thea Elements.  As I said, I wasn’t the only lucky winner.  You can have a look at the other winners’ (or guest designers’) pieces by following the links below.   The members of the AJE team have all been given the opportunity to use one too.  I’m really curious to see how everyone used their beads – I’ve got a feeling there’ll be some surprisingly different designs.

AJE team

Gee but it’s great to be back home

So, I’m home from the French wedding odyssey.  It was a bit of an epic trip.  I got back full of cold and generally feeling rather seedy and lived-in.  I’d love to think I embrace travel but the tedious nuts and bolts of it all drive me up the wall more and more.  I was very, very ready to be back.  My homecoming was made all the more welcome when I discovered a massive – and vaguely shaming – mountain of post.  It was such a pleasing haul I thought I’d share it here.  I did bring a couple of things back from France.  I’ve never been to a French bead shop, but I’m always very happy to come across a haberdashery, like the one I found in Chalon town.  I didn’t have time to look at all the buttons – just the wooden ones.  I coped:

french buttons

I also picked up this preposterously cute ribbon.

cute french ribbon

But, back to my magic post day.  I’ve been meaning to buy some beads from Claire Maunsell of Stillpointworks for some time.  I wish I’d got more.


I’ve also wanted some of these big disc beads from Grubbi for a while.  The glazes are really lovely and rich, especially the blue to the fore of the picture.

grubbi discs

There was, somewhat inevitably, a nice fat Scorched Earth parcel.  I feel I should add that the size of it was – in part, at least – owing to Petra’s ever generous extras!

new petra

There was also a nice haul of tasty czech glass from Mountain Shadow Design.

mountain shadow glass

Aren’t those orange dragonflies a stunning colour?  I love the massive English cut rounds too!  I’d kinda forgotten placing this order from Earthbutter Studio.  In my defence, there was a sale.


I didn’t just have beads waiting for me.  There were some new patinas too.  I’ve no idea how they’ll work but fingers crossed for patina chain in pink and plum.

pinky patinas

The biggest parcel was from Yuki Designs.  I’ve been admiring their stock for a while and I had a rash moment – or two – last week when I went for broke and just ordered (well, nearly) all the things that took my eye.  I was braced for a customs charge and a bit of a wait, but my order slipped through customs and arrived within a week.  Even better!!


Finally, there was this collection of handmade wooden beads and blanks from Pymatuning Crafts.  I’d lost the will to take things out of bags by the time I took this pic.  Plus, they’re all made from different woods (all storm damage, etc.), so I didn’t want to mix them up.

py wood beads

So many possibilities!  I think that’s everything.  If you’ve enjoyed looking at these anywhere near as much as I enjoyed opening them, you must be smiling right now.  Maybe you’ve been tempted into making a purchase – I hope so!

Small parcels of wonder…

Oh dear, I’ve been a bit remiss here.  I haven’t written a post for a couple of weeks.  I haven’t been idle.  I’ve been working with some new materials, on a new batch of beads.  It’s quite a time-consuming process, but a very fun one and I’m quite consumed with it.  But, more of this anon.  With no new makes to share, I thought I’d offer a little view of some of the new beady goods that have arrived from others in the last month or so.  It’s been a time of holding the purse strings quite tight, and a lot of my funds have gone on tools and bead-making materials.  So, post days have been fewer, but all the more treasured for it.  One of my new favourites is Happy Fallout.  Although, I’m really quite sickened that I didn’t come up with the text technique on these palimpsest beads.


Here’s a few more beauties:

happy fallout

I’ve been a fan of Jo Lucksted‘s ceramics for ages.  I’ve used her buttons in several pieces but she doesn’t usually offer beads for sale, so these had to be had.


Aren’t they marvellous?  I shouldn’t really look when Petra updates her shop but I find it hard not to – and harder still not to spot some needful thing.  These are just some of the latest additions to my Scorched Earth collection.

scorched earth

I just love that pale lavender colour.  And that’s why I had to bag this clasp, a combination of Rebecca Anderson‘s wirework and Bo Hulley‘s ceramics, from The Curious Bead Shop.il_570xN.442706415_sy8z

I have Rebecca to thank / blame for the next acquisitions.  I risked the customs trap to get these marvels (and a couple of clasps) from Amanda Davey.  And, yes, of course I got caught.  amanda davie

I’d had my eye on that tatty lace pendant for some time.  It’s going to get a simple treatment – and it’s staying with me.

I got another customs hit when I received a parcel from Tree Wing Studio, but I’ve wanted some of Rebekah’s aster beads for ages, so it was worth it.  I got them in three different colours, along with some other flowers.  She also, very kindly, popped in a free owl.treewingstudio

I’ll leave you with these beautiful glass oil drums from Helen Chalmers.  Expect to see them in earrings very soon!