Smitten Charity Jewellery Auction, in aid of Mind

For the last couple of years I’ve participated in a fabulous fundraising event, donating jewellery to be auctioned to raise funds for different charities. It is organised by Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads, with able support from Lindsay Phillipson and Kate Floate, and goes by the name, So Good I’m Smitten. And, all the jewellery that is made and donated is created by Smitten customers using some of the lovely beads that Claire sells. In 2014 we raised over £1200 for the The Alzheimer’s Society, and last year over £1800 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year’s charity is Mind, the mental health charity. As you may or may not know, it’s a cause that means a great deal to me; and, with NHS mental health services being ever more stretched, underfunded, and cut back, alternative sources of support are particularly vital right now. The auction takes place online, on a dedicated Facebook page. It’s really easy to participate; you don’t have to sign up or join anything. You just need a Paypal account to make your payment/donation – and a desire to own some lovely jewellery. You can see an album of all the jewellery that is available here. As you’ll see, the reserve prices are set at a very affordable rate. The auction starts today (15th July) at 5pm and runs until 8pm on Sunday evening (17th July). Here are the pieces I’ve donated. I’ve mixed in some of my ceramic pieces with the Smitten supplies.

SGIS bracelet lagoon feathers circles SGIS pendant necklace pendant on bust moorish

Here’s another link to the event page. And, again, a link to the auction album where you can place your bids. I do hope you’ll hop over and take a look!

Xmas Posting Deadlines and New Earrings

Evening all! I hope you’re contending okay with all the pre-xmas stuff. I’m happy to be winding down a little now. I haven’t done any Christmas craft fairs this year (and I’d be lying if I said I’ve missed them), but I have been pretty busy making jewellery and listing it in the Etsy shop. (I’ve also been working away on new beads and setting up my new mini metalwork space(!) – more on that soon.) If you’re in the States, there’s still time to get yourself some Christmas treats. Royal Mail are giving Tuesday, 15th December as the last date for post to be delivered in the US in time for Christmas day. I’ll be doing post office runs tomorrow and on Tuesday, so now’s the time to get your orders in. For details of the last shipping dates for all other countries, please refer to this chart. There’s still time to get items sent to most European destinations, and also Scandinavia. I’ve just listed a little crop of new earrings, including some new favourites! Here they are – (and here is where they are available to purchase!)Living By The Water 1Wherever I've Been And Gone 1A Word I Rarely Use 1Francesca 1You Promised A Stone From Your Heart 1Thanks for being free 1Signs, Scars 1Move The Faders 1Never Wrote A Letter 1celeste 1That’s the lot – for now!  Here’s the shop link again. This may be the last lot of jewellery I list this side of Christmas; however, given my love of earring making, I can imagine that I may be adding a few new things before then…

A little late: a smattering of new beads… and something new…

[NB. I wrote this post last weekend and planned to publish it when I put these new beads in the bead shop.  Anyway, there were so few beads, they sold very quickly so I didn’t get around to publishing it. Anyway, I’m just going to publish it because it’s there and written, etc….]

As you may know, I haven’t made many beads of late.  However, I had to get the clay out for a couple of things recently, so I decided to make a few bits for the shop. The tiny birds and geo patch birds I made a few weeks ago went well, so I decided to make a few more.

geo patch bird group

There are a number of the tiny pairs in different colours.

bird pairs

And a couple of loners, including this sweet wee blue guy.

pale blue bird

These are likely to be the last polymer beads I make for a while. Why?

complete potter

I’m trying my hand at ceramics. I did pottery for several years when I was younger and I’ve wanted to go back to it for some time.  There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve forgotten so I’m doing a course of classes. I’ve also got myself a big lump of clay at home. I’m not sure how it will all work out (whether I’ll get a kiln or get firings done elsewhere, for example) but I’m enjoying it immensely.

ceramic beads

So, I’m putting the polymer to one side for now to focus on ceramics.  Accordingly, I’m afraid I won’t be taking custom orders for a while.  So, this batch of birds will be it for the time being.

BSBP: From Lori to me

Okay, I’m back to share the fabulous soup that Lori sent to me.  But where to start?  It arrived beautifully packaged.

cute bag

How sweet is this wee baggie? Love the vintage button particularly (of course!)  There was yet more pleasing packaging inside this.

gift boxes

Both of these boxes arrived with beautiful bows, but I’d already stuck my eager, greedy beak inside the dark one before I remembered I was supposed to be taking pictures.  Now for the wonders inside. I’m crazy about these.

lampwork glass

The large ones are from Jane Perala and they’re fab. I’m glad I got them as part of this soup because if I’d got them any other way I’d be sure to hoard them for forever. Lori can’t remember who made the little lampies but they’re very nice too. And guess what? These aren’t even the focal(s).  Look –

focal and clasp

Apparently Lori has been hoarding these for some time. How kind?! They’re Thai Hill Tribe silver (99%), which I’ve never used before. The smaller butterfly is a clasp. I have a bit of an idea brewing for these. Hope I can make it work!  I don’t tend to use bright silver very often so that’s going to be a new thing to think on.  And while we’re talking silver…

pewter and silver

Lori also included these dinky sterling lantern-ish spacers. So much silver! The large twists are pewter, as are the little rings.  I’ve got a bit a plan for those too.  There’s more:

glass and pearls

I love these big coin pearls!  And a bit of a coincidence: the faux sea glass looks very similar to the recycled glass that I sent to Lori.  I do like its frostiness!  And finally, I’d mentioned to Lori that I love czech glass…

czech glass

See how the bag was neatly matched to what was inside!  Here’s everything together:

full soup from lori

Didn’t I do well?!  To see what I sent to Lori head here.

Obviously, I can’t begin to say a big enough ‘thank you’ to Lori, but

THANK YOU, LORI !!!!!!!!!

 

BSBP: From me to Lori

So, it’s Bead Soup Blog Party time again.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Here’s a post from last year, which explains it all.  I started putting my soup together a wee while ago. I was ordering a stack of stuff from a certain online shop where you can buy all manner of beady goods, including art beads. I took a bit of a ‘Friday night shop’ approach to it, finding a focal and clasp, then slinging various other matching items into my cart.  It was really the focal and clasp that determined the rest of the soup ingredients. I ended up going with a colour that I don’t use much myself – green.

focal and clasp

(enamel leaf – CKoop, clasp – Miss Fickle Media)

It’s not that I don’t like green – I do! I just seem to overlook it.  There are certain greens I love – like lime and chartreuse.  But it isn’t one of my go-to colours.  It’s not just the case with designing; I barely ever buy green clothing, for example. I’m not consciously avoiding it. I just find that it’s missing when I look for it. Anyway, enough about my green issues. I haven’t introduced my partner.  She doesn’t really need an introduction.  It’s Lori Anderson, who’s only the blimmin’ organiser of this whole swap thing! Obviously, I was stoked and more than a bit surprised when I discovered that Lori was my partner. And then I was struck with SIC (Soup Inferiority Complex).  ‘How many soups must Lori have cast her eye over’, I thought. ‘Surely mine is going to seem wanting’.  But I’d already ordered the focal and clasp and various other bits, so I resisted the temptation to scrap my plans.  Here’s the rest of what I’ve sent to Lori. I know she’s received it – apparently, her son, Zack, was very taken with the leaf, which was good to hear!

soup in full 1

There’s a couple of strands of recycled glass, which I bought when I got the focal and clasp.

recycled glass

Then I pulled together a mix of other miscellaneous green stuff. misc green

Inevitably, there’s a couple of Petra bits, along with some dark green leather and some czech glass leaves/drops/top-drilled thingummies. I included that big painted wood rectangle as a bit of a curve ball. I’ve actually got two strands of them, one green and one fuchsia pink. I bought them because I liked the look of them but I didn’t have a clue what I’d do with them. Putting this soup together, I actually came up with a necklace design using one, so that was neat. Anyway, I thought I’d challenge Lori with one too. To counter all the green, I added in a bunch of semi-precious – quartzes mainly, and some coffee jasper.

semi-precious

Very Spring-y, I thought.  Here’s the whole soup again.

full soup 2

I’m really intrigued to see what Lori comes up with. The reveal day is 3rd May.  I have received the most fabulous soup from Lori, which rather puts mine to shame, but hey ho!  I’ll be back to share it very soon – hopefully tomorrow!

Return of the market

So, my monthly markets resume tomorrow.  The event has been renamed and rebranded and is now called the Frome Independent. I’ve got my table plan sorted – although, looking at it, I’m thinking there may be too many bracelets.  There’s no table cloth on here so it doesn’t look so great. IMG_3046

I also managed to catch Dexy mid-shake. Despite the prep and various other commitments, I’ve managed to get a few new pieces made over the last week or so.

primary hearts_edited-1

(lampwork hearts – Keeley Kenyon)

emerald standard 1

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

hearth

I got this neat hemp cord with blended colours –

hemp

I’m easily pleased! I’ve been trying it out in a couple of bracelets.

bonzo

(polymer heart – Rejetta Sellers, polymer round – LC Beads, painted driftwood – Nature Scavenger)

What you can’t see in that picture is this dinky vintage dog charm, which matching rainbow ears!

bonzo detail

Here’s a very simple piece – I’m not sure what to do with it, really. I just wanted to see all those lovely colours braided together.

taffy plat

Shame the rubbish light doesn’t let you see them!  Here’s another disappointing photo!

owl band

(ceramic owl – Majoyoal)

It’s a pity cos I’m quite pleased with it.  More owls here:

serious owls

(ceramic owls – Majoyoal)

lagoon shells

(ceramic connectors – Scorched Earth)

magenta line 1

(lampwork rondelle – Moogin, tin caps – Lorelei Eurto Hill)

polka drops

(painted pebbles – Plymouth Rocks)

amber iron 1

(rusty drops – Something to do Beads)

So, all these and more will be available tomorrow, 10am – 3pm, in Frome town centre.  Somehow, I’ve forgotten to add a price tag to these.  And they haven’t made it into the stock box…

lagoon crescents

(ceramic crescents – Happy Fish)

I really want to keep them… Is that allowed?

 

BLACK FRIDAY – CYBER MONDAY offers / New Jewellery

With these two markets taking place this weekend, I’ve been a bit unsure what to do about Black Friday-Cyber Monday offers.  I’m sure I must have sufficient stock, but I don’t really want to be offering a discount online whilst selling things full price, and I don’t have the tech-skills to keep the shop open and remove items that sell at the market.  So, reluctantly, I’ll be shutting the jewellery shop on Saturday and Sunday.  But, come Monday, I’ll be offering 20% off all jewellery with the discount code CYBER20, and I’ll run this offer through the week until some time next weekend (haven’t settled on that detail yet).  Fancy a preliminary browse?: click here.  The bead shop is not as full as I’d like, so to compensate and tempt you in, I’m offering a hoofing great 25% off!  And – guess what? – since you’re taking the time to read this, I can tell you that the code is already active: CYBER25!  There’s still a couple of pages of goodies to be had, including this wee guy:

verd copper owl face

Now, I mentioned yesterday that I have a few new jewellery designs to share.  There are quite a number… The pieces that don’t sell will be available on Monday to buy at the discounted price, although I won’t have chance to get all these new things listed by then.  So, if anything here takes your fancy but you want to hold out till Monday to get the discount, just drop me a line, here or through Etsy, and – if it hasn’t sold over the weekend – I’ll get it listed for you promptly.  Okay, I think that’s all the details covered.  Here’s the new stuff – like I said, there’s, ahem, quite a number…

blue tower

(raku tower – Jubilee)

champagne

(painted pebble – Plymouth Rocks)

couple of kooks

(patinated pods – Something to do Beads)

ombre pebbles

(painted pebbles – Plymouth Rocks)

pale pansy

(polymer flower – Elise Canning, ceramic flowers – Captured Moments)

poire

(polymer pear – Rejetta Sellers)

champagne petals

(enamel bead – Gardanne)

pyrite pebbles

(painted pebbles – Plymouth Rocks)

polar

(polymer penguin – Rejetta Sellers)

pop pewter bird

(ceramic bird – Blueberribeads)

cool blue bear

(Ruddy winter light!!!)

(ceramic bead – Jo Lucksted)

bound quartz

(and again, damn it!)

(lampwork lentil – Moogin)

feathered shards

(polymer beads – Beads by Earthtones)

deep sea finds

(copper pendant – Swirl Bead, ceramic drop, cap and spike – Scorched Earth, polymer pod – Something to do Beads)

Forest Stag

(ceramic stag bead – Jo Lucksted)

long tall skinny

(metal drops – 4 Ophelia)

mixed coins

(ceramic lentil – Golem, polymer coin – Something to do Beads)

pearl bird

(damn, damn, damn!)

(ceramic bird – Blueberribeads, ceramic discs – Scorched Earth)

picasso coins

(ceramic charms – Scorched Earth)

royal coins

(decoupage coins – Eryka Garbutt)

sandy

(polymer round – Orly Fuchs Galchen, pitted ceramic bead – Happy Fallout)

silver leaves

(grrrrrrr….)

(lampwork beads – Cat Lampwork)

square swirl

(polymer cube – Swirl Bead, enamel charm – Gardanne)

There’s still more, believe it or not… here’s the ones with no art beads –

faded feathers

holding

pointed

jasper blooms

royal vintage

square columns

woodland

You made it!  That’s the lot!

Two markets: one weekend….

It’s been a while – things have been pretty busy here.  Some time ago I blithely signed up to do two markets in one weekend.  Well, that’s now this coming weekend – what was I thinking?  Both markets are big Christmas events and worth a visit if you’re in the area.  On Saturday I’ll be joining Magpies and I in their Spiegeltent in Bristol.tumblr_inline_mwrymaoE5G1r5a0ba

Then, on Sunday, it’s back to Frome for the Christmas Supermarket.

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I’ve no idea how much stock I’ll need but I’ve optimistically made up a lots of Scorched Earth tip earrings as they tend to be popular.  crackle tips

scraff tips

forest tips

fuchsia tips

hematite tipslagoon tips

If you fancy any of these, do drop me a line.  There’s a heap of other pieces that I’ll be back to share before the weekend.  Ta-ra for now.

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.

il_570xN.442408732_9wpi

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.

il_570xN.449823199_labm

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!

il_570xN.444352485_s8xd