What’s been going on…

Oh dear! It’s been quite a while since I last posted. It’s been a hectic few weeks, full of the typical December jewellery-world business, including craft fairs and post office queues and all the rest of it.  On top of all this predictable activity, I also had a crazy big update in the bead shop. I should have blogged about it long since. A good number have sold (thank you, dear shoppers!). Still, I felt I couldn’t post now and not include some images of these latest beads – for the record if nothing else. Plus, some of them are still available in the bead shop.

Dec bead collage

collage 1

Dec Update Collage

collage 2

collage 3

december bead shop update 1

And while I’m here I thought I’d share a few new pieces of jewellery too.

feather white 3

(porcelain birds – Blueberribeads; wooden barrels – Pymatuning Crafts)

lil sleeper 1

 (polymer fox – Tree Wings Studio)

roundabout 1

(lampwork beads – Magdalena Ruiz; bronze charms – Lesley Watt)

artic 1

(lampwork polar bear – Madeline Bunyan)

purple planets 1

(lampwork rounds – Cheeky Cherub; patina hoops – Grubbi)

first frost 1

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earth)

A few of these have sold, but the rest are available on Etsy.

Whilst I’ve had all this stuff to do, a large pile of beady and glaze-y post has accumulated. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to open it until I got all my chores and responsibilities out of the way. I also told myself that I had to get my work surface tidy before opening them too.

photo-5 copy

Well, that looks pretty tidy – to me at least!  I’ll be back in a day or so to share some properly envy-inducing pics!!

A little time out…

So, I was supposed to be getting back to you last week with details of new beads and a bead shop update. Well, that’s been kinda delayed after what has been a somewhat hectic and, at times, stressful week.  Sometimes I just have to tell myself to slow down. I get to thinking that everything has to be done yesterday, and I have to have a word with myself. Anyway, there will be new beads in the shop this next week. Here’s a little taster:

october beads collage

You might recognise some of these. With this batch of beads, I tried to make up more of the designs that were popular in the first lot of ceramic beads that I listed, but there are some new pieces, like that blue framed pendant.  There’ll be a lot of completely new designs in the following lot which are currently waiting to be fired.  Speaking of which, it’s here!

photo-5 copyPerhaps I should point out that this is, in fact, a kiln, not a portaloo.  It’s done its initial drying out firing and I’ve been busy bat-washing the shelves today. So, hopefully, I’ll also get my first bisque firing done in the next few days.

Having had a little word with myself, I decided to do some relaxing earring making.  It’s the market this weekend and I felt that I could do to have some simpler earrings available. And some shorter pairs too. These Petra drops really don’t need much adding to them anyway. archipelago 1 So, I managed to make just the one pair of shortish earrings.  However, I did make a couple more simple pairs.moorland 1

With Scorched Earth spikes, of course.

embers 1

These bracelets are still selling so…

mr fox 1

(fox bead – Jo Lucksted)

And here’s a last couple of new pieces that will be on the stall tomorrow.

pyrograph 1

(raku beads – Elements Pottery; ceramic round – Something to do Beads)

vulcan 1

(ceramic stitched pendant and platinum wheels – Scorched Earth; ceramic discs – Something to do Beads; raku beads – Elements Pottery)

And finally, a little something for me…..

bling for me

(ceramic droppers – Scorched Earth)

The market starts at 10am tomorrow and runs until 3pm. I’ll be stationed outside Fat Face, facing the music stage, in Frome town centre.

In the meantime…

I’m struggling to believe it is actually happening, but look what’s showing up here tomorrow!!!


I’m almost a little nervous!  I’ve been working on a heap of greenware so I have something to stick in it.  I also have a heap of completed beads that I need to get in the shop. I was hoping to do an update this week but I’ve decided to postpone it till next week because there’s too much other stuff going on in the next few days and I’m away at the weekend. Plus, I wimped out of taking photos today because of hurricane what’s-his-name.  I have found time to make some new jewellery here and there, and miraculously I’ve got it all listed too. It’s ridiculous: sometimes I almost find myself put off making jewellery simply by the prospect of all that photo-taking and photo-shopping and listing. I think it would be easier if I had a permanent photo set-up but there’s no room for that… Anyway, there are lots of new bracelets in the shop.

tumbles 1

(ceramic rectangle – Golem Studio; ceramic rondelle – Happy Fallout)

bookish 1

(ceramic book – Jubilee)

dancing star 1

Hopscotch 1

(ceramic discs – Scorched Earth)

plaited silk 1

(ceramic connector – Slate Studio)

slender lines 1

(ceramic oval – Jubilee)

woodland hare 1

(ceramic hare bead – Jo Lucksted)

tapestry 1

(polymer rose – Elise Canning)

I also made a couple of new necklaces. There’s a tutorial for this one over on Art Bead Scene today.

desert dry 1

(ceramic spike – Scorched Earth, ceramic dropper – Something to do Beads)

garland 1

(polymer flower – Elise Canning)

Finally, I challenged myself to make some earrings that departed from some of the earring habits I’ve fallen into recently.

prarie rose 1

the spoils 1

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

waiting for night 1

(ceramic tips – Scorched Earth)

That’s the lot. As, I said, it’s all been listed.  All being well, next time I’ll be back with bead images and details for the shop update.

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 !!!!!!!!!


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


I’m having a cull.  I’ve been meaning to do it for some time.


You know those pieces that end up hanging around? Or those pieces that nag at you because some element of them isn’t right?  Or those things you were never entirely convinced by and that didn’t prove you wrong and sell?  Today, I’ve chopped all mine up.  This might seem rash – certainly, only the other day, a piece which I had mentally marked for the chop went and sold.  Still, I feel better for it.  I’m also hoping that this array of retrieved beads will prompt some new design ideas, which have been a bit few over the last couple of days.

art beads

I have made some new things.  Earrings mostly, and one bracelet…


The bracelet has been listed on Etsy, the earrings will join it in the next few days.  Do pipe up if there’s anything you’d like.

This way

(ceramic arrows – Scorched Earth)


(glass headpins – Numinosity Beads)

silk slippers

button buds

I also made a pair for me, with these beautiful heather-y spikes…

heather spikes

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earth, lampwork beads – Glass Bead Art)

…because I clearly need more Scorched Earth earrings… s.e. earrings

I also need to learn how to make my camera work in non-macro mode.  Before I go, I had calls for more pictures of Dexy, which I am always more than happy to share!  He’s not the easiest beast to photograph, but today he decided to oblige and sat still long enough for me to capture a good portrait.


That’s the lot for now.  I guess I’d better go and tidy all those liberated beads away…

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….


So, this is a post partly to wish you a merry christmas – Merry Christmas! – and partly to share a last few designs from 2013.  Some of these have sold but others are still available to purchase – a number are already on Etsy.

grinch owls

 (ceramic owls – Majoyoal)


 (Ceramic bead – Golem studios)

rutile skirts

polar pair 1st

 (lampwork polar bears – Madeline Bunyan)

aqua shields

Snow drops

(ceramic snowflakes – Bo Hulley)

All of the flowers 1

tic tac

Viola owl 1

 (copper owl clasp – Joanne Tinley, polymer flower – Elise Canning)

Thanks to all who’ve followed – or just stopped by – this wee blog throughout the last year – it’s nearly its first birthday.  And, once again, a very Merry Christmas to you all.

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!