Art Bead Scene team member’s challenge blog hop

Once again, the editorial team (or some of the editorial team!) from Art Bead Scene have decided to take on the monthly challenge. Here’s the challenge image.

Amapolas-News of spring and other nature studies 1917

Amapolas, 1913

Illustration published in News of Spring and Other Nature Studies

by Edward Julius Detmold

I have to admit that this one had me a little stumped. It’s been a hectic (for me) week and I left my makes till the last minute. So, yesterday saw me scratching around, desperately trying to put something together. For some reason, I was quite set on making earrings. I’m not sure what my problem was. There are a couple of obvious tropes – poppies and butterflies – but the things that appealed to me most in this image were the windswept-ness (nope, not a word) and the slightly faded, washed out colours. The poppies and butterflies I had in my stash were too crisp and stylised to work, so I tried focusing on the colours. As ever, Brandi’s palette post was a great help. I tried pulling together various elements using the different shades Brandi picked out, but I was still struggling. Finally, I remembered some suede poppies that I got some time ago. In the same box I found some lovely wooden oval shaped buttons, that matched the grey-brown in the palette. I stacked up some bead caps to form the poppy centres and – lo! – I had the makings of a pair of earrings. But I’d forgotten something – guess what? Art beads, of course!  I tried sitting a number of rondelles on the top of the buttons but they were all too big and too busy. Eventually, I reached for a pair of lampwork spacers that I’ve had for ages. They were just right: and a beautiful shade of deep olive green. Unfortunately, I’ve had them so long, I have forgotten where they came from….. Sorry!

poppy earrings 1

Perhaps art beads should be playing a more prominent role but, really, after all my troubles I decided they’d have to do.

poppy earrings 2

To compensate, I managed to come up with another pair. I decided to swerve the various reds and worked with some of the more muted, earthy shades, the greens and browns. I’d already been playing around with a pair of bronzy-brown Scorched Earth leaves. I teamed them with some of my own ceramic roses.

rose leaf earrings 1

The roses had actually been kiln casualties.  I glazed them with one of the most crazy glazes I’ve ever encountered (I hadn’t used it before). Anyway, it broke up in a very strange way, leaving the roses largely a creamy colour but with a subtle marbling of plum, which is a good match for that in Brandi’s palette.

detail rose

It’s quite a pleasing effect and I might have listed them if they hadn’t also adhered themselves to the wires on which they were hung. Still, I kept hold of them and now I had the perfect use for them. After sitting some dainty dusky pink and white picasso rondelles on top of the roses, I made the wires into connectors. I hung the leaves below them with more czech glass and some little porcelain beads.

rose leaf 2

Looking at these pieces, I seem to have travelled some way from the inspiration, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So long as the process leads to results with which you are happy, then the inspiration has served its purpose.

Be sure to have a look at what everyone else has come up with:

Art Bead Scene

Rebecca Anderson – Songbead

Tari Sasser – Creative Impressions in Clay

Heather Powers – Humblebeads


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.


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!

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!

More new jewellery

It’s market day again this weekend, so I’ve been busy making up more stock.  I hadn’t quite realised how busy, until I started taking all the photos.  They’re a bit dark, I’m afraid, but there’s plenty of them.  If there’s anything you fancy, just give me a shout.

stripe spike

(ceramic spikes – Scorched Earthblue eyes

(ceramic charm, tube, cap and connector – Scorched Earth, lampwork bead – Tartan Trout, beaded bead – Malin de Koning, beach pottery button – Grey Bird Studio)

crystal clouds

(ceramic cloud – Grubbi)


olive owl

(ceramic owl – Blueberribeads)

pale heart

(ceramic heart – Bo Hulley Beads)

quatz-y house

(ceramic house – Elukka, patina clasp – Something to do Beads)

red flower cluster necklace

(lampwork focal – At The Edge (also Cheeky Cherub Designs))

the light

(ceramic lantern and charm – Scorched Earth)

verd bird pendant necklace

(ceramic heart charm – Scorched Earth, bronze polymer bird, patina chain and hoops – Something to do Beads)

Why must necklaces be so tricky to photograph?  These last earrings earrings aren’t actually going on the stall.  They’re already stuck in my ears.  Had to be done…

platinum drops

(ceramic drops – Scorched Earth)

New designs

Just a quick blog post, this – with pictures of new jewellery designs, and very few words!  I’ll be doing my regular market in a week or so and I may not get around to listing these before then, so do let me know if there’s anything that catches you eye.poppy

(polymer poppy – Elise Canning, ceramic heart – Scorched Earth)

feather fall

(dip-dye vintage feather – Something to do Beads)

peacock saucer

(lampwork beads – Cheeky Cherub Designs, dyed patina chain – Something to do Beads)

feather bed

(ceramic heart – Scorched Earth, rose bead – Gaea)


(lampwork beads – Cheeky Cherub Designs)

ombre bird pearls

(porcelain bird – Blueberribeads)

That time again

So it’s market time again and I’ve been preparing my stall.  Yesterday was the day for the frustrating and time-consuming task of deciding on a layout.  I’m going to pare it back and put less out.  I’ve been thinking that I might be getting towards guilty of cluttering.


Now I’m wondering if it’s looking too spare…  (The white candelabra thing-y is for cheaper earrings.)  As you’ll be able to tell, my flat gets a little cramped when I’m doing this.  I wasn’t aided by the presence of Dexy, who has been sporting some new headwear this week.

dex's bucket

There are few things more pathetic than the sight of a dog wearing one of these things.  He had a bite or something that he was fretting at.  Thankfully, it’s cleared up now and he’s allowed to go without it.  Whilst ministering to him, I’ve been making up a few new pieces for the market.

fox on the lawn 1

(polymer fox – Tree Wing Studio; polka dot ceramic round – Gaea)

starry-eyed owl 1

(ceramic owl bead – Jo Lucksted)

dawn arriving 1

(ceramic bird – Blueberribeads)

shoreline 1

(ceramic beads and charms – Scorched Earth)

lavender straights 1

(ceramic connectors – Scorched Earth)

 strung spirals 1

(ceramic spiral charms – Scorched Earth)

orchard 1

As ever, if you happen to be around Frome on Sunday, it would be great to see you.  I’ll be at the top of Catherine Hill from 10am to 2pm.

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!


Nearly there

It’s half past five and it’s still light.  Hallelujah.  It’s also been sunny – well, sort of – today, so I seized the opportunity to take some pictures.  I made a couple of bracelets this week that I’ve been planning to make for a while.  They were some time in the planning because I kept thinking of other things I needed to get to finish them.  I spent a fair while looking for the perfect citrine for this bracelet:

luxe 1

(lampwork focal – Moogin; patinated brass toggle clasp – Abyjem; ceramic wheel – Slate Studios)

There was a time when I couldn’t really see the appeal of yellow stones.  I’m dotty about them now.  It’s a pretty luxe bracelet, all in all.  I often avoid mixing together so many pricey materials, dreading to think what price I’ll have to put on them, but I decided to go to town with this bracelet.  I took a similarly cavalier approach when making this one.

violet rocks 2

(ceramic hoops and chain links – Scorched Earth; lampwork beads – Glass Bead Art; ceramic round – Grubbi)

violet rocks 4

I’m really quite pleased with the way it turned out.  And the photos are a lot better than a number I’ve taken recently.  I’m nearly done with all my shop overhaul-ing, so it’s the last few days of the sale.  To mark this, I’m now offering 30% off everything currently in stock.  Just use the discount code FINALDAYS.  Remember, some pieces will be going once the sale ends so if there’s something you’ve had your eye on, now really is the best time to bag it.  Before I go, here’s a few more new pieces that will be available shortly:

Mint, mink, pink 1

(ceramic pendant – Gaea)

teal tops 1

(polka dot beads – Bo Hulley)

forest fire 1

(ceramic flower – Captured Moments)

It’s now half past six – I’ve spent a long time saying very little!  Time I was off…