Monday, 31 January 2011

Floating Necklace workshops

I have finally managed to make the sample floating necklaces for the workshop on the Thursday 24th February at 7-30pm in the Grosvenor Centre, Gnosall. 
These necklaces have been made with glass pearls and tiny glass seed beads, there will be a large selection of glass pearl beads in a variety of colours, they are the same beads as the bracelet making which means you can chose to make a necklace to match.

The necklace above is made on nylon coated wire with silver plate crimps and has a silver plate clasp
the one below is made on silk thread with silver plate clasp

At the end of the evening you will have made a necklace similar to one of these, I promise!  
If you would like to book a place on this workshop or any of the other ones featured in this blog,or if you would be interested in attending any future workshops please contact me for further information.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Bracelet making

Thought I would make the most of the beautiful sunny morning we are enjoying to photograph the bracelet that I've made as an example of the type of bracelet you will be able to make at my bracelet making workshop

                   This bracelet has been made with a selection of glass pearls and silver plate beads
The workshop will be held on Thursday 10th February at the Grosvenor Centre in Gnosall, Staffordshire 7-30pm - 9-30pm.
Earlier I posted photos of the earrings you will be able to make at the earring making workshop on Thursday 3rd February and later I will post my samples of the necklaces for the following two workshops.
If you would like to attend any of these please contact me for further information.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Adorn your hair with a Chrysanthanum

Welcome to another Wedding Wednesday!
If traditional tiara's or fascinators gushing with gaudy feathers aren't your thing, then maybe this is something you should be considering for your hair.
I designed and made this last year. When I started making my first one I wasn't sure if all the work would be worth it, and believe me there is a lot of work involved in this with over 3000 crocheted stitches using soft wire and tiny seed beads. I have finished this one off using  Swarovski crystals. The flower is attached securely to a hair slide.
I currently have two of these flowers on display in Gallery at 12, Eccleshall, Staffordshire.
I have this hair decoration and I have a purple one attached to a brooch pin.
I hope you'll agree that all the work was definitely worth it, producing a totally unique design which would look stunning worn in the hair!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Be My Valentine Gift Cards

This is a new idea that I thought I'd try out,
I have been making these Swarovski crystal heart necklaces for quite a while now and they are as popular today as they were when I first started making them, so as we are fast approaching Valentines Day I decided to make these cards to send along with the heart necklace, which is included.
These are going over to Gallery at 12  in Eccleshall

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Wedding Wednesday Tiara and comb

 Following on with the Wedding Wednesday theme here is my next installment featuring a new tiara and matching hair comb.

Made with silver plate wire, tiny clear glass seed beads and Swarovski crystal pearls.
I absolutely love these. I made them over a week ago and have been itching to share them with you ever since.
The light catches the beads beautifully and I am sure they would look stunning worn.
As with everything else shown for Wedding Wednesday these items are available to purchase from my blog shop for a limited time, before they are moved into Gallery at 12, Eccleshall.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tuesday Tutorial

Welcome to my first Tuesday tutorial.
I thought a good place to start is with the basic tools you need to make beaded jewellery.
When I bought my first kit to make 6 pairs of earrings, I had no jewellery making tools in the home at all, so I had to make do with a pair of tweezers and a pair of my husbands wire cutters from his tool box- not ideal.
Things have moved on since then and this is what I use today.

This is my trusted tool case, I take it with me whenever I can
This is why..... 

Everything I need all in one place, brilliant!
You won't need all of these tools, especially if you are new to beading, so I will only show you the most useful ones for now!

A pair of snippers, for a neat cut of beading thread you will need a good pair of sharp snippers or small pair of scissors, I actually have both.

Wire cutters, a pair for soft wire and one for hard is ideal but 1 pair to start will be fine.
I use these for earring making and any wire work jewellery items, but I also would use these to cut tiger tail wire for floating necklaces.

Two pairs of pliers, the first and most useful are these- snipe nosed pliers. they are flat on the inside and rounded on the outside, if you can only afford one pair of pliers, these are the ones to start of with, some come with a wire cutting section incorporated into them too- even better!  I carry a pair of these in my handbag at all times

The second pair of pliers are these round nosed pliers, if you want to make a perfectly round loop for earrings for example, then you will need these.

Crimpers, You can manage perfectly well without these and I did for quite a few years, but now I do use them regularly so I thought I would include them in this.They are used when pinching crimp beads to wire.The result is a more rounded looking crimp instead of the flattened crimps which as well as not looking quite so neat, can can also irritate the skin easier as they aren't so smooth.
They do have a habit of breaking the crimps, well they do when I use them, so a great deal more patience is required with them

A work tray, I have several of these, so I can have a number of projects on the go at a time!
This is great for planning your necklaces and bracelets before stringing your beads onto the thread or wire especially if you have a set length required for your necklace. I find the compartments very useful too so look for a board with compartments.
I know you are itching to get started, well you have a month to get prepared, I think itis so important to have the correct tools 
Next month the fun will start in earnest, I will start by showing you how to make a pair of simple earrings.
By then you will need at least a pair of snipe nosed pliers and some wire cutters if not incorporated into the pliers.
In the meantime, if you have any requests for tutorials in the future please let me know!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Jewellery Making Workshops for the New Year

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you will know that I have a series of workshops coming up soon in Gnosall,
The first one is a week today and we'll be knitting bracelets similar to one shown above.
I still have spaces if you would like to attend, a basic knowledge of knitting and a pair of knitting needles will be required. Please contact me for further details.

The following workshop will be an earring making workshop.This will be held at the Grosvenor Centre in Gnosall, Staffordshire,on Thursday 3rd February, the workshop will last for 2 hours in the evening, I have managed to make both of these pairs of earrings, photograph them and blog about it in two hours so there should be plenty of time to make both pairs during the session.
Again I still have spaces so if you'd like to attend please contact me.
Below are the two earring designs the participants will be making during the session.

Simple Swarovski crystal drop earrings, there will be a large choice of crystal beads to choose from on the night. ear hooks will be gold or silver plate.

These are made with small glass beads and will provide a great deal of much needed practice at making the earring loops, again there will be a selection of beads to choose from.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wedding Wednesday Bracelet

Following on with the wedding jewellery theme for every Wednesday, I would like to share this bracelet with you.

 Swarovski crystals, Swarovski crystal pearls and tiny clear glass beads woven on silver plate wire, framed with silver plate wire wrapped with sari silk, finished off with a sterling silver clasp

Although I have made bracelets framed with wire wrapped with sari silk, and I have made jewellery with beads and wire woven randomly, I haven't until now combined the two design ideas.
At the moment this is the only bracelet in this design, of course I can make more and in a variety of colours to go with any outfit, no doubt others will be made in due course and if you would like one made, as always, I am happy to take on commissions!
In the meantime this bracelet will be available to purchase from my blog shop for a limited time.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Wedding Wednesday earrings

I did promise that I would blog about Wedding jewellery every Wednesday in 2011, So as promised!.....

I have decided to start the whole thing off with earrings, two main reasons for doing this. Firstly earrings were the first items of jewellery I taught myself how to make, secondly when brides come to see me about their wedding jewellery, they usually sort out their hair decoration first either their tiara or fascinator or other decorations, then necklace and or bracelet to match and I often then have to ask if they need earrings, more often than not they haven't even considered earrings.
So I am hoping this post might remind all you brides to be that earrings are important!

Yesterday I sat and made a small selection of earrings to show examples of the styles of earrings I could make for you and your bridesmaids on your wedding day!

Swarovski crystal drops, I have included a coloured Swarovski bead this could be a totally different colour to compliment the bridesmaids dresses perhaps. The top pair is attached to very fine sterling silver ear posts, obviously if you'd prefer they can be placed on a sterling silver ear hook, alternatively for bridesmaids who do not have pierced ears I can also provide them on ear clips (below) 

Clear Swarovski crystal butterflies, again with a coloured Swarovski crystal bead above to compliment any other colours included in the dresses 

(above) fine sterling silver ear posts
(below) ear clips

Freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal for a hint of sparkle
with fine sterling silver ear posts 

Fresh water pearl and Swarovski crystal on fine sterling silver ear posts

Swarovski crystal pearls on sterling silver ear hooks

Alternatively any of the crystal and pearl earrings currently in my earring blog shop would also be great for a bride or bridesmaid!
Please note any of the earrings I make can be hung from a post, hooks or clips.
All of the above earrings are now available to buy from my earring blog shop for a limited time.
Please click on page link above!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

More of Laura's beautiful beads

Having been so delighted with the first beads I ordered from Laura, I couldn't resist buying some more from her. They arrived shortly before Christmas so I have had to be very patient and wait until all the festivities had come to an end and all the decorations had been put away.

So today, with the house back to how it was and all family members back into their normal routines I have been able to claim the dining room table to work on again, so out came Laura's beads.I hope you like the end result. I have made a 20 inch necklace and a pair of earrings Th, I followed the same style as the bracelet shown in previous post, so they can be sold as a set or as individual pieces

The necklace is made with Laura's beads, Swarovski crystals, Rose Quartz, and glass rocaille and bugle beads, with a sterling silver clasp.
the earrings are made with Laura's beads, Swarovski crystals and glass rocaille and bugle beads.

As promised in my first post of 2011, I have also placed these items in my blog shop, so for a limited time you will be able to purchase these from my blog, just click on 'earring blog shop' on list of pages above this post.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year to you all

So 2011 has crept up on us, it seems to have arrived really quietly here this year!
I went outside for a few minutes, shortly after midnight, it was very mild! I could have stayed out longer but there wasn't much going on, there were a few fireworks being let off from someone's garden in the village a mile away across the common, and a solitary Chinese lantern was drifting across the sky, the clouded sky kept lighting up in the distance giving the hint of more fireworks going off somewhere else, but all was quiet apart from the whistling of the ducks and the eerie calls of the pheasants echoing around the common.
I'm not one for making resolutions as I never seem to keep them but whilst I was stood out there on my drive I promised myself that 2011 was not going to be a wasted year, I have plans and my blog related ones I am going to share with you now, others I still have to develop.
For starters, I have decided to be more structured with this blog.
I would like to announce that I will be providing practical basic advice on jewellery making every 3rd Tuesday of the month. These will be my Tutorial Tuesdays, I have the first 5 planned but I would also welcome topic suggestions from my followers; So watch out for my first of these on Tuesday 18th January, all being well.
Every Wednesday I am going to feature an item I have made for weddings, this will hopefully link in with Wedding Wednesdays on Twitter.
In between these two featured posts I will continue to keep you up to date with any new items I make,
Most of these items will then also be posted in my blog shop for a short while, so my blog followers will be in the unique position of being amongst the first to have the opportunity to buy my jewellery before they are taken out to events or the Gallery at 12