Friday, 26 February 2016

Swarovski remains as popular as ever

I have been making beaded jewellery for over twenty years now and although I have seen many types of beads come in and fall out of favour, one type has remained a constant in my stock throughout - Swarovski crystals. It would seem that you just can't get enough of sparkle!
When I first started making jewellery I would combine Swarovskis with plated bead shapes such as hogans and roses - now I combine them with pearls, either freshwater or Swarovski and / or diamante beads.
Today I made a few pairs of earrings to add to my depleted stock, as I have my first fair for 2016 at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust March 5th and 6th, next week after this weekends workshop I will make a few more pairs as I still have gaps in my display.

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

SBS Event 2016

As I alluded to in my previous post, a week ago last Friday, that was the 12th February, I attended the #sbsevent2106 with Theo Paphitis  this was my 4th sbs event - I can count them by counting the items of jewellery I have made for each of them! this was this years...
crocheted wire and bead beads 
I have posted about sbs before on here so please search my labels to read more or visit the the sbs website 
This year I again attended with Jo Hill a member of the Staffordshire Artist Co-operative (Gallery at 12) and an extremely talented textile artist -
I had a list in my head of other sbs winners I really wanted to meet up with, some for the first time, some I meet every year, some to collect ordered items and some to thank for purchases I have made since our last event. As always I left not having met up with everyone I had hoped and happily meeting others who I will now hunt out again next year.

Jo Hill and Marika Rauscher 

 With Klair Ward  and Rachel Wright 

with Carole Renshaw and Jo Hill

with Sharon Marshall and Liz Evans 

with Fran Gubbay

When we arrived we all started congregating in the reception area collecting our name badges and enjoying chatting over teas and coffees while we waited to be invited into the main hall.
Once in the main hall we continued with our networking over more tea, coffee or something from the bar, Jo and I were joined at this stage by Carole Renshaw who arrived just in time as Theo Paphitis was shortly to take to the stage  - After hearing from the sbs sponsors  it was time for what we were all waiting eagerly to hear, the latest sbs news from Theo Paphitis and all - and wow what news!
The announcement of an sbs shop which will soon be up and running, thanks to sbs winner Joanne Smedley of Red Herring Games and Mark Childs of Ryman for getting this organised - Am I interested?..  oh boy yes! I was considering re-opening my Etsy shop this year but now I shall hold on and see what happens over the next few months instead.

After hearing all the other sbs news we broke for lunch and more networking before we all sat down again for Question Time and this years Theo Paphitis was joined by Mike Pickles - 'Really Useful Products and Holly Tucker - 'Not On The High Street' what an inspirational panel, some brilliant questions and answers.

When Question Time was over the first timers all lined up for their photo - while  Jo and I continued catching up with more people before saying our goodbyes, collecting our goody bags and heading home.... and what a journey that was - a half hour journey that took almost 2 hours - but that's another story!

Another fantastic day - thank you Theo Paphitis and Ryman for inviting me and for all the hard work you put into this, it is always a highlight of my year! looking forward to seeing you all again in 2017

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A new design range in the making - crocheted beads

I would like to introduce you to some new jewellery which I have been working on this year. Although the initial idea came to me when I was enjoying a quiet couple of weeks away with family in the Hebrides back in October last year, I had to put it on the back burner so I could concentrate on Christmas. Whenever I could, though, I picked up my crochet hook and started crocheting, as always with me I didn't use wool, instead I crocheted with wire threaded with tiny glass beads  - the result was a selection of crocheted wire and bead beads.
below is a selection of photos showing different stages of the crochet process

thread the wire with beads

crochet a ring and increase the stitches

continue to increase the stitches

crochet without increase before decreasing again to make....

the finished crocheted wire and beads bead
I wanted to wait before making an item to share on here until I had a few items ready and before I had tested the water by making a necklace using some of my crocheted beads, to wear at the #sbs event which was last Friday, (I will be writing a post about the #sbsevent at a later date) - this is the necklace I wore;

 I wanted to make it a statement piece that would stand out in a crowd and it did! so after having such an enthusiastic response to this necklace last week I returned home to make up some jewellery with the beads I had already crocheted, I will continue to work on this idea now, so there will be more jewellery to show at a later date but for now here are my new designs

crochet bead necklace 18 inch with silver plate clasp

crocheted bead necklace on 28 inch black plate chain

crocheted bead asymmetric necklace on 27 inch black nylon coated wire with black plate clasp 

crocheted bead  with glass bead necklace as pendant drop on a 28 inch silver plate chain

handmade jewellery by Angela Smith