Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tumbling into the New Year: 2012 with New Beginnings (Post 56)

I'm not a great one for New Year's Eve ... yet, strangely, I love the 'actual' New Year.  I feel revitalised, just love the thought of what the future may hold and feel positive to have that fresh start.

As some of you may know, this year I took unexpected early retirement which took me a while to settle in to. I'm so used to a 9-5 routine that to suddenly have time to do .... 'what' ... was really quite daunting.  I spent the first few months doing 'nothing' and wondering where the days were disappearing to.  Then I gave myself a bit of a talking to and began to enjoy this new found freedom.  

Started a Keep Fit regime, lost 18 lbs and took time out to assess things.  I think I OD'd on surfing the net though!  As much as I love it, it does eat into valuable beading time. Interestingly though, I'm not alone as this is a feeling that many of you express.  

Like diets, 'everything in moderation'.  I haven't set any New Year Resolutions, as such but will be focusing back on my Jewellery and other crafts.  To put myself back on track I have joined up to 'Make a pair of Earrings a Week' at Tackle That Bead Stash. A first for me ... it should also mean more regular Postings to my blog.

Work In Progress (WIP)
Still working on those socks ... I dropped a stitch, unknowingly and now I'm in the midst of backtracking to restore to its previous glory.  Mmm, and my sister said it was easy!  Never one to give up mind, so I WILL finish them.  Enjoying making them, just beading beckons more at the minute!

Making good progress on Lone Beader's Terrier Brooch - I'll save that for next time though!  Diana is following my progress and is happy for me to blog about 'Little Rudy'.

So much that I want to say, but hey ... next time!  I'll close by wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year.

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'

Charters x

Can It Be Right: (Post 55)

Firstly, I hope you all had a great Christmas.  Mine was a little unusual this year, as I went on holiday early arriving back on Christmas Day.  Thanks to the wonderful support of my family all the usual panic of christmas shopping etc and food preparation was taken care of - as Christmas evening was spent with my family and Turkey for boxing day cooked for me.  Thanks goes to you ... xx Aren't I spoilt!

I'd like to say a huge welcome to two very talented artists who have recently joined us, and, (judging by the profile picture) another artistic fellow beadworker:

Pearlysmiths : Angela a Jewellery Designer, specialising in Wedding jewellery, beaded accessories, and so much more.   Whilst also running numerous jewellery making workshops.  Some very interesting pieces.

Kerrie Slade : Kerry a contemporary Beadwork Designer, features in many Beading magazines including international countries;  and also teaches her skills to others.  No doubt, those of you who are avid headers will already be familiar with Kerrie's work.

Catherine: The very latest virtual friend.  Who, is a mystery to me at the moment, but hopefully will have a blog or Facebook to see more of her beautiful beadwork.

So, can I just say Thank you for following and to ALL of you, its great to share my blog with each and everyone.

I am guilty of over-surfing, (is there such a word?).  By that I mean I spend too much time browsing the web and not enough producing the goods.  I like to call it research.  One thing I have noticed is 'similarity' between jewellery designs.  I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but quite often I think, 'I'm sure I've seen that on somebody else's blog'?  I think that this is inevitable when the same 'technique' is used but I was saddened to hear that a certain artists work is being blatantly copied and reproduced as original by somebody else, when it is clearly not.  I won't go into specifics, some of you will know what I'm eluding to.

I've always stressed in my posts that its good to be inspired by other artists work, but you should always acknowledge them if reproducing their designs.  Aside from being dishonest, its bad karma - what goes round, comes around ...

This is my late 'catch up' but I really would like to do a Happy New Year post as well.  So ...

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Is Aiming for Perfection a 'Gemini' Trait? (Post 54)

My beads arrived for the Lone Beader's Jack Russell Tutorial which were smaller than I expected. (The power of great photography) - not strictly true, I did know what I was letting myself in for.  I usually work with Size 11/0 these were a size smaller. Nothing to say you couldn't use the other one's but as we all know little is always cute!  Imagine my shock when I hadn't ordered black.  Such a silly mistake.  So, I may have to do these one or two features as a 15/0?  I did get the right one's for the cute little nose though.

The Lone Beader's Terrier Tutorial 
I haven't made a start on it yet, because I sort of got side tracked the other week on knitting SOCKS!!!  Didn't I tell you to expect more variety with my handcraft. This is where I embrace the 'Gemini' in me.  I have so much enthusiasm and get a little side-tracked sometimes.  At the minute, my sister has been singing her praises on the joy of sock making.  She did such a good job that I just had to make some. Admittedly, hers looked lovely - well ... it was fun to knit with 4-needles again.  

All was going to plan, even managed to shape the heel then, the Gremlins appeared out of the blue and I discovered, (24 rows too late, may I add) that I had dropped a stitch.  AAAAhhhhhhh! Although I was able to rescue it, the perfectionist in me demanded I rip it all back.

So ... poor Rudy, the terrier that is, is 'on hold'.  With the build up to Christmas he may not appear before the New Year.  I hope when I do make it I can do justice to Diana's tutorial.  Her work is so detailed, its a joy to look at.

The last week or so I am doing a lot of jewellery designing in the twilight hours of sleep.  Which is good ... and will at some stage be put into practice.  Which brings me on to my next post - 'Can it Be Right'?  More about that later ...

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'

Elf Taught? (Post 53)

It crossed my mind that a lot of what I know has been 'self-taught' or as I like to say 'elf taught'. Interestingly though, as you read through other artists' blogs you come across a majority who also admit they have had no formal training and quite often have 'accidentally' taken up their chosen craft.

Being left-handed, has never been a hindrance to me, but it has affected others who have tried to pass on skills of one sort or another.  I remember most vividly, as a child, learning to knit.  My mum could not understand how I could do something, which looked completely different to what she was showing me, yet surprisingly turned out as it should, and I know it was very difficult to teach me.  (I would imagine, this is where I first started teaching myself).  My first knitted project was a bright red dress.  It took me just three weeks and I was so proud of it.  I wore it to a disco ... and probably constantly for a while.  

I went on to teach myself all types of knitting stitches, but could never get the hang of crochet. Never one to give up though, one of these days I will conquer it!

Its been a while since I did any regular knitting, but recently re-introduced myself to it.

Fingerless Gloves
These gloves match my scarf, made of baby alpaca wool, a lovely sage green.  My husband's first comments were, 'what is the point'?  I think they are very useful.  How many times have you been shopping and tried to get out your purse without dropping your gloves.  With these you can still control your fingers.

Maybe being so close to Christmas, when all the musicals come to the forefront, these perhaps remind you of 'Fagin's gloves' in Oliver Twist!!

I'm never far away, from jewellery making and bead embroidery is another form of art in itself.  To return to my earlier comment; 'elf taught' artists.  

One beadwork artist which is really inspiring is Diana L Grygo, aka The Lone Beader.  

"a self-taught bead embroidery artist currently working in Quincy, Massachusetts. She loves to create extremely dimensional beaded paintings by stitching glass seed beads to felt. Her work also combines images from history with ideas of the future using mixed media. Her current pieces are inspired by pop culture, dogs, classic cars & city scenes".
Source: Artist Profile - Lone Beader Website 

Take a look at the Lone Beader Blog, to see her how her journey unfolded.  Diana has just brought out a very detailed tutorial for a cute Jack Russell brooch (or pendant) which you may also like to take a peek at.   What particularly stands out, is her attention to detail and she manages to produce this amazing beaded art work whilst still working full-time - there's dedication for you.

Before I forget, continue to be inspired by checking out Wendy's  Handmade Monday No: 43 link party, where you'll also see some outstanding work, again, many of whom I know are 'elf taught'.   

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Twitter Surprise (Post 52)

Still finding my way around Twitter, but loving it!  I expect it'll be even better when I understand it?  I have come across a couple of Giveaways that I want to share with you.  Both blogs are worthy a visit and I can't believe I've not come across them before.  Aside from the lovely offer, you must take a look, they are very inspiring sites!

Sue - Mrs Micawber's Recipe for Happiness

Sue has a wonderful blog, where she covers a wealth of 'thrifty' tutorials; covering cookery, knitting, crochet, jewellery making, poetry and 101 other useful points of view.  You need to pop over yourself, because I'm sure what ever your craft is Mrs Micawber will have some hints and tips.  Her slogan being Living graciously on limited means.  The 'giveaway' is in celebration of Thanksgiving, passing the 100-follower mark and topping 100,000 plus page views.  The prize a beautiful Jane Austen Knits publication, a bar of chocolate, a christmas ornament and a mystery gift!  
Closed: Lucky Winner was Stephanie at Millefeuilles - Well Done Stephanie!

Emma - Silver Pebble

Emma specialises in silver clay jewellery, although you will find her blog covers a multitude of crafts and is written in a nice chatty manner.  Emma's jewellery will truly inspire you.  You will also find some great tutorials!  The 'giveaway' is Kirstie Allsopp's new Craft Book and a Art Silver Clay starter kit.

Closed: As at 3rd Dec, results still to be announced ... ooh! 

Both 'giveaways' are international and I'm sure with such generous offers they will be well subscribed to.  So pop over, you know what they say, 'You have to be in to win'.

Thanks to 'Mrs Micawbers Recipe for Happiness' and 'Silver Pebble' for hosting these 'top' giveaways!

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Frilly As A Girl - PART TWO (Post 51)

Not quite frills - but still 'girly'. 

Winter has approached quite quickly, don't believe all those stories that UK has the warmest November on record; it certainly doesn't feel like that to me!  I'll give you, its been dry, but its definitely scarf weather. 

The trouble with scarfs is, quite often, the length of them!  They can be quite bulky or you need to wrap them round, and round, and round ... you get the picture!  Like a Dr Who's scarf.

Aha, I came across the perfect solution.  A scarf which is short enough to wear without dragging you down and has an attractive-lacy look as well.

Sourcing the wool, with the internet is obviously not a problem unless ... like me, your impatient!  What wait a whole 2-3 days, my enthusiasm meant I just couldn't, NO, not even 24 hrs. The scarf takes alpaca wool, so not your day-to-day wool that some of the more popular shops sell.  Luckily for me, I live near a proper little haberdashery shop which is a quite a treasure trove.

Tucked away, was ... yes, you've guessed it ... just what I needed!  

I 'opted' for a warm Sage Green shade of wool and twinkly-clear buttons, which match perfectly with the coat I had in mind.

The stitch is one I'd not come across before and reminded me of an 'hour glass' or shaft of wheat.  Every few rows the pattern nipped in the stitches, emphasising the design.  The lacy-look is carried on into the main body of the scarf.

And there we have it ...

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 14 November 2011

Frilly As A Girl - PART ONE (Post 50)

There are two things that are 'typical' to girls: screaming - that is shrieking with laughter, and in the majority - the love of frills. That's what comes to mind to me. Then of course those girls grow up, but don't necessarily change. Take for instance, being pushed down a kiddies slide in a swimming pool! Yes, I shrieked ... quite loudly. Secondly, looking for that special dress - OK, doesn't have to be frilly as such but sparkly surely? A little 'bling'.

The minute I saw the end product of my red/white bracelet immediately I thought, 'frilly as a girl'.  It sounds like I had only just looked at it - in honesty, I suppose that's true?  Because, aside from knowing the beads I was going to use I wasn't sure what the end result would be. Suitably satisfied, I then produced the purply-black-blue-greeny one!

The pattern is just an 8-bead design, repeated.  Thread a bugle, then 3 seed.  Go back through the bugle and pull tightly, which gives that cute picot frilled edge.  Repeat ... this, what I call top and bottom frill to make the design.  Simples!  Repeat until its as long as you want.  I did a basic loop/clasp finish because it blends in so well.

There we have it ...
I'm not keen on 'long' Posts, (the blogging sort, of course).  So, I'm going to surprise you by making this a double post - I know like buses!  No news in ages then suddenly in the space of a week or so you end up with FIVE ...

Before I go though, I'd like to say 'Hi' to Jill Spain, my latest blog friend. Her blog is really interesting, don't you think - very 'newsy' and friendly.  Jill's expertise lies in Card Craft, running a Greetings Cards Business and regularly attends Events where you'll find all the efforts of her hard work.

* From Wendy's Biography 1st Unique Gifts,
(Host for Handmade Monday)
Have you remembered?  Today is Wendy's Handmade Monday No. 42, why don't you pop over and have a look what everybody's been up to - I love catching up with everybody.  Wendy has had an exciting week, with a newly arrived Granddaughter and has even posted a picture of her.  

Part Two to follow .... don't forget you can follow me on twitter or Charters Creations Facebook.

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Social Networking ... am I ready for it? (Post 50)

Do you still use 'snail mail?
Have you noticed, when web surfing, the amount of sites which now have links to Facebook and Twitter.  I've used Facebook for a while now, but only on a personal level.  Twitter ... well, never understood it really.  There is no escaping it; although you don't have to use it.

I do like to 'try' and keep up-to-date with technology myself, and, with this aim in mind I have recently created a Facebook page for Charters Creations.  So if you want to join me, click on to the Facebook Like sign on the right of the blog.  Hopefully, this will then mean you will become a 'fan'.

Sounds good?  I have to admit, you will be joining me on my social networking journey ... it may be a bit of a bumpy ride!

Likewise, you can also follow me on twitter - again, linked on the right of my blog. Now that is very much in the experimental stage.  

If you are able to join me that'll be great, if you are able to share your views/experiences of either Facebook (for your blog/business) or Twitter - fantastic!
If there is a problem with these links, I really would appreciate it if you could let me know.

Are you up to walking the wobbly social technological path with me?  

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Potted Update (Post 49)

I recently took 'early retirement' which I know is everyone's dream!  The reality is that it has taken a little while to settle. Suddenly, I have 'time' ... which brings with it ...  the 'I can do that later' mentality.  It has had the opposite affect.    You could say - 'I've been busy doing nothing'  Not quite true, but certainly true on the 'jewellery front'. 

The good news is, I love the 'freedom' I now have, and I've given a lot of thought to a lot of things over the last few months and the truth is - I've taken time out (the 'me-time' phrase comes to mind - how I hate that word!!) to adjust to 'not working'.

I now feel I've got past the 'guilt' of not working and ready to walk into the next stage ... I'm not sure what path that will take?

There are so many things I want to do that I think you'll see a few subtle changes.  Firstly, more regular posts and introductions of other handmade crafts.  Did any of you notice my blog name change - now, Charters Creations - in readiness.    

Its always been my intention to have 'variety' in my craft, although to be honest jewellery making will always be at the top of my list.  I'm drawn to working with beads: polymer work, precious metal clay, bead weaving, bead knitting, bead sculpture, resin, altered art, felting, handbag making, card craft ??  I think  Caroline (Carolee Crafts) post this week for Handmade Monday echoes my thoughts to a 'T'.   She talks about 'New Beginnings' and says: "... I feel that as handmakers we have to evolve, move with the times try something different or revisit something old ... "To work for yourself you have to love what you do and most of all follow your dream".  

Caroline you are so right!  

So for the time being, I intend to get back to my jewellery and take it from there - I'm not ready to commit to online shops or the like ... yet?  Who knows for the future.  

I guess that's all I wanted to say really and here's to exciting New Beginnings!

"Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging"

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Sound of Silence (Post 48)

I thought I had nothing to say ... how wrong I was
I thought no-one would listen, but you do  

Whilst I have renounced my blog of late I have remarkably achieved an additional three virtual friends; for which I am sincerely grateful. 

Nici, Ine and Heather a very big 'Welcome' to my blog.  You have contributed to 'awakening' my blog!  Thank you for breaking the silence.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and all other 59 virtual friends.

So without any further ado, let me introduce you to:

Here we have a very talented lady, her work is just so professional, and captures the inner child in us all, with fond memories of faeries and the like.  Her blog is very interesting and her website hosts an assortment of beautiful goblins, jewellery and lots of little treasures.  In fact, if you weren't a Goblin fan I'll guarantee you soon will be!

Ine specialises in jewellery, with her collection of polymer clay, glass beads and leather.  Some really cute items!  Ine is from Belgium but blogs in English as well - pretty amazing in itself.  New to polymer clay work?  You'll love Ine's easy-to-follow tutorials.

Heather - Dragonfly Lampworks
Heather is a self-taught lamp work artist, first taking the plunge about 6 yrs ago.  Her work is very popular and sells very quickly on her Etsy store.  Heather work supports charity organisations - her jewellery will inspire any budding 'lamp worker.

Déjà vu
Today is Handmade Monday an opportunity for you to see some interesting, exciting and affordable goodies.  I have highlighted Wendy's site before, because it really is good to see so many like-minded artists and get an insight into a corner of their world.  Pop across and have a look ... you won't be disappointed!

They say 'Rome wasn't built in a day' ... how true that is!  So tomorrow I'll post again and bring you up-to-date on events.   In the meantime ...

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 4 July 2011

It Takes Two (Post 47)

Hello and Welcome

A very big welcome to Jenn, of Leftsox who has recently joined us.  Jen is a fellow beader and has sculptured some lovely pieces, whilst also raising 4 sons, a daughter and 2 dogs .... amazing!  Where do you find the time?

Its Handmade Monday No. 23; hosted by Wendy, its a place were you will find a lot of talented like-minded folk.  You too can be part of it if you would like to.  Pop over and take blog hop, guarantee you'll enjoy it.

OK, what have I been up to ... aside from a short break, which I must admit was just perfect!

Dalmation Nugget Twist

I can finally reveal my 'nuggety' necklace that I've been working on.  Which is based on just TWO STITCHES; spiral chain and russian spiral.  The stitches that I very recently came acquainted with.

I used Dalmation Jasper nuggets, metallic grey twisted bugle beads and red and black glass seed beads.

I created little bugle spiral cages and between each a cluster of nuggets; and to keep the theme I finished with the necklace piece in red/black glass beads.  Its interesting to note that the neck piece is the same stitch that I used on the the nugget twist.  Surprising how a different texture can change the look - well it surprised me!

(c) Charters: Dalmation Nugget Twist
I'm really getting used to doing ball cluster and loop clasps, which finished this necklace just nicely.  

Of course, I couldn't stop there - and created matching earrings.

(c) Charters: Dalmation Nugget Twist

In The Pink

Remember my very first spiral chain?  

It was a very delicate pink/green one that I made into a bracelet and very ambitiously I was making a peyote clasp for.  Well, perhaps a little too adventurous for me just yet.  

So, that too ended up with, you've guessed it - a ball cluster and loop clasp.

I thought perhaps a pair of earrings, but not too sure on whether that was a right decision?  They have been labelled as 'sea horses' ... 'the cheek of it'!!!

As you can see I'm keen to add my own stamp to my jewellery and I was very lucky to receive some beautiful bead weaving books for my birthday which I'm hoping will give me a greater insight to working in 2D and 3D.

I'm still picking up basic stitches at the minute and have had a frustrating couple of days getting to grips with one in particular!

Brick Stitch - aka Comanche Stitch
Its a stitch that was used for centuries by Native Americans for amulet bags etc.

This is a very strong stitch which is used in particular as a base stitch for 2D and 3D work, so I've been really knuckling down trying my utmost to learn it. 

Now this is where being left-handed has caused me to get a little mixed up.  But ... never one to give up easily, after 2 days it finally all came together.  This was, to me, amazing! To those of you more experienced, it is probably a simplistic stitch.  I was beginning to think I must be 'really thick', and I can't tell you how many times I've started the technique, only to rip it apart.

I used various books and online tutorials to work it out, each one being 'not quite' legible (to me anyway).  Then ... I don't know why, but I GOT IT ... that's a great feeling.  More so because without Brick Stitch, the chance of doing multi-dimensional work was looking slim.  

And here you have it ... a pair of tear drop, (sort of - I had thought they were going to be diamonds ... or do I mean they should have been?).  Made with a red seed bead with a hint of gold/purple, (I know you can't see it in the piccy but its a very shiny pretty colour).  These were just a 3-row foundation which decrease by one stitch each row.  Turned upside down to complete the 2nd half.

Just the beginning, and more practice definitely needed!  But, hey ... I can do brickstitch!!!  Yippee ....

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 20 June 2011

She Sells Sea Shells by The Sea Shore (Post 46)

Going forward from my Beaded Flower last week, I've continued this week with another beaded project.  A short while ago I was fortunate to be holidaying in France ... beautiful country, rich in history.  I particularly love the many medieval 'walled' towns that they have.   One such place being, Concarneau.

I happened across a little gift shop, (tucked away in one of the alleyways), which had some cute seaside-type models.  I snapped them up, without a clue what I wanted them for; I just knew they would look 'different' whatever I chose to do with them.

Then last week, it was one of those 'eureka' moments ... and I knew exactly what I would do.  Choosing a pretty blue shell to experiment with.  

All will be revealed ... in a minute.  First though:

Today is Handmade Monday No. 21, don't forget to take a peek and see what everybody has been up to.  Wendy has some delightful plaques, which are just great!

Shell Shores

(c) Charters  Jewellery - Shell Shores
Voila!  Here it is: Shell Shores Brooch.

I attached the shell to a double layer of interfacing and embellished the shell with a few rows of back stitched beads; randomly selecting one of 3 shades of blue glass seed beads.  I then created loads of loops around and finished it off with bead 'stacks' to stand above the brooch.  Then added a suedette back and brooch pin.

I thought the ruggedness of the beads made it look like a shell lying on a beach with the 'foam of the waves' washing over it.  

Yes, I have quite a vivid imagination!

I'm excited to say I have a few more different shaped models left ... starfish, turtle, shell ... so, you may well see some more sea-side type brooches, (called Pins, I believe in The States?).

I'm still working on my nuggety necklace, the bulk of it has been created, now its the finishing touches. 

In the meantime, 'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 13 June 2011

Bead by Bead (Post 45)

A busy week, getting to grips with new beading techniques.  Still doing the nuggetty necklace and an interesting beaded brooch.  But, I digress ...
Finally gathered together everything needed for another tutorial by the Designer Liz Reed of The Crimson Moon.  In fact, I'm proud to say that this is actually my first bead embroidery -as it involves stitching to fabric.

Thanks Liz ... love your tutorials!
Liz's tutorials are in her Etsy Store, I bought this some time ago, with an idea of what I wanted to do. 

The great thing about Liz's tutorials are that they are excellent for giving a 'grounding' in techniques, which you can then build on to create your own designs.  From this tutorial alone I now know how to use brick stitch to create petals, how to work beading onto fabric, do embroidery backstitch and so much more. 

This tutorial is based on you using your own cabachon - or bead or button: the choice is yours.  I love the goddess that's pictured here.  As yet, my polymer skills do not lend themselves to produce such beauties.  I had other ideas ...

Have You Guessed Yet?

This glass bead and the little beads with it reminds me of the sun.  So I thought that as I didn't have a 'goddess' to use that I would create a lovely bright sun with rays dancing out of the edges.  (OK, that was the idea, anyway).

Oops, did the tutorials really say use an 18 mm cabachone?  Well ... its a little larger at 35+ mm.  Did I ever tell you my sense of measurement is poor.  Me, I still think in feet and inches!!

Not to be put off, I thought - the technique is the same, just means I 'll use a few more beads etc.

Not to be deterred, now I'd got this far I ploughed on.  The only setback being 'my being left-handed'.  It wasn't really a problem, and I soon settled in.  It was quite therapeutic.

Sunshine or Sunflower?

I haven't decided yet, whether this will be a brooch or maybe a 'quite mad' necklace.  I'm really pleased with the results though.

I've started another project incorporating some of these techniques, but have another stitch which I think will look fab - a sort of loopy type stitch.  Maybe next time?

Hello and Welcome to: Karen of Kazies Magical Designs

Kazie has some beautiful encaustic art and other 'one of a kind' items; and joins my other virtual friends in producing some amazing work.  Take a peek for yourselves.

And finally, its  Handmade Monday No. 20 today.  Pop over and see what everybody has been up to.

Got 'beading' to catch up with, so until next time ...

'Keep Watching - and, I'll Keep Blogging'


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Bangle Revisited (Post 44)

Well, all my good intentions of posting in time for Handmade Monday No 19 ... just a little too late though.  But that doesn't mean to say you should be.  Always worth a visit to catch up with everybody elses week's endeavours!  In fact, I'll be popping over there very shortly myself.

Bangle Revisited
Remember last week, just finishing this bangle (well an identical one!!), when the beads scattered to all corners of the earth, leaving me 'speechless'.  

So, here it is, restored.  In fact, reinvented but this time using a very strong illusion thread.  Surprisingly this also gave it more elasticity; allowing it to slip on to the wrist ever so easily.

I still have plans to make a necklace with this technique and spotted some delightful bugle beads which I couldn't resist getting.  Not sure whether they'll work - once home they seemed a lot shorter than these red bugles?  We'll see how it pans out ....

I must say how pleased I am that Ros has joined us:

Hello and Welcome To:
  • Ros Made Me
    Ros claims to be an 'all-round crafter', who will try anything from needlework, quilting, applique, knitting and a 101 other crafts as the mood takes.  Now if you pay her a visit you will see that she is certainly multi-talented and in particular I find her knitting in outstanding.  I love browsing around her blog and Ros also excels with some great tutorials.
What Next? 
I'm working on a necklace which I've designed, incorporating the 'russian spiral'  and the 'spiral chain' technique.  I was tempted to stop when it reached bracelet length but I think as a necklace it will really be a statement piece.  This time the focus is on Dalmation Jasper semi-precious nuggets: so cute!

Had it not been for the temptations of the sun it would have been completed; that and a couple of rethreads!!!  Yes, my design went a bit off schedule and had to be put in its place again.  So, there we have it.

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


    Monday, 16 May 2011

    Beauty - Really is 'In The Eye of The Beholder' (Post 42)

    A week goes by, and I'm left wondering where?  Where did it go ... well, for me I did some polymer work - OK, 'half did' some polymer work.  Its still in progress.  What I had in my head did not quite turn out to plan.  But as it is well known, sometimes these works of art are inspirational in their own right.  

    But first ...

    Apologies to:  
    • Carolee Crafts, Abracadebra, The Crimson Moon
      Due to what I think can only be a Blogger issue, I was unable to post the lovely comments that they sent.  Blogger was down for a period in the week and I could not even access the Design area; unfortunately when I did their posts had been removed - although I still had them in my email?  Gremlins at play!  So, thank you for your Comments - always appreciated.
    • Missy Polyclay
      Last month Daria held a 'giveaway' competition on her blog, and I was fortunate to be the winner.  I've been a bit impatient waiting for the prezzy to arrive and Daria and I have been exchanging a few emails, hope I haven't been a pain.  Although the package has been sent, I can only come to the conclusion that it has been lost in the post.  A bit frustrating for us both, but not to worry, as they say ... what you haven't got you won't miss.  It was still nice to have been selected; Daria's work is lovely.
    Hello and Welcome to:
    • Carolee Crafts Caroline creates lovely bespoke gifts and cards and she has a great eye for detail and originality.  Take a peek, I know she'd enjoy a visit from you.
    Don't forget to pop across to Wendy's blog for this week's Handmade Monday No. 16

    Work In Progress
    You may remember that I've been collecting Sea Glass, well this week I was given another great 'addition to my collection' from Barbados.  (Posted at the top with the Clown protecting it).  I decided to have a bit of a test run, encasing it with polymer.

    Work in Progress
    Reserving judgement at the minute!  It 'kinda' did work but its debatable as to what degree!! 

    I do like the scallopy-looking one, think that may have potential.

    Conclusion: Research a bit more - I think that Silver bezel would be more appealing; although in all fairness I've only skirted the technique as yet.  If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them though.

    This week, I've got a few projects to finish and some more beadwork techniques to do. 

    'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


    Monday, 9 May 2011

    May's Meanderings (Post 41)

    Hope you all had a nice long break; in the UK we not only had Easter but also an additional holiday for the Royal Wedding.  I took advantage and turned it into a holiday touring in France and Devon.  

    Its been an interesting couple of weeks and I'd like to start by thanking Debbie of Abracadebra Designs for the two pairs of earrings she very kindly made for me as a Pay It Forward prezzy.

    ... thanks Debbie, they are, like all your jewellery, just beautiful!

    I was a little surprised to see that nobody had picked up on my last Post ... with the offer of Paying Forward.  Maybe its the commitment for 5 gifts?  So, I'd like to revise that ... why not take part and Pay Forward just one little prezzy.  Pay It Forward - to the 1st person who writes a comment


    Next I would like to welcome two new followers which brings my total virtual friends to that magical number of 50 !!!!!  More on that later ... A very big welcome goes to:
    1. Little Harriet  Harriet makes lovely handmade gifts and jewellery and has very recently made that big move of opening her own Folksy shop.  Congratulations with that Harriet, hope its a great success for you.
    2. Nancy  A very interesting lady with a variety of talents, who calls herself 'the craft lady' but who is in actual fact so much more!  Her blog is very versatile and Nancy is very sharing with tutorials on so many unusual items.
    Take a peek at both of these sites, you'll be pleased you did.

    Whilst your in the mood for browsing, just a reminder that today is Handmade Monday No. 15 hosted by Wendy.  A showcase of all fellow artists work - always worth browsing.  Why not pop over ...

    What Have I been Up To?
    I've been teaching myself a new beadweaving stitch - 
    'spiral chain'.  Its a tutorial I came across on Tackle That Bead Stash Blog, written by Liz Reed - thanks Liz, lovely clear instructions.

    It really is easy to do, once you pick up the rhythm.  I've been merrily weaving spirals to my heart's content.  However, I've yet to finish it and foolheartedly attempted to do a peyote stitch clasp - oooh ... a bit too tricky; so have not quite completed it.  
    Undaunted with my new found confidence I went on to make a royal blue/metallic grey chain necklace, which I finished with a beaded loop and clasp.  I've since been given instructions from Liz on a method to use - so my next one should be even better!

    The chain matches my blue silk dress just perfectly!  I need to do some earrings to match next.

    Still on the spiral chain theme, I'm currently making a chain bracelet or will it be a necklace? (running low on beads ...) for this months OTTBS Moodboard Challenge.  That is ... if I like it when its finished!

    Work In Progress .... we'll see
    Still To Come ...
    I'm planning a 'giveaway' to celebrate reaching 50 Followers ... 
    'Keep Watching, and ... I'll Keep Blogging'