This Weeks News…

Finally! The news I’ve been waiting for…planning permission for my garage conversion was granted on Wednesday and I now have a start date of May 27th, just ten days away – yippee! Which means of course that I will be spending part of the weekend sorting out this mess although, having had a false start it’s not as bad as it was.

I’m quite conscious that under those empty boxes are a lot more full of perfectly usable household items and clothing which have ‘somehow’ accumulated but which I just don’t need. I don’t have the time or resource to deal with this myself at the moment but hate the thought of it going to waste so I’m using an local ‘Eco Clearance’ company who aim to recycle and redistribute as much as they can to the most appropriate area which will leave me with a clear conscience at the same time. Then we get get down to the business of turning it into something a bit more like this…

I’ve still got lots of decisions to make about things like flooring, wall tiles and paint but I think I need to get a feel for the space before I can do that properly. Needless to say excitement is mounting.

I’ve been building  a log list of things to I need for the new work space when it’s finished but I haven’t been able to resist buying a couple of new toys already, the first being this Silhouette Cameo Die Cutter. It’s widely used for sign making and paper crafts but thanks to some very inspirational people in the field I’ve discovered it can also be used to create beautiful jewellery.

Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has designed some beautiful etched pieces using vinyl cut on the Cameo  which achieves a much crisper edge than many other methods.

And Wanaree Tanner, doyenne of the metal clay world has developed a process for using it with sheets of dry metal clay to produce gorgeous cut out work. Check out their work and you’ll see why I just had to have one of these.

Photo by Wanaree Tanner

I’ve also treated myself to this little bench polisher. I’ve always done a lot of my finishing by hand but when I was preparing for the Big Bead show I started getting pains in my hands from the sheer volume of repetitive work and I’ve noticed that I can’t do as much now without my hands beginning to twinge. Obviously it would be a disaster if I couldn’t work because of this so it seemed that this would be a sensible investment.

I haven’t tried either of these gadgets out yet but the Cameo will be trialed on some display cards I need to make for a consignment of components I’ll be sending off to a Bricks and Mortar bead shop in the next few weeks (more of that in a future post) – cheaper to practice on card than clay methinks!. As for the polisher, I’m sure it won’t be too long before that gets a spin…I just need to find it a temporary home.

Something else I’ve been doing this week is making a bit more jewellery and I’m really enjoying it since I’ve been so consumed with the component side of things it’s great to have a bit of a change. My jewellery shop has also been a little neglected of late so I’ve been trying to make some new stock and use my own components more…not always easy when you have a huge stash of other peoples gorgeous goodies.

I will also be concentrating on jewellery whilst the building work is being done as it’s going to be difficult to do much component making. This means there will be no major THEA too updates until after the studio is complete but the shop is well stocked so there is still plenty to choose from. Likewise I won’t be able to make custom orders but am happy to take them for completion in the latter half of June.

Another little bit of excitement for me will be the publication of my first project piece in the June edition of ‘Making Jewellery’ which hits the shops on May 30th. I can’t show you what it is yet but of course I’ll post some pictures when it’s published…It’s a bumper issue with 100 project so worth a look.

Well that ‘s my news for the week..things are about to get a little hectic as you can see but while the building work is going on I will be writing regular posts to show you how it’s progressing so watch this space.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Lesley

7th Bead Soup Blog Party – 3rd Reveal…

Welcome to the third and final reveal of the 2013 Bead Soup Blog party. Here’s a reminder of the fabulous soup mix I received from my partner Silke Grober from Germany who, as you can see makes gorgeous lampwork beads. Silke was incredibly generous sending me not one, but three of her own focals as a matching set and some spacers along with some lovely brass and Rudraksha beads – thank you so much Silke for sending me ingredients that were such a pleasure to work with. I certainly had plenty to play with so I’ll get on with it and show you what I made.
I love the earthiness of Silke’s beads and they remind me a little of aerial landscapes, autumn seasons and for some reason vineyards. The first piece I made is this necklace using the ‘elongated bicone’ focal (not sure what the proper name for this shape is) set on a hand made bronze pin and bail.

I particularly like the dark plummy accents on the focal and wanted to try and pick this up in some way so I dug out some lovely matte peanut and seed beads from Smitten Beads and strung them with some of the accent beads from the soup. The Rudraksha beads and the gorgeous brass filigrees add a lovely warmth and although It’s a fairly traditional design I think it’s very pleasing to the eye.

Next I wanted to do something which incorporated the copper clasp Silke had made which I felt was crying out for a bracelet. I decided to go asymmetrical and fairly casual and went for Waxed linen for the stringing material, randomly adding beads from the soup mix along with a few of my own bronze discs.

I finished the cord tails off with some more of the peanuts beads and that was it – simple but effective.

For my next piece I chose the round focal bead which is probably my favourite but it is rather large so it took some thinking about. In the end I decided on a very long necklace with simple accents to show of the full beauty of the focal. The chunky Vintaj chain is interspersed with lovely sea green crystals (again from Smitten Beads) and both these elements are repeated as dangles below the focal.

I also added one of my bronze flying birds as a dangle and a few matte and shiny peanut beads to the bail to highlight the colour on the focal. This piece did prove somewhat difficult to photograph clearly but I hope you can get an idea.

Last but not least, I used a couple of the smaller lampwork beads to make some earrings which will go with any of the other pieces. The beads are wrapped in bronze wire with a length of chain suspended from the bottom. I added some more peanut beads ( can you tell I rather like these peanuts…) to small jump rings and attached these to the entire length of the chain and finished off with the sea green crystals. These have a lovely sense of movement and texture and I liked them so much I’ve made some similar styles since.

 All pieces now in my ETSY Shop.

I still have 1 focal, the silk and a few beads left so there will be more to come but for now that is my serving of bead soup – I’m so excited to see what Silke has done with the beads in the picture below which I sent her and I hope you will pop over to her blog too and take a look.

I’d also like to offer  a huge vote of thanks to Lori Anderson and her helpers for organising yet another epic event and being a huge inspiration to us all.

To see the designs made by all the other participants just use the links below and start hopping.
Have fun!

Lesley

Adlinah
Kamsir
www.dreamstruckdesigns.blogspot.com
Agi Kiss http://moonsafaribeads.blogspot.com
Alenka Obid www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alison Sachs www.beadsbyearthtones.blogspot.com
Amanda Tibbetts http://www.amandamade.com/blog
Amy Sims www.amysimsdesigns.com
Ana Cravidao http://acbeads.blogspot.com
Andra Marasteanu http://bijouxdemonange.blogspot.com
Andria Poole www.Jewelleryartiste.blogspot.com
Angela Perkins http://jeweledinspirations.blogspot.com
Anja Schultz http://anjas-perlenwelt.blogspot.de/
Ann Sherwood http://ann-sherwood.blogspot.com/
Anna Nordeman http://annas-adornments.blogspot.com
Annita Wilson http://awjewelryandbeadwork.blogspot.com/
Arlene Dean http://aglassbash.blogspot.com/
Astrid Boyce http://astridboyce.blogspot.com/
Barb Fernald http://barbarasfernald.com/
Betty James Hoppensteadt www.tybetastidbits.blogspot.com
Birgit Klughardt www.gitesbeads-gite.blogspot.com
Bonnie Coursolle http://jaspersgems.blogspot.ca/
Brandy Thomason McNair www.bellavitajewelry.blogspot.com
Brenda Sigafoos http://brenda-sigafoos.blogspot.com
Carmen Lau http://littlemake.blogspot.com/
Carol Wilson http://jetadorn.blogspot.com/
Caroline Dewison http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk
Cassie Donlen www.cassiedonlen.blogspot.com
Catharine Temaluru http://ienmaginationsjewelry.wordpress.com
Catherine Turrell http://fairysketches.blogspot.co.uk
Cheri Reed www.creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Cherrie Warzocha http://colorsofshae.blogspot.com/
Christa Murphy http://adventuresofwonebeadywoman.blogspot.com/
Christina Hickman http://vintagetreasuresjewelry.blogspot.com/
Christina Stofmeel www.fengbeads.com
Christine Hansen http://intuitivesparks.blogspot.com
Christine Stonefield www.sweetgirldesign.blogspot.com
Cilla Watkins www.tellyourgirlfriends.com
Cindy Cima Edwards www.cindycima.com
Claire Lockwood www.somethingtodowithyourhands.com
Colleen Vinthagen http://www.thewireworkshop.com/blog/
Dagmar Liebisch http://kokopellidesign.blogspot.de/
Dana Fowler www.blogjunepur.blogspot.com
Danielle Kelley http://imbuethemuse.blogspot.com/
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.co.uk
Denise Milward http://milwardstorysofar.wordpress.com/
Diah Anggreni http://pernik-manik.blogspot.com/
Diana Gonzalez www.arteypoemas.com
Diane Valasek http://dragonflyclose.blogspot.com/
Dita Basu http://www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com
Donetta Farrington http://simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com/
Doris Stumpf http://glaszwerg.blogspot.de/
Elizabeth Bunn http://elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Drake http://mutteringsofacrone.wordpress.com/
Elizabeth Jones http://www.eyekandyjewellery.com
Elizabeth Stolarczyk http://elizabethsart.blogspot.co.uk/
Ema Kilroy http://www.emakdesigns.com/blog
Erin Kenny http://beadifultherapy.blogspot.ca/
Evelyn Duberry Www.ShebaMakeda.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Francesca Watson http://francescawatson.com/
Gen Smith http://gennysworld.blogspot.com/
Ginger Davis Allman www.thebluebottletree.com
Giorgia Rossini www.joyblonde.blogspot.com
Hannah Annear www.quirkyhannah.wordpress.com
Heather Otto http://www.thecrafthopper.com
Heidi Kingman www.Heidikingman.blogspot.com
Ildiko Jarai www.sviroalkotasai.blogspot.hu
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net
Jackie Locantore http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStarSanctuaryStudio
Jacqueline Keller www.creartelier.blogspot.com
Jane Pranata Lim http://cherryeve.blogspot.com
Jennifer Davis http://jennifersjewelsandjunk.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Tough http://jenniferbeads.blogspot.ca
Jenny Vidberg http://shymessmycken.blogspot.se/
Jessica Klaaren Http://cellardoorjewelry.blogspot.com
Joanna Matuszczyk http://filcowe.blogspot.com
Joyce Becker www.joycesjoyfulgems.blogspot.com
Judith Johnston http://www.lampworkbeadlounge.com/
Judy Riley www.threeredbeads.blogspot.com
JuLee Wolfe www.thepolymerpenguin.blogspot.com
June Butt http://www.onewhiteswan.blogspot.co.nz/
Karen Mitchell http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com/
Karin King www.maverickbeads.blogspot.ca
Karin von Hoeren www.creativeideen.de
Karla Morgan http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com/
Kathrin Lembke http://allesperle.blogspot.de/
Kathy Stemke
http://vintagememoriesjewelry.blogspot.com
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic http://slovoni.blogspot.com
Katy Heider http://onthepondcreations.blogspot.com/
Kay Thomerson http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
Kelley Fogle www.mylifeonebeadatatime.blogspot.com
Keren Panthaki https://vasdea.wordpress.com
Kimberly Idalski http://www.Kimisjewelryandgifts.blogspot.com
Kirsi Loponen http://peikkonen.blogspot.com
Klaudia Tóth http://www.klaudiabizsu.hu/
Krista Quantrill www.cornucopiaofcrafts.blogspot.ca
Kristina Hahn Eleniak www.peacockandlime.wordpress.com
Kristina Johansson www.wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com
Laney Mead http://laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk/
Lara Lutrick http://www.lutrick.blogspot.com/
Laura Guenther www.blueantiquities.blogspot.com
Lauren Potts www.lpsjewelry.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar www.Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Leah Tees www.mybeadylittleeyes.blogspot.ca
Lena Adams http://mommaslilbirdiesblog.blogspot.com
Lesley Watt www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Leslie Wayment www.aabeadsonline.com/blog/
LiliKrist http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/
Linda Kropp http://lindasartbarn.blogspot.com/
Linda Newnham http://www.earth-shine.co.uk/
Linda Younkman www.lindysdesigns.blogspot.com
Lisa Boucher http://lisasclayhappenings.blogspot.com/
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.com
Lora Bright http://fandangling.wordpress.com/
Lorelle McIntyre http://beadyart.blogspot.com.au
Lori Anderson www.PrettyThingsBlog.com
Lori Finney http://lori-finney.blogspot.ca/
Lucie Bouvier http://www.carlosbeadstore.com/blog/
Malin de Koning http://beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.se
Marina Dobrynina http://savonfeutre.blogspot.fr/
Marina Kosovic http://machoopko-design.blogspot.com/
Marion Simmons http://www.shadetreejewelry.com/blog.html
Marita Suominen http://momentofjewelry.blogspot.fi/
Marjolein Trewavas http://roomforchangemeuk.blogspot.co.uk/
Marsela Schroth www.marselita.de
Martha Aleo www.ornamento.wordpress.com
Mary Govaars www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com
Mary K McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Maybeline Tay http://thejewelrylarder.blogspot.sg/
Mea-B. Uebler www.glasorakel.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Menka Gupta http://menkag.blogspot.com
Merja Sundström http://suntsan.blogspot.fi/
Merja Syrjämäki http://helmiriippuvuus.blogspot.fi/
Michelle Buettner http://www.MiShelDesigns.blogspot.com
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.blogspot.com
Michelle Wigginton http://adornedonadelaide.blogspot.ca/
Milla Hope www.Lbcreativeart.com
Miranda Ackerely

Mowse Doyle

www.mirandack.com

http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Mrs M Makes www.mrsmmakes.wordpress.com
Nan Smith www.wirednan.blogspot.com
Natalie Davidson http://northshoredays.blogspot.co.nz/
Natalie Moten http://runningoutofthread.blogspot.com/
Natascha Marty www.sommerlicht.ch
Nikki Banham-Hall http://jewellerymakingblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Noemi Baena http://blog.noemibaena.com/
Norma Turvey http://moonlitfantaseas.blogspot.com
Pam DeBoer http://pamelas-studio.blogspot.com/
Pam Hurst www.pamhurst.blogspot.com
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com/
Penny Houghton http://www.smellynelly.blogspot.com.au/
Penny Mills www.cobblestone-lane.blogspot.com
Rachel Van-Walsh www.balancedcrafts.com/blog
Rebecca Sirevaag www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com/
Regina Wood
http://www.gina-design.blogspot.com
Roberta Fauntroy www.thevirtualbeadsociety.wordpress.com
Rosanagh Watson

Rose Johnson

http://ring-a-ring-a-rosie.blogspot.co.uk

http://swtrosethorn.blogspot.com
Rosemary Cheslock www.glasseyebutterfly.tumblr.com
Rossana De Gaspari http://rdegas.blogspot.com
Sabine Dittrich www.perlendschungel.blogspot.com
Sam Waghorn http://palemooncreations.tumblr.com/
Sandi James http://www.dobedobeaddo.blogspot.com/
Sandra McGriff http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.ca
Sandra Wollberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.com/
Sandra Young http://gypsyroadbeads.blogspot.ca/
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/
Sharon Palac www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com
Sierra Barrett http://giraffecanhas.wordpress.com/
Silke Gröber http://just-beads.blogspot.com
Siobhán Keogh http://vovsjewellery.blogspot.ie/
Stefanie Teufel http://stefaniessammelsurium.blogspot.com
Stephanie Stamper www.Skwds.blogspot.com
Sue Hamel http://cardandjewelrycorner.blogspot.com/
Sue Rennie http://moonandsevenstars.blogspot.co.uk/
Susan Kennedy www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com
Susanna Lehto http://othellehto.blogspot.fi/
Suse Stelljes www.pearlify.blogspot.de
Susie Hibdon http://vintagesusieandwings.blogspot.com
Suzann Sladcik Wilson www.BeadphoriaBlog.com
Tara Plote http://newbiebeader.blogspot.com/
Terri G. http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Terry Carter http://tappingflamingo.blogspot.com/
Terry Matuszyk http://pinkchapeau.wordpress.com/
Theresa Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com/
Tina Bosh http://bookbug-somanybookssolittletime.blogspot.com/
Tina Noonan www.wingedimp.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Facebook
Participants
Audrey Allen https://www.facebook.com/adallen07
Cindy Wimmer Muse https://www.facebook.com/mritech813
Cynthia O’Toole https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.otoole
Deb Floros https://www.facebook.com/deb.floros
Debbie Jensen https://www.facebook.com/debbie.jensen.984
Erin Honeycutt https://www.facebook.com/erin.honeycutt1
Kaushambi Shah https://www.facebook.com/kaushambi.shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison https://www.facebook.com/lisa.lloydharrison
Mary Jane Tanner https://www.facebook.com/mary.j.tanner
Valerie Tilghman https://www.facebook.com/valerie.tilghman

AJE Component of the Month Reveal – March

The components we had to work with this month were these lovely little hollow copper lentil beads made by Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Extra fame.
The fates seemed to be conspiring against me for this months challenge though…I always knew I was going going to struggle for time with all the things going on but this was exacerbated by the fact that the first bead Jo sent me never arrived and the second only made it here late last week…all a little frustrating when you think that Jo only lives about 25 miles from me!
The upshot of this was that when I finally set to work yesterday I had no option but to keep things simple to make sure I got the piece completed but, in the end that turned out to be no bad thing. Jo’s bead is fairly small and as I wanted it to have some ‘presence’ I felt the piece need to be quite delicate. 
Since I’ve been working with bronze clay I’ve not used copper very much but after rummaging in the depths of my bead stash I found this pretty patinated copper pendant from Leann Weih of Summers Studio that I’ve had for years. It’s quite light so I thought it would sit well with Jo’s bead without overpowering it.
Jo also sent us some tiny charms with our beads and I combined these with the bead and the pendant to form a long focal element which I hung from a simple fine copper trace chain. I actually liked this just as it was but while I have no qualms about keeping things simple, I felt I hadn’t really done much for a challenge piece. So after staring at it for a couple of hours I decided to add some light embellishment to the chain in the form of tiny turquoise rice beads and this was the final result.

I think there is a nice balance to the focal section which gives each piece equal prominence and I love the continuation of the chain with the heart dangles..

The necklace is actually quite long but I’ve pulled it back in this last picture to get a better perspective.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with it – it doesn’t break any new ground but it’s light, comfortable and eminently wearable and most of all, it think it does show of the beauty of Jo’s bead. I hope you like it too.

You can see what the other participants made using the links below.

Carolyn (Carolyn’s Creations)
Jess Green
Niky Sayers
Jo Tinley

Jennifer Cameron
 Jenny Davies-Reazor
Susan Kennedy
Linda Landig
Melissa Meman
Kristen Stevens
Francesca Watson
Lesley Watt



Lesley

Focus on Life Week 1 of 52 – Self Portrait

This year I am taking part in a photo journal challenge set up by the
lovely Sally Russick of Studio Sublime who, in addition to creating
beautiful jewellery is a talented photographer…unlike myself! Each
week Sally will be sending the participants a word prompt and the
following Saturday we will post our photo interpretations on our blogs, Flickr or Instagram.

The first prompt Sally sent us
was ‘self-portrait’ – cue sinking feeling and knot in the middle of my
stomach. I do not like being photographed and you’ll be lucky to find more than a handful of recent pictures of me – even fewer decent ones.

So my first reaction was to make an appointment for hair and make-up and spend hours setting up props and soft lighting that would be kind to me but then that wouldn’t really be a true representation of me, the camera does in fact lie sometimes. I’m more often to be found sans make-up with hair askew and anything but glamorous. I often get distracted by work before I’m even dressed in the morning so I decided that would be a truer reflection of me and took some pictures just after I got up this morning. As you can see I couldn’t help but ham it up a little and I’m guessing that was my instinctive reaction to cover my nervousness.

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to publish these photo’s but deep breath, here goes….

My early morning  pink and puffy look was a little too much so I converted them to black and white which makes them a little more bearable – but this really is me.

Hop over to Sally’s Blog and you’ll be able to see how the other participants have photographed themselves and I’ll be back next Saturday with my interpretation of the next prompt.

Have a great weekend all.

Lesley