Friday, 28 June 2013

Little green men and my ‘Bacchus’ necklace

I’ve long had a fascination for the Green Man. These weird and wonderful little faces can often be seen inside churches and we have our fair share here in Norfolk. There are several  in Norwich Cathedral, ranging from the benign and friendly looking to the comical and grotesque. I love the idea of nature spirits, especially those that inhabit trees – or Dryads as they are known. I often look at a tree and wonder what sort of personality it has.

Planning my ‘Bacchus’ necklace was great fun and a bit of a challenge. Bacchus is the god of wine, so I knew I needed to be a bit wild and exuberant with my beading. I’ve been hoarding these lovely little grape shaped pressed glass beads for ages, so it was great to have an excuse to use them.
Here is the sketchbook page showing my initial thoughts ….

….. and here is ‘Bacchus’ all completed.

Here is the link to buy online:


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Autumn leaf in wirework and bead crochet

Another week of working on jewellery inspired by the natural world. For a while now I've had an idea in my head for a piece incorporating a leaf with a filigree edge. I selected a really pretty palette of Autumn colours from my stock of beads, then set to work with wire and crochet hook. I made three strands and then plaited them together. The leaf pendant was great fun to make and I finished the bail with fine wire wrapping so that it looks like a little stalk.

Here is the link to buy online: 
Nature in the garden continues to amaze and delight. A couple of days ago we saw the most beautiful and very tiny moth on the flowering currant bush. We looked it up and found out that it is a 'Mint Moth'.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Beads shoots and leaves

June really is a month of abundance, in the garden, in the kitchen, and this week also on my beading desk. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve sweet peas growing under the kitchen window. I’ve loved watching them grow from the first tiny tentative shoots. At the moment they seem to be putting on a real spurt. Several inches a day seem to have magically appeared overnight when I look each morning. I feel a bit like Jack with his magic beans!

I found a fabulous dichroic glass cabochon and sorted out a selection of beads and threads with a sweet pea inspired colour scheme. When faced with a selection of components and an idea that I want to realise it’s all too easy to procrastinate. But I decided that I needed to get stuck right in and express myself. Leap and the net will appear, I told myself. So I made a shape with wire that reminded me of the first tiny buds and the tendrils that are now coiling round the bamboo canes. This gave me the base for the macramé work round the stone and it is held firmly in place whilst allowing the maximum area of that lovely dichroic glass to show. Into the strap I wove little pod and leaf shaped elements and wire coils. I have finished it off with two wire coils with thread wrapping between them. I’m really into making my own jump rings to attach clasps. They are superior to shop bought, as I can work harden the wire to make them really strong.

Here is the link to buy the necklace online:
I’m going through a highly creative phase just now as ideas coming thick and fast. I blame all the locally grown asparagus I’m eating just now! Our post office is in the local Co-op and there is always a tempting pile of it that I just can’t resist. I bought a bunch to have for dinner this evening, also some lovely little Jersey Royal potatoes with fresh mint from the garden. A glass or two of some nice red wine is planned later as I'm celebrating my 40,000th view on my YouTube channel!
Are you local? This asparagus certainly is and hung around just long enough for a quick sketch. Yummy!
In between the beading projects I’m trying to find the time to sketch again. Even the most humble little patio like mine provides a wealth of inspiration.
Have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Coils and cascades in macramé and wirework

I’ve finally managed to shake off the horrible cold that has kept me away from the beading desk. I have to be quite poorly before I admit defeat, but I was really feeling too ill to concentrate on making things for a few days. But I’m back with renewed enthusiasm now and have been busy with some lovely gemstones.

The green necklace is made from yellow turquoise and loads of Tibetan style metal beads. I’ve used macramé cords over the top of a wire frame to turn a large bead into a pendant . 2 thickness of thread have gone into this piece – 1mm waxed cotton and superlon micro macramé thread. I love weaving with Superlon. It’s incredibly tough and durable, as is the waxed cotton, both have been created especially for jewellery making. I’ve really taken to the idea of wire and macramé, it allows me to use large beads in some very interesting ways.

The second piece is made of howlite gemstone beads and wirework coils, I’ll have to wait until my wire order arrives through the post before I can finish it. I want to add coils all the way to the back of the necklace. I think this would look great with some of the ‘neon brights’ that are in the shops  just now.
Next on my list is a piece inspired by sweet peas. Mine in the garden are coming along nicely. No flowers yet but loads of buds are promising delights to come. I love the mix of jewel like colours and a necklace inspired by them will be really pretty. I’ll need to find a way to represent the little tendrils that the plant uses to climb up the canes.