Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Getting ready for some celebrations

I just can’t believe that it’s nearly August already can you? The year is speeding by. August is always a busy month for me, not to mention a spendy one, as we have lots of birthdays in the family this coming weekend. It means a fabulous big rowdy get-together and delicious food cooked by my lovely sister. We’ve a wedding at the end of the month in North Wales too, so that will involve a trip into town to search for a new outfit. I’ve hardly bought a thing since I finished work two years ago – being at home all day means being casually attired, but a church wedding gives me an excuse to splurge and another excuse for sporting a feathery nonsense on my head!

Thinking about celebrations seems to have translated into my beadwork this week. My ‘Mardi Gras’ necklace is a wild explosion of fringe in a riot of colours. I used a finger weaving technique for this, something I’ve not tried before. The clear button that I’ve used as a fastening allows the colours to show through so that it blends in nicely.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A big bowl of bead soup

Already the hedgerow is showing subtle changes from flowers to berries. We noticed that the blackberries are starting to form and the pretty pink dog roses have dropped their petals, to be replaced - oh so soon - by bright rosehips.

Even I have had to admit defeat for a couple of days due to the heat and humidity. Even lifting a needle to stitch a bead has been too much of an effort, let alone the physicality of wirework. However, it's a tiny bit more comfortable this morning so I've been mixing up some batches of 'bead soup, inspired by berries.

 
These will be going into a lush braided rope, with berry shaded CLon threads. The picture shows the necklace in the very early stages. I've made the loop through which the button fastening will go and I'm just starting to incorporate the beads from the piles of bead soup.

 

I'm trying to ignore the vast heap of ironing that has built up over the week. Far too hot is my feeble excuse for skiving off housework!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Shimmering Sunflowers

Sitting in the garden and completing my sunflower necklace has made the week fly by in a happy, hot haze. I have used such a pretty toggle clasp on it in the shape of a leaf. It really suits it I think.

To view it in detail and to purchase online visit: http://www.beadizzy.com/


Some new bits of equipment arrived this week, a steel mandrel for making earrings and an oval one for making cuffs. I’ve decided I need to diversify a bit. The mandrels are very heavy and made of steel. I can hammer and bend to my hearts content on them and they will last a lifetime. Actually they look quite sculptural sitting on my beading desk, but I make a mental note never to drop one on my toes!

Watching the minibeasts in the garden has been interesting. We’ve several frogs in varying sizes in residence. I built ‘Frog Nirvana’ early in the year, with loads of wood, rocks and shallow bowls to put water in. It doesn’t look tidy, but there is always some sort of tiny creature to see there.
 
On the other side of the seat, under the kitchen window the sweet peas have run riot. Will have to try keeping some seed from them.
 
Talking of seeds I love these little seed heads on the pansies. Inspiration for beadwork at every turn this year.
 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A collarette style necklace with daisies

It's funny how something quite small and seemingly insignificant in nature can inspire a piece of jewellery. In this case, it was a tiny seed head that did it. Tiny grey seeds in a row in amongst some flowers in pots on the patio. I based these amber coloured daisies on those flowers called 'Black Eyed Susan'. Over the last couple of days I've created the components and now I'm at the stage where I am thinking about the methods I will use to link them all together. I know I want a cascade of leaves and drops coming from the base of the central daisy. I also want the necklace to be a collarette and fit the neck snuggly.


It takes a huge amount of discipline to stay focused on working when the garden furniture is in place and the sun is shining. I'm telling myself that if I sit outside this afternoon with a pile of jewellery books, a cupcake, a husband and a nice cold drink (not in order of preference I hasten to add!) I can count it as work. Anyway a few hours away from this latest piece will be beneficial so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes and solve the joining it up conundrum.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Two new wire wrapped necklaces

One of the best things about walking to the local post office is that we take a detour down a leafy lane on the way back. It’s usually really quiet, despite being just a short distance away from Norwich airport and there is always something different to see. Just strolling slowly along listening to the trees and watching the butterflies flitting amongst the undergrowth makes a lovely break in a hectic day. This week it’s been really hot, so the cool shade of the hedgerow has been even more enjoyable. After one such walk I felt inspired by twisted stems to make a wired necklace. I sketched out a design and made some notes about how I might construct it.


 I used copper wire, which I gave a lovely antique patina with some Liver of Sulphur which is a special jewellery making solution. I sat in the garden with my polishing cloth and buffed up the raised areas. That makes it look nice and twiggy!
 

The other pendant uses wire wrapping in a different style. I love the shades of green in the freshwater pearls.
More photos of both these necklaces are on my website: http://www.beadizzy.com/

Monday, 8 July 2013

A new shell necklace

What a perfect weekend! Sitting under a shady parasol at long last, interspersed by spells of Wimbledon. Add in the odd glass of Pimms, garnished with strawberry and mint from the garden and it really doesn’t get much better. Oh but then it DID get much better thanks to the brilliance of the wonderful Andy Murray. What a nail biting match to watch. How I admire his calmness, determination and hard work. I felt  a bit tearful at the end I must admit.

Here at the beading desk things did get done despite the lazing around. I did loads of stock checking and tidying and inevitably found a few little hoarded treasures, one of which was the prettiest shell pendant. These are notoriously difficult to photograph due to the range of shimmering colours you find in this shell.


I made a wire and beaded micro macramé frame to showcase it. Pearls and waxed linen cord make up the strap. The ends are finished with my own handmade coils and jump rings with a metal trigger clasp.