Sunday, 29 March 2020

Ideas for nature inspired pendants

It’s been a funny old week hasn’t it? We’ve all had to make some adjustments to the way we live our lives and even if you’re fit and healthy it can make you feel a bit weary. But there is still much to enjoy and Mr J and I are able to do our usual daily walk to see what’s happening in the wood and hedgerows.

After making some delicious pancakes for breakfast this morning I felt keen to start putting some ideas for pendants down on paper, ready to start painting, stitching and beading next week.

I think I’ll start with the ‘Springtime’ pendant first, it will be lovely to use a fresh palette of greens and blues with some yellow celandines in the background – the little wood was full of them yesterday. I’ll post some pictures as work progresses next week.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

‘Guinevere’ - A neckpiece inspired by Arthurian legends

It’s very quiet here, living as we do at the end of a cul de sac with a field on one side of us. Usually there is the hum of aircraft from the local airport, but of course there are no planes just now. But beading goes on as usual, and crafting is a wonderful stress buster. I’ve had several emails from some of my usual online craft shops saying it’s business as usual.

My Oak Tree Crafts ‘Acorn Club’ beads arrived this week – lovely spring colours, so will inspire a catkin inspired piece I expect.

The Lakeland Crafts faux leather pieces have proved inspirational, and gave me the impetus I needed to make a start on something I’d scribbled in my trusty sketch book.

 I had some dicroic glass cabochons and some pretty clear glass beads that I wanted to combine, but the clear glass needed pepping up a bit to tie it in more with the cabochons. Faux leather pieces at the back of them makes them truly shine, a technique I will find useful in many more pieces to come as I have lots of clear glass in my collection.

My ‘Guinevere’ piece involved several happy hours of blissful beading. I recommend anyone to try beadwork as an absorbing way to craft some calm into the chaos that seems all around just now and a lovely excuse to have a parcel of beady goodies popped through the letterbox!

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Glorious Goldwork

I rather like January despite the cold damp weather. I’ve always found it a peaceful, reflective month in which to plan projects for the coming year, brush up on old techniques and find out about some new ones. At first glance nature seems to be pausing too, but of course she never really sleeps, as the green spikes of bulbs in my garden, and the tiny buds and tightly furled catkins along the hedgerow testify.

December is often too busy to get much crafting done, but is an ideal time to catch up on reading. I’ve treated myself recently to a wonderful set of ‘tomes’ on traditional Indian jewellery. Hours of happy study to look forward to within its 600 or so pages – it’s so heavy I struggle to lift it!

I love the rich multi-layered look of the skilfully crafted pieces and it inspires me to create something using a rich colour scheme of golds with some jewel like accents. I did some quick doodles last month and one of those provided a starting point.

 One of the techniques I’m keen to explore this year is ‘goldwork’ which uses a variety of textured metal threads and wires. Traditionally it is often done on a background of silk dupion, which ties in nicely with all my recent experiments with this material. I’ve also treated myself to a variety of goldwork threads and materials and I can’t wait to start creating some exciting new pieces with them.

January promises to be a very enriching month craftwise!