Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Autumn Design Challenge Reveal

It seems like such a long time ago now, since I received my package of beads from the lovely Caroline of Blueberri Beads and Lesley of Thea Elements.

I was excited to get started and the package was so inspiring that I made the first bracelet and necklace the morning the parcel arrived.  Keen?  I'll say so!

 The fabric used in these were remnants of silk used by my daughter in one of her theatrical costumes and I randomly zigzagged contrasting threads through it - the colours tied in well with the lovely ceramic heart and the bronze connector of Lesley's.  I added just a couple of my lampwork rustic rounds to the ceramic heart pendant and was immediately pleased with the design.

Living by the sea I wanted to get a little piece of home into my next design and driftwood seemed the perfect compliment for the rustic ceramic beads used in this necklace.

It's hard to see from this image but Caroline's urchin beads seemed to look just right!

The next design took a little longer to come together, but now that it is finished I think I am happiest with it.  I don't know why but I sat and looked at the bronze connector for hours before selecting just the right beads to go with it.  I knew I wanted the connector to serve as an off centred focal.  I am really quite pleased with the overall look and hope I did both Caroline and Lesley proud!

I can't wait to catch up with all the lovely designs - if you too wish to see what everyone else did with their components just follow the links below:

Here again are the contents of my parcel:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

All Things Bright and Beautiful!

I have recently put myself forward for a couple of fairs and so have gathered all my various wares into the one place.  I managed to acquire a beautiful old haberdashery unit that used to house embroidery threads, it is just perfect for my bead and bracelet stock.

It was only when I looked at all the beads and bracelets together that I really noticed just how influenced I am by my surroundings.  The majority of my work being either sandy neutrals or sea greens and blues!

Now that Autumn is well and truly here and the bleakness of Winter is only a whisper away - watch out for a change!  The cold North Sea will soon be wearing its grey overcoat - guess what was in my last glass order - you got it 'mystic grey!'

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Brilliant Weekend!

I had a lovely time last weekend, while teaching at Tuffnell Glass in North Yorkshire.  I delivered a two day course to eight eager and enthusiastic pupils.  The first day was full of hot glass, as we made a set of lampwork beads.  Three of the eight had never melted glass before and their progress was incredible.

Day two consisted of wrapping wire and constructing our bracelets, before proudly wearing and showing them off!

As usual Teresa looked after us all brilliantly with home-made lunches of sandwiches and cake and kept us well watered throughout the day with copious cups of tea and coffee!

We will be offering this course again in the New Year, but if you can't wait until then you can always book a one to one session with myself in the Beadmobile Caravan or better still bring a friend and lower the cost.
Email for details

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Autumn Design Challenge

I couldn't believe my luck when I was picked to take part in this challenge, arranged by Lesley from Thea Elements and Caroline from Blueberri Beads, who both make exceptionally beautiful findings and beads.

I almost knocked the poor postie over when he delivered my package of goodies!  I wasn't disappointed when I opened them and these beauties fell out!

My mind began to race with ideas and I have already made two pieces using some of the components above.  I used the beautiful bronze connector made by Lesley at Thea Elements and the gorgeous ceramic heart made by Caroline of Blueberri Beads.  Do you want to see them?  Well I'm afraid you'll have to wait - the reveal date is not until the 2nd October.

In the meantime if you want to see Lesley's beautiful findings then here is a link to her Etsy shop:

For Caroline's beautiful ceramics then go to her Etsy shop

Of course then if you want to add some handmade lampwork beads you can always visit mine! :)

GaysieMay's Beadmobile

I have had a lovely and extremely busy Summer.  The main job has been renovating an old caravan (exact year unknown).  I went to visit the caravan in its very beige state but instantly fell in love and knew I had to try and acquire it!  A successful ebay bid or two and it was mine!

The work has been fun, tiring and at times more than a little frustrating.  The first sign of rain saw several leaks including from the old and perished skylight.  I did most of the work with my Dad - who is a hero and very calm, thinking though each stage, where I might be tempted to just wade in with a hammer!

We did all the internal work first by big beefy fella ripped everything out including the kitchen sink!  The Dad filled all the holes before we reinforced the floor and set about creating a workbench and glass storage unit.

Just call him Mick two drills!  Once the unit was made and in, we drilled through the floor to add extraction and feed the propane hose out of.  I then set about mosaic tiling the workbench a labour of love indeed.

My daughter kindly (and under only a little duress) covered the upholstery for the settees that we had kept at the other end.  I dusted my sewing machine to whip up some curtains and then Dad and I got busy again reclaiming bathroom cupboards and using lots of plyboard to make bespoke glass storage!  Big beefy fella was then called in to put down the flooring - it has been very much a family affair!  A labour of love and I think very worth it!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Papering over the Cracks!

Ok so I had some really tatty looking jewellery busts - I bought them off ebay and didn't read the blurb properly they are tiny and to be honest a little useless!  That'll teach me!  Anyway I decided to try and tart them up a bit.

The first thing I did was to cover the busts with torn paper and pva glue.
You can see that I wasn't too careful about how I applied it. The only thing I did was to make sure it covered the whole of the busts and that I didn't use coloured newsprint.

It was at this point that the very important next step had to be followed.  This is the most important step of any re purposing, up cycling or generally faffing about with bits and bobs. - HAVE A CUP OF TEA AND WAIT FOR THINGS TO DRY!

Next I applied some old emulsion paint - I applied it with a dry brush and quite sparingly.  Once this was dried I added some gold paint detailing before waiting for it dry once again.

The final stage was to brush varnish over the whole thing - I chose one with quite a light stain this time in the past I have used one with a darker stain for a more aged effect.  Wait for it to dry and dress it with some of your lovely handmade jewellery!

Monday, 25 February 2013

You never know what is around the corner...

... a few months back I went to my daughters university to have a dress fitting.  She is in her final year of a costume design degree course and I am to model one of her degree show outfits.  Now that in itself was exciting enough for me, its such a cool place with aged tailors dummies draped with costumes from every era you can think of, such a creative environment.  As her lecturer was talking her through what needed to be done next and discussing decorative finishes he noticed my bracelet and commented on it.  He then recalled Jessica telling him about having a Mum who made glass beads and jewellery, well before I knew it I was agreeing to run a one day wire-work workshop!

The workshop was on Friday, I was so excited.  I have been a primary teacher for the last thirteen years, but this was the first time I'd taught adults - I loved it!

None of the students had done any wire-work before and I think you'll agree they did a very good job!  The students choose lampwork beads from my stash of odds and orphans and every single one looked fab!  I also gave a lampworking demo.  I have the bug and now and can't wait to deliver my two day lampworking and wire-work workshop 'Beads to Bracelets' at Tuffnells.

The March class sold out so they asked me to do another Aug 31st/1st Sep.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Totally Twisted!

Its strange how sometimes things just seem to evolve.  I had a glassy friend over for a cup of coffee and as we sat talking and stroking glass beads I picked up some of the copper wire that was lying around (I had intended to make some jewellery up - okay, okay I admit it, I'm just untidy) and started to play.

My friend had admired the necklace I was wearing and asked about the small copper twisted connector bead on it.  It was as we were looking at this that I decided - why not elongate it and turn it into a setting for a lampwork focal?  The results were rather pleasing.  Needless to say I got a little carried away and made up several.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Tomorrow I Fight Again!

I posted a while ago now about a fight I had - I didn't exactly win.  My adversary was the 'pop up' light tent, which I bought to improve my photos.  Since the brawl to get it back into its ridiculously small bag it has sat wedged behind a wardrobe - not I hasten to add, in the said small bag!

Since that time some months ago I have practiced patience and waited (sometimes for a number of weeks) for sunny days on which to get outside and take my photos.  However, after yet another bleak weather forecast with no mention of sunshine, I have decided to be proactive and have set myself the challenge of setting up the light tent and capturing some images using daylight bulbs!  Still scared emotionally from my previous bout I am already finding little house hold chores and distractions that may yet take priority!

 Yet fight I must, I owe it to the beads - this poor little chap was snapped on a rather grey day - wish me luck?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Tomorrow - The First Day of the Rest of My Life?

Ok, so I made a huge decision to quit my day job!  Tired of the stress and workload I resigned. I finished at Christmas.  On the 28th of December we flew out to Tenerife for a fortnight.  On returning to the UK my youngest fell ill with a fever and was off school, for three days.  The fourth and fifth day of that week would have ordinarily been my days off!  So (drum roll please) tomorrow Monday 21st January will be the first day of the rest of my life!

So what to do? Well I do have some rather exciting news, not only am I delivering a one day wire workshop at the local uni campus in February but I've also been asked to run a two day course at Tuffnells Glass.  The first day will be making up lampwork beads and the second day will be transforming the beads into bracelets.  To say I'm excited is an understatement.  Wish me luck?

You can find out more at Tuffnell glass