Sunday, November 16, 2014

I absolutely cannot believe how long it has been since I blogged!!!  Life has been a little hectic for a long time - but there are no excuses.  I have been beading less and working more, and am battling to try and turn the tide of this so that I can bead more too...
Creativity is a difficult beast.  It has this wanton tendency to disappear at the moment you have time and space to use it, and will not reappear until the time is gone.  Still, it is not one I have any thoughts of even attempting to tame.  I love it how it is!
I'm stopping there for today, because it's the start of a new day and I have both inspiration and time to utilise it! Before I do go though, here are a couple of snaps of recent little pieces...

Big Love

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Art: Musings!

I wanted to write a few things about the way art changes and evolves, and the adaptability of the artist!

Each person has the capacity to produce art, in whatever form they find easiest, be it paint, pencil, paper, beads and glass or even in words.  The only thing that holds some people back is the inability to be flexible, to push boundaries, to do things in the way they choose - just because 'people' say it should be done a certain way doesn't mean that is the only way!

Working on my battle piece today, I was thinking about this very thing when I realised I didn't quite like part of the design.  This was not my favourite realisation, because I had used this feature repetitively as a support for the more delicate parts.  I persevered.  I still didn't like it.

What I didn't do, at any stage, was panic.  I knew that if it didn't look right, it wasn't staying, and that some inventive thinking might be required to help my piece look the way I feel it should. I am now faced with a large dose of 'thinking outside the box' in order to achieve something which I am sure people have done before, but have no idea how!  My finished piece will require a hidden skeleton if you will, a support structure to enable it to hold the shape it should.  I have already formulated a cunning plan - and was brave enough to grab the scissors and cut away all the parts of my design which weren't working for me.


I feel perfectly happy now, looking at my trimmed down components, thinking that yes, it's going to work out just fine! 
Until next time...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Battle update: 6 days in!

Argh!  Yup, that's about right...  I am typing big because my eyes are aching from focusing on tiny beads.  I have just read Katie Dean's blog and see she has actually made significant progress on her piece already, and I wonder if I am cut out for this!  That said, the piece I am attempting to create is coming along quite well.

I am working on four large sections of bead embroidery at the moment, well, I say four, but actually only one of them has any progress to speak of, but at least they are all drawn out.  Today I'm off to the Big Bead Show at Sandown to buy bits to add to my piece, and hoping for a little inspiration too...hope all my fellow battlers are getting along well, chat soon.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beads, Business and Battling!!!

I feel like I've spent the first few months of this year in a tornado!  Seriously, life has just gotten mad crazy and I've been chasing my tail to try and keep up with everything...
I have done a couple of magazine articles (all now printed) and am going to have a designer profile in an upcoming issue of Making Jewellery magazine.  I've also been applying for teacher training and have taken on a new role in my 'real' job (aka the one that pays the bills.  Most of the bills...  Anyhoo!)  In addition to this, I've fallen prey to a couple of the lovely illnesses common here in the UK when Spring fails to happen and Winter is suddenly twice as long as normal.  But all of this has been eclipsed by some TOTALLY EXCITING NEWS!

First up, I am once again participating in Lori Andersen's fabulous bead soup blog party.  The soup is simmering and the reveal date is coming up in a couple of weeks - I will share more details in the next couple of days!  I sat to check my emails and writing this kind of happened!

Next...and this is the big one...  I am one of the chosen few (well, 192) to be competing in the Battle of the Beadsmith - a global phenomenon organised by The Beadsmith himself, Mr Steven Weiss!  The competitors are from pretty much every continent, and we each have two months to design and create our most fabulous beaded creation ever.  I am very nervous, and also very much a last minute addition to the competition.  I do have many concerns that my work isn't the right standard, but I hope to prove myself wrong!  Obviously, I can't reveal too much about my planned piece, but I can tell you this:  It reflects a long time passion of mine, will be mentally colourful and extravagant, will be the biggest piece of beadwork I have ever attempted and that I feel it will truly mirror my personality when it is completed...  It shall be a real labour of love, and I am having fun with it!

That's all for now, hope you forgive me for such a long absence - until next time...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love and Light...a Tribute to Tanya

I didn't have the fortune of knowing Tanya Boden for long.  For the brief time I did know her, I discovered a woman with a generous heart, a beautiful soul and a wise way; Tanya always knew exactly the right thing to say to make you feel like you were her best friend ever, and how to make you realise that there was more to life than day to day grind.  Tanya taught me, never more so than when she was diagnosed with the terminal condition which was to bring her all too short life to an end, that there is always a rainbow on every horizon, and that one should always look to the stars.

The piece I made in memory of Tanya involves two things that mean a lot to me, and both were gifts from her.  I love garnets.  Love them.  They remind me of my granddad, who also died too early.  Tanya sent me some beautiful garnets, along with some fine silver wire (and a plethora of other beautiful sparkly things)and I knew I wanted to use them to make myself something special to remember her by.

I used the fine silver wire not only to wrap the glass focal bead, which I made myself, but if you look closely at the photos, you can see inside the glass that I used the wire to create a little galaxy of those stars Tanya taught me to aim for.  I wrapped two of the garnet briolettes and added them, they symbolize for me happy tears, those which I shed when I remember those I love still, who have found their place among the stars.  The piece is called 'Nebula' and I hung it from some brilliant turquoise sari silk - I was looking for the right thing to wear it on, and this almost jumped into my hand.  I think Tanya was guiding me to the right thing, and I think it looks lovely...

Fly well

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The good, the sad and the hopeful!

It's well past the beginning of 2013, and yet the year seems both old and hardly begun.  I had a great festive period, spending time with the family and catching up with old friends, but one person was never far from my mind.  Tanya, from FusionMuse, who was diagnosed with a rare and terrible form of leukaemia late last year.  Her postings on Facebook had become fewer and farther apart, and yet despite her illness, she looked after those she cared about.  She set up a fantastic group on Facebook, bringing together the people who she knew and loved, but may not have known each other, and through this action, when the inevitable and tragic event of her death occurred, we had people who felt the same way and were able to support each other.
Alicia Marinache from All Pretty Things has started a blog event for those of us who were touched by the light that was Tanya, click the link for details...

I would love to share my hopes for 2013 with you all.  I hope we all achieve that which we most desire, and that we all live in love and light.  I hope that we find light in the dark, and aspire to be the best we can be.  I hope that we continue to find good friends, good times and good fortune, but above all else, that each and every one of us gets what we truly deserve from life, whatever that may be, whatever fate has in store for us.  If Tanya taught me anything, it is that no matter what is around the corner, we should live as if any moment might be the one that people remember us for, care for others, and as clich├ęd as it sounds, live as though every moment is your last.  Don't accept second best, don't take life for granted and certainly don't be a doormat - those of you who know me best will know that for me, this is a hard-learned and on-going lesson in life! Until next


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Take a Make Break!

Take a Make Break is a great new idea from fabulous beady website Beads Direct.  Their clever designers have come up with a whole bunch of fabulous jewellery designs which can be made in fifteen to twenty minutes, ideal for gifts or to keep for yourself, and perfect for last minute gifts!  I had a go at not one but two of the fantastic designs on offer, trying out the super bling of the Crystal Skull and the sublime simplicity of Theia.  Each of the designs I tried were easy to make, fun to wear and took around ten minutes each to make and a little drying time for glue!

I love how the crystal colours work so well with the copper tones on Theia, so these babies stack together on my wrist and I love them!  Keep an eye on Beads Direct via their Facebook page or visit their website and sign up for a weekly newsletter to let you know when they release new designs for Take a Make Break...

I've been mad busy myself lately, beading away my free time (which is incredibly scarce) until the festive season hits properly!  I have made a few new things, including a bracelet which I hope will become my first self-published tutorial, and also my first bead embroidered pendant, with spiral rope and rivoli crystals...

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Pecan Pie

Life continues to be ridiculously hectic in all other areas, I am hoping for some miraculous intervention which will allow me to catch up on both sleep and social life - wish me luck!  Will hopefully be back sooner than last time... :)