Saturday, 31 May 2014

AJE Component of the month reveal - May

Another month and another COM reveal is ready.. it's going to be Christmas at this rate!

This month we were treated to a choice of beautiful components from Sue Kennedy of SueBeads

We could pick a glass cabochon...

Or a pretty set of glass chicklet beads...

I went for a cabochon in a stunning brown caramel glass with a tint of purple. Of course I forgot to take a photograph as I do every month!

When I picked it, I imagined it set in copper with etching, something in purple to bring out the hints of colour in the glass and a rolled bail.

I tried a different technique for resist on this piece. I use stop out fluid quite often for painting designs on to copper, but with this piece I tried stamping the design on. It's not quite as sharp as using vinyl resist, but I like the grainy effect it's given this pattern.

I took some sheet copper and etched it on both sides. That way, when the bail at the top was rolled around, the etching would show.

And the reverse would be patterned as well

The cabochon was set along with an amethyst, and it was strung on to leather with copper beads.

I used the clasp I had left over from Lesley's COM last month to finish it. 

I had loads of fun designing this, and it was great to get back to some metal working. Thanks to Susan for the wonderfully inspiring component!

If you'd like to see what the rest of the AJE team and some special guests created with their components... follow the links!


AJE Members

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Bead Shop Liverpool

I've been a bit quiet recently, things are getting manic here. We're doing lots of reorganising at home, which is seriously getting in the way of my making! But as part of that reorganising, I will be getting my very own studio... I'm very excited, but more about that in another post!

So shop updates won't be very regular for the next few months while I get things sorted. But if my shop's looking a little empty, and you still need a fix, you can get some blueberribeads from the Bead Shop Liverpool.

It's a great little shop on Smithdown road in Liverpool, where Vicky offers beautiful beads, findings, and tools as well as classes and lots of inspiration. I've been in there for a while now, but I thought I'd take you for a look round.

Here it is from the front. I love the architecture in Liverpool, the lines of Victorian buildings curve to the modern roads, but the actual road is much older, being mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1086. It also meets up with the famous Penny Lane junction as sung about by The Beatles!

Once inside, there's a little treasure trove of beads and other jewellery related goodies...

Seed Beads & Pearls in every colour

My little corner of ceramics

An amazing range of Czech Glass


Findings, wire & TheaElements Bronze


And beautiful pieces of beaded jewellery. This is Vicky's 1st place winning necklace from the British Bead Awards 2013.

And her entry to the Battle of the Beadsmith 2013. 

You can come in to the shop and learn how to make beautiful pieces like this yourself! I got my first and only lesson in here from Vicky, learning how to do bead embroidery. She's a great teacher, unfortunately though, I just don't have the patience (or the eyesight) for those annoying little seeds!

And of course you can't leave without doing a little shopping... this is my small haul from the Czech glass pick and mix... it's terrible, like sweeties!!!

Vicky's also set up a shop website, so nearly everything in the shop is available online, including some of my ceramics!

Just follow the link...

If you're planning on doing some shopping online, she has a 10% discount running for the bank holiday weekend. The offer will end at 11.59pm Monday night... just use the code - bankholiday

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party -The reveal!!!

Today is the big reveal for The Bead Soup Blog Party and I'm really excited to have you here!

My partner this year is the lovely Leah Curtis of Beady eyed Bunny. I was so busy with getting ready for the Flame Off, I didn't have the chance to properly introduce Leah (sorry Leah!) so before I show you what I got, I'd like to show you who it's from.

Leah makes really individual beads and components from polymer clay, gorgeous little beads like this cute pink bird.

And these beautifully coloured rustic dogwood flower beads...

You can visit her Etsy shop here, and her blog here and see what other wonderful things she creates!

So after introducing ourselves and swapping addresses, I sent off my package of beads...

And eagerly waited for what Leah sent to me. I was really excited to see what would be in my parcel, and I wasn't disappointed!

There was a beautiful sea glass focal bead with matching polymer beads and a patinated copper clasp,  all handmade by Leah, Sari silk, Czech beads, vintage crystal dangles and a piece of clay pipe. A little treasure trove of pretties!

It took me a lot of thinking to decide what to do with each of the components. I wanted to get across the ancient feel of Leah's designs. 

My first design was using the sea glass focal and clasp. 

I'd decided early on that I wanted to use copper to match the beautiful dark verdigris finish of the focal, so I teamed some ancient looking copper spacers and lava beads to make a simple necklace.

Next I decided I would make a pair of earrings. I never make earrings so I thought it was about time I did! 

I chose the Czech glass ammonites and vintage crystal dangles and paired them up with some 8 & 10mm fire polished beads. The main reason I don't really make earrings is the ear wires. It would be a shame to put nice beads on a mass produced ear wire, so I had a bash at making some myself.

Next I decided on a bracelet. A couple of weeks ago I made a collection bracelet for the AJE Component of the month with a few of my favourite beads, and really enjoyed making it, so decided to try the same idea again in green.

I chose one of the verdigris polymer beads from Leah and added in some gorgeous rough Czech glass nuggets in shades of green and gold, more fire polished cut rounds, table cut Czech beads, a great big chunk of green stone which I have no idea about, a celtic connector by Jenny Davis-Reazor and a bronze button and charm from TheaElements. 

Next, because I was really enjoying myself, I made another necklace. I picked the clay pipe to be the focal and decided that I got a beach feel from it. I can just imagine someone sitting by the shore smoking their pipe before discarding the broken pieces in the sand. I wanted to make something a bit brighter as everything so far has quite dark colours.

I chose turquoise and lilac for this design, nice and bright! With turquoise beads, more Czech glass, bronze flower spacers, handmade lamp work beads by Lighthouse Glass, seed beads and a bronze button by TheaElements.

And finally, the sari silk. I had wimped out originally with this. I love it, but never know what to do with it, but I pulled up my pants and went for it. 

The colour gives it an oriental feel (to me anyway!) So I made a lamp work lentil and painted it with silver precious metal clay in an oriental cloud design. 

This was fired on to fuse it to the glass and make it permanent. I threaded large golden seed beads on to the silk and wrapped the ends with bronze wire to attach the clasps. The little shell dangle is from Thea Elements and was pilfered from one of my bracelets as it was the only thing I could find that I liked!

I'd like to say a great big thank you to Leah for her beautiful and inspiring soup, and I can't wait to go and see what she's made with mine! And to Lori, for organising such a fantastic event!

To join me in the hop, follow the links below... 

Lori Anderson, Hostess

Tina Bosh                        
Kristina Hahn Eleniak       
Kari Asbury                     
Kris Binsfield                   
Cheryl Gangle                  
Amber Dawn                   
Michelle Wigginton           
Kayla Potega                    
Becky Pancake                 

Debbie Rogers                   
Jenny Kyrlach                   
Genea Crivello-Knable       
Deborah Read                   
Julianna Cannon                
Lisa Liddy                        
Debbie Rasmussen            
Iveth Caruso                     
Rana Wilson                     
Corrie Williams                 

Linda Anderson                
Miranda Ackerley             
Andra Weber                   
Loretta Carstensen            
Penny Houghton               
Tania Hagen                     
Robin Reed                      
Laurie Vyselaar                 
Rachel Baron                    
Erin Guest                         

Emma Todd                                  
Kelly Schermerhorn                  
Dana Hickey                                  
Rebecca Ednie                             
Marybeth Rich                             
Sherri Levinton                            
RaMona Woolson                      
Jo-Ann Woolverton                   
Audrey Belanger                        
Candida Castleberry                  

Click below to read the full list...