Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Old with the old, in with the new

I went to Harrogate Bead Fair on Sunday and, for once, was actually quite controlled in my spending habits. In the past, I've bought the necessaries and then, when I realised it was nearly time to go home, I've rushed around like a headless chicken impulse buying like there was no tomorrow. Of course, when I got home I did question the wisdom of some of my purchases but what the heck, they were still beads!

This time, I only actually bought the essentials - Fireline, size 15s and some Swarovski. It's not that I wasn't going to buy more, it was just that the queues to the stalls I wanted stuff from were so long, I couldn't face waiting - instead, I shall sit comfortably at home with a cup of coffee, slice of cake and order on line at leisure.

Still, it was nice to go and actually see everything for real, drool over the handmade lampwork stalls and fondle the semi-precious beauties.

Following on from this, after 14 years accumulating beads it is high time for a clear out; a selection of beads I've either tired of, fallen out with or ones that just don't appeal have been put to one side and will, somehow, be shortly sent for rehoming. It's good to clear out, but I have to admit it's even more fun to buy new!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Work in Progress...

The weather's been wet and windy today so as there has been no chance of getting in the garden, out for a walk or out on the motorbike, it's been a beading day (well of sorts). No proper beading, but a bit of sorting and I've spent a good few hours writing up instructions.

I'm not terribly disciplined when it comes to writing and drawing diagrams for designs as I'm easily distracted, so tend to break it down to 2-3 hour sessions. Unfortunately, this means I tend to lose where I am between sessions and some re-capping is always involved, but this time my breaks have only been a few days so I've got on reasonably well. I've still a way to go for the 2 designs I'm working on, but at least things are starting to gel.

I've also taken a picture of some work in progress - this is my "thoughtless" piece, something I can pick up and put down without losing where I am; it's also good to have on hand when I have beader's block or no time to sort beads for a new project. This is a terracotta pot about 3inches tall that I've pained and started to cover with beads (size 11 seeds working peyote). Eventually I hope to attach woven flowers, leaves and other bits and bobs, so hopefully in a few months time a finished piece might just be on the blog!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Bead Fair

Living "oop North" means that events are sometimes thin on the ground, so when the Harrogate Bead Fair comes around, it's an event not to be missed (that said, I missed the one in autumn 2008!). So this Sunday I shall be trekking to the fair with list in hand, cash in purse (not for long) and credit card polished and ready.

Top of my list is Fireline thread. I love KO, but do worry about using it with Swarovski crystals so have to bit the bullet and blow the extra cost, just for peace of mind that comes with Fireline. The other must haves is a re-stock of size 15s - I've gone through these like a dose of salts over the past few months and would love to find some new colours.

After that, everthing I buy will be pure impulse - the best way to shop for beads! Hopefully there will be some new beads or findings to inspire and there will always be a new Swarovski colour I simply must have...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Bedtime Reading

My bookshelf is full of bead books, but I've become particularly fussy about what books I buy these days. They have to inspire, tempt and push me beyond my usual boundaries and this year has seen two complete stunners emerge from two of the worlds' best beaders (I dare anyone to argue...) - Laura McCabe's Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski and my most recent and happy arrival, Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork. If you have pennies to spend, go get both these books now.

I suppose I'm biased - I love dimensional work and I love beading with Swarovski, so these two books would be at the top of my Desert Island Books list hands down.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Dentists and Mother's Day Pendant

Ow, ow and ow! I went to the dentist last Friday for a filling and since then have had toothache when I've bitten on anything hard - it wasn't that bad before the filling and I've not had toothache for sooooo long. So today I went back for the filling to be removed and redone - the dentist (great though he is) found a couple of small cracks and hopes this time round things will be better. I've now "defrosted" from the injection and, guess what, I've got toothache!!!! AAAARRRGH! I'm hoping it will settle, but whilst waiting decided to take advantage of the brilliant sun and get some photos done of my beadwork.

I've a few photos to upload, but for now here are mini versions of my Rose Pendant which should be featuring as a project in Bead & Button later this year. These two are for my mums (mine and my in-law) for Mother's Day, and have been finished in the nick of time. I simply love pink and chocolate together.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Diamond Windows

Here are my Diamond Windows bracelets which appear as a project in the current issue of the UK's Bead magazine (issue 14). It's always a buzz when you see your work published, but I was more than chuffed when I saw them dazzling on the cover of the magazine! These little diamond shapes have taken me on a voyage of discovery exploring geometric designs (triangles and squares being the latest) - it's great when you have a "what if...?" moment in beading, and these bracelets were the start of many of those.

Red Resolution

I thought it time this blog had some eye candy, so here goes...

First up is Red Resolution. I avoid(ed) beading with certain colours, red and orange being two of them, so my 2008 New Year's Resolution was to bead with red and orange - this is the result. Some of the rivolis have been inspired by the brilliant Laura McCabe's designs. Now, I love working with orange and red!

This is one of those long winded projects and I guess it took nearly 40 hours to make, but worth every minute! I keep threatening to do another in greens and oranges...

Beading play and piccies

If you're a beader, you'll know it takes an age to create something new. Well, usually. I actually had a total eureka moment a couple of weekends ago when an unplanned bit of play-time-with beads (the best sort of play time!) instantly turned into some Elizabeathan-looking tiles. OK, so they started with the first steps of another piece of beading, but quite happily turned into a new design.

I've yet to finish the piece (Mother's day pressie and work having got in the way), but will post a piccy as soon as it's finished.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Here goes...

As if I haven't got enough to do, I've decided to create a blog! No question as to what the blog will mainly relate to - beading. And beads. Oh yes, and beadwork. So you get the idea. There will doubtless be other bits creeping in (you can guarantee dogs and motorbike trips will pop up).

It'll be interesting to see how my beading progresses from the start of this blog and I hope you enjoy sharing everything beady with me. If you want to see more of my beadwork or buy patterns and finished pieces, visit my website at www.beadography.com

Remember: Happiness is bead shaped!