Sunday, May 30, 2010

The 'Marrakech' earrings

Last week I was fortunate enough to meet one of my favourite bead suppliers in person, the lovely Jo of Cranberry Beads, at the Perth Bead Fair.  I came home with some gorgeous new seed beads and some of them have already found their way into one of my latest projects...

Following along with my Moroccan theme, the Marrakech earrings feature seed beads in shades of bronze, chocolate, silver...

...from the teardrop-shaped earrings hang three gorgeous wire-wrapped micro faceted smoky quartz briolettes...

...the earrings are slightly convex in shape, and are reminiscent of the arches and domes so frequently found in Moroccan architecture...

I wasn't sure about this design after I made the first earring, so I let it sit in my studio while I mulled on it overnight.  My husband saw it, loved it, and assured me it was a great design.  What do you think, should I listen to my husband more often? ;-)

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My creative space...

If you have ever read... will know that everything has it's proper place!

At any given moment, I have an average of four to five different projects on the go, so it's essential that each project has its proper place.  

Here's my solution...each project has its own handy little container which holds all of the beads, metals and materials, together with the work-in-progress...

I get bored easily so it's nice be able to flit back and forth between projects...

My new daffodil project has been coming along nicely, although it has been pushed aside for now while I wait on some supplies to arrive...

So today I have been working on the olive variation of my Idylle necklace.  It's coming along nicely...

I love the negative space created between the beaded components...

Head on over to Kirsty's blog to see what other artisans are creating today.

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ophelia earrings

I love creating earrings.  

They are a small enough project to provide almost instant gratification.

They give me the opportunity to test colourways, metals and materials on a small scale before commiting to a larger and more time-consuming project.

Oh, and I love wearing them too :-)

My 'Ophelia' earrings are one of my latest designs...

In shades of olive and sage, with antiqued brass findings and chain, they have a decidedly vintage look to them...just the look I was aiming for!

Ophelia was a character in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', and the subject of a number of paintings by John William Waterhouse...the name seemed just right for my romantic, vintage-look earrings...

There is a matching 'Ophelia' bracelet and necklace to come.  And the set will form part of a future collection that I have planned.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award...and seven things you probably didn't know about me

It is always flattering to be bestowed with a blog award...I'm touched that people enjoy reading my random ramblings!

The talented Karyn of Releases by Rufydoof sent this sweet little award my way. Thanks Karyn!

As always, there are rules:

1. Post the award on my blog.

2. Thank the person who gave it to me.

3. Link to the person who gave this to me.

4. Share a list of 7 things that you probably don't know about me.

5. Choose 7 great bloggers to give the award to.

6. Share a link to their blogs.

7. Leave a comment on their blog.


Ok, seven things you probably don't know about me...

1. I can fly a plane and skipper a boat...legally!

2. My favourite colour is green, and has been for as long as I can remember...although I don't think I've met a colour yet that I didn't like ;-)

3. I'm very good at procrastinating...and very bad at making decisions...

4. I'm scared of jellyfish...even the ones that don't sting! *shudder*

5. My favourite sound in the whole world is the laughter of my children...

This is India and Jett causing mischief in the laundry...

6. I know it's daggy, but I love crossword puzzles and sudoku...

7. I don't really like talking about myself! LOL

And I would like to invite the following lovely bloggers to tell us a little more about themselves:

1. Kristen of My Bead Journey

2. Olga of Loving Bead

5. Sarah of April is Forever

6. Niki of Piky73

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daffodil bracelet

When I looked at the date that I had begun this bracelet, I was horrified to see that it was waaaaay back in March.  Really?  Surely not!  How on earth could this have been sitting on my desk for the last few months, untouched and unfinished?  

I'll tell you how...

I procrastinate!  In fact, I procrastinate so much that I have procrastination down to a fine art!

But anyway, I digress.  I'm good at that too.

So here *finally* is my completed Daffodil bracelet.  

It's not everything that I had hoped for.  My creative vision didn't manifest into the beautiful bracelet I had envisaged... 

My stitching looks a little wonky in places, mostly due to the memory wire I used as a base for the bracelet.  It was not the best choice of is so darn springy that it holds its shape which in turn scrunches up my beadwork (but can I plead ignorance because it was my first time using memory wire?!)

But you know doesn't have to be perfect.  It is only a first prototype.

I realise that creativity is a process, and that it may take me many prototypes to perfect a design and create something that I am really happy with.  

And although this design turned out to be a dud, I'm very happy with the daffodil itself.  So Daffodil Mk. II is already underway in a lighter, softer colourway (see here for a sneak peek).  And Daffodil Mk. II will not be a bracelet, but a necklace.

And this time I'm skipping the memory wire.

Thanks for looking, and be well!

My creative space...

It has been a busy and productive week, with a few new projects to show...but more of that later.

Here is my creative space today...I'm working on a variation of a daffodil bracelet which I showed a little while ago and have only just completed...(I just checked the date of that post...eek, it was back in March! *ashamed*)

To give you an idea of scale, I've thrown a five cent piece into the photo (of course, this will only make sense to my Australian readers! LOL)

The aforementioned *completed* daffodil bracelet will be making an appearance here soon.  Stay tuned!

Head on over to Kirsty's blog to see what other goodies are being created today.

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My creative space...

Thursday comes around so quickly!

Time to take a peek at what is going on in my creative space today...

I'm working on a variation of my Idylle necklace in shades of olive and cream...

Unlike my first effort which utilised glass beads in a gorgeous shade of lilac, this variation is being created with luscious Swarovski crystal pearls in light green.  

The double St Petersberg chain (which I am yet to make!) will feature tiny 3mm Swarovski crystal pearls in cream.  

This is my first time using Swarovski crystal pearls and I am so impressed with the quality, they have a really nice weight to them.  And they look ultra-luxxe!

Pop on over to Kirsty's blog to see what other goodies are being created today.

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Review of Nicole's Layered Flatwork Kit

I am not one for tutorials.  Never have been.  I like to learn the hard way, figure things out for myself.  It is MY failure, or MY success.  This tendency for stubbornness can probably be attributed to my Scottish ancestry!

So imagine my surprise when a package arrived from my good friend Nicole Campanella, and in the package was one of her Layered Flatwork Brooch Kits!  

My surprise quickly turned to curiosity and then to delight as I opened my little parcel and was confronted with these delicious goodies:

I decided on the spot that perhaps I could bend my 'Never-Try-A-Tutorial' rule a little.  But just this once.  

Nicole's kit contained everything I needed to get started immediately...a dichro cabochon, seed beads in various complementary tones, Nicole's BeadBacking (which is far nicer than Lacy's Stiff Stuff...and comes in a range of colours too), leather, a needle, thread, brooch back, and even a piece of beeswax to condition my thread!  The only basics that I had to supply were some glue, scissors, and a craft knife (for cutting two small holes in the leather)...oh, and a couple of hours of my time!

I had never used dichro before.  In fact, I had never even SEEN dichro in person before.  I was blown away by the colour, the sparkle, the beauty of it...I was like Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings' preciousssssss....

Isn't it pretty!  I *heart* it very much.

Once I had stopped fondling my pretty dichro cabochon, I set to work on my gorgeous brooch kit.

Nicole's instructions were clear and easy to follow, and each step of the process was accompanied by a clear photo or two.  Everything in the kit was clearly labelled so I knew exactly what I would be using with each step.  Honestly, it couldn't have been ANY easier.  Nicole held my hand all the way.

And I know you want to see the end result.  Ready?  Here it is - a beautiful, elegant, top quality brooch.  I love it to pieces!

My photos don't do justice to the beautiful colours and sparkle of the brooch.  This colourway isn't called 'Golden Sunrise' for nothing!

The best thing about this kit?  Aside from the end result which is a stunning, wearable work of art, for me it was the years of experience and knowledge that Nicole shares so freely.  We're talking Beading Royalty here, people.  This lady knows her stuff...and she even knows what you think you know, but you don't really know.  You know?

The chance to learn from a master should never be under-estimated.  I thought I knew a sufficient amount about bead embroidery and the like.  But having completed Nicole's kit, I can now take my work to the next level and incorporate her wonderful, unique Layered Flatwork techniques into my own creations.

But don't just take my word for what the amazingly talented Triz also had to say about Nicole's kit.

Nicole's links:

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Disclosure:  The above kit has been provided to me for review free of charge by Nicole Campanella.  This review represents my honest opinion, and I have not received compensation from Nicole Campanella as my endorsement pertains to the kit received and reviewed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Morocco Blue

Inspiration is everywhere.  And nothing inspires me more than colour!  Combine colour with architecture though, and my mind goes into overdrive!

Aptly named the 'Morocco Blue' pendant, my latest creation was inspired by the famed city of Chefchaouen in Morocco, where the buildings are all painted in the most vibrant blue tones.  An inspiring sight!


I wanted this pendant to tell a story of Morocco, of blue-washed buildings, of intricate mosaics.  I love jewellery that transports you to another time and place...

Although cobalt seems to be my favourite colour of the moment, next I am imagining this pendant in shades of saffron, terracotta, olive, tangerine...a tale of spice merchants in a busy marketplace!

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Song of the Seasons

Unfortunately I have a house full of sick children, so I was unable to participate in this week's 'My Creative Space' over at Kirsty's blog.  Rest assured I am working on many new pieces (when I'm not busy wiping runny noses or giving cuddles or watching Mickey Mouse reruns over and over and over....).  There will be lots to see soon, promise!

But this is what I can show you.  Last Thursday's 'My Creative Space' was a peek at a custom order for a freeform bracelet in shades of white, emerald, aquamarine and sapphire.  Well, she is finished...and I have named her 'Song of the Seasons'.

The colours each represent a birthstone colour...aquamarine for March, emerald for May, pearl for June, and sapphire for September...

It was such a joy to create this bracelet, the freeform flowed so easily.  

For one who was once afraid of freeform, I am now an official convert thanks to Beverly Ash Gilbert and her inspiring book 'Beaded Colorways'.  The book was a starting point for me to wander off on my own path of discovery, to develop my own style of freeform beadweaving and colour transitions.

Thanks for looking, and be well!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nicole's Necklace

Anyone who has the pleasure of knowing Nicole Campanella is aware that she is one of the loveliest, most generous and most genuine people around.  Not to mentioned talented!  She is a constant source of inspiration for me, and I feel blessed to call her a very close friend.

Nicole's birthday was on April 27 and to help her celebrate, I made her this sweet little necklace:

I wanted to send Nicole a little piece of sunshine to help brighten her day :-)

If you haven't already, pop on over and say 'hi' to Nicole!