Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Everyone!

2010 Award Winning Beads!
Happy Christmas Everyone!

I have some new beads and ideas to share with you in 2013.  Have a lovely holiday everyone and I look forward to sharing blogs and blog posts with you all in the New Year! 
Sarah xx

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Making Beads for Me!

Although I have a million and one ideas of beads to make, I very rarely make any for myself.  This is very stupid I hear you say because I am missing an opportunity to advertise my work .... and you would be quite correct!  Perhaps this can be my first new year resolution .... I shall adorn myself everyday with a selection of my finest beads .... perhaps not!
I decided one thursday morning to make some beads for myself, as a little treat to myself for all my hard work throughout the year!  I will not feel guilty for being self absorbed.  I will enjoy the moment and think only of myself for one morning this year ..... and I did .... it was lovely!   ... well it lasted for about 10 minutes then I was overcome by guilt and spent most of the time thinking about everyone else .... not unusual!
A long time ago I bought some cubic zirconia to place in my beads for a little extra sparkle but it was such a fiddle to do, I lost interest and moved on to other things.  Well, I couldn't just leave them gathering dust could I?  Mind you, it was still a fiddle.  To get the stones the right side up on the marver took me ages and a great deal of cursing.  Then actually getting them in the centre of the flower, the right way around was a tactical nightmare! I am very surprised that I didn't crack the bead.  It took forever but I think I finally found the easiest way to do it for the future ... if I ever have the desire to add them to another bead .....  
I was so pleased when I took the bead out of the kiln.  There are four turquoise flowers each with a sparkling cubic zirconia sitting in the centre of the flower.  Very pretty! I decided to turn the bead into a pendant.  I strung the bead onto a sterling silver core and dangled some sparkling aqua swarovski crystals from the bottom of the pendant and placed it on a sterling silver snake chain.

My charm bracelet also needed some new beads to match my pendant, so I made a few more beads .... (without the cubic zirconia).  I should take a close up photograph of the beads above.  They are bright pink implosion beads ... a one off set of beads I made last year!

I just need to make myself a pair of earrings and I will have a complete set made by me, for me .....

Sarah xx

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

....Something Completely Different .....

This weekend I tried something completely different!  My daughter came home from school last week with a note saying that she is playing a Chinese Girl in the Christmas play and could I provide a costume ...... If you a regular reader of my blog then you probably know where this is going .......
We don't tend to watch very much general TV in our house but we do like to watch films.  I have always had a passion for Chinese films, like the House of the Flying Daggers, Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon .... For me these films are a visual delight to watch.  I love everything about these films. The fantasy of being able to leap across roofs,  to run through the tree tops with my body bending with the tips of the trees and my gown swishing around behind me ...... Wow!  A world where anything and everything is possible .....  The use of colour combined with the scenery is amazing, especially in Hero.  This is one of favourites just for the scenery.  It is beautiful!  The costumes are stunning, the sounds and the music all add to the fantasy and mystery of the stories.  These films take me to a magical world not unlike the world in my head .....
With all this in mind, I had a good idea what kind of costume I wanted to make for my daughter .... something similar to the costumes worn by Ziyi Ziang in the House of Flying Daggers ... a Hanfu Dress.
Now before I start I am not a seamstress, there will many errors in my sewing but I had a go and that is the main thing ..... not sure I want to do this again mind you!
So, where did I start .... on the internet researching Hanfu Dresses ...... there are so many different styles and they are so beautiful .... this took a while ......
I decided upon a fairly simple wrap around Hanfu dress.  I had no idea how I was going to make it and I didn't have time to purchase a pattern so more research ..... The internet is a huge resource and I really did think I would find a free pattern that I could work with but all I managed to find was a diagram showing the shapes that you would need to cut out to make a similar dress to the Hanfu.  Ok, bit of thinking, more contemplating and some head scratching, later .........I know I'll measure my daughter and try and work it out!  I made a rough pattern out of an old tablecloth, sewed it together (I didn't take any photos) tried it my daughter and set about making some adjustments before I cut out the final one in a nicer material.
I had some material lined up.  My old duvet cover which ended up with a big hole in the middle.  It is very pretty with tiny blossoms on pale ivory.  My daughter is very tiny so I figured I would have enough to make two dresses should the first one fail.
I lay my tablecloth pattern onto my material, made my modifications and very bravely cut it all out.

There is a reason why one side of the dress is a wierd shape ... it is because I needed it to wrap around the dress a few times .... you will see what I mean in a minute.

Once I got to this stage, my confidence grew because I had the shape that I was after and all I needed to do now was to sew everything together.  Out came my sewing machine and away I went ..... It wasn't very easy material to sew and I don't want to say why because you will be thinking how extravagant is this lady having a duvet made of this .... it was bought when I was a working career lady with no children and money to spare .... oh those days of luxury!  I wouldn't change it though, my children are my world now!

Once it was sewn together, I tried the dress on my youngest son because my daughter was out with my husband and he is roughly the same size.  It fitted!  Phew!  Unfortunately my son was very disappointed that it wasn't for him and he wants one as well ...... mmmmmm!
Everything up to this point was ok! Then I came down with a chest infection and everything went a little pear shaped!  Never mind! After all my research I knew I needed to add a border all around the hemline of the dress.  I had to give my Mother a ring at this point (she is a seamstress/sewing lady who used to make her own clothes ... and mine) to double check how I was going to do this.  After carefully listening to her suggestions I ended up hand stitching the border onto to the hemline.  This was mainly because I was sewing around a semi circle and I didn't want the material snagging in the sewing machine.  I hate hand sewing!  

But, I did it and this is the result!  I still needed to add a border around the sleeves .... I left this till last ... bit tricky!

This is the finished dress, modelled by my headless daughter.  It was lovely to see her little face at each stage of the dress making.  I remember this myself when I was little.  My parents were very arty and crafty people and were always making us marvellous creations.  We would watch in anticipation as a couple of pieces of wood turned into a dolls house or a train track with a tunnel!  Or a square piece of material turned into a couple of pairs of very warm pyjamas.  Nice memories!

I have now put my sewing machine away and am looking forward to seeing my little girl wearing my old duvet cover on stage!
Sarah xx

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Apple Green Jewellery!

I really need to sort out my collection of glass because I keep finding colours that I didn't know I had.  This glass is one of them.  I was making a set of beads and reached out for a green glass rod and found this colour.  It is a beautiful luscious green that has an internal sparkle when the light catches it.  I love this glass!  I decided I was going to make some jewellery with it but wanted to keep the design very simple to let the colour of the glass sparkle through.

When I first started lampworking ..... many years ago now .... this design was one of my favourites ......  there are quite a few people wearing this design in my lampwork beads.

The little white flowers are very simple to create.  All you need to do is shape your bead then add tiny white dots in groups of three.  Melt the dots into the glass, reshape the bead if necessary and then spot heat the centre of the group of dots.  Remove the bead from the flame and poke a sharp tool lightly in the centre of the group of dots.  This will give you the petal shapes of the flowers.

They look very dainty and pretty.  It is a shame that my photographs don't capture the sparkle within the glass. 
All of the jewellery is available in my shop on Wow Thank You!
Sarah xx

Friday, December 7, 2012



We have had the most awful weather in the UK this year.  It feels as though it has rained every single day.  Of course, in reality it hasn't!  We started off the year with talk of a hosepipe ban during the summer months because the water levels were so depleted.  There were even debates on the radio about whether water should be transported from places like Wales (where water was plentiful) to London and other towns around the country where levels were low.  Then in true Great British style, the day after the hosepipe ban we had an immense amount of rain resulting in flooding! The ban was scrapped and it hasn't stopped raining since! 

But, last week (when the rain finally ceased) we had some beautiful weather.  Every morning we woke up to clear blue skies and through the hazy sunshine the fields glistened with a thin blanket of frost.  It was beautiful!
Well this is enough inspiration for me.  I disappeared off to my very warm (I have heaters you know!) shed/studio/shed and made this very icy blue set of beads.  After each bead was formed, I placed it in some pixie dust to give the beads a little extra glisten and sparkle. 

I am still trapped making beads in this particular style and I had thought that I was coming to the end of these designs but clearly there are few more to make .... I realise that these designs are a little unique ..... probably more along the lines of wearable art rather than conventional.
I also made a very icy looking Shroom Bead.  These beads make really pretty pendants and charms.
Icy Shroom!

These beads are available in my shop on Etsy! 
Sarah xx

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Journey through Love!

You send my heart all a flutter!


Love ..... falling in love ...... being in love ..... falling out of love ..... unloved!  Love accompanies us on our journey through life and can take many different forms.  Somewhere deep within my subconscious I have been exploring this journey through my art work ....
When you first fall in love it is all consuming and sends your heart all a flutter .... Quite by accident I stumbled across turning an implosion bead into a lampwork heart focal bead!  Ideas have been ransacking my brain ... no taking over all of my thoughts of how this can be developed further ... Valentines Day preparations are already taking place in the land of Shed/Studio/Shed .... watch this space as they say. 
So let me take you on a visual journey of Love!
Intense : Queen of Hearts!

Pure Decadence!

Love Flies!

Darkness (Confused).


Wisp (Fragile Heart).

Christmas Sparkle (New Hope).

Spring, fresh, Summer Love!

Plain and Simple : True Love!

I have lots more hearts waiting in the wings ..... many more ideas to be explored!
Some of these hearts are available to purchase either in my shop on Etsy ..................
............................................................ or as jewellery on Wow Thank You!
Sarah xx