Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sea Breeze!

This week I have continued to progress with my coastal inspired series of beads using new designs I developed whilst at the torch.  I wanted the designs to be more organic and to let the glass flow.  I have found that sometimes I become so obsessed with every dot being exactly the same size and shape and every design being practically perfect, that it can completely stifles any creativity.  So, for my new lampwork bead sets I have explored my creativity and have let the designs develop naturally!

I have really enjoyed making these beads.  Sometimes I think you have to just let yourself go and be free at the torch to express yourself without any constraints!  There are so many ideas whizzing around in my head as I am making these is fantastic!  The designs are endless, every bead I make is completely different and totally unique.  I do feel a little guilty about abandoning the polymer clay at the moment but I think some of designs may be transferable....

I need to make a few sets for my jewellery range.  I have so many ideas to explore further..... different designs, different colour combinations ..... the list is endless....

These beads can be found in my shop on Etsy - Beadscrumptious on Etsy!
It would be lovely if you took the time to have a look at my beads and maybe clicked a few of your favourites!  Thank you....

Sarah xx

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Focal Beads!


I have taken a little break from making bead sets to make a few focal beads.  These are always great for jewellery designers to create beautiful pendants, necklaces and sometimes additions to bracelets.  I must admit I was a little reluctant to part with this one because I can think of some lovely pendant designs for this bead but .... I have enough jewellery to finish at the moment and this bead deserves to go to a good home and not be waiting at the bottom of a very large pile of half finished jewellery.....

This is a hand formed focal bead, which basically means I didn't use a press to create the shape.  It was sculpted by me when the glass was molten.  The glass behaves almost like thick treacle when it is in this state and is great to sculpt into different shapes.  When it is cool and is removed from the kiln it almost retains it's fluidity even though it is now solid.  There are so many possibilities!

It is a very tactile bead and I have added some dots using a reactive glass on the surface.  The raised dots appear to change their colour in different light.  Which makes the bead quite interesting!


This is the reverse side of the bead and as you can see it is very sparkly because I am having a love affair with pixie dust and have been adding it to everything lately!  It is coming up to Christmas after all!


This focal bead is completely different.  It is another handformed bead.  This time I let gravity do all the work to make the sleek, smooth shape of the bead.  I only used two different colours of glass to make this bead and yet it is looks like I used many different colours.  This is due to the reaction that ivory glass has with many different colours and with how much heat is applied to the glass.  I love the deep, dark swirl of glass in the middle of the bead.  It looks like a mysterious cavern! 


When I started making the bead I kept the ivory coloured glass and turquoise separate and then whilst the glass was molten I swirled the colours together and let gravity shape the bead and mix the colours around further.  It is quite effective!

This would be ideal as a focal bead for a pendant.  It would look very dramatic, strung onto a solid core with some sparkling swarovski crystals to bring out the accent colour of turquoise.  I have used these beads in the past to create some very beautiful pendants.

Green Dragon

If you would like to know more about my two focal beads - Mystic and Enigma. They can be found in my shop on Etsy - Beadscrumptious on Etsy!

If you like them, I would be really grateful if you added them to your favourites!

Sarah xx

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stormy Seas

I don't know why but I love visiting the coast when it is pouring with rain and blowing a gale. I don't think you can beat that feeling when you step out into the fresh salty air struggling to walk against the wind, the sea spray stringing your face and hearing the sound of the waves pounding against the rocks. It is very invigorating! These beads form part of series that explore my passion with the coast.

We spend quite a lot of time as a family walking along the coast collecting shells and throwing pebbles into the sea.  The kids love it!  Even when the weather is awful.  If we say we are going to the beach, they go wild and crazy.  I can't blame them I love it too and we have spent many an evening over the summer holidays watching the sunset hand in hand whilst our children run along the beach.  Sometimes, sat on a bench all in a row sharing hot fish and chips shivering as the sun goes down (it was a cold summer this year in Blighty).

The deep purple colour at the top of the beads represents the stormy sky. For the sea I have used copper green glass and added a trail of silvered ivory that becomes the frothy swirling sea. I couldn't leave out the barnacles and have left them suspended but possibly clinging to the rocks ..... Some beads have tiny blue transparent dots .... little blue bubbles in the sea!

The set comprises of 5 handformed beads. Approximate measurements: length 28mm, width 16mm to 18mm depending on the bead, thickness 10mm including the barnacles. Bead hole 2.5mm.

This bead set can be found in my shop on Etsy -
Beadscrumptious on Etsy. If you fancy clicking these as one of your favourites, I would be really grateful!  Thank you.

Sarah xx

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lots and Lots of Christmas Sparkle!

Sparkly Christmas Heart
Over the last couple of days in between making beads, cleaning beads and making more beads, I have also been making jewellery using my very own handmade lampwork beads. 

It all started when I discovered this beautiful red transparent glass lurking at the back of all my glass rods.  I was looking for a yellow/straw coloured glass which is the colour of this glass before it has been heated in the flame.  Once you start to heat the glass, it changes colour (or strikes) to a beautiful bright red.

I sculpted the heart from molten glass, using gravity to help me gain the 'heart' shape then pulling and twisting the glass to create the swirls on the surface of the heart.  I also added a wisp of silvered ivory stringer that I swirled around the base of the heart.

Whist I was making the heart I already had an idea of how I was going to turn it into a pendant and because it was a beautiful bright red I knew it would make a perfect Christmas gift.  So, out came the sterling silver beads, the swarovski crystals and turned them into the Sparkly Christmas Heart.

Sparkly Christmas Bracelet
I liked the glass so much I decided to make some more beads but this time round ones!  I added a ring of silvered ivory stringer around the middle of the beads so they would match the heart. 

As you can see in the photograph above, I used these beads to make a Sparkly Christmas Bracelet.  I couldn't decide whether to have dangling swarovski crystals like the pendant or to use larger crystals to separate the beads.  I tried both and decided the bracelet looked better with larger 6mm swarovski crystals sitting in between sterling silver saucer beads. 

Sparkly Christmas Earrings
I couldn't make a pendant and a bracelet without making a pair of earrings to match.  The earrings also featured as Week 20 in my 52 earrings in a year challenge.

I used two smaller beads to make the earrings and strung them onto sterling silver headpins.  I placed the beads onto a swarovski crystal and finshed them off with a sterling silver saucer bead and a cluster of swarovski crystals topped with a sterling silver rondell bead.  Perfect for some Christmas Sparkle!

My jewellery is available in my shop on WOW Thank you!

Sarah xx

Monday, October 22, 2012

October Beads Give Away!

I was about to list these beads on Etsy and decided NO! I am going to give these beads away instead.  I haven't had a bead givaway yet and it is about time that I had one!  These are a fun and interesting set of beads.  The set consists of 7 lentil shaped beads with raised blue dots.  They could be used to make a fantastic piece of jewellery.

Now, it is not going to be that easy mind you!  You will have to answer a very simple question .... 

Give me the name of the blog post these beads were originally featured in?  All you have to do is e-mail the answer to with the title Bead Givaway! 

The winner will be randomly selected on Friday 26th October and announced on this blog post!

Good Luck

Sarah xx

Friday 26th October: The Winner is ..... Chrissie Baker!
Congratulations Chrissie!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nautical - Gaudi Inspired!

After dropping off my little kiddy winks this morning I went straight up to shed/studio/shed, turned on my kiln and pondered what colour combinations to use today.  I wanted fresh, bright and vibrant.  After probably 30 mins searching through my stash of glass (and going off to feed my chickens) I came up with this combination.   

I think I am still having a 'Gaudi' moment because the trapped bubbles within the glass remind me so much of the Casa Batllo in Barcelona.  I know I keep going on and on about Gaudi but I can't help it, the man was a genius!  Anyway, Gaudi designed the Casa Battlo on a nautical theme and there is plenty of evidence for this as you walk around the house.  But he also considered so many other aspects in his designs.  For instance, the colour of the tiles in the stairwell get pregressively darker as you ascend the stairs.  This was to give a more natural balance of light (there was more natural light further up the stairs) as you ascend/descend the stairs.  I digress ...... sorry ... can't help myself.....

As you can see from my photograph above Gaudi had inserted glass panels as part of the bannisters.  Now interestingly, when you looked through these you get the illusion of being underwater .....

The distortion produced by placing a glass bubble if you like, on top of a bead design reminds me of these bannisters.  Perhaps my mind works in a peculiar way or I am just completely obsessed with Gaudi ... who knows?  But this set of beads, especially the colours, the distorting bubbles of glass and the trapped air dots that remind me of bulbous fish eyes, all take me back to a nautical theme.

I shall leave you with a few more pictures of my new set of beads to let you ponder what they remind you of!

This set of beads is available to buy on Etsy - Beadscrumptious on Etsy

Sarah xx

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Woman in Black!

I had this set of beads on Etsy for a few months.  The inspiration came from reading the Woman in Black!  A very scary but brilliant book!  If you have the chance I would definitely recommend reading it, especially when you are tucked up warm and cosy on a winter night with the rain lashing against the windows and the wind howling around outside ...... 

My beads did suddenly take a dark turn  ..... The set comprised 7 lentil shaped beads using a dark grey transparent glass with a strip of silvered Ivory just resting on the top of the bead.  This was slightly raised and gave the beads an organic look. 

I should mention briefly what I mean by silvered Ivory stringer.  I take an Ivory glass rod and heat it in the flame until it becomes molten then I roll the molten glass in silver leaf.  I place this back into the flame at a lower temperature and using my pliers to grip the warm end of the glass rod I then pull the glass into a very thin rod/strip.  This cools and forms what is called 'a stringer' which is basically a very thin rod of glass!

Every time I looked at my shop on Etsy - Beadscrumptious on Etsy (just in case you wondered where my shop was ......) I had this niggle in the back of my mind as to whether I should remove them from my listings and make a piece of jewellery from them.  Well, the other day whilst pondering what to make for Christmas I came across this set of beads and could not resist them any longer. 

I wanted to keep the bracelet simple but elegant!  Each lentil shaped bead was enclosed within sterling silver saucer beads.  Between each group of beads I added a 6mm swarovski crystal to add a touch of sparkle.

The next day I went back out to my studio and made some more of these beads so that I can make a necklace and some earrings to match.  When I have a complete set I will be listing them all in my new shop on WOW Thank You!

What Christmas creations are you making?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Continuing Voyages of the Starship Beadscrumptious!

Galactic Beads can be found on Etsy!

Hello, I thought I would take a quick moment to update you on where you can find my handmade lampwork beads and jewellery on the internet!  The idea came about when I realised half of my links on Pinterest no longer worked.  These links are important because they take future customers to the sites where I sell my beads. Then it struck me that I haven't actually published a definitive list of where I can be found on the internet and I can be found in a lot of places ....

This Lampwork Heart represents my Avatar for all of my internet site!

So here we are!  I have already mentioned Pinterest but what is it?  Well, Pinterest is a 'virtual pinboard' where you can pin items that you like from the internet onto boards that you have created.  The great thing about Pinterest is that when you pin an item it also keeps the link.  For instance I love baking and I am always pinning recipies onto my Recipie Board.  When I decide to make something I click on the picture and it take me stright to the site where I found the recipie.  Easy!

Every time I make a new set of lampwork beads or jewellery I always post the item onto my board Beadscrumptious Lampwork Beads and Jewellery with a link to the site where the item can be bought.

Winning Implosion Beads - Beads and Beyond Jewellery Maker of the Year

I have a website Beadscrumptious where you can find out more about me and I have links to nearly all the places where I can be found on the internet.  However, there are always exciting new developments on the web so it doesn't contain all of the places I can be found.  I haven't set up a shop on my website yet because I already sell on Etsy but this will change in the future.  Occasionally, I publish free tutorials on my website.

Enchanted Tree Focal Bead

I have already mentioned that I sell my beads on EtsyEtsy is an online handmade marketplace that promotes artisan crafts.  The site is focused on selling handmade or vintage items.  I have had a shop here since December 2011.  It is also a very friendly and supportive place where artisans promote each others work through the power of social media. 

Carnival - Lampwork Glass Button

Following in a similar vein to Etsy is the British equivalent called Folksy! I do also sell here but have a fairly limited selection of my work.  I am not sure if I am going to carry on selling here when I set up my shop on my website but we'll see. 

Calypso - Lampwork Bead Bracelet

Years ago there was always this mis-conception that you could set up a website to sell your work and you would become an instant millionaire overnight.  In reality, this is certainly not the case!  When you set up a website to sell artisan crafts there is a great amount of promotional work to do for your site/work to be noticed.  It takes a lot of dedication! Selling on Etsy and Folksy help to increase exposure but there also sites out there that can help by promoting your work for you.  Of course, there is a fee to be paid but if it helps to generate sales and exposure it is sometimes worth the cost.

I have recently started selling on one of these sites called WOW Thank You! As part of joining WOW Thank you!  I found out about CRAFTFest which is a virtual online craft fair.  I will be participating in the next fair in November and will write a blog about my experience.

Cool Waves

I also sell my beads and jewellery to shops.  One of these is  Kiki's Craft Corner in the Highlands of Scotland!

As seen in Bead Magazine!

Flickr can be viewed as an online photograph album!  This is another site where I share all the photographs of my beads.  There is also a Flickr community and you can join groups relevant to your craft, follow fellow artists and essentially network.  It is great!

Protea Implosion Bead

Never underestimate the power of social media!  As an artist I use various social media sites to promote my work.  To maintain consistency (and almost branding, I suppose) I always use the same Avatar (Purple Heart above) and my company name Beadscrumptious!

Below is a list of sites where I can be found!  Please click on the buttons/pictures, come over and say Hello!

You would be most welcome to click on the link below and 'like' my facebook page!


Sarah xx