Friday, March 29, 2013

Galactic Storm!

I am so excited! I don't know if I should admit this but I am a serious Doctor Who fan and my excitement (in a little kid waiting for Christmas ... kind of way) is because it will be back on our television screens tomorrow evening ... Yipeeeee!  Everything stops in my house for Doctor Who.  I have converted my children (even the cat comes in to watch it) and it has become a family tradition just like it was when I was a little girl.  Although I am sure it was more scary then! 
To celebrate this exciting moment in British television ... at least for me anyway!  I have decided to re-list this bead set on Etsy at a reduced price of £15.00 (original price £20.00).  Everyone is finding it difficult at the moment and I thought I would offer some reduced prices ... I suppose a sale really on a few selected items!
This is a beautiful set of beads because of the depth.  It is and will always be difficult to show this in a photograph but you could easily lose time just gazing into these beads.  There are black holes, interstellar clouds, trapped swirling galaxies and all kinds of phenomenon trapped within these beads.  It is as interesting as gazing up into the night sky on a very clear evening and losing yourself amongst the stars.    
A question I am asked many times ... "What could I make with them?" Well, where do I start?  For a simple but very striking necklace, they can be strung onto a sterling silver chain.  This is how I like to wear a lot of my beads because I can easily swap them around to create a different look.
Each one of these beads could be converted into a pendant and sold individually.  Or they could be doubled up as a pendant with a swirl of sterling silver at the bottom.  Very similar to the example shown below.  The sterling silver swirl would really compliment the galactic swirl theme and would look fantastic!  Actually why am I selling these beads?  I am giving myself some really good ideas here .....
These beads would make a beautiful bracelet surrounded by sterling silver saucer beads and swarovski crystals and maybe even a few dangling charms to represent planets or star shaped swarovski crystals ..... there are so many possibilities!
If you are feeling very artistic, you could really go to town and make a beautiful peice of "wearable art" around an intergalactic theme .... maybe I am now getting carried away but I think it would look great!
There are lots of options.  Even if you don't have any experience making jewellery you can use my beads to make a simple stunning necklace or you can use them to create something sensational!  A piece of art! It is all up to you .... although I would really love to see what you make with them!
Regrettably my beads are slightly expensive and there are many reasons for this.  I take a great amount of time perfecting my beads.  They take a long time to make because I very strongly believe in developing high quality beads.  Usually my beads are composed of many layers, encased many times and I always ensure this is to a very high standard.  All of my beads are kiln annealed which is a very important part of the lampwork process.  This gives the beads their lasting strength and durability.  I also spend a lot of time checking my beads for any imperfections, cleaning the beads and I always give them a little polish too. 
I should mention that it is very important to clean the bead holes after they have been kiln annealed to remove any traces of bead release.  This is a nasty substance that you don't really want to be breathing in so I ensure this is removed from all of my beads.  All of these steps take time and you can be assured that when you purchase my beads, you are spending money on a high quality item.
 If you click on a photograph of these beads it will take you straight to my shop on Etsy.
Sarah xx

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Polymer Clay Challenge : March 2013

I thought this month I would give myself a challenge within a challenge.  I wanted to make a set of polymer clay beads that I could easily combine with my lampwork beads to make a desirable piece of jewellery.  I set myself these challenges for a number of reasons.  I need to keep my work fresh, dynamic and it inspires new ideas.
I made these beads using green, yellow and a tiny amount of blue Premo Sculpey.  I combined the two colours and made a giant sausage.  I cut the sausage into portions and rolled each one into a round ball.  Next, I placed each ball individually under a perspex sheet and moved the sheet in a circular motion around on top of the bead (pushing down lightly each time).  This motion eventually gives you a lentil shaped bead and at the same time creates the swirls you can see on the surface of my beads.    

These are all the items I started with.  My five polymer clay beads, olive and green seed beads, green tigertail, two flower lampwork beads, four emerald clear glass beads and four lime coloured lampwork beads.  All of the lampwork beads were handmade by me.
I placed all of the materials on a white tile that I use to make my polymer clay beads and had a good look, think, ponder, peruse and head scratch (always good for thinking).  I don't have a bead mat to create designs on (sometimes I wish I did when I lose beads rolling across the table) but to be honest I get along ok without one. 
There probably are rules about how you go about designing and making jewellery but I always start with the central bead or central focus of the necklace.  For instance, in this design I chose the largest polymer clay bead as my central focus and built the necklace from this point. 
I decided to use two strands of tigertail and used the seed beads to create an interesting weave effect in between the larger beads.  So, I placed both strands through my central bead and a dark green seed bead.  I then placed an olive green seed bead onto one of the strands (leaving one strand empty) and took both strands through a dark green seed bead.  I repeated this throughout the necklace as shown in the photograph.  This also gives an element of rigidity to the tigertail and keeps all of the larger beads in place. 
I finished the necklace by threading both strands of tigertail through a selection of seed beads until I had the desired length.  Finally I added a lobster clasp and the necklace was complete.  Next time I make one I will try to include a step by step visual guide. 
Here is the finished necklace which is now living with a very lovely artist in the South West of England.  She makes beautiful handcrafted signs and next time I see her I will ask her if she has a website and I will include her link here .....
Sarah xx

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monthly Make March : Lampwork Bead Tiara

Hello, this is a little bit of a cheat really because I made this tiara quite a while ago but I made it with the intention of showing people one of the ways my beads could be used.  So ...... I think it counts? If you are a regular reader of my blog then you will know that I love my sparklies .... swarovski crystals and there are quite a few in this very sparkly tiara. 
Whenever I think of weddings I always think of pearls ... and roses.  Maybe it is just me? .....  I had some very simple rice pearls so I added these to my crystal mixture and had a quick look through my glass beads to see what else I could find.  I had some very pretty pink beads that I had made for a piece of jewellery (now abandoned) and a nice collection of ivory beads that would compliment the pearls.  I almost can't help adding something different .... so I also included a couple of lavender beads just to see what would happen ....
I used an enormous amount of wire to make this tiara and lots and lots of twisting and quite a bit of time .... but I enjoyed making it.  It is always good to try new things so I had a go at making a couple of hair combes as well.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Hello, just a quick blog today to share my latest implosion bead with you.  I think this is the best implosion bead I have ever made and I am very reluctant to part with it.  Of course, I am very proud of this bead.
I am not going to write much, I am going to let the pictures speak this time.  If you click on the photos they will take you straight to my shop on Etsy.

If you would like to keep up with all of my latest creations then please come over and "like" my facebook page - Beadscrumptious on Facebook.
Sarah xx

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jungle Fever!

Jungle Fever : A stunning set of lampwork glass beads handmade by me in warm amber colours.  I can't believe I haven't written about these beads before.  The colours are fantastic, deep rich shades of amber, .... very warm.  You can almost feel the heat radiating from them.  There is so much depth to these beads.  They would look fantastic combined with Vintaj charms and findings or just strung simply from a sterling silver chain.

I used the same colour combinations of glass for each bead so they all match.  The only thing I altered each time was the design.  I started by making an amber floral bead.  This bead is composed of five separate layers.  I started by creating a central core of deep rich amber and swirled lucious green foliage on the top.  I encased the bead in clear glass to prevent any colours bleeding into the next layer and then added the flower petals.  I trapped tiny bubbles of air in the center of each flower and then encased the bead in another layer of clear glass.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to encasing my beads in glass and I always make sure the bead is entirely encased with a perfect dimple surrounding the bead hole, as you can see in all of my photographs.  

I suppose I should explain why this is important ..... and this is something you can look for next time you purchase a bead or set of beads. Take a good close look around the bead hole of the bead and inspect it to see if there is a dirty looking line where the different colours meet. This is because the bead has not been entirely encased in glass and the colours within the lower layers of the bead have bled into the clear glass. If you like this kind of effect then great, but I prefer to encase my beads completely to avoid this. 

All of my lampwork beads are made to a very high standard. They are all kiln annealed, cleaned of all bead release (which is a very nasty substance that you don't want to breathe in) and thoroughly inspected.  As a lampwork bead artist, I take all of this very seriously .... as you can tell!

I also included one of my signature implosion flower beads in the set.  They look fantastic photographed like this but also look stunning when viewed from the side.  They look as though all the petals are rippling in the glass ... very pretty ... but then I would say that!  In the photograph above you can also see the remaining two beads in the set.  Swirls and swirls of deep rich amber coloured glass.  It is a shame you can't appreciate the depth within these beads from the photographs.

This bead set is available to purchase from my shop on Etsy at £18.00 for a limited period only (normally £25.00), just click on a photograph and it will take you there.  If you would like to keep up with any offers, competitions and my latest work please come over and "like" my facebook page and you will be kept up to date with everything I am up to - Beadscrumptious on Facebook

As all of my customers know, I always include a little something extra ....

Sarah xx