Thursday, 29 December 2011

Craft Show Take 2

So that Craft Show that didn't happen? Well, it might be happening in February. My co-worker and I had a talk and we decided to just go for it. We agreed that we would do it for the experience and not with the expectation of making lots of sales. Although that would be a bonus. It's a good way of looking at things, I think.

I still have a couple of angel earrings left over from the holidays. Do you think I should sell them at the Show, even though Christmas has come and gone?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Busted beads budget....(how's that for alliteration?)

You know how you tell yourself that you can't spend a single cent more on beads? And then you do? Well, I do this. A lot. I've busted my beads budget about a hundred times over and I still get sucked into buying more. I blame it on the discounts and sales, especially this time of year. Sometimes though, it's just my lack of willpower that's to blame. Someone teach me to resist the lure of pretty beads....please!

Some of the goodies over which I busted my budget:


Aren't they drool-worthy? 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Craft Show.....Not!

So. That craft show I said I might be participating in? Doesn't look like it's happening. We now have to pay a fee to rent a booth and my co-worker and I can't quite justify the cost of shelling out all that money in return for very uncertain sales/profits. We'd also have to take leave from work since the Fair starts at 5pm on a Friday and you have to be there early to set up your booth.


I dont know how I feel about this actually. I'm a little disappointed. I'm also a bit relieved as well. I was starting to feel pressured about having enough jewellery on hand. And I must say I also had visions of sitting there and not selling a thing. If I'm being honest with myself, it's a reprieve from having to confront my fear of failure and self-doubt. That little part of me that shies away from the limelight and which thinks what I do isn't good enough is probably doing cartwheels with joy right now. Which, come to think of it, really isn't such a good thing. 


What is a good thing is that I made tons of angel earrings. So I'm pretty much set for gifts and stocking fillers come the holidays.



Sunday, 27 November 2011

Virtual Craft Show - holiday shopping here I come!

Holiday shopping just got easier and so much more fun with Lori Anderson's Virtual Craft Fair that she's hosting on her blog Pretty Things. From Nov 26-Dec 3, Lori's online fair will be featuring 70 artists who will offer giveaways, store discounts and all sorts of yummy deals. Just click here for the details and the first 7 featured artists/designers. And don't forget to check in daily till Dec 3! 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....



For stocking-fillers and co-worker gifts. Maybe to be sold at that craft fair I mentioned previously, if we're lucky enough to snag a booth. 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Something new...

I made something new this weekend, and used a new (to me) technique. Who knew how fun coiling and hammering wire could be? I'm still learning my way around so please excuse the wonky, uneven spirals.


Oh, and the lovely ceramic charms are by Mary Welsh Hubbard of White Clover Kiln. Aren't they beautiful? They're an intriguing mix of green, blue and brown...and possibly some other colours I don't have a name for. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Stocking up

I was asked by a fellow jewellery-making colleague if I wanted to share a booth at a craft fair this December. I'm naturally shy - though you may not know it if you met me since I talk a lot - and have always preferred the anonymity of selling on the Internet to hawking my work at markets and shows. In the end, after considering the following: 1) I wouldn't be alone at the fair  2) the booth is free; people ballot for booths and pay a deposit which gets refunded  3) it's only 5 hours,  I convinced myself that it would be a great experience. It would be a good opportunity to get feedback on my designs and talk to people about what kind of jewellery they like.


So in the hopes that we'll snag a booth for the Dec fair, we've both been making new items we can display and sell. Neither of us are particularly productive so it's been a good laugh trying to stock up our 'inventory'. This weekend was better than most for me. See?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Where on earth are those lovelies from?

Remember my earlier 'Covetous' post? It just dawned on me that I forgot to mention where those beads/findings are from. Doh! 


So to make things right, moving clockwise from the top left photo, those little pretties are from:
1. Suzannes Art Glass
2. Mountain Shadow Designs
3. HMB Studios
4. ddfromscratch
5. Mermaid Glass
6. Nadin Art Glass


All on Etsy! So go check their shops out if you've a spare hour. Or ten!

Gaea's Giveaway


Good news for all fans of Gaea Ceramic Bead and Art Studio! Gaea's bead bundles are now available from Lima Beads, and to celebrate this wonderful news, she's having a giveaway of those ceramic lovelies you see here. Just head over to her blog and leave a comment by Oct 16 if you'd like to a chance to win. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Covetous

Is what I've been feeling lately. I've spent waaayyy too much on beads in the last 2 months, and there are still more beads that are calling my name. Here's a peek of just six of the many, many, many (ad infinitum) lovelies I've been coveting.


Are they calling your name too?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Creating....

....is hard work. I mentioned in my earlier post that I have a long-standing relationship with inadequacy. I love reading beading and jewellery magazines and surfing the blogs. It de-stresses me and I spend many a happy hour oohing and aahing over the creations. But it also paralyses me, since I very easily fall into the trap of comparing myself to to others and thinking my ideas and work just aren't up to par. I'm working on just focusing on challenging myself and improving and expanding my skills, but it's a two steps forward, one step back kind of process. I keep reminding myself it's all relative - to my non-beady friends, I'm a certified beading genius! Of course, to others, I'm a wet-behind-the-ears noob. Oh well. I'll just keep on keeping on, I guess. 


And in the spirit of pressing on, I'm presenting these:

I'm trying not to be so afraid of colour. Am I succeeding? I'm not sure. But little steps, people, little steps.


Edited to add: the darling ceramic acorn bead is by Earthenwood Studios and the pair of gorgeous enamel leaf charms are from Suebeads. Love, love, love artisan beads! 

BSBP

For those not in the know, BSBP is short for Bead Soup Blog Party - a one-of-a-kind online party where beaders from all the world swap beads with assigned partners and challenge themselves to think out of the box to create often spectacular and always pretty jewellery. The organiser of this amazing party is multi-tasker extraordinaire, Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. This year, the BSBP had over 300 participants who revealed their masterpieces on their blogs on Sept 17. Lori, in all her efficiency, has already started on preparations for the 5th BSBP. If you're interested to find out more about the party and the rules, you can go here.


I didn't participate in this year's party. I contemplated it. But in the end I chickened out. I have a long-standing relationship with feelings of inadequacy and they got the better of me unfortunately. I'm looking to beat those feelings into submission in time for the sign up for the next BSBP which will be in January 2012. There'll be a cap of 200 participants though so I'll have to trust to luck that I get a chance to play.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Flowers on my mind


We're moving ever closer to the end of the year, but I seem to have flowers on my mind. It helps that I live in the tropics which means it's summer all the time. I don't generally make 'flowery' jewellery though and I rarely make pins/brooches. So this is a departure for me. I'd been meaning to make something out of the Czech pressed glass leaves for well over a year, and I finally got around to it. Talk about procrastination! I quite like how it turned out. And for all my talk about summer and flowers, I think the pin has a rather 'autumn-y' feel about it. It must be the colours, I think.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Back...

...with new loot :-).

Yes, I've been away for quite a while. Busy with work and with a certification course I'm taking - lots of readings to complete and papers to write. But I still have time for my beads. Well, at least for buying them LOL. Below are some new beds I couldn't say 'no' to.


As you can see...they're pretty much all ceramic beads. Did I ever mention I can get pretty obsessive over things? I fall in love with something and then spend the next few weeks, months wallowing in that something. Apart from reading - which is an obsession I've had since I was oh, about four years old - the only other obsession that's lasted is my love for beads and making jewellery. And right now, I'm all about ceramic and stoneware and porcelain. The beads pictured are from Keith O'Connor, White Clover Kiln, Earthenwood Studios and Marsha Neal Studio - aren't they just beautiful??

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Re-purposing




These frog beads were part of a jewellery set a friend had bought some time ago. The larger bead - pendant, really - hung from a simple rubber cord while the other two were earrings. My friend, who has loved all things frog-like since she was a teen, found the jewellery difficult to wear - she said the froggies seemed to be too big for their hooks and cord - but wanted to keep the lil critters. So she gave them to me with a plea to re-use them in a way that would make it easier for her to wear them. So this is what I made.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

A special commission



I don't talk about it much - here or anywhere else, but I believe in God and I practise my faith. With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan starting tomorrow, it was apt that I spent some time today making 3 sets of prayer beads (called the tasbih) for someone who wants to gift them to friends. I used rose quartz and blue goldstone beads, and I hope the recipients like what I made.

Yes! It's another giveaway!


I don't know what it is about bead artists, but they sure are a generous bunch! Heather of Humblebeads is having a great big giveaway. All you have to do is to head to her blog and leave a comment about your favourite HB bead. A winner will be drawn on Tuesday. Good luck!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Weekends...and something new

I wish 3-day weekends were the norm. There just isn't enough time on the weekends for me to do what I need/want to. Once I've done the cooking, cleaning and whatever chores that were ignored during the week, there aren't very many hours left for fun. I didn't do too badly this week though. I squeezed in lunch with friends, waded through most of the book I'm currently reading, visited the library and borrowed more books (including 2 on chainmaille) and best of all, made some jewellery. Well....just one bracelet, to be accurate.


You might remember the focal from my earlier post. It's a ceramic link from White Clover Kiln. I knew from the start that whatever I made with it would be strictly for me. And since I have very simple tastes in jewellery, I kept the design quite spare. Just some chain - I love how the oval links mirror the shape of the focal bead - a couple of dangles and a pewter clasp.

What did you do over the weekend? Did you make jewellery too? Or read a book? Whatever it was, I hope you had fun!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

What I've been up to

I'm not a girly-girl, never have been. I wear way too much black and usually run screaming from anything pastel. But I like pretty things - my fetish for beads attests to that - and lately, I've been leaning towards designs that are...well, sweet.


This features ceramic pink hearts from White Clover Kiln on Etsy. I was going to keep it simple and just add ear hooks but then I got sidetracked by some Swarovski crystal pearls. So what was a girl to do? I took them, added some lead-free pewter frames and voila.

I'm working on a matching necklace. The heart charms were part of a set that included a larger pendant. I'm sticking to the pearls and pink hearts theme and will probably add some silver beads or chain or something. Or I might decide on something else. I'll let you know.


And then, there's this:

Purple's one of my favourite colours so I finally made something with these pretty lavender lampwork rondelles from a glass artist I found on Ebay.

Other WIPs:




The blue ceramic link is from White Clover Kiln again and I'm planning on making it into a bracelet for myself. The red glass bead with the Bali silver (and I actually got it in Bali - how about that?) bead cap is going to be a charm that I plan to string on either a chain or leather cord. Something casual and everyday that's still pretty. Maybe I'll do a whole collection of these simple everyday charm/pendant necklaces. The last is a beautiful focal bead from Etsy artist SKHolt. I've been hoarding it and 3 of its siblings for longer than I'd like to admit. But i think it's time to start making it into a piece of jewelry. It deserves to be worn instead of being cooped up in my bead box.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Another HUGE giveaway!

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is having a giveaway. The lucky duck went to the recent Bead & Button Show and - generous soul that she is - came back with an armload of beady goodness that she's giving away to her readers. So if you're feeling lucky, go here and leave a comment. You might just be one of the lucky 9 who walks away with some to-die-for beads and findings. The draw will be on June 20th. Good luck people!

Woo hoo!

My giveaway prize from the very generous Gaea is here! The 'dream' ceramic link is even prettier in the flesh! And it's a lot bigger than it looks. I'm wondering if using it in a bracelet would be the best thing- it might just overpower my wee wrist :-). It would look outstanding in a necklace as well. Hmm....I'll have to put my thinking cap on for this. All I know is this. I'm much too selfish and much too taken with the link to use it in a piece that's meant for sale. Whatever I make will strictly be for moi. Yes, I'm selfish like that. Hee. Plus, it's the very first giveaway I've won.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Yes! I won!


You see that beautiful ceramic link up there? Can you believe I actually won that? Yup, me. The very same me who never ever ever wins anything when it comes to lucky draws or giveaways or things of that sort. Lovely, generous bead artist Gaea is doing a special run of giveaways now - be the first to comment on a post and you might just win the giveaway bead of the day. Head here if you want to have a chance at getting your paws on her gorgeous beads.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Amazing bead giveaway!


These are just a few of the fabulous beads that the Art Bead Scene Blog is giving away. Aren't they to-die-for? The giveaway is in honour of Beads 2011 which is out now. I flipped through the magazine and was transfixed for close to an hour drooling over all the luscious beads. If you want a chance to win these goodies, you can go here and leave your comments. Good Luck!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Something for a friend

Not a very good photo but I didn't have much time before I sent it off to my friend in Nebraska. She wanted a necklace for her stepmum who's battling cancer. The pendant is a heart-shaped rose quartz bead, and I added a red glass pendant as well that can be substituted for the rose quartz bead. I hope her stepmum likes it and that it'll help to bring some peace and love into her life.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Re-working

So, that necklace I was feeling iffy about? I went through my beads and tried a couple of things. It eventually turned out something like this:


I'm not ecstatic. But it looks a little more balanced. So I'm going to leave it alone. What do you think - right decision, or not? 

I also whipped up a quick pair of earrings using lampwork glass beads by Paul Spencer (aka Paulbeads, another talented glass artist on Etsy). This will go to my shops - I need to start selling my work or I'm never going to be able to buy new beads.


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Pictures!



The earrings will be added to my shops this weekend. And finally, the necklace. I was going for asymmetrical but it's not something that comes naturally to me. It looks a little awkward to me and rather spare. I'm thinking of re-working it - maybe adding some beads on the other side.


What are your thoughts? Should I leave it as is? I'd love to hear your ideas and feedback. Oh, and the adorable owl pendant is from Etsy.com's brendabeads. Also from Etsy is Misspottery's ceramic trinket dish in the topmost pic. I spend way too much time on Etsy, y'all.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Giveaway by Lori of Pretty Things

Whoops! Silly me! I forgot to post about the wonderful giveaway that Lori is doing. Lucky lucky Lori got to go a bead show and being the generous, thoughtful person she is, got hold of a number of pretty things for her blog readers. You stand a chance to win ONE of the lovely goodies if you post a comment on her blog. Interested?? The link is here. You have till the 18th of April I believe.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Getting back into the groove

I haven't been making a lot of jewellery recently. As you've probably noticed. I blame it on my busy work schedule as well as a stunning lack of inspiration. I really, really want to add to my Artfire and Etsy shops - they're looking entirely too bare for my liking, and I have a sneaky suspicion that having a larger inventory just might draw more visitors which might, if I'm lucky, lead to sales. So, this weekend was spent trying to find my well of creative inspiration. I'm still looking for it..sigh. But I did manage to rustle up 3 new pieces: 2 pairs of earrings and a necklace. All very simple but you wouldn't believe how long it took me to come up with them. Creating is hard, people! I am happy though to have made something. Another big plus? I used quite a few beads and findings that have been in my stash for longer than I'd like to admit. It's pretty late at night here so I couldn't take photos of the new jewellery. I'll probably take pics sometime this week and post them next weekend. Sooner if I can help it.

Have you been creating this weekend? If you have, I hope you weren't as frustrated as I was :-).

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Ring-a-ding-ding!

My creative juices haven't been flowing too well in recent weeks. Frustration set in and I decided to distract myself with a simple craft project. I had some ring blanks on hand and a set of pretty brads (little sidenote: I never realised these pins were called brads, I always called them those "sticky-in things" or butterfly pins.). With the help of some cutters (to snip off those pesky potruding pins), a file and a dollop of glue, I came up with 3 cute little rings. I think i might give them away to two little girls I know who are the sweetest kids I've ever come across. Tamasin and Hayley, these are for you :-).


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Done!

I finally got around to completing that crystal necklace I started weeks ago. All those wrapped loops took time. My fingers hurt a bit but the end result pretty much makes up for the pain. I used Swarovski crystals in various shades (and sizes) of blue. All wire is non-tarnish artistic wire and I even found the energy to make my own clasp. I'm now deciding whether to add it to my Artfire shop or give it away as a present. Hmm...decisions, decisions...

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Creating again

This is what I'm currently working on. It's not quite finished yet but I hope it soon will be.




I was in the mood for wrapped loops. I know, how many people have you heard say that? It's not quite in the same league as "I'm in the mood for chocolate", is it? Anywho....I had all these Swarovski crystals in shades of blue in my stash so I started linking them and adding some vintage chain links. I started off thinking I'd make a bracelet but it's turning out to be more of a necklace. So I think I'm going to continue adding wire-wrapped single crystals and finish it all off with a simple spring (or possibly lobster) clasp. I think it's pretty. I might add it to my Artfire shop when it's done. What do you think? Too simple and plain?

Monday, 7 March 2011

What's new pussycat?

Not much apparently :-). Yes, I know it's been ages since I posted anything but life's been weird-hectic recently. Did I ever mention that my day job sees me counselling young people? Well, a few of them have decided to freak out on me and I've been weathering the storm as best I can these past weeks.

It's no excuse though for not posting or making new jewellery. Making stuff is therapeutic. I should know. It's saved my sanity a number of times in the past. So I'm gonna get off my butt and exit this pity party I've been attending and go MAKE something. I'll probably post pics at the weekend.

Before I go, you might like to know that I emerged unscathed from the workshop I had to conduct this past Saturday. I had a group of 12 boisterous women whom I'd like to think rather enjoyed themselves. I learnt a few things though: 1) I need to refine my instructions and make them clearer  2) I need to rope in someone to help and 3) I need to teach said helper the project so she/he can actually help with the group. I might be asked to conduct more workshops but I'm going to have to sit down and seriously consider this. Given the investment in time and effort, can I and DO I want to commit? Especially since this is purely voluntary. I'm getting to that age when I really, really want to get paid for my services. Does that make me selfish? I know that had this opportunity presented itself to the 25 or even 30-year old me, I would have said 'yes' in a heartbeat.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Teaching a workshop

Something surprising happened last week. I was asked by a friend if I would consider conducting a jewellery-making workshop for a group of mothers whose children attend a local arts academy. My friend has been volunteering at this arts academy - which holds subsidised classes (in art, music, drama, cooking etc) for children who display creative talents but don't have the means to pay - for close to a year and thought I would enjoy helping out there too. It seems the people who run the academy are hoping to start a series of workshops for parents (mostly mothers) so they get to learn something and have some fun while waiting for their children to finish with their classes.

So the upshot of all this is: on 5 March, I'll be teaching a group of women how to make rings. I've never taught a workshop before so it's a little scary. But I think it might be good for me to get out of my comfort zone. Since there isn't enough budget to cover the cost of tools, which is a shame really, I decided that I'd rely on just a handful of beads and some monofilament wire to make something pretty. After a lot of thought, and discussion with the academy director, I chose the following two rings as the items the women will be learning to make. I might change up the colours, and possibly the materials (eg metal beads in place of plastic) as well but I'm not quite sure. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you if you have ideas on changing up the 2 rings.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Charlatan?

Warning: this is not an upbeat post. If you're looking for sunshine and flowers, you'd do better reading another blog today. But please check back next week. Regular service should resume then.

I don't usually voice this out loud but, a lot of times, I feel like a charlatan when it comes to my jewellery-making. Growing up, I never thought of myself as being creative. Truth be told, I used to fail most of my art assignments in secondary school (high school). And by fail, I mean really badly - like 30/100 badly. I couldn't - and still can't - draw. Or paint. Or sketch. Or any of the things you expect creative types to do. I appreciated art though - art galleries are some of my favourite places - but I decided early on that I couldn't do art. After all, that was what my teachers repeatedly told me. And good student that I was, I listened to them and believed.

Until I was in mid-twenties when I began dabbling in crafts. To save my pennies, I made presents for friends and colleagues and got seriously into stencilling and decoupage. I stopped when work got hectic and I found I didn't quite have the time. Then about 3 years ago, in a bid to add something else to my life apart from work, I took a beading class at a community centre. I've been hooked on beads and jewellery-making ever since. But even now, I find it difficult to tell people I make jewellery. I'm regularly visited by self-doubt and I almost always question my design ideas. I still don't think I'm creative and I certainly don't see myself as an artist. I'm sure this perception holds me back. In fact, I know it does.

But I then I read this blog post about what it takes to be an artist. It was something of an eye-opener for me and although I'm not quite at the point where I can confidently announce to the world that 'why yes, I am an artist', I think I just might be on my way there.

I'm going to stop my navel gazing and post some eye candy now. Partly to thank anyone out there who waded through my rambling. Partly to add some colour to an otherwise boring post. But mostly to reassure myself that I am capable - on occasion - of thinking up (fairly) original and pretty designs.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Replicas

Remember the bellflower earrings I made and sold some weeks back? The photo's a couple of posts down. I liked how the wire frames I made mirrored the bell shape of the flower beads so much that I made replicas of the earrings yesterday - using 3 different colours of artistic wire. I paired silver-plated wire with some navy blue flower beads, gold-plated wire with purple flower beads and finally, brass-plated wire with green flower beads. All 3 pairs are listed in my Artfire shop. I think they're quite girly and romantic, which considering Valentine's Day is coming up, is rather apt really.




What do you think? Do you like them as much as I do? They're not perfect I know but I'm secretly quite proud of myself since it's the first time I've bothered to make a component - ie. the spirally wire frames - myself. I'd love to hear what you think.

Friday, 21 January 2011

New old jewellery

Looking through my posts, I'm beginning to see how this blog is slowly turning into a catalogue of my work. I'm not sure this is what I intended when I first began. But I think I like it. It's a bit like having a portfolio of sorts. Just online. Anyway, I'm posting photos of earrings I made as Christmas gifts this past December. After braving snow, sleet and rain - and goodness knows what else - in the last month, they've finally found their way to their intended owner in the US.





Sunday, 16 January 2011

Special jewellery

I've started 2011 by agreeing to make some commissioned jewellery for an old schoolmate. We only recently re-connected via Facebook and I'm both pleased and honoured that she's asked me to make some very special items for her. This from only seeing photos I've uploaded on the Net.

First up is a rose quartz bracelet because she says she always feels calmer when she wears this stone. I'm not ecstatic with what I came up with, but it's serviceable and will pass muster. I think.


Apologies for the poor picture-taking. I'm without my regular camera since it's in HK with my sisters :-(. So I had to take photos with my dodgy old camera instead. 

My schoolmate then requested for 2 sets of prayer beads - or tasbih as we call them - which she wanted to give as gifts to friends who are going through rough times. Again, she asked for rose quartz beads. It never occurred to me to make prayer beads but I loved how they turned out. More than that, I'm thankful for being given the chance to make something meaningful with my beads.