Sunday, 26 August 2012

Grand Opening

Hello Everyone!

It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of my Etsy shop 'Peapod Beads' this Bank Holiday Weekend. It has been a slow and painful process since I am technophobic and indecisive!

Anyway, I hope you will find something pretty to tempt you, and will drop by regularly to see what is new. Many pieces will be related to the blogposts here so you will know some of the backstory to their creation.

If you are non-UK based, and would like to buy, please drop me a message to discuss postage, to keep things simple I have only listed UK P&P.

In other news, I have decided to take part in the 'Bead it Forward' Quilt project to raise funds for breast cancer charities. This is organised through Bead and Button magazine, and has a deadline of next March, so I hope to make several squares (they are tiny so won't take long) My first two, made this weekend are here:

Madagascar Periwinkle


The squares are going to be submitted as a group project with other members of the Operation: Tackle That Bead Stash facebook group, and I'm looking forward to seeing what that talented bunch come up with!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Blog!

Yes it has been a whole year since I began blogging, and I'd like to thank anyone who has been dropping by to read my ramblings! As with most newbie bloggers I worried that I would have nothing to blog about and set myself a target of 3 blogposts per month (because one per week was too frightening!) I see from my tally that I have passed the 40 posts mark, so for the next year I shall try for 50 (still not one per week though!) and see how that goes...

I had a lovely week off work with visits to friends and family. The weather was HOT which is unusual for England in August, but made everything even more enjoyable. Here is a pic from our day trip to Blenheim Palace:


I managed a little bead shopping in London, and returned home to find some Etsy purchases on the mat, including these gorgeous dragonfly buttons and cabochons from Ivka, and some of Nicole's Bead Backing so I think my bead embroidery adventures will be continuing soon!

The mother of pearl flowers will also be used in embroidery projects. The little acrylic jewellery box is from Muji, we don't have a store in Norwich and I always find something cool when I look there. This has a lift top and a drawer beneath.

I finished another couple of dichroic glass pendants for the stall I shall have at the canoe meet, Saturday has been forecast to be very windy with thunderstorms so I'll only go on the Sunday, but might sell a few things with any luck...

Sunday, 12 August 2012

So suggestible...

I sometimes bead the bleeding obvious!

It had to be done, I'd just received a couple of new cabochons from the States, one of which was my favourite plume agate, the other a similar thin long oval of new-to-me parrot wing jasper. The colours on-line looked more turquoise and teal, in real life there were very pretty apple and lime greens in the stone as well as a streak of oxblood. I stuck it down straight away to a piece of foundation and began to bezel with frosted lime AB, thinking of making a simple pendant.

Then my friend and neighbour posted on facebook about parakeets in her Mother's garden (there are colonies of feral parakeets in Surrey and Southern England, believe it or not I also saw some one early morning in Amsterdam!). So my parrot sense was tingling and before I knew it, this happened:

The head was a solo druk from a mixed Czech/Indian bag and had a lime green to blue 2-tone effect which gives the bird its 'eye'. The beak is a 4mm firepolished bead with copper lining. The 2 beads just worked so well. Even my 14 year old son immediately said 'Parrot' when he saw it, and up to that point 'fish' would have been equally valid!

Because it was Sunday and gorgeous weather, I sat out on our bench and continued with the fun project (even though I have several more urgent projects on the go). I decided my bird needed a perch and some food...

I had only used a scrap piece of foundation so there isn't much scope for extending the scene and finding a friend, but he looks at home nibbling on some fruit. Maybe this piece will end up as a pendant (quite large though), maybe not..

Anyway, I feel refreshed and ready to resume the other projects for the upcoming reveals. I also rattled off a couple of quick pendants for a fund-raiser at my Husband's canoe club.

These use two mini dichroic glass cabochons I bought from a local artist at the bead fair in the Spring, unfortunately I lost her details, but will look out for her again. The pandants are strung on rat-tail cord and have sliding peyote tubes for adjustable length

Monday, 6 August 2012

On the bead mat

I don't think I'm alone in having several (many) projects on the go at the same time. A recent poll on a Facebook group gave the following options to the question ':

- Only one, it's all I can handle
- 2 to 4. I'm pretty good at multitasking.
- 5 or more at a time. The more I do the more I can get done!
- I work on 1 at a time but I'm embarassed to say how many I have in a box undone.
Option 2 seemed most popular with that particular group. I can't actually say how many I have, but I usually find at least 4 things if I try to clear my beading table! Then there are the other projects in different parts of the house... Partly this is because I only have about 2 hours beading time a night, and if I'm tired I need to switch to easier things or I'll end up frogging most of what I do. On Wednesdays I take a small project to work as we have a small and select craft group (2 knitters and me with beads at the moment), and the others like to see progress so I stick to one easily transportable piece for a few weeks. Then there are the 'stuck' pieces where I have run out of beads and/or inspiration, I tend to have a couple of these usually larger pieces going on.
Last but not least there are current 'challenge' pieces. I try and participate in at least one challenge a month, but this month I have 3 on, two are blog challenges where the reveal date hasn't come up yet, and the third is the monthly Operation Tackle That Bead Stash colour challenge. This month the colours selected are Blue and Copper. I didn't think I had much in the way of blue, let alone copper, but I delved deep into the bead boxes and came up with quite a good selection: 

I've begun a freeform brick stitch bracelet, based on a design in either Bead and Button or Beadwork from several years ago, I've made a couple of these and I'm working from one of those at the moment, but I've lost the original pattern so cannot credit the designer. Any ideas anyone? I don't think I can use the lovely lampwork beads as the blue is between the shades I have in seedbeads, and the pendant has too much topaz in it to be within the rules. I'm quite fond of the blue buttons but they don't fit with the freeform. I might have to make ANOTHER project! Anyway there is plenty of scope for some different ideas and that is (for me) the joy of beadwork. and the reason I have sooooo many projects at one time!

Oh and I won the random draw prize for last month's OTTBS challenge (woohoo!), so have more beads on their way from Bead Shop Liverpool (I asked for some more blue beads, possibly they will be better for use with the lampies)

Edited to add: I found the design I used for my original attempt at this kind of freeform and it was 'Jungle Gems' by Tina Koyama in Beadwork Feb/March 2007 ( how long ago??) I see you can buy the pattern from Interweave if you are interested and don't have access to this issue.