Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tuesday November 9th, 2010

Woo today is my sisters 24th birthday. Earlier this after I was browsing through my new bead book ('Its all about the Beads' just in case you're interested) and it was then I had one of my 'eureka' moments. I suddenly remembered I had a large teardrop style pendant in green, red and blue with a sort of silverish (is that a word?) tint, I'd gotten it free with a magazine yonks ago, I knew I had 10 metres of black waxed cord I'd purchased on one of my Beads Unlimited shopping sprees as well as some thin black organza ribbon and 2 small black hoops to sit either side of the pendant. The only thing I was lacking in were the crimp beads that were especially designed for cord and that kind of thing. So up to Pink & Dizzy I strolled, initially I had planned on using the round leather crimps but as the shop was empty I thought I seek advice. For some reason I get so embarrased about seeking help, I know I shouldn't but it's just me.

I'm so glad I did seek aid, she was very helpful and recommended the flat leather crimps instead, saying they were her personal preference. Personally I thought they would perhaps suit my design better too, particulary as I was using ribbon in addition to cord.I trusted her judgement and snapped them up. They were so simple to use I actually got both of them right on the very first attempt, my god that is saying something. Including all the measuring of the ribbon, cord and putting it all together it took less than 10 mins and cost barely anything to make. So if that piece does ever sell it will be pretty much free money and I'm certainly loving the sound of that.

Monday November 8th 2010

I really wanted to make some things for my stall but wasn't quite sure what, in a book I recently purchased the author said a good money earner for stalls such as mine was to create pairs of 'simple earrings'. Personally I think that transpires as just whack a few beads together, whack them on a ear hook and hope for the best but well worth a try. I thought I'd begin using a pair of the purple satin acrylic leaves I purchased yesterday, all I simply did was put a violet seed bead at the bottom of a headpin, added the leaf, another seed bead then adding an ear hook repeat and there you go, I was liking this 'simple earrings' style. Feeling the love I went out to make a second pair, this time I placed a silver saturn bead, a 20mm turquoise & black cord bead with a turquoise 7mm frosted glass bead above it, ear hook added then repeated.

Personally I don't think they look too bad I much prefer the corded ones to the leaf ones but that's just me. If anything they are really stall fillers, if they do sell then it's easy money - each pair took no longer than five minutes to put together and less than a quid to make so if they do get left behind I can just take them apart and reuse the beads and findings. Simple (as that annoying meerkat would say). I put the pix up on my flickr page so you can see for yourselves.

Just wondering out of interest; why is 'JEWELLERY sometimes spelled like that on other occasions spelt 'JEWELRY' I think the latter version is American but (if that's the case I prefer the English method) just weird to me.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Sunday November 7th, 2010

Today is actually Matty's birthday he's 20+7, so today was all good, we went out for a rather delicious meal with chums and then went round some of the large retail parks around the Swindon area and one of those parks just happened to have a Hobbycraft. I went into Pets at Home to purchase some hamster supplies but I had to leave that to Matty to do because I knew if I'd stayed in there longer than necessary I would've left with a dwarf hamster and cage etc. I love hamsters as much as beads and we already have 2 so I had to reluctantly had to accept the fact that we could have no more. In a bid to cheer me up I popped into Hobbycraft and treated myself to a bead splurge; even my boyfriend's birthday cannot keep me parted from these gems. I left with several packs of satin acrylic beads in various colours, shapes and sizes and a pack of bells - I was especially pleased with these as I'd been looking for some to use in some Christmas charm bracelet projects I had in mind. I'd looked on the Beads Unlimited site but they were all out of stock.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Saturday November 6th, 2010

I've just spent the last 2 hours going through my bead box, just running all the beads through my fingers in a bid for sudden inspiration, it was at that point I realised that for a while now I'd been making a rather foolish mistake, which has kind of dropped me right in it. In my sacred box are vast numbers of beads, what I think are 'pretty' beads, ones i got because I liked them but my fatal flaw was that because I liked them so much I've been very reluctant to use them so I haven't. Now the sentiment has gone I really want to put them to use but like a fool I only purchased 1 of each and I'm troubled as to what to do with them, earrings aren't really a possibility, maybe I could make a bracelet using the eye pin and jump ring method, I don't want it to look naff, like I've just whacked a bunch of beads together, I want it to look unique you see. Inside the mags and books I see pieces made from quaint matching beads and I don't have that, just a mis-matched box of 'bead soup' I guess that would kind of be an appropriate way to sum it up. As I was sat there playing with them whilst eating all the caramel kegs I'd sneaked from the Roses tin I thought that if I were to give this jumbled box to a pro beader like you see in the 'bead soup challenges' what would they come up with?

Today I received a copy of the mail order catalogue from Bijoux Beads based in Bath, I'm reaching the big 30 next month so I've convinced Matty to go to Bath for the day so I thought I'd get a sneak preview of what they had to offer, the fact that there are several bead shops there is merely a coincidence - honest, I had no idea ;)

Friday November 5th, 2010 (bonfire night) 50 DAYS TILL XMAS

Less than a month to go now, less than a fortnight in point of fact and I am really starting to get tremendously nervous about the whole situation. I am kinda excited about the prospect of hosting my own jewellery stall but as it stands my doubts, nerves and lack of confidence are clearly overshadowing those feelings. I guess every other fellow beader must encouter such thoughts at some point in their beading world.

The primary reason for my feelings of doubt is probably due to the fact that I have only been seriously into the art of jewellery making since March, yep that's all a mere 8 months. In that time I have had NO lessons (primary due to lack of funds, self-taught all the way, not that I'm bragging about that it's why I'm worrying because I'm not 100% certain if I'm doing things correctly, if there are any other alternative techniques I could be using, you know that kind of thing. With me it's simply a case of looking through the books and magazines, trying out their ideas and just hoping for the best, trial and error really.

Then again it could be said that I have certainly progressed since March and the days of the 'lonely blue earring', my Flickr page is evidence of that I've got approaching 100 things up there and my current profits have exceeded £150 as it stands. Yeah, I think I'll quit the whining I guess there must be some very talented crafters out there who would love to seize an opportunity like I have. Whatever happens whether it's a great success or a complete disaster it will be an experience, a learning curve for sure. When I chose to record my experiences as novice the thought of something like this happening to me so soon never even crossed my mind, so it's going to be an interesting affair, even beyond my expectations. I'm going to be writing in here now every day up until the stall and for a while afterwards too, I want to get all my thoughts and feelings together, all out in the open it'll clear my head then and hopefully help me or at least that's the idea.

After much recommendation I finally ordered a copy of 'It's All About the Beads' by Barbara Case.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday October 15th, 2010

A month ago, the date of my last entry my gosh, where does all the time go? I really need to create some form of organisation thing going on. I must bless my blog with my creativity more often, I wouldn't mind but it's not as though nothing has been going on in my crazed, novice beady world.

Currently my forthcoming stall at the University of Bradford Christmas fayre is a month and 9 days away so I've really been busy completing orders, coming up with ideas for the stall, waiting for supplies to arrive and in additional to that I've been devoting my attentions to my hamsters, the new retro sweet shop opened in the Wootton Bassett High Street, arrow words, Jewel Quest, bead & finding shoppping and Matty. Amongst all that I also found myself falling victim to what could be described as every beaders nightmare - BEADERS BLOCK, one day I was sat with all my tools out ready to get stuck and it just came and slapped me in the face like a salmon. The conition lasted a few hours, it was so frustrating & it was pissing it down (sorry raining heavily) so I couldn't really go for a walk up town for inspiration.

In my last entry I wrote of a shopping list for my latest creations, the majority of that has all been used up now and I've just had to order yet more supplies. I tell you if you'd have said to me this time last year I would be doing be making money from making jewellery and having my own personal stall selling the fruits of my labour I would have laughed in your face because the idea of making jewellery didn't even enter my head until March so it's been about 7 months or something like that. Crazy man and the great thing is that there is so much, much more to learn.

I would just like to take this opportunity ro claify that the reason behind my influx of purchases is due to the fact that I have been using the money from jewellery sales and Matty's very generous donations (bless) it's certainly not because Mr Cameron and chums have increased the allowance of those poor, unfortunate people who are desperately seeking work but as things stand I'm just chasing rainbows.

Well that's it fpr this installment but I swear on all the sherbert strawberries on the world I will write in here regularly not just once a month because that's just slackness on my part. I'll keep you up to date on all the stalls developments so until next time dear readers (I really hope there are some or all this writing has been it vain) I bid you a fond beading farewell.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Friday September 17th, 2010

Greetings oh loyal and humble diary tidings, I sincerely hope you can forgive my incessant absence. For I can bring no fanciful or elaborate excuses all I can say is that I have been stupendously busy and by that I mean real busy.

The reason? Wait for it…drum roll please… I am due to have a stall at the University of Bradford Christmas Market on November 24th selling only my personal handmade creations. Well, my mum is actually having it on my behalf (that’s where she works you see) I live a good few hundred miles away from there so I’m going to be posting my goods up there for her to sell. The weird thing was that it was all her idea, I guess the fact that she herself is prepared to sacrifice one whole day of her English life to sell my crafts is one true compliment and I can honestly say that is without doubt the best one I’ve received so far.

Now that is officially confirmed I am now in a serious predicament for I need to make things – enough to suffice a market stall before mid-November, quite daunting circumstances to find oneself in, especially as I still consider myself to be a mere novice. Personally I would have waited till next years but then again it’s all about challenge and motivation, my mum must see something in my pieces to do this for me, with my current profits exceeding £150 so far it could to be a success and that would be far more rewarding.

It would be quite fair to say that I possess a somewhat vivid and colourful imagination hence inspiration isn’t so much a problem but as they say ‘every little helps’. I’ve been scouring my backlog of bead magazines, books I’ve rented from the library even flicking through the Argos. Now with a bunch of ideas chilling out in my head I now have to work out how I can pull them off economically whilst maintaining the best possible quality. Hmm, I compiled a shopping list of some essentials; jump rings (various sizes), bead caps, head pins, bracelet blanks, charms of various descriptions (charm bracelets have become an inadvertent speciality) and lastly some satin acrylic beads. Alright so the latter can’t really be considered an ‘essential’ more of a luxury. These past few weeks has seen me develop a fondness for these beads, they have so much potential and are perfect if you want to achieve a vintage/Victorian look. I must get some, especially as I’ve just discovered an eBay shop that sells them in bulk at very reasonable prices so I’ve got no excuses have I?