Monday, 30 August 2010

Monday August 30th, 2010

I've just read a previous entry I compiled on these very pages, it was telling of my woes and disappointments regarding my jewellery pieces (or lack of rather). With great sadness I wrote of how I'd gotten into the art of jewellery making several months prior and simply didn't have much to show for it in terms of actual output, somewhere in the region of 18 items I think. But I'm proud to report that since that melancholy day my output has practically doubled, well the content of my Flickr page has at least I am pleased to announce. I don't know what it is but recently I've been getting in to really hardcore, it certainly isn't a bad thing. One possible explanation for my sudden bout of creativity could be put down how I've recently started to store my masses of beads, while I was up visiting my mum my grandma and I paid a visit to our favourite place; Haworth alias 'the village that time forgot'. As it's complimentary alias suggests it's a very ye olde traditional place and it was in it's old Apothecary I discovered some vintage glass jars which I purchased specifically for bead storage. It was in these jars where I literally poured all my beads the unpredictability and complete randomness at which they landed inspired colour schemes and ideas that I might never have even contemplated before, I even rebelled against the convention of colour schemes and matching beads I opted for complete randomness for a few pieces and it worked quite successfully (or at least I think so). The only real down side to keeping your beads in jars is that if there's a bead you really want to use that's chilling out at the bottom you have to strategically pour them all out to reach it but they make great decor too. My relationship with my 'sketchbook' is also on the rocks because I'm finding it easier and better to just make ideas up as I go along with the beads I have as opposed to planning the pieces out in advance. well it must've worked because discovering this new technique I've been on fire, well you know what I mean.

Looking through 'Beads and Beyond' magazine I spotted the 'Jewellery Maker of the Year' competition, looking at some of last years winning entries my heart sighed the skill, creativity, use of colour and finish was astounding but maybe in a year or so I could even think about entering for anything like that - I still consider myself very much a novice but I would love to have the belief and confidence to enter one of these competitions and just maybe do quite well out of it. I guess it doesn't matter if it takes a few years for that to happen as there are so many of such competitions held annually so we'll see. But before I can even contemplate such a thibg I really, really need to work on my wire wrapping and wrapping loops. The latter is rather crucial as I use them a lot but it's a very hit-and-miss situation; one time it'll be absolutely perfect and on another occasion it'll represent a jangled, tangled mess of wire. The amount of headpins I've gone through trying to perfect this technique is unreal. It might sound trivial to some of the more advanced folk but for some reason I just can't quite perfect it, consistently at least.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Monday July 26th, 2010

The day had finally come, my outing to Leeds I'd been waiting for this day for ages, now don't get me wrong Swindon town centre is alright, Bradford's lets not even go there - literally but I do miss the city life. Leeds especially because I worked in the offices of the town centre for over 2 years and it's home to so many little boutiques and other independent little shops that you just don't find anywhere else.
With my mother in tow we wondered around visiting Poundland, HMV, Primark and a whole host of other stores we got to Yum Yum Beads. Oh, I died and gone to heaven beads, beads everywhere, it was almost like Aladdin's Cave (except you were the one that was paying). I left my bags in sole charge of my mum, took a bowl and was off whacking in beads of all colours, shapes and sizes along the way.I was so absorbed in my task I wasn't even counting the actual cost, my mum expressed her concern regarding this matter until she got looking at the beads herself. Handing me some brass and a whole variety of purple beads she asked me to make her something with them (results on Flickr). I could've have looked in there all day but I was ushered out (mum wanted to get to Greggs before the lunch time rush). All in all I'd spent over £20 in there on individual beads, I had no idea what I was going to make with them I just put in the pretty ones that I really liked. In WH Smiths I picked up the new issue of 'Bead' magazine and was surprised to discover that my letter I written to them congratulating them or taking the poor into consideration when coming up with their great projects. Now not only was it published it was also 'star letter' to which I am going to be receiving a whole 'goody bag of beading delights' awesome. Without wanting to sound like a bighead I think I have a valid point, I mean there's nothing worse than falling in love with a potential project only to discover that the necessary ingredients are quite specialist and pricey as a consequence. Recently I've been quite fortunate (and selling on eBay) and being able to indulge in what I refer to as 'bead splurges' but as these are quite seldomn I tend to buy in bulk and little trinkets from Pink and Dizzy. I don't have the financial means to pay a couple of quid for an individual bead or the experience to use it to its full potential, so there you go that's pretty much the jist of it anyway.

I had planned on sitting down with the beads on the table trying to come up with ideas on how to use them when we got home, but another social gathering had been arranged and I didn't leave the pub till gone midnight - on a Monday night as well, shame on me, was great fun though and the kebab was amazing.

Saturday July 24th, 2010

In the past I have always stated that it would be the ultimate dream to make an item of jewellery that people would actually want to wear, so much so that they would be quite willing to pay for that pleasure. When I seriously got into the art of beading only several months ago such a chimera was at that time unattainable, laughable even almost like that of a silly childhood fantasy but whatever it was, it was certainly out of my reach.

But it was on Friday July 23rd when my perceived impossibility actually materialised. On this grey summers day in my native homeland of Bradford (I was there strictly to see family not the sights). At my mum's continual insistence I brought up a box of all my individual creations (that transpires as basically everything on my Flickr page). I remember feeling slightly reluctant to open up pandora's box and reaveal all to her expectant eyes for fear of mockery, laughter or even worse that look of disappointment, confronting my fears I took a very deep breath and waited.

I needn't have worried, for she loved the majority of them (not so keen on the gumball pieces). The relief was immense, turns out she liked them that much she took the charm bracelet, purple rosary beads and the chunky black & purple necklace to work show collegaues, they weren't with her when she returned. Yep, the lot had gone been snapped up straight away, I was dumbfounded; the necklaces sold for a fiver each and the bracelet eight quid. I was so chuffed it was unreal but that was only the beginning. That very same night there was a family gathering to celebrate my grandma & grandad's 50th wedding anniversary and my mum took out a further few bits and I left with a further £15 in return for my handmade crafts bringing the suntotal to a whopping £33. Now that may seem like nothing to the pro's but for an absolute novice it's pretty good not only for the wallet but my ego too.