Monday, 25 November 2013

Prima product of the month - November/December!

Hello everyone!

As we are all busy bees and as the end of the year is approaching, Prima Bead combined the November and December assignments and sent each member of the blogging team similar items, asking us to make something to wear to an imaginary New Year's Eve party. I was really looking forward to getting my teeth into this one as my mind was full of ideas when I first opened the box and saw lots of gorgeous items from the Jewelry Basics range. However, unfortunately I have a little family crisis on my hands at the moment and although I don't want this to prevent me from fulfilling my beady commitments, I have had to scale down my plans and just make a couple of items rather than the elaborate party wear I had intended. Nearly all of the items I received from Prima were a mix of classic black and silver including a very long strand of lovely black glass pearls so first of all I mixed the pearls with some black rondelles to whip up a quick and easy cocktail ring:

A few days before this I had been busy writing up the instructions for my Twin™ bead lariat and as the pattern was still fresh in my mind, I decided to make another one of the flowers using black Twin beads and suspend it from a strung necklace of the black glass pearls interspersed with sterling silver beads. I have recently begun working with A Grain Of Sand and I will be incorporating some of their stunning clasps in my work and I thought this black and silver clasp finished off the new necklace perfectly.

And finally, just because I couldn't resist  the elegant simplicity of it (and you know me and ribbon!) I added this lovely little metal bow to a length of black ribbon to make an easy wrist corsage.

I will have lots of other things to show you before the end of the year (crisis permitting!) but this is the last 'Prima product of the month' post for 2013. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with Prima and I can't wait to see what the team receives in January.

See you next time!


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Catching the 94050 to who knows where ...!

Hello everyone!

I think you know by now that I am a big fan of making the most of the technological age that we live in: I Pin, I blog, I Tweet, I Facebook, I'm LinkedIn and I put my photos in the bucket. My computer enables me to do all of the above as well as connect with beaders around the world, share photos, order beads, write tutorials and it emails patterns to my customers whether they live in Guadeloupe or Tasmania or virtually everywhere in between. I am truly grateful for having these opportunities at my fingertips and I love that the beading world has no real boundaries which is why I enjoy it when beads go on a journey:-

This story starts with these gorgeous striped seed beads from Preciosa Ornela which were made in the Czech Republic. Remember those beautiful shade number 94050 beads that I fell in love with earlier this year? If you read their description of 'brown with a black and white stripe' you may never look at them twice and although these have an AB finish, they still hide their beauty when they are packed tightly together in their bags - but take a look what happens when they are set free!

Although these beads already have a long and interesting story of their own, the next chapter saw them sent to me in England. At first I just opened the bags and marvelled at their glossy beauty, mesmerised by the rich colours and flashes of gold with visions of faraway spice markets, ripe juicy berries and exotic blooms filling my mind. And then I got out my Fireline and wove them together.

The finished pieces were then returned to Preciosa in the Czech Republic where they were professionally photographed and shown on Preciosa's website and Flickr page before being sent back to England.

The next instalment saw the two pieces temporarily separated and the Pinstriped Petals went to discover the delights of Australia and to be photographed for Digital Beading Magazine. If you would like to purchase the pattern for this design, it is available in issue 6 of the magazine.

The little Flower Slides on their burgundy ribbon, flew in the opposite direction to the USA where they were photographed by Bead & Button magazine and the pattern for this is now available as a free download.

These particular travelling 94050's will soon be making their way back to England again as their work in spreading the word about their beauty is done. But I still have lots more waiting to be woven and with the world at my fingertips, who knows where they will go ...

See you next time!


Friday, 1 November 2013

Prima product of the month - October!

Hello everyone!

Yes it's time for my fourth Prima product of the month post. You may remember that for our first assignment everyone in the group was asked to create something using items from the Stainless Steel Elegance collection, the second challenge involved Prima's Kumihimo range and last month we were all sent 'Tis the Season products. This month was a bit different as all the team members were sent a fun questionnaire to enable the folks at Prima to hand pick our October products and tailor them more towards our likes and strengths. It will come as no surprise  to you to learn that I may have mentioned 'beads' once or twice in my answers and so when my box arrived I was pleased to see that it contained lots of seed beads together with a few sweet little charms and some unusual black findings. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first three challenges, I had to brush up on some almost forgotten techniques and learn some new ones in order to keep up, so it was nice just to be able to bead this time. Apart from the beautiful colours of seed beads, the first thing that caught my eye was a little seahorse charm and so I mixed it with some silver-lined teal seed beads from Prima and added a few pearls from my stash and a little piece of cream organza ribbon to create 'The Mermaid's Assistant'. I intended this to be a whimsical little item that you could hang in a window, or perhaps on the rear-view mirror of a car, as the seaweed drapes beautifully around the seahorse's head and the little basket of pearls swings freely from the tail, but you could always add a chain and wear it as a necklace.

Next I pulled a hank of pre-strung seed beads out of the box. These were already nicely arranged in sections of two different coloured pinks with purple and they would look great simply strung as they were, but instead I took my scissors to the strands and separated the beads into piles of the same colour. Then I brick stitched three little hearts and added a connector to the front of each one to create Love, Faith and Hope Pins.

By then the end of the month deadline was approaching but I wanted to make sure that I used those black findings in something. So I quickly whipped up a couple of little herringbone flowers with the black seed beads Prima sent me, added a red crystal to the tip of each one as a contrast and hung them from black jump rings and earwires. I just had enough time left to make a matching bracelet by attaching a smaller flower to a length of black chain. I then added a clasp and lots of decorative dangles made from the head pins, jump rings and the remaining crystals and seed beads to make Fiery Nights bracelet and earrings set.

So that's it for another month! I have no idea what the 'product of the month' will be for November but Prima Bead has a huge range of products so let's wait and see!

See you next time!