Saturday, 22 February 2014

Prima product of the month - January/February!

Hello everyone!

It's the Prima Bead product of the month time again and this time the members of the blogging team were asked to become 'guest designers' and imagine that we were writing a project for their catalogue. Each member of the team was sent a couple of toggle clasps, some bicone mirror beads, a pack of crimp beads and a reel of elastic but we were also told that we could incorporate other Prima Bead products that we have previously been sent. As soon as I saw that my bicone mirror beads were red and black I thought of my visits to Spain and words like 'flamenco' and 'pasodoble' started to echo in my mind. Then, when I saw that one of the toggle clasps was a hammered silver circle with a round hole in it - a plan began to take shape. Rather than use the toggle as a clasp I only used half of it and turned it into a brooch/pin which I have called Ojo Del Toro, which I am hoping means eye of the bull. The finished piece represents the eye of the bull in a bullfight with the red and black lances piercing the skin, but before anyone starts writing to me, please note that this is a symbolic piece and does not in any way mean that I support bullfighting!

I will be submitting the PDF of my instructions to Prima Bead, but to make this pin I took the silver hammered toggle and glued a brooch pin to the back of the toggle on the widest part.

Next I took some head pins from a findings starter pack and threaded the bicones onto them before turning a loop at the top. Then using the jump rings from the starter pack I suspended the bicone 'lances' from the 'eye' so that they dangle and dance at the base of the brooch.

That's it for this time but I'll be back soon with more beady news. In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know what you think of Ojo Del Toro.

Bye for now!


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Pellet Stars!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick post today to let you know that the instructions for another piece I made using Preciosa Ornela's Pellet™ beads have been published in issue 8 of Digital Beading Magazine. This time it is the quick and easy Pellet Stars bracelet and earrings set. I mixed opaque blue Pellets with silver seed beads to make a summery looking set but you can create a very different look using other colour combinations - I haven't taken any photos but I made myself a pair of earrings using olive Pellets mixed with gold seed beads and they are my new favourite ear decoration!

This bracelet also features in a full page Preciosa advert in the current issue of Bead Style magazine and Digital Beading Magazine. If you are looking for Pellet beads you can find them at Kandra's Beads and Robin's Beads as well as other stockists of Preciosa beads.

There are two more Pellet projects waiting in the wings; one in an upcoming issue of Bead & Button magazine and another which will be a free project with Preciosa. So, if you are looking for ways to use this fun new bead shape, be sure to complete the 'Follow by Email' box at the top of my blog so that you don't miss any news.

See you next time!


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Marcia DeCoster Presents ...

Hello everyone!

Do you remember back in October of last year when I was lucky enough to spend the day with Marcia DeCoster? Besides wanting to meet her to see her beautifully intricate work 'up close and personal' and to thank her for years of encouragement and support, I also wanted to thank her for including me in her new book Marcia DeCoster Presents: Interviews with 30 Beaders on Inspiration & Technique. As we sipped tea and stroked each other's beadwork, we talked about our love of the Internet and how it has helped so many beaders from around the world connect with each other giving us the opportunity to share work and ideas, congratulate each other on successes, pull each other through the hard times and form lasting friendships even though we may never have met in person. The network that bonds the worldwide beading community is one of the primary ideas behind Marcia's new book and I am hugely grateful to be a part of this.

The '30 Beaders' are from all over the world (from the United States, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Singapore and more) and each has their own style of beadwork from cute beaded critters to elaborate embroidered collars and everything in between. There are no instructions in this book, it is a book filled with pictures of gorgeous beadwork designed to fill you with admiration and inspiration, a book to make you oooh and ahhh as you turn each page. Marcia has also asked each artist a set of interview questions about materials, techniques, design ideas and aspirations and she has also included a special question that is unique to each person. Even if I were not fortunate enough to be included in this collection I can hand on heart say that I would still want it to be on my bookshelf - it is a simply beautiful book.

Thank you Marcia!