Thursday 29 May 2008

Sun, sea and .... flowers!

Well I had another lovely Bank Holiday weekend and this time I spent it down on Romney Marsh which is where I grew up and where my parents still live. The weather was perfect and as you can see from the photo below, the sea was a gorgeous turquoise colour instead of the usual shade of murky brown! We had a lovely walk along the coast and spend most of the weekend outdoors, just as well we made the most of it as it's hardly stopped raining since we got home!

For the last couple of days I have been experimenting with beading lots of tiny flowers - most of them are less than 2cm(3/4 of an inch) across and are quite fiddly to make. I've used seed beads for some, cylinder beads for others and varied the shapes, sizes and colours. A few have crystal middles, some have silver bead middles, others have tiny rice pearl centres and some are still a 'work in progress' as you can see from the photo. They are very simple flowers but I have several projects in mind for these so I am spending time on them now to get the 'look' right for what I have planned.

I've also turned two silver flowers into a pair of earrings today for a birthday present. These are made with silver-lined Delicas and have a sterling silver frosted bead centre which I have had for ages and have only just got round to using. I've made the earwires too, although I'm not great at wirework (more practice needed I think!) I think the simplicity of these long sterling wires adds to the whole overall effect of 'purity' that I was trying to achieve - I like them ... I think I might even make a pair for myself!

Wednesday 21 May 2008

A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go!

Yes the latest issue of the UK magazine Bead is out and the second of my series of pendants, Frog Pendant, is one of the projects in there. This one is worked in Peyote stitch using a beautiful shade of green cylinder beads with an AB (Aurora Borealis) finish which gives them that 'glittering lake' look - well to me anyway! This little pendant, complete with pink lily and golden frog is actually part of a set I made called 'Lilies on the lake' - some magical moments spent in King Gardens in Phuket (during what I can only now describe as 'a former life') inspired me to create this.

Don't forget everyone - if you follow this pattern you are welcome to send me a picture of your work and I will gladly add it to my 'Readers gallery of work' The final pendant in the series, Dragonfly Pendant will be in Bead issue 11.

What else has happened during this past week? Oh yes, I received my lovely new SRAJD logo (Self-Representing Artist Jewelery Designer) which I am proudly displaying here on my blog and also on my website. See here for an explanation of the scheme.

I have also become a member of the Etsy Beadweavers Team recently and I am very pleased to be a part of this team as it is proving to be a fantastically talented and supportive group of people. I was fortunate to have my Foxglove Trio necklace included in another Etsy treasury a few days ago, which solely featured some of the members work. Although it has expired now, I have included a picture below as I think it is one of the prettiest treasuries I have seen so far - although obviously I am slightly biased ;-)

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Readers gallery of work.

Ever since January of this year, when my first design was published in Bead magazine, I have been receiving e-mails from readers regarding my designs. Some people have even kindly sent me pictures of their completed work using my patterns. I really love to receive comments and feedback and I especially enjoy seeing other peoples versions of my designs. So I thought rather than leave these wonderful pictures hidden amongst my computer files, it might be nice to create a gallery of readers work - and that is exactly what I have done!
I have created a sub-page on my website that is annexed to my 'Published work' page and is called 'Readers gallery of work' - there is also a link to it on my blog at the top of the side bar.

The beautiful set pictured above was beaded by June Josten who cleverly adapted the Floral Fantasy pattern in Bead & Button and created a matching bracelet and earrings!
So, I would like to invite anyone who has created a piece of beadwork based on one of my published patterns to submit a picture of it (together with your name and blog/website address if applicable) and I will gladly include it in my new gallery. It doesn't matter if your version follows the pattern exactly or if you have adapted the pattern or the colour, whether you are an experienced beader or a beginner. There is no contest here, I just thought it might be a fun thing to do and also a way to get your work seen if you do not already have a website or blog.
The designs that have been published so far are Cufflinks - Floral Fantasy - Supernova Choker and Butterfly Pendant with lots more to come!

Cufflinks by Alison Inglis of BeaDangles Jewellery.
This might be a good place to add a note on copyright too! These patterns have been published in magazines, so obviously I am happy to share my knowledge and designs with you - but please note that these designs are for your personal use only and should not be sold or taught without my prior permission ... thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

A colourful weekend.

Typically, it's a gloriously sunny day here today - because of course YESTERDAY was Bank Holiday Monday! To be honest, it wasn't really that bad, it rained in the morning but the sun did come out in the afternoon - but in true British spirit we made the most of the three day weekend and got out and about even in the rain. I'm so glad we did too, because everywhere is looking beautiful at the moment - everyone's gardens are brimming over with blossom, the fields are a patchwork of green and acid yellow from the oil seed rape and the woods are filled with bluebells, anemone and celandine and yes - I want to bead them all!

I took a few pictures to show you, although they are not as bright as they could be because of the weather - this first one for example was taken in the rain - but just look how bright the yellow of the rape is against the oak tree in the middle and the dull sky!

This field was on one side of the lane and the woodland with a carpet of bluebells was on the other side. The air was filled with the beautiful scent of the bluebells and the peppery smell of the rape flower. Again, the picture is not as bright as it could be as it was raining when I took this - it doesn't do the bluebells justice but you can see what a gorgeous bright green the young leaves on the trees are.

Also our ornamental cherry tree 'Kanzan' is in full bloom at the bottom of our garden and I'm so pleased that the rain hasn't been too heavy so the blossom is still looking beautiful - it's an absolute delight for just 1 week out of 52 and it's so sad when it doesn't have the chance to shine!

So now it's back to work and I'm off out into the garden to find a shady spot to finish my dragon ready to send off to Bead & Button for their October issue - hardly seems like work does it!