Monday 29 September 2008

A reminder and some news ....

Tomorrow (September 30th) is the last day of my charity fundraiser in conjunction with Beading Daily. So if you are interested but haven't had chance to download the pattern for my Ribbon Awareness Pins yet, there's not long left! Remember it's only $3 (approximately £1.50) and ALL funds raised go to charity. All the details can still be seen here.

Some of you know that my work is displayed at Studio 61, a gallery in the picturesque heart of the Derbyshire Peak District. This coming weekend they are holding a jewellery festival and I will be there along with other artists demonstrating our arts and crafts. This will be an informal event where you can meet and chat to the designers and watch them at work. There will also be an opportunity to buy work via the gallery and craft shop. There is an ice-cream parlour, an art cafe and FREE parking so it should be a great day out!

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Publications, profiles and patterns to purchase!

It's been less than a week since my last blog post, but I have more news to share!

Issue 12 of the UK magazine Bead is out! Can you believe that this magazine is now two years old? In this issue I have two projects - "Daisy Chain Necklace" and "Magic Carpet Pendant" and also a three page profile. I have been quite candid in this interview and so if you would like to learn about some of the fact behind the fiction (my life hasn't always been filled with flowers!) with lots of beady eye-candy thrown in, it's available now. This magazine is also available online - see here for details.

I also wanted to tell you that a selection of my patterns are now available to purchase via the Beading Daily online store. I have set up a new page on my website and added the relevant links - please feel free to browse. If you wish to find out more about any of the projects, such as materials, tools and techniques, simply click on the title of the project and you will be taken to the relevant page of the Beading Daily online store. If you then wish to purchase any of the projects, follow the links and the pattern will be delivered to you by electronic download - modern, simple and quick! Below are pictures of the projects currently available, but please bear in mind that these are my photos of my own work and that the colours may vary from those shown in the actual pattern. If you have any queries, please contact me via my website.

See you next week!

Friday 12 September 2008

Beading Hearts!

The Power of Beading Contest ends today (although you can still buy the pattern for my Awareness Pins here with all monies raised until September 30th going to charity) so it's time for a fresh start and a new project, although this one is also for charity.

Some of my fellow Etsy BeadWeavers team members have volunteered to take part in Jeanette Shanigan's 2009 Breast Cancer Donation Project - "Bead artists have the heart to take on breast cancer". Each year a theme is set, this time it's hearts, in 2007 it was butterflies and the 2008 theme was roses. Jeanette collects all donated beaded squares and stitches them into quilts which are then auctioned off at the Bead & Button show to raise money for charity.

I have spent the last week making four squares to donate to this wonderful project and it has been a lot of fun as well as a personal challenge. I started out by mulling over various heart related proverbs and sayings to see what images they would conjure up in my mind. When I began to think about it, I was amazed by just how many heart clich├ęs there are, but I settled on three and set about experimenting with stitches to see which ones would be most suitable - I wanted each square to be different and have it's own little theme. I was only going to make three squares, but then I had another idea and made a fourth square "United Hearts" with a red and white heart on a blue background symbolizing 'the pond'!

I have never had to restrict the size of my beadwork before and as the rules state that each square must only be 1½ inches by 1½ inches, it took me quite a while to get the bead count of each square exactly right. The finished squares also have to be stitched to interfacing, ready to be sewn up into a quilt and this was the part I found most challenging as 'normal' sewing is beyond me - let's just say, you don't want to see the back of my squares!

So here they are shown from the top in the order that I made them; Ace of Hearts using Square stitch, Look into your Heart using Herringbone and a small acrylic mirror, Hearts and Flowers using two-drop Brick stitch, size 15 seed beads and a freshwater pearl and United Hearts using three-drop Brick stitch with a Square stitch heart attached.

Although it will be some time yet, I look forward to seeing the finished quilts and I hope they raise a substantial amount of money for the designated charities. In the meantime, I would love to hear what you think about my squares.