Beadtopia Gallery

Saturday 11 February 2012

Vintage Glass, lots of it !
I've often thought my fascination with glass started at a young age whilst playing with my Nan's dressing table set. A beautiful Art Nouvea style green set with butterflies for handles, you might just see it above as I inherited it when she passed away.
The green set followed me from house to house and then my mother in law one day produced her Mother in Law's set a perfectly preserved blue one which had sadly been sat in the loft. So for a long time the two sat together happily.
Then the most successful Car Boot Fair trip of my life (in fact my only successful trip!) the pink set, again perfect, no chips being sold for £1. Of course I couldn't pass it up, so now I am starting to look like a collector and my hubby buys me a smokey grey one off ebay for a wedding anniversary, then my mother in law strikes again and finds me an amber one in a local second hand shop.
So at this point I have to call time as my dressing table is full, albeit with beautiful sentimental glass. And the dusting is never ending, so here it all is together having a bit of a spruce up in the dishwasher. A good opportunity to snap it all together and put something sparkly on my blog.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Mmmm sounds yummy

I will be having a stall here on the 4th December, it isn't far from home so no early morning thankfully. I'm hoping the weather will be a bit better than last year as I remember slipping about on the packed down snow with all my boxes full of goodies.
Of course the real draw for me this year and I hope for other people is that there will be a pop up vintage tea room. Just perfect for when you've done all your handmade and upcylced Christmas shopping a Great British cuppa and a peice of cake YUM !

Monday 26 September 2011

Inspiring Inspirals

I recently upgraded to a dual fuel lampworking torch and the added heat has given me some lovely options.
This style of bead is generally called a "gravity" bead as you allow gravity some leeway to drag the design down before righting the bead to restore its symmetry. I was fossil hunting in Whitby with some success and it was the little ammonites that made me think of trying this out. I'm calling them my Inspirals and I've got at least 3 colour combos so far.
I particularly love the orange and yellow variety above as they show up the effect really well. There is only one I try out a new style now or just carry on with more and more colours !!

Sunday 7 August 2011

I've been taking silversmithing lessons and decided it would be a good idea to make my Mum a ring for her 70th birthday. Being a novice I really hadn't anticipated just how much work would be involved.

With a week to go I had to take a day off work and throw everything at it just to be in with a chance of turning up to the party with something to offer. With lots of help and a very bad back I managed to pull it off and was very pleased with the result.

Next time I won't give myself such a tight deadline, after all I am supposed to be enjoying it !

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Self Indulgence Pays Off

I made this bracelet without thinking about anything other than the colours and things I like. It's an eclectic mix of buttons, crystals, lampwork and copper hearts. I had in mind that it was a piece only a "mother" could love and after a few outings it would stay with me forever. Couldn't have been more wrong, at a recent Christmas Fair it was the bell of the ball and was snaffled up by a very appreciative customer (or more accurately her Father under strict orders to buy !).
I waved a fond farewell and thought maybe I should do more of this following your instinct thing, make what you love if it sells great if not keep it. You made it with yourself in mind anyway.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Evergreen - Bottles to Beads

I've been promising myself that I would put my collection of wine bottles to good use. After some research I worked out the best way to make the bottles usable for lampworking and then away I went.

My tool kit now includes a large hammer and an old towel to wrap the bottles in while I give them hell. There's nothing like a bit of smashing to release the tensions of the week. If I'm lucky (and there aren't too many pent up frustrations !) I end up with strips of glass that I can put in the flame.

Bottle glass has a lower COE than the soft glass that I normally use so the whole melting process is a slower one. So plenty of time to relax after all that hammer wielding activity.

As green is my only colour choice I decided I would etch some of the beads to add variety and I'm very pleased with the sea glass look this gives.

So here starts my recycled range "Evergreen" , the whole process is great therapy and I don't have to feel guilty about polishing off another bottle !!

Saturday 14 August 2010

What can Mary Portas do for the Handmade Industry ?

Handmade Needs You!

I've added a link here and at the bottom of the page to a new campaign to get Mary Portas to help the UK handmade industry. Wow what a challenge ! Far from being one shop concentrating on certain products the UK handmade arena has a huge variety of products arising from a massive array of skills. But the number of people who aren't content to simply take what the High Street offers them is growing daily.

However the majority have no idea that they can have beautiful, quality, one of a kind or even bespoke products without the branding and mass marketing.
Hand made products are made by individuals for individuals, now to get the message out to each and every individual ! Come on Mary we need you.

Sunday 8 August 2010

A New Angle

I'm a beggar for spending hours on the internet trying to find just the right toggle or chain or clasp. Here's where I start putting all that time to good use. I've opened yet another online shop .
I'm quiet proud of this play on words (I must get out more!) So now I am spending many happy hours (and I mean hours if not whole days) getting up close to jumprings and toggles and taking numerous photos which then need cropping and so on and so on.
It really isn't work if you love what you are doing, or so I read somewhere. Lets hope I find my own Beadtopia !

Saturday 19 June 2010

Fusing - Something Square for a Change

I recently treated myself to a glass fusing for jewellery course at Pearsons Glass in Liverpool. It seemed to take forever to come around as I booked it months ago. The course was really enjoyable, we were a small group so you could ask questions and get help with the tricky bits. I had tried to cut glass at home with little success but the tutor gave me a few pointers and suddenly it was easy (ish).

I now have numerous glass pendants that I love to wear and some less succesful blobs of glass which I am sure I will find a use for some day. The most surprising thing about the day though was seeing my high school Metalwork teacher waiting to take the course alongside me when I arrived !! I'm not sure if this made him feel old ( I imagine he sees ex-pupils all the time) but it certainly made me feel old as we could have easily been taken for the same age. Either he's had a charmed life or I've had a hard one !

When I arranged my bits of glass I had in mind some cufflinks for my Son using copper oxide powder to create bubbles and a blueish tinge. I've posted this photo as they turned out just as I planned and he loves them.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Something to Talk About

This blog has been in "development" for some time. Mainly because I find it hard to imagine anyone would want read what comes out of my head.

So to start with I thought I would let the pictures do the talking and have posted a gallery here for anyone with a spare moment to peruse.

I'm planning to write a little about my foray into fusing but this will require some good photos so bear with me.