Friday, 14 February 2014

Beading and Storms

It’s been so long and I’ve been so busy posting about our etsy All Handmade by Me Team shop of the week, that I’ve neglected to tell you what’s been going on here too.

So here’s a short (hopefully) catch-up for you.

I’ve been busy with tutorials, as I want to eventually get them together in a single book, hopefully self-
publishing either through Amazon or Lulu. First I need to have enough projects to put into said book.
So, first of all I had a look through some of the beading books I already have, written by others, and took some inspiration for a new design of pendant, based on an existing design by Diane Fitzgerald in her ‘Shaped Beadwork’ book. I fully adapted that design and shape to use Super Duo beads and pearls, and this is the result, the Regal pendant.

Then I sat for a while staring at these pendants, wondering if I could make a bangle using the same design, as it is stiff enough to hold up without a clasp, yet flexible enough to be able to get over the hand. (Have you ladies with larger hands ever nearly dislocated a thumb trying to
squeeze solid bangles over it?) I began work right away, knowing it would have to be done in sections to provide the right angles. So I made small sections to experiment with the angle between each section. Then I wondered about the size. Well my partner has a resin bangle mold…perfect! So I played around with the size of each section, and lady luck smiled on me, I got it right first time.  So now we have the Regal Bangle to go with the pendant.

I began chatting to a customer in my jewellery shop, she wanted some custom orders, and had ordered a pair of the leaf earrings in her own colours, (bronze and cream). She asked if I made any shell
shapes. So again my designer brain started ticking over, and a sleepless night later, I jotted down a possibility, and fell asleep. In the next afternoon, I looked again at my rough sketch and worked out if it could be done, and set to work. In just over an hour I had a new bracelet. The Cascara Bracelet. According to google translate, cascara means shell in Spanish. I thought it sounded rather nice.

Then my lovely customer, who bought one, asked about a pair of earrings, no longer than the leaf earrings she had, but nice and dainty that would go with the bracelet. I came up with these…the Cascara Earrings. These are so quick and easy to make up, and they really are very pretty.

A few days ago a lovely lady who bought two of my tutorials, the Cascara Bracelet and the Star Flower Pendant, combined the two to make this beautiful necklace, which she sent a photo of, and kindly let me us it. Isn’t it exquisite? I love what she has done with the two patterns, and the alternating pearls. I just love it, and feel so honoured that my designs gave her inspiration. What a compliment!

If you would like one of my tutorials, you can find them here

I have to mention at this point the number of people experiencing flooding from this current conveyor belt of storms we’ve been experiencing here in the UK since December. The rivers are full to bursting, some already have, great swathes of prime agricultural land is under water in Somerset, hundreds of homes flooded near the Thames, today the river Itchen in Hampshire has burst it’s banks, and the river Test, which is where my maternal family come from, is about to do so, the armed forces are out in

Photo courtesy of ITV News
numbers helping with sandbagging, evacuation, shopping and generally helping wherever they can, and we are about to feel the full force of yet another storm any moment. Currently as I write it’s pouring with rain, and with the run-off from the surrounding land, and overflow from already full underground aquifers, there are going to be many more areas suffering in the next week or so, even if we get some respite from these storms. Out shopping this morning I chatted to a lot of people and we all feel so very lucky here in Norwich that we haven’t suffered the same fate, being a known wetland and low-lying farming county. As my butcher said, that’s the useful think about living in the middle of the North Sea at times like this, unless our weather is coming from Siberia, then we’re the first to get it.

My heart goes out to all the people affected by these floods, in any way, I cannot imagine what it’s like to have your home filling up with dirty sewage filled water, and I hope and pray that we get a long enough dry spell in the weather to allow water levels to go back to normal.

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