Monday, July 06, 2015

Memory wire bracelet and matching earrings workshop

Workshop number 1 bangle and earrings.

Perfect for beginners - make this pretty memory wire bangle and matching earrings.

Lots of different colourways available.

Workshop cost £12 per person - includes materials and tuition. approximately 2 hours long.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beading circle

Today was the first meeting of my beading circle at the local Community centre.

I'd advertised it widely and 10 people said they'd be coming. However only 4 turned up (plus one who turned up as we were all packed up and leaving as they'd got the time wrong!)

I think the weather might have put some people off as it was dreadfully windy.

We had a lovely time talking about beading, however only one member had done any beading before the others all fancied giving it a try so I set everyone off making a simple memory wire wrap bracelet and a pair of matching earrings.

Everyone did really well and we all ended up wearing our makes. Heres Julie threading her beads on to the memory wire.

Sue planned her bracelet carefully by sorting out the beads and laying them out in the order she was going to use them.

Aided by a fortifyling cuppa Judy carefully planned her bead arrangement

Heres Sharon modelling her lovely green creation

Judy chose shades of brown

Sue made this pretty pink set

Next time, in a fortnight, by consultation we have chosen to bead weave a dainty daisy chain bracelet each, or if the ladies work as fast as they did today, we might even manage two each!

There were plenty of spare seats, so if you're in Darlington and would like to come along and join us on Tuesday 14th April at 10am you'll find us at Tennyson Gardens Community Centre, Darlington, DL1 5BJ. Or you can email me for more details

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bead circle

Having downloaded a blogger mobile app I'm having a go at posting a blog post on the move.  Here's my poster for the Beading group I'm starting in a lovely little community centre I found not far from where I live.  I'm hoping I haven't made a bit of a mistake starting it next week - I didn't realise it's half term!  I've had a lot of support but am understandably a little nervous as this is my 3rd attempt to set up a Beading circle and the previous 2 didn't get enough members to continue.  Wish me luck if you cant join me in person.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bead workshop

Here's a picture of the pink bracelet I made at the first beading workshop I held at home as a trial with one other person, two were supposed to be coming but one was sick and couldn't make it at the last minute, which was a little disappointing as I wanted to study the dynamics of teaching a couple of people at the same time.

Anyway, she seemed to really enjoy herself and as a raw beginner did really well - this is a great style of bracelet to be shown how to make as it looks so lavish and complex yet is really quite easy.

I made this one in pink which is nice and girly and frothy, I used vintage buttons as the clasps.

This picture shows the same style of bracelet in 3 different colourways, I can't really decide which ones my favourite - what's yours?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My favourite necklace

Although one thing which I would say most defines my jewellery is colour, probably my favourite ever necklace I made is this monochromatic beadwovenfreeformbrickstitch creation, which is the one which received the most compliments and comments. It was a bit of a challenge for me to work mainly in neutrals rather than the bright shades I'm used to but I managed to cram in as many shades and textures of black, white, grey, ivory, pearl, gold and bronze that I could find.

It has now gone to a loving new home to an owner who loved it so much she nearly made me cry with her generous praise and I must admit it looked sensational around her neck! It took me ages (and a few pricked fingers) to complete, but I think the end result justified the effort.

To make it, I began by making the first 5 (top row) full circle medallions, by brick stitching around a bead, then I stitched the 5 together, then began to work freeform brick stitch around them until it was the right size and made smaller brick stitch circles each one formed off the one before as the neck chain part. Its a really big bib style collar and a complete conversation piece - a real statement necklace. I am going to make another soon - just trying to decide what colours to use this time - any suggestions welcome.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Teal temptation freeform circular brick stitch bracelet

As I haven't been keeping up to date with my blog much lately I intend to blog about items I've made over the past year or so which got missed out, most of the ones I'll be featuring are still available for purchase if you like anything and want to buy it and its not currently in my Folksy shop leave a comment or email me.

First to be featured is this lovely freeform bracelet in shades of teal, turquoise, aqua, bronze and gold, stitched in circular brickstitch around larger beads it is perfect for anyone who doesn't like to wear any metal next to their delicate skin as it is created entirely from glass and acrylic beads and even the easy to fasten clasp is handwoven from beads.

Please leave me some feedback by adding a comment - I love to feel I'm not talking to myself!!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

New Year New start

I haven't posted on this, my craft blog for absolutely ages - 2013 wasn't a wonderful year for me I spent most of the year looking very hard for a part time job which would help to pay the mounting bills, not affect my existing health condition and allow me enough time to continue with my voluntary work and beading.

All I managed to get were several short term temp jobs, a couple of Receptionist jobs which I really enjoyed and felt confident and capable at but which were only for a week or two holiday cover, some exam invigilation but that was a day here and 2 days there, 2 temp office jobs which I was relieved when they ended as they seemed to expect far too much for what they were offering and the conditions were pretty awful. I ended the year on a real low, against my own better judgement I took on a temp Christmas job in a busy high street shop - I knew I'd struggle physically but didn't realise quite HOW much and after 3 weeks I had to admit defeat as I was unable to cope with the long hours on my feet, lots of bending and lifting, trying to climb ladders to reach stock on high shelves and 5 hours stints of continuous work without refreshment had me in a state of near collapse and complete exhaustion and pain.

However it did make me feel a bit of a failure. But it's a New Year now and I'm drawing a line under it and starting 2014 with some new plans. I'm going to be holding some beading workshops at home to begin with.

The first one will be held at my home, heres a copy of the details. You can contact me by email or by leaving a comment if you or anyone you know is interested. Please pass this on especially to anyone in the North East UK.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tenerife 2013

We've just returned from Tenerife tanned and relaxed, to the last of the snow, if we'd stayed away 2 more days we'd have successfully missed all of it - as it was our landing was scary as we had to circle for an hour while they ploughed us a runway and our drive home took 2 hours rather than the normal one as it was midnight and thick blizzard - no ploughs or gritters in sight very scary and hard to suddenly adapt to after 2 weeks in shorts.
We had a lovely holiday in Tenerife although the economic downturn was evident in lots of boarded up shops and closed down restaurants which looked just like here at home - a bit of a shock. We stayed in a nice apartment in a small very quiet residential area and without a car and very little spending money we amused ourselves by walking every inch of the 2 nice coastal nature reserves, between banana plantations and rocky coast, climbed a couple of dormant volcanoes and even scaled a sheer cliff path which everyone kept telling us was really difficult so we felt a huge sense of achievement. We were rather disappointed that the local bus service we had been told about wasn't very accessible as it was a workers' bus at 6 am ( a bit too early)  or 2pm a bit too late for a day out and if you missed it there was a 1 hour walk to and from the main road to the bus stop at the beginning and end of your day out if we hadn't loved hiking so much we'd have been stranded.
It was around a 3 hour walk across hills and up and down cliffs to the nearest bigger resorts of Los Cristianos and Las Galletas but we did walk to and back from both a couple of times.
We managed one coach trip we went on what they call a blanket tour where you get a coach trip that you'd normally pay around £35 to 50 Euros each for for just 10 Euros and they throw in a free lunch too! In return for this at the beginning of your tour you have to sit through an hour long demonstration of bedding products which they hope you'll buy but there's no hard sell or pressure and we had a fabulous day touring the pine forests, up past mount Teide and lots of different scenery which ended up with a trip on a Pirate boat with Sangria and the most amazing display from a pod of spotted dolphins. What a brilliant day out and all for just 10 Euros amazing value I'd highly recommend Miller travel tours to anyone going to the Canaries don't be put off by the demo its worth sitting through they looked after us every step of the way.
We also had a day out at the nearby Monkey Sanctuary which was a lovely day out too, we had heard a few mixed reports but as an ex RSPCA worker I was very impressed with the facilities and the animals all looked very happy, healthy and cared for and it was great to be able to handle the small monkeys and lemurs - although I did manage to get bitten by a ring tailed lemur - there's not many holidays where you can say that!
I'll update this with some photos very soon.
We didn't eat out often mainly self catered from the local supermarket enjoying eating simple meals on our sunny verandah but there was a great Chinese restaurant nearby where we had a couple of lovely meals and a Pastelaria/ cafe where we went most days for a coffee or ice cream and to use the free wifi as the wifi we were promised in our apartment didn't exist (neither did the dvd player/ Ipod dock and air conditioning !!)

Here are the parrots at the Monkey Park in Guaza

This is the naughty little Ring tailed lemur who bit my hand!

Brian feeding a little Monkey

And feeding a lemur

Me on one of our many walks in the nearby nature reserves

Up in the Mountains on our coach trip

Volcanic rock formations with Mount Teide (volcano) in background

Me on the boat trip just after we saw dolphins which were so swift and playful I didn't get any photos of them I was too entranced enjoying watching them.

The harbour at Los Cristianos

Brian after we climbed up from Los Cristanos to walk back to our resort

The view from the top of the cliff we climbed and our resort Palm Mar below

Me looking relieved we'd made it after our climb

Another path we liked to walk, the Guaza plateau with Teide in the distance

The cliff path from the pebble beach at Palm Mar

Monday, January 07, 2013

Granny Square fingerless mitts

I wanted to make something I could wear that was crocheted and as I can't yet follow a pattern I looked on the web for ideas for items to make from granny squares and came up with these pretty fingerless mitts/ wrist warmers - I'm very pleased with them. Of course I had a job photographing my own hands wearing them so here's a photo of me wearing one of them!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

One of my new years resolutions is to learn to crochet. Its eluded me for 56 years and with the help of a couple of tutorial videos on youtube I've cracked how to make a granny square already.
Trouble is I'm "hooked" and can't stop. I'm trying to scrounge odd leftover half balls of yarn off everyone I meet and have begun making a blanket for the back seat of my car already. Its not quite big enough yet but its rather pretty if I do say so myself.

This is the video that helped me learn click here to see it.