Monday, 6 December 2010

A Weekend of Ups and Downs

I realised I haven't blogged for almost a fortnight now, so I thought I would write a little update about the ups and downs of my weekend.

 On Saturday, with my bag laden with lots of mini kits of seed beads and crystals, pliers, needles and thread and a wad of printed instruction sheets, I headed off to the Chelsea Town Hall for the We Make Fair where I was due to be running a beadwoven snowflake workshop.

After getting off the tube at Sloane Square, just as I spotted the hall up ahead, I reached round to take my phone out to check the time as I'd not put my watch on that morning...only to find the zipper pocket on my rucksack undone and my mobile phone nowhere to be seen! In a fluster I marched back along the Kings Road as quickly as possible scanning the ground in case I had somehow managed to drop it and asked at the tube station if anyone had handed it in to no avail. I headed back to the fair, all of a fluster and quite upset at the thought that someone had probably opened my bag on purpose and stolen the phone.

Thankfully, there are some nice people out there, and Mary, one of the We Make organisers was very kind and helped me try ringing my phone and then get in touch with my mobile phone company to get the sim card and phone blocked so noone could run up a huge bill on my contract. However, I was still really rather upset and so most people passed by the sad and distracted looking girl sitting at the workshop table. I had a few people compliment me on the snowflakes, but no interest in anyone wanting to make their own. I think this was down to a combination of me not being in the best frame of mind to be drumming up interest, plus that people were either at the fair merely to browse or to purchase something ready made for themselves or as a Christmas gift. I am still grateful for Mary at We Make for giving me the chance to do the workshop, but I think Saturday was just not my day! Fortunately I have phone insurance and should have a new one on its way very soon.

But, on a more positive note, my Folksy shop has been having a flurry of sales in the last few days. Two Dazzling Daisy necklaces have been snapped up and my Ice Queen bracelet has also found a new home and is off to be a Christmas gift. Plus an extended family member was told about my website by my mum (who needs Twitter/Facebook etc to promote when you have your mum to tell everyone your work is lovely?!) and bought my Heart's Desire bracelet as a present for a friend.

There's still plenty of time to have a look at my shop and pick out a handmade Christmas gift for someone special. I have several more Dazzling Daisy necklaces listed (and I am always willing to make up a custom pendant in a colourway of your choice) and plenty of earrings which make perfect stocking filler gifts - all earrings in my shop are currently part of a special pre-Christmas offer of 3 pairs for £10.

                                         Dazzling Daisy pendant in the rainbow crystal colourway

                                           'In Bloom' bracelet in deep metallic blue

                                          Frosted silver flower burst earrings

                                           Jet Black 'Falling Star' earrings

Hope everyone is doing alright with their Christmas shopping...I still have a fair bit to do, plus several gifts to handmake.


Nicole x

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Beadwoven Snowflake Workshop Announcement!

I have been very excited about this opportunity, but have been refraining from announcing it in case anything went awry. Now, the information has been official posted I am happy to announce that I will be teaching a beadweaving workshop at the We Make London Christmas Fair!

Between 1pm and 3pm I will be teaching you how to make gorgeous beadwoven snowflakes - which can either be used as Christmas tree decorations, or worn as a festive necklace pendant.

I'm really excited about this workshop - they make look intricate, but these snowflakes are really rather simple to make. All materials, tools and a handout with helpful diagrams will be provided, but I will be on hand to help you create your snowflake too.

So if you are looking for something Christmassy to do on the 4th December in London, please come along. The fair is open from 11-5pm and as well as workshops there will also be lots of stalls selling gorgeous handmade items (perfect for giving as gifts!) and even a live choir to really get you into the festive spirit.

For more details about the event, go check out the We Make London blog here.

I have also been gradually adding lots of new jewellery pieces to my Folksy shop, and there are still more to come (plus I am always willing to do custom orders) so if you've started your Christmas shopping (or want to treat yourself ;-) ) then head over to my shop here. Below are just a few of the new pieces I've been busily listing.



Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Earrings, earrings, everywhere...yes, it's craft fair time!

Remember that copper earring display stand I bought at the Big Bead Show? Well, I spent much of my Sunday and yesterday evening working on trying to fill it with earrings! The reason being, I taking Hollybird Beads off to it's first craft fair on the 20th November, so I every spare minute I have in the next 2 weeks is being spent beading so I don't end up with an empty looking stall. If anyone is local to North London and fancies visiting the fair, you can find all the details here.

Here's a sample of the earrings I've been making the last few days.

I still have one more row of the stand to fill up though, so I will be making more earrings tonight whilst I enjoy the second episode of Kirstie's Handmade Home.

For a bit of a break from earrings I also made up another snowflake - but I attached some ribbon to this one so it can be used as a Christmas tree decoration.

Think I will have to make up a couple more to go on the silvery tree I bought from Paperchase last year. I also hope to bring you some exciting news about these snowflakes this week - so keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks for reading


Friday, 5 November 2010

Folksy Friday...piggie in the middle

I do love pigs...and since me and my bf have been exchanging emails this week mostly featuring youtube videos of some ultra cute micro pigs, I have decided to make them the theme for my Folksy Friday post this week.

Dottie Doodle Keleasel
Toucan Ceramics Quernus Crafts
PrettyRosie PuzzlesinWood

1.) I love this little piggie soft toy from Dottie Doodle - lovely chocolate brown patterned  cord-type fabric with bright pink ears and a nose you just want to squish
2.) This pig cushion by Keleasel has a wonderful abstract quality and also looks like it would be nice to snuggle into on your sofa
3.) I really like the unusual pose of this ceramic piggie by Toucan Ceramics - and his adorable black eye patch too

4.) This mini pigling polymer clay creations from Quernus Crafts are incredibly sweet - I'd love to have a whole row of them living on the mantlepiece in my bedroom
5.) This decoupage style pig created by PrettyRose by Roosmarie reminds me of making papier-mache money boxes at school, but this one has way more finesse than we had slapping paper onto a balloon. I love this piggie's turquoise snout too ( I actually think I bucked the trend of doing pigs and made a whale instead!)
6.) I have always enjoyed puzzles so this one of a pot bellied pig by Puzzles In Wood really floats my boat - plus it would look lovely as a stand alone ornament.

Monday, 1 November 2010

The Big Bead Show

Sandown Racecourse was the setting once again for The Big Bead Show on Saturday...and being a lover of all things beady, naturally I had to pop along to see what was on offer. I couldn't make the previous one in April, but I was pleased to see that there were as many, if not more, stands than there had been at the October 2009 show, all jam packed with beads, findings, tools, book, kits and anything else you could think of related to jewellery making.

There were also the British Bead Awards finalists to go and coo over - I was particularly impressed by the geometric necklace in the seed bead category which had made fantastic use of bugle beads (which I am always ultra scared to use incase they manage to slice through my fireline!).

So, I hear you ask, what did I buy?

Some faux suede thongs in shades of dark forest green, purple and silvery grey....

An earring display stand which will come in very handy for the craft fair I am having a stall at in November...

I treated myself to a couple of strands of semi-precious beads - these ones are a kind of agate with a gorgeous frosted/matt appearance...

And some more faceted agate rounds...the camera doesn't do these justice as in real life they are a gorgeous deep purple, but this photo makes them look black.

I'm all about embellishment and fringing at the moment so I had to buy these gorgeous crystal rounds and bicones...and some more tiny glass hearts too.


I also bought a bumper pack of silver-lined size 8s and 3mm fire-polished crystals for a potential exciting project I may have coming up...will post more details when I know that things are definitely going to happen as I don't want to jinx it!

With the craft fair in mind, I also bought a few jewellery boxes to display some of my pieces in on my stall.

And finally, these flower findings caught my eye - I think they could work well with my daisy motifs - and whilst I was browsing the same stall I also spotted these tiny glass flowers to add to my flower bead collection.

So that's my purchases accounted for...all I have to do now is find time to bead so I can fill that earring stand come the end of this month!

Thanks for reading

N :)

Friday, 29 October 2010

I am bad blogger...update and a Folksy Friday in one!

The blog has been a bit neglected in the last few weeks...naughty me! Alas real life has been keeping me super busy what with hen parties, work, birthdays etc, so I have quite a few bits and bobs to post, as well as a Folksy Friday post too.

I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace on the 8th October. Having never been before I was amazed at just how many stalls and stands there were, all full to bursting with yarn, fabric, cross stitch, beads and much much more i.e. heaven! Here's a pic of my purchases from the day.

My little stash includes a ribbon pine cone christmas decoration kit and some 2.75mm circular needles for having a go at knitting a sock in the round on circulars (because dpns just hate me!) as well as some bright and cheerful Regia sock yarn to practice with. As you can see I'm almost done on sock number one - it's not the neatest sock in the work because I was just getting the hang of it, but I really like this way off knitting in the round so I'll definitely be on the look out for some nice sock yarn for my next pair. I also couldn't resisit buying a beadweaving pattern from Heather Kingsley-Heath's beautiful stall - I was very tempted by her Albion stitch books too but they might have to go on my Christmas list instead! My only other purchase of the day was another 2 balls of Sirdar's Indie yarn to finish off the Florence waistcoat pattern I have been knitting out of a recent copy of Let's Knit magazine. Here's the finished piece....quite proud of it, though it could probably do with a bit of blocking - the yarn is lovely and soft though and was really good to knit with.

There have been a few new items listed in my Folksy shop in the last week or so. These include a simple, yet, sophisticated spiral rope bracelet featuring some lovely bright violet silver-lined seed beads and one of my floral bouquet cuffs in a "glittering gunmetal" colourway, which I would love to keep for myself (even though I already have one of these bracelets which is mine!).

And finally, there's time to squeeze in a Folksy Friday post for today too - the theme for this one is 'favourites,' so I have been having a look back at some of the (many!) items I have favourited on Folksy to put together this selection.

Cherryloco Jewellery Nanuk Jewellery
Ali Bali Jewellery Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics
La Belle et la Bete Abstract Cat Crafts

1.) I love the cute whimsy of this necklace by Cherryloco Jewellery with the bunny chasing after a strand of carrots.
2.) This dreamy cluster necklace from Nanuk jewellery features some beautiful paua shell as well as a silver clay dragon which I just adore - this piece is really tempting me (perhaps I should get my boyfriend to read this blog post? hehe)
3.) More jewellery...this time some earrings from Ali Bali Jewellery - I love these for the fantastic patina colours she has achieved in the texturing of these silver clay pretties.
4.) The beautiful oceanic greens and blues of this bowl by Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics just draw you in and would make a fantastic table centrepiece for a special occasion.
5.) Yet more jewellery...a necklace of textured butterflies from La Belle et la Bete - I love the way they are linked together and that the wings are angled to give the impression that a host of silvery butterflies have all just landed on your collarbone.
6.) Now that I can knit socks I can't stop looking at brightly colour sock yarn, hence why I love this hand dyed yarn by Abstract Cat Crafts.

Phew...that was a long post! I am off to the Big Bead Show at Sandown racecourse tomorrow so I hope to have a new post after weekend to tell you all about that.


Thursday, 30 September 2010

What's new? Exciting announcent and a new bracelet design..

So, starting with my exciting announcement...some of you may remember me writing about doing some part time jewellery making teaching with a jewellery school in London in the last few months. Until now I have been mostly teaching beginner's wirework workshops and doing the odd hen party, however, I am now pleased to announce that I will be teaching my very first beadweaving workshop!

The workshop is going to be based on my own designs; we will be making a pair of my daisy earrings to get into the swing of beadweaving....

...and then we will learn peyote stitch to make a bracelet base to add fringing and lots of embellishment to create one of my clustered floral "bouquet bracelets."

I am so excited to be teaching beadweaving as it's the part of jewellery making that I am most passionate about...I just have to hope that people will like the designs and want to come to the class. If you are interested, the link to the jewellery school is here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

I also have a new bracelet design to show too...I'd call it a cross between a beadwoven bracelet and a charm bracelet, full of loopy fringing and beaded leaves with gorgeous glass flowers and leaves added as dangles giving the appearance of a garden of flowers and foliage. It currently has the name of 'Victoria's Garden,' since I was watching The Young Victoria when I started making this. Hopefully one of these will make it into my Folksy shop in the not too distant future. There are a few bigger photos of the piece on my Flickr account if you want to see more.

Hope you like!


Thursday, 23 September 2010

Giveaway winners announced!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway - unfortunately it fell victim to "competition spammers" on the last day (yesterday) so I had to sift through all the Twitter entries to sort out the genuine entries from the spam. I feel a bit sad that there are people who obviously just use the twitter search facilities to find any giveaways to enter, and I feel justified in disqualifying these entries. I am giving away a piece of handmade jewellery that will have had my time and effort put into it, therefore I feel I am at liberty not to accept entries from people who probably had no idea what the prize even looks like or that it was handmade.

But enought about that...onto the winners!

So everyone's names went into the hat...yes, this is my horse riding hat! (I don't own many hats and this was the first one that came to hand!)

And I picked out a winner, who will receive a custom Daisy Garland bracelet...and I also picked out a runner up who will receive custom Daisy Garland earrings.

Drum roll please!

And the winner is.....BeadyPool!

And the runner up is....PrestoBeads!

Congratulations to the winners, I will contact you at some point today to discuss your prizes :-)



Friday, 17 September 2010

Folksy Friday...breaking out the woolies!

Walking to the bus stop on my way to work there was a definite autumnal chill in the air, despite the lovely sunshine, so today's Folksy Friday post features some of my favourite knitted and crochet woolies that we are going to have to start getting out of the wardrobe now that summer is well and truly over.

Bliss Knits Sara Carr
Toggle Victoria Jackman Knitted Textiles
Edie O'Hara Designs Lemonade and Lamingtons

1.) A delicate berry coloured scarf by Bliss Knits - I also think her wooden kitty model is fab!

2.) I love the The Hungry Caterpillar childrens' book, so I think Sara Carr's whimsical caterpillar scarf is very cool

3.) I'm not a fan of myself in hats (I think they make my ears look odd!) but this navy blue one by Toggle with it's flower detail makes me think perhaps I like hats after all.

4.) This gorgeous scarf from Victoria Jackman Knitted Textiles is seriously tempting me - lots of purple and the little flower strands make it a winner for me

5.) More purple, this time in the form of a lilac cowl by Edie O'Hara Designs...I love the textured stitch that's been used and it really does look like it would keep you nice and snug

6.) Can you tell purple is my favourite colour? I couldn't resist adding these sweet little crocheted wristwarmers from Lemonade and Lamingtons - I'm a big fan of fingerless gloves and these are a lovely amethyst purple shade and have that extra button and flower detail too

Hope you enjoyed this week's picks!

Remember, there's still time to enter my a handmade Daisy Garland bracelet - for entry details see the previous blog post.

Happy Friday!