Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - 30 March 2011 - New toys to play with!

Yesterday was one of those great days when there is a resounding thud when the postman arrives but none of it is bills or junk mail - love it!

Amongst the goodies were a set of hand made Bisque clay stamps ordered from ChARiTyelise on Etsy a couple of weeks ago - and lovely they were too! Lots of lovely rustic patterns to mix and match and beautify my metal clay pieces with - whoop whoop! 

As you can tell, little things please me to a somewhat disproportionate degree and just like a 6 year old with a new toy I had to get started straight away, no planning - just clay, stamps and me. It took a little while to work out the amount of pressure required and the thickness of the clay but it was a great free-form creative session and the results are sitting on my bead table today. 

Not the best of pictures as it's been miserable today
Pendants, earring pairs and a couple of charms, dried overnight and all now waiting to be cleaned up, sanded and drilled before going into the kiln tonight. Can't wait to see how they turn out as there is always an element of the unknown with Bronze clay.

And, because I love my new stamps so much (as I said, I'm easily pleased) one of the items on display here will be up for grabs in my next blog - so keep your eyes peeled.

Happy BTW.

Friday, 25 March 2011

A Bracelet for Boobs!

You know what it's like when you find a design you like - you make one, and then another and so on...? Well that's been me this week - I got completely wrapped up in wire (excuse the pun!) doing multiple variations on a bracelet theme!

I made this first one to use up some beads left over from a necklace project. Using gorgeous lampwork beads by Kaz Baildon, Sally Carver and Mike Poole, these were teamed with copper wire wrapped around a 12g core with hand made chain added for flexibilty and all topped off with a hand forged clasp.

Bead Box Blues Bracelet
The original necklace
Well, I kind of liked this so I made another one, this time using lovely Woodland Violet beads from Crystal Gardens with copper accents beads.

Spring Violets
As odd numbers always work better I finished the week with another great set of beads from Kaz for bracelet number 3.
Magic Circle
The first two of these bracelets have already found a new home with the lovely Stacey of Silly Mooz lampwork beads and handcrafted jewellery - thanks Stacey.

But I'm hoping to do a little good with the Magic Circle bracelet by donating the proceeds from the sale (My Etsy shop) to the "Walk the Walk fundraising' Moonwalk for breast cancer. A good friend of mine, Louise, has been taking part in this for a number of years - walking a full marathon, in fancy dress, at night and raising money for this very worthwhile cause. I'm not as fit (or mad) as Louise so this is part of my 'very little' bit to help out, and if any of you ladies (or gents) feel like supporting, details can be found here - many thanks.

Here's hoping my bracelet helps to support boobs!!!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Why didn't I think of that...?

I spend far more hours than I should glued to my laptop scouring jewellery blogs and never cease to be amazed by the stunning designs that other artists come up with. Momentary (???) envy that I didn't think of something first are usually surpassed quite quickly when my brain starts buzzing about how I could perhaps take inspiration from something and give it a personal twist.

One designer who always delivers for me is Keirsten Giles of Lune Designs.

Keirsten's designs are totally individual and she has an amazing eye for layering texture and combining colours to brilliant effect:

Each piece is almost like a little picture in itself and certainly wouldn't be misplaced in a frame on a wall. Vibrant and strong, but they still have a subtlety that makes them very wearable - most definiteley wearable art!

You can see more of Keirsten's work at her highly entertaining blog - 'The Cerebral Dillettante' and her lovely ETSY shop:

Thanks for the inspiration Keirsten :0)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Not quite a yellow brick road...

When I woke up this morning it was a cold, wet and miserable day in Dorset and I wasn't much inspired to do anything except perhaps, crawl back under the duvet. Realising the danger in this though, I got myself a cup of tea and started looking through some photos of a trip to Australia a couple of years ago, well before I had really thought about making jewellery.

And what do you know, within minutes I was looking at something and how could I interpret that as a piece of jewellery..?

The pictures in question were taken at Balmoral, a neighbourhood beach in Sydney that's home to some of the most amazing rock formations I've seen without having to risk life and limb - something I try not to do if I can help it!

I think these next two have been left behind from the set of a Sci-Fi movie....

Giant decapitated serpent heads?
Prehistoric sheep skeleton?
Now, I'm really into texture and things that are tactile and one of my favourite materials at the moment is metal clay, particularly Bronze and Copper. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this... Those organic forms and striations are just begging me to get some tools out and see if I can do them justice!

I think this may turn into a long term experimental project to improve my metal clay skills and see how I can combine it with other materials to create jewellery - so watch this space. Please feel free to join me in this challenge with your own favourite materials if you feel so inclined - there are more pictures on my FLickr photostream:

As for this next picture...I'm sure I've seen it before somewhere...

Oh well, maybe not quite a masterpiece but at least I found my inspiration...and the sun came out this afternoon! :0)


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Just flown in from Israel...

Say hello to the newest additions to my bead collection just flown in this morning... less than 2cm from beak to tail - aren't they adorable!?

They came from Nadin Glassico on ETSY:

I've no idea what I'm going to do with them yet but I've been humming 'over the rainbow' since they arrived.

If happy little bluebirds fly then why oh why...... come on - sing along :0)

Friday, 11 March 2011

So here goes then...

Welcome to my first post...
...and thank you for stopping by.

Now, if you're wondering what all this gossiping goddess business is all about, please let me reassure you that it is not the inane ramblings of a self obsessed egotist with delusions of grandeur - well at least I hope it's not!

I've always adored jewellery with a bit of character and individuality and just over a year ago I started making it myself. I never dreamt that it would become such a huge part of my life, but the more I discovered about it the more addicted I became. Beads stopped being mundane everyday things and turned into gorgeous tiny little works of art as different as the people who made them. Metal became something to bend and mould into fantastic shapes with beautiful finishes. And then there was metal clay...

So that was it, I was a lost cause with a serious habit. So much so in fact that I've recently given up a full time career in Marketing to spend more time feeding my addiction and I'm having a great time! It never occurred to me when I started that I would be able to sell my work but I have, and now I've just uploaded my first items to my Etsy shop.

Coming up with a name for the shop caused me many sleepless nights trying to think of something that would fulfil all those must haves: short, snappy, memorable, available, encapsulates your product and brand - it just wasn't going to happen.

The name THEA kept coming into my head and I've no idea why other than I like the word, but I hit the laptop for a look around anyway. THEA it seems, was the Greek goddess of sight and the lights of the sky as personified by her children Helios, Selene and Eos - goddesses of the sun, moon and dawn. She also had dominion over gems and precious metals and their inherent light. well that seemed to me like a good enough reason to adopt her as a muse for my jewellery business, not to mention that a beautiful piece of jewellery should make anyone feel like a goddess!

So the shop was named and when it came to my blog well, I found a dictionary definition for gossip as 'light, easy communication' so it just seemed obvious...The Gossiping Goddess was born.

Let's get primitive...

If it wasn't enough to launch my Etsy shop and start blogging for the first time, I also submitted my first entry to the 'Art Bead Scene' (ABS) monthly challenge this week. For those who may not know, ABS is a group of art bead enthusiasts that host a monthly challenge to design a piece of jewellery using a work of art as inspiration. I've been watching the wonderful creations that come out of this for the last few months and finally decided to bite the bullet and have a go myself.

This months work is a painting by Paul Gauguin called 'Nave, Nave Moe' (Sacred Spring).

I love the vibrancy of this painting and wanted to keep my piece fairly simple in keeping with the primitive style of Gauguin's work. My necklace uses strong colour with simple materials (like dyed lava stone, leather and Greek ceramic), shapes and construction and gives a nod to the tropics with the shell charm. I had a lot of fun with this and was quite pleased with my first attempt at the challenge.

I think this style might be quite popular in today's beach/surf culture. I might have to try hawking my wares at the  local seafront come summer - what do you think?
I hope you've enjoyed my first post and please feel free to leave me any feedback as there's plenty of room for improvement. Any useful tips for an Etsy newbie will also be accepted with thanks.

March ABS Challenge blog tour here: