Sunday, 29 April 2012

My Three Wise owls...

Owls have been unusually prominent in my life this past week...

On Monday a delivery of lovely beads from Golem Studio included a beautiful owl pendant that was quickly transformed into this necklace.

I posted pictures of this on Facebook the next morning and shortly afterwards I found out I had won a lovely 'Motley Owl' pendant by Erin Prais-Hintz in Lorelei's latest blog challenge. Not a bad start to the week!

On Thursday another owl came a calling when I found out I had also won this fabulous bead set by Rebekah Payne in a Tree Wings Studio blog giveaway. So now I have my own three wise owls.

Because of all this good fortune I googled owls to see if they had any connotations with good luck but it seems not. To the ancient Greeks and Romans they were a symbol of status, intelligence and wealth and in other cultures they were revered  as the keeper of spirits that accompanied newly freed souls from the physical to the spiritual world. In many cultures owls symbolise, intelligence, perception, wit and independence to name but a few so it's easy to see why we think of them as wise and somewhat mysterious then - apart from Erin's Motley crew that is!

Apparently if an owl has visited you, you should consider this as a great gift as animals are drawn to those who share the same energy and attributes as themselves. Well, all I can say is I'm more happy to share the same energy as my three little visitors although I'm not sure I match up on the wit and wisdom...

A wise old Owl sat on an oak, The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?
  -- Nursery Rhyme

Whilst on the topic of good fortune, last week also saw my first foray into selling in a bricks and mortar shop. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a local creative co-operative who have opened a little gallery-come-shop to promote local artists and handmade work. I took some of my jewellery in to show them on Wednesday and they seemed quite excited. As a result, they will be displaying and selling selected pieces from late next month. I've no idea whether it will be successful but it's a great confidence booster and I love the idea of my work being shown in a creative environment. So keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll post more information nearer the time...

Enjoy the rest of your weekends.


Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy Monday...

Well it is when a very soggy postman turns up with some very soggy packages (it's tipping it down here) that contain these beauties...

The bead set is by Bo Hulley and the other pieces are of course the unmistakable work of Golem Studio. I got a little carried away in the Golem shop - easily done since it's in Europe and I don't have to worry about import tax and handling fees. And as for Bo, well she lives a short drive an a ferry ride from me so beads get to me in double quick time.

For the next couple of days I will be busy making new jewellery for...well actually, I think I'll come back later in the week and tell you what for but suffice to say, some of these pieces will be making a showing. So sorry to cut and run with such a short post but I must get on...

I hope your Monday is shaping up to be a good one too.


PS - I'm not loving these Blogger changes...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Stars in my Eyes...

I have mixed feelings about my postman...

He delivered my tax return a couple of days ago and it's been sitting on my worktable to remind me to block out some time to tackle it. I'd only been in business a matter of weeks last time around so this one is going to be a lot more involved. And of course, I have all my paper work in order - not. But then this morning he arrived with a box choc full of goodies from the lovely Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio and all was forgiven.

I was beside myself with glee going through this mother load with design ideas flashing through my head as I picked up each gorgeous piece. Karen and I have become 'virtual' friends in recent months and it's because of her and the other talented ceramic artists I've met online that I've added ceramics to my bead stash and started pushing my designs in new directions. And it's even better knowing that these came from a lovely and very witty lady too. We share a passion for earthy organic textures and glazes but Karen also mixes it up with the most glorious and vibrant colours - there's not one item here I am even vaguely ambivalent about - thank you Karen I love the lot!

Karen is a member of the Beads of Clay professional artists team of which incidentally, I am very proud to say I am now a design partner. I'm really looking forward to working on challenges with the team members so keep your eyes peeled for news of those. She is also a founder member of the new team blog Art Jewelry Elements so if you want to get an insight into the work of Karen and the other team members, sign up to follow now. Oh, and Karen's pottery is not limited to jewellery so be sure to check out her shop for more great pieces.

Of course there has to be a down side...I'm now completely distracted from today's task to clear up the house which always gets neglected the week before I do a big THEA too shop update. But just a few hours won't make a difference will it...:0)

Happy beading people!


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Shop Update - New Bronze Components tomorrow...

Crikey is it really Saturday again already...?

After a couple of weeks concentrating on jewellery making, I've been back at my work table this week making bronze components. So today I'm rushing around getting everything photographed and listed for a Thea too shop update tomorrow evening (UK time) - lots of new pieces and a bit of a bird and beach theme going on this time around. I love the way buttons are being used as jewellery closures at the moment so I've also had a go at making some myself, see what you think.

 Keep an eye out on Facebook tomorrow and I'll let you know when the listings are going live. In the meantime here's a little taster...

Have a great weekend everyone.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Glass Headpin Challenge - Reveal Time...

Back in early March I was lucky enough to be one of ten people chosen randomly by Lorelei Eurto to take part in a design challenge using these fabulous glass and ball ended headpins from Anne at Gardanne Beads. We had no idea which set we would be getting and when mine arrived I was delighted to discover that I had the lovely rich iridescent toffee/butterscotch pair on the far right of the picture above. I knew immediately that I had a set of lampwork beads that would match these perfectly and that they would also work beautifully with my bronze elements.

So then...what to do with these beauties? For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was tendrils - absolutely no idea why but whatever I did I wanted to have tendrils in it. This was one of the rare occasions when I actually sat down to draw up designs before I started. Normally I just dive right in but I didn't want to start forming the headpins without a clear vision since there was little margin for error or for changing my mind mid flow - something I am rather prone to.

This process drew me in one direction only - a necklace with the headpins forming part of a central focal element and the tendril idea developed into a vine and flower theme. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome but the colours and the iridescence didn't make it the easiest piece to photograph. So here we go then, this is my necklace...

The necklace is structured around a yoke of heavy gauge bronze wire set with beautiful lampwork beads by Caroline Rhodes in shades of purple (much more so than is visible here), toffee and bronze, interspersed with bronze Miyuki cube beads. I've wrapped the headpins around the centre of the yoke, coiling and stretching the wires to look like vine tendrils whilst the glass heads create the effect of lush fat flower buds. Frustratingly, one of the the balled ends snapped off while I was stretching the coil (ever the klutz) which is a shame because I really like the effect. I am still pondering what I'm going to do about this ...

Between the headpins I've created a beaded pendant which includes some of my own handmade bronze pieces - a flower bud which mirrors the shape of the headpins, a purple iridescent Czech glass flower, tiny bronze leaves and a matching lampwork bead set on a bronze headpin with a bronze cap. These elements have a lovely sense of movement which contrasts nicely with the more rigid style of the yoke.

I didn't want to distract from the strong focal element of this piece so the yoke is suspended simply from a Plum silk string from Marsha Neal Studio (and from the colour palette I created for Marsha's silk color palette challenge) and I finished the necklace with a handmade bronze clasp.

I've called this necklace 'Shiraz' because of the vine like elements and because the Shiraz grape variety is known for it's blackcurrant and berry notes with an occasional hint of toffee!

So there you have it. I really enjoyed this challenge and would like to thank Lorelei for organising it and to Anne for supplying the lovely pins. To see what the other participants did with their headpins just click on the links below and join me on a mini blog hop...


And finally, may I wish you all a lovely Easter.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Do You Strut Your Stuff...?

Your jewellery stuff that is...

Well if you don't you should because every month, the guys over at 'Love My Art Jewellery' run a challenge which lets you show off the pieces you've been working on recently and what's more, you could win prizes for doing it!

It's all very easy too - just upload pictures of your piece to the 'Strut Your Stuff' Flickr pool along with a note about your thought process and inspiration. Your designs must comprise at least 75% hand made components but you don't have to have made them yourself. You can submit as many items as you like but for fairness each person only has one chance to win. Then at the beginning of next month, one lucky person will be drawn at random to win some fantastic prizes sponsored by Art Bead designers.

And for April one of those prizes is a selection of bronze components made by none other than moi!

But it's not just me...there are also fabulous prizes being sponsored by Nan Emmett and Staci Smith.

You can find more details about 'Strut Your Stuff' here and I really hope you'll come along and share some of your bead or jewellery designs. I'll be strutting again this month - not sure what yet...maybe this bracelet inspired by one of my favourite places - Shell Bay, a local nature reserve and beauty spot...

What about you, what are you working on...?