Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bead Soup Second Helping...

The Bead Soup mix that I sent to my Partner Silke has now arrived and she says she loves it, even though the colour palette is outside her usual comfort zone. My soup has a definite ocean/beach feel to it and here's what I sent her...

I sent my own bronze focals and clasps as well as a couple of charms. I played with some enameling on one of the focals which I'm quite pleased with and yes, I did send bars with the clasps, I just forgot to photograph them!

As Silke is a lampworker I didn't want to send "coals to Newcastle" so instead I sent her some of Carloine Dewison's lovely ceramic urchins and some polymer clay rondelles by 'Tropical Blonde'.

To complement these I sent some gorgeous rustic pearls from Smitten Beads along with some Aquamarine, Sea Coral and dyed Agate.

And for accent and contrast - Tiger Ebony rondelles, some metallic Czech glass and some gorgeous silk raggy ribbon from SowZerE Designs.

I would have great fun with this mix so I really hope Silke does too...I can't wait to see what she does with it but that will have to wait until April far away.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Birthday Giveaway Winners...


Firstly many thanks to everyone who commented and for all the lovely messages of support - almost 400 comments and that's a record! I'm looking forward to getting to know more of you over the coming year and hopefully there will be another little celebration this time next year. 

For now though the celebrations are for the three lucky winners and without further ado they are...

Creations by Kari          £30 Gift certificate to spend in THEA too
Cooky Schock                25% discount on 1 Purchase in THEA too
Leah Curtis                    15% discount on 1 Purchase in THEA too

Congratulations ladies! As it's 1.30am here at the moment I'm off to my bed but I will be in touch with you all later today to let you know how to claim your prizes.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bead Soup Beginnings...

I'm a little late blogging about the forthcoming BSBP 7 and to be honest that's because I was late getting my act together and sending a mix to my partner Silke Grober.  Fortunately we are in the last reveal on April 13th and Silke is from Germany which in the grand scheme of things, is not that far away from me so hopefully her beads will arrive before too long.

Silke is an Engineer by profession but also makes the most beautiful lampwork beads . She is particularly inspired by nebulae and landscapes and you see some of her wonderful creations by visiting her blog Just beads.

Or... you can stay right here because Silke got herself organised much more quickly than me and my soup ingredients arrived on Tuesday, each piece beautifully presented in its own organza bag with a description of the contents - and how delicious they were too...

These rich earthy colours are so me and the whole collection is so beautifully coordinated. I didn't just get one focal either, nor two but three beads with this fabulous organic design in greens and golds with a touch of plummy purple and some reactive silver leaf I think...

To go with these were an equally stunning set of smaller matching beads and spacers...

I'm already feeling very spoilt but there's more to come in the shapes of these Rudraksha seed beads and some little brass beads that I am totally smitten with. They have a lovely weight and quality to them and I've not seen them before so I may have to beg the source for those from Silke.

And last but not least is the pretty coiled copper clasp that Silke made for me and a deep purple silk ribbon which arrived wrapped around a large block of bitter dark chocolate but that is no more! Yum!

I think I could quite happily dive into this soup and start creating without even having to dip into my own stash but one thing's for sure - it's a match made in heaven for bronze...should the need arise!

Thank you so very much Silke - If you like your ingredients half as much as I do these I will be happy. And just to round things off, here's a little teaser of those ingredients and I'll reveal more once I know it's arrived at it's destination.


Monday, 18 February 2013

THEA too Birthday Giveaway...


This coming Friday it will be one year since I opened the virtual doors on my Etsy component shop THEA too and It's been a fantastic year! Not only did I hit my year one target two months early, I've already passed my revised target for the year end and that's all down to my great customers and followers who've supported me and spread the word - my heartfelt thanks to all of you. 

So we all know what that means then - yep,  it's time for a giveaway, well actually three...

Giveaway 1 - £30 Gift certificate to spend in THEA too
Giveaway 2 - 25% discount on 1 Purchase in THEA too
Giveaway 3 - 15% discount on 1 Purchase in THEA too

Three lucky people will walk away with one of these prizes each and for a chance to win all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. But there are are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too... Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one:
  • Share this giveaway on your own blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
  • Become a new follower of 'The Gossiping Goddess' - see sidebar.
  • Become a follower of my Facebook page.
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Like my Etsy shops THEA jewellery and THEA too.
  • Anything else of you can think of to spread the word.
Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

The giveaway will close at midnight GMT on Friday 22nd February 2013 and I will randomly select and announce the winners on Saturday 23th February.

So thank you again,  good luck and here's to another great year for THEA too.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

AJE Earring Challenge Weeks 5 & 6/52

I'm hosting the AJE Earring challenge reveal today and had a great time looking through the designs on out Pinterest board to choose just a few favourites. There is such a variety of designs and it seems like everyone is having fun with this - I certainly hope so! I was really pleased with my own earrings for weeks 5 & 6 - sometimes I'm a bit unsure but happily there were no doubts this time round.

For this first pair I used some 22 gauge oxidised bronze wire to create macrame pina and suspended some beautiful Borosilicate lampwork beads from Brendan Blake from then. A couple of little Czech glass teardrops add a final flourish and voila...

I just haven't found the time to list these yet and I'm not sure I'm going to either...

My second pair on the other hand have already been snapped up and will winging there way to the USA tomorrow morning. I've just bought a whole load of new  texture mats and wanted to try them out and these beautiful patinated seahorse charms were the result. They're quite big and very striking so all I've added are some tiny etched handmade beads by Radiant Mind ans some hand forged wires to complete the look...

Pop on over to the AJE blog to see the the other participants entries and don't forget to join us for reveal 4 on Sunday 3rd March. happy designing folks!


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Focus On Life Week 7/52 - Beauty Of Flowers

This year I am taking part in a photo journal challenge set up by the lovely Sally Russick of Studio Sublime who, in addition to creating beautiful jewellery is a talented photographer. Each week Sally sends participants a word prompt and the following Saturday we all post our photo interpretations on our blogs, Flickr or Instagram.

Our  task from Sally this week was to take in the beauty of flowers which in the UK in February is not as simple as you might think if you prefer them in their natural habitats as I do. At first glance there were no signs of any flowers in my garden and I just haven't had the chance to get out to anywhere else to find some this week. But it's a beautiful morning here and I ventured out into the garden with my first cuppa of the day and noticed one of my favourite flowers, the Lenten Rose (Hellebore Orientalis) hiding shyly behind another shrub. 

Now, a beautiful morning it might be but the ground is covered it wet rotting leaves and, since the blooms of this little treasure hang down I was only going to get a picture by getting down with it. Not finding this totally appealing first thing in the morning I was pondering the situation when I noticed one bloom flat on the ground and on closer inspection saw the stem was broken - probably the victim of a game of cat and mouse. These are not flowers I would normally pick but this seemed somewhat fortuitous so here is my picture - not in situ as I would have preferred but still damp with dew...

I love this unassuming's not bold or showy but has it's own quiet beauty and a strength to withstand the harshest of conditions. Not bad attributes in my book.

Pop over to sally's blog to see what the other participants have been snapping this week.

Have a great weekend all.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Not Quite 'My' Name In Lights...

I mentioned a while ago that I would be featuring in the 'Inspirations' section of 'Making Jewellery' in an upcoming issue. Well, it's the current issue and I was very excited to get hold of a copy today and take a look. Sadly the fact that they'd spelt my name incorrectly took the shine of it a bit but, that's definitely a picture of me and it's all my work so hey ho...Watt's in a name anyway!

Making Jewellery - Issue 51 - March 2013

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Focus on Life Week 5/52 - Capture a Heart

This year I am taking part in a photo journal challenge set up by the lovely Sally Russick of Studio Sublime who, in addition to creating beautiful jewellery is a talented photographer. Each week Sally sends participants a word prompt and the following Saturday we all post our photo interpretations on our blogs, Flickr or Instagram.

This week our task was to capture an image of one of the many heart motifs that pervade our daily lives but perhaps go unnoticed much of the time. I was hoping to get out and about for this one and find some natural formation to fit the bill but it has been cold, wet and windy here all week, the most miserable of conditions for walking and taking photos. However, while pondering what to do I was looking out at my garden (as I often do when in thoughtful mode) and spotted a solution right under my nose. Not only does this plant provide mounds of pretty blue flowers all summer long, it also manages to survive the most inclement weather and always has an abundance of fresh green leaves in the shape of a sweet little frilled heart. I definitely love my Campanula Carpatica...

And in case you're wondering, this is what it looks like in bloom...

So having braved the weather briefly to get my photo I sat down on the sofa to edit it and Cleo, my feline design assistant decided to come and join me. She got bored very quickly though, curled up for a nap and promptly gave me an unexpected bonus shot...

How cool is that...?!

If you'd like to see where everyone else found their hearts pop over to Sally's blog now.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Friday, 1 February 2013

AJE Component of the Month - January Reveal

This month's components were dished up by Karen Totten in the form of these delicious Pithivier style beads. Gorgeously crimped and puffed, it was very hard to pick just one but in the end I chose the lovely verdigris one top centre.


As soon as I got my hands on it I new I wanted to team it up with a bronze piece I'd been working on and create a double focal pendant for a necklace. My piece has a very organic feel to it and not only does it pick up the brown tones of the bead, there is also an echo of the leaf motif in the structure of the bronze element too.

I had some heavily veined turquoise nuggets that I thought might be a good match and indeed they were. I love the contrast of these two colours and decided to stick to this limited palette.  I'm having a bit of an affair with wooden beads at the moment and picked out some of my favourite tiger ebony twisted facet and rounds to add some contrast.

My initial thoughts had been for a long necklace with chain but I ended up stringing the beads on linen cord with some tiny bronze cube spacers. The design is fairly simple as I didn't want to detract from the focal and asymmetrical patterns seemed to do just that. A simple hand forged bronze hook clasp completes the piece.

I played around with the length for a while and eventually settled on quite a short piece by my standards with the pendant sitting just below the collar bone where it has maximum impact. I really like this necklace - it's so wearable and I love the colours and yes... I'm keeping it for myself! Thank you Karen!

To see what the rest of the AJE team and our guest designers have created just use the links  below.
Happy hopping.