Friday, 31 May 2013

AJE Component of the month - May reveal

Well here we are on the cusp of a new month and it's time to see what the AJE team and its guest designers have done with this month's component - these gorgeous ruffle beads courtesy of Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads...aren't they pretty.

The bead I received was the egg yolk yellow and turquoise one at the bottom right of the picture. I don't work with yellow very much but the turquoise is such a lovely foil for it and this bead has such a sunny disposition I couldn't help but smile. This was obviously going to be a summer piece and after playing around with a few ideas I decided on a necklace - a very simple design because I think it lets the colours and the shapes sing.

I managed to find some lampwork pumpkin beads that were a perfect match and wired the beads together with bronze wire to create a yoke. I used some pretty little Magnesite rice beads strung on waxed linen to hang the yoke from and completed the necklace with a handmade bronze hook clasp

And that's it - nothing fussy or flashy but very eye catching I think...

While I was working on this the John Denver song 'Sunshine on my shoulders' kept running through my head so I took this as a sign and named the necklace after it.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

Turquoise pumpkin beads by Tillerman Beads, yellow and orange pumpkin beads by Pebble Dreams.

We haven't seen much sun here in the UK yet but appropriately we do have blue sky and sunshine this morning so maybe my necklace could be the harbinger of summer - you never know...

Many thanksto Sue for the beads and you can see what the other participants have done with their beads by clicking on the inks below and I hope you all have a happy and sunny weekend.
Guest designers

                                       Jo Tinley


Sunday, 26 May 2013

AJE Earring Challenge - Reveal 10 weeks 19/20

It's time for another fortnightly earring challenge reveal over at AJE (Art Jewelry Elements) and I've managed to get my act together to do a post this time around and my earrings have a definite ocean vibe...

Here I've teamed up some natural sea glass connectors with some fabulous lampwork beads from Maya Honey Lampwork which have been etched to give the same sea glass effect and decorated with shell motifs. The accents are sterling silver as are my handmade ear wires. I love these but boy, do the very soft edges make them a pain to photograph!

My second pair for this reveal are great fun and quite kitsch for me...The handmade paper tube beads are by Gillian McMurray and depict mermaids in a vintage style print. It just seemed natural to add the little shells for her to sit on. The ear wires are hypo allergenic Niobium.

Available in my Etsy Shop

If you'd like to see more designs from the other participants pop over to the AJE Blog which will feature some of the teams favourites in today's post.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Ready for Action...

Operation studio is almost underway and the finalised start date is 30th Thursday...less than 6 days away!!! Can you tell I'm excited....

The garage was cleared today and and all that's left is my firing kit and a few odds and ends that I need to find temporary homes for.

This works out quite well as I still have a few things to fire for a consignment which I can do over the next few days but then I will be packing the kiln away for a well deserved rest. While the builders are in I'll be catching up with some jewellery making and hopefully dreaming up some new ideas to get to work on once I'm settled in my new home.

And of course I'll be blogging regularly on the evolution of Studio THEA so you'll be able to see how this unprepossessing space develops and how over excited I get!

It's the spring bank holiday weekend in the UK and I believe it's Memorial weekend in the US so I hope you all have something lovely planned and have a really great time.


Friday, 17 May 2013

This Weeks News...

Finally! The news I've been waiting for...planning permission for my garage conversion was granted on Wednesday and I now have a start date of May 27th, just ten days away - yippee! Which means of course that I will be spending part of the weekend sorting out this mess although, having had a false start it's not as bad as it was.

I'm quite conscious that under those empty boxes are a lot more full of perfectly usable household items and clothing which have 'somehow' accumulated but which I just don't need. I don't have the time or resource to deal with this myself at the moment but hate the thought of it going to waste so I'm using an local 'Eco Clearance' company who aim to recycle and redistribute as much as they can to the most appropriate area which will leave me with a clear conscience at the same time. Then we get get down to the business of turning it into something a bit more like this...

I've still got lots of decisions to make about things like flooring, wall tiles and paint but I think I need to get a feel for the space before I can do that properly. Needless to say excitement is mounting.

I've been building  a log list of things to I need for the new work space when it's finished but I haven't been able to resist buying a couple of new toys already, the first being this Silhouette Cameo Die Cutter. It's widely used for sign making and paper crafts but thanks to some very inspirational people in the field I've discovered it can also be used to create beautiful jewellery.

Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has designed some beautiful etched pieces using vinyl cut on the Cameo  which achieves a much crisper edge than many other methods.

And Wanaree Tanner, doyenne of the metal clay world has developed a process for using it with sheets of dry metal clay to produce gorgeous cut out work. Check out their work and you'll see why I just had to have one of these.

Photo by Wanaree Tanner
I've also treated myself to this little bench polisher. I've always done a lot of my finishing by hand but when I was preparing for the Big Bead show I started getting pains in my hands from the sheer volume of repetitive work and I've noticed that I can't do as much now without my hands beginning to twinge. Obviously it would be a disaster if I couldn't work because of this so it seemed that this would be a sensible investment.

I haven't tried either of these gadgets out yet but the Cameo will be trialed on some display cards I need to make for a consignment of components I'll be sending off to a Bricks and Mortar bead shop in the next few weeks (more of that in a future post) - cheaper to practice on card than clay methinks!. As for the polisher, I'm sure it won't be too long before that gets a spin...I just need to find it a temporary home.

Something else I've been doing this week is making a bit more jewellery and I'm really enjoying it since I've been so consumed with the component side of things it's great to have a bit of a change. My jewellery shop has also been a little neglected of late so I've been trying to make some new stock and use my own components more...not always easy when you have a huge stash of other peoples gorgeous goodies.

I will also be concentrating on jewellery whilst the building work is being done as it's going to be difficult to do much component making. This means there will be no major THEA too updates until after the studio is complete but the shop is well stocked so there is still plenty to choose from. Likewise I won't be able to make custom orders but am happy to take them for completion in the latter half of June.

Another little bit of excitement for me will be the publication of my first project piece in the June edition of 'Making Jewellery' which hits the shops on May 30th. I can't show you what it is yet but of course I'll post some pictures when it's published...It's a bumper issue with 100 project so worth a look.

Well that 's my news for the week..things are about to get a little hectic as you can see but while the building work is going on I will be writing regular posts to show you how it's progressing so watch this space.

Have a fantastic weekend.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Shop Update

I've managed to get back into the swing of production this week so I'll be having a THEA too shop update tomorrow, Saturday 11th.  I'm not sure what time yet but will post more info on my facebook page when I do. in the mean time here's a little taste of whats coming...

 New button Clasps

 Beach House Connectors

 And lots more... 

Hope you'll pop by tomorrow - have a great weekend.