Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jewellery Design Star

I've entered this necklace into the Art Beads Jewellery Design Star competition and the result depends on public votes. Please click the link below to vote for me, it takes just 10 seconds.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party

I recently read an article in a jewellery magazine (can't remember which one) about a thing called a Bead Soup Blog Party. So I looked it up and quickly realised I wanted in!

Basically you sign up by filling out a form on the blog and sending a bit of information like where you are and if you want to be partnered with someone near you or in another country. There are also 3 reveal dates to give you time if the person you are partnered with is quite far from you.

I've asked for someone outside my country but no preference where and now I'm trying to put together my first "soup". This consists of a clasp which needs to be a nice one not a multi-pack lobster clasp, a focal bead  and some co-ordinating beads. I can't wait to see what the person I'm partnered with comes back with from my soup and what I can do with theirs.

Click here if you want to sign up by Sunday 27th January. This is a great way for people around the world to share in what they love making and helping others expand their style and do something a little different with pieces they have never used or seen before!

Cant wait to share what I get and come up with!

Click here to follow my adventures through the blog party!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Spring Flower Power Necklace

Having attempted to make a necklace for a themed competition for Bead Magazine about 15 times in the last week I think I finally have it. All of the pieces I've used in the necklace are pieces new to me so it was a challenge in itself deciding what was the best way to use them. I must have made about 3 trips to different bead shops and rummaged through everything I already had trying to put together the picture that was in my head when I read the theme title. But this is no where near what I though I would be making. It took on a life of its own and turned out better than I imagined.

Hopefully this piece will be chosen to be printed with some of the other entries in the next issue of Bead Magazine and should hopefully feature on their facebook page with all the other entries.

I picked up the small flowers from Yellow Brick Road, the large flowers from Beads & Bling, the seed beads from Totally Beads and the clasp is from Jiani Charms. Some things I had some I bought especially for the piece.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sea Glass & Slate

I have seen a lot of jewellery around on the internet lately made using sea glass. Mostly the glass is wire wrapped with a crystal or pearl added onto the wire somewhere and I had decided this would be my next project.

Only problem is I went t the beach today and searched in the freezing cold and it seems people are recycling their bottles now ad its not washing up on beaches. I found a few very small pieces and Im going to work on them tomorrow but I remember when you would walk on the beach and find glass in different colours and sizes everywhere but it seems this is going to be project done over time as I can't guarantee when or where I will find the glass.

I have however found some lovely pieces of slate today and will be trying the same technique as I had planned for the glass until I can find some more and finally do the piece I had in mind.

Hopefully in the coming days I will upload some pictures of the slate and small pieces of sea glass and hopefully you will like them.

Let me know in the comments below have you ever used slate or sea glass in a piece before? Or like me are you having a hard time finding sea glass along the beach?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Large Bead Bookmarks

So I bought some really nice large glass bead mixes last year and had already used some to make bracelets and necklaces and wasn't sure exactly what to do next. So I thought I would make some bookmarks with them.

I kept a colour scheme for each and used silver plated engraved bookmarks that I bought online. I think they turned out very well and add a little bit of jewellery to a book when its being used.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rosary Bookmarks

I made a few Rosary bookmarks last year around Communion time as gifts. Sometimes its nice to give something else to kids making their Communion other than Rosary Beads or money.

I made these in a few different colours using glass pearls, shell cross's and Silver plated bookmarks. Thy went down very well and it gives a child something to use after the Communion Day but is a reminder of the day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Red Heart Necklace

I have had a lot of people tell me they love this piece and I do as well. The colour is beautiful and its not too overwhelming when worn which I guess you can tell by now is my style of jewellery and accessories. I don't like when it looks like you are covered in jewellery I would rather have a stunning understated piece so that's what I make.

I bought the pendant for this necklace about 4 years ago when I was in London and found a great little bead shop called Bead Aura in Neal's Yard. I just so happened to stumble upon a sale when I was there so I bought so many pieces it was about 2 years until I got around to using this heart. I think I spent about 2 hours in the shopping and I ended up with quite a few of these hearts in loads of different colours. Red was a very different colour for me to use which is probably why I left it so long to use.

I have recently submitted this piece into a Valentines themed contest run by Make Jewellery Magazine on their online forum.

Please feel free to leave comments on any post, due to spamming I have to moderate them first but don't let that stop you from submitting one!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Square Knot Tutorial

This tutorial shows you how to do square knots for making macreme bracelets. They are quite simple to do and very repetitive so once you do the knot a few times its easy to do again and again.

I've used 3 different colours in the tutorial just to show where each thread ends up. For the outside pieces of thread you will need about a metre of each and for the middle thread about 11 inches will do.

I have not added beads in this tutorial to this bracelet but adding beads will shorten the length of thread needed but I tend to keep to the same length starting off rather than run out of thread near the end.

I'm using 1mm waxed cotton cord here but you can use a variety of cords and threads in different finishes and colours. It just depends on what look you are going for.

1: Start with your three pieces of thread. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I spent quite a while during last year making bookmarks. I had 3 different types. These ones were named bookmarks using the pewter cubed letters like in the memory bracelets to spell out a persons name surrounded by Swarovski crystals in the persons birthstone colour.

I also made a few by stamping the letters of a persons name onto small round silver-plated discs and attaching them to chain. These go down really well as gifts and for any person who loves to read.

There are so many options when making bookmarks and so many things available to attach to them - I used word beads saying "LOVE" on a few - so you will never get bored putting together different designs.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Memory Bracelets!!

I started making these when I was thinking of something to make for my mam for her birthday a few years back. They are a very popular idea the last few years and most never look alike as different birthstone colours are used in them.

I used Pewter letter blocks and Swarovski Crystals when making these bracelets. Pewter is a great alternative metal as it is not expensive like silver and still has a lovely colour to it. When the light hits the crystals it shines beautifully.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loads of Earrings!!

I love to make earrings because they can be quick and stunning at the same time. It means when I have a load of different ideas I can get loads made in one day. I just wanted to share a few pictures of some of my favourite earrings I made last year. Mostly they are crystal earrings following the trend of crystal jewellery last summer.

Pictures are after the page jump:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beaded Hearts

I spent a long time last might trying to get the white pearl heart done and it took about 4 hours. The pink one took only about 1 and a half hours. Its the first time I've done bead weaving or the right angle weave but once you have the stitch in your head its quick to get going on the next one.

I made the heart trying to make something for a Valentines Themed contest run by a few beading magazines i read. I found a free tutorial online by Off The Beaded Path for the heart which was done in crystals but I decided to try it in pearls first.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best of 2012

This is what I expect to be part one of my Best of 2012 videos. I have already posted this onto my YouTube  channel and its been viewed quite a few times already. Ive tried to put at least one of each style of jewellery I have done from rosary beads to earrings and bookmarks. Hopefully you will like the pieces in the video.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Knotted Cord / Macreme Bracelets

I have made quite a few of these bracelets using varies types of beads and in a lot of different colours. They are very popular at the moment and look great stacked up or mixed with a few other bracelets.

I generally use 100% cotton cord thats comes dyed in a variety of colours and is anywhere from 1mm to 3mm thick. 

I hope to have a tutorial up on how to knot this bracelet very soon so check back or leave a comment below. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Gossip Girl Inspired Necklace

So my sister loves the show Gossip Girl and the jewellery in the show is always amazing so she came to me with a picture one day of a necklace worn in an episode by one of the characters and said I want that please.  

This started 2 months of finding the right pearls, in the right sizes, the clasp she wanted, the bead caps she wanted. Eventually we got the pearls from China they are Akoya Shell pearls in a lovely gold colour, the clasp is 24kt gold plated from America, The bead caps and crimps I ordered from England and the spacer bars for the bracelet came from Asia through eBay. 

By the time it all arrived she had been talking about it for months. Eventually this is what I handed over and she loves it. 

She wore it recently to a family Christening and eveyone thought it was beautiful. To me its quite a simple 3 strand slightly embelleshed necklace but it is quite stunning when the light catches it. So here are the pictures:

 This is the detail at the back of the necklace.

This is the bracelet I made to match which was made out of the left over beads from the necklace.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How to Make a Wire Coil

These are used in a lot of things to dress up plain wire or add a little extra and can be made in a lot of different wire colours and sizes.

What you need:
Wire cutters
Flat nose Pliers - just to help with the final piece around the nail
A Nail - or anything that is the size of the Jump Rings you want to make
A length of wire - I use 0.8mm Silver plated Copper here

Step 1:

Wrap the wire around the nail until all the wire is used up. Wrap it as tightly together as possible as gaps result in oval and mis-shapen rings.

Step 2:

Remove the coil from the nail.

You can not place this over a plain piece of wire or beading thread in-between beads to add somethings different. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How to Make a Loop

Loops are needed to secure beads on headpins or to connect beads together like I have in my previous post for Rosary Beads. They are simple to do like I show here:

What you need:
Wire cutters
Round Nose Pliers
Wire or Headpin

Step 1:
Making sure you give yourself enough room for the loop bend the wire at a 90 degree angle after you have added your beads to the headpin.

Step 2:
Now you need to make a loop by putting your round nose pliers at the end of the wire and rolling back on itself to give a loop.

You should now have a simple loop that can be opened and closed to attach to chain or other loops or findings.

The more you do of these the better you get and they become second nature without you even having to look at what your doing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Make Jump RIngs

I make a lot of these out of scraps of wire that I wouldn't have much other use for. Also its not always easy to go get ready made ones or wait for them to arrive. There are loads of different ways to make them, everyone has their own style,there are even mandrels made in specific gauges but I use a nail. Its the only thing I had handy one night when I ran out of the ready made ones to finish off a bracelet. So here's how I make mine. See the bottom of this post for a video tutorial.

What you need:
Wire cutters
Flat nose Pliers - just to help with the final piece around the nail
A Nail - or anything that is the size of the Jump Rings you want to make
A length of wire - I use 0.8mm Silver plated Copper here

Step 1:
Wrap the wire around the nail until all the wire is used up. Wrap it as tightly together as possible as gaps result in oval and mis-shapen rings. 

Step 2:
Remove the coil from the nail.

Step 3:
Starting at one end of the coil you need to cut where the wire is just meeting the next coil so when you cut here you will have a full ring that will be slightly open. 

Step 4:
Now you can use your jump rings you just open them further or close them up.

Jump Rings are needed for practically everything you do in jewellery making and will never go to waste so always make a few extra and keep them stored. You don't want to have to make loads of them when you only need 1 or 2.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Competition Entry

Ive entered this piece into the "Design of the Week" competition on Cookson Gold Facebook page today. This week the prize is a texture hammer that could come in very handy in the workshop!! There are some fantastic pieces entered already so fingers crossed!!

See the album of entries here:          Design of the Week

Vintage Pearl Necklace

This is a necklace I made a while ago inspired by vintage pearl style wedding jewellery. I used white pearls and clear crystals. It looks simple and elegant and not over powering on the neck.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Byzantine Bracelets

I made these bracelets as Christmas gifts using the Byzantine Weave. I really like this weave it can be a bit time consuming but isn't as hard as it looks at first. Some of the jump rings I used I bought ready made but the purple ones I made myself using wire I already had. Every bracelet looks different depending on the colour of the jump rings used. I used toggle clasps on my bracelets but any type of clasp can be used to give the bracelet a different look.

Rosary Beads

I'm asked to make a lot of Rosary beads as gifts for a lot of different occassions. I started making them about 12 years ago and use a variety of different materials. I tend to stick to coloured glass beads or pearls for most of them.

I made this blue pair recently as a christening gift.

This pair was made using Swarovski Crysals

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to my new blog!!

I decided to start a blog to share some of the pictures of the jewellery I make and hopefully will be adding tutorials and tips on how to make some of my pieces.