Sunday, December 11, 2011

After the rain............

The local dam has been inundated by all the rain, and is now up to 85% - considering the huge size of the dam, that is a lot of water.  We took a drive out this afternoon, and the continuing rain made for some "atmospheric" photos.

At last - some beads!

This simple necklace was made with a set of graduated, faceted crazy lace agate beads from FMG.  I used some small silver heshi in between to let the stones "breathe" a little.

What a mess!

This photo will give you a bit of an idea about the size of the trees we had to clean up last week, after all the rain we had.  Amazingly, it only  took 5 blokes with 3 chainsaws half a day to chop them up into firewood.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sorry I've been absent

I've had a busy couple of weeks, and no time to bead (pout).  Last weekend a conference in Sydney kept me busy for 4 days, and then this weekend, we have had rain, rain and more rain (nearly 200mls).  You would think all the rain would be a good excuse to bead, but, between dealing with a flooded garage, doing some Christmas shopping, and contemplating what to do about the 2 huge trees that fell over in our backyard (missing the birdcage and shed by a whisker), I ran out of time.

OK, I will also admit to being somewhat distracted by playing with my new iPad, but I promise to bead real soon.  Just as soon as I download that new app, finish cleaning up after the rain, and do some uni work. Sigh. Maybe next weekend.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My first ever scrapbook page

Made for a special project for work - I am happy with my first attempt - I have been watching Michelle & Courtney at work for a while, and I guess I must have picked up a few ideas.

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas....

........and I've been making more Christmas gifts.  

Luckily I have lots of girls to make for - some old, some young, but all special to me.

  I have been using some of the special treasures I have been holding onto for a while

 (sigh - sometimes it's hard to let go)

Pearls, iolite, agate, ceramic and brass.

Only a few more things to make now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winged Blossoms

This piece has been made for the "Sakura" (Cherry blossom) themed challenge on  I used a winged brass setting, some pink/green Precosia crystals and some lucite flowers.

I have had a lovely weekend with family coming from out of town for a visit, so spent yesterday being a tourist in my own town - always fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Viridian" challenge

This weeks YOJ challenge on beading forum was "Viridian" - a gorgeous rich green. I combined magnesite with brass filigree and chain, and used some sweet little owls to make a matching set of earrings.

"Gentle Hearts" necklace

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a "Girl's Night In" market night with  the proceeds going to Breast Cancer research.  I made this necklace to contribute to the raffles on the night.  Hopefully the new owner enjoys it. I made a number of sales on the night, so was able to make a donation to the cause.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ice Princess

I used the fantastic quartz nuggets I purchased recently to make a super simple choker, using sterling silver stardust rounds as spacers.  I am in love - the quartz is beautiful - clear, chunky and full of light.

"Junk Pearl" Pin

I had fun making this pin brooch, with a mix of crystals, pearls, chain & charms.  The brooch pin come strait - you add your beads as desired, then bend the shank into a loop to finish.

Jasper chain

I used my new jasper - a lovely green - blue tone with shades of brown - to make this simple, long chain.  I used simple oval links to build the length quickly. I have about a dozen rondells left -  still deciding what to do with them.

Christmas gifts already!

I have made a start on my Christmas list, with quite a few pieces done already.  Luckily most of the women in my life like jewellery too!

Some pearls for my sister-in-law- they are a love soft pink with a peach sheen.

Gemstone haul

I was lucky enough to get some great treasures at my local gem show this year - normally there is not a great deal to excite me, but this year there were some great treasures.  I got some labradorite and obsidian rounds, some coral, some beautiful green agate, black agate, some jasper, and, the real find, some clear quartz nuggets that are just divine. I have already been playing with these, and will show the results in the next few posts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Organic Appeal

I have used some beautiful wooden beads, strung on black cord with some agate features and velvet spacers to make a long, unstructured necklace with a really natural, organic feel. The wooden beads were purchased on a recent trip to the Sunshine coast, as was the large agate I have used as a feature.
The photo is the first I have taken using my new light-box, a gift from my darling husband.  What a difference it makes - great shot first try!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Playing with ceramics

These ceramic beads are a little outside my normal go-to style, but they really appealed.  I have strung them with some brass toned beads, and a pale sage green suede cord.    They are deliciously chunky, and have a very organic feel, and a most beautiful blue/green/brown palette.  Fabulous with jeans & a t-shirt for summer, or  a chunky knit in winter.

Peacock Pearls

I am not a huge fan of pearls, but when these beautiful, dark pearls arrived from FMG, I knew they had to be mine - they have the most wonderful peacock lustre - hints of green and purple over a dark grey base.  The photos don't do the colour justice.  I have strung them simply, with Iolite rondelles as spacers, and I love them.

This closeup shows the colour a little better.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taming of the shrew challenge

This weeks YOJ theme was "The taming of the shrew"   I decided to make a stamped cuff bracelet - first time doing anything like real metalwork. I started with length of copper pipe, beat it flat with hammer, then stamped a quote from the play "And thereby hangs a tale" (just a little bit wonky!, but I'm claiming I was going for the rustic look!) I bashed it a bit more to give it some texture, then enlisted my darling man's help to buff it and shape it into a cuff. 

I used the egg patina method I found in one of the threads here to get rid of the shiny copper finish, then used some alcohol inks to darken the text, and improve the colour a bit. I finally embellished with some filigree and some split pins, and lined the inside with velvet ribbon.

I have to admit the end product is rather "rustic", but I am rather pleased with myself, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Next time I will know to keep the text and decoration more to the middle, rather than the sides.

The pictures are kind of ordinary, as it was really hard to pick up the stamping, but hopefully you get the idea!

P.S. - Just found out this was a winner for the challenge!!

Rose quartz chain

I wanted to use some rose quartz from my stash, so I made this simple chain, using some earring hoops, and "w" clips to link them together, and some rose quartz links.  It is a very simple design, but I am happy with it.

I made a bracelet as well, using some fancy headpins and wrapped loops, to give a chunkier look.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A win for my Victory Bracelet

The bracelet featured below was this weeks winner on the YOJ challenge on  Yay!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Victory bracelet

This weeks YOJ theme at was victory.  For me, thinking of victory led to thoughts of war. I was hunting in my stash for inspiring images, and found a reproduction of the front page of the New York Times on VJ day - the day the Japanese and Americans signed a treaty to end hostilities. I used segments of the headlines to make little charms. I elected to go with a more sombre, respectful colour scheme, as a reminder that in order to achieve a victory there is often great loss. I guess my piece is more of a memorial than a celebration. 

The individual charms are made in little "picture frames", and I have a few more of these, so I am thinking of making a few more pieces in this design, but with a variety of images in the frames.

Carnelian Sunshine

This bracelet and earrings are for a friends birthday.  She is not a person who wears much in the way of jewellery, and I have only ever seen her wear gold, so I needed to reign myself in that think simple.  Working in gold is a challenge for me, as I am a silver girl all the way.  However, I had a dig around in my stash, and found a few bits and pieces to go with the wonderful, bright orange of the carnelian.  (Must give thanks for the "lucky dip" findings bags I buy from FMG)  The earwires feature a little star on the front, and do "dress up" a simple design.  The bracelet is a basic eyepin chain, with a couple of beadcaps and filigree beads to add some subtle sparkle.  Hope she likes it!

Lapis chain earrings

I have used some pretty blue lapis beads, copper blanks and some copper jump rings to make a simple but effective pair of earrings.  I have also made a similar pair with brass and labradorite beads, but could not get a good photo!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pyrite set

I recently bought some beautiful pyrite beads from Fire Mountain Gems, and combined them with some simple bronze and black czech crystal beads to make a simple but lovely necklace, bracelet and earrings.

Rags to Riches!

This weeks YOJ at Beading forum was rags to riches  - I decided to upcycle a section from and old belt I bought at the markets quite a while ago.  I adder a kumihimo braid, some dangle, and used rub n buf & alcohol inks to play with the colour.

Here is the original belt

Monday, August 22, 2011

A winner!

My "Blue Light" challenge piece, pictured below, came equal first!  I have had a lovely weekend away with family, so no time to bead this week.  Will post up some pictures of another recent piece as soon as I can.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Blue Light" challenge

This weeks YOJ theme at inspired me to use my lovely labradorite beads.  I love the way the colour flashes as the light catches it.

Beautiful beady haul from FMG

I know! I know! - it's been far too long since I have posted - that's because it's been far to long since I made anything.  Anyway, I finished my assignment, so today I got to play for a while.  Firstly though, my parcel from FMG finally arrived - I was stalking the postie for days!

Some lovely pyrite, labradorite, sodalite and lapis beads, some cords for braiding and some new tools.  I am amazed at the difference a better quality tool makes.  I haven't spent a huge amount, but just getting proper tools has made a huge difference.  I also got some findings - a girl can never have enough findings!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Three wise owls

This simple necklace features a cute owl connector, and simple purple dangles.  I am planning a matching bracelet - the owls are soooooo cute!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A winner!

My Downton Abbey inspired jewellery  (see below) won this weeks YOJ challenge at Beading Forum.  Yay!!!  I really like this set, and received some nice comments when I wore it the other day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mad glove exchange on Beading forum

I have just participated in a random swap on my beading forum, and this is the lovely gift I received

And this is what I sent to my swap partner

We had to exchange a pair of gloves (madness level optional) and matching handmade jewellery.

It was wonderful fun, just like Christmas, but without the relatives!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My first chain maille

This bracelet was a kit, also from Beads Online   It was my first attempt at chain maille - the small size of the rings was a bit of a challenge at first, but I quickly got the hang of the byzantine weave in the segments.  The end result is very cute, but I think my next attempt will involve a larger size ring!

Hoot Hoot

These sweet little earrings are from a kit from Beads Online - I added a touch of copper alcohol ink to the owls to soften the colour a little.

Downton Dreaming

I was inspired by all the beautiful jewellery I have been lusting after on Downton Abbey to make this black crystal, brass and  flower set.  The earring feature fabric flowers,
and the necklace a resin rose.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Utopia necklaces

I made these pieces for the "Utopia" themes YOJ challenge on beading forum.  The first is a combination of rose quartz, flourite, clear quartz and pearl. It is destined to be a birthday gift for a friend. The second is purple crazy lace agate, hematite, lavakite, flourite, obsidian and moonstone. It will be going to a friend at work, who fell in love with the crazy lace agate.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vicki's Vintage Charmer

A gift for my dear friend Vicki -- she of the mad, vintage, Victorian style, and lover of all things sparkly.  Hope you like it my sweet.

Woodland Gems

Sorry for the lack of recent posts- struck down by unpleasant virus - I have been a very unhappy camper, but finally feeling better.  I made this multi-strand necklace with jasper beads I was given by one of the lovely girls on  I love the earthy tones, so I used some sweet brass birds, and brass chain to keep the warm tones.  The construction went through multiple stages - every time I put it on, the chains would roll and tangle.  Eventually, I solved the problem by using little chandelier components to attach the strands.