Thursday, 28 October 2010

take one bag of beads

hello again, i think I'm getting into the hang of this regular blogging malarkey.

well today was my monthly bead club meeting (its nice to enjoy a bit of a social side to a relatively solitary hobby) and it was the day our challenge pieces were judged. what happens is every now and then we get given a random selections of beads (everyone gets similar styles and amounts) and basically we have to create something with them over a couple of months, and someone who didn't partake or the lady from the local bead shop judges them and a little prize is given to 1st, 2nd and third
here are my efforts

as you can see the beads were a selection of Czech glass beads in autumnal shades. i didn't win but I'm not surprised after seeing some of the other entries. I'm more of a bead weaver but i really struggled to picture what to do with them in that respect, i should have thought about embellishment and using them to jazz something up. the winners did think of that, unfortunately i didn't take any pictures.
but it does make you think about how different people see different things, even colours can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a piece, 3 ladies today were working on the same pattern but they were all using completely different colours and each piece as a result looked completely different, i think i shall be exploring the use of colour a bit more in the coming months to learn what works with what and why so bear with me if the blogs get a bit technical

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


those of you who know me in real life will know that i am not a girly girl, and that i really don't like the colour pink very much (yes i know i own a pink shirt but it looks good with my blue jeans OK), well a friend of mine was looking at pictures of things i have made on face book and asked me to make something for her daughter. sure i said what do you have in mind? a set in pink and silver, she really likes pink. at this point in time my brain starts to really struggle with the concept of pink, i don't even own any pink beads! so after a bit of a chat via email i learn that my friends daughter is really into dancing, of all styles, which makes me start thinking about something she could wear to her competitions etc. in fact it just gets me thinking full stop.

there were lots of things to consider, the girl in question is only 8 so is she going to appreciate a piece of bead woven jewellery, what size should i make the items do i need to make them adjustable so they can "grow" with her. (i know less about children than i do about pink).

so after a while i decided to do a couple of things., I'd seen a pattern in a magazine that i was dying to have a go at which could also be modified to make it my own, which would be a piece that could be worn at the competitions, but i also decided to step out of my comfort zone and do a set of more modern standard style jewellery (for want of a better description).

both pieces turned out well but in the end i stuck to the pattern of the costume piece so couldn't really sell that (trying to play by the rules here, taking it all very seriously now, especially as I've started designing my own stuff) and thankfully the mother really liked the set i made so we decided on that piece. so i guess I've just had another commission as its all been paid for and sent to its new home, and another friend saw the work in progress pictures and has asked for a similar set herself! i could get used to this lol.

pink ruffles: the one I'm keeping

and the set I've sent to its new home (i hope she likes it)

now does anybody have any ideas on what i can use 100g of pink seed beads for, i appear to have some left over!!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

bit of a catch up

Hi folks,

as usual its been a while since my last post, but that's been because I've been finishing pieces off so have had nothing to post.

The first piece is from a kit i purchased at a show in September, as some of you may know I've been enjoying dabbling in bead embroidery but have never tried to do a bib or collar as I've been unsure of the sizing. well i treated myself to a kit By Alison Nash to get an idea of the sizing and also how long it would take. I can tell you it takes a long time!

the black background itself took about 9 hours of solid beading, and that was just filling in the gaps so I'd say it took approximately 20 hours to complete from start to finish.

a slightly closer look at the beading. The beads used were primarily size 11 seed beads with a few size 15 to in the little gaps. I have to say it was a nice kit to complete even though i did have some issues with running out of various beads, but a quick email to Alison soon sorted that out for me. So will i be making any more piece similar to this?
Too right I will!! watch this space.

I'll post some more tomorrow (hopefully)

Monday, 4 October 2010

its been a while

Hi folks,

its been a while since i posted anything, not because i've not been beading more a case of can't be bothered to go and sit upstairs at the computer in the bead room where there is no tv (i'm a tv junkie, and i wonder why i've been putting on weight) i've been doing my beading on a lap tray whilst sitting on the sofa watching diagnosis murder and the like. Well since my last post i did get paid for the commision i did and was even paid a bit extra because of the wait so i've put the money to one side to take to the bead fair up in Harrogate on the 24th (my birthday, the big 30) to buy some lovely beady goodies.

as for beading i've been working on i did a piece from the current bead and button magazine as soon as it came out and i love the result:

this is the first flat peyote cuff i'd done for ages and it set me thinking. As some of you may know i've been entering a couple of competitions through forums, which has lead me to designing some small bits of peyote, so i figured i'd try and design a cuff, especially as the bead buddies forum was running a cuff challenge. Here is the result:

Its a celtic knot pattern worked in delicas and i'm really chuffed with the results, the colours i used were picked at random out of my bead stash but they really work with this piece. i charted the pattern by hand when i was at work during a quiet shift using pen and paper, which was a bit frustrating and resulted in a lot of crossing out until i got the hang of the pattern. it didn't win the challenge but second place is not to be sneezed at.

hope you've enjoyed the read

Monday, 30 August 2010

another challenge piece

Have entered this piece for the bead buddies forum pass it forward challenge, the theme this time round was "alice in wonderland".
I decided on the cheshire cat as he is an iconic character of the story. I have sticthed him using peyote stitch using a pattern i charted out myself, i'm still very new to charting my own peyote patterns but i'm happy with the result. some of the other beads i've used are to symbolise elements of the story too such as the large heart bead, represents the queen of hearts, the flowers are to represent the talking flowers in the garden where alice meets the catterpillar and there is also a rose bead to represent the roses that the cards were painting red. The other beads are just to make it look pretty and i think it does.
This was a great challenge as it had loads of possibilities and after researching on the internet i learnt an awful lot about the book and its author, i could ramble on but thats not what this blog is about, well actually reading the titile i guess it is, but i'm not in the mood to bore you today.
I learnt a very good lesson the other day, although i do my beading as a hobby, i do like to sell the odd piece as well, and i thought i was onto a winner when one of my friends asked me to make her 3 necklaces, it was for a birthday present for another friend and it was a very tight deadline, so didn't have time to sort out a deposit or anything and i figured as it was for a friend i'd be ok WRONG!!! i'm still chasing up the payment a fortnight later, i know some of you may be saying you shouldn't have handed over the necklaces until payment had been received etc, but if i'd done that somebody wouldn't have got a birthday present (as it needed to be posted) and i would have felt really bad about that. And of course now that i am waiting for money i've had loads of bills come in such as car insurance and needing new brakes on the car and an interest hike on the credit card. So the lesson is even if its for a friend remember to get the money before handing over goods. but never mind, you learn from your mistakes.
hopefully be back with another instalment very soon

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

new house, new beginings

well as some of you may know, i've been busy over the past couple of weeks moving house, my other half Richard and i have just started renting our first home together, so we've been busy getting the new place sorted out. i love the new place it has a proper homely feel about it made even more so by Lenny, Richards black lab finally being able to join us.

and the new home means more space, which means i have my very own room to bead in (its the box room so not much good for anything else lol) so i am trying to get my creative juices flowing in there but its a very slow dribble rather than a flow, mainly beacuse Lenny keeps coming in especially to fart, bless him.

i have finished one piece in the new room and i entered it into a challenge on the bead buddies forum the theme was africa and it won! so i now have to set the next challenge, i think i know what i'm going to have as my theme but i'm not sure how people will react to it, but i guess thats part of the challenge. but what do i offer as a prize?? for my prize i get to commision a piece of polymer clay (have asked the very nice lady if she will create the focal for my egyptian piece i mentioned a while back as my effort was pathetic), but we have some seriously talented beaders on that forum, why would they want a piece of my beading? hmmmm will have to give the prize some thought, suggestions greatly recieved.
right i'd best get back to the beading, i'm attempting my first ever peyote beaded bead, its not gone so well so now i'm adding bits to make it look like a pom pom but its taking forever lol

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

well i've not been posting or beading much recently as i am preparing to move house so have been ringing round trying to arrange the utilities etc and procrastinating about the packing up of the stuff in the flat but i did take a couple of bags of stuff to the charity shop and am plucking up the courage to take some more but i'm a bit sentimental about those bits.

i joined another bead forum last week called bead buddies and its fantastic, its really friendly with some very accomplished beaders as members (lynn davy for one) and it always has challenges, competitions and swaps on the go so you can really develop your skills. i was asked by one of the members to test a pattern for her and the result is below:

its made from peyote and brick stitch, i'm not sure what i'm going to do with it yet, possibly mount it on the flap of a satchel style bag, but in the mean time i shall keep it next to me looking pretty. so thanks to sooz for asking me to be a guinnea pig, i had fun.

i have got some more to post but i can't get the pictures to go where i want them so i'm going to sign off for now before i throw the laptop out the window.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

beaders block

sorry i've not been around much, but i've not really had anything to say, well nothing bead related anyway. i've had a serious case of beaders block.

but in other news....
Rich my other half started his new job this week, which is a great relief to both of us as he was made redundant in october, so he's now at my place pretty much permanently as its a closer commute for him (its very strange seeing blokes shirts in my wardrobe but i like it) and we are now looking for a place together.

i got a lovely package of unwanted beads from a jewellery making friend the other day was surprised at how many actually and there will be a little something winging its way back to her made out of the said beads as a thank you, i'm dying to post a picture of it but i want it to be a surprise. so if anybody else has any unwanted seed beads feel free to send them in my direction lol.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

runner up!

well i had a bit of good news yesterday, i found out i was runner up in the making jewellery magazine forum, february bracelet competion and am now the proud owner of a set of sharpie markers (well i will be when they arrive). this may not sound like a lot but its the first time i've ever entered a piece of my jewellery into a competition and to do well in it has given me such an ego boost.

this is the piece i entered
i've always been more into bead weaving, but have discovered that with bead weaving i can create my own designs, unlike weaving where i seem to be doing other peoples or adapting them. for the moment i think i may be sticking with the embroidery and have a few ideas mulling around in my head waiting to be created

Monday, 15 March 2010

new begginings

well, this is the start of a new era, i'm joining the technical age and having a blog! i've had one before but i never used it properly and can't remember the password or anything.

some of you may know me from old some are new friends and some may just be passing by, whoever you are feel free to stop and relax a while, this blog will mainly cover my jewellery making, but i may also go off tangent and waffle on about the day job etc.

a bit of background info is required i guess.
my name is ruth i was born 24th october 1980 in loftus, cleveland, uk. i moved to tyneside in 1999 and onto cheshire in 2006 where i am currently working at a train station to fund my beading addiction.

i've always been into making thing (mess and trouble mainly) but started playing with beads properly just over a year ago after walking round a corner and spotting a local bead shop i never knew existed (and still remains my favourite bead shop). in the past year i've done simple stringing and more structural bead weaving and am currently exploring the bead embroidery path after a class at my local bead group.

i have a few ideas in the pipeline and i shall keep you updated with the progress as and there is any

speak soon