Wednesday 28 July 2010

Wednesday's Wear It Or Frog It

This week's WWIOFI is a pendant that I dug out from the depths of one of my jewellery boxes. I think I wore it just the once after I'd made it and then it was never heard from again. What did I like about it? I was happy with the polymer clay pendant I made, the swirls of black, white and grey remind me of the milky way and the glitter adds to that effect. I learned a valuable lesson using the coarse glitter which isn't really suitable for clay work, it was originally green but sanding the pendant took the surface off it and I ended up with silver! I also love the Crystal Vitrail Swarovski bicones which are a gorgeous shade.

What I didn't like about it was my wirework (you can't really see it in the photo but believe me, it's rubbish!) and the ribbon, which was too wide. So I've frogged it a little, redoing my dodgy wirework and making a black and silver chain from random lengths connected with jump rings. Now I'm really happy and it's something I'll be bringing out a little more often!

We'd love to see what pieces you dig out and if you alter them or reuse the materials for something else. You can email pictures to

Monday 26 July 2010

A Passion For Purple {Monday Moodboard}

Well, we're onto the third week of our new feature Monday Moodboard. Are you ready for another inspirational colour workout?

This week's Monday Moodboard is a darker, more sophisticated palette of pure purple, black and white. But while you're focusing on the colours, don't forget about the texture. There's also an absolute ton of it in the palette - pinstripe, netting, cross-hatching, feathers and retro circles.

1. ultra violet, 2. Concert flyer, 3. nina_brosh_nina07, 4. Purple

Enough to spark the creativity of any self-respecting beader or jewellery artist. So, what are you waiting for?

And remember, if you do make something inspired by one of our moodboards, do leave us a link in the comments below or e-mail me an image at

Sunday 25 July 2010

Purple lilies and let's play with crimps now!

Feeling a bit better finally, so I've come up with my first goal for the stash-busting, and it's all about my favourite colour - purple!:-) I have these funky acrylic calla lilies and this purple mix I gathered up and was planning to turn into a Tiger Tail necklace:


But for some reason it didn't happen at all. though I made a sketch of it and everything! (I've never made sketches of jewellery before this year, art is not my strongest point lol)

Umm ok, not that I have played much with crimps before but I do have a Tigertail bracelet and earrings that I made this year, so maybe now is the time to get brave and make a necklace already! I might even make some earrings to go with it, as I do love making them, and have enough lilies for that.

I'm going to start this next month I think as I am entering a July competition on Making Jewellery forum first. But after that I am planning to give myself 2 weeks for each goal and see how that goes. I think I'd prefer to come up with my own designs for this blog, but I do have a few magazines now so I might mix and match my own ideas with those and online projects, maybe. That way I have a fallback if my creativity has a bad day hehehe!

Well, wish me luck with those rascally little things they call crimps! lol

[Sorry about the really small thumbnail, I don't quite know how to get it bigger. Can someone please advise me? Thanks loads:-) I'm not used to blogs clearly lol]

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Wednesdays Wear It Or Frog It.

This week I dug through one of my jewellery cases and came up with this spiral rope bracelet. I made this using a size 11 bead soup mix of creams and beige and some cream dancing pearls. I think I wore it once and then put it it the case, never to be seen again until today. Having looked at it again, I think it's a lovely bracelet, just not the right colours for me, I tend to wear cool colours such as purple, teal, black and white. I would certainly make this style of bracelet again in those sorts of colours but this one is not for me! I have a friend who wears lots of browns and natural colours so I will offer it to her. If she doesn't want it, you may well see it frogged at a later date!

Have you dug through the jewellery stash to unearth any lost treasures this week? Please tell us all about them, you can e-mail us at .

Monday 19 July 2010

Tickled Pink Reveal {Monday Moodboard}

Last week we started our new feature, Monday Moodboard, in which we hope to encourage you to get creative and use up your beadstash by drawing inspiration from the colours, shapes, textures and emotions of the moodboard.

We started with a soft and simple collection of pale pinks and mauves with a touch of green, grey and white.

Tickled Pink

Here's what the team made -

Sarah took colour inspiration directly from the palette by choosing beads in a pale pink colour with an iridescent finish that shows hints of mauves and purples. The sterling silver rounds also pick up on the shape of the round sweets in the moodboard and add interest and texture to these simple, but beautiful earrings.

Tickled Pink Moodboard entry - Sarah

To create these pretty earrings in circular netting, Liz chose white and pale pinks, combined with the tiniest hint of pale green which she spotted in the photograph of the roses - and this gives Liz's earrings the soft, light feel of the photographs in the moodboard.

Starburst Earrings

And, although I had something completely different in mind, I was drawn to these beautiful handmade shell beads that I bought several years ago in Namibia. The natural shell colours show variations of white, creams, pinks and purples and their round, but slightly irregular shapes are reminiscent of the rose petals on the cake.

Moodboard Monday No.1

There will be new Monday Moodboard next week but in the meantime, if you have thoughts about any of our new features or have any projects inspired by the moodboard to share with us, please leave a link in the comments below, send details to or post it in our new OTTBS Flickr Group.

Sunday 18 July 2010

New Flickr Group

We have have a lovely shiny new Flickr Group,
Please join us and add photo's of your beady goals and projects!

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Wednesday's Wear It Or Frog It.

Before After
I have been beading for about eight years now and in that time I have built up quite a collection of jewellery. I have beaded many necklaces and bracelets, though not too many earrings, which is odd because they are the item of jewellery that I wear the most.

So, what happens to those necklaces and bracelets that have had so many hours invested in them, not just in the time spent making the piece, but the hours pouring over pictures and techniques in magazines for inspiration, the rummaging in the bead box for the perfect focal point and searching on the web for the vital missing ingredient?
I give some pieces to friends and family as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, sell some but more often than not I keep them for myself. Usually I wear them constantly for a few days, until the next bright shiny objects comes along and then I pop them into one of my many jewellery boxes. Once consigned to a jewellery box, many of these items never see the light of day again, which is such a waste of the materials and the time I invested in making them.
So, not only do I have a stash of beads that have been waiting to be made into pretty jewellery, but I also have a huge stash of pretty jewellery waiting forlornly in a box for the day I might once again choose to wear it.
Starting this week, I will be rummaging through my jewellery stash to pick out a piece that I rarely wear, I will be wearing it for a day to see if I still like it, if there is something that I can do improve it so that I will wear it more often or if the piece needs to be frogged so that the beads can be used to make something else. I will post my results on Wednesday's.

This week's piece is a bracelet that I made 2 years ago with a huge stash of leftover beads, it took quite a long time and I do love it and wear it on rare occasions. However, it is a bit huge and could probably be quite deadly to animals and small children if I bumped into them with it, so I am limited to wearing it, also it is a total pain knocking against the desk when I am typing in work. I really didn't want to take it apart but the beads are so pretty it was really wasteful to just leave them hidden away. In my continued quest for a statement necklace I had a bit of a brain wave, snipped a bit of chain to the right length, added a jump ring, attached the bracelet to either side of the chain and viola, I now have a lovely chunky bright necklace that I can wear without the fear of causing any harm to my office furniture!

Do you have a huge stash of jewellery that is languishing away in drawers, boxes or cupboards? I'd love to see what pieces you dig out and if you alter them or reuse the materials for something else. You can email pictures to

Monday 12 July 2010

Tickled Pink {Monday Moodboard}

Recently I came across Color For Bead Artists, a blog which explores "the good, the bad, and the beautiful of color." It's an intriguing blog, more so because looking through my bead stash (and later my scrapbooking stash) I found that I actually tended to stick to my own personal favourites and colour palettes which I felt comfortable with. It seems that I'm not all that adventurous when it comes to colour choices. Am I the only one?

So, in an effort to drag myself away from the 'same old, same old' I've been spending some time putting together some colour combinations and I thought that I'd share some of them with you.

Tickled Pink

We're starting with a fairly simple palette - a super soft selection of pinks with touches of white, mauve and grey. By using the colours, shapes or mood, you're welcome to use the board to inspire your own creations.

I'll be creating a new Monday Moodboard every other week and inbetween, I'll be posting images of creations inspired by the moodboards. So, if you have any to share, please leave a link in the comments below or send details to me at

Sunday 11 July 2010

1st Goal for July Complete! Sarah

Back in June I posted that I wanted to make a statement necklace with some Vintaj components and these lovely white and bronze beads that I rescued from a half made necklace. As I was working the soft colours whispered rather than shouted so I decided against a large statement necklace and instead decided to play to the vintage feel of the components. I started by making some wrapped loop links with the bronze beads and joined them with jump rings, but that wasn't quite right so I made little love knots to join the links instead. I wanted the focus to be at the front so I added pre-made chain to the sides and made a large ruffly flower in circular netting for the focal. I am quite happy with it, but still want to make a statement necklace!

It's A Start, Right?

Despite joining the Operation Tackle That Beadstash team during May with such high hopes for starting to use up my burgeoning boxes of beads, I have to admit to the most epic fail. Not only have I failed to use up the beautiful blue beads that were the emphasis of my first goal, but I haven't even been beading!

I've been busy concentrating on all of that 'life stuff' that gets in the way. Still, it's given me a lot of time to think and I certainly have a long list of ideas, inspiration and - of course, lots of beads - to start working with.

White & Purple Earrings

And, just to prove that things will slowly be returning to normal, here's a cute little pair of earrings that I made this morning. It's a start, right?

Thursday 8 July 2010

The Trials & Tribulations of Goal 8!

First of all, huge apologies for my lack of posting lately. I've been really busy with orders and commissions (although I'm not complaining!) plus other non-beady stuff and have spread myself a little too thin.

Also I came to a total standstill with my last goal. I had planned to use up that gorgeous tube of beads by the end of the week but three weeks later they were still sitting on my desk! Several times I had an idea, tipped the beads onto my bead mat and had a go but everything I tried was a disaster.

I discovered that they're not very good for herringbone, triangle stitch or right-angle weave. I had an idea that because they're triangles, they would look good stitched in rows on a bead embroidered cuff and I visualised a lovely zig-zag texture. No. They wobbled about a bit and it just looked messy, so back into the tube they went.

My last resort was peyote stitch which I had dismissed at first because of their shape. Success! They fit together brilliantly to give an unusual effect. So off I went, merrily making a six bead wide strip to make a bracelet...and ran out of beads three quarters of the way through! Grr. Determined not to buy another tube of these flippin' beads I unpicked it all and started again with four beads. Several hours later and with the addition of some red and gold seed beads I had this bracelet...

Now who was it that said beading was relaxing, lol.

Monday 5 July 2010

July Goals - Sarah

So, that really organised list of goals that I posted at the beginning of June? Didn't work out so well! In fact I didn't achieve any of them, so I have decided to take it one goal at a time for July as this has worked well for me in previous months.

My 1st goal is to complete the necklace that I started in June with the bronze & white beads and bronze wire. I have done quite a bit of it so this should be easily achievable as July promises to be almost as busy as June. A little teaser for you, I have made my own chain for this and it includes love knots which I just learned to do, I love them.

Keep tackling that bead stash!