Thursday, 30 August 2007

Russian Firebird Necklace

When I saw that the UK Beaders theme this month was "holiday destinations" I knew right away that I had to make something about St Petersburg.

I love all things Russian and have shown here some of the photos and postcards from my holiday there last year, which inspired me to make the necklace.

I was thinking especially of the traditional costumes, beautiful patterns, decor and lacquer paintings. I get really carried away with it all and have collected loads of odd bits and pieces over the last couple of years.

I've been wanting to do something Russian-esque for ages so I'm glad this challenge came along and I could start having a good think about what to do.
I started with a lacquered brooch and based the whole design upon that.

I had also bought the book "Beading with Cabochons" about a month earlier so I was dying to try this out and thought the elaborate and decorative beadwork would fit in well with my theme.

I've also taken some pictures of the cabochon as I was beading it to show how it was made up.

Gluing the brooch on to the backing material and beading three rows of seed beads around the edges.

Adding hoops of seed beads to the top. Which will allow the pendant to sit on the straps.

The finishing touches. Adding a fancy fringe and border in red, gold and black to match the brooch and straps.

Edited 23/09
The Russian Firebird necklace won the "holiday destinations" challenge! I'm really pleased and thank you so much to the members who voted for it.
Here is the link for the artist of the month blog:

Monday, 20 August 2007

Inspire Me Thursday - Watercolours

The thing I love about painting in watercolour is the way colours blend in to each other in a wash. So this week I chose to do two of them with colours graduating from red,orange, yellow and purple, blue, green.
To make it a bit different and as an experiment I then wove the two together - mixing the colours again.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Jewellery studio

This is a photograph of my little studio where I do most of my jewellery work. I'm lucky to be able to use a spare room at my dad's house which we have converted - with lots and lots of storage for all those little beads - finally colour coordinated!

Inspire Me Thursday - DNA

Something a bit different for IMT this week as I've been doing a lot more jewellery making than painting recently. Although I am still working on a painting inspired by the "Dear Diary" prompt and I'll post it when it is eventually finished.

When I saw the theme was DNA it made me think of the tubular peyote stitch I am working on at the moment. The beads swirl round in close strands and look like DNA.

Here is a necklace I am working on - with the strands in tubular peyote. I'm still doing something wrong because it is supposed to be much more regular and even than mine but I kind of like the random ruffled look it has at the moment.

I've beaded round an Agate slice as the pendant. Its still a work in progress because I'm hoping to add more embellishments in different shades of blue to match the different tones in the pendant.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Autumn Jewellery Collection

I've just finished work on my autumn jewellery collection. It went on show today at the Piece Hall Art Gallery in Halifax, West Yorkshire. It will be there until October when the Christmas collection arrives. I'm having fun working on it at the moment - lots of sparkly party jewellery.
So here are a few of the autumn pieces.

Champagne Shell Necklace
With Mother of Pearl, Bronze Freshwater Pearls, Frangia and twisted shell sticks.

Sunset Necklace
With vintage tapered pendants and an assortment of glass and seed beads. I'm entering this one for the Aug-Sep monthly challenge on UK Beaders. The theme is "summer sunsets."

Copper Charm Necklace
With Smoky Quartz and gold Freshwater Pearl Charms.

Tiger Eye Branches Necklace
This was very complicated to make but I'm happy with how it turned out. It is made with Tiger Eye chips, golden cube and rootbeer seed beads. It is based on a necklace in the book "Making Jewellery" which I just got out from the library.

Golden Donut Necklace
A slightly better picture of this necklace which I posted earlier in the blog.

Smoky Quartz Abacus Necklace
Pendant made with Eni Oken's abacus tutorial. (
It took 15 feet of sterling silver wire and 3 hours to make the pendant! Its not perfect but I quite like its wonky handmade look (thats my excuse anyway). I've used Smoky Quartz and a mixture of glass beads and swarovski crystals.

Golden Multi-String Necklace
Also posted earlier - I made it as part of my colour experiments.

Freshwater Pearl Charm Bracelet
With Biwa stick pearls, Biwa coin pearls, Mother of Pearl, Rock Quartz and Swarovski.

Autumn Garden Bracelet
This is maybe my favourite one. I love the autumn colours which I based on the resin flower and leaf pendants.

Shell Necklace, Earrings & Charm Bracelet Set
Made with lots of types of shell which I attatch to headpins making charms.

Smoky Quartz Bracelet

Turquoise & Gold Two Strand Bracelet
I love turquoise and gold/bronze together so I'm planning a necklace in the same colours with Turquoise nugget gemstones.

Thanks for looking ... Hope you liked it!