New beads in The Curious Bead Shop! Last update for a wee while. Head over and check them out!
Friday, 7 March 2014
Today I had an exciting (for me) afternoon planned - booked in to get my hair cut and highlights put in (first time for almost a year; I know, I am *awful* at getting it done with any kind of frequency - I think that because I have curly hair I can get away with it...!). My highlights are currently half way down my head and my hair is definitely not in the best of conditions, ahem.....so I was really looking forward to getting it done. I'm always a bit unsure of new salons, as I really hate the way/style a lot of hairdressers dry my hair (again, it's the curly hair thing - if you have curls too, you'll know exactly what I mean, I'm sure), but I found a Toni and Guy salon, and as that's where I last got my hair done in Manchester, I would take a leap of faith on a new place.
I set off in plenty of time - beautiful day here, I thought a 45 minute walk would be a pleasant and healthy was to start my afternoon. But, unfortunately I got extremely confused with my Maps app and got lost on the way - that's ok, I thought, I'm still 20 minutes ahead of my appointment, I'll just ring ahead to let them know that I am running late. No problem, we'll let the stylist know. Up the hill I tramped, thinking that perhaps my wooly gloves were perhaps not really needed for such a sunny day...at the top of the hill, again my maps app foiled me and I ended up walking round and round a block, looking for a turn off that DID NOT EXIST. Took a different route. Had a fight with my very long, very cosy wooly scarf trying to pull the thing off as I was now rather on the warm side.
So, eventually - puffing a little and definitely red in the face - I made it to the hairdresser, 15 minutes late. Only to discover that they had only booked me in for my highlights and not a haircut. And that they couldn't possibly fit me in for a haircut after the dye. Aaagh! I don't really know why, but things like that get me soooo worked up. Partly because I'd taken the afternoon off work, with the concession in my head that I will work this evening instead.
So, instead of having a nice relaxing haircut, sorting out my shocking two-tone dry-as-a-bone hair, I'm sitting in Cafe Nero writing this blog. Had a lemon and poppyseed muffin just to counteract any good that the walk may have done me, and I will probably miss the bead delivery that I was expecting today, and have to go and pick it up from the depot later instead. *Sigh* Anyway, I think I will go and buy another cup of tea and then go home.
Anyway, so as not to simply bore you with my non-exciting non-haircut(!), I will share some of the things I've been working on lately. These simply cord bracelets have proved very popular, and I'm thinking they will be a great thing to have in stock for my summer fairs. They still have my trademark handmade element in them - beautiful handmade buttons from Bo Hulley or handmade lampwork discs from Helen Chalmers. A simple and pretty way to wear handmade! There are a few available in my shop just now, but most of them don't even last long enough to get into my shop - they are snaffled up straight from my FB page here.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Welcome to Andrew Thornton's Radiant Orchid Challenge! This is the first one of these challenges that Andrew has run in a wee while and I was so glad that a bit of insomnia meant that I managed to snag one of his hard-to-get-hold-of kits.
Andrew's kit is based around Pantone's colour of the year for 2014, Radiant Orchid.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I don't much like it.......
Yep, that's right.
It's just not my sort of purple. Or my sort of pink.
Don't get me wrong, I love purple. I even love pink! But I like deeper blue-purples, and I tend towards magentas or peach-pinks. Radiant Orchid for me, is a little sickly, and yet not quite saturated enough. I like the other colours in the actual orchid Pantone have included on their swatch, but not the Radiant Orchid shade itself. (By the way, as I type this, I'm hugely aware that my colour theory knowledge is very patchy, so apologies if I use 'shade', 'colour', 'saturation' etc in the wrong way. I hope you get the general gist nonetheless!)
So, you might be wondering why I snapped up a kit based around this colour! Well, firstly, I have 100% faith in Andrew Thornton and his artistry. I knew any kit from him would contain Good.Stuff. And I wasn't wrong. Here's a peek at what we were sent:
And the mystery component (which I love) ~
I also bought a destash kit from Andrew at the same time; as it toned nicely, I got muddled in my head which beads belonged to which.... so I've thrown some of these elements in with the Radiant Orchid kit itself. And there was a beautiful porcelain pendant made by Andrew itself which I'm sure you'll see popping up in other people's designs - I haven't used it yet, but it's a beaut, and do hop over to some of the other participants to see it in action.
But also, one of my main and continual inspirations is colour itself. And how they relate to each other. Several years back, when I started taking my design work more seriously, I gave myself a series of colour challenges - primarily to work with colours that I wasn't particularly drawn to, or even didn't really think I liked. I read a lot about colour, and use of colour in jewellery design, and one thing that stuck with me was something that colour guru Beverley Gilbert Ash wrote. I'm paraphrasing here, as it was some years ago, but the essence of what she wrote was this:
"You can work with any colour(s), in any combination, as long as you get the proportions and value right."
I remember feeling excited by this prospect along with not a little unsure that it was something I could pull off. But it's a thought that has remained with me and inspires me often.
And so what I have discovered for me is not that I dislike Radiant Orchid entirely. It's just that a little goes a long way! And that is definitely what you will see reflected in my designs today, without a doubt...
The first piece I created uses acrylic flowers stacked, vintage czech tile beads (to the right), and a single pop from the RO kit. What, you mean you can't see it? Yes, the light isn't right, and you can't quite see that it is in fact a purple crystal....hanging off the left of the branch. It balances nicely with the tile beads I think. I combined the warm topaz with a lovely ceramic pendant from Kylie Parry, and some elements from The Curious Bead Shop (new deerskin leather lace, which is super-soft and delicious, and a Vintaj branch). It was also my first time using E6000 glue....hmmm. Not sure what I think. I was a bit terrified by it's many 'toxic fumes' warnings!
Now my second piece, featuring more of the deerskin lace (which I'm a little bit in love with) and one of my Deco Rose clasps, along with a ceramic link from Scorched Earth.
I knew straight away when the kit arrived, that I would have to use the tiny purple bells if I possibly could. They add just the right amount of movement and sound to a bracelet that I like. I kept the leather-lace tails nice and long too, as I do like that added texture and elegance that they add.
Lastly, a pair of earrings. I am a super-huge fan of enamelled beads an elements - in fact, I've had my own kit for over a year now with good intentions of having a go myself. Ahem. It hasn't happened yet. Similar fears to those which the E6000 glue invoked......But I will before the year is out!
I paired the enamelled beads with some gorgeous rustic glass facets, and simply slid them onto some of my heart headpins, and then formed the remainder of the headpins into the earwires themselves. Sweet, simple and easy to wear!
So, even if you are not particularly drawn to Radiant Orchid, don't let it put you off. I am looking forward to finding other ways that I can incorporate it into my work this year.
Massive thanks to Andrew for organising this challenge and blog hop. Now hop over and see the other participants!
Rebecca Anderson http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com/ <------- are="" font="" here="" you="">------->
Jeanne Steck http://www.gemsbyjeannemarie.blogspot.com
Carole Carlson http://www.beadsophisticate.wordpress.com/
Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Joanne Goldberg, Julie Katz, Irene Leniham, and Linda Starosciak http://www.andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/
Monday, 24 February 2014
Saturday, 22 February 2014
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
It's FLASH sale time over at The Curious Bead Shop! Get over your Wednesday blues with some neeeeew beads, cord and findings with 15% off all orders, today only, with coupon code HUMPDAY. I've currently got new Vintaj, handmade findings - including new antiqued and sealed copper wire - and plenty of beautiful Czech glass of course. Hop over to take a look and treat yourself to some bead therapy!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone