Tuesday, 29 July 2008

'Petals'

These twisty petal-shaped beads make such a lovely twinkly noise as they knock against each other. I can imagine them as part of a really eyecatching necklace.

This weekend was a bit of a cinema weekend. Chris's parents were visiting and on Saturday we went to see The Dark Knight with them. Good film - Heath Ledger's Joker is an amazing character. On Sunday Chris and I saw WALL-E. I'm not a huge fan of totally animated CGI-type movies but I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked Hal, WALL-E's cute little cockroach friend!

And then of course yesterday I had the pleasure of travelling on the tube in that stifling heat. It was grim down in them there tunnels. No air. The bing-bong-announcey woman was even telling people to carry a bottle of water with them. How the heck do commuters and London dwellers cope with daily tube journeys, especially in hot weather?

Friday, 25 July 2008

Beads to match the weather

There's something ever-so tropical and sunshiny about this colour combination. These are the same as the 'Fiesta' beads I made last week but decorated with some proper old school Laurabead stringerwork.

How hot was it yesterday? Making beads was torture. I had to give up in the end as I had sweat running into my eyes and my hands were so slippery I couldn't grip the mandrel properly. Painting a nice picture of myself, there!

I don't cope with that kind of heat. And yes, I know that I'm moaning about hot weather after weeks of non-summery rain and cloud but come on, yesterday's mugginess was horrid. Give me crisp, chilly-but-sunny autumn weather over the hot, clammy and so-humid-my-hair's-fuzzed-up summer stuff any day!

That's it from me this week. I'm expecting a glass delivery next week which consists of loads of my favourite-to-work-with colours as well as some funky stuff so hopefully lots of new beads will be born.

I'm off to Cambridge this afternoon. Have yourself a fab weekend!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

'Tranquility'

A few weeks back I sat and made a huge pile of these beads. They're very simple but I think they're really pretty. I sold half of them and kept the other half as I had plans to turn them into jewellery for yours truly. However, I just haven't had the time to make anything with them so I think it's time for them to go to a new home to be turned into wearable loveliness. These 'Tranquility' beads will be for sale on my website later on tonight.

Talking of simple beads, if you're wondering why there is a lack of my usual stringer-intensive creations please take a look at my latest Watch Me Create post which should explain all.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Impromptu

Sometimes you end up making beads you never set out to make. These 'Dalmatian' beads weren't planned. I made one and kind of liked it so I carried on and made a few more.

Monday Morning

Monday mornings. Never really great things and mine started in a bizarre way. I was getting dressed when I heard a noise at my bedroom window. Thinking it was yet another mental pigeon that had flown into it having been confused by the glass, I flung open the curtains to see if said pigeon had flown off with a headache or if it was in a crumpled, more-than-likely-dead heap on the garage roof. But no. Instead it was the window cleaner who gave me a big grin. I gave a short, sharp smile back and quickly shut the curtains because I was stood there in just my jeans and bra! Not good. I then wandered across the landing to the bathroom (still in just jeans and bra) to discover the window cleaner's brother cleaning the bathroom window! He shouted "Mornin'!" and waved at me through the (thankfully) frosted glass window. I shouted back "Alright?!" and scuttled back into my bedroom. Bad.

When the coast was clear and totally devoid of window cleaners I came downstairs to discover that Buster had left a pool of cat spit and grass next to my shoes. What is it with cats and eating grass? They eat it and then throw it up somewhere! But I tell you, I'm fed up of him doing things like that next to my belongings. I won't even tell you what he did to my beautiful, lovely, pink Sony Vaio laptop the other week but let's just say that it had to be cleaned to within an inch of its life and I didn't speak to Buster for two whole days afterwards.

I'm off to make beads now. Fingers crossed for a good day and I hope I don't have to kick seven shades of . . . oxygen out of my oxy-con like I did yesterday. It's so unreliable. Thank goodness that it's no longer used for medical purposes!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

'Clownfish' Beads

It had to be done, really. I don't think that I could have delved into making fish-inspired beads without creating some that are reminiscent of Nemo!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Power cut! Gah!

So there I am happily making a bead and then . . . . . power cut. Kiln off. Light off. Fan off. Oxy-con off. Music off. Me, ticked off. Turned out that some house up the road needed some emergency electricalness doing this afternoon so the electricity board switched off forty houses with no warning. The power was off for about three hours. Nice. I was on a beadmaking roll too. I hope that the beadforce will still be with me tomorrow!

As a result of today's no-electricity-situation I only have this set of blue Luminobeads to pretty up my post.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

First Blogiversary

I've been wittering away on this here blog for exactly a year today. Now that's a lot of waffle!

Yesterday I was stuck for colour ideas so I texted my fella to see if he could think of any. Chris is good like that. He always comes up with great beady concepts when I'm having an I-can't-make-beads moment. Yesterday he sent me some links to underwater photographs which resulted in me spending ages trawling Flickr and Google looking at lots of pictures of vibrantly-coloured fish. A particularly groovy one gave me the idea for these 'Fiesta' beads. Nice and bright!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Ouch! Hurty fingers!

I've named these beads 'Sumptuous' but 'Dangthatflippinghurt!' would have been a better name for them. I used a new bead reamer to clean these and managed to stab my hand four times with it. I was used to my old one but alas, it ran out of diamond coating so a new one was called for. I use a hand reamer and elbow grease to clean my beads. I know that a lot of beadmakers use Dremels and suchlike but the thought of that terrifies me. I once saw a photo of what a lampworker did to her hand while reaming a bead with a Dremel and it's put me off cleaning beads that way for life! I hate bead cleaning - totally the worst part of lampwork.

You might have noticed that I've reverted back to a white background for my bead photographs. I got bored of the slate - it's got fingerprints all over it that I can't seem to shift. Plus I hate wrestling with my light tent. And I think I actually prefer the white background because the beads seem to stand out more.

Lego Earrings

I love Lego. I love jewellery. So imagine my glee when I discovered these earrings! I just had to have them. They're one stud transparent yellow Lego bricks set in sterling silver. So cool! They were created by Sherry Truitt who makes wonderful jewellery from Lego, magnets, compasses, PMC, spirit level bubbles and many other interesting components.

Sherry sells her work on Etsy - please click here to take a look.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Cheerful Flowers

I had a bit of a naff start to the week. Marlene, my oldest guinea pig, died at the weekend. She was pretty old - seven is quite an age for a cavy. So I made these cheer-myself-up beads. I think that these funky flowers would make great earrings.

I did have a nice weekend, though. Chris and I went to the cinema to see Mamma Mia! which I was looking forward to. Hmmm - I wouldn't say it's a bad film but it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. It contains a large amount of girly squealing and lots of odd let's-just-sing-this-totally-irrelevant-Abba-tune moments. It was a bright, happy movie but I left the cinema thinking 'What was all that about?!'. I also felt embarrassed for Colin Firth when he burst into song. There was something not-quite-right about Mr Darcy crooning an Abba song in a slightly wimpy manner!

Chris gave me a beautiful gift. I think he must have read my post about Boodles because on Friday night he presented me with this :

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this earring is a piece of cheap plastic tat that came free on the front of Disney's Princess magazine and was carelessly dropped in the street by a four year old girl. But no. Oh no, no, no. Chris assures me that it is genuine platinum encrusted with fancy cut diamonds and a priceless pink sapphire heart. Plus it's a clip-on - I mean it has to be because all those carats would be quite weighty for the average pierced ear, wouldn't they?! And I know there's only one but as you can see it's so expensive that Chris could only afford a single earring at this moment in time. I'm sure he's going to save up for the other one for me.

Aren't I a lucky, lucky girl?! ;o)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

'Kumquat Blush' Luminobeads

I like how these have turned out. Very tropical, summery beads.

I watched P.S. I Love You last night. I almost went to see it at the cinema a few months back and I'm so glad I didn't now. Not because the film is bad - far from it - but because I cried buckets! I've had the movie on my LoveFilm rental list for weeks purely for the Gerard Butler content (how lush is he?) and it's a really good movie. I'm a sucker for romantical films and this is one of the best ones I've seen for ages. I think I definitely need to buy it for the 'Soppy' section of my DVD collection!

I'm Cambridge-bound tomorrow so have a good weekend and I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Bead Holding Pen

Nicky bought this beautiful olive wood box for me while she was on holiday. She said that it's to keep my beads in until they get packed up and sent to their new homes. Normally I just keep my lampwork beads next to my computer but now thanks to Nicky they have a lovely place to stay - aw!

As you can see I had a bit of a purple glass melting session.
I freakin' LOVE purple!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

If I was minted . . . . .

..... I'd be able to spend an obscene amount of money in a very short space of time at Boodles.

I was just flicking through Vogue when I saw an ad for this amazing jewellers. Their pieces are eyewateringly expensive but they've got such wow factor. If you get a second take a look at the Boodles website. The Wonderland section contains some particularly magnificent pieces. I especially love the 'Night Swimming' and 'India Blue' necklaces. Awesome!

Squirly Flower

It's actually called a Lisianthus but I reckon 'Squirly Flower' describes it better! I bought myself these flowers earlier and I think I actually like them more in bud than in bloom.

I've no beads to show you as I haven't made any for a few days. I had my niece Robyn over to stay this weekend. She slept on her inflatable mattress in my room and at about 5.20 on Sunday morning I was woken up by a little voice saying "Auntie Laura is it time to get up yet?" and when I replied that no it wasn't she said "But I just heard a chicken outside and it said 'Cock-a-doodle-doo' so I think it is time to get up, Auntie Laura!". That made me laugh!

Today I've been taking step-by-step photographs for a magazine tutorial that my friend Nicky is working on. We had a good day full of nattering and coffee - always good.

The other day I wrote a new post for Watch Me Create. This one is about my Cloud beads. Please click here if you fancy a look-see.

No house news. We've had several viewers and about three of those are really interested but they haven't sold their properties so all in all not much is happening on the house-selling front. Yawn!

Hopefully I'll post again tomorrow with some beads to show you!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Winner

The winner of last night's draw is Sue Konynenburg.
Well done, Sue! Hope you like the earrings.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Earrings Giveaway

I made these earrings before Christmas but at the start of the new year I decided that I would no longer sell jewellery on my website and they've been sat in a box doing nothing ever since. So I decided to use them as a prize in a giveaway.

The earrings feature two of my etched 'Coconut Ice' beads along with Swarovski crystal sequins and beads. All findings are sterling silver.

If you fancy a chance of winning them then please send an email to me at laura@beadsbylaura.co.uk with the words 'Prize Draw' in the subject line. Your name will then go into a hat (or some kind of bowl or box or something) and I will draw a winner at 9.00pm (GMT) on Sunday 6th July.

Good luck!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

'Luminobeads'

These beads look like they're glowing. Opaque cores cased in coloured transparent and etched to a matt finish. Simple but pretty.

These will be for sale on my website tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

More Cloud Beads

I've been working on improving the cloud effect beads today. I did a touch of encasing tweaking and I'm really pleased with the way these have turned out. They're definitely some of those you-need-to-see-them-in-real-life kind of beads. They seem to be a bit camera shy and won't pose nicely!