Saturday, 30 May 2009

New Knitting Toy

Vintage Yarn WinderThis is my new knitting toy. It's a vintage late 60s/early 70's yarn winder that I picked up on eBay and I love it. It came in its original box with the price of 39/6 on it. Retro!

I buy my yarn in skeins and then I wind them into balls. I was using chairbacks and elbow grease to do this but now I don't have to. Dad kindly made me a wooden swift to hold the skein and then I wind it with the winder and it makes a beautiful 'cake' of yarn. It's quite mesmerising to watch the windy-uppy process. I've named the winder Ace, because he is.

Wild Fire Fibres YarnThis yarn is Wild Fire Fibres Mermaid Lace in Purple Lotus. It's a fabulous mix of orchid pinks and delicious purples. I like it plenty!

I'm off to make beads now. Have a great Saturday!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Jewellery By Kate Noakes

Jewellery By Kate NoakesThis gorgeously green necklace and earrings set was made by Kate Noakes and she's used some of my olive Bambino beads in it. So fresh and summery, isn't it?!

Jewellery By Kate NoakesI would link to Kate's site but she doesn't have one as she's between websites at the moment. If you'd like her contact details just drop me an email.

And of course, if you have any photos of work that includes my beads do send them to me. I'd love to have a look!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Slap my wrist

Lampwork Glass Heart Bead TrioI can't believe I haven't posted since Friday. That is lazy blogging!

Mind you, we have had the Bank Holiday weekend and I didn't come home from Cambridge until yesterday morning. Chris and I had a fab Holiday Monday. We had a delicious barbecue in the park. It was one of those cheap disposable barbecues but it did the job lovely. We had burgers, sausages, pasta salad and civilised wine. Such a nice day! Here's me enjoying said wine. Please ignore my messy hair. (And Kerryn, yes, that is a dress! Over leggings, but a dress nonetheless.)

BarbecueI've been making beads today - that pretty heart trio at the top of the post and also some more 'Storm Cloud' ones. You lot seem to love those!

Friday, 22 May 2009

'Sea Sparkle'

Encased Lampwork Glass BeadsThink of a sunny day down by the sea. Picture the sunlight twinkling on the little waves and ripples of the water. Now imagine scooping a handful of that loveliness up and rolling it into a ball and you've just about imagined the effect I was going for with these beads.

Gorgeous transparent blue frit and tiny little specks of fine silver suspended in sparkly clear glass. Prettiness!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

'Storm Cloud'

Lampwork Glass BeadsThese 'Storm Cloud' beads were inspired by the weather over the past few days. It's been constantly raining and very grey and dismal. But this morning, when I made these, the sun was shining and it's been a really lovely day.

I took the photo in the late afternoon sun so I've got a bit of weather conflict happening here - storm clouds in the sun, but hey, juxtaposition is always good. And I love the word 'juxtaposition' so any excuse to type that is fine by me.

Sunset Socks

Hand Knitted SocksYes, more socks! I think my Dad and Chris are both seriously concerned about my sock obsession. I just can't stop knitting them!

I used Wendy D. Johnson's Sunrise Socks pattern and Wild Fire Fibres Bambino yarn. The shade is called 'Holly' and it's a mix of pinks, pale blues and lilacs. I think these are more like the colours you get in a sunset, hence the slight name change.

Hand Knitted SocksThe pattern is really simple, knits up quick and makes a really comfy, snug pair of socks.

I'll be back later with bead photos ......

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sorbet Socks

Hand Knitted SocksFinished them! The first half of this pair was a bit of a bugger - I must have unpicked and re-knitted parts of it about seventeen times. But somehow I managed to knit the second sock with no mistakes at all.

Hand Knitted SocksThey're knitted in Bambino 'Sorbet' yarn from Wild Fire Fibres. The pattern, which features lace hearts and little flower motif', is called 'Sheri's Posies' and it's from Wendy D. Johnson's Socks From The Toe Up book.

Hand Knitted SocksPhotographing your own feet is tricky. Not only did I have to shave my legs (such a boring chore) I then had to take the one above by holding the camera upside down, at arm's length, in a very cack-handed fashion. I did this so you'd see the hearts the right way up.

I'm just about to turn the heel on the first sock of another pair. As you can see, the sock-knitting obsession hasn't faltered yet .....

Joy's Beautiful Bracelets

Bracelet By Joy FunnellOkay, I know I said I was going to do this yesterday but I never got around to it so here I am now. Better late than never, I guess.

These photos are from Joy Funnell and they are of some gorgeous bracelets that she's made with my beads. The one up there is called 'Pretty In Pink' and I just love it!

The one below is also mighty amazing. I do adore polka dots.

Bracelet By Joy FunnellAnd finally here is a bracelet featuring some of my Luminobeads. Lush or what?!

Bracelet By Joy FunnellI do love charm bracelets - they show off lampwork beads so beautifully. They're also wonderfully tactile which is great for those people who like to twiddle and fidget with their jewellery. And of course they make the most amazing twinkly-jangly sound.

Joy has even more bracelets over on her blog along with photos of her magnificent enamelling and silver clay work. Head on over there and have a look and while you're at it make sure you give her virtual hamster something to eat!

I'll post again later with sock photos .....

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Ginger & Lemon

Ginger & Lemon CupcakesSally, Paul and the children are visiting today so I did my usual cake-baking thing. These ones are ginger and lemon and I have to say that they are really nice - I had one for breakfast! The recipe is from Kate Shirazi's fabulous Cupcake Magic book. I've topped the cakes with lemon cream cheese frosting and decorated them with slivers of candied ginger and tiny lemon jelly wedges.

I'll post again later today as I have photos of some wonderful jewellery creations by Joy Funnell to show you.

Friday, 15 May 2009

And there's more .....

Lampwork Glass Frit BeadsMore Bambino frit beads. These and lots more like them will be for sale on my website at 8.30pm this evening.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Simple, yet striking

Lampwork Glass Frit BeadsMore tiny frit beads, this time in orange and blue. Bright and cheery!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Mister Cupcake says .....

Mister Cupcake"Hey Beadpeeps! It's Mister Cupcake here with a newsflash for you.

Laura is going to have a little break from making Cupcake beads and pendants.

The response to them has been overwhelming and she needs to catch up on her backlog of orders and have a bit of a holiday from them. She says she's got to the point where she's actually dreaming of cupcakes. I think she should take that as a sign that she needs to lay off them for a bit. (Plus I think she's talking about herself in the third person which is never a good thing, is it?!)

Please place any orders you have for Cupcakes by midday (UK time) on Monday 11th May and all orders will be despatched by the end of the month. Please click here to place your order.

Fear not, the other Cupcake beads and I will be back in a couple of months ..... oh and Laura has also asked me to say thank you very much indeed for all your orders and wonderful comments about her cake beads. She says it's really nice to know that you all like them so much!"

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Productive

Toe Up SockI've had a really good day today. It's the first time in ages that I've felt as if I've been firing on all cylinders, so to speak. I made lots of beads, did lots of niggly outstanding jobs and generally had a very productive day.

I've just settled down on the sofa with my knitting. This project is a toe up sock in another Wild Fire Fibres yarn called 'Sorbet'. It's a gorgeous mix of pinks with just a hint of warm coral-orange. The lace pattern has a thirty two row repeat so it's quite taxing on the old concentration!

Monday, 4 May 2009

All Clean!

Lampwork Glass Frit BeadsWhew! That was a lot of bead reaming .....

Yesterday's Pudding

Homemade Key Lime PieKey Lime Pie. It's not a full-on-traditional Floridian Key Lime Pie but it is dang tasty!

I used this recipe for it. After grating eight limes and then juicing them all my hands smelt pretty citrusy. I then went back to finishing off my green socks and I kept looking at the yarn and thinking 'I can smell lime!' which I could, of course. I think if my green socks had a smell they would indeed be lime. And now I sound like a complete nutter so I think I'll leave it there and go and clean some beads .....

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Green Socks & Bead Peek

Hand Knitted SocksMy latest footwear creations. How green are these?

The socks are knitted in a fab handpainted yarn called Manyana from Wild Fire Fibres. It's 50% Merino and 50% Tencel and it has the most wonderful sheen to it. The shade is 'Kelp'. I totally recommend Vikki's yarns. She's a lovely lady and her customer service really is second-to-none.

The pattern, which reminds me of Godzilla, is one that I adapted from a book called Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski. I took the 'Staccato' pattern and gave it a short row heel and instead of knitting the cuff of the sock in rib I knitted it with garter stitch which gives a subtle wavy top. The photo below is a detail of the pattern.

Hand Knitted Sock Pattern DetailI thoroughly enjoyed knitting these socks. In fact, I completed them in only three evenings. Okay, they were late nights but I love getting 'lost' in knitting. It's very calming.

Hand Knitted SocksNow for a sneak peek at the beads that will be for sale tomorrow evening.

Lampwork Glass Frit BeadsYou may be thinking 'Laura, they're a bit simple and boring!' and yes, I know, they're simple beads to make - make bead, roll in frit, melt in and anneal. Job done. But what I was trying to achieve was cheap-to-buy-but-pretty-to-look-at beads for these 'Credit Crunch' (so bored of that phrase) times. You get a dozen of these babies for £12.00 including postage. They're fab for earrings, excellent for dainty bracelets, ideal for wiring into chain links and great as accent beads and spacers. What more could you want? What I'm not looking forward to is cleaning the buggers. There's flippin' loads of them!

If you'd like to get your hands on some of these they will be for sale on my website at 8.30pm on Monday evening.

I'm off to do the housework and get lunch ready. My Grandparents and Uncle are coming over today. You should see the pudding I've made! If I can get it out of the tin nicely I may well post a picture later .....

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Workbench Mosaic

My WorkbenchA photo mosaic of the Beads By Laura workbench. Please click here for more details.

Heart Focals

Lampwork Glass Heart BeadsThese beads are pretty much an exercise in shape and the sheer loveliness of glass, as opposed to intricate design. Each heart is shaped by hand - no bead press was used. I spent ages getting each one just right. It may sound pretentious but I can honestly say that these are perfect heart shapes. Symmetrical, even and smooth.

These would make gorgeous pendants. Very weddingy, too.

If you'd like to buy one they'll be for sale, along with a few others, on my website at 8.30pm tonight.