Sunday, 29 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
The photograph at the top of this post is of the actual artwork Chris did and shows the beads that are pictured inside the calendar and the other two are of the real thing.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
But what to do with just 75 grams of purply-pink cashmere? That's not a lot of yarn so I pootled around on Ravelry and found a sweet little pattern for a neck warmer. I set to work and completed the project in just one evening. It is sooo soft. Pure luxury!
It's going to be great for cold wet days. No soggy scarf ends. No under-the-coat scarf bulk. Just snuggly, gorgeous cashmere. I've ordered some more yarn so I can make myself a matching pair of gloves.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Thank you to all who took part. Make sure you check back next month for the final bead giveaway of 2009. I promise it'll be a good'un ......
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
These pretty beads have a pale ivory-coloured core which I've cased in clear and the scrolls are a soft periwinkle blue. Such delicate colours.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
"Always pull more stringer than you think you'll need,
For there's nothing worse than running out mid-bead."
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
My hooded cardi is knitted in Cascade 220 from Pavi Yarns in a shade called 'Walnut'. I'm totally in love with the buttons. They're a fab pearly brown. They remind me of nail varnish in the bottle - you know, when it looks all pearly and swirly and pretty and you wish it would end up looking like that on your fingers or toes but it never does. Do you know what I mean? You do? Well, the buttons look like that.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
This afternoon Chris filmed me making a stringer bead. I should point out that this movie isn't a tutorial as such. It's more of a demonstration thing so you can see how I apply stringer. Of course, you get a load of my waffle which you may find useful. Maybe.
Chris played around with various camera angles but we went with this one as you get an almost Laura's Eye View of the beadmaking action. It's important that you see not just the bead but the positioning of it in the flame and also where my hands are. At the start you also get some Laura-swinging-around-and-fidgeting-on-her-chair action too! Sorry about that.
We hope you like the movie. There is no step-by-step version of this one as there really are no steps to stringer application. It'd go something like "Step 1 - Make bead. Step 2 - Apply stringer." See? Doesn't really work. So I may well write some hints and tips for stringer application instead.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Please click here for the PDF tutorials. I hope you like them!
These PDFs can also be accessed via the toolbar on the right hand side of my blog.
And in answer to a question many of you have asked, yes, there will indeed be more tutorials and the next one will be on some form of stringerwork. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The beads include a gorgeous chunky heart focal, a big hollow aquamarine nugget and an assortment of interesting rounds.
Monday, 2 November 2009
I'll be back tonight with some beads to show you .....
Sunday, 1 November 2009
As you press, turn the mandrel slowly away from you to gather the molten glass from the rod. This part is particularly tricky to describe in words so it may help if you take a look at the video (at about the 2:40 mark) to see exactly what I mean.
Bring your bead out of the flame to cool it down and stabilise it a bit. Then reheat the left hand edge of the bead. You want to aim the flame at the encasing. Once the glass is glowing take a Corina Magic Wand (or similar metal tool) and gently nudge the clear glass toward the bead hole. Again, don't touch the mandrel with the glass. You're just helping the glass on its way using a gentle pushing, nudging action. Now bring the bead out of the flame and let the glow in it subside.
Now for a little moment of quality control. Bring the bead out of the flame and check it for any colour bleed. If you need to make the bead bigger you can add a little more casing glass then reheat and round up.
The finished bead all ready to be decorated.
Hints & Tips
This technique is fabulous for playing with colour. Create new shades by layering coloured transparents over opaques. For example, try amber over red for a rich warm orange, cobalt over light sky blue for a gorgeous royal blue and of course, the classic Corina combo of amethyst over periwinkle for a delicious deep purple.
Roll your base bead in frit before you encase for simple but very pretty beads. The casing adds a beautiful depth and sparkle.
Try wrapping a stringer of silvered ivory or maybe some silver wire around the base bead. Again, simple but effective.
Creation Is Messy (CiM) opaque glasses make excellent bases for encasing as they tend to be slightly stiffer. I personally love Glacier, Gelly's Sty and Dirty Martini. (And no, I'm not sponsored by CiM or anything - I just LOVE their glass!)
All images and text in this tutorial copyright © Laura Sparling 2009
Anyway, I hope you like the video and that it is of some use to you. I'd like to say a big thank you to Chris for helping me with all the technical video stuff. If you like the movie do let me know and we may well make some more . Please click here for my YouTube channel.