Friday 30 November 2007


These are a set of lentil beads which I've called 'Espresso'.

I love coffee. Totally love it. But I don't drink it half as much as I'd like to. I kind of gave up drinking coffee at home a few years back because I found that it made my hands shake. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a trembling wreck and the shaking was minimal but enough to affect my beadmaking. Applying hair-thin stringer is difficult at the best of times but quivery hands make it nearly impossible. I read somewhere that cutting out coffee helps with the shakey-hand thing so I switched to tea and voila - no more wibbly fingers!

So now I only drink coffee on days when I'm not making beads (er, not often then) which tends to be when I'm up in Cambridge. Chris and I went to Starbucks at the weekend and I had one of their seasonal Creme Brulee Lattes. How lush was that?! So lush that I broke my no coffee rule and had another last night when I popped into town .......

Thursday 29 November 2007

Nearly December

Is it me or are the days just disappearing very rapidly? This week is zooming past and I can't believe that Saturday will be the first of December. Maybe the speed that days go by at is directly proportionate to how organised you are for Christmas? I say this because my Christmas organisation is non-existent. I've purchased a net of chocolate coins for Robyn's stocking and a chocolate orange which, let's face it, I'll probably end up eating. It's not like I'm being lazy - I just can't think of present ideas for people this year. If I had the ideas I'd go and buy the gifts, but nope, I'm stumped. And the days keep disappearing .......

I'm sure that all the smug I-finished-my-Christmas-shopping-in-October people are eagerly awaiting Christmas day and that time is going by at a normal pace for them. I'll be one of those people next year! Mind you, I say that every year and nothing ever comes of it.

Oh well. I'm sure it'll all sort itself out!

In the meantime I'll just keep on making beads (like those ones up there) while I try to think of gift ideas .......

Friday 23 November 2007

Warm at last!

Sorry I haven't posted much. It's been a week of making phonecalls, chasing phonecalls, waiting for plumbers that never arrive, chasing up those non-arriving plumbers and occasionally melting a bit of glass in between all that.

But yesterday the plumber did arrive and finally mended the boiler. A whole week of no heating isn't much fun. In the evenings I'd be curled up with the cat and a hot water bottle, watching the television and I could actually see my breath on the air. Brrrrr!

But it's all fixed now and this evening I AM off to Cambridge so I will see you all next week. Have a great weekend!

Saturday 17 November 2007

Grrrrr and Brrrrr!

Yeah, I know I'm not meant to be here as I'm supposed to be in Cambridge. I'm now going next weekend which annoyingly means I have to wait a-whole-nother week 'til I see my boyfriend. Rubbish!

As I type I am waiting for the boiler engineer man to come and fix the central heating which packed up yesterday afternoon. Dad's away on holiday for two weeks and before he went he left me a list of numbers to call if something were to go wrong with the heating, electricity, phones etc and I said he was making a fuss and that nothing was going to happen! How wrong was I?

So now I'm sat here shivering wearing a jumper, a cardigan, a terrible brown knitted wrap-type thing (bought it last year - goodness knows what possessed me to purchase such a hideous item of clothing but I'm sure glad I've got it now!) and super-fluffy-pink-stripy-knee-length socks under my jeans. I look like a crazy-socked Jedi.

Buster's cold too. He's buried himself under the cushions on the armchair - see above.

Also, Vittorio (my Vespa) decided to conk out on me on Thursday. He won't start - just makes a quiet whirring noise when I press the ignition. The fastener on my crash helmet is broken too. Pants!

Something somewhere is telling me not to travel or leave the house, methinks.

Thursday 15 November 2007


'Batikas' is the name I've gone for as suggested by Beth. Well done, Beth! Please email me with your full name and address and I'll get your 'Batikas Quartet' in the post to you.

Big thanks to everyone for your excellent name suggestions! It's so tricky to pick one out of the stacks of brilliant suggestions.

The larger set of 'Batikas' will be for sale tonight at 8.30pm (GMT) on my website along with the rather cosmic-looking ones pictured above.

I'm off up to Cambridge tomorrow so I won't be posting until next week.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

These beads need a name

I've been quiet - not much bead news to report, really.

My fabulous earring kit from Lynne at The Dragonfly Company arrived on Monday and I had a lovely time making the jewellery. I think I may be ever-so-slightly hooked on the chain maille thing. If you fancy having a go at chain maille then I really recommend the earring kit.

I will have some beads for sale on my website tonight. One of the sets is a larger version of the one above. They're ivory and turquoise and they've been etched to a matt finish. The ivory glass has done that 'dirty-look' caramel striation thing which makes them look kind of ancient. The four beads pictured here are up for grabs in another naming competition. Normal rules apply - post your name suggestions for these in my comments section, I'll pick my favourite at 8.00pm (GMT) tonight and the supplier of my favourite name gets the four beads pictured. You can post as many names as you like.

One last thing - thank you to both Maria Joao and Siana who both sent me the 'Cat Alarm Clock' video. Buster is just like this cat in the mornings. In actual fact he bit my leg this morning because I wasn't getting his food ready fast enough! I'll just have to hope he doesn't get hold of a baseball bat . . . . . .

Monday 12 November 2007

The Goddesses Project

A couple of years ago (way back when I did commissions and special orders) a lady called Maria asked me to make her some tiny pink beads. I didn't know it at the time but she was working on something she called 'The Goddesses Project'.

The other day Maria emailed me to tell me that The Goddesses Project was finally complete and she sent me a link to the finished piece - a beautiful necklace featuring pink beads that she'd commissioned from all her favourite beadmakers. It's a bit of an honour for my beads to be residing next to those made by Kandice Seeber, Lezlie Belanger and Corina Tettinger, I can tell you. Especially seeing as at the point I made those tiny pink beads I was still making beads in the kitchen on my Hot Head torch!

You can see the finished necklace by clicking here. Big thank you to Maria for involving my beads in such a wonderful project!

I'll tell you what though, as I was searching through my bead photo archives for those pink ones I was flabbergasted at how many beads I've made over the years. I saw beads there that I'd forgotten making that featured designs that I never do any more. I think I'm going to have to print some of my bead photos out and take them down to the shed and 're-visit' the designs and colours. Bring them up to date, as such. Could be fun!

Friday 9 November 2007

When beads go good!

I have a grin on my face. These beads are so lovely and bright and vibrant! I opened the kiln and this time I had little 'Ooooh!' to myself as opposed to an 'Aaagghh!'.

Orange and Ink Blue - such a zingy colour combo. I like. I like a lot.

I'm off out tonight to see 'An Audience With Marian Keyes' at the Chichester Literary Festival so these Plume beads will be for sale on my website tomorrow evening.

Have a nice night!

When beads go bad!

Sometimes you think you've got beads in a nice colour combination cooking away in the kiln and then you eagerly open the kiln after hours of waiting for the beads to cool and . . . . . . bleurgh! What you thought was going to be lovely light brown and pale blue ends up being insipid yellow and washed-out aqua. Horrid!

Aren't these nasty?!

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Plume Beads

Yep. That's what I'm calling them.

I tried to think of a name last night. I think that the design is feathery and Dad said it reminded him of waterfalls. I emailed my boyfriend last night and asked his excellent bead-naming advice (Chris has named several of my bead sets) but I couldn't get the feathery thing out of my head.

I said to Dad this afternoon that I thought the word 'plume' pretty much described the design and ten minutes later I received a list of name suggestions from Chris. The first name on his list was 'Plume'. Spooky!

So that's what they'll now be known as - my Plume Beads.

The teal and purple ones

So far there's only three cleaned but you seem keen to see them so here they are.

Tuesday 6 November 2007


These were a bit of a happy accident - I was twiddling about with dot designs and slowly these evolved. I made about ten beads before I stumbled upon this design.

It's a complex bead to make and relies on good dot placement and encasing to make it work properly. I made a few that were slightly wonky - I discovered that if the dots aren't just right and the encasing isn't done in a particular way then the desired effect isn't achieved.

I'm mighty, mighty pleased with these!

Monday 5 November 2007


Tonight's new beads - little flat pebbles dusted with enamel and set with cubic zirconias.

Saturday night's shindig was good. Photos were taken but they're awful so I won't be posting any! I hate, hate, hate having my photograph taken.

Saturday 3 November 2007

Jewellery Bashing

In the old Star Wars movies several props were made by taking model kits of aeroplanes, cars and the like and cutting them all up and re-assembling them to create fantastic spacey-looking things. One example of this is the trench in the Death Star run in Episode IV. Anyway, I won't start on that but I'll just point out that the model kit re-assembly process is referred to as 'kit bashing'.

Why am I talking about this?

Well, sometimes when I'm out and about shopping I quite often see cheap and nasty jewellery that occasionally contains interesting-looking components. The jewellery itself is tat - base metal and usually very poorly put together (don't I sound like a snob?!) but bits of it are pretty nonetheless.

I wanted to make some earrings to wear to this shinding tonight. My shoes and bag are pale gold but I couldn't find any nice gold jewellery. So I took these crystal links out of a cheap pair of earrings that I bought, some glass drops from another pair, re-wired everything on sterling as I'm allergic to gold and threw in some Swarovskis for good measure! Ta da! New earrings.

So for all you jewellery designers out there who don't do 'jewellery bashing' as I call it, you should give it a go. It's fun!

Friday 2 November 2007

Two more

Here are another two silver core beads. One is similar to the one I posted last night and the other is one of my enamel beads.

I'll tell you what, parting with these is going to be quite tricky. I don't usually spend that much time with my beads. By that I mean that I normally make them, clean them, photograph them and then they're away off to new homes in various parts of the world. But these little glass gems get a considerate amount of my time and attention lavished on them after the cleaning process. I talk to them while I'm doing the silver coring thing, normally pleading with them to turn out okay and not to smash! Then I sand, clean and polish the silver core and finally the completed bead gets a bath and a good buff with a polishing cloth. These are pampered beads indeed!

But I realise that I do have to part with them and I'm sure that they will go to extremely good homes. I was going to wait until I had a huge mountain of silver core beads before I started selling them but I've had a bucketload of emails asking when they're going to be available so I shall start the ball rolling tonight and these two will be for sale on my website at 8.30pm (GMT) this evening.

Thursday 1 November 2007

My first 'proper' Silver Core

Here it is! It's been a long while but I've finally cracked (along with a gazillion beads!) the silver coring process. This is the first one that I'm totally 100% pleased with and it is currently residing on my Pandora bracelet. Yes - a Laurabead for me!

My silver core beads will be available to buy on my website in the very near future. I shall let you know as soon as I add them to the site.