Tuesday 29 April 2008

'Strawberry' Rococo

These beads are made with an oddlot of orangey coral-coloured glass that I bought about three years ago. I purchased three pounds of it because I loved it so much and I can't believe I've never combined it with enamel before. The colours of these beads really do remind me of fresh strawberries!

I'm still doing the Wii Fit thing. I'm particularly enjoying the jogging and the hula-hooping. I haven't fallen off the balance board for the past couple of days but I made up for it this morning by falling over in 'real life'. I went down to the shed to switch the kiln on and to fetch my full-to-the-brim-with-dead-beads-and-bits-of-glass water jug and on my way back up the garden I tripped on the patio step and went flying. I dropped the water jug, banged my head on the wheelie bin, grazed my shin against the edge of the step and then put my hand in the spilt water-and-bits-of-glass mess. Plus it was raining. Not a good start to the day! But things got better after I'd picked myself up and then removed bits of glass from the palm of my hand. The postman arrived with the new Marian Keyes book which cheered me up no end! I'm already well into 'This Charming Man', which incidentally has the most beautiful purple spangly cover!

Monday 28 April 2008


I'm calling these zingy green Rococo beads 'Mexican Lime'. Very bright and cheery!

Sunday 27 April 2008

New Design

These olive-shaped beads feature a new design from me. They're decorated with lots of intricate stringerwork in the form of scrolls and lines. Quite ornate, methinks. I'm calling them my 'Rococo' beads. These seemed pretty popular tonight so if you missed out, fear not. I have many colour ideas for these whizzing about in the bead department of my brain .....

I've been having fun with Nintendo Wii Fit this weekend! I say fun, but in actual fact I'm starting to detest my virtual 'personal trainer' with quite a fierce intensity. I'm calling him Dirk but most of the time he gets called much more unsavoury names. I was doing the yoga exercise where I had to balance on one leg like a flamingo with my hands up in the air. I fell off the Wii balance board and Dirk said to me 'I see you're taking a break!'. The cheeky bugger. But Dirk's witty comments aside, Wii Fit is very clever and really entertaining!

Thursday 24 April 2008


I haven't etched any beads for a while so I thought I'd make some to do just that with. Light brown and periwinkle. Quite chic.

I had a slight mishap the other day. I was making some frit beads and as I was unscrewing the lid off a jar of frit I sneezed. I didn't even feel the sneeze coming on - it just happened! I jumped and threw the entire jar of frit all over myself, my workbench and the floor. That was a lot of fun to clean up!

Monday 21 April 2008

Flame Off

I can't quite believe that after about two weeks of intense nerves and worry that the Flame Off has been and gone!

It was a great day - very nice to meet lots of people who I've been emailing for ages. It's always good to put faces to names! I finally met Manda from Mango Beads after more than three years of speaking to her and she gave me one of her beautiful silver cores. It was also lovely to meet Pam from Maple Glass who gave me one of her fab beads too. Thank you both!

I'd like to say that I enjoyed doing the demos but I was such a bundle of nerves I was concentrating more on stopping my hands shaking than actually enjoying the experience! For those that watched my demos I apologise for the lack of decent commentary but I found it very tricky to make beads and talk at the same time.

My favourite part of the day was later in the afternoon when I was downstairs making beads where I was able to answer your questions and show you the beadmaking techniques that you wanted to see.

Martin Tuffnell and everyone else involved with the organisation of the day did a wonderful job and Towcester Racecourse was a great venue too.

Finally, I want to say a big huge thank you to my wonderful boyfriend Chris who was fantastic moral support and a general calming influence on a very nervous me. He was also an ace photographer and handbag and coat minder too! ;o)

Friday 18 April 2008

Off to the Flame Off!

I'm heading up Towcester-way tonight ready for tomorrow's Flame Off.

I've spent my last couple of beadmaking days in the shed 'rehearsing' what I'm actually going to do and say during my demonstrations. It's actually really tricky to describe how I get those lines and squiggles on my beads. I'm hoping that my stringer-applying actions will speak a little bit louder than words.

If you're coming along to the Flame Off tomorrow make sure you come up and say hello!

Oh, and here's a fun link for you. I spent ages (too long, in fact) playing with this! Just click or drag your mouse anywhere on the page.

Wednesday 16 April 2008


This is the little amigurumi bear that I won in Caroline's draw! Isn't he lovely? Thank you Caroline - he's great!

As you know, I like things to have a name so I've called him Maurice (pronounced Moh-reece, like a French person would say it) and he's currently sitting on top of my monitor. He seems quite at home there.

Make sure you head on over to Caroline's blog and take a look at what she did with my Fugly beads from last week. I think she's worked wonders with them!


Ecru and lilac beads. There's something quite chic and ladylike about these colours.

I can't believe how fast this year is going. It's the Flame Off on Saturday and I think it was about September time last year that it was first mentioned. Where does the time go?!

I had a lovely surprise on Monday night. I entered Caroline's prize draw on her blog and I actually won! I never win anything, unless you count a £5.00 WHSmith voucher when I was eleven and a Nintendo pin badge when I was fifteen. So thanks Caroline!

Thursday 10 April 2008

Goodbye Fuglies!

Yes, they're all packed up and ready to go to their new home!

Mary, I didn't wake up and look at the beads in a different light. Instead I liken it to waking up and finding Paul Daniels next to you. But as I said yesterday, one woman's fugly is another's ideal. Debbie McGee needs some kind of award . . . . .

Anyway, rancid magicians aside, all your reasons for wanting the beads were great and in the end I couldn't pick a favourite reason so I did a random drawing. Not an off-the-wall sketch I hasten to add, but a name-in-the-hat type affair.

And the Fugly Blue Beads will be going to live with Caroline B!

Thanks to all who joined in. It was a bit of a laugh, wasn't it?! Hopefully it'll be a while before I do a Fugly Giveaway again but I have plans for a Flovely Giveaway in the near future. (I told you I'd be using that word, Lydia!)

Wednesday 9 April 2008

So Fugly!

These are quite possibly the fugliest beads I've ever made.

I hate them with a burning passion.

I hated them as I was making them. I don't know why I carried on.

Maybe I thought they'd magically metamorphose into beautiful beads after annealing.

But no.

I opened the kiln and they were still horrible.

I don't even particularly like this shade of blue so goodness knows why I even used it.

I thought maybe I'd warm to the beads once they were cleaned and strung.

Didn't happen.

One last ditch attempt - a photo. Maybe they'd look good in a photo? Like some of those scrag-ugly models who look awful in real life but are totally stunning in a photograph.


I detest these beads so much that I put them in the bin.

Then I took them out.

One woman's fugly beads are another woman's ideal beads. Or man's. Didn't mean to be sexist there. It's just I've only ever sold beads to three men in my whole entire beadmaking life.

So, here they are. Do you like them?

If you do, post in my comments section and tell me why. Then I'll pick someone's reason for liking them sometime tomorrow morning and that (un)lucky person gets them. Free.

And then I'll be free of these fugly beads!

Tuesday 8 April 2008

'Sankara' Spanglentils

These 'Sankara' Spanglentils are such a lovely warm shade of orange. I'm going to give a little prize to the first person who can tell me what they think I've named them after. First person to post the correct answer in my comments section gets a lucky dip bag of Lonelies . . . . .

I've been a bit quiet again, haven't I? I've actually been doing things apart from sitting in a shed melting glass! Shocking, I know. Saturday night I went round my friend Helen's for dinner and we ended up playing on the Nintendo Wii. I pulled my left hamstring and bashed my right hand against the sofa in the process but it was so much fun! So much fun in fact, I had to go out and buy me a Wii! So now I can pull hamstrings and bash hands in the comfort of my own lounge. Hurrah! Actually I made a complete tit of myself today. I came in from the shed for my lunch and I thought I'd have a quick game of tenpin bowling on the Wii. So there I was in the lounge throwing imaginary bowling balls and punching the air with glee whenever I got a strike when I noticed a lady outside just standing and staring at me. She obviously had no idea what I was doing - all she was seeing was a mad person throwing ridiculous shapes for no apparent reason. I stopped dead and then ran over to the coffee table out of her sight and crouched there until she'd gone. She must have thought I was a complete and utter nutter!

I'm going out again tomorrow night. I'm meeting up with Nicky and Jo for a drink which will be nice! And then I'm up in Cambridge at the weekend seeing Chris. Busy busy me!

Friday 4 April 2008


Tiny seashell-shaped beads perfect for summertime jewellery creations.

At last my nephew has a name. Sally and Paul finally decided to call him Dylan. It really suits him!

Thursday 3 April 2008

'Spectra' Lentils

I had a day of working with Double Helix 'Terra' glass today. It needs a different annealing schedule to the glass that I normally make beads with so I changed the programme on the kiln and dedicated an entire day to making lentil beads with this beautiful glass. I decided to keep the beads simple and let their colours do the talking. I'm very pleased with the photo - the colours actually are this awesome in reality!


When I started making beads almost four years ago this 'pleated' style of bead was one that I looked at in books and went 'How the heck???' so I was pretty pleased with myself when I finally mastered the technique the other day!

Thanks for all your congratulations and well wishes re the birth of Nephew. He still hasn't got a name yet . . . . .

Tuesday 1 April 2008

I'm Auntie Laura all over again!

My sister had her baby in the early hours of this morning and it's a little boy! Even though I had the feeling it was going to be a boy all the way through Sally's pregnancy it's still a bit of a shock. What with my sisters Sally and Emily and my niece Robyn I'm a bit used to dealing with girl babies so having a nephew is going to be a real change!

The baby doesn't have a name yet, bless him. Robyn seems very pleased with her new brother and he seems very content and quiet... at the moment!

The photo above is me with my new nephew (he needs a name!) and Robyn.