Wednesday 26 November 2008


Due to very popular demand, I’ve decided to teach a limited number of one-to-one beadmaking lessons in the new year.

I have set aside twelve dates for teaching. These are every Wednesday from January 7th through to March 25th 2009.

I will teach you what you want to learn, be it basic beginner beadmaking or more advanced techniques such as stringer application and encasing etc.

Lessons will run from 10.00am until 5.00pm and all materials and refreshments will be provided. You may want to bring a packed lunch with you.

You will be making beads on my Carlisle Mini CC torch in my light and airy conservatory ‘studio’ in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I’ll also provide lesson notes and lots of beadmaking books for you to look at.

Each lesson will cost £180.00. I will need a 50% deposit to secure your place with the balance payable on the day of your lesson. I accept payment by PayPal or cheque.

Please email me for further information, to book a class or to enquire about available dates.

These will be the ONLY lessons I teach next year.

Spotty Dottiness

Etched Lampwork Glass BeadsAs promised, a peeky sneak at some of yesterday's beads. These Luminobeads will be for sale on my website at 8.30pm tonight.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Productive day

Full KilnI know I've had a good beadmaking day when there are more mandrels in the kiln than there are in the water jug! Cooking away in Kenneth are a whole load of going-to-be Luminobeads. They just need cleaning and etching tomorrow and then I'll post photos.

Monday 24 November 2008

'Berry Stripes'

Striped Lentil BeadsYes, even more striped lentils .....


Lampwork BeadsJust doodling with stringer. Like you'd doodle on a notepad but doodling with glass on a bead instead, I guess.

I got a mention in this month's issue of Craft Business magazine. Nothing much - just a few comments from me about the current bead climate. The magazine is a good read. You can download the current issue along with loads of back issues by clicking here. The bead article starts on page fourteen of the November issue.

Saturday 22 November 2008

And there's more .....

Stripy Lampwork LentilsI promised you more 'Candy Rainbow' lentils, so here they be!

Friday 21 November 2008

Prize Draw Winner

Lego TombolaThis photo is of my prize draw Lego 'tombola' which my dad built for me today. Is that ever-so-slightly random or what? I think Dad actually quite enjoyed the challenge of making it and he even used a window brick with a fire logo on it to link it in with the lampwork. It works really well - winding the handle shuffled the tonne of names up an absolute treat!

Then I opened the Lego Fabuland (anyone else remember that stuff?) door to pick a winner and that lucky person is :

Well done, Ali. I'll email you for your address and I'll get the purple beads in the post to you. I hope you like them!

Thanks to all who entered - it was my biggest prize draw yet! I shall do another one sometime before Christmas.

Thursday 20 November 2008

Crazy Socks

Crazy SocksMy niece Robyn had an eye operation on Tuesday and today Dad and I went to see her. It's the first time I've been back to Southampton since we moved and it felt really odd to be just visiting. It was so nice to spend the day with Sally and the children. My youngest sister Emily also came over to Sally's so it was fab to see her too.

While we were sat chatting I noticed that we all had very colourful feet. I mentioned in my Seven Facts About Me post last month that I don't own a single pair of plain socks and it would seem that a non-boring-sock-owning policy runs in the family!

Clockwise from top left : Robyn, Sally, Dylan (bless!), me and Emily. I'm quite envious of Em's starry socks, actually .....

'Sugar Plum' Necklace

Necklace By Beth PortwoodBeth Portwood of Braganza Jewellery sent me this photo of her beautiful 'Sugar Plum' necklace that features some of my lampwork beads along with Bali beads and Karen Hill Tribe silver. I think it's wonderful! Please click here to take a look at Beth's Flickr photostream where you can see more of her lovely work.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

'Candy Rainbow' Lentils

Striped Lampwork Glass BeadsThese beads remind me of something you'd buy at Paperchase but in bead form. I had such a grin on my face when I opened the kiln and saw these beauties. I even did a little happy-happy bead dance to celebrate!

'Decadent Daisy' Cocktail Ring

Cocktail Ring By Melanie PoxonThis is a bit wow, isn't it?! This fabulous cocktail ring was made by Melanie Poxon of Kookie Designs. She's used two of my 'Funky Flowers' and a whole load of pearls, Swarovski crystals and semi-precious gemstone beads to create this eye-catching piece. It's just right for the Christmas party season! Please click here to visit Mel's website for more details about the ring.

Have you got any photos of jewellery that you've made with my beads? If so, do please email them to me - I'd love to see your work!


Lampwork Glass Strawberry BeadsThere are only two of these strawberry beads because I used up the last of my red glass making them but at just 12mm high wouldn't they make the sweetest earrings?

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Could these be any greener?

Mosaic Green BeadsYou need to say the title of this post in your best Chandler Bing voice.

So these are those Mosaic Green beads that I mentioned in Thursday's post. Hmmm, pretty dang ..... green, aren't they?!

Florspace Goodies

Goodies From FlorspaceLook what I've got! Last week Lyn at Florspace posted a photo on Flickr of a plush Hello Kitty tape measure. I had a major I-need-that-item-in-my-life moment and was totally delighted to find that Lyn had one of these cute tape measures available in her Etsy shop. While browsing around all her lovely bags and purses I also found this gorgeous strawberry print MiniZ so that fell into my shopping cart too! Lyn's MiniZs are wonderful for keeping things sorted in your handbag. I have two in mine - I keep a few make-up bits in one and my iPod in the other. Love them!

Friday 14 November 2008

Prize Draw

Prize Draw BeadsDeep purple glass under artificial light just won't behave for the camera so I photographed these lovelies in direct sunlight. These olive-shaped beads measure 17mm long and contain swirls of lavender and gorgeous deep purple along with tiny fine silver inclusions that twinkle like stars.

Do you fancy a chance of winning this trio of purple prettiness? If so, send me an email at with the words 'Prize Draw' in the subject line. Please put your name in the body of the email. I will put all the names into a suitable receptacle (I haven't got a hat) and I'll draw a winner at 7.00pm on Friday 21st November. The draw is open to anyone anywhere.

Good luck!

Thursday 13 November 2008

'Pretty In Pink' Lentils

Lampwork Glass Lentil BeadsMore adorned-with-dots lentils. Pinktastic!

I still have two crates of stuff from my old bead shed that I have yet to unpack. I was having a rummage through one of the crates today and I found a bundle of unlabelled glass rods so I did some experimental melting and discovered that what I have is a batch of Moretti Mosaic Green. Oh my - I reckon this could be fun stuff! I've never used it before (I have no idea how long I've even had this bundle of glass) but it does zany stuff to certain other glasses. The thing is, I like green beads but not many other people seem to so I won't go green-bead-crazy just yet. I'm in Cambridge this weekend but I shall make a set of Mosaic Green beads next week and I'll post them here and ask you for some feedback about them.

'Winterberry' Lentils

Lampwork Glass Lentil BeadsMany carefully placed dots and stripes of stringer make up the patterning on these berry-coloured beads which I've shaped into comfy-to-wear lentils. Yumma yumma!

Tuesday 11 November 2008


Translucent Glass BeadsThese olive-shaped beads are made from a beautiful translucent glass. I've kept the decoration simple - a kind of criss-cross design in fine white stringer. The spacers are crystal clear so that should help give you some idea of the actual colour of the main beads. I had to photograph these ones on sandstone because they just seemed to get 'lost' on a white background.


Lampwork Glass BeadsStrange name, I know, but for some reason these beads just say 'frog' to me. I think it's the combination of colours and the eye-like patterns that do it.

Friday 7 November 2008

'Cinnamon' Floratabs

Lampwork Glass Tab BeadsOh, how I love these! Magnolia base beads dusted with cinnamon-coloured enamel and decorated with a white flower design. Each one of these tab beads takes half an hour to make but I reckon they're worth the effort! It was just so nice to sit and make these. They're fiddly and complicated (my favourite kind of beads to make!) but such a welcome change from the simpler-therefore-cheaper-to-buy beads that I've been making recently due to the 'current financial climate'.

While I was making these Floratabs I thought 'I'm actually enjoying this!' and I haven't really felt that way about beadmaking for a good couple of months now. In fact, although the oxycon breaking last week was a pain it was also a bit of a relief because it resulted in me having a few days off. My creative batteries seem to have recharged a bit!

Thursday 6 November 2008

Melting Again

Lampwork Glass BeadsNew beads are on their way. My oxygen concentrator arrived on Tuesday and it's working like an absolute dream. I can't believe how long I struggled on with the old one. Each day it was taking almost two hours to get working properly without switching itself off mid-bead. The new one works as soon as I switch it on which means I've gained a couple of extra beadmaking hours a day!