Tuesday 30 April 2013


Lampwork Glass Beads

I reckon my new site and blog colour scheme has got lodged in my head because when I sat down to make beads yesterday these beachy blue and seafoamy green ones happened.

Sorry for the quick post; I've got to get back down the shed. Those beads won't make themselves!

Have a good afternoon,

Monday 29 April 2013


Lampwork Glass Beads

I'm offering this set of encased blue frit beads as a giveaway prize. WOO!

There are seven 11mm beads here and to have a chance at winning them all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post. Please leave a full name, a Twitter username or a website link in your comment so that I can easily contact you if you're the winner.

The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the universe.

You might also want to sign up to my mailing list to be informed of any future giveaways, along with bead news, special offers and the like.

On Friday 3rd May at 7:00pm (UK time) I'll draw a name at random from the comments and that person will be the winner of the beads.

Good luck!

Sunday 28 April 2013

Two things to tell you

Red Tulips

I'm still tweaking my website and blog, making everything just right and in doing so I've added a couple of new things here.

First up, I've added a link to my Instagram feed over there on the right hand sidebar under 'Laura Links'. I use Instagram quite a lot and apart from the bead photographs I post on there, all my Instagram pictures are taken with my iPhone.

The photographs in this post are all from my Instagram feed. I bought myself those red tulips up there a couple of weeks ago (and yes, that's an empty Canderel jar prettied up with a ribbon; I'm not posh) and below is my Cath Kidston ladybird brooch that I bought when my friend Jenni came to stay a couple of months back. Probably the cheapest thing in Cath Kidston, that brooch. Two for about £6.00. Jenni's got the other one. Don't get me wrong, I love the look of Cath Kidston stuff but blimeyheck, it's not cheap, is it?

Ladybird Brooch

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Instagram. That was the first thing I had to tell you and the second one was about pinning photographs. I've added a nifty Pinterest 'pin it' button to my blog photographs. You see this photograph of my new favourite Tunnock's Caramel mug? Well, hover your pointer over it ...

Tunnock's Mug

... and ta-da! You should see a little Pinterest logo appear in the top right. If you click that you'll be able to pin the photo to your Pinterest board. There is also a 'Pin on Pinterest' button in the right hand sidebar. Clicking on it will bring up all the pinnable images on the current screen and you can then select which ones you'd like to pin.

I don't actually do Pinterest. I've tried it and I never got into it but I know a heck of a lot of you love to pin stuff so I thought I'd make it easier for you.

Sunshiny Daffodils

I will leave you with this photograph of the late afternoon sun shining upon some Cambridge daffodils. I took this on Thursday on my way to see Iron Man 3 at the cinema. My goodness, I love the Iron Man films (especially Robert Downey Jr) and Iron Man 3 is a triumph. I loved every second of it.

Oh, there's a very grumpy-looking grey cloud floating over the garden and my washing is out on the line so if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and get said washing in.

Have a lovely evening and don't forget to have a look at my new website if you've not done so already.


All Change

I've finally finished building my new website. Yayhurray!

I've worked on it solidly for the past two days and I've just finished adjusting the blog to match and I'm really pleased with the way everything looks.

The new website means that I can update it very easily; I no longer have to use two lots of software and an array of swearwords to change anything. (My old website really was very tired and very old-fashioned.)  It also means that you no longer have to email me to buy beads because there is a shopping cart that does PayPal payments. In the very near future you will also be able to buy my PDF tutorials and they will be sent to you straight away automatically.

The annoyingly annoying thing about my recent techno-breakdown is the fact that my mailing list was on my laptop. Which is dead. So very very dead. And I have no idea if I can recover any data from it. So I've set up a proper mailing list with MailChimp which you can sign up to via my website. Even if you were on my mailing list you will need to sign up to this one to be kept informed about beads. I know, I know, I'm sorry and it's awfully irksome but these technical accidents happen. So yes, please sign up to my shiny new mailing list here.

My website has a slideshow and images which require Flash so if you look at it on an iPhone or iPad it might not display correctly. You can get around this by using a browser such as Puffin which does allow you to view Flash on Apple products. Bonus!

So yep, I think that's enough website waffle for now.

To summarise:

  • All beads will now be sold in my website shop, not Folksy
  • You'll need to re-sign up to my mailing list
  • I'll still notify you of new beads via emails and my blog
  • Thank you for putting up with me

Now, please do head on over to the new-look Beads By Laura and have a look around!

Bestest wishes,

Thursday 25 April 2013

'Springtime' Droplets

Lampwork Glass Beads

I've just stocked my Folksy shop with two of these strands of 'Springtime' Droplet beads.

Lampwork Glass Beads

They are made in pretty pinks and fresh greens and they remind me of the beautiful apple and cherry blossom that is all over the place at the moment.

In other news, my new website is coming along nicely. It's all a bit swanky and posh and I can't wait to show it to you. Might just be ready this weekend ...

Have a lovely evening,

Tuesday 23 April 2013

'Berry' Droplets

Lampwork Glass Beads

More Droplet beads, this time in an array of purples. There are forty-eight here; more than enough for a bracelet.

Lampwork Glass Beads

These are over in my Folksy shop right now.

Saturday 20 April 2013


Lampwork Glass Beads by Laura Sparling

Years ago, I wrote a tutorial that showed you how to make petal beads. The other day I was asked by a Twitter person if I could make them some petal-ish beads. I was sat retraining my hands and brain to make them and as I did so I fell in love with the third stage in the petal-making process; a tiny spacer with a droplet of glass attached to it.

So yesterday I decided to make a whole set of these Droplet beads.

And I did.

And I love them.

But that's not always a good thing. It always seems to be that whenever I fall in love with a bead idea, nobody else does. But I love these SO much I am going to make a set of them for me in reds and purples and I'm going to string them on sturdy jewellery elastic. No silver, no other beads - just these - and they will be a bracelet.

Lampwork Glass Beads by Laura Sparling

They feel amazing; so very tactile and very lightweight to wear. And they catch the light beautifully. Oh, and the droplets are firmly attached. I tested this by dropping the prototypes onto the patio and they held firm. Obviously, don't go around throwing glass beads onto hard surfaces (because they are glass) but know that these are durable and the droplets will not ping off. You can see from the close up above that they are secure.

Each droplet base bead is 6mm diameter and the droplets themselves are the same so they're only about 12-13mm across.

Lampwork Glass Beads by Laura Sparling

This 'Mermaid' set of Droplet beads is over in my Folksy shop priced at £21.00 for the strand of forty beads. I'm thinking I'll need about fifty for a full bracelet. In my head, I've made these in an array of colours; I've imagined them in pinks and greens, reds and oranges, clear and white, forest greens ...

But yeah, like I say, not everyone likes what I like. But if you do, and you'd like a stretch bracelet made of these in your choice of colour, please send me an email. Price per bracelet would be £25.00 with free delivery to the UK and £3.50 postage anywhere else.

There are also some etched beads for sale in the Folksy shop and I've reduced the price of a couple of last week's sets too, so do pootle on over for a look-see.

I'm working on my new website today so I'll have hurty computer eyes and high stress levels by the dinner time.

I hope it's as nice wherever you are as it is here. The actual sun is actually sunshining!

Have a super duper Saturday,

Sunday 14 April 2013

Quick Post

Lampwork cupcake bead set

I've just added even more beads to my Folksy shop including the little cupcake set above and also a strand of Lonelies.

Friday 12 April 2013

New Beads

Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling

I'm on Chris' PC and it's all very strange. The keyboard is odd, I'm using a mouse instead of a track-pad and the monitor is HUGE.
I've just added the 'Groovy' beads above to my Folksy shop.
Over in the shop you'll also find these 'Sepia' ones ...
Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling
... and these 'Nice & Bright' beads.
Lampwork glass beads by Laura Sparling
And that is all for now. I'm still no further forward with the laptop but I will be working on the new website this weekend so I guess I'd better get used to using Chris' computer.

Have a fab night!

Wednesday 10 April 2013


My laptop died yesterday. Dead. Totally dead.

This means that I cannot edit my website.

It also means that I can't access my mailing list.

So I will be putting my new Freshly Baked Beads in my Folksy shop tonight. I have no idea what time it will be but it'll be sometime after 8:00pm and before 10:00pm.

I'm a bit peeved about the whole dead laptop thing. Can you tell?

Anyway, please have a look in my Folksy shop for new beads tonight.

Have a good afternoon, 

Tuesday 2 April 2013

'Twilight Speckle'

Lampwork Glass Beads

The other day, whilst hunting for spare flints for my spark lighter, I found a bag of frit that I forgot I had. It is Double Helix 'Terra' frit and it's gorgeous. It's a mix of browns in its un-melted form but by applying heat at various intensities you can bring out purples, blues, greens and even pinks. It really is a lovely glass.

I've put it on black here, encased it in clear and the resulting beads remind me of the colours of the sky and clouds at twilight at the end of a sunny day. These are available in strands of seven beads in my Folksy shop.

Hasn't it been a gorgeous day? Chilly but sunshiny.

Nigel did a spot of sunbathing on my shed roof which made a nice change from his current hobby of killing birds. 

I'm currently working on a brand new website and I'm really excited about it; it's all proper and it's going to have a shopping cart and all that jazz. I'm hoping it'll be complete by the start of May.

Also, big thanks to Lori who left a really helpful comment on my last blog post regarding my not being able to wear earrings any longer. She gave me a link to a blog post that she wrote about her own experience of the same problem.

Time to make some tea and do some techno-website-fafferations ...