Monday, 28 February 2011

Portobello Road and Bead Soup!

Loads of things have happened since my last post! We did indeed visit Portobello Road on Saturday and it was fabulous. For those who may not know, Portobello Road is the world's largest antique market and it is open every Saturday. Every kind of antique can be found at the market but most interestingly for me, there is every style of jewellery you could ever wish to see - all era's from antique to vintage costume and all designers from Chanel to Schiaparelli. It's fantastic to see it all in real life instead of pictures in books and on the Internet.

I bought some figural brooches by BJL. Very little is known about this maker other than the pieces are believed to be from the 1920's to 30's, made in London and feature enamel and marcasite. Identification is through the stamp, BJL, found on the back of the item.

I have seen brooches come up on EBay and other specialist sites but very rarely. The most common are the Merman and the Archer who would appear to be from a mythical or horoscope themed collection. I was so pleased to find the following brooches in excellent condition.

A great start to my collection!

I spent the rest of the weekend hopping from blog to fabulous blog checking out the beautiful items made from bead soup! Out of the 210 bloggers who took part, I still have about 100 blogs to go but so far the quality and variety of jewellery has been astounding! I was so disappointed to miss this bead soup party but I am ready for the next one in August! Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is the brains and the organisation behind this amazing event, she truly is a superwoman! To read more about the bead soup party, see her blog post here.

In the meantime, i'm going to carry on hopping....

Friday, 25 February 2011

The big smoke

I'm spending a few days in London for the rest of half term. We arrived yesterday and first stops were Hamleys for my little girl (I had to pinky swear that this would be the first place we went to!) and then Carnaby Street. We came across a fabulous bead shop in Kingley Court called Buffy's Beads which had the most amazing selection of gemstone strands at unusually reasonable prices. I could have bought everything but just contented myself with some beads which I wouldn't usually see. I bought kiwi jasper and aquamarine buttons.

I also bought some fabulous amethyst...

...and saving the best to last, these amazing assorted porcelain beads.

Check out Buffys Beads here.

We also had a look around the vintage clothes and jewellery shops and we visited Liberty which was a real experience. I loved the Jewellery room, it was great to see the jewellery in real life instead of drooling over it on the website like I normally do! There is a definite 70's vibe with plenty of agate and upcycling vintage costume pieces with new beads and chain, in fact, lots of chain!

Today we went to the Natural History museum which was really amazing and tomorrow we are planning to go to Portobello Road which is the best place to see and buy vintage jewellery in my opinion, I can't wait!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Spring is sprung!

I've discovered so many fabulous blogs recently and have been so busy reading and posting comments that I have neglected my own blog a little! I have especially been following 365 Jars which is a project being run by Kirsty Hall in Bristol. For a whole year, Kirsty will hide an art jar somewhere in Bristol and finders can post their details on her website, it's an exciting project and I'm glued to it now!

My recent make has been a necklace in the theme of this post's title which is also the name of the current competition being run by Linda Jones of Wireworkers Guild.

I'm still finding my feet with photos and found this one difficult to get into one shot as it is a long necklace. There is no clasp as such but a silver flower charm which has a chain running through it which can slide back and fore to act like an extender chain when you put it over your head.

Wish me luck for the competition!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Fire Agate

I've finally finished the necklace which I have made with the Fire Agate beads I bought on the weekend. I am really pleased with the finished result, the colours really stand out, especially with some interspersing of crystal beads of similar colours. I love the saucer beads too.

Sorry about the photo quality, I need to work on that but at least I've got pictures in daylight this time, usually they are taken at night by the time I get home.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Bead Shopping!

After a really manic week, what better way to relax than bead shopping!? My daughter and I had a girls day out shopping and having lunch, it was lovely. We always go to Crystals and Ice bead shop when we can. I love the unusual gemstone beads they stock, there is always something different.

Today I bought two strings of fire agate barrel beads and some silver beads which remind me of flying saucers, there's a bit of a saucer theme going on here if you notice!

The fire agate beads are gorgeous, they look very much like sea glass which I love. I think I will mix them with some silver beads to really bring out the colours.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Valentine Roses

Carrying on the theme of Valentines, here are some bracelets I have made tonight.

The first bracelet is definitely one for the romantics amongst us. I've used a large acrylic facetted bead as the focal and some fabulous Rose quartz saucer beads together with swarovski crystals in varying shades of pink including Rose alabaster. The saucer beads are from Anastasia Beads.
I have used a magnetic clasp which is cunningly disguised as a silver bead covered in rhinestones, I think these clasps are very effective, especially if you don't have a helping hand when you're struggling with a conventional clasp.

After having a burst of creativity tonight, I also made this bracelet which has a silver ring, hand wrapped with red swarovski crystals and a silver heart charm attached. This one has a small lobster clasp which attaches to the large silver heart.

I really enjoyed making these because the colours are outside of my normal palette which usually consists of silver, black and more black! I hope you like them too.

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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Valentine Earrings

I wasn't going to get drawn into the whole Valentine thing but after seeing all the wonderful handmade heart items in the blogs I follow, it would be rude not to!

Here are some lovely silver heart connectors to which I have added some beautiful bright shining red crystal beads to make these very long earrings. Bring on the romance....!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Ocean Agate

I've been busy making a necklace with the agate slice shown in my last post. Fashion trends are channelling the 70's at present and where better to start than a statement focal piece of agate. I love the colours of this piece which I have hand wrapped to a silver circle which is itself wrapped with pale blue swarovski crystals. This necklace is made to be worn long and is ideal for layering with shorter chains.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

New beads!

I visited Anastasia Beads in Barry on the weekend and bought some gorgeous new beads. I really like the silver stardust beads and I have especially been looking for some Agate slices ever since I saw the agate necklaces by Yves St Laurent on the runway last year. I can't wait to get started!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad