Well, how very exciting. I have just managed to add a Pinterest 'Pin It' hover button to the photos on my blog! Just hover your mouse over these lovely clasps (currently available in The Curious Bead Shop) and you'll see a wee tab button appear in the corner. I am always slightly astounded when I manage anything on the technical side here on the blog! I'm on Pinterest but haven't yet really got into it......I know loads of others are, so hopefully this will make it easier for you to Pin my pictures, should you so desire :-)
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Friday, 26 April 2013
Look what's coming to The Curious Bead Shop later this evening......more Bo Hulley/Curious collaborations!
These Returning Swallows OOAK sets disappeared within minutes last time.....you'll have to move quickly to snap one up!
New Ocean-themed button clasps.
Some new, juicy, summery glazes...
Another new design for these collaborative clasps - bumblebees! These are the only two of this style...
Some old favourites - these vintage glazes on the curved buttons are some of my personal faves.
More Ocean-themed clasps - this time in cool, liquid-turquoise. Beautiful!
See you at The Curious Bead Shop tonight, 7pm BST (UK time)!
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
It's long been an ambition of mine to create a jewellery collection or two. All the advise you read online about running a successful jewellery business suggests that this is a really important aspect of a jewellery business. It makes things more co-hesive, and if you want to approach shops and potential stockists, it gives a clearer message. The problem for me, and many others I am sure, is that working with handmade beads and components, often the items we work with are one of a kind. Not so easy to create a collection based around this!
I have grown into this job/career/business - whatever you want to call it - in a slightly non-traditional manner. I didn't go to art college; I have had no formal training in jewellery making or design of any sort. And whilst this isn't necessarily (I hope!) a drawback, I am aware that I don't always have a clear strategy in mind when I sit down to work. I'll be honest - my brain doesn't often have a clear strategy for doing anything; it tends to leap and jump around all over the place, no matter what I'm doing! And when you create purely for yourself - well, who then would set out to make themselves a co-hesive and artistically co-ordinated collection? No one that I know! You make what you feel like and what feels right....
And as for no formal training - well, I spent most of my 20s being an almost-full-time teacher, and I've had no formal training in teaching either, and that has never held me back! I am somehow confident that I am a bloody good teacher, if I do say so myself; certainly for the kids that I have taught over the past 8 years. (Couldn't handle classroom teaching though - NO idea how some of my colleagues manage, it'd drive me absolutely crazy!)
But jewellery-making, I realise, is a completely different kettle of fish. I don't feel that I'm sinking in this business, but I'm sort of paddling about and splashing my arms about enthusiastically, and not quite out in the depths, swimming confidently, as yet. I want to take that plunge; to lift my feet from the seabed and swim, but I'm not quite sure of how to do that quite yet.....I am hoping that the creation of my first ever jewellery collection will help with this.
So over the past week, I've been working on the beginnings of my Gardenia Collection. I have plans to launch this very soon, and have decided that it's main home shall be in my (long-neglected) Folksy Shop. Yes, I have linked but you'll see - there's no one at home in this poor wee corner of the internet! This collections is springing from one of my most popular pieces - one that I offer in my etsy shop as a 'made to order' piece - my Gardenia bracelet.
I felt that here was potential for growth - I could develop this very simple idea to incorporate different shapes, different jewellery pieces - different colour schemes as well, although I'm very fond of this one. I have many different ideas rattling around in this old 32-year-old head of mine....
This weekend I worked on a Gardenia necklace, and today, some earrings. STATEMENT earrings! I will be creating some daintier ones too as I know not everyone likes such long and dramatic earrings as I.....here's a sneak peek of today's contribution to the Gardenia Collection.....to be launched hopefully very soon. What do you think of them? Just a quick snap; I'll be taking better photos for the launch, but I wanted to share them here first.
I am very excited about this side of my jewellery - I won't be giving up my custom, bespoke and one-of-a-kind items. After all, what could be more lovely than wearing a unique piece of handmade art? But I am also excited to go down this avenue as well. Collections of jewellery that I can present to the world, with the real stamp of 'me' upon them.
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Yep, I'm up and out early this Sunday morning, off to Altrincham's vintage and craft fair - Magpies and I! My first of 2013. Wish me luck! And if you're in the area, why not pop along and say hi?
Saturday, 20 April 2013
Just look at these beautiful beads that arrived today from Beads By Earth Tones! Aren't they just lovely? Handmade especially for me from colourful polymer clay and acrylic paint, they are full of rich, saturated hues in my favourite colours. A few 'regular' beads - rounds and discs - but mainly a little flock, crafted for Songbead. Birds and owls in a selection of Alison's special colour combos. I do realise that owls are also birds, but how to describe a bird bead that is a little tweetie bird like most of these? Hmmm. A puzzle.
Thanks for making these for me Alison - I love them!
Friday, 19 April 2013
Some new pretty things heading to le shop tomorrow.....some old, some new, but all freshly photographed in today's lovely bright but overcast light - perfect! I'm off to my first craft show of the year - Altrincham's Magpies and I Vintage and Craft Market which runs in the covered market from 11 - 3.30 this Sunday (21st April). If you're local, why not pop along? I will be bringing all of these pretties (if they haven't sold!) and more! It's a great market with a lovely atmosphere and plenty of wonderful stalls - including fresh produce - to peruse. Come along and say hi! I'd love to see you there.
Got the Blues
Fly Away Home
A Certain Darkness
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
It's my birthday today! 32. Hmmmm.....I'm still not quite sure what I think of that......
I am ALWAYS in favour of birthday celebrations however. I'm heading into my city of Manchester today to spend a day of wandering and taking the time to do the things you always mean to but never get around to - visit the Manchester Art Gallery, visiting the Craft and Design Centre, drinking many cups of tea, I suspect....! I'm teaching this evening but then after that Helen and I will head out for dinner somewhere or other. Tomorrow, I think we are meeting up with some friends in the evening for further celebrations. Not too shabby. I'll also be raising a toast to my good friend Jo, with whom I share a birthday. And it's a pretty special one for her too.....
I'm also holding a giveaway and competition celebration in The Curious Bead Shop! Chief and Only Curious Elf Helen stopped by my Facebook page yesterday with the full details.....
"Hi! It's the Curious Elf here, in my first outing on Curious facebook. I come with news of the exciting Golden Headpin. So, here's the way it works..... the first 25 orders over £20 (inc. postage) this week will receive a complimentary pack of 5 handmade Deco Rose headpins with their order. Not only this, but each of these orders will be entered into a draw to win the Golden Headpin - oooh, aaah! At the end of the birthday week (22nd April), a winner will be picked at random from the entrants and will receive the Golden (or shiny copper....) Headpin in the post at the beginning of next week......When the winner snaps a picture and shares with us - either on Facebook, or sends it to us via etsy, they will be rewarded with a £25 Curious Bead Shop voucher! What are you waiting for? Get over to www.thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com now and help us celebrate Rebecca's birthday!"
Don't you fancy playing along and searching for the Golden Headpin? :-)
I'm also having a Flash 24-hour sale in my Songbead jewellery shop today. Well, I'm thirty-two today.....so for today only, you can take 32% off all jewellery (excluding reservations and custom orders)! I don't often have sales that are quite so generous so take advantage whilst you can.....Use coupon code BIRTHDAY32 at checkout to activate your discount.
Hope you're all having a great week and any other April babies - Happy Birthday to you too!