Sunday, December 20, 2009


A colleague asked me to make a selection of necklaces and earrings for her young children to give to their teachers as Christmas presents. I had no idea kids did that sort of thing. I certainly didn't when I was at school. When did this custom start ??

A polymer clay pendant with various glass beads including some of my favourites - "crackle beads".

Detail of the pretty polymer clay pendant.

Black and brown beads for a teacher with short dark hair who likes dangly earrings.

I was given a brief description of each person who was to receive a gift and the rest was up to me. It was fun if a bit worrying designing something for someone I hadn't met.

Detail of the dangly earrings.

Dyed shell and more crackle beads.

Glass beads with Swarovski bicones and freshwater pearls. This was the most expensive set to make.


A selection of earrings, ready to be finished off with earhooks.

The word from the staffroom is - everyone was pleased with their gifts. That's a relief.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


A second colleague asked me if I could make a necklace and earrings as a Christmas present for her Aunt Sally. She liked some of the beads in one of my Christmas party earrings and the style of the "double trouble" and "lime cordial" necklaces.
This is how it turned out. I hope Aunt Sally likes it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


A colleague asked me to make a necklace for her friend's 60th birthday. Interpreting her ideas was a bit tricky - the general design was to be for something bright and a bit wild and unusual.

I found it completely nerve-wracking to come up with something. I don't normally do wild and unusual. I used a polymer clay pendant that I got from an Ebay seller that I use fairly often, and just put in a complete jumble of beads.

Detail of the polymer clay pendant.

The requirement was also to personalise it with her name and "60" on the clasp. I couldn't find "60" as a charm anywhere so I decided to use letter beads and spell it out. The words are attached to the clasp by beading wire so she can snip them off if she gets tired of advertising her age !!

I hope she likes it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is BBC Children in Need week and every year we support the charity by having a cake sale at work. The first year (2003) we made £135. Last year we made £575.
I have never seen so much cake in my life.

This year I decided that as well as a Nigella Lawson Chocolate Guinness Cake, I would make some Christmas jewellery to sell.
I started with a few snowman earrings.

Pearl snowman, glass snowman and crystal snowman earrings.

Christmas pudding and Christmas angel earrings.

After mass-producing a small stockpile of snowman earrings I was bored so decided to branch out a bit.

Christmas lantern and Christmas heart earrings perhaps ?

Christmas party earrings.

Christmas carol earrings ?

Christmas card earrings. ?

I got this idea for displaying them on a black champagne glass from a magazine.

More champagne, Vicar ?

UPDATE - on 4th December we banked £640 for Children in Need. There are a few earrings left on sale and money is still trickling in to start us off for next year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I get lots of ideas from just rummaging in the bead box and seeing what turns up.
The hematite circles came from the last bead fair at Newark (from Jencel, I think).
The green metalic facetted beads came from a local bead shop that has been closed for two years, so I've probably had them for three years.
I really can't remember where I got the the minty coloured shell beads but I've had them for ages. They came to the surface again yesterday.
Now there's an idea.


I was so pleased with the red and black version of this necklace that I decided to make another one in a different colour.
Might as well, as I had the beads in my bead box.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Red and black matt stripey beads with red and black crystals on a double string of red and black wire.
The clasp is one of those neat little press-stud fasteners.
Fastening it is a bit more fiddly than I expected.
One day I will get some black headpins and remake the earrings. That would look better than the silver ones, I think.

Friday, November 6, 2009


The large glass beads are Gutermann beads and were in a necklace I bought a while ago. (From the lady in the woolshop as it happens.)
One day I noticed that three of the beads were cracked. I must have dropped the necklace at some time and not realised. So I took it apart, discarded the damaged beads and added a few of my own to remake it.
(I know they are Gutermann beads as I have since seen them for sale.)
Not many years ago I wouldn't have known how to do that and it would have ended up in the bin.
A long time ago I binned an old necklace that had belonged to my former mother-in-law because some of the beads were damaged.
I now wish I hadn't. I didn't know it then but I know now that they were old millefiori beads and maybe even quite valuable. If I still had it I could have done something with the good beads.
You live and learn.

Monday, October 26, 2009


My Auntie Vera is in hospital and feeling very fed up.

I decided to make her a necklace to try to cheer her up a bit.

It's made of shell and plastic beads so it's nice and light around her neck, with little glass spacers to give it just a little bit of weight to make sure it hangs properly.

It has a magnetic clasp so it won't be fiddly to fasten.

I hope she likes it.


I constructed this bracelet months ago - it took me about 5 minutes. Ever since, I have puzzled over the best way to get the beads to stay put and not drift along the bracelet spoiling the design.
Eventually I decided the only option was a dab of glue at each end of the design. I held the beads in place whilst the glue was setting by using those little miniature craft clothes pegs. It worked and you can hardly detect the glue.
The green beads are "miracle beads" and they sort of glow like little lightbulbs in certain levels of light.
So after months of kicking around in my bead box, the bracelet is ready to wear. All I have to do now is make a necklace to match.


The large glass beads have rosebuds and foil strips in them.
Inbetween there are rose quartz chips and silvery coated glass beads.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I love amber.
These enormous beads were teamed with some gold metal spacers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I bought a few beads today.

I had talked myself out of going to the Bead Fair at Newark for several reasons:
  • I had enough beads already.
  • I hadn't used all the beads I bought there last time.
  • It was too nice a day to be spent indoors.


I talked myself back into going to the Bead Fair for these reasons:

  • A girl can never ever have too many beads.
  • It only takes place every 6 months so it would be a shame not to.
  • Fresh air is just fresh air and the dog has had lots of great walks lately.



Saturday, September 26, 2009


Rose quartz is one of my favourite stones to make things from. It blends well with lots of other colours and comes in all shapes and sizes.

It is also relatively inexpensive but can look anything but cheap when made up.
In the first necklace I combined it with some pretty lavendar crystals and in the second some silver beads and just one crystal.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The other night I couldn't sleep. I was tossing and turning, saw the clock at 1 am, 1.30 am, 2 am......

I decided to get up and read or something. My beads were on the table so I finished a repair job I had started. Then I was dibbling in my bead box and found these metal beads. Another rummage found the little glass hearts. Et voilà.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Designed to dangle and jangle as you wobble and wiggle.

This pair would not keep still even to have their photo taken.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"I THINK, THEREFORE I AM" Rene Déscartes

A recent trip to our local bead shop produced a little haul of interesting beads.
Now what shall I do with these?

Detail of the gorgeous glass beads

(I actually only went in for some earrings posts and some yellow beads for a project I had in mind.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


A pendant from a craft shop strung with some garnet glass beads with silver spacers.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Blue foil-lined and black beads with silver spacers.

The pendant was made by pushing a large bead into one of those ready-made bead cages that looked much too small. The stretched effect of the wire made it look like wire-wrapping.

This was demonstrated to me by the lady who owns the woolshop in Clay Cross, so the credit for the clever idea must go to her, not me.


Mostly plastic beads and a plastic pendant for a little girl.


Glass foil-lined tile-shaped beads and gold spacers made a very versatile necklace that goes with everything.


Some painted plastic beads with "faux" pearls in unusual olive and khaki colours, probably from the 1960's. I just added the little gold spacers.

Last autumn my mother-in-law gave me a box of old beads and broken jewellery. I felt rather awkward about that fact that she had given them to me and not to one of her three daughters. So I came up with the idea of remaking some of the beads into gifts for the daughters, and the grand-daughters, for Christmas. These are two of them. I think they all appreciated the jewellery and it made me feel better, too.

Some pretty plastic beads in a marbled purple and aqua colour. I added some glass beads, silver spacers and Swarovski crystals. The old beads were probably 1970's.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The large beads seem to be pieces of shell set in resin and the small ones are honey coloured glass beads, made using a technique called "lampwork".

Detail of the shell beads.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I made these for a colleauge who recently started to learn belly dancing. The red heart beads are glass and the little discs are metal so the earrings jangle as she dances.
(Not that anyone will be watching her ears !!)


The beads are abalone shell and Swarovski crystals in "golden shadow" colour.


I found some lovely scarves / cowls on sale at a craft fair in Derbyshire last autumn. The scarves looked like necklaces when worn so that gave me the idea for some Christmas presents.

The bracelet and earrings are made from brown and aqua coloured beads plus some copper spacers to match the scarf. The matt round aqua beads are called "ice beads" made by Gutermann. Sadly, they seem to have discontiued them. (Luckily, I did buy lots of them so that's OK!)

I have discoverd which yarn the cowls are made from and am currently experimenting with needle sizes to see if I can get the same effect myself.


I made this as a gift for our French neighbour, Mme André, who has been so kind to us. And so understanding. She doesn't speak a word of English so our French is improving thanks to her.
Its made from Swarovski pearls and glass beads.


A polymer clay pendant strung on black wire with glass beads.