Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Reverse inspiration

Often, I make beads all week, thinking of a group of names as I go along. At the end of the week, I look at the possibilities within that group of names, and match beads to them.

I can tell you now that there will be very few, if any, new beads online this week-end, as I'm trying to build up a stash for jewellery making while I'm on holiday. What this has led to, however, is some sort of reverse inspiration - because I *know* my group of names for the next listing.

When I was a child, a 'rock musical for kids' swept through Germany, about a little dragon called Tabaluga, who goes on a journey to grow up. He meets lots of different individuals, who try to convince him that their way of life is the best and only way - the dolphins tell him to just enjoy life, the ants tell him to work hard, a stork tells him that he is meant for better things, born to the skies, a giant tells him a story of how people often miss out because they're simply afraid. In the end, he meets an old, old turtle, Nessaja, who has seen everything come and go, and who has worked out that it is balance, and keeping a child-like wonder at the world, that might, just might, bring wisdom and maturity...but, as she says...does any of that really matter?

Tabaluga is now in the second generation, my son enjoys hearing it, and I know the whole thing front to back and back to front. And while I'm at the torch this week, names come to me, for which there are no beads yet, but I know exactly what they'll look like. Some of these names, just as a tease:

  • Playing with clouds
  • Cradled by the storm
  • The songs of leaves
  • Little Dragons
  • I make time

.....Guess I better get torching!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Why I love sculpture

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with round beads - after all, I probably make more lace beads in a week than anything else. But, looking back over the last month, I once more realised why my heart lies with sculpture. Including commissions and the ideas springing from my own little mind, I made:

  • Roses
  • Butterflies
  • Dragonflies
  • Munch's The Scream
  • Magritte's The Son of Man (the less said, the better! ;o)
  • Lilies
  • Cats
  • Cupcakes
  • A cornflower
  • A moongazing hare
  • A howling wolf
  • Skulls
...and I'm sure I've forgotten something! Doing sculpture means I walk through life looking at everything through the eyes of 'can I turn this into a bead' (I know others do this with patterns, so it's not just sculpture, but that's the way my mind works). It means I get a photo from a customer, of a flower growing in her back garden 'can you do these'. It means an endless journey of a balance between being true to the original, and allowing the glass and my skills to set boundaries, and the thrill when at least my skills expand and I coax something out of glass I didn't know I could.

So there you go. I love sculpture. And I know exactly what I'm doing next - which is why I'm waiting for a glass delivery!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Where do all the beadies go No 1: Mary Kent, Nemea Designs

I thought it might be nice for readers of my blog to be able to get a good look at what happens to my humble beadies when they leave my grubby little paws. So, if you have bought from me in the past, and have pictures to show, please let me know - perfect scenario would be if the item was still available, but I'm not picky ;o)

For now, let me introduce you to Mary Kent. She doesn't know I'm doing this, btw. ;o) Mary is based in Nottingham and an all-round lovely person. As a fellow foreign ex-pat in the UK, we have a lot in common, but we still haven't managed to meet up (one day!) Mary's work is classy with a bit of bling, and very frequently features coloured pearl for a bit of glamour. She also does the most amazingly intricate bling rings, and one day, I aim to be as patient as that!

The other day, Mary caved in and bought her first lot of sculptural beads from me, a butterfly and a rose. I know she had plans to give the butterfly antennae, but as she herself says, when the butterfly arrived, she had different ideas. And this is what the butterfly wanted.

Isn't it a stunning necklace? The butterfly is all water-colour-y, and by matching her with strong colours, Mary has managed to create a necklace that is both feminine and striking.

The necklace is currently for sale at Nemea Designs, here. And while you're there, do check out those bling rings!


Thank you to Mary & Karen for the fabulous suggestions (and to Becky, who emailed them rather than commented ;o)). I've not had time to clean them all, but wanted you to meet Zarya, water priestess and protector of warriors! Question is - will I be brave enough to wire her up with a top bail and wear her, or will I be too afraid that she'll fall off??

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Two blogs in a day? How can that be?? Well, I had a great day at the torch, five-and-a-half hours, to be precise. The result is a full kiln (sometimes, making sculptural stuff can be problematic - if I only made spacers, my kiln wouldn't fill up so fast!)

...and now I'm scared!

....what am I going to call them all???

You see, every week, I have 'special' names. There were the funny sounding names in America (Muddlety springs to mind :o), the Chinese proverbs, the Vulcan words (oh yes!), the Crowded House song titles.....whatever next?

And then there's all the roses and butterflies - they have 'real' names, first names, because they're, well, they're individuals, aren't they??? Some of them, I know immediately what they're called, but others can be harder. And this week, there's one very, very special bead that'll need a female first name. It's blue and teal, and related to water, and that's all I'm saying.

Sooooooo..........what shall all the beadies this week be named after? OH suggested the periodic table...any more for any more? And what about tht very, very special bead?? Which shall remain anonymous for now :o)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Decisions, decisions

I'm still looking for the holy grail, so I thought I'd blog about it and see whether anybody has found it. Here's the problem. I love making beads. And I love making jewellery. And I love all these outlets that are available for them. The question is - what do you put where? I mean, as a buyer, do you really want to flip from etsy to website to folksy to artfire, checking out and paying via a couple of different sites, then get one parcel in the post? Or do prefer having just one place to go, with everything under one roof?

I've pretty much given up on Folksy (nothing at all against folksy, but my day has limited hours!), but I'm trying to persevere with etsy. My clever idea was that I would move jewellery from the site and onto etsy, plus the beads made to order. And yes, I've had a sale - hurrah!! A pair of my earrings is now winging its way to California!

The trouble is, since the jewellery moved to etsy, I've sold far less than I normally would, because people *don't* move from my site to etsy. They also aren't doing what they were doing before, picking beads and asking to have them made up into jewellery. I don't know why, but it's been two months now that my jewellery has been on etsy.

So what to do? Do you split it? Having bits of jewellery as well as beads in both locations? Doesn't that mean the double-shopping again? Do you just accept that your work will get exposure in both places, just *different* exposure? I love the community spirit on etsy, the street teams, the treasuries, the buzz. I love that 'convo' is both a verb and a noun. I just don't know where the holy grail is.