Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Decorations

Thought I would show a few of my favourite glass Christmas decorations.

They are a simple, uncluttered style of decoration, however  I love them for their  shimmering and reflective  capabilities.

And my favourite Christmas decoration of all - my little dog, Pepper complete with Christmas bow!

Cheers for now,


Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Robot Necklace

Finally, another post!

 This necklace did take a while to get done as I was waiting delivery of components to complement the robot and the black metallic industrial beads.

The gunmetal Tim Holz Idea-ology sprocket gears came from Beads Online. There were quite a few in the packet, different metals and sizes, so plenty to go around for the next project.

The gunmetal key charms were a fun addition and were purchased from Rings & Things.

 Some of the silver connector rings were darkened to match the gunmetal look using Liver of Sulphur.
This was easy to do, just a quick dip in and out of the liquid, ( which was actually a gel base) and very easy to make up.

The bronzish-looking balls in the above photo are actually "scrimps" from Fire Mountain Gems.
This is the first time I have used these and they are definitely a much more polished look than a squashed crimp!

They are this colour because I painted the Liver of Sulphur gel directly on to them as I suspected  their screw mechanism could be damaged if immersed. This stronger solution gave a bronze patina which is a similar  colour to that of the robot's chest.

Another first for this necklace was the use of wire guardians, which help the stringing wire from breaking over time or from slipping through any little gaps.  These can be seen in the two photos above connecting the bronze scrimp to the gunmetal ring.

Above are the hematite hexagonal beads interspersed with small groups of gunmetal spacers which form the back part of the necklace.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the robot bead is from Georgie at Jawjee and the "industrial" lampwork beads were made by belinda at Bellissimo Jewels.

This necklace did take a while to come together for different reasons, however, I was happy to learn  a few different techniques in the making of it, something I hope I continue to do with each piece I make. 

These little tips were given to me by a few friends from my new beading group, The Flaming Matildas.
I will write more about them in future posts. 
Until then,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wonders of the Garden-The Cycle of The Poppy

As my latest batch of beads are still "cooking" in the kiln, I thought I would share some wonders of my garden with you.
I have these exquisite poppies that appear in my garden each year. Some years they perform better than others. This year they have grown prolifically courtesy of our very welcomed Spring rain.
I am totally enamoured of their colour and style and find them attractive at each stage of their cycle.
Here they are in all their glory.

Just opening up

Full bloom
Battered by a storm
The remaining seed pod

Cheers for now,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bead Stash

Well the Bead Expo has come and gone.

There were quite a few exhibitors this year and due to parking restrictions,  I didn't get around to see them all.

I still managed to buy, of course, and here is some of my lovely loot.

I purchased small sparkling aquamarine beads, faceted chalcedony and quartz nuggets and a small selection of Tibetan turquoise from B'Julde.

I'm really looking forward to putting this large turquoise drum-shaped bead in to a jewellery piece. It's quite pale coloured as far as turquoise goes, but such a wonderful shape, I just had to have it!

Some very interesting bone beads came from Mark Wang. He also sells at the Camberwell market every Sunday.

 Lampwork pieces that I purchased include another owl, robot and frit beads from Jawjee.
 Co-ordinating beads to go with the robot came from Belinda at Bellissimo Jewels .

Not shown are the pile of silver and copper findings I purchased from Kerry at Affordable Inspiration. She is emptying her shop of these items, so if there are any left, they are great value.

Till next time,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Melbourne Bead Expo

The Bead Society of Victoria is hosting its 7th annual Melbourne Bead Expo.
The Expo is on from Friday 12 November until  Sunday 14 November 2010 at the Kingston City Hall,
979 Nepean Highway,  Moorabbin,  10am - 5pm each day.
Map Reference - MELWAYS 77D5

There will be many suppliers exhibiting.
You can purchase lampwork (hand made art glass) beads, gems, findings and tools from all over the world on this exciting weekend.

There is also a members' bead challenge exhibition which is always inspirational.

Also, some completed jewellery pieces made by members will be for sale.

A few of my friends have been working frantically, making glass beads to sell.

Here are a few photos of some of their gorgeous beads,  a mere fraction of what they both have to offer.

Georgie's owls, robots, butterflies and others are available at  Jawjee.

Belinda's beads can be found at Bellissimo Jewels. She has lovely little cupcakes, sugarbeads, large organic focals and many more.

Hope to see you there,


Sunday, November 7, 2010


It's been a while since I posted, I am still new to the blogging world!

This week I have made what I loosely call "opal" tab beads.
Opal, due to the gorgeous opalescent colours on the spots of these tabular shaped beads.

This lovely reaction is both easy and difficult to do!
It is easy to "bring it out" and difficult (for me) to make each dot a matching colour.

These gorgeous colours are a result of  "reducing", which is changing the torch flame balance to one that is propane rich, instead of a flame that is an even balance of oxygen and propane.

Once the glass dots are briefly touched by the reducing flame to bring out a glimmer of colour, the reaction is then captured by covering each dot with a transparent clear glass (although other transparent colours can be used).

I used two different rods of silver-laden glass for the dots - called Triton and Psyche. Both are manufactured by Double Helix Glass.

Interesting patterns on the base bead can occur too. On dark ivory glass, crackling or "webbing" is a result of the silver-laden glass in the dots affecting the ivory base - as in the picture below.

The other wonderful reaction that happens in glass is that the base colour also can change the colour of what goes on top, ie the dots in this case, so the resultant dots can be purple instead of blue!

This is truly the magic of glass to me. Sometimes, what I think will come out of the kiln is not what eventually comes out.  I think I have it (sort of) worked out and then it just surprises me with another extraordinary gift.


Whatever you can do or dream you can, BEGIN IT.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.


Friday, October 29, 2010

A Garnet Story

As I do not have any new beads or jewellery to show today,  I have decided to write about the semi- precious stone, garnet.

My maternal grandmother's first name was Garnet. My mother's name was Garnet and my oldest daughter's middle name is Garnet.

I grew up captivated by the name and the stone from which my female relatives were named.
There are many jewellery pieces with garnets in them in my family. One was combined with rubies, others with diamonds. Simpler pieces stood alone with gold or silver.

For many years, I believed that garnets only came in dark red.  Red is the most common colour,  however garnets can come in many different shades of red from almost black to bright red.

I now also know that garnets can come in a variety of colours: brown, black, orange, red, green and even a rare blue-green. There are also stones which change colour depending on whether they are in sunlight or seen in artificial light.

In history, garnet was said to be a gem of "faith and truth".
It was believed to be medicinally powerful, used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases, to help cure liver complaints, and to aid in the cessation of haemorrhage.  It was also believed to cure depression.
In medieval times many believed that wearing garnet would protect against bad dreams, wounds and poison.

Garnets have been found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.
Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000bc. This indicates the strength and durability of the stone. ( it has a hardness factor of 7-7.5 on the mohs scale)

In more recent times, it is said to be the birthstone for the month of January.

Just this week, a cousin purchased a new garnet and diamond ring to replace one that had been lost.
There is such a strong link between the name of the stone and the name of our beloved relatives that any piece of garnet jewellery will always evoke a fond memory or two,  often leading to an interesting discussion.
And that is always good.

I think I now may need to go and buy a garnet ring or bracelet or necklace.......!!



Photo Acknowledgements:
- Ring from Westonjewelry
- Cut stones from Silverjoyce

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Owl Necklace

It's been a busy week and there hasn't been a lot of time for beadmaking,  however I did get around to finishing my little owl necklace.

The colours in jawjee's owl are difficult to capture on film but they are a gorgeous mix of blue and greeny-blue in the body of the owl combined with captivating bright green eyes. There is also a dash of pinky orange in the eyes .

I decided to use one larger lampwork bead of my own in the blue-green combination, and also included two pairs of  simple spacer- beads in similar colours, separated by small bright olive-green crystals.

The beads around the neck are lovely blue topaz separated by plain silver.

A box-style clasp with peridot insert and a dangling silver leaf and small crystals complete the story.

I am loving how my necklace turned out.

Here is also a photo of the roses on my front fence.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A few things from the Weekend

Well here are the caps I made this weekend.
They are made from copper (thank you,  Darren), textured with the little hammer from previous post and then given a patina using Lime Sulphur.
The little hammer  set was easy to use,  however,  because of it's relative light weight, it did require quite a bit of perseverance to pattern the copper.

I then sealed the caps with Renaissance wax.
I love the antique finish. Some of the caps also have a lovely pinkish glow which is a little hard to see on the photo.

I also put together a pair of "Rain drop earrings" which came in a kit from beadsonline.

My last photo is a little owl which I purchased from Georgie. Over the next week or so,  I hope to put a necklace together , incorporating this little fellow and my own lampwork beads. You can see more of Georgie's gorgeous owls and beads at  her website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

100 bead necklace

 Wednesday 13th October 2010

I made these little spotty beads quite a while ago but have just recently managed to string them up. It's quite a long necklace as I put little silver beads in between and a  ring and bar clasp.
I intend to wear them with a white shirt; a bright, cheery look.

I always love getting parcels in the mail and today one arrived from WishWare Beads in Bunbury, Western Australia. It is a small texturing hammer for metal (see pictures below).  It comes with 4 different heads.

I intend to give this a go on the weekend, probably on copper sheet to see what patterns it can produce. If I like the look, I will make copper and/or silver bead caps. Perhaps I will have some results by Monday.


Monday, October 11, 2010

First Post

This is my first post on my first blog.
Here are some pmc bead caps and connectors (also a first) and some bead photos.
One is a photo of  stripey beads (thankyou Kandice) from a  recent challenge with my new bead group, the "Flaming Matildas"  and the other are beads made from Double Helix glass, Kalypso,  an experiment trying to coax out those elusive (for me) gorgeous purple and pink colours.



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