The colours of autumn

01/09/2011 at 11:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I became familiar with Pantone colours when I used to produce the programme for our local theatre – and I still produce the programme for our annual Festival.
I thought it would be fun to see what this season’s colours are, and what jewellery I had to match.
Some lovely colours for autumn and winter 2011 – and yes, jewellery to match too!

All at http://www.didihandmadejewellery.co.uk

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Harry Potter riding again

07/06/2011 at 11:05 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

snake bracelet

Our loveley market town holds a summer festival each year, where all the organisations host all sorts of different kinds of events. What unites them is the festival theme and this year it is Harry Potter. It is in our town that the books were printed with dark tales of proofs being stolen and hidden on the Common!
Part of this years festival is a Diagon Alley type market – Biagon Alley. Because it is being held in our Bigod Castle ruins and is part of the annual Antiques Street Market.
I shall be having a stall and as I have a new seed beading addiction I am making bracelets in Hogwarts house colours. This is Slytherin.

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The Green Man

29/05/2011 at 10:30 am (Uncategorized)

Green Man beaded Necklace
Handmade Green Man beaded necklace

I couldn’t resist the hanmdade lampwork Green Man bead from Ciel Creations.  I have placed him amid a lush foliage using a freeform spiral weave, with a bit of netting and fringing.  His clasp is a woven leaf toggle.

He’s been much admired by all who see him and now has his first public outing at a craft fair in Southwold.  If he doesn’t find a new owner this weekend he will be back in my Folksy shop at www.folksy.com/shops/bonnylass.
 
UPDATE:  A lovely gentleman bought him today as a present for his girlfriend.  I felt a little sad to see my Green Man go 😦

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bead stitching

28/03/2011 at 12:17 pm (Uncategorized)

My daughter gave me a “how to do bead stitching” book for Christmas (OK, I gave her a selection of titles – this wasn’t entirely out of the blue!) and of course I immediately became addicted. I’d tried a few times before of course, but couldn’t get the tension right or made too many mistakes, but this time it all fell into place.

Lush Green Man necklace

Green Man Necklace

 

Bead stitched leaf clasp

Green Man clasp

I also made a lariat using St. Petersburg chain stitch:

St Petersburg stitch lariat

St Petersburg stitch lariat

I made a few bracelets too, in tubular netting, spiral peyote and flat peyote but, sticking with the necklace theme I couldn’t resist getting a few semi-precious beads into a necklace.   This one uses mookaite with netting and daisy stich.

Mookaite and seed bead necklace

Mookaite and seed bead necklace

So happy to have another string of bead techniques to keep me occupied!

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Czechtastic!

12/01/2011 at 3:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I love making jewellery – that’s a given. But within that I have little crazes for different kind of things and a current craze is for Czech glass beads.
Mostly the firepolish beads which come in a dazzling array of colours and which look fabulous worked up into bracelets.

Czech glass woven bracelets
Firepolish achieves its high lustre through being fired at a high temperature and is just as good as Swarowvski in my opinion.
Czech pressed glass is also fantastic, with the glass moulded and pressed into different shapes.
Oh I love them all and can play happily all day arranging them and creating darling necklaces and bracelets!

czech glass necklace in gold

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Key Rings for Christmas

15/10/2010 at 2:20 pm (Uncategorized)

Been busily making key rings using big semi-precious stones. They feel so nice!

Ocean Jasper Key Ring

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Aldeburgh and Southwold Craft Fairs

07/09/2010 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The Moot Hall at Aldeburgh, Suffolk

The craft fair at Aldeburgh this weekend was much quieter than the two recent fairs at Southwold – everyone gone back to London I suppose, now that the kids are back at school.  My sales were different too – more big ticket items at Aldeburgh than at Southwold.  Quality rather than quantity! 

I love both towns.  Both are on the beautiful Suffolk coast with Aldeburgh famous for its Moot Hall and Napoleonic Mortello Tower, Southwold for its beach huts and lighthouse.

The Moot Hall is beautiful, built in 1650 it remains the meeting hall for the town council as well as housing the town’s museum.  Its chimneys were added later – copying the famous tudor chimneys from Hampton Court Palace.

Not the smartest boathouse in Aldeburgh!

Not the smartest boathouse in Aldeburgh!

Aldeburgh is also famous for the number of fresh fish sellers along the front – and its two fish & chip shops which always, always have long queues outside them.  It’s an upmarket town – not quiet the ‘Chelsea on Sea’ of Burnham Market on the North Norfolk coast but very close.  Despite that, I just had to take a picture of this wrecked boathouse on the front, near where I had parked my car!

Southwold is altogether livelier.  People spill out of the pubs and one famous one, the Sole Bay Inn is just along from the Methodist church hall, where the craft fairs are held. 

It is also a magnet for morris dancers who couldn’t resist a quick dance as they supped their midday pints before the main performance of the afternoon!

Morris dancers outside the Sole Bay Inn

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Christmas is a coming

02/09/2010 at 11:01 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I heartily dislike shops that put their Christmas displays up too soon as most of us prefer not to think about it until December. But I have to start making my Christmas gift jewellery and bits and bobs NOW for the shows I am doing at the end of November and beginning of December.
It seems wrong while the days are still long and warm (ish – this is England!). And as ever I am bursting with ideas and even now, at this early stage, realising that I just won’t have time to make everything I want to do. Beaded baubles will have to be something for next year.
Perhaps I should start thinking about Christmas 2011 in January…

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One of these days I’ll get an early night!

19/08/2010 at 4:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Sorry, quoting from hubby’s Camel lyric.  (He was their original drummer for all you prog. rock fans out there!).

I knew the summer was going to be busy what with all the craft fairs and all and now another one has been squeezed in over the August bank holiday.  It’s at Southwold again, which is great.  Love Southwold.

But still doing my freelance work so whilst my heart is really wanting to sort through my jewellery and make new stuff my head – and bank balance – is forcing me to crack on with my freelance work to ensure that those bills get paid at the end of the month!

Days full of sitting here, working/procrastinating/drinking tea, evenings full of making lots of lovely new things (forgot I had those beautiful smoky quartz rondelles – now mixed with coffee jasper in a gorgeous bracelet – but no time to photograph it yet) and nights thinking – when oh when will I get a chance to go crab fishing in Walberswick with my little granddaughters?).

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Oh I do love to be beside the seaside…

02/08/2010 at 11:42 pm (Uncategorized)

Recovering from a three-day craft fair at Southwold.  I’m finding craft fairs an amazing resource for market research, learning what people like and don’t like.  They like my jewellery very much – which is gratifying – but some of the more adventurous pieces, although admired, are not bought because the ladies think they would never wear it.

I know what they mean.  I have things I hardly ever wear – but then, its nice to have them for the one time each year I might wear a particular outfit.   But if you are going to pay a bit for an item of jewellery, its nice to get a bit of wear out of it.

With this in mind I am creating a new range – DiDi basics.  8mm round beads in a variety of semi-precious stones, knotted onto silk.  All the same length, all with extender chains.  I took the first half dozen to Southwold and immediately sold one!

I’ll photograph them individually for the website, and have more to make before the next fair.  But first I have some pearls I need to reknot for a customer.  I like doing that too!

Southwold is full of holiday makers at this time of year.  I sold masses of hair braids during the first two days, but with the International Crab Fishing Championship going on in nearby Walberswick on the last day, there were not so many little girls around!  Just as well, as I was too tired to make more to replenish my stocks!

Looking forward to the next one at Southwold the week after next.  Hmm, could I make some beady buckets and spades I wonder?

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