Friday, December 30, 2011

My New Jewellery Storage

I have a problem with storing my finished pieces of jewellery. I have so many items sitting around on busts gathering dust, or in trays scratching each other and going dull. Also the boxes for my main items are just a bit too expensive and take up too much room.

I have come up with the idea of placing my collection into bubble post envelopes. 

I have my own collection of designs which I can place in the envelope and label it with the name of the item.

Also when I teach students I need examples of various stitches and items to inspire them. I can now sort them into the envelopes, label it with the stitch type and have them ready for the classes.
In fact the envelopes could have loads of information written on the contents i.e. name, colour, stitch, 
date it was made, where it has been placed for sale, prices, gallery, whatever information is required.

Below are two images which will give you the idea on how I am storing and sorting.
The basket is only for the early sorting, my collection is far more extensive to be held in this basket.
I have a large filing cabinet for the final sort and as I create I can slip them into their order.  

To get started I bought 30 post envelopes from a bead wholesaler for less than $0.20 each.
I think this is a very worthwhile investment and it gives me peace of mind knowing my designs aren't being ruined from neglect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another Cabochon Play

Here is another Cabochon surrounding a polymer clay bead and hung on black suede leather.
I am now looking at beads with eyes of  "can I cabochon that?"

I am really enjoying doing the cabochons and can see heaps more ideas forming as I experiment and get better skills.

The beaded bit at the top of the picture is the slide for adjusting the length of the necklace.

I am a great lover of red and black combinations. I think these colours together are very dramatic yet elegant and classic at the same time.

The other side has an all black surround and doesn't have the cream seed beads. Just a little bit of extra variety for the wearer. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lotus blossom finished

Here is the completed Lotus Blossom necklace.
I wasn't too sure how I wanted to hang this piece until Eva Maria Kaiser linked the creations of  
Cielo Designs on Facebook.
As soon as I checked the link I was inspired by the cable ropes used to finish her work.

Having done a cable bracelet a couple of years ago (and having been a knitter in the past) it has been relatively easy figuring out the pattern to have it curve appropriately. 
Also check out the clasp - it's a lotus bud - cute eh!

I am inspired to make another cable rope and include some bigger beads along the way. 


I promised myself I would use the time between Christmas and New Year to finish some UFO's. 
I thought it would be good to start the New Year with a clean slate.

I doubt I will be able to contain myself, when I get an idea I am like a kid who can't wait to see how it would look - just like at Christmas time when kids can't wait to unwrap the presents. 
Maybe I still haven't grown up !!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lotus Blossom

Here is a picture of what I have been working on the last few days - a lotus bloom.
This would be my first representation of a real flower and I am sure won't be the last.

I have enjoyed making this and I am now wondering how I will hang it. Hmmmm....
Luckily I have plenty of time over the Christmas break to experiment.

Have a good Holiday Season everyone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Season's Greetings

Here is a drawing I did a couple of years ago during an art group I met with every 5-6 weeks.

It was an all day Sunday meeting. 
We would come together and sit and draw whatever came to mind. It was not about creating art. 
It was more about stopping, letting go of the everyday demands, allowing ourselves to become absorbed in the moment and into the joy of being creative.  

Most of us have not been creative since we were children.

We would stop and have a lovely lunch 
and at the end of the day, if requested, we would discuss each person's drawing.
One of the ladies in the group was an art therapist, I have done foundation studies in art therapy and have a Diploma in counselling and another lady was in Pastoral care. So plenty of healthy support was available if need be.

I wanted to share the drawing with you and to encourage everyone to make an appointment over the festive season and allow themselves to be creative. I see it as Food for the Soul. 
Creating jewellery is me feeding my soul.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Here is a necklace I have called 'Fiesta".
This is my first attempt at a cabochon and necklace using wild colours and lots of colours - there are seven different colours in this. 
Frankly I have found this one of my most challenging pieces. 
I am more a tonal person and using this many colours has had me somewhat baffled.

I made lots of cabochoned beads to go with this centrepiece - abandoned !!!
I made a couple of cellini spiral ropes - one too big and the other I just didn't like - abandoned !!!
I ummmmed and aaahhhd over this necklace. I put it aside for awhile and just kept looking at it.

Eventually I went back to an old favourite weave - Laura McCabe's pagoda - and felt this allowed me to capture the colours of the cab better than the other things I tried.

I find this piece loud for me, probably because I am so tonal and yet I really like it at the same time. Is it to be the first of many colourful pieces to come?? Time will tell.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Here is a pair of earrings I made years ago. I had just learnt how to do brick stitch and experimented with beading around a bead and came up with this design. I had forgotten I had done these earrings and during a tidy up came across them. I still think they are a lovely earring, elegant, classic and eye-catching.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cabochon 2

Here is a Cabochon I have been playing with. Having steered clear of Cabs after many abandoned attempts.

Being inspired by the designs of Sigifredo Conteras, a Mexican jewellery designer, I have been brushing up on my Cabochon skills. This is my second attempt in the last few days and with this I allowed myself to play with colours as I have always wanted to. 

I love colour !!  In here you have hot pink, lime green, aqua blue, deep purple, cherry purple, orange and a blue purple. It reminds me of  Israeli jewellery designs I have seen.

And guess what ??? - this was/is the back of the Cabochon, there is another side and it is different. I will show this when I finish the other components of the necklace and reveal all at once. Stay tuned for the unveiling of "Fiesta"

Friday, December 2, 2011

Comtesse Du Barry & Antoinette

Here are two bracelets I also entered into the Melbourne Bead Expo Member's Original Exhibition.

Whilst experimenting making this design I started to think of the beautiful Hall of Mirrors inside the Palace of Versailles, France, also about the interior decor and the intricacy of the decorations during that period in time.
I remembered some of the history, in particular the story of Marie Antoinette - a girl of just 14 years of age at the time - and Comtesse Jeanne Du Barry, a woman of 26 years, mistress to King Louis XV.
When the Comtesse Du Barry was presented at the Versailles Court April 1769, she wore a queenly silvery white gown brocaded with gold. Many courtiers claimed its likeness had never been seen before. Bedecked in jewels sent by the King, diamonds covering her delicate neck and ears, she was now the King's maîtresse déclarée.
Marie Antoinette, having been encouraged by her future husband's (Louis XVI) sisters refused to acknowledge or speak to Comtesse Du Barry.
So sitting and thinking about this time and this event I allowed the inspiration to grow and come forth in my creations and in their naming.
They are ornate but then so was fashion at this time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Botanicus Patricus

After much exploration a new flower species has been discovered - Botanicus Patricus    ;-)
I probably could have made this flower a lot more easily if I made petals and attached them together etc, but having come up with an interesting shape (which I am still experimenting with) I went around the world to end up creating this lovely piece.

The centrepiece is quite raised, which doesn't really show in the picture, also there are six cone shapes for the stamens to exit from and a rivoli centre set on top of the six cones..

I will now endeavour to create a setting that will best show off the flower. I hope I come up with one that does it justice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Below is the first image of Sophia along with the story.

I never felt it was truly finished. I felt it needed something else.

 Yesterday I was visiting friends at Etelage and came across this "Art Deco" style pendant and immediately thought of 'Sophia' and knew it would finish the necklace off beautifully. The pendant is made of Lucite and made in Germany.

Much more of a statement piece don't you think ??

A dear friend of mine recently gave birth to her second daughter whom she named Sophia. I also have a nephew with a daughter named Sophia. Both were on my mind whilst making this necklace and thus I've called it "Sophia".

I began this project when I went to Melbourne and only just this morning finished.
A base of Matsuno gold seeds with navy blue second layer and Matsuno hot pink top layers. There is a square centrepiece with the spaces filled in with fuchsia diamantes.

A very pretty design, elegant and certainly eye-catching. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tassel No.1

Whilst experimenting with the blue seeds I came up with a shape that lent itself to becoming a tassel. This is my first attempt at a tassel and won't be my last.

I am not overly keen on my colour choices, finding it a bit too busy, also the drops I used are too large in proportion to the rest of the tassel size. You learn these things in retrospect and by continual looking at the finished piece.

It has been a lot of work making this, lots of doing and undoing, but I feel more confident for when I make another.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fire Flower

Here is "Fire Flower" a centrepiece I made this morning from a pattern in the latest Bead & Button Magazine December 2011 - page 62.

I had a go at making this as I wanted to learn from it and I am very pleased I did. 

Doing the bezel around the rivoli then creating these 'petals' around the bezel and then setting this into a beaded ring.

I found it tricky but definitely worth giving it a go and learning from it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Melbourne Bead Expo "Bead Challenge"

During my recent visit to the Melbourne Bead Expo I was able to see the entries into the
BSV 2011 Bead Challenge.
With a bead challenge everyone who enters purchases a kit with exactly the same beads in each kit. The entrant must use all the beads in the kit and is allowed to add other beads to achieve their design.
Below are the winners of both the Judged Vote and Popular Vote.
I was absolutely blown away by the entries and the variety.
I have not entered this category before but certainly will give it a go next year. 
Should you wish to see the kit purchased and the place getters go to

Jan Cahill                                                                   Joanne Ivy

Meg Seller              Glenda McNaughton

Carmel Manley

                                         Ruth Davies

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Melbourne Bead Expo

This is the necklace "Midnight Lights" I have entered into the Melbourne Bead Expo 2011 
Member's Original Exhibition

In 2010 I was awarded the Elly Feldman Award (best of show) at the Melbourne Bead Expo
with my entry called "Dragon's Bane"

 Naturally, I am keen to be present at this year's judging so my sister and I are driving down to Melbourne to attend this year's Melbourne Bead Expo over the weekend.

This necklace has 504 x 3mm Swarovski CAL crystals, 131 x 4mm Swarovski Jet and Cal crystals, 
10 x Swarovski diamantes  and 1 x Swarovski flower crystal, plus heaps of 4mm black Czech glass beads and seeds. 

Having had the necklace on a bust, during construction, when walking past it flashed light like stars on water at night. Thus I have called it "Midnight Lights".

So wish me luck at the Expo as being awarded two years in a row would be absolutely fantastic.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Star-Bloom #2

I am still enamoured with this design and had to experiment with the colour patterning 
and see how it would look.
Having already made one in red and gold I thought I would use these same colours so that if it didn't look any good I could always hang it from a Christmas tree.
Well I am delighted with the results.
A very attractive pendant wearable anytime of the year, especially at Christmas time, and one that could always double as something to hang from your tree.
I love duel purpose and providing options !

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sweet Thing

Playing with colour and seeds this morning I went somewhat further and came up with this little design.
As I am making it I kept hearing the words "sweet thing" in my head, so I have christened it so.  
I see this delicate, colourful piece for someone young and a lover of pink,
however my sister is 65 and loves it maintaining age is no barrier to colour.
I wish all ladies thought that way. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy as a pig in .........

My sister Sue, who is staying with me from Perth for 3 weeks, knows I like money-boxes and yesterday bought this little fella for me. 
He has the biggest smile on his face. I love the silver wings and the connection to "if pigs could fly". 
He really amuses me and every time I walk past him I find myself smiling. 
So I am as happy as a pig in ......

This morning I sat and made the Star-bloom pendant as a thank you. She loves purples.
Needless to say sister Sue joined me in the ........

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Star-bloom by Starlight

Here is the next adventure in Star-bloom, an "after 5pm" version with 3mm Dorado Swarovski crystals for that evening sparkle.
I have taken the colours a little further by adding a peek in olive green iris, however you are not seeing the ten peak cherry flower from front on, caused by these green peaks. I also trimmed the edges with a bronze size 15/o seed bead to match the crystals and define the centre star.
The picture is of a side angle so the sculptured contours can be better seen.

I am still inspired by this creation and more ideas are flowing through. 
Too many ideas, not enough hands, not enough time to get them all out.  Boo hoo!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Urchin grown into "Star-bloom"

I have been experimenting (again) with my "Urchin" design and here is the large pendant version. 
I don't think the name Urchin suits this anymore so it has grown into Star-bloom.
I am excited by the contours of this piece - very sculptural.
It sits beautifully when worn and weighs next to nothing. 
Definitely a unique piece and eye-catcher.
I have heaps more ideas and I am now keen to create Star-bloom Mark II. I am inspired!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Urchin Mark II and Mark III

After receiving a good response yesterday, from friends and others about my Urchin No.2 bauble, I played with the shape further and was very pleased to come up with an earring that works beautifully let alone looks beautiful as well.

Also from this same piece I added a jump ring at the back and you have a pendant. A very versatile design, very light in weight yet firm and keeps its shape.

Please indulge me while I play with the picture framing and text program I have discovered. 
I am inspired by how Eva Maria Kaiser presents her designs. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Urchin No. 2

Here is the second version of the Urchin, finished and placed on chain. 
I am pleased it looks as good as it does. I also like how when the wearer looks down at the piece they see a five pointed star - I shall have to add a picture of this later.
All up a quirky, fun piece for that barbecue lunch, going shopping, casual wear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Now for something I haven't made for awhile

I haven't played with earrings for awhile and here is my latest. AB Swarovski crystal, Chinese crystal rhondelles and drops with permanent gold metallic seeds.
An elegant 75mm long drop earring for that special occasion. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Just finished

Yesterday I was experimenting - whilst teaching my sister various things - and came up with a lovely large diamante centre bead surrounded with CAL and Olivine Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, Czech round glass beads and seeds. 
This morning I sat down finished the centre piece and needed a necklace to hang it from. Having used my embellished RAW design before I thought this perfect for the feature pendant. Unfortunately the photo isn't showing the gold Czech beads and pearls very well, but they are there.
It is a strong, large piece I imagine a large woman would like to wear.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Revisiting on old design

I had a private student yesterday wanting to learn Laura McCabe's "pagoda shape" necklace I developed last year.
The "pagoda" shape is a great favourite of mine, especially having won an award in the Melbourne Bead Expo 2010 with my necklace "Dragon's Bane".

It has been very enjoyable revisiting this pattern and finally finishing the blue one. Maybe a red one will be in the making also, after all they don't take long to make compared to some of my recent pieces.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A commission with a challenge

Recently a good friend said my work was more after 5pm, special occasion, lots of bling and challenged me to make something that was day wear with no bling at all. I accepted the challenge as I felt she was correct having an internal voice always suggesting where I can put another crystal or two.

So here is the finished piece and I have to admit it was a little difficult not to add a crystal or two.

The necklace has two sides, copper with blue one side and blue with copper on the reverse side. I do enjoy providing a two for one when I can.

I believe I rose to the challenge, what do you think?.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Earrings for Sue Austin

I have a lovely friend named Sue Austin, a bead importer and glass artist, 
who has a pair of earrings made in wirework from a French designer whose 
name escapes me at present. 
Having seen these earrings I mentioned there was 
no reason why they couldn't be converted and made in seed beads and right 
angle weave. Sue said if I made them they were hers. 

Well here you go possum - your earrings are ready. 
I shall deliver them personally at the Melbourne Bead Expo being held in November. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finished Pink Star

                                                              I finished my last post with needing a gold bale to hang the pink star. That stayed with me all day and so yesterday morning I woke and decided to make the bale and hang the star in a style suitable for this piece. 

Here we have the pendant and bale with a spiral weave rope. After four attempts on the bale - one  even published yesterday only to be deleted 10 minutes later - each abandoned for either too large, too eye catching taking the attention away from the star or wrong colours etc. Talk about Goldilocks and the porridge but in this case four bears.

Last evening I finally made one I liked and thought didn't draw attention away from the star and was a suitable size. 

One of my pet dislikes is a rope that twists the same way the entire length. This morning I remembered to change the twist direction so now it twists anti-clockwise on the left and clockwise on the right of the bale. To the viewer the pendant sits right in the middle and all is balanced nicely. Pleasing to my eye and a happy chappy I am.

I have invented a clasp (not shown here) as I want to make sure it hasn't been done before. I have a friend who has beaded far longer than I have and she is amazed it hasn't been thought of before. So I shall check this out and post results soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pink Star

You would have noticed from yesterday's post I have been inspired by Sabine Lippert's creations.
This morning I sat and created this beautiful piece, using what I have learnt along with what I already knew and I am more than happy with my results. 
At the same time I am learning how to enhance the colours of my images, making them more true, adding text and shadow etc. So here is the first image of how I would like to present my designs. Colours are real, the picture has a shadow, my label is on the picture and overall a more professional looking presentation. 
This piece is quite small as well measuring only 35mm across. Made of 4mm Czech beds, 3mm Swarovski Dorado crystals, a 12mm Swarovski rivoli centre and seeds. 
All I need now is a gold bale to hang it from.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Play

One of my favourite beaders I am inspired by is Sabine Lippert. Her book is due for release in May 2012 - a copy of which I have advanced purchased and really look forward to receiving.

I spent this morning experimenting and figuring out how she achieves her beautiful embellished pieces and here is my take on one of her current designs. I have made changes to make this pendant my own but am really grateful for her ideas and inspiration.

The pendant as actually quite small, measuring only 30mm across. As I made this I was wondering whether this style is Vintage or Romantique as it has an old world look about it.

Whatever style it is I really enjoy embellishing and making things as lovely as this. But then I guess you have already figured this out eh ??

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Urchin

I have experimented with a beaded bead and took it a bit further and ended up with this little "urchin".

It is a ball of fun colours and star shapes. Not too sure how I will hang this. Probably on suede or chain.

Definitely a unique piece that someone will enjoy wearing.

From this little experiment I now have the base idea for a necklace and a bracelet.

It pays to play !!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finished 16 Petal Lotus necklace

Here is how I hung the 16 Petal lotus flower I created yesterday (see post below).
I didn't want to create a bale so the lotus flower cold slide onto a necklace or chain. I am somewhat over that kind of work, having made many pendants in my time.
So I created a St Petersburg weave this morning and attached the weave to the back of the lotus flower.
The overall look is like those leather thongs the cowboys wear at their neck - not sure what they are called. 
I like the look as it is something different.

Friday, October 14, 2011

16 petal Lotus

Here is my "play" for this morning. I wasn't too sure what I was going to experiment on, but started and voila here is a sixteen petal lotus flower.

Now what am I going to do with it ???

14mm Swarovski olivine rivoli centre with olive green shell pearls, AB gold magatamas, 2mm round Czech gold lustre beads and matt green 11/0s and bronze 15/0 seed beads. My work is getting more and more fine and I am loving it.

I checked out the symbolism of a 16 petal flower and it represents the throat chakra which is "expression of being".

I think I am expressing my creativity, not too sure about my being. Striving for the balance of exercise, diet, relaxation, caring for myself and home etc.

 I think the jewellery making has control of me and I am not in control of the jewellery making. But then isn't that the behaviour of an addict?? Having conquered all my early life "addictions" I think I can happily live with being addicted to beading.

i most certainly will post a picture of what I will do with it. I may use it as a pendant (how boring), or centre it in a necklace (much better idea).

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here is my experiment for this morning. I have previously created items like this in the flat/pendant style but not in the round. With the voice "it is not working" in my head I persevered and after awhile I could see where to go and voila here is my "Bauble".  
My inspiration for this comes from a blog I follow - Lilith Schatze. Lilith creates some amazing beaded "baubles" and this is my first attempt, which happily has succeeded.
Pale grey shell pearls, matt navy blue Czech beds, crystals of 3mm CAL Swarovski and 4mm Rose Satin Swarovski with Sapphire Swarovski diamantees and permanent galvanised seed beads. I placed sterling bead caps each end, with sterling silver chain dangles with a lobster clasp at the top so it can be hung off a chain, off suede, or clipped onto a handbag or wherever your imagination wants.  Check out the little bead cap I made with the drop on the end of the chain. Cute.
Now that I have succeeded with this one I am sure others will follow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The 60th Birthday Present

Yesterday I showed the beginning of a necklace I am making for a friend of mine, having her 60th birthday. 
Here is the finished necklace. I am very happy with how it turned out and hopefully she will be as well.
Also below is a picture of the earring I have made for the necklace. I like the "triangle" look of the earring caused by the tiny magatamas (drops).
The triangle with point down is the feminine symbol for God in the Old Testament. Nice symbolism for my friend I think. I only had time to make one earring this morning so don't think my friend has only one ear. ;-)