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Stourbridge Glass Bead Fair Bank Holiday August Weekend

If there is one thing I dislike the most is labelling beads for a bead fair, I would much rather be doing something creative, like making more beads!

It leaves me looking a little bit like this…..

But, it is a necessary evil as this weekend, August Bank Holiday 26th and 27th, I will be in Stourbridge, in the Bonded Warehouse Bead Fair exhibiting as part of the International Glass Festival.  As much as it is a working weekend it is also a socialable event as both

Caroline of Blueberri Beads  and Lesley of Lesley Watt Artisan Elements  

will also be there and we plan on lots of eating and drinking in the evenings as it is an opportunity to meet up and catch up.



Bring along a copy of this flyer that Lesley designed for us – show us on your phone or mobile device is nicer to the environment 😉 – and receive a show discount of 10% off your purchases with us.

Hope to see you there

The Bonded Warehouse

                                                                                                              Canal Street



DY 8 4LU


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Art Jewelry Elements Blog Hop Head Pin Challenge.

*blows dust off blog…..*
I have recently joined Art Jewellery Elements via Facebook having long admired and read their posts via their blog and am a very proud member of the ‘staff’, yes I am one who will write stuff, interesting, intellectually entertaining stuff every month…how do I get myself into these things…..  so I thought that why not jump feet first into a challenge which had less than 24 hours left for the sign ups and about 4 days to create a ‘something’ that was brilliant!
So sign up I did.  Then instantly worry and debate my sanity.
The challenge is head pins and I ‘luckily’ had some in my bead box that I made last year.  I don’t make head pins as a rule so this really was a lucky find.  These head pins are lampworked glass berries, holly and mistletoe on copper wire.  I had (!) 7 – read on why I had! and a lone holly leaf glass bead.   After a long walk down at the river with the dogs musing on what on earth I was going to create, I had a brilliant  *light bulb moment*….
I would create a sculpture of wire and beads and it would be fabulous.
I obviously forgot the last time I used wire was circa 2000 – head pins not included in this realization.  I just don’t make jewellery.
So I gathered my supplies, a vague idea of a sculpture in my head, grabbed a piece of paper and dashed off a doodle of a wreath/garland being held by a fabulously crafted wire robin – the latter will get completed but I ran out of time.. 
The supplies I collected together was some seed beads in greens and silver and gold, some copper wire in various gauges, I found in my stash a rather cute silver tone charm of a Christmas stocking, some silver balls, the head pins and the glass bead.
Next came the quick doodle of the design. I am rarely this organized but with the lack of time I figured it was a good idea.  I thought the scale was about right in the doodle for the garland, in hindsight when I get round to making the bird (should I get round to making the bird) the bird is going to have to be HUGE for the design to work. 

First up bending the thicker copper wire into a round-ish shape.  Not that easy when you are round-ish challenged.. thank goodness for salt pots, I wrapped the wire around the salt pot and it was the perfect size. 

And this is why there ‘was’ 7 head pins.  As I have already stated, I don’t make jewellery and during my wire wrapping of the first head pin I was a little bit over zealous with the wrap and the glass berry bead came away from the wire, I could have glued the wire back in but if anyone has seen me with glue they will know that wouldn’t have ended well so I just had to use 6 and be a bit more careful.
Three on and three to go.  I was just seeing how the design would work out with the 6 pins.  After the breaking disaster I did decide to use some seed beads on the wire to separate the glass berry and the wrap and make me less heavy handed in the wrapping.  

We are all wired on including the glass holly bead.. Now to make it look pretty.

I decided to go with the gold seed beads and the green ones, they are different sizes which helped with the over all effect.  

I was quite pleased with how it was going but it really did lack a ‘something’.

So I dived back into my cupboard of beads and found some little green drops I liked and promptly spilt beads all over the dog, carpet, table…..  I really should have got out my bead board….

I wired the drop beads in groups of three and the balanced look I wanted started to come through and look right, despite me breaking the 7th head pin.  I added the cute silver stocking charm and declared my head pin challenge a success.
I am still wondering about making it into the sculptural piece with the wire bird – that has yet to be born – so will have to carry on with the wire and my doodle…..
To see more of those that joined in the challenge here are the links ..

AJE Team Members:

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When life throws a curve ball.

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Summer has been with us for the last few weeks,
glorious sunshine and almost cloudless skies.
I don’t have Sunflowers this year
except in glass but I do have
some gorgeous Poppies that have burst open.

 Its been a funny few months.  So much has stayed the same but so much has changed.  I am still creating my beads although the genre I create in has changed to flowers, the glass animals seem to have left me for the moment.  I am not worried about my animal muse leaving me altogether as it is still there just in a different art form.

Sunflowers and Sweetpeas

available on eBay
 I have been following my writing muse this year and attending a workshop in Brecon every Tuesday evening.  Its been brilliant.  The drive from Hereford to Brecon is about an hour but its a lovely drive through leafy country roads. 
I promised myself this year I would write again.  I have written on and off throughout all my life, long winded journal entries, sad and lonely effigies that have been my therapy when life isn’t quite going as planned.  This year I made a quiet promise to myself to try and be more upbeat with my words, thinking the blog was the way to go, I put in more effort and started to enjoy detailing some of my more memorable sagas, like the trip to the supermarket and bra shopping with my daughter.  The workshop was a surprise.  Someone I have met through a craft fair at the Community Farm Open day who is a published writer and on FB put up a notice that she was running this workshop through Take pArt Community Arts Workshop in Brecon.  I at first said it was too far for me but Adele convinced me that it wasn’t and so I went.  Anyone that can pronounce the name of the Industrial Estate its on is a better woman than I!  Ffrwdgrech Industrial Estate for any that wish to try!
Its a small group but we are doing great things, not least finding out about Maen Llia (pronounced Mine Clear or thereabouts).  In a small twist of fate I have managed to land myself the very important position of writing a monthly column for a magazine.  When the first one is published I will let you know.

Tiger Lily flowers.  SOLD.
As well as writing and getting out in the sunshine I have been volunteering at the Community Farm at Warham which is just across the farm yard from me.  Once a week I go and get involved with craft themes, beads and jewellery and at the moment big papier mache pig and chicken which are works in progress and they will be for Hereford in Bloom next month.
So life threw a curve ball.  Whereas this time last year I was here, alone with an elderly cat, Claude and two mad Golden’s Iz and Defi just making beads quietly in my shed, now I am writing, looking after my sweet Gordy and mopping up dribble, charging down to the river with Iz and Defi in the sunshine, being over at the farm and looking forward to creating a fabulous column in the magazine where my animal muse is featuring heavily and creating beautiful gardens in glass.
How happy can one girl get?
Laney x
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Starting in the middle.

I have started writing, again.  I have doodled and written poetry and odd lines ever since I could hold a pencil.  I am being brave and showing a few extracts on my blog, I am starting small!


She stood on the balcony, a little girl barely reaching the top of the solid wooden rails around the edge.  Wearing a full length cream dress with chocolate ribbon trim and tiny delicate peach blossoms embroidered on an over frilly bodice, small leaves of pale green, each one a tiny stitch of silken thread.  She watched over the distant field, a sea of crimson.  Waves of rich red tulips, dancing to the tune of the setting sun.

Just click the link.
Laney x

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8th Bead Soup Blog reveal

Late as usual!  I was out all day yesterday and my blog post just wasn’t ready for release so I have had to sort it all out this morning, good job I took the photos the other day..see I was trying!
Its the 8th Bead Soup Blog Part reveal, hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things 

Its my second time taking part and this year I got a bead soup buddy from across the pond, that great big pond, my bead soup buddy is Janet from Anvil Artifacts and if you get a chance to check out her blog and her Etsy shop please do as her work is truly stunning; which didn’t help when she sent me the most amazing and ENORMOUS bead soup, the pressure was most definitely on!!

A fantastic collection of Jasper stone beads, fossil beads, agates, moakite, aquamarine…so much!!

Not to mention some beautiful coral and a simply gorgeous mother of pearl clasp with some of Janet’s beautiful wire work as part of the toggle.
This was actually the last piece I have managed to complete…I have plenty more beads to be making sooo much more!
Using copper wire and some lovely green beads from my ‘stash’ I made my first ever tree of life pendant using the last of the lovely citrine beads.

Next up, I just loved the fossil beads, and these beautiful round ones are called Mammoth bone beads and my over active imagination immediately thought of big woolly Mammoths roaming the lands of long ago, so I teamed them up with some of my glass bones, some of those beautiful agates, some silver plated wire – hand made links and clasps by me! – and a cute glass toadstool for a splash of colour.

This is my focal piece.  When the bead soup came I was heavily experimenting with bead embroidery.  My focal piece from Janet was this amazing huge Ammonite which she had attached to a silver clasp for hanging, I did remove the clasp as I really wanted to use this piece in a bead embroidered way, with some of those gorgeous moakite beads – the dangly ones – some more agate beads, a few glass beads on the silken rattail and a hand forged copper clasp by me.  I loved doing this piece, the soft and subtle colours that is Janet’s colour palette really challenged me to find the colour within, working with a more reserved palette was a very interesting experiment.

Still bead embroidery and having a bit of fun with the mother of pearl buttons and a piece of the beautiful rich red coral.  I have plans for this to go into a picture frame, it brought me huge joy to sit and do this piece I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some Jasper stones and more agates, this time with a bit of colour, soft and subtle colour but colour none the less.  I called this bracelet A dog called Jasper, so I wouldn’t forget the name of the stones!!

Lampwork glass dog head bead, a beautiful Great Dane head, some copper wire and my other muse of wire work.  I have come through the bead embroidery phase for the moment…

But before I did finish my bead embroidery phase this piece happened.  Fossil bead centre, aquarmarine drops and discs, citrine clusters and hours of relaxing stitching.

How I used my clasp.  This piece still needs tweaking as it doesn’t lie with the clasp directly opposite the focal glass flower bead and that annoys me!  I love the clasp its so tactile.  Using some more of the agate beads and these fantastic wood agate beads, lovely chunky beads and a touch of the moakite and the agate stones with a bit of orangey colour and one of my sculptural flower beads, I really like this piece.  I added a few glass spacer beads which are etched for a matt finish, but they are in soft brown…see Janet I do do reserved colour!!  🙂

I still have so much to play with and have a piece using the big chunky Flourite nuggets and beautiful pearls on my bead mat in a half constructed state.  I really enjoyed the collection of beads that Janet sent me and I highly recommend a trip to her Etsy shop Anvil Artifacts her work is truly stunning and its been a pleasure to have her as my bead soup partner, we have been chatting across the miles and I truly hope it continues as she is a lovely lady with a massive collection of beads!!
Here is the list for the other bloggers taking part in the Bead Soup Party.