Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Book Review

I pre-ordered a copy of Jessica Rose's book Bead And Wire Fashion Jewellery way back in the summer and now its arrived. Jessica is the owner of The London Jewellery School and and a major inspiration to me so I want to share her new book with you all so that maybe you can find some inspiration too. 

The book is broken up into six sections including detailed areas on tools, materials and techniques. The techniques section shows how everything from making a simple loop to a wire charm and even making your own ear hooks and catches. Even though I have been making jewellery for most of my life I have still learned something from this book that I would never have done before like making my own catches. I think its something you may see popping up in my work from now on. 

There are 18 projects in this book broken up into sections for Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets and Rings. I love that each project is preceded by a whole page displayed as a mood board for that piece. Mood boards are a great way to get a feel for a piece before making it so using this technique in the book shows how you may change a focal colour slightly to suit your needs and it still work out well. 

Having never made a clasp myself from wire I decided to make a few using Jessica's tutorials. I think I have just gotten stuck in the idea of buying them all the time and just never thought about making my own. And this is how they have turned out, It's a new skill I have now picked up and hope to use more often in my work. I won't be worrying about running out of clasps anymore. 

I also wanted to try out one of the Ring tutorials. Jessica has two different rings using similar techniques so I decided to try the Entwined tutorial which actually consists of three beads but I loved how mine turned out using just the one ceramic bead so I finished it there. Jessica's tutorial calls for a gemstone but all I had in the size required was this vintage coloured ceramic bead and I used silver plated wire instead of gold plated.

This is the first ring I have ever made entirely. I have made the odd ring using a ring base and attaching beads to but Jessica's instructions and multiple step-by-step pictures are so helpful this was my first go. I have a few variations I'm going to try out now with different wires and beads so I'm sure you will be seeing them in the next while. 

All in all Jessica's book is fantastic. The instructions are clear, the pictures are really helpful and the tips dotted throughout the book help so much. My favourite parts have to be the mood boards before each tutorial. They just give you so much inspiration and confidence to make a piece. 

So finally I want to share the link so that you can buy the book if you wish. Click here to go to Amazon. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Having An Amazing Week

So this week started off great with finding out Monday morning that I had won the Cookson Gold #FreebieFriday giveaway. As part of the competition I had chosen a barrel polisher and it arrived on Tuesday afternoon. You can see my post about that here.

After I posted a blog post thanking Cookson Gold on Tuesday I was told something else was on its way as a surprise so today my neighbor came in with a package she had taken in while I was out. I was so happy to find a bag of mixed metal and shape shot for the barrel polisher with a lovely note saying "I'd hate for you to have to wait to buy some, so here is some to get you started."  So thank you very much Steph, it has been a long road trying to build my workshop and this helps me move along so much.

Also this week I received my copy of Jessica Rose's book Bead and Wire Fashion Jewellery thank I had pre-ordered way back in the summer. I have really enjoyed playing around with the tutorials in the book so keep an eye out in the next few days for a post all about the book. 

And last but not least, Yesterday I went to the shop and picked up a copy of the October issue of Beads and Beyond Magazine to see my pieces I made for the designer challenge. You can see my post with a larger photos here

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Designer Challenge in Beads And Beyond Magazine

I took part in the bead soup challenge for Beads and Beyond Magazine again (October 2014 issue). I love doing these challenges. I always get new things I have never worked with before and it is a great personal challenge to try and use these pieces. It also offers me a look into the items carried in shops I may never have known about or had the chance to shop in yet. 

This months challenge pack was put together by Beadsisters. Beadsisters have a huge range of rings for making chainmaille so I was really happy to find out the pack was coming from them. The pack had some great jump rings and pearls in it in beautiful colours. I made some pieces that are quite different for my style but I love how they turned out. I made three in total. 

I think my favourite piece is the necklace. Its simple and stunning at the same time. The colours of the beads that Beadsisters picked out work so well together with the colours of all the findings. Don't forget to pick up the October issue of Beads and Beyond Magazine (click here to buy online) and see what the other designers made using the same pack. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Barrel Polisher

When I was first learning how to make jewellery, the workshop I was in had a barrel polisher. So it was on my wishlist when I started putting my own workshop together. I love the results of the polisher and the fact that it can work away and do its thing without any interference from me. 

So last Friday I noticed Cookson Gold had a #FreebieFriday on twitter. To enter I got to pick out a tool up to the value of £80 and send a tweet. That's it. So of course the barrel polisher was my choice. I have entered a few times before so thought little of it until Monday when I received a message to say I had won. I was so happy which only got better when on Tuesday afternoon when it was at my door. I can't believe how quick it has arrived. Now I have to pick up some of the of the shot so that I can get to polishing so hopefully I will have some very soon. 

Thank you to Cookson Gold I'm so happy with my prize and you have helped me move my workshop along another little bit. You can find the barrel polisher here

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm Back...

I've been quite busy lately and haven't had a lot of time to share on here so I'm back and have a few things to share in the next little while. As is always the case there are certain things I can't share until certain times but this week Beads an Beyond Magazine shared a little sneak peek inside their next issue and my bracelet was part of the collage. I took part in the October issue Designer Challenge using a beautiful pack sent from Beadsisters (they put together an amazing pack so thank you for giving me such beautiful materials to work with). I submitted three pieces bu I can only show you one just yet. 

So here is my bracelet using Czech Glass Pearls, Glass beads and Seed Beads on Memory Wire. I love the way the piece was displayed and photographed (I need to take notes here I'm not the best photographer). I can't wait to share my other two pieces so check back during the week for my post. 

You can order the October issue of Beads And Beyond Magazine here.