I have got a bit carried away with my latest pass-time! I’ve invested in lots more materials and made a number of new creations. Lots of people have asked me if I’m taking commissions – hell yes! I am really keen to find a way to fund my new hobby.
I made this necklace for my Mum’s 60th birthday. She likes bright coloured jewellery, she already has a lapis necklace so I thought she’d appreciate some turquoise. I used 4, 6 and 8 mm turquoise beads.
I am still going crazy for Swarovski beads, especially these black ones. This necklace is made from 4 mm bicone and 8 mm round Swarovski beads in ‘jet’, and large coin-shaped Czech glass beads. It sparkles like nothing else. I’m making pouches to go with every piece, they take almost as long as the jewellery to make but I think it’s worth it.
Swarovski is fab but I’m trying out cheaper alternatives. I made the necklace below from Preciosa crystal bicones and drops and 8 mm round Czech fire-polished glass, all available from Empire Beads. The fire-polished beads have a softer finish that cut crystal, but when combined with other beads they look great. The Preciosa beads seem top-notch, I can’t tell the difference.
I made a couple of three-strand bicone crystal bracelets. These are perfect for adding a bit of glitz to daytime outfits.
Stringing beads is a lot of fun, but I soon found myself looking to experiment with more unusual components. I bought a bag of broken pocket watch parts from Ebay, and what an exciting parcel it was – cogs, flywheels, and interesting-shaped pieces of brass, covered in grime and corrosion.
After some Brasso and a lot of elbow grease (with hindsight, I’d have left the bits sitting in cola over night), I had some beautiful components. I used needle files to remove the sharp edges and cog axles. I love the timeless quality of these found objects combined with carefully chosen crystal and semi-precious beads.