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7th Bead Soup Blog Party – My Reveal

I first came across the bead soup blog party last year, not long after starting my blog. I thought it was a great idea and I saw some really inspirational pieces. When I saw the sign up for this year’s bead soup I had to sign up. My jewellery making skills are very basic compared to a lot of people, but I hoped to still make something nice.

In my first blog soup post I explained the principle behind the idea of bead soup. When I wrote that post I didn’t take some of the beads out of the bags they came in as I was a bit scared to lose any beads. I can show you these beads better now.

In your make you have to use the focal and the clasp supplied by your partner. I was sent these:

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If you look closely at the focal you will see little pearls, so I decided to use these, from my soup, in my piece:

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I used some silver coloured beads from my stash in addition to these. 
Here it is:

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And up close…

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I was also given an assortment of quartz beads:

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I wanted to use these to make a separate piece and decided to make a bracelet.

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I didn’t use all the quartz beads as there were quite a few. I’m sure I’ll use the rest of the beads relatively soon.

So there you go, that’s my little contribution to the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party. Why not visit some of the other blogs? You’ll find some far more impressive pieces. The main Bead Soup Blog Party website has links to all 541 people taking part.

Spring Sewing Swap 2013

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I have really enjoyed the swaps I’ve taken part in. Shopping or making for someone else, who you don’t really know, is both a bit of a challenge and lots of fun!  Swaps are also a great way to get to meet other crafters. Oh, and you also get to receive some lovely goodies…

So far, in 2013, I have taken part in two swaps. My most recent was the International Craft Swap, organised by Rachel of House of Pinheiro. I made a few gifts for Jo of Sew Little Time and she made me a lovely wash bag. I’ve also swapped beads as part of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Hop with Jenny of Shyme Design (my make will be revealed soon). Those swaps are both over now, but after so much fun I want to do more!

Kerry of  Kestrel Makes is organising a Spring Sewing Swap. In her words:

” Who doesn’t love to receive a package of sewing items in the mail? And how fun is it to shop for someone who loves sewing as much as you do?”

The swap is based around sewing, but it is open to sewers of all backgrounds and abilities. I’m a beginner sewer (sewist?) and do indeed love doing everything Kerry mentions. I’ve signed up for this great sounding swap. If you want to know what is involved, you need to visit this post on Kestrel Makes.

Why not sign up yourself? You have until May 1st.

7th Bead Soup Blog Party

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The makes in this year’s Bead Soup Blog Hop have been as inspiring as ever. I’m in the third reveal (rescheduled now for Saturday 27th April), and hopping through the first two reveals is a lot of fun.

Links to all in the first reveal

Links to all in the second reveal

My bead soup partner is a very talented jewellery artist. I am really looking forward to seeing what she makes with the soup I sent her. She wrote a lovely blog post sharing the beads I sent her.

To see the delights Jenny sent me, see my previous Bead Soup post. You will have to wait until the reveal date to see what I’ve made with it. I hope she thinks I’ve done it justice!

International Craft Swap – Part Two

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I was very lucky with the goodies Jo gave me as part of the International Craft Swap (see here for details). I thought I would share what I gave her with you.

Jo commutes into London by train every day, so I thought a notebook which is portable enough for use on the train would be a nice idea.

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The booklet is roughly A6 in size and has 72 pages, so should have enough space for a few notes / scribbles.

I tied it in with the nautical theme with the anchor button and anchor lining.

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The paper is a free printable download found here

I have treated myself to both black and white thread for bookmaking, but decided that I liked seeing the binding on the outside,  so went for white.

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Jo makes her own clothes and I decided to make something to go with her outfits.  The nautical theme made me think of the sea and I had some beads that seemed perfect.

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The blue beads are see through,  like the sea! Blue and white together seemed quite nautical too. I’m pleased to tell you that Jo put the necklace and bracelet on straight away.

We also had a exchange a small gift of less than £3 in value.  As I mentioned in my last post,  I heard about this swap whilst on holiday in Malta. I bought this there:

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It’s an eye of Osiris and you find these on traditional Maltese boats. They are supposed to guard against bad luck etc. This admittedly is a fridge magnet, but I thought it linked well with the theme.

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Jo seemed to like her goodies. I have since found that Rachel at House of Pinheiro organises a swap once a year. I’ve enjoyed this one and will definitely sign up to whatever she organises next year!

International Craft Swap – Part One

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When I read about House of Pinheiro’s International Craft Swap, I had to sign up, despite being on holiday at the time. It turns out that my swap partner lives on the other side of the same town as me!

Jo manages to find time to sew on a pretty regular basis, despite commuting into London and having a four year old daughter. Her trials and tribulations of her sewing adventures can be found on her blog So Many Patterns Sew Little Time. She’s currently working on a mad men inspired dress. She hasn’t been sewing that that long in the grand scheme of things, but I will ask her to help me with fitting at some point.

Jo is also on twitter (@jolittletime) and that has been a great way to learn a bit more about each other and communicate. Not only do we live in the smallish towns near Reading (although mine is virtually joined to Reading), but we both live in 1950’s houses with original flooring under the carpets. Those conversations show what I’ve spent a lot of time doing recently!

Rather than post our swap items to each other, we decided to meet for a coffee (well, diet coke), a chat and the all important swap. We got a bit distracted by the chatting bit, but when we did eventually swap items over I was very pleased with the kind gift Jo made me.

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Jo read that I travel a lot, so made me this lovely wash bag. Isn’t it pretty?

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The sides and part of the flap are made from a stripey blue and white print, which is perfect for the nautical theme. The stripey bit you can see is subdivided into parts for brushes etc. How thoughtful is that?

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As you can tell the bag is really roomy – plenty of space for all you need to take on holiday. The lining is waterproof, just in case!

I’m really pleased with this gift. It will prove very useful and it is very pretty! It was all made from her stash (apart from the zip), which is very impressive!

We also had to give our swap partner a small gift of up to £3 in value. Jo treated me to some of her favourite soap from Lush, which reminds her of holidays. It goes perfectly with the handmade washbag.

Thank you Jo! You have been very generous. I also want to thank Rachel of House of Pinheiro for organising the swap.

In Part Two I’ll share what I made / gave Jo.

Bead Soup!

If you read blogs of jewellery designers/crafters, then you may well have heard about bead soup. In bead soup you are paired up with another jewellery maker and you swap a collection of beads, from which you make something (it doesn’t have to be jewellery) and reveal it on a set date. 

I have been paired with Jenny Vidberg of Shyme Design. She has been making jewellery for 5 – 6 years and seems to be a really talented designer. I hope my skills don’t disappoint!

So, what do we swap?
You need to send:
A focal
A clasp (not lobster)
Coordinating beads

Whatever you make must include the focal and the clasp, but doesn’t have to use anything else (although I will as I received some lovely beads).

I have been a bit of a nightmare partner for Jenny as I sent my bead soup to her very, very late. I sent it after our half term holiday and struggled to make it to the post office after work, but hopefully she will have it very soon! The beads Jenny sent me were waiting at our local sorting office and I only collected them on Friday morning (our sorting office has poor limited opening hours that don’t work well if you work). I’m sorry Jenny!

I love what I’ve been sent 🙂

The focal is pretty unique:

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It is very pretty and sparkly. If you want to see more like this then pop over to Jenny’s Facebook page and you’ll spot more in her header.

The clasp is pretty and heart shaped:

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As for the other beads – wow! Jenny has been generous. I have photographed them still in their voile bag as I don’t want to lose any! She sent me pearls:

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and a variety of quartz:

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She also spoilt me with some Swedish chocolate!

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It is very inspirational – thanks Jenny!

If you want to know what I sent her, pop back soon and I will show you once she has received it and has blogged about it.

Sewist’s Secret Santa

Back in November I told you all about Krafty Kat’s Secret Santa. It was the last Christmas swap I joined, and was a bit different to the others that whilst I knew who I was buying stuff for and sending it to, I had (and still have) no idea who was getting me bits! This is how secret santas are supposed to work after all! Part way through December I received a parcel that contained two little parcels:

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After reading the card I realised it was my Secret Santa presents and decided to wait until nearer Christmas. Whoever was my Santa had read my blog and apologised for not getting something glass related, but hoped that whatever she’d sent (I’m presuming she!) would be useful whenever I sewed… I still resisted, but virtually as soon as I got back from my parents I had to give in!

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What a lovely little tin I found. It’s a Cath Kidston pin tin, but when I opened it I found a bit more….

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Every girl needs a seam ripper as well as 200 pins! I then opened the other parcel…

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and found a tomato pincushion. I intend to do a lot more sewing in 2013 and want to learn how to make my own clothes, so all of this will be very useful. Whoever my Santa is, THANK YOU!

If you want to know what I sent it will be revealed below. I’m not going to disclose who I sent it to however. It’s up to you…

Still interested?

Keep going….

Almost there…..

OK then, you must want to know…..

The person who I sent something to is a well established blogger who makes some pretty amazing clothes. Not only does she make modern stuff, following patterns by current, independent designers, but she also uses vintage patterns. I’m very envious of her skills. She’s only had a sewing machine for three years, yet you would think she’d been professionally trained…

I decided to buy fabric….

And went for a pattern, not a particular type of fabric, just for something that caught my eye.

Wanna see it? The light wasn’t quite right, but here it is….

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It is a stretchy fabric, which I could never sew. The background colour is navy, and the pink bits you can see are butterflies. I think it’s really pretty and hope she does too. I bought 1.2m, which should be enough for a top, but swallowed most of my £5 budget. I also wanted to send a little something made by me. I made a pair of earrings and sent a homemade card too:

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Hopefully my Santee will like it as much as I liked my presents. I have followed her blog since before I got paired with her and can’t wait to see what she makes with the fabric…