Tag Archive | beads

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.

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99…100… Giveaway!

I promised a giveaway when I reached 100 followers, and now I’m there! As this is a blog about my makes, I’m giving away things you can use to make something.

You all know I’m a button fan, so how about these:

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12 wooden painted flower buttons

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20 cute bear head buttons
And

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2 of both heart and star shaped plastic buttons in yellow, pink, purple and blue.

I also like beads.

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A string of coloured beads

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Wooden painted beads (two different colours and sizes)

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Four polymer flower beads

What about ribbon?

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You could have 1m of each of the ribbons above.

For those of you who like direction in what you make, how about these?

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A Fizzy Moon Christmas card kit (complete with chart of course!).

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The Art of Crochet Issue One

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Complete with the dvd, crochet hook and some wool.

Apologies for the dark photos – I’m only home when it is dark at the moment!

So how do you win all of this?

This is a giveaway to celebrate my followers, so this is open to followers only (although I won’t say no to new followers). There are four ways you can enter (feel free to do all four!).

1. Comment below with what you would make from the goodies.

2. Write a blogpost about this giveaway and pingback (or reblog).

3. Tweet about it, including @mrsmmakes AND write a comment here to tell me you have done so

4. Like Mrs M Makes on Facebook and write a comment here to tell me you have done so (existing likers feel free to leave a comment saying you already like me!).

You have 10 days to enter this giveaway. It closes at midnight (GMT) on November 16th.

Good Luck!

Another source of beads

I buy beads in shops and online, but sometimes I use other sources.

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Neither of these necklaces are perfect for me (although the one on the right isn’t that bad) and neither had matching earrings, so a while ago I would have left them hanging in Superdrug. However now I view them as sources of beads!

To see how I have previously upcycled a necklace I found in a shop that wasn’t me, see this post.

The Beadster

There is no bead shop in Reading, so if I visit somewhere that has a bead shop, I make sure I pop in!

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Many UK residents will recognise this hill as it was in Hovis adverts (see here to watch the advert on YouTube). More recently the olympic torch was carried up the hill.

This hill is known as Gold Hill and is in Shaftesbury, Dorset. I was there as it is roughly halfway between where I live and where my parents live and it seemed like an appropriate place to meet for lunch.

At the top of Gold Hill you will find this:

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I have visited bead shops in Cardiff and St Ives this year. The Beadster in Shaftesbury is twice the size of both of those shops.

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Luckily I had allowed a lot longer for my drive than needed, so I had a while to browse. There was so much choice! They sell all sorts of findings and lots and lots of beads. This is what I treated myself to:

Lots of loose beads

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Two strings of beads

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Sale beads (50p for all of these!)

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And a few other bits (including the bead mat all these photos were taken on)

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I think I may suggest another meet up in Shaftesbury at some point, but until then I will keep an eye on their website.

Sew and So

Whenever I explore a town I always visit markets, if they have them. My favourite type of market are permanent covered markets which can be both historic, visually appealing and contain some real gems. Most of you know my favourite charity shop is in Oxford covered market.

In Bath, near the Abbey, you will find the town hall and next to it is the Guildhall Indoor Market. I hadn’t researched it at all before entering. This market is a lot more functional than Oxford covered market, with pet food shops, diy shop etc. We entered from the riverside and explored. I had to have a groan at the name of the sweet shop – Bath Humbugs (although I did have to explain it to Mr M who didn’t read it that way to start with).

At the opposite side to where we entered, on the outer circle of stalls, I spotted the end of Sew and So.

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Little did I realise that this haberdashery would keep going for almost 1/4 of the outer way round the market.

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It is huge. Even Mr M was amazed at the size of it! He commented on all the ribbon, and he only saw the outer bit. You can just about see some of this on the 2nd photo above this paragraph!

Mr M even called me over to look at the button collection.

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He asked if I’d ever seen so many buttons in one place! At this point he offered to get a capuccino and sit in the cafe whilst I explored. He is lovely, isn’t he!

I explored the ribbons and had far too much choice! Mr M had only seen some of them. This is what the inside bit looks like:

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See, lots of ribbon! They even had a column of just bias binding:

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I was very restrained and only bought a few ribbons, and only 1m of each. As you can tell I got bits which I think I will use over the next three months:

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As for buttons, I was also restrained there. I got more red buttons to add to my collection, ready to make my sister something.

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I have seen plenty of polka dot buttons, in lots of sizes and colours, and they had lots here. I can’t remember ever seeing strippy buttons before, so treated myself to a few in one of my favourite colours.

Sew and so also have a small line in beads. I didn’t have a look at them as Mr M had returned, and was bored, but I did treat myself to this board:

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I’ve been meaning to get a bead board for a while. I’m hoping this will stop my beads rolling around too much when making jewellery on the sofa. It should also save me having a tape measure out so much. At £4, this seemed a similar price to these I’ve see on the web.

In conclusion – I want Sew and So to be near me! I went into another crafty shop where another visitor was commenting on bits on sale in said shop and directed her to Sew and So! As great as he was, I want to go without Mr M so I can spend ages exploring everything. If ever in Bath, go!

A nice reminder

When we go away, I like to buy reminders of where we’ve been. My souvenirs aren’t necessarily your typical straw donkey type of thing, but usually something I can use. I bought fabric, jewellery to destroy and beads in South East Asia, and last week I even bought beads in Durham. I am in a bit of a jewellery making frame of mind at the moment and have made things with both my silver hearts and the Singaporean beads in the last two weeks. Today I decided I wanted new jewellery to go with my new hair cut! I bought two different types of beads in Durham. My favourite ones were the colourless and clear beads. I thought these would go well on a long dangly necklace, so that’s what I made!

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I put a 5mm silver pearl shaped bead either side of the bigger beads and spaced them out pretty evenly along the wire. I used a different clasp than those I usually use for a bit of a change and as I’m a bit short on lobster clasps at the moment. Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while will know I always have to match my necklaces perfectly to earrings, so I made myself these:

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Luckily the beads are light, otherwise big earrings like this could be painful! I’m now off to meet Mr M from his train home. Will he notice the new hair or jewellery? Only time will tell!

Giveaway!

Last week I found I had 50 followers and decided to have my first ever giveaway. I now have a few more followers. I’m going to send a surprise to whoever wins the giveaway as well as the items below:

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1m of five different ribbons

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15 painted wooden buttons

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An assortment of other buttons

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Some lampwork beads

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An assortment of other beads

And finally:

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A selection of jewellery findings including wire, earring hooks, headpins, ring bases, lobster clasps and more.

To win all of this and the mystery item, write a comment below as to what you might make with the goodies you would get if you win. You can gain an extra entry by either reblogging or mentioning this giveaway on your blog and then writing another comment on here to let me know. The winner must be Mrs M Makes follower.

The giveaway is open until midnight on Wed September 5th. Good luck!