Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Meet the Brit Pack Beaders....

One of the things I love about the amazing community of jewellery artists I've come to be a part of is meeting people, all-be-it virtually, from all over the world - such an incredibly diverse collection of people and yet with so much in common. It still amazes to think that while I'm nervously designing a piece of jewellery for a challenge or blog hop, other people are doing exactly the same thing in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Russia, India...who knows where.

But occasionally, just occasionally, I think it would be nice to do something at a bit more of a local (by which I mean this 'little' island I live on) and intimate level and that got me to thinking...I had a spark of an idea I thought might work and put it to a few of my fellow British designers who all seemed to be up for the challenge so without further ado, may I now introduce you to the "Brit Pack Beaders' who are from left to right:
Lesley Watt, Rebecca Anderson, Claire Braunbarth, Joanne Tinley and Bo 'Peep' Hulley (she's a little camera shy).

Many of you will already know the work of these talented (modestly excluding myself from that description)  ladies from their blogs, participation in challenges and of course their shops. Now we've all come together to take part in bi-monthly challenges with a little bit of a difference.

For each challenge, one person will choose a theme based on anything they like - could be music, literature, film, visual images anything at all that inspires that person. Each of us is then allocated one of five design items - clasps, focal beads, accent beads, decorative embellishments and stringing material, and must send each pack member one of those items (preferably all a little different) that has some relevance to the theme. Ultimately, we will all end up with a slightly different design kit put together by five people with which to create a piece of jewellery inspired by the theme.

Easy eh? Well hopefully it won't be a case of 'too many cooks'  but we'll let you know when we've completed the first challenge, for which I've chosen this image as the inspiration piece:

This photograph was taken British mixed media textile artist and photographer Carolyn Saxby who draws a wealth of inspiration for her work from Cornwall, the beautiful county she lives in. Her photographs are stunning and I love the way she can make the seemingly mundane look so beautiful with such colour, depth and interest. You can see more of Carolyn's work on her blog and if you like this image I would recommend a visit to her Flickr photostream too. Carolyn also makes textile beads which she sells from her Etsy shop.

I addition to choosing the image for this challenge I am also responsible for sending a different clasp to each of the pack members, Rebecca is supplying the focals, Claire the embellishments, Bo the accent beads and Jo the stringing material. For the next challenge we will rotate so that everyone gets to send something different.

We'll be back in a week or so to share our mystery ingredients and the reveal for this first challenge will be on the 8th of August, so I hope you'll join our blog hop and see whether we've managed to cook up a storm rather than a dogs dinner! I've also set up a separate page here where I'll archive the challenges and the finished pieces from each designer.

In the meantime, if you'd like to know a bit more about the "Brit Packers' you can visit out blogs or Facebook page at the following links:



  1. What a fun idea, Lesley. I'll look forward to following this each month!

  2. What a great idea! Looking forward to your creations!

  3. This is just plain blimmin fantastic! The Brit Pack Beaders. I loooooove it. Great name. Great concept by you Lesley. WOW! You are the coolest bunch of people also. These bi-monthly hops will be something I will be so much looking forward to check out. I think the world will be turning their eyes to Britain next week, and not because of the Olympics ... no no. There are other fantastic and way more exciting things going on. :-) Superb logo also. And what a beautiful inspiration you have this month.

  4. Brilliant! I'll be following this one...

  5. I'm missing out! Looks like SO much fun! Does it help if I mention I'm British...still hold my citizenship...there's just the tiny detail that I don't live there at the moment...nor do I have the cool Brit accent :( LOL!!!

  6. This is such a fun idea. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole shebang.

  7. Great idea Lesley, you gals have fun! Looking forward to seeing y'all's creations.

  8. What an exceptional, inspiration-packed idea! And, this group of designers is outstanding! I will definetly be watching!!! So exciting!

  9. I shall be watching too. I am so honoured that you chose to use my photo Lesley. Thank you for the fabulous mentions too. Good luck with your project you Brit Pack Beaders go!


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