Saturday 31 August 2013

Great giveaway from Lorelei....

This is one you won't want to miss....

Lorelei if giving away gorgeous Green Girl Studio goodies this weekend - what are you waiting for get on over there...


Friday 23 August 2013

AJE Component of the Month September...

I'm hosting the monthly component challenge over at AJE in September and I'll be giving away one of my bronze bursting seed pods in lovely rich autumnal shades to 3 lucky readers...

So, If you fancy throwing you hat in the ring just pop over to the AJE blog and leave a comment on today's post - winners will be chosen at random on Sunday night.

Have a great weekend all.


Tuesday 20 August 2013

And The Winners Are...

First of all, many thanks to everyone who took the time to enter for this challenge...Caroline and I were both delighted with the response and can't wait to see what the winners design with their THEA Elements and Blueberri Beads loot!

So I won't keep you waiting any longer...the 20 lucky winners are...

Gay Messander -
Made By Jules -
The Moon & Seven Stars -
Heidi Post -
Janet Bocciardi -
Alice -
Dolores Raml -
Lucy Haslam -
Pine Ridge treasures - Grateful Artist
Shirley Moore -
Tracy Collins -
Elizabeth Beads -
Mags -
Pepita -
Jo-Ann -
Toltec Jewels -
Judith Johnston –
Janine Lucas –
Madeline Bunyan –
Chic and frog –

Congratulations to you all...I will be sending out Paypal requests in the next day or so and once payment is received and confirmed your surprise beads package will be shipped. In the meantime please check that your blog link above is correct and don't forget to put October 2nd in your diaries.

Thanks again.


Friday 16 August 2013

THEA Elements and Blueberri Beads Autumn Design Challenge... NOW CLOSED TO ENTRIES

I know it's still summer in theory but I'm already thinking about autumn (my favourite time of the year) and since it's been rather a long time since  I hosted anything on my blog I've decided that this would be the perfect theme for a design challenge. What's more, my friend Caroline of Blueberri Beads is of the same mind so we've joined forces to give you the chance to get some great beads at a bargain price and then show us what you can do with them...

Caroline has kindly contributed 20 sets of her lovely ceramic beads and I have added a couple of pieces of bronze to each one - all ready and waiting for someone to turn them into a beautiful autumn themed design. They will available at a cost of just £10 GBP (inc. shipping) per set to 20 lucky people who will be randomly selected from their comments on this post. If you win you will receive a surprise package containing one of the bead sets pictured here which can be used with beads from your own stash to create as many pieces as you like and then join us for a blog hop on Wednesday 2nd October.

So, do you fancy having a go...silly question - of course you do...! 

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post or on Caroline's blog post but please note - you must be willing to take part in the blog hop on Wednesday October 2nd. There are are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too... Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one:

Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

The draw will close at 8pm GMT on Monday 19th August 2013 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later in the day and send them my Paypal address. Payments should be made as quickly as possible to ensure beads are shipped in good time.

It's as simple as that so good luck and I'll see you back here on the 19th and hope you'll be with us on October 2nd.


Friday 9 August 2013

Come Up and See My Etchings....

I've been a poor blogger of late... the summer seems to be flying by at a rate of knots and at times I've felt like I haven't really achieved much since the studio conversion was finished. This last week though, that seems to have changed as the last of my 'stuff' has finally found its way into the new studio which is now looking far more like a workspace - yes, it's a mess!

You may remember that last October I went on an etching course and I've been itching to give it another try ever since. Well this week I finally managed to get all my kit together and set too...

I've been working with copper sheet and using 'Edinburgh Etch' which is a mix of Ferric Chloride and Citric Acid. As it's been a while since I did this I decided to just repeat some of the things I'd done on the course to refresh myself on the process, before trying anything always I have a myriad of ideas in my head!  

The first technique I used was PNP (press and peal) paper which you laser print your images onto and then use an iron to heat transfer them to the metal. As you can see here the printed element adheres to the metal and creates a resist.

Even the left over paper is pretty and I can't help thinking there must be way to use that rather than just consigning it to the rubbish bin...any ideas?

The second method I used was a simple craft sticker which the etchant can't penetrate...

I covered the backs of the pieces with tape to stop them being etched and then suspended them face down in the bath of etchant. There are number of ways of doing this but the way I use is to stick a piece of packing foam to the back with double sided tape which then makes the metal float on the surface of the etchant and also doubles up as a handle to easily lift the items from the bath to check progress or remove.

As I had a bit of a production line going I wrote the times on the foam so I could keep track of each piece. When they came out of the etchant I dropped them into a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda to neutralise the etchant and then removed the resist - the PNP comes off with Acetone and the stickers simply peel off. And after a good clean up this is what they look like...

These images are from french Art Deco book plates and becasue they are old they have a certain amount of staining around them which creates and interesting border and texture to the background which I really like. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these pieces yet but here I've given them a wash of alcohol ink so you can see the designs more clearly...

And this is the finished butterfly cuff made with the craft sticker which has been oxidised and polished... works really well  doesn't it?

This is another Deco design which I've made into a pendant with an integral bezel...

 And some more cuffs...

I had great fun doing this and it's always energising to do something different and get some variety into your routine. I have lots more images I want to work with and will be listing etched pieces in my shop very soon so I hope you like them as much as I do.

In the meantime it's Friday so I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll keep you posted on the new work.


Friday 2 August 2013

Bead Shop Liverpool - New blog and Jewellery Challenge...

My friend's over at 'The Bead Shop Liverpool' have just started a new blog and they're  kicking things off with a Jewellery challenge. So if you fancy creating something inspired by this beautiful fairy tale illustration by Janie Grohman why not pop over to the BSL blog and take a look... You're welcome to interpret the Fairy Tale Theme in any way that you like so you can let your imagination run wild!

At the end of the month all the entries will be shared on the blog and one winner will be chosen at random to receive a £15 voucher code for The Bead Shop Liverpool's new website. There will be a new challenge every month so it's well worth signing up to the Bead Shop Liverpool blog to make sure you don't miss out - you can find out all the details here.

I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this lovely illustration later in the month!

Good Luck!