Thursday, 31 March 2011

I LOVE it when I finish things!

I am the queen of unfinished projects. Jewellery, scultpure, fabric art, wirework, you name it, I have an unfinished piece lying around somewhere. Which is why I'm so happy that I've finished not one but TWO challenge pieces this week. One is too late to count, the other is well within the submission date (and the latter is an actual potential-to-win-something entry as well :o)

First off, this was done for Andrew Thornton's challenge LAST week. Which is too late but I'm sharing it anyway. I like to have low pressure things as an excuse to play. In this instance, I was trying out painting a brass keyplate with alcohol inks and glazing it (I used diamond glaze from which has worked well. Usually I'd use resin but I was in a hurry! I also needed to practise fringing. I'm not entirely happy with the result but I suspect that's because I used size 11 seed beads and I prefer size 15s. I loved the dark rainbow effect though.

And a closer view at the centrepiece:

The second piece was for the Vintaj Natural Brass March Challenge which has a deadline of 8th April - plenty of time left for you to enter too. I really loved the end result here - there's a beautiful Czech glass button from Pavi Yarns wrapped in a Vintaj filigree Passion Flower as the centrepiece and loads and loads of dyed freshwater pearls. The challenge title was 'Woodland Blush' and this piece reflects the current spring-ness of the woodland I walk through every day.

And a close up of that beautiful button:

Until next time!
Stephie x

Monday, 28 March 2011

Busy, busy week!

I have such a busy week ahead! I'm still awaiting my shipment of beautiful Vintaj Components to sell from my princess-jewellery site and sorting them will be both fun and time consuming once they arrive. I also forgot I have all day Sunday on a craft shopping trip with my Mum and so didn't have time to finish the piece I was working on for Andrew Thornton's weekly word challenge - its a just for fun challenge that I particularly like simply because Andrew's choice of words always mesh very well with my mindset! I will finish that piece, hopefully this evening, even thought it's too late for that challenge!

I have got a few pieces left over from last week to show you. I have a few craft fairs coming up so sat and spent a day creating some one-off pieces specifically for the fairs.

This bracelet was very quick and easy to work up - it's three different colours of Sof-Suede (bought from with the ends caught in Vintaj tube beads and copper charms added. It's really quick and easy to make.

I also did a beautiful copper and teal necklace using copper beads and glass pearls from Mad Cow Beads with a delicate filigree focal from Fire Mountain and some sparkly Swarovksi crystal dangles. I really love how the colour combination turned out in this.

Another simple necklace above in a lovely, almost ancient-feeling Serpentine and antuque brass combination. Again, I really loved how this came out. Most components and beads came from Fire Mountain.

And finally, a cute and quick pair of earrings featuring jade and Vintaj Fern Valley Fastenables. They're super quick and easy but so elegant and distinctive. I really adore these.

Take care!
Stephie x

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Exciting Times in Stardust Land!

I am excited!

Partially I'm excited because the clocks go forward this weekend, meaning more light in the evenings (I can understand reluctance on those of you that consequentially have to leave for work in the dark. However, I don't :o). Partially I'm excited because I'm really, really trying to get myself organised. Sometimes I feel like I'm juggling an impossible number of things at once. I run two websites and sell on eBay and as well. I do craft fairs and have a family. I try and stay fit and walk and run every day. And it's nice to relax and sleep sometimes too. This all adds up to my running around in a non-productive, panic-stricken frenzy on a regular basis. but that will change for I have Organised my Life.

This all adds up - in the context of this blog - to my having new shiny stuff to show you!

Firstly this, which doesn't have a name but will probably include the word 'Atlantean', as in Atlantis, as it reminds me very much of exquisite treasure being lost beneath the vastness of the ocean. It was my first try at... pretty much anything at all I did with this. It's basically a Paua shell cabochon with a peyote stitch bezel on a felt background. The felt border was freestyle embroidered with tiny size 15 seed beads, Swarovski crystals and larger baroque pearls, then a shimmering fringe was added and an Ultrasuede backing glued then stitched on. The necklace part is fairly straightforward stringing.

Secondly, I've been playing with my new line of findings. I stock Vintaj Natural Brass components over at (new shiny things due in next week. Another reason to be excited!). The Vintaj site has loads of suggestions on working with Vintaj, some of which I've borrowed, adapted or altered to make my own stunning and unique components.

Firstly here are some butterflies. The matching pair were coloured with alcohol inks and given a coat of resin to seal. The Black butterfly is on a small Bamboo Bezel which has been coloured with alcohol inks. The butterfy itself is Vintaj Arte Metal with a coat or Markal Paintstick and a little sparkling gold Pearl-Ex powder, once again all sealed with a coat of resin.

This pendant was made with a large Bamboo Bezel, a swallow charm and a flower fastenable, and is coloured with a combination of alcohol inks, Pearl-Ex Powder and Markal Paintsticks (all the colourings were bought from Rainbow Silks). Similarly, the sunset flower pendant below and the waterlily border have been treated with the same materials to stunning effect. I hope to get some of these components made up into jewellery to show you next week!

For my final Vintaj showcase, I took a 2.5cm Czech Glass button (A truly amazing and extensive selection are available at Pavi Yarns) and snipped the back fastener off (it had a wire loop for stitching onto garments). The bottom was then wrapped in a Passion Flower filigree - I'm midway through making a necklace with a similar wrapped button and it's looking truly stunning. More on that soon!

Finally, thanks to Melanie at Earthenwood Studios for some inspiration. I've been obsessively hunting down interesting escutcheon pieces after Melanie blogged about her beautiful antique and vintage key and keyplate finds. Sadly I have neither the time nor a great location to go hunting down old pieces, but you can buy some very interesting new ones if you hunt - I found loads at Here's a selection of fun things for me to experiment with: