Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Markets, Swaps and exchanges

Bits and bobs

I’m working up to another market in mid-June, not sure what it will be like as by June it’s pretty cold and wet in Melbourne, which could drive down the numbers a bit. Still, as long as I can sell a few things, I’ll cover the costs of being there.

I recently took part in a swap through Bead Swap-USA with the talented Lennis Carrier of Windbent. Our swap was to be a finished piece (or pieces) of jewellery with a woodland theme. I think we both laughed when we opened our respective packages and found we had gone down the same woodland path. Lennis made me this necklace:


I love the mixture of metals—copper, gunmetal, brass and that wonderful rusty iron pendant—and the eclectic mixture of glass beads (see the owl bead?). And there is a coordinating pair of earrings there too.

Here is what I sent Lennis. See what I mean about sharing inspiration?


The pendant is from Peruzi and I chose a mixture of brown and green beads to go with it. I also made a cute sari silk and copper wrap bracelet for her. It’s long enough to wrap twice around her wrist, and works as a choker necklace too.


In the next couple of months I have a few challenges and blog hops coming up. First up is at the end of this week, the second round of the History Hop, hosted by Leah Curtis. Then I’ve got Toltec Jewels’ Summer Elements hop in mid-June and  Lisa Lodge’s Seasons Blog Hop in early July. Mid-July will see Lori Anderson‘s Bead Hoarders blog hop, and in late August there is the Summer Colour Surprise blog hop, also hosted by Lisa Lodge. You can see buttons on the sidebar for most of these hops (a few of them haven’t had official sign-ups yet). All of that should keep me on my toes!

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Soup Reveal Delayed

The recent ill health of Lori Anderson, creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party, has led to the second and third reveal dates being postponed for by a week. So yesterday the second reveal group unveiled their creations. My group—the third and final reveal group—will now post our blogs next Saturday 20th April.

I’m quite happy with the delay though, as I only got home from 2 weeks holidays last night and could definitely use the time to refine my photos and my blog post, and maybe even make another piece. So, if you haven’t already, and you have a spare day or three(!), go and have a look at the talent from the first and second reveals.

In the meantime, here are a couple of holiday snaps for you! And I’ll see you back here next week …

holiday snaps 2
Rottnest Island April 2013
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

It’s Bead Soup time again—introducing my partner


A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for the biggest jewellery making blog hop of the year—Lori Anderson ‘s 7th Bead Soup Blog Party! It’s my second time taking part … click here if you want to see what I made in BSBP6!

The premise of BSBP is to swap a carefully thought out bead soup with your assigned partner, including at least one focal bead and a clasp, which must be used in the resulting piece(s). On the reveal date, everyone blogs about the soup they received, and the pieces of jewellery they made. This time, like last time, there are 3 reveal dates spread over three weekends—with more than 500 participants overall, I’ll be visiting blogs for weeks! I’m in the third group, and will be unveiling my creations on 13 April.

Early last week, I was assigned my partner, and we sent our soups off to each other .


This time around I am swapping with Jane Pranata Lim, of Cherry Eve Jewelry, a beader who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jane, who is a graphic designer and mum to a 2 year old, in addition to jewellery designer, works mostly with wire, seed beads and cabochons. Jane’s blog Cherry Eve Corner shows some really beautiful wire-wrapped and beaded pieces! I’m really looking forward to seeing what she sends me.

As for what I sent Jane, here’s a sneak peek! I can tell you there are a couple of main colours featured and the clasp is quite special!


Come back in a week or two, to see what we sent each other.


The last four days of Handmade Christmas days 9-12

And now for the (almost) final reveal of gifts from the 12 Days of Christmas Handmade Gift exchange.

On day 9, I didn’t open a gift as it was my turn to give. But I thought I’d post some pictures of the gifts I made for everyone else. I started out with some vintage chandelier crystals that I found on Etsy. For some of them I used various combinations of glass beads and memory wire to make some beaded rings to dangle the crystals.


For the others I used some large crystals that I got ages ago from Etsy’s Dreamgirl Beads—they have a spectacular AB coating that just sparkles!


I finished all of the ornaments off with some pretty ribbon with a shimmery, sparkly edge, that I got from Abby and Ellie, a fabulous ribbon shop, also on Etsy. I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I’m definitely going to find some more chandelier crystals to make decorations next year.

As a little extra, I also included in each gift a snowflake pendant/ornament made by my Mum, who is a potter. I’m encouraging Mum to get into the bead-making business, for purely selfish reasons of course!!! Here are a couple of snowflakes …


Day 10’s present arrived a little late courtesy of the postal system. Not to worry though, my gifts from Rita at Toltec Jewels were intact and numerous! First of all was a pair of snowman-themed pot holders.


The handmade gift was a beautiful beaded snowflake ornament, in pale shimmery colours. I had to take the photo against the red of the pot holders to get it to show up properly, it almost disappeared on a white background!


And finally a taste of Mexico, with a Lux Perpetua candle, a sombrero ornament and a miniature serape.


Rita, thank you for your generous gifts!

On day 11, I opened a gift from Suzanne Reynolds, a mixed media artist. Suzanne made us all fabric covered notebooks (and the notebooks are replaceable), with hand-printed and batiked fabrics and scraps of sari silk ribbon.


I’ll be keeping this notebook in my handbag Suzanne, thank you!

Finally, I opened day 12’s present—a day late as it was delivered on Monday. Gina Hockett sent me a copper bangle, wire-wrapped with deep earthy red stones—red jasper perhaps—spaced around it.


It’s a beautiful bangle, thank you Gina!

It has been so much fun to take part in Lorelei’s 12 Days of Christmas Handmade Gift Exchange. I’ve received some lovely gifts from some fantastic artists. Thanks again Lorelei for the opportunity to play! And thank you so much for all of the wonderful gifts I have received, you are all talented people indeed!


On the first days of Christmas …

I was lucky enough to take part in Lorelei Eurto’s 12 Days of Christmas Handmade Gift exchange this year. The challenge was to make 11 gifts and send them to 11 recipients, in return I would get a gift from each of them. The gifts were not restricted to jewellery but they did need to be handmade by me. Starting on Chirstmas Day, each day we open a single gift assigned to that day, for a total of 12 days including our own.

Day one saw a gift from our gracious hostess, Lorelei. Due to the vagaries of two postal services, this gift arrived today, on day four, so I was lucky enough to open two gifts today! A beautiful jar of handmade spiced nuts (and my favourite combination at that!). These are coming down to the beach with me this afternoon! IMG_2832lores

I’ve already sneaked a taste and they are delicious, Lorelei, thank you so much for both the gift and the opportunity to join in the fun!

Day two was from Lisa Johnson, who sent me a fantastic pair of earrings with enamelled dangles.


Aren’t they beautiful? Thank you Lisa, I love them!

On day three, I opened a gift from Suzette Bentley, who also gifted me with a lovely pair of earrings she calls Lollipops!


Thank you Suzette, I have already worn them!

Here in Australia it is already day four and I have just opened my gift from Jodie Marshall. First of all are two chocolates, yum! And then a gorgeous knitted cuff, with a lampwork disc bead on the side. Just my colours, a rich ombré from deep pink to chocolate brown, and it fits perfectly!


Thank you Jodie! I can’t wait to wear this!

I will be away with my family for the next few days and taking my little pile of gifts with me, so I will post an update on the presents I have received toward the end of next week.


Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap and Blog Hop

Diana Ptazsynksi from Suburban Girl Studio regularly hosts earring swaps on her blog, where jewellery designers are paired up and asked to create a pair of earrings for their partners. Her latest version is the Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap, which reveals today. Although Diana restricts her swaps to bloggers in the USA and UK due to the potential for postal delays, she kindly let a couple of us Aussies join in an unofficial swap on the side! So fellow beader and blogger Karen Mitchell, from Over the Moon Design, and I have partnered up to swap earrings.

The rules are that art beads must be used in each earring, and the earrings shouldn’t match, although they should go together, if you know what I mean!

This is what Karen sent me. Aren’t they gorgeous??

The lampwork daisy bead and the two lampwork spacer beads are from Journey Beads. They are such a bright and cheerful pair of earrings, and I’m going to enjoy wearing them very much indeed!

This is what I sent Karen. I used a pair of lampwork beads from Tania Tebbit at Tanglebeads , threaded onto 3 colours of waxed linen cord, with tiny Czech beads in coordinating colours knotted onto the ends. The lampwork beads are topped with a Czech bead in aqua and sand, and Trinity Brass antique silver-plated earring hooks.

You can find the rest of the participants in the Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap Hop here:

Diana Ptaszynski

Lisa Liddy

Kari Asbury

Jayne Capps

Rebecca Anderson

Lesley Watt

Lori Bowring Michaud

Renetha Stanziano

Holly Westfall

Theresa Fosdick

Ali McCarthy

Shai Williams

Iveth Caruso

Carolyn Collins

Elaine Ray

Kristen Stevens

Charlene Jacka

Jan Onipenco

Stephanie Woods

Eleanor Burian-Mohr

Shelby Foxwell

Pam Sears

Mary Harding

Lisa Johnson

Kashmira Patel

Penny Neville

Dee Elgie

Sarah Small

Carolyn Lawson

Karin Slaton

Ashleigh Becker

Kay Hand

Rana L. Wilson

Sandra McGriff

Dawn Pierro

Shelley Graham Turner

Karen Mitchell

Melissa Trudinger YOU ARE HERE!


Double earring swap

Another swap I have done recently through BeadSwap-USA is an earring swap of two pairs of earrings. The first pair uses embossed copper rectangles from Melinda Orr, paired with a pretty Czech flower bead in yellowy-orange.

With a couple more pairs of these copper rectangles to use up, I have some fun organically-shaped freshwater pearls that might go well. What do you think?

For the second pair I used a pair of round red beads I got from a sampler pack from Dreamgirlbeads, one of my favourite Etsy shops. I think it’s coral, and it’s such a rich red colour. I paired it with some tiny sterling silver spacer beads and a dark dark blue, almost black Czech glass round.

If you come back on 16 October, I am taking part in Diana Ptaszynski’s Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap. My partner is another Aussie, Karen Mitchell, from Over the Moon Design.