Sunday, 7 December 2014

Glass Tiles Revisited

Some of you may remember my Glass Tile Pendants which featured beautiful Chiyogami paper sealed behind a glass tile and then hung from an Aanraku silver bail.  Well, I found a few left over glass tiles the other day and decided to make some more pendants, but this time using my own original art work....well, you know how I like to doodle.  So below are some of my new pendants that I've hung with some contrasting ribbon and cord necklaces. They are now for sale at Fresh From The Studio, Church Street, Littleborough.

Jack Frost's Studio Visit

Jack Frost came to visit me on Friday.  
My studio is in my attic and I have a large window that looks up to sky.  
As I climbed up the steps, the moon illuminated the window and I saw this.  
It was truly magical.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

North West Women's Enterprise Day

Thank you 
to all the lovely ladies I met on Friday and especially to all of you who made a purchase. I really do appreciate it.  It was particularly nice to meet Diane and her amazing photographs, Laura and her amusing Dominic Cumberband.....nooo, I always get it wrong...obviously it's...Benedict Cumberbatch cards and Dawn from Dance Syndrome.
I had a wonderful time and so did Julie, my lovely assistant for the day and my gorgeous friend Lindsey from Violet Flamingo, who also had a stall there 
and whom made my beautiful dress.  

Here's a photo of my stall from that day 
and below some photos from other events.  
As I've not yet been able to add anything to my online shop yet, 
if there's anything you can see that you would like to purchase, 
just let me know and we can sort something out!

My music stand display




Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Busyness not business!!!

Hello lovely people who read my blog.  Sorry, it's been ages since my last post.....
but I've been mad busy with stuff!  
What stuff?  
Well, I had a little trip to Wales, with my youngest daughter to stay with my sister who lives there and we had a reunion with my cousin from Australia, who I've not seen since I was 5.  That was fab! We went to Tenby and to Abaraeron where all the houses are painted in gorgeous colours.  
I've actually made some beads based on these, 
but you'll have to wait to see what I'm going to do with them.

I went to see my belov├ęd Kate Bush and had a fab time in London. Here I am at the Apollo.  
This seemed to be the done thing for all Kate fans, to do a self
ie with the Before The Dawn signage. Anway, I can't express in words how wonderful she was, but she didn't disappoint...she was so worth the 35 year wait!!! 

We went to see the show of The Commitments too, that was really good too, as was the Egyptian collection at the British Museum.  I think I could literally spend days in there.  There was so much to be had in way of inspiration...hopefully new Egyptian-style beads!!!

So then I've had to move my eldest daughter back to Uni, I've had a mad health scare, less said about that the better...a day trip to Aberystwyth University with my son for the Open Day (what a loooooooong drive!) and also...

I've had the privilege to talk about being a woman in business with some lovely ladies who are doing start up business courses with a local group called ReStore.  I've met two different lots of ladies now and it's been really nice to meet with them and hear about their new business ideas.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how these ideas grow and how they progress. When they've finished their course it is hoped that they will be paired with a local successful business woman who they can meet with for a few months, whom can act as a mentor to them....a "Biz Buddy".  It's been really exciting as I came up with the initial Biz Buddy idea and a little booklet to go with it and ReStore have got the funding to implement it for these ladies...and get the booklet printed.  It's at the printers now, so I'm really looking forward to seeing my idea in print.

Unfortunately, all this busyness has meant not much actual business, so I'm afraid there's nothing in my online shop at the moment, but if you're local, my jewellery is on sale at Touchstones, Rochdale and Fresh From The Studio in Littleborough and I will be at various events over the next few weeks, which you will see if you click on the Events page.

Oh...and it's Craft Group on Friday at Open Door if you want to come along and make some lovely felt Christmas decorations.  See the facebook event page here!!!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

News & Events

Well, it's been a very busy month with one thing another, but I've got lots of news.  
As well as having my jewellery for sale at Fresh From The Studio, in Littleborough,
 I went up to Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre yesterday 
and filled two display cabinets upstairs in their Gallery, which will be on sale until 8th September
Prices start from £10 for pendants/necklaces and earrings from £4.

I will also be having a stall at Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre on Sunday 24th August from 11 until 4.

On Monday, 25th August I will be at 
Open Door Coffee House, Horse Carrs, Shawclough Road, Rochdale
 from  10.30 until 4 with a stall at this event.  I'm really looking forward to this as we have the bare shell of a dolls house at home and we could do with some ideas and inspiration on how to decorate it. 

Then, (I'm not finished yet!!!) on Saturday, 30th August, I will be at Wythenshawe Park 
with my lovely chums from the Manchester Craft Mafia.

Then finally (for the time being), I will be back in Littleborough on Saturday, 7th September, 
but this time at Hare Hill House in Hare Hill House.

It would be lovely to see some familiar faces, so please come along if you can!!!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

More at Fresh From The Studio

Thank you to everyone who has been in to new Littleborough based gallery
 'Fresh From The Studio' and bought some of my jewellery. 
I'm about to take in some more stock this week.  
In the meantime, here's a photo 
that one of my friends sent me of one of the shelves in my display cabinet.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Beads From The Art at Fresh from the Studio

Here is a selection of jewellery 
that is now available from Fresh from the Studio, 
which has just opened in Littleborough. 
 I'll be selling similar pieces in my Etsy shop shortly.

  My new Vintage Style Necklaces and Pendants are priced from  £25 - £35.  
These are all new and original and mostly one of a kind pieces as I make my beads in small batches.
In most cases there are matching earrings available to purchase which are priced from £5 - £8.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What a month!!!

Well, June was supposed to be a very busy month for me business wise.  However, due to the NHS not fitting in with my busy schedule, it meant I had the option of taking their cancellation appointment for my operation or risk being taken off the waiting list.  Consequently, the day after the phone call, there I was wearing a hospital gown and sexy blue surgical stockings with a needle in my hand waiting for the anesthetic to work.  Considering I had less than 24 hours to prepare and sort the kids out I was remarkably calm. (thanks to a super hypnotherapy relaxation app on my phone!) As it turned out, my day surgery, turned into a stay of four days due to complications and the kids managed totally fine without mum.

It really couldn't have come at a worst time and I thought it'd be all done and dusted and in two weeks I'd be fine!  Oh no! Besides the aches and pains, bits of stitches poking through my skin that I thought were supposed to have dissolved by now, the sheer exhaustion, probably caused by all the medication and then to top it all being floored with what started out as hayfever but might be viral, I also started to suffer with the guilt and stress because I'm having to let people down.

I think everyone will agree I went back to work far too early and so because I started to feel ill at work, I was sent home and now I'm having to take some more time off to recuperate some more. So, this week I was upset that I had to pull out of  an event with the lovely Stitched Up Ladies.  I was supposed to be doing a talk about being a Working Parent and because I was too poorly they cancelled it.  I felt so wretched but  they're going to reschedule for later in the year and I'll hopefully I'll be feeling totally better by then.

So yesterday, I had to make the decision to pull out of doing two craft fairs this weekend.  I'm gutted! But it can't be helped. I just don't feel well enough.  Funnily enough, one of my tips for my talk at Stitched Up was very fitting to my current situation.  This is it... ..

"There may be times when you are going to have to disappoint someone in business because things don't always go to plan, because for instance, you're ill or your kids are ill or your childcare lets you down at the last minute. If this happens and you get a negative response from them, it's not your fault!! What you then have to consider is do you want to work with someone who is unsympathetic? Life does not always go to plan and however organised we are, the unexpected can happen. You have to learn to say no and not feel guilty about it. The guilt part is a hard one, because we all hate letting people down, but you and your family comes first"...

so...I'm going to practice what I preach and try not to feel guilty, and so far, nobody's responded to my apologies in a negative way.  So that's ok...and on that note...I'm going to go and do....not very much and just get better!!!

PS I did manage to get to the opening of the new gallery in Littleborough, "Fresh from the Studio", for a little while this evening, that's stocking my jewellery.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay too long but it's a lovely space and it was great to see so many people there.  Hopefully, my jewellery will do well there. I'll post some photos tomorrow, if I feel up to it, of some of the pieces that are available to buy.

G'night xx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer Jewellery Preview

Well, the last few weeks has been a bit too dramatic for my own good really, with one thing or another and my new favourite word "no" has been employed quite often.  Well, there's only so much one person can do before they begin to star in their own version of a soap opera.  So anyway, while I recuperated from my recent hospital visit I've spent the odd hour or two beavering away in my attic studio.

So, you know how I love to doodle?  And I love to doodle flowers and leaves more than anything?  
So my latest batch of beads feature flowers that are based on these doodles.  I really like them and I've matched them with some gorgeous bead caps and some bronze "watermelon" beads that I've had in my stash for ages and didn't know what to do with.  However, I recently "invested" (invested sounds so much better than bought and makes things sound rather important...which of course anything beady or crafty is!!!) in some Vintaj Patinas!  I love them!  They transform everything beautifully...see how they transformed the bronze watermelon beads so that they match the pink flower beads.  Normally, I'd have used glass beads or crystals, but I didn't have anything the right shade of pink.  But now I can colour my metal beads and I think they look wonderful.  I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

Obviously, I'm still going to use glass and crystal beads to compliment my beads.  
These ones particularly are so pretty!

So, where can you buy my new collection?  
Well, my friend, Elizabeth White is opening a new gallery on Church Street in Littleborough next week called "Fresh from the Studio" and they will be stocking my jewellery there.  
The Opening of the gallery takes place next Thursday evening on the 26th June.  
How very exciting!!!

Just to remind you that I make my beads in small batches 
so most of my jewellery is one of a kind or limited edition.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Sneaky photo of me and my stall at the Ladies Pamper Evening

My lovely friend Kerstin, who was one of the organisers of the Ladies Pamper Evening 
I recently attended, took this sneaky photo of me and my Jewellery Stall.  
I'm much liking my new earring boards with the vintage bird tags. 
The ball of wall to the right, is part of my contribution to the 7 mile long scarf for Wool Against Weapons.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Busy! Busy! Busy!

June is soooo busy!  
It wasn't the best of timing to go into hospital to have an operation, but the NHS wouldn't fit around my schedule!  However, now I've got two events out of the way, today I'm going to have a bit of a rest and maybe do some sketching as I've got some wonderful ideas for a new collection.  But then, over the next few days I have to take photos of my jewellery, edit them and then upload them along with descriptions, dimensions and prices etc for two online shops. I also have to make some exclusive jewellery for a new gallery that is opening soon, put together a Pennine Collection for a display in Hollingworth Lake, make a start on writing up my talk on being a working parent for Stitched Up's Meet the Makers and sort out Friday's Make & Take workshop!  Then on Monday, I have to go back to work! I really think I could do with a holiday, but holidays are just an excuse for making more beads, aren't they???!!! :) 
Maybe I should wish upon a star for more hours in the day!!!

Ladies Pamper Evening

Well, considering it's only been a week since I came out of hospital, maybe I shouldn't have done this event.  But I managed to get plenty of rest in between and got to sit down a fair amount and it was a remarkably laid back affair.   I was amazed at how the main hall at Horse Carrs had been transformed by indoor gazebos and hanging banners from the ceiling to create little treatment rooms.  It made it all so cosy and inviting and the aroma of essential oils and scented candles drew you in.  Everyone who attended seemed to have a lovely time and at £4 that included refreshments and a treatment it was very good value.
I had my jewellery on display and I sold some of my new pieces, but never got to use my new Intuit Pay card machine as everyone had cash.  Ah well, shouldn't complain really.  
Typically, I forgot to take a photo of my stall AND my Knit-In Workshop that you can read more about here,  I'm such a dope.  
However, here's a photo of my newly decorated hand wrist which was done by a local Mehndi Artist Madiha (link to follow). It's so beautiful and intricate and I'm really inspired to try some of these designs within my jewellery making. 

And here it is the morning after, with the dried henna removed and I'm left with a  lovely henna "tattoo". 
 The more I look at it, the more I can envisage a whole new collection of jewellery based on this experience. 
How exciting!!! 

The RNCM and the ring

My eldest daughter and I had a lovely relaxing day on Sunday, at the Royal Northern College of Music's Craft Fair.  It had been very well organised but unfortunately as it was competing with other events that day it wasn't well attended, which was a shame as the stalls were beautifully arranged with a vast array of wonderful goodies.  From pottery to prints and jewellery to gorgeous baby clothes.  It was lovely to meet Helen from Waterdew Designs who I had only ever come across on a local crafts Facebook site who I "recognised" from her lovely lace jewellery.  It was also really nice to see Victoria again from Parsnip and Bramble who makes the most divine baby clothes.  

  We met some lovely talented young artists and my daughter was in her element chatting away to them.  
As an art student, it was very inspiring for her to see what other young people were doing and what her future may hold.    

I was pleased that I sold one of my floral "Dorothy" rings (the photograph doesn't really do it justice).  The lovely ladies skin tone really complimented the colour of the ring and she appeared very happy with it.

Did I mention the harpist?  There was a young lady playing the harp for us, for the first half of the day...absolutely beautiful and a great way to spend the day.
Thank you to Tom Bevan and the staff of RNCM for having us. 
All in all, a very nice relaxing day.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Ladies Pamper Night ~ Monday 9th June

On Monday night, I'm having a stall at this Ladies Pamper Evening.  
I did this event last year and it was really amazing and I met some lovely people. 
If you've never been to Horse Carrs you really should go.  
Their Coffee House is open every Thursday and Friday and their Brie and Cranberry toasties is totally scrumptious.  They also have a fine array of delicious home made cake and it's always hard to decide which to have.  
Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month I run my Make & Take Craft Group, (click on the link for The Little Craft Box Company at the top of the page) 
so it really is a home from home for me.  
The cost of the Pamper Evening is just £4 which includes refreshments and a great is that?  Plus I am running free craft workshops all evening!  
So come along and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Royal Northern College of Music Craft Fair

I'm very excited to be having a stall at this Craft Fair on Sunday, though I'm a bit nervous as I've not been out of hospital long!  As nothing in my life seems to go straightforward, my "straightforward" keyhole surgery had a few complications and so I ended up being in hospital for four days instead of one!  Unfortunately, the NHS wouldn't fit into my busy schedule and it was all a bit unexpected.  The timing wasn't great, as June was always going to be a hugely busy month with the kids and work and everything.  But you know, I always try to make a positive out of a negative, so the fact that I kept July and August fairly quiet, eventually I should get a well earned rest and recuperation!  Oh...the best laid plans, eh?!  
Anyway, I'm hoping I will have my lovely friends to help me this Sunday, so all will be good!
And..........tomorrow, my shiny new Intuit Pay card payment machine should exciting!!!

Monday, 26 May 2014

My Happy Customer

So here is the lovely Jen with her new Watermelon necklace which I made to match her new skirt made by our friend, Lindsey James of Violet Flamingo.  

If you are interested in commissioning me to make a piece of jewellery, please email me at to discuss your needs.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Watermelon Commission

I was recently commissioned to make a necklace who had recently bought a skirt from Violet Flamingo in a bold watermelon pattern.  The brief was to make a necklace which incorporated a watermelon pendant.  She is allergic to nickel so I had to make sure that any findings I used would not touch her skin.  I decided to make a fastener which incorporated a small "slice" of watermelon which would act as a toggle with a loop of seed beads.  I made stripy beads using the red, green and pale yellow colour palette, plain red beads and I sandwiched some with silver leaf to give it a bit of a lift.  I then strung them with large green sead beads, green bobbly lampwork beads and red ceramic beads. It was a bit of a challenge, especially as the hot weather and a batch of especially soft polymer clay were working against me, but I rose to the occasion and this is the result and my customer was very happy!  *phew*

Friday, 9 May 2014

Currently in my Etsy Shop

I currently have this floral offering in my Etsy Shop! 

Handcrafted polymer clay floral art beads with Tibetan silver daisy spacers and tiny black seed beads, fastened with a small toggle clasp. 

The necklace is accompanied with earrings made with matching polymer clay disc beads and Tibetan silver spacer bead dangling from silver plated kidney wires.

The round polymer clay beads measure approx 14mm
The disc beads measure approximately 10mm x 10mm
Necklace length is approximately 18" long

Beautifully packaged within a Kraft gift box.

It's the last of this particular bead, and there won't be anymore quite like these, so get it while you can! Just £19.95 for necklace and matching earrings, plus £3.50 p&p. Click on my Etsy Shop link to take you the listing! x

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Sweet dreams are made of these....

welll....I admit that my creative ideas sometimes come to me in my dreams 
and last night was no exception and I feel truly inspired!!! 
Unfortunately, I'm mega-ly 
(this IS a real word and is in the AHB Dictionary of Words I've Made Up Myself!) 
busy today and tomorrow, so putting my dreamy thoughts in to action will have to wait! 

So....what did YOU dream about last night??? Comments below!

And here's a photo of a truly inspired vision that became one of my best sellers a few years ago.

I've just finished a batch of a new updated version for Summer 2014
so watch this space for more details! 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

What's in a name?


Beads From The Art


Well, there are a couple of reasons...

I make Art Beads...which are like tiny works on art on a bead.

I get much of my inspiration from great artists like Matisse, Klimt and Van Gogh.

The other reason is slightly humorous.  

My maiden name is Hartley and originally I was going to call my business Beads From The Heart, but there were lots of businesses with that name, then I thought Beads From The Hart...but it just doesn't look right!  

Where I live in Rochdale, I grew up being called Andrea 'Artley.
 A lot of my school mates dropped their "H's"!!!.  

So then I came up with putting the Art Beads and the 'Artley together and use a heart as an apostrophe that's why it's

Friday, 25 April 2014

Setting up Stall

It's always a challenge when you arrive at an event and find that the space provided isn't a conventional 6' trestle....and I think that's a good thing!!!  At last Saturday's event, I had two cafe tables pushed together and I quite liked having that extra depth to fill with bits and pieces.  Tonight I shared a very large table with a lovely lady (was she called Sally? Aaaagh...I have a rubbish memory these days) and her fabulous hand knitted goods! Well, this is what I did with a large square at the Stitched Up "Meet the Makers" event.  I don't think I did a bad job with it, but I really do think it's a good idea to take photographs of your stall as you can see better what stands out and what doesn't and where you can improve to display your stock better.  It's funny, how the size and shape of your display space can make such a difference. 

Anyway, I had a brilliant time tonight and met some lovely ladies.

Monday, 21 April 2014

New Jewellery for April

These are some of my NEW beads, which come in all shapes and sizes as you can see!  
I've yet to list them on Etsy as taking photos, editing them and listing is SOOOO time consuming, but hopefully over the course of the next few days, you'll see some up there.  
In the meantime, check out my Events page where you can see them up close and personal
....and you can say "hello" to me too!

There are more photos of my new jewellery on my Facebook page!  
Pop over and give it a "Like"!!!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wythenshawe Park (and my wrong way up cloth!)

So, this was me and my stall yesterday, with my "please hurry up and take my picture, because I'm cold and I want to put my big cardigan back on and I hate having my picture taken anyway and don't try to make me laugh" look on my face!!!  Anyway, I've just realised, looking back at these photos, that in my haste at decorating my table, that I put my cloth on the wrong way up! I'm such a scatter brain!!! *sigh*

This Week's Events!!!

Had a great time at Wythenshawe Park yesterday with the Manchester Craft Mafia but it was soooo cold, fortunately the cafe was on hand with cheese panini's and hot tea!!! 
It was lovely to catch up with some of the other stall holders, we had such a laugh.

Well, I have two more events this week.
The first one is on Thursday (24th April) with the lovely ladies at Stitched Up at their shop in Chorlton, Manchester.  
I've not been to their shop before, although I seem to recall we have been at the same events, 
so I'm really looking forward to it.  
It starts at 7pm and I'll be there with my jewellery stall until 10pm, so why not come along.

My other event is at Hare Hill House in Littleborough on Saturday (26th April).
I'm really looking forward to being there, as I used to work in the library there, over 20 years ago, and have many happy memories. Also, I'll be meeting lots of  lovely ladies and seeing all their creative wonderment, whom I've recently discovered on facebook!  I was absent from my local crafting community for most of last year, when I wasn't feeling too good and on my return have found a whole host of creativity in our midst!
So exciting!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Etsy Pick of the Week ~ Sunset Pendant

Another pendant from my Coastal Collection...catch it while you can in my Etsy Shop! It's an original, one of a kind and as these are very hard to recreate exactly so there will never be another one quite like this one!

One of a kind Sunset Pendant with shades of black, maroons and reds with a shimmery hue in horizontal stripes. It hangs from a necklace comprising of tiny black glass seed beads, silver spacer beads and 10 maroon glass crystals. The necklace fastens with a small toggle closure, making it easier to fasten on and off. No more struggling with tiny clasps.

This is from my Coastal Collection. Inspired by summer trips to the coast while on holiday with my family. Memories of walking along the headland full of flowers and bracken, walking along the beach collecting pebbles, watching the sea from sunrise to sunset and eating ice cream and candy floss from the carnival stands. Happy days!

Necklace Length measures 21"
Pendant measures 1 1/2" x 6/8"

Presented in a Kraft Gift Box

Monday, 7 April 2014

Essential State of the Art Roller Tool

Today, I've mostly been making pendants, canes, beads, brooches, keyrings...oh you name it...I've made it! The only thing was, I couldn't find my roller tool to smooth out the polymer clay when it comes out of the pasta machine!  I tried a plastic bead tube, but it didn't really do the job very well as it was quite narrow.  Then I got to thinking that when I first started using polymer clay a million years ago...well, 30...which is almost as long... I used to use a hairspray can!  It was back in the 80's and I had BIG hair, so hairspray can's were in abundance.  It's not the 80's now and I don't have big hair (though I wish I had!) but the nearest round thing I could find in the attic (which is my studio) was this........

Essential State of the Art Roller Tool

which is now my Essential State of the Art Roller Tool!!!
It's's smooth, it's washable, it's got a handle in the right place and I can drink a brew from it!!!
It's even got a warning message on it, in case anyone tries to steal it!!!

And here's a sneak preview of what I've made today

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A Bit Of Fun For The Weekend

I love Pinterest!

It's like the Encyclopedia Britannica for people like me!  When I was a little girl, my grandma used to come to stay with us and before we went to school, she'd ask us to leave out the Encyclopedia out for her to look at.  When we got home, she'd still be there reading through them and telling us all the exciting things she'd learnt about.  I'm sure if she were alive today, she'd love Pinterest too!
Here's a link to my boards, so you can follow me.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Go and have a look and let me know whether we like the same books and films
been to the same places, seen the same bands and met the same famous people?  
More importantly, let me know which photo of my work do you like the best.

You can comment below or on my facebook page.

Friday, 4 April 2014

What's cooking???

Just a sneak preview of what's just been baking in the oven...
as you can see, by popular demand, I'm bringing back my embossed butterfly and swirls heart pendants....
they're going to be all new and updated...
did you notice the rectangular and disc ones....
and the tiny ones....
watch this space!!!