Monday, 7 September 2015

Watch Out at Touchstones This September

I will shortly be restocking my concession at Touchstones this September.
Watch out for earrings, pendants, necklaces 
and my exclusive to Touchstones Bottle Top Map Magnets 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Creative Gene

Sorry, I've not posted much about making beads and jewellery lately, I've been busy doing other projects....such as my craft group and making bits and pieces in felt and also....woodworking.  I am lucky enough to come from a very creative family.  My mum was an amazing seamstress, knitter and baker and my dad could make anything out of wood or metal.  You could usually find my dad in his shed making something.  I used to spend hours when I was a child watching him and he taught me how to use the tools, though apart from putting together flat packed furniture over the years I've not really done any woodworking.

Well, I've been coveting this kitchen island from Ikea must be years. But at £200 it's beyond my budget. 
I've been trawling ebay and second hand shops for something similar or even a sideboard that I could upcycle....but everything's been either too expensive...or a bit smelly!  So, I took a good look at this thing and hard can it be? 

So I started planning and hunting round the house for what I could use.  Now, being a crafter and loving abit of eco-crafting I tend to store things away just in case they can be used.  I'm not very good at throwing things can guarantee that the minute after you've chucked something you need it.  
So this is what I found that I could use:
  • 2 large solid wooded shelves that were in the bargain section of Ikea a number of years ago that I got for a tenner, thinking they would come in useful one day and they've been stored in my under stairs cupboard gathering dust.
  • Some pieces of old bunk bed (the rest of it made a garden gate, a fence and a planter in my back yard)
  • Screws from the same bunk bed
  • a couple of pieces of wood that were the packaging when I got a new washing machine
  • some wooden drawers my dad made when he made our family kitchen in the 60s and my brother was going to throw a way when he put in a new kitchen
  • a large broken mirror that had a solid wooden back
  • a tin of primer and a tin of antique white gloss left over from when I redecorated my living room
Well, that was a good start! There were a few things that I didn't have and so I bought:
  • some heavy duty castors off Amazon (two with brakes and they all swivelled) @ £12
  • 2 wooden fence posts from B and Q ( you have no idea how hard it is to find chunky wood!) @ £16
  • a piece of hardboard @ £3
  • some right angled metal brackets (B and Q wanted over a £1 just for one!  I got 20 for about £3 off ebay)
So I've got all my supplies, I've got the now I just have to build it.  I had a rough idea what to do and the size of it basically was dictated by the size of the shelves which were going to be the counter top...anyway, my design kind of just evolved.  Whenever I got stuck at the next stage, I went to bed and fell asleep thinking about how I would do it and the next morning I'd wake up and I knew what I was going to do.  It was really bizarre, but maybe my dad, even though he's not with us anymore, had a hand in it.  I've never made tenon joints before, but somehow I knew how to do them and they all came out perfectly...though it was quite hard work and very noisy.

I used the back of the old mirror as the bottom shelf, I cut slots out of the post for it to sit in.  When I fastened the castors to the bottom of the post I wanted one of the screws to go right through the shelf as well to keep it secure.  Worked a treat.

 I used the slats off an old bunk bed as a shelf.  Here I was laying them out to see how much I needed to saw off.

After this, the rest of it just seemed to fit together perfectly.  My dad had made the drawers so that they had extra wood at the sides to glide in and out of their original cupboard.  That made them too wide to fit in mine, so I sawed off the excess wood and they fitted perfectly.  In fact, they look like they were made for it.

So this is the finished kitchen island trolley ... I like it even more than the Ikea one....I think my dad would be proud of me!

 And you know how much it cost me to make....£35!!!!  How amazing is that???

and I wanted baskets to sit on the slatted shelf.  I trawled the internet but it was really difficult to find the size I needed or at a price I could afford....baskets are really expensive.  In the end I was passing Dunelm, so thought I'd stop by and have a look in there.  Not only did I find these baskets which fit perfectly, but they were half price in the sale and cost only £3.99 each!  I also got a roll of clear rubber drawer liner which I'm going to use on the bottom shelf to put my pans on, that was just £3.

So the grand total of my kitchen island trolley came to.....ta daaaa.....£50!!!!

So when I'm not making beads...I'm a woodworker.  Woodworking is my thing now.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Fresh From The Studio - Closing Sale

It's really sad that Fresh From The Studio Gallery Shop is closing, 
as it's been a lovely little outlet for my jewellery.  
However, I have included all of my pieces that are currently in stock in their Closing Down Sale.  
So if you want to get a Beads From The Art bargain, 
then head over to Littleborough before the end of May.

20% OFF all Beads From The Art

Free Art Friday Finds

It was very exciting to get involved with Free Art Friday with the Manchester Craft Mafia, I filled three bags with Beads From The Art Goodies.  One bag was given to another Mafia member to leave somewhere and the two others I left at Horse Carrs Coffee Shop (one outside and one inside) so I could watch what happened.

Anyway, commiserations to the three ladies who picked one up outside Horse Carrs, read the label, passed it back and forth and then put it back...your loss!  There was no really was FREE!!!

However, well done to the ladies who did find the bags.
They were thrilled with the earrings and pendant.

elsewhere in Manchester. one of my bags was found here

by this little chap and his mum

and look what was in it.

They posted their photos to the Manchester Craft Mafia facebook page and were really pleased.
Have a look at the map on the Mafia website to see where all the other members packages were found.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Free Art Friday Comes To Rochdale

You'll be able to find a Free Art Friday Goody Bag at

Horse Carrs Coffee House
Shawclough Road

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Free Art Friday

So, this week is Free Art Friday and as a member of the Manchester Craft Mafia, I'm taking part. 
I have THREE goody bags to give away with a piece of art (which in my case will be jewellery related) and other bits and pieces.

 Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll tell you where I'll be leaving two of them in the Rochdale area.
The third bag will be left somewhere in Manchester by one of my fellow Mafia mates...even I don't know where!!! 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Mafia Makes

I'm a member of the Manchester Craft Mafia and twice a month it's Mafia Makes.
This month it's fascinators...can't wait!!!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Post International Women's Day Thoughtlets

Yesterday, I was very honoured to represent Rochdale Borough Women's Enterprise Network (RBWEN) as part of the Blue Orchid International Women's Day event.  When I was asked to speak, I could have agreed to tell the story of my self-employment journey, but the last time I did that it took me 35 minutes with a full power point presentation complete with photos of my hair-do's over the years, doodles and a comedy stand-up routine that (in my dreams) Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican would be proud of...and they only give me 10 minutes!!! So .... instead of bigging up my own business, I once again opted to promote RBWEN and in all my nervousness I even forgot to mention the name of my business,  though I did a great job of mentioning everyone else's  (actually, now I remember I said "...I just make beads!")  A lovely lady, did approach me at lunch time and asked me what my web address was and I got very confused and told her the RBWEN one...but no, she actually meant THIS one.  Aaaahhh!!!  So from now on...big kick up the backside and I'm going to start promoting myself.

So ... if by any chance you have stumbled upon my website/blog from my very garbled description of how I could be found, or if you have indeed gone into Fresh From The Studio and found my jewellery there...thank you so much for taking the trouble to find me.  I really do appreciate it and just so you know...I don't just make beads.... :)

If you're interested in learning how to make jewellery....

please let me know as I may run another class later in the year.  
In the meantime, have a look at the workshops I'm doing via The Little Craft Box Company.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Make Your Own Bracelets & Earrings Workshop

I'm going to be running a Make Your Own Bracelets & Earrings Workshop on the 21st February.
Places are limited to 8, so booking is essential.  
or phone the number on the poster below to secure your place.