Monday, 8 August 2011

The difference is clear

There's the old saying "you get what you pay for"

and this is particularly true when it comes to lampwork beads!

Like most people, before I knew about lampwork beads I was pretty happy with mass produced beads, thinking that they were pretty. Since I discovered artisan lampwork beads I now appreciate the difference!

To "prove a point" I've copied the design of a mass produced bead so that there is a direct comparison.

Both the beads in the picture are lampwork beads, but the one on the left is one I have made and the one on the right is a mass produced one. While you can only see so much in a picture I hope that you will see the difference in clarity! I always ensure that my glass rods are cleaned before using and I work in a nice clean flame. Already you can see the difference in quality.

What you might not also see from the picture so well, is that I have cleaned the nasty bead release from the hole. When you make beads, you need a bead release so that you can take the bead off the mandrel (metal stick). This leaves behind a dry dusty substance inside the hole. Any half decent bead maker would clean this out, and not only for aesthetic reasons - but also for health and safety ones too. Over time the dust comes out of the beads and as you handle the beads more and more it breaks up into particles that are really not healthy to breathe in.

Sharp holes are also often an issue with mass produced beads. If you use them in your designs they may well be fine for a short while, but over time they will cut through your beading wire and they will simply fall apart.

Now given the choice, I would much rather have 1 artisan nice bead than half a dozen mass produced ones. When I'm selling my work, my reputation is everything. I can't afford to send out a bead that I'm not happy with, and like most lampworkers I just won't do it. I want people to feel confident that when they buy from me that they're buying quality.

Less is definitely more for me!

I hope that you will agree with me, and please feel free to share this post and promote the beauty of handmade!

Trudi x

Friday, 29 July 2011

600 Likes ... Time For A "Freebie"

I noticed yesterday that I hit 600 likers on Facebook

A milestone to be marked I do think.

I wanted to give something away, but what .... so I have decided on a whopping discount. That way the lucky person can decide.

So here's the deal, all you need to do is to go and have a look at my website and leave a comment either on my blog post (on blogger) or under the 600 discussion tab on my facebook page saying which is your favourite item.

I will then pick a "winner" and that person will be offered that item with a 25% discount. I'll also offer up a "runner up" and they will get a 10% discount off the item of their choice.

The offer is for a discount on one item only, and applies to beads or jewellery on the site, and you must leave the comment in one of the correct places (So I can find them!).

I'll leave this open till end of play Sunday, and I'll announce the winners on Monday!

So what are you waiting for!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Onward Journey

Last week I sold this pretty Poppies Bag Charm, and I received a warm email back from the lady that bought it from me to tell me about the interesting journey it will soon make! (I was intrigued for sure).
Her son if off to the World Scout Jamboree (once every four years and this time in Sweden) and staying in Holland on the way back with a local family. She wanted to send him with gifts for the family he is staying with in Holland that represented our area and our interests. She loved my work and the beautiful flowers reminded me of the poppies we get in the local fields, and indeed our own garden as we scattered some poppy seeds in the garden when our dog died last year. Perfect!
It’s emails like these that really touch me, and make me proud that my little piece of art can mean so much to someone else!

But as if that wasn’t enough, the proceeds from the sale also went to the Royal British Legion. It’s a charity close to my heart, they do so much work for people behind the scenes and they don’t always receive the recognition they deserve!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Change with your outfit!!

There's always been something very appealing about interchangeable jewellery, I can always remember being fascinated as a child when my watch had different coloured faces I could change, I think it's part due to the fiddle factor!!
Beside the fiddle factor, it's also very practical too!
I have a lovely red skirt, and at the bottom there are patches of red, orange and purple. These are not colours that I would normally wear together but they look great on the skirt! I had a special family occasion to go to, and planned to wear that skirt. Now it's not easy to get jewellery to go with these colours but the day before I planned ahead and made myself some big hole beads (BHB) the the colour combo and slipped them onto some chains!! The bracelet is a style that is designed for BHB's but for the necklace I just used a regular snake chain - quick and easy!

While I was at it, I made myself a few more in summery shades ... now I can chop and change polka colours to my heart's desire!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Where Inspiration Strikes

Inspiration can come from all sorts of places.

I've had this peachy pink glass for ages, gathering dust on the shelf!! It's not a colour I use much, but I was having a rummage through my bead stash and found some David Christensen cane glass slices .... they have a delicate pattern in the peach shade with blue and yellow ...

Light bulb moment .... I know what glass will look great with them .. and so the peachy pink ribs were born!

Now listed on the website

Happy beading!

Trudi x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

X Marks The Spot!!

One of the forums I belong to runs challenges every month, these are a great way to make you think about designs and exercise the old brain muscles!!

One of the challenges was entitles "Pirates" ......... lordy what was I going to do???

Then I sat down and thought about it, Pirates = Treasure!!

So I made up some golden nuggets (with real gold inside them - tis treasure after all!). But before you get to the treasure you'll need a map right! So I designed a ring top with a treasure map , X marking the spot!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The big 500 Giveaway!!

Wooooooo hoooo

I have 500 "likes" on Facebook! So time for the giveaway as promised.

So up for grabs is one of my button necklace's. There are 6 lampwork buttons on a gold (plated) chain 18" Long.

All you have to do is leave me a facebook comment - or a reply to my blog post before midnight Friday 22nd April 2011.

I'll get my assistant (Jojo) to pick a name at random!

Simples ...........

Post away!


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Fired up From Flame Off

Not long back from the annual Flame Off event in Towcester, where I had a fabulous few days meeting up with friends, watching artists demo and buy lots of glass goodies!!

I also got to meet new friends, including Christina from Frit & Glass - we have talked a lot over email and facebook - so it was great to finally meet face to face!

While I was there I managed to stock up on some frit (tiny pieces of glass) - like I really don't have enough!! But I see the new colours and I know I'll "need" them. Christina also stocks the really tinly blends that are ideal for smaller beads, and not only does she sell blends, but also single colours. So I bought some of the singles and I've been playing around making up my own blends.

This one was named by Michelle of Sundoor Beads - Rainforest.

And I made these with the frit and the new CiM glass - Atlantis!

Off to play again!


Friday, 4 March 2011

The Handmade Gift Guide

I've just recently come across a great site promoting Handmade Gifts

It was set up by Anne Haymen in 2009 with the aim of giving crafters the opportunity to join together and promote not only thier own work, but also the work of others!

There's lots to see and read on the site, directories, showcases, giveaways, so if you've never come across this before, make yourself a cup of coffee and have a good browse.

There are links to their Flickr Gallery

and their Etsy Street Team

and this week I'm included in the vote

My heart is no 60 on the list.

If you like it, please vote by clicking the goldstar above the picture.

Show me the love!

Thanks for reading.

Trudi x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bubble Beads

A few weeks ago I made a range of Bubble Big Hole beads ....

They're quite addictive and look different to other bracelet beads out there!! Well the past 2 days I've sold quite a few of them, so I've been making some more!
Check out the site where you can sign up to the mailing list!
Thanks for looking!
Trudi x

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nuts About Nuggets!

I quite like making free form nugget beads, they're very tactile and with the angled sides it really lets the light shine through!

They can be all sorts of sizes, but I'm tending to like mine chunky, and they look great with silvered ceramics!

And I just love the bright and bold colours!

Love them both left shiny, and etched too!

I just can't get enough!

Bold and beautiful!

Monday, 7 February 2011


This beautiful necklace has been created by the lovely Sarah. She has used my lampwork heart and teamed it with freshwater keishi pearls, crystals and sterling silver chain, simply stunning!
To see more of Sarah's work visit her website

Monday, 24 January 2011

New Coat = New Broach and New Handbag = New Charm!

For Christmas I was lucky enough to get a new coat, and this coat is a bright shade of pink (you can see me coming!).
I decided that this needed a nice brooch of some sort and so I made myself a pink heart bead. Brooches really aren't my area of expertise, so I sent the bead to my friend George and she turned it into the most fabulous fibula!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am with it, and I've had no end of comments about it.

So now I had a new coat, I had to change my bag ........ the bag I was using was green, nothing wrong with it, just kinda clashed with the coat! I was in town the other week and Clarks had a sale on, imagine my joy when I saw the handbag I was after in sale at half price!! I just had to have it.

Now I have my new bag, it really needed a bag charm to match in with the coat. So here is the new charm
I made the heart bead with silver rich glass and gold leaf and teamed it with silvered ceramic beads and Swarovski crystals, strung on a leather cord!
Trudi x

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Scrap Metal by Lesley McMurray

Another beautiful necklace to drool over, you really can't beat handmade!

Lesley has used my bead and teamed it with silks by Diane ( and sterling silver findings and my favourite Swarovski crystal.