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It’s been a busy few months for me on the home front, but I have finally got around to finishing my necklace for the’ Inspiration to Creation’ post.

Setting a mini challenge for myself was a lot of fun, if not a little time consuming. I can’t tell you how many pieces I have sitting in a box needing ‘just one more component’ to finish it off!  So I’ve had my silversmithing torch out and decided to create some copper component parts;  not just for this piece but also for some more necklaces that I am making as part of a new collection.

All that hammering and soldering has paid off and I now have a few more pieces that are complete, so it really was time well spent!

In the final stages of making this necklace, I didn’t use the solid ribbons that I originally chose as they were too flat and drained the colour from the beads. Instead,  I paired the beads with some soft printed silk, which I thinks works better and gives the necklace a lovely romantic feel.

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InspirationtocreationnecklaceSo until next time….. enjoy

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Yay, some of my headpins , jewellery findings,  have just been featured in the May edition of Bead Chat magazine  🙂 

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Grab a coffee and have a browse, it’s a lovely read. 

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Goes away singing 🙂 and smiling of course……

Finally the day has arrived for the 3rd Reveal –  in the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party.

Here is the Soup that Alison sent me, it was a pretty colour palette that I found easy to work with. The focal bead was made from polymer clay, as were two matching smaller beads ; also included were some blue polymer birdies, wooden beads, a mix of metal hoops and enamelled coils. Alison also sent me some lightweight copper chain and some pretty blue / green sari silk.

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 Here is the hand made  Bead Soup mix I sent to Alison, I wonder how she got on? 

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I started off by making some earrings,   I wanted to keep things quite simple in design, the idea is that you could wear these with both the necklace and bracelet without the whole ensemble being a bit over the top.

Ode to Spring earrings

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Next came the bracelet, lots of interest, but again not too clunky as the components are quite light.  I find heavy bracelets quite annoying to wear so the polymer and lightweight mixed metals really helped keep it all nice and light. For a splash more colour I also added a few of my own lampwork beads.

Ode to Spring bracelet

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And  finally  the necklace, this piece really pulls the whole set together, I drilled another hole in the pendant to make it into a focal connector.   Then I added my own handmade lampwork and copper clasp to balance the piece,  and included some more of my lampwork beads and headpins to add weight and texture.  Can you spot the baby birdie ?  it is my personal little ` Ode to Spring ‘ and goes along with the woodland them of the collection.

Ode to Spring necklace

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And now it is time to visit some of the other participants to see the delights that they have created.

Adlinah Kamsir http://www.dreamstruckdesigns.blogspot.com
Agi Kiss http://moonsafaribeads.blogspot.com
Alenka Obid http://www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alison Sachs http://www.beadsbyearthtones.blogspot.com
Amanda Tibbetts http://www.amandamade.com/blog
Amy Sims http://www.amysimsdesigns.com
Ana Cravidao http://acbeads.blogspot.com
Andra Marasteanu http://bijouxdemonange.blogspot.com
Andria Poole http://www.Jewelleryartiste.blogspot.com
Angela Perkins http://jeweledinspirations.blogspot.com
Anja Schultz http://anjas-perlenwelt.blogspot.de
Ann Sherwood http://ann-sherwood.blogspot.com
Anna Nordeman http://annas-adornments.blogspot.com
Annita Wilson http://awjewelryandbeadwork.blogspot.com
Arlene Dean http://aglassbash.blogspot.com
Astrid Boyce http://astridboyce.blogspot.com
Barb Fernald http://barbarasfernald.com
Betty James Hoppensteadt http://www.tybetastidbits.blogspot.com
Birgit Klughardt http://www.gitesbeads-gite.blogspot.com
Bonnie Coursolle http://jaspersgems.blogspot.ca
Brandy Thomason McNair http://www.bellavitajewelry.blogspot.com
Brenda Sigafoos http://brenda-sigafoos.blogspot.com
Carmen Lau http://littlemake.blogspot.com
Carol Wilson http://jetadorn.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk
Cassie Donlen http://www.cassiedonlen.blogspot.com
Catharine Temaluru http://ienmaginationsjewelry.wordpress.com
Catherine Turrell http://fairysketches.blogspot.co.uk
Cheri Reed http://www.creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Cherrie Warzocha http://colorsofshae.blogspot.com
Christa Murphy http://adventuresofwonebeadywoman.blogspot.com
Christina Hickman http://vintagetreasuresjewelry.blogspot.com
Christina Stofmeel http://www.fengbeads.com
Christine Hansen http://intuitivesparks.blogspot.com
Christine Stonefield http://www.sweetgirldesign.blogspot.com
Cilla Watkins http://www.tellyourgirlfriends.com
Cindy Cima Edwards http://www.cindycima.com
Claire Lockwood http://www.somethingtodowithyourhands.com
Colleen Vinthagen http://www.thewireworkshop.com/blog
Dagmar Liebisch http://kokopellidesign.blogspot.de
Dana Fowler http://www.blogjunepur.blogspot.com
Danielle Kelley http://imbuethemuse.blogspot.com
Deb Fortin http://www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.co.uk
Denise Milward http://milwardstorysofar.wordpress.com
Diah Anggreni http://pernik-manik.blogspot.com
Diana Gonzalez http://www.arteypoemas.com
Diane Valasek http://dragonflyclose.blogspot.com
Dita Basu http://www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com
Donetta Farrington http://simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Doris Stumpf http://glaszwerg.blogspot.de
Elizabeth Bunn http://elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Drake http://mutteringsofacrone.wordpress.com
Elizabeth Jones http://www.eyekandyjewellery.com
Elizabeth Stolarczyk http://elizabethsart.blogspot.co.uk
Ema Kilroy http://www.emakdesigns.com/blog
Erin Kenny http://beadifultherapy.blogspot.ca
Evelyn Duberry Www.ShebaMakeda.com
Fay Wolfenden http://www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Francesca Watson http://francescawatson.com
Gen Smith http://gennysworld.blogspot.com
Ginger Davis Allman http://www.thebluebottletree.com
Giorgia Rossini http://www.joyblonde.blogspot.com
Hannah Annear http://www.quirkyhannah.wordpress.com
Heather Otto http://www.thecrafthopper.com
Heidi Kingman http://www.Heidikingman.blogspot.com
Ildiko Jarai http://www.sviroalkotasai.blogspot.hu
Iveth Caruso http://www.CreativeAtelier.net
Jackie Locantore http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStarSanctuaryStudio
Jacqueline Keller http://www.creartelier.blogspot.com
Jane Pranata Lim http://cherryeve.blogspot.com
Jennifer Davis http://jennifersjewelsandjunk.blogspot.com

Jennifer Tough http://jenniferbeads.blogspot.ca
Jenny Vidberg http://shymessmycken.blogspot.se
Jessica Klaaren Http://cellardoorjewelry.blogspot.com
Joanna Matuszczyk http://filcowe.blogspot.com
Joyce Becker http://www.joycesjoyfulgems.blogspot.com
Judith Johnston http://www.lampworkbeadlounge.com
Judy Riley http://www.threeredbeads.blogspot.com
JuLee Wolfe http://www.thepolymerpenguin.blogspot.com
June Butt http://www.onewhiteswan.blogspot.co.nz
Karen Mitchell http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Karin King http://www.maverickbeads.blogspot.ca
Karin von Hoeren http://www.creativeideen.de
Karla Morgan http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com
Kathrin Lembke http://allesperle.blogspot.de
Kathy Stemke http://vintagememoriesjewelry.blogspot.com
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic http://slovoni.blogspot.com
Katy Heider http://onthepondcreations.blogspot.com
Kay Thomerson http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
Kelley Fogle http://www.mylifeonebeadatatime.blogspot.com
Keren Panthaki https://vasdea.wordpress.com
Kimberly Idalski http://www.Kimisjewelryandgifts.blogspot.com
Kirsi Loponen http://peikkonen.blogspot.com
Klaudia Tóth http://www.klaudiabizsu.hu
Krista Quantrill http://www.cornucopiaofcrafts.blogspot.ca
Kristina Hahn Eleniak http://www.peacockandlime.wordpress.com
Kristina Johansson http://www.wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com
Laney Mead http://laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk
Lara Lutrick http://www.lutrick.blogspot.com
Laura Guenther http://www.blueantiquities.blogspot.com
Lauren Potts http://www.lpsjewelry.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar http://www.Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Leah Tees http://www.mybeadylittleeyes.blogspot.ca
Lena Adams http://mommaslilbirdiesblog.blogspot.com
Lesley Watt http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Leslie Wayment http://www.aabeadsonline.com/blog
LiliKrist http://pcbylik.blogspot.com
Linda Kropp http://lindasartbarn.blogspot.com
Linda Newnham http://www.earth-shine.co.uk
Linda Younkman http://www.lindysdesigns.blogspot.com
Lisa Boucher http://lisasclayhappenings.blogspot.com
Lizzie Clarke http://www.theneedtobead.blogspot.com
Lora Bright http://fandangling.wordpress.com
Lorelle McIntyre http://beadyart.blogspot.com.au
Lori Anderson http://www.PrettyThingsBlog.com
Lori Finney http://lori-finney.blogspot.ca
Lucie Bouvier http://www.carlosbeadstore.com/blog
Malin de Koning http://beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.se
Marina Dobrynina http://savonfeutre.blogspot.fr
Marina Kosovic http://machoopko-design.blogspot.com
Marion Simmons http://www.shadetreejewelry.com/blog.html
Marita Suominen http://momentofjewelry.blogspot.fi
Marjolein Trewavas http://roomforchangemeuk.blogspot.co.uk
Marsela Schroth http://www.marselita.de
Martha Aleo http://www.ornamento.wordpress.com
Mary Govaars http://www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com
Mary K McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com
Maybeline Tay http://thejewelrylarder.blogspot.sg
Mea-B. Uebler http://www.glasorakel.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger http://www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Menka Gupta http://menkag.blogspot.com
Merja Sundström http://suntsan.blogspot.fi
Merja Syrjämäki http://helmiriippuvuus.blogspot.fi
Michelle Buettner http://www.MiShelDesigns.blogspot.com
Michelle Escano http://www.cabbycraft.blogspot.com
Michelle Wigginton http://adornedonadelaide.blogspot.ca
Milla Hope http://www.Lbcreativeart.com
Miranda Ackerley http://www.mirandack.com

Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com

Mrs M Makes http://www.mrsmmakes.wordpress.com
Nan Smith http://www.wirednan.blogspot.com
Natalie Davidson http://northshoredays.blogspot.co.nz
Natalie Moten http://runningoutofthread.blogspot.com
Natascha Marty http://www.sommerlicht.ch
Nikki Banham-Hall http://jewellerymakingblog.blogspot.co.uk
Noemi Baena http://blog.noemibaena.com
Norma Turvey http://moonlitfantaseas.blogspot.com
Pam DeBoer http://pamelas-studio.blogspot.com
Pam Hurst http://www.pamhurst.blogspot.com
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com
Penny Houghton http://www.smellynelly.blogspot.com.au
Penny Mills http://www.cobblestone-lane.blogspot.com
Rachel Van-Walsh http://www.balancedcrafts.com/blog
Rebecca Sirevaag http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com
Regina Wood http://www.gina-design.blogspot.com
Roberta Fauntroy http://www.thevirtualbeadsociety.wordpress.com
Rosanagh Watson http://ring-a-ring-a-rosie.blogspot.co.uk

  Rose Johnson http://swtrosethorn.blogspot.com

Rosemary Cheslock http://www.glasseyebutterfly.tumblr.com

Rossana De Gaspari http://rdegas.blogspot.com
Sabine Dittrich http://www.perlendschungel.blogspot.com
Sam Waghorn http://palemooncreations.tumblr.com
Sandi James http://www.dobedobeaddo.blogspot.com
Sandra McGriff http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.ca
Sandra Wollberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.com
Sandra Young http://gypsyroadbeads.blogspot.ca
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sharon Palac http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com
Sierra Barrett http://giraffecanhas.wordpress.com
Silke Gröber http://just-beads.blogspot.com
Siobhán Keogh http://vovsjewellery.blogspot.ie
Stefanie Teufel http://stefaniessammelsurium.blogspot.com
Stephanie Stamper http://www.Skwds.blogspot.com
Sue Hamel http://cardandjewelrycorner.blogspot.com
Sue Rennie http://moonandsevenstars.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Kennedy http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com
Susanna Lehto http://othellehto.blogspot.fi
Suse Stelljes http://www.pearlify.blogspot.de
Susie Hibdon http://vintagesusieandwings.blogspot.com
Suzann Sladcik Wilson http://www.BeadphoriaBlog.com
Tara Plote http://newbiebeader.blogspot.com
Terri G. http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com
Terry Carter http://tappingflamingo.blogspot.com
Terry Matuszyk http://pinkchapeau.wordpress.com
Theresa Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com
Tina Bosh http://bookbug-somanybookssolittletime.blogspot.com
Tina Noonan http://www.wingedimp.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Facebook Participants

Audrey Allen https://www.facebook.com/adallen07
Cindy Wimmer Muse https://www.facebook.com/mritech813
Cynthia O’Toole https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.otoole
Deb Floros https://www.facebook.com/deb.floros
Debbie Jensen https://www.facebook.com/debbie.jensen.984
Erin Honeycutt https://www.facebook.com/erin.honeycutt1
Kaushambi Shah https://www.facebook.com/kaushambi.shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison https://www.facebook.com/lisa.lloydharrison
Mary Jane Tanner https://www.facebook.com/mary.j.tanner
Valerie Tilghman https://www.facebook.com/valerie.tilghman

Artisan Findings

For the last couple of weeks I have busied myself with sorting out a small corner of the house. I did manage a small jaunt to France, Germany and Bruges, boys Easter hols, but more about that later. I am feeling quite pleased with myself as I have now created some extra studio space 🙂 primarily,  to make component metal parts for my jewellery. I had outgrown the previous spot and needed somewhere larger with running water and a secondary torch to hand too. I am now on the hunt for another kiln, but this is proving to be a bit of a challenge as Kilns are invariably expensive and I must make sure I end up with the right one….

When I first started making jewellery I used to buy Artisan findings from individual makers. Artisan findings are usually well made, but you do have to look around and make sure that you are indeed buying something that someone has actually fashioned themselves. Handmade  items of any quality are often expensive, you are paying for time, skill, materials and the ideas and creativity of the maker. A lot of these items are fairly individual compared to the mass-produced market, but there is nothing quite like making your own components for truly unique pieces of jewellery.

Metalsmithing is time-consuming, so I often approach it in splurges and spend a few days making a number of pieces that I then have to hand,  ready to use in my work.

Copper Clasps and Hoops

DSC_0138And now for a glimpse of my travels to mainland Europe

It would be rude not to share some of the fab photos I took on the trip, fun was had by all, even if the weather was a little bracing at times.

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Padlocks of Love on the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge in Koln Germany with the Cathedral in the background. I have so many cool pics of these locks, it was an amazing day.

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I actually climbed up the Jakobsberg mountain in Boppard to take this picture, it was bit rough underfoot but I made it to the top in one piece,  the view was spectacular.

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Bunny’s best side – a chocolate shop in Bruges, believe me – this bunny  was big!

photoOyster shells in the window of a fish restaurant in Bruges

This year, I have decided to join in with the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party organised by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things     http://www.prettythingsblog.com.

The idea is to make and send a set of  Artisan beads with at least one Focal and one Clasp to an assigned partner. Once we receive our bead soups,  we start to think about what we are going to create and then share this process on our blogs. We have all signed up to a reveal date, on this date we collectively share our creations, our’s is the 13th of April. During this process we also all visit/blog hop and comment on other blogs who have signed up for the party too.

I have now been given my Blog Partner –  Alison Sachs,  and will shortly be sending off some glass beads that I made last week, along with a hand-made clasp and findings for Alison to incorporate into something that she feels inspired to make 🙂

So without further adieu,  I introduce you to Alison Sachs –

Alison Sachs is a polymer clay artist who lives in the good old U.S of A, about 20 minutes from Mt Bachelor, Bend, Oregon. There are some stunning photos of this beautiful location on her blog http://beadsbyearthtones.blogspot.co.uk  it looks like a wonderful place to live.

Alison makes and sells polymer clay beads,  her shop is full of creative goodies that have been lovingly hand crafted, in a range pretty colours. Alison takes her inspiration from the natural world around her,  and has a series of beads called “Imprint” that reflect this. All of her pendants, beads, buttons and copper findings are hand-made.

I am really looking forward to receiving my ‘soup’, perhaps it will contain some polymer beads?

You can check out Alison’s  goodies here :-  http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadsByEarthTones

These are some of my favourites

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Here’s a sneaky peek for Alison, a distorted image of the beads soup mix  that I have sent her

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This week has been pretty hectic, but I am managing to stay sane – just.

I have made some beads for the Bead Soup Swap that I am about to enter – more about that later, when I will post pics.

On the family front there is a lot going on.

My eldest child has been revising like mad for three weeks now,  he had his first two mock IGCSE’s this week, he is 14.  The realisation of exactly how much revision is needed to feel confident about taking these exams has now dawned on him, bless, he has worked so hard that I am sure he will do well. Trying to keep the house quiet for revision has proved a major challenge, as scamp number two seems to think that the void of silence needs to be filled with his voice, usually with the proclamation “melons” at the top of his vocal range…….rather frustrating at times. I have commended my eldest –  for not hurting him, even though he wanted to, many times.

It all seemed to be ticking along nicely from last week,  until Monday morning,  when we had the report of a flood in our London flat, rather worrying as it is on the top floor, it was not raining and the only thing above it is a huge water tank for the block – yikes!  Needless to say, a few phone calls later, and a visit into the big smoke were on the cards to sort out the mess. Luckily there was very little damage, a few soggy electrics and a broken light fitting,  I managed to sort it all out in about 48 hours – armed with a large cheque book that is!

As I was in North London, I squeezed a visit into Muswell Hill  and dropped by on Lou,  my oldest friend,  who very kindly offered me Coffee, Tea and a Coconut Chicken curry for lunch, before I dashed back to Surrey and picked up  Scamp number two from school. I took a Snappie of Lou outside a Tea Importer / purveyor of fine foods http://www.wmartyn.co.uk . Lou is a Tea freak and has a passion for the Leaf like no other person I know, I myself – am a complete philistine when it comes to tea, and will drink just about anything that is wet and warm.  Coffee, is another matter completely.

The weekend is now upon me, I have managed to make some Clasps this week too and finish off some Necklaces that I plan to put on my website, along with some other focal beads, that were made on a whim.

Lou outside W Martyn

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Check out these Tea Containers – Yum with a Capital Y!

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Busy busy busy,  but I am managing to stay on target with updating my blog and spending more time in the studio.

 I have “News” to share, but for now, I am going to show you the latest development from “Inspiration to Creation”.

I have made a focal,  added some more beads and gathered other items in a contrasting colour palette. These sit together really nicely with the original first set of beads.

At this stage, I am still not sure what I am going to create, for me,  the set is not complete. I need to think about component parts now, something to bring it all together.

Choosing a metal to work with, if any, can help to be a deciding factor for the finished item. So until then, take a look at my cushion inspired beady collection.

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These ribbon colours are just right too!

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