torstai 31. joulukuuta 2009

Last of Christmas presents

Now that all the wrapping papers have been removed and I can reveal the last of the Christmas presents. A necklace with a recycled pendant (from dismantled earrings bought from Barcelona) teamed up with brass chain and findings, glass pearls, svarowski crystals and Vintaj Natural Brass charm.

Welcome 2010

maanantai 21. joulukuuta 2009

Once more with the feeling

Has it ever happened to you...? Realising that even best laid plans don't always execute quite like you wished for.

Yesterday I had it all laid out. All my tools and (finally) well stocked beading pantry neatly arranged in front of me - but no inspiration. Somewhere between the US postal sorting office and my mail box I had lost my design. Hours of nervous twiddling later I gave up and and rummaged through the little less used section of my supplies. I was frustrated and itching to get on beading so I picked up something forgetten which I didn't mind messing.

I can't be sure if it was my favourite book (Shantaram) or the incense sticks I was burning (or both) what inspired me to create something quite unsual for me- India. Necklace made of Christmas tree green freshwater pearls and antique gold plated metals beads and findings.

First I was quite unsure of this colour combination, but more I see it, more I am convinced that I managed to take this away from frumpy old lady towards ethnic and hip.

torstai 17. joulukuuta 2009

Wintery nights

Silver grey and royal blue dominate the colours of my wardrobe and beading at the moment. Like sparkling silver stars in the blue night sky. Svarowski rondelles which came through the post few weeks ago were gorgeous -I wish I had ordered more on them.

I had visioned making lot of earrings so here's a good start with swarovski rondelles and Bali sterling silver.

keskiviikko 16. joulukuuta 2009

Blogger improvements

I love this new feature on Blogger where the 'Next Blog' button on the top menu will take you to a blog with similar topics. How amazing is that? I read about it little while ago and just remembered to try it out. Instead of classic cars fan club or tortoise and frog poetry (yeah, I know!) I can find interesting pages by jewelry artists.

tiistai 15. joulukuuta 2009

Beaded accessories

Coming season's trends are something to for the bead enthusiasts to get excited about. Spring 2010 RTW (ready to wear) runway show featured beads not only in their traditional form as jewelry but also as wearable accessories. Here are some of the coolest snaps from the show for all to admire.

Balmain's seed beaded and patterned sandals on left and right and bead and pearl embellished sandal by Vionnet. I'd quite like Balmain's colouful flat sandals for my spring / summer wardrobe.

All images in these photo creations have been borrowed from

Trussardi's seed beaded accessories are remarkable creations of handicraft. I wonder if this trend is going to catch on retail fashion. If so, all of you talented beadeders get your bead purse projects underway now and cash in name and fame when spring comes!

More of jewelry trends from Spring 2010 RTW coming up later on.

maanantai 14. joulukuuta 2009

Dear Santa,

I would like to think I have been a very good girl this year (like every other) so here's a little letter for you Santa to help you through the hurdles of Christmas shopping. See, I really AM a good girl ;-)

I would love a decent pair of hair straigtheners like GHD IV Styler and 'Smoky Eyes' eye make-up set like Dior's or Lancome's. Body Shop's 'Black Velvet Apricot' series has a heavenly scent and moistures the dried up winter skin. A gift card for Fusion Beads or H&M for little shopping or perhaps a relaxing facial at the Helsinki Day Spa. Blissful! Pentik's Verdi glass candlesticks are gorgeous way to light up the dinner table.

But most of all I wish relaxing time with the family, good Christmas food and plenty of snow!

sunnuntai 13. joulukuuta 2009

Bleeding fingers...

and broken nails. I am so out of practice as it took me good 4 to 5 hours to complete this bracelet, but it was so worth it. This voluminous bracelet is made of sterling silver and freshwater pearls and has already been boxed and wrapped in Christmas paper.

lauantai 12. joulukuuta 2009

Order In

I received my first order from Jewelry Supply :-)) With excitement I examined my package and was SO pleased with the quality of the findings. Since the bulk of my order consisted of ball end headpins I was dreading that they would turn out to be 'golf clubs' (flattened irregular lumps, resembling more a golf club than a golf ball).

My main reason for trying a new online shop was that I finally found a place that stocked larger collection of gun metal findings. Jewelry Supply has a great collection of gun metal chains and those much needed ball end headpins, which I could not find elsewhere. On top of that they appear to be of very good quality!

I my opinion Jewelry Supply scored high on;

+ Great metal selection on finding and chains available (14k Gold, Sterling Silver, Gold filled, Copper, Brass, Pewter and Base metals including Gun Metal etc.)
+ Good quality
+ Prices similar or slightly lower to other major US bead shops
+ Shipping costs to Finland only $5.27 !!!!
+ Appealing selection of copper beads and interesting looking Tibetan beads

I would give a small minus for

- Somewhat long delivery time (+ 2 weeks) which was due to long handling time (6 days)
- Gemstone selection. Althought many different types of gemstone were available, there are mostly just smooth rounds beads, which can be little boring.

Over all Jewelry Supply delivered to my expectations and I will most definately be ordering from here again.

Happy beading weekend to All!

perjantai 11. joulukuuta 2009

Cleaning my closet

Out with the old, in with the new. It is time for the annual Christmas cleaning. In my case this does not mean scrubbing the kitchen cupboards and hard to reach places, but to organise my beading supplies. I have once again entered that desperate 'ME WANTS' stage and spent hours drooling at online shops. I managed to depart from a fair amount of beads and I am hoping to fill that space with some beauties. I still cannot decide whether I should be brave and buy from Etsy for the first time ever?

Tempting me for my first Etsy order are these beautiful gemstones

Amazing faceted black tourmalated quartz rondelles, and...

(Images borrowed from Etsy)
Blue faceted mystic quartz 3D cubes. Gorgeous, right? Just the right of bling for festive season.

I also would like some relatively inexpensive glass pearls for making personalised multilayered long beads in different shades. I found a nice selection of colours and sizes from Vitabeads, prices weren't bad either.

(Images borrowed from Vitabeads)

I know that lot of beaders from Helmetti have ordered from Etsy. Perhaps someone could tell me about their experiences? (Finnish: Oletteko tilanneet Etsystä? Minkälaisia kokemuksia teillä on ko. paikasta?)

sunnuntai 22. marraskuuta 2009

Project Runway showdown

Last night aired the final runway showdown of the Season 6's Project Runway. Althea's, Carol Hannah's and Irina's fashion forward visions were showcased in Bryant Park for the world to see. I enjoyed all of the collections and could easily pick something from each collection to wear. Announcing Irina as the winner of Season 6 was no surprise to me. Her work during the show has been consistent, meticulous and well preceived by the judges as was her collection at Bryant Park. Although I can totally see why she was chosen as the winner of the competition I lost my heart for Carol Hannah's collection. Sure it lacked some cohesion typical for these types of shows, but her garments were to die for. My absolute favourite was her starter piece, which also vowed the judges.

Project Runway - Runway - Fall 09 MBFW

Such a beautifully made piece with fantasic colours. I especially loved the way that black bordering brings out the other colours and the cut of this dress. There were so many pieces in her collection which I could see wearing.

Project Runway - Runway - Fall 09 MBFW

I think these are very flattering designs which work well in normal life not just on a runway show or red carpet. I guess that's why I love them so much. Lot of the clothes on runway shows looks great but I personally find them unwearable in real life. Carol Hannah also offers great gowns for formal evening do's - I mean that is what she does well! Check these out!

Irina's collections had all the cohesion Carol Hannah's was missing. It was edgy and stylish and it even showcased headwear which reminded me of helmets that horse riders wear. Unfortunately, all the magnificent tailoring got lost in the black. It was little depressing almost. But she has some winner pieces I loved. Her jackets were amazing.

Project Runway - Runway - Fall 09 MBFW

Project Runway - Runway - Fall 09 MBFW

Althea's collection was very true to her style seen earlier on the season. Great tailoring of suits and super comfy looking knitwear. As with Irina's collection I felt that Althea's collection lacked some colour. My favourite pieces were her cropped pants suit and oversized cardigan. Lush!

Project Runway - Runway - Fall 09 MBFW

I look forward to catching up with the Project Runway's Finnish version which is aired on Thursdays. Having been abroad for quite few weeks I missed a great deal of the earlier shows, but am hoping that the real talent is really shown at the end. Exciting viewing ahead.

Align CenterAll of the images are borrowed from or

perjantai 20. marraskuuta 2009

Memories from Africa

I'm working through my existing bead collection before I allow myself to do more shopping. I haven't touched glass beads in quite a while, but got inspired by this handmade pendant I bought years ago from Cape Town, South Africa. Emerald green Svarowski crystals, light green glass drop beads and the plaited silky cord mimic the colours of the pendant. Drop beads have been stitched together to form a beaded beads.

torstai 19. marraskuuta 2009

Czech Glass

These Czech glass rondelles are beautifully faceted with amazing colour which is complemented with the antiqued silver. For the longest of time I couldn't figure why I had bought the strand in the first place. But placed next to antiqued silver tubes it makes a great harmony of colour.

I ended up photographing this necklace again in better light.

tiistai 17. marraskuuta 2009

Mr Grey

Since the snow has gone there seems to be no light outside, not even during the day - it's all grey. Streetlights reflecting from the wet asphalt give a glimmer of sliver amongts all the grey. Time to use these twist beads which I have been sitting on for way too long.

Dark grey Swarovski twist pearls and sterling silver twist beads.

maanantai 16. marraskuuta 2009

Good Hair Day

picture borrowed from
I haven't gotten around photographing my latest pieces, so instead I will share my amazement with the hair straighteners. I've had straighteners for good 7 or 8 years. I've owned two pairs of styling irons, both mid-range, reasonably priced and pretty nicely working pieces of electronics. I have heard from GHD (Good Hair Day) long time ago, but always considered them overhyped and overpriced. Recently I had a chance to try a pair. OMG! Why oh why have I wasted all this time on mid-range rubbish when goddess divine is available?!

Not only does my hair look amazing, it also feels amazing. My own straighteners almost scrape the surface of my hair as I pull them through, GHD just glides over the hair. My hair has little bit of a natural curl, especially with humitidy so straighteners are a must for a sleek look. However, regardless of the amount of effort and product I put it for the straightening process the result never lasts longer than 4-8 hours. Two days into GHD my hair is sleek, shiny and beautiful. Which is why.... dear Santa may I please get GHD Styler IV?!! Pretty please!

picture borrowed from

sunnuntai 8. marraskuuta 2009

Closer to home

Images borrowed from

I must have gone through twenty different websites in search of reasonably priced Bali-style silver. There are plenty of online shops around - and plenty is what I need! I seem to have exhausted all the basic necessities from daisy spacers to earwires and headpins to bead caps. I desperately need to find a shop which isn't going to take me to the cleaners.

First I thought about using one of online jewelry supply stores in US, but their stock was either out, limited or expensive. Plus I wanted to order other beading supplies from these shops too. After five different attempts to fill out an balanced shopping cart I give up. My order is either too limited or too expensive. Taking the order over €50 will often incur additional costs - money in taxman's pocket you see. This clearly wasn't going work.

My bookmarks soon guide me into an Asian silver bead heaven with an enormous collection, and bead prices to die for. Click for daisy spacers, click click for beads caps, click click click....small print at the bottom suddenly yanked me away from bead heaven. 'Minimum order US$75'. Damn it! How could I have forgotten it? Tiny voice in my head says that I can easily find 75 dollars worth of silver. 'Paying tax on it won't so bad', it whispers. Click, click, click....the shopping cart fills with reasonably priced silver and I am reaching for my credit card. Card number, expiry date, billing address, shipping cost...momentary bead craziness has softened my brain enough to selectively forget the whopping shipping cost from Asia to Europe. Add another 25 dollars to the bill and you will get your goodies. I feel like banging my head against the wall.

My wrist aches, my eyes burn and I feel defeated. Should I just bite the bullet and accept the additional costs? Travel to Bali with an empty suitcase or revise my shopping list? Perhaps, but not today. Today I will write a letter to someone I haven't spoken to a while.

Dear Santa, this Christmas I would like someone to open online shop with following magic incredients;

1) versatile, well stocked collection of Bali silver
2) reasonable prices
3) shop firmly grounded within EU for tax purposes
4) no minimum order
5) and some decent shipping costs!

As I seal my letter to Santa, I wonder if I am the only one with this wish?

lauantai 31. lokakuuta 2009

Happy Halloween

Although I think lampwork beads are often amazing miniature pieces of art they feature very rarely in my jewellery. I am huge fan of holidays (Christmas being my favourite) but you would not catch me dead wearing a Rudolp sweater or Easter Bunny pyjamas. I don't even own a pair of Christmas tree earrings. I came across some Halloween themed lampwork beads on Etsy and wondered if on the most popular fancy dress holiday of the yeat one would get away with wearing something quirky?

Pictures from

They are pretty cute. But pumpkins dangling from my ears....?

Picture from
Horrific Halloween to All!

keskiviikko 28. lokakuuta 2009

Dreaming of the weekend

Pouring rain and houling winds in the darkness of the night, except it is only 7pm. Anticipation of the coming weekend keeps me from not feeling the weather. I am finally looking forward to great company, nights out in the town, relaxation in posh hotels, pampering in a spa and a hike along a beautiful Irish coastline. Halloween weekend here I come!

What are you looking forward to?

tiistai 27. lokakuuta 2009

Beading Library

I mentioned on the earlier post that I have found a lot of great information and instructions to beading in the internet. Since most of my money disappeared to the various online beading shops I tried to source my instructions from the free available media.

In the very beginning I purchased few books on beading techniques which proved very useful way to learn to basics. But after learning the basics I felt that most of the books available repeated the same instructions with very little variance. As a consequence my physical beading library is relatively small and the only recent additions to it include Jean Campbell's 'The Art of Beaded Beads'.

maanantai 26. lokakuuta 2009

Learning French

Few years ago I discovered French beading blogs which were ultimately responsible for an un-reasonable amount of delica beads, heaps of snapped fine needles and a stiff neck. In return I tried and discovered the tiny secrets of the seed beading world.

I believe Tulipe was where it all started and who's designs and instructions I studied to produce my very own French-style jewellery.

I adored the way that the French beaders mixed colours to create such beautiful beaded pendants. My creations were more in tune with the earthy colour scheme which I had grown use to at the time. Before this I had never used cabochons and took the easy way out by starting with Swarovski's cabochons which could be mounted into a metal setting. These metal settings / mountings have small holes at the back which can be used as a starting point with the thread.

My second discovery was beaded beads, which led to countless of hours of frustration until I finally managed to create my first own beaded beads. I absolutely love beaded beads and wanted to make a necklace which consisted solely of large beaded beads. Once I discovered that even with some practice I took me anything between 45 minutes to hour and a half to create one bead I reluctantly abandoned the idea. Perhaps one day...

What I ended up creating has still been one of the most loved pieces I have ever made.

Diving back into the archive of my beading hobby has its benefits. I had totally forgetten how nice the black resin beads were, which I used the the black beaded beads necklace. I think it is time to do some shopping!